Direct Vent Vs Power Vent and Code

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
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keithonline
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Post Fri. Jun. 20, 2008 7:04 pm

I'm considering the Alaska 140 or Keystoker Koker. First, I can't find an install manual for the Koker. Does anyone have one? What I can find on the 140 is limited too. I'm a bit confused about power vent vs direct vent. On Alaska's website, it seems to imply you can direct vent some units. I'm assuming direct vent means no fan in the process. Is this possible? I could put the unit right against the wall if needed to minimize the horizontal run.

Also curious if anyone has any suggestions about how much separation I would need between the cold air inlet from my house's return ducts to where I duct in the hot air from the coal furnace? I understand I'll have to relay my wholehouse furnace fan to kick on, but I'm a bit concerned about the duct layouts. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

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Freddy
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Fri. Jun. 20, 2008 8:22 pm

A direct vent has a fan, but it's a built in part of the stove and smaller, using less electricity. A power venter is a seperate unit. They can be adjusted to fit a varity of different units. Consequently they use more electricity.
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gaw
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
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Post Fri. Jun. 20, 2008 9:26 pm

I don't know if there is a difference between direct vent and power vent as far as the terms go and what they refer to. There is a system that uses a fan at the end of the pipe to draw the exhaust out of the stove and a system that mounts a fan directly on the rear of the stove to draw the exhaust from the stove and then push the exhaust under positive pressure out the exhaust pipe. Keystoker uses the later system, I don't know about Alaska. Any power vented system on a coal stove would have to run constantly as long as there was fire in the stove.

A naturally drafting chimney is the only system I know of that uses no power and is by far the best way to go if at all possible. Unfortunately a chimney is not always possible or practical for some applications.
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stoker-man
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Post Sat. Jun. 21, 2008 6:45 am

Using an oil burner for the example, a power venter would attach to the exhaust pipe of a unit between the barometric damper and the wall vent. It would start exhausting as soon as the oil burner motor started up. The burner motor fan would supply room air or outside air for the combustion and the power venter would create the negative draft usually supplied by a chimney.

In a direct vent application, a double walled pipe is used to supply fresh air and vent exhaust air to the outside wall of the house.

There are rules governing how far these vents can be from windows, doors, fresh air intakes etc.
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Devil505
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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
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Post Sat. Jun. 21, 2008 8:10 am

My opinion is this: Unless you have legitimate reasons for not building a masonry chimney, it makes little sense to power vent.
If you consider this:
1. A masonry chimney will last practically forever & probably never require maintenance in your lifetime (not even cleaning if you just burn anthracite coal)
2. A masonry chimney costs nothing to run & emits no noise
3. Once you deduct the cost of what a power vent would cost, a block & clay lined chimney is not that much more expensive (& can be faced with brick if looks are important)
4. A masonry chimney operates fine in power failures......a power vent means you lose your fire.

I would never power vent unless I had absolutely no alternative.

Just an opinion
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keithonline
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Post Sun. Jun. 22, 2008 11:13 pm

I have two flues in my chimney. One goes to my fireplace on the main level, the other one goes to my oil fired furnace and oil DHW in the basement (yes into one flue, that's how the house was built in 1986). I don't want to put the Koker or 140 to that one flue, but I want it near the other furnace. I only have one wall I can come out of there. The basement at that point is a half foundation, and outside that wall is my deck. My town inspector said there is no code stating if I can go out that wall, and it must be installed per the mfg instructions. I can't find info on these two units about how to install them. I could power vent, but if I could install in near the exterior wall, and if the exhaust vent is low on the unit, would a 2-3 foot vert run, and 2' horiz run outside the wall give me enough draft without a direct/power vent? Seems like a type of install someone has probably tried.

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Devil505
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Post Mon. Jun. 23, 2008 6:54 am

Not an expert on power venting but I've read allot of suggestions to vent your oil burner into a power vent (since it will be on rarely) & vent your coal stove/furnace into the chimney in place of the oil burner. (If you power vent your coal stove/furnace you will need to run the power vent 24/7)
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Shaking & Poking The TLC2000 Video

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