Alaska Vs Keystoker Coal Stove

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.
AlanK
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Post Sat. Feb. 18, 2006 3:02 pm

I am considering a Alaska Channing or Keystoker 90 or 105. Seems to me the Alaska varies heat rate by a variable feed stoker motor (set by one dial) while the keystoker uses a thermostat to either go to high fire or lower fire push for control. Each system seems to have its advantages but it appears the Alaska with a variable push rate offers better control. When I saw the keystoker it seemed after 10 min the unit was really going. Has anyone compared the two types (thermostat vs. constant on variable push rate). I was told the Alaska maybe better if you place the stove upstairs instead of the basement. How about temperature flux's with a thermostat cycling the stove. :roll: Is single wall stoves better or worse than dual wall stoves? Any real world help would be appreciated.


AL-53
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Location: Massachusetts

Post Sat. Feb. 18, 2006 5:14 pm

I have a 15 year old Alaska stoker..model Kast Console II ..It was made for a hearth installation...

I have nothing but good to say about this stove...the rheostat control works great....the heat output is great....

I also have a Harman Mag Stoker which is great also..I am trying trying to get the feed motor to work the same way as the Alaska on a rheostat as I find that way is very good...you can control the speed of the push and the time coal remains on the grates for a better burn...

All in all I say the Alaska is a good stove..not that the keystoker is not..but I never dealt with a keystoker..so I can not comment on them..But I have heard they are a good stove also...

I also heard from people that Leisure Line stoves as good also...They make a good stoker also...

All the stoves mentioned are quality built...so you look over the stoves and see what your needs are.....

Al

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WNY
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Posts: 5849
Joined: Mon. Nov. 14, 2005 8:40 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY
Contact:

Post Tue. Feb. 21, 2006 7:22 am

We have a keystoker 90. Direct Vent.
You can also manually vary the feed rate with an adjustment on the pusher block and it has a idle/pilot timer that can be adjusted for more feed also by adding more to the timer cycle on lower demands.

It does cycle +/-2 or 3 degrees depending on where your thermostat is located. We put digital with setback and hold and works great in maintaining it.

Our is in the dining room on the first floor which was centrally located.

Only thing I shoudl have ordered was the optional air vent on the top and ran a piece of pipe upstairs, a bit cooler up there.
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer

wally61
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Posts: 64
Joined: Tue. Nov. 22, 2005 9:04 am
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: channing III dv coal-trol
Location: sliver creek n,y.

Post Wed. Feb. 22, 2006 6:25 pm

i have a channing 3 purchased in nov of 05 am loving this stove. it is like a set and forget it oven. when it gets cold outside turn the knob up and it fires up not as quik as a pellet stove but does the job.it is a direct vent. I am burning coal that a friend had it is a mixture of rice,pea,nut and I sift the bigger coal out. it seems to burn the smaller coal to a ash but the bigger coal gets pushed off. we still get tremdous heat. I don't mind dumping unburnt coal out as it did not cost me anything.the unburnt coal does burn but gets pushed off before its lifetime. went from 300$ a month to 80 dollars 2 story about 1700 sg ft. stove is in the dinning room downstairs is 76 upstarirs far bedroom is 67 good for sleeping. am sitting in a 78 degree dining room right now and it is 17 outside. saved a ton of money this heating season. this is my 2cents worth. opions are like a------- and some of them stink. love this forum go coalman

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Bunky
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Posts: 87
Joined: Thu. Oct. 07, 2004 5:57 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaskan
Stove/Furnace Model: Kast Console II

Post Thu. Feb. 23, 2006 7:16 am

I LOVE our Alaskan. Our house has never been this warm w/o our electric getting called in for duty. The dial is quicker to react than the last one. I can't imagine having it on the first floor though. H*O*T it would be. We have to wear short sleeves if we're in the basement for a while. Good luck!

madrmc
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Posts: 31
Joined: Sun. Oct. 30, 2005 9:23 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III
Location: Western PA

Post Thu. Feb. 23, 2006 10:33 pm

I bought an Alaska Channing and love it but my question for anyone and everyone is about the heat exchangers on the two stokers. As far as I know the heat exchanger on my stoker is the air gap between the top of the stove and the top of the "hood". Air blows over the top of the stove and collects heat from the top. There are no copper or aluminum fins to get the most heat out of the top its just a "steel to air" exchange.

I was looking on improving this by adding some fins (copper or aluminum) to the top of the stove, to get more heat out of the top and more heat into the air.

As it relates to this thread, the keystoker has an "industry first" internal heat exchanger, and they claim a much higher efficiency rate than Alaska (88-90% vs. 76%). (I've heard that the Harmon's have a heat exchange also).

Would this be a reason to purchase the keystoker over the alaska? Or could you buy the alaska and easily improve the heat changer on the top, or maybe even the sides of the stove using materials that conduct better?

Thoughts?

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WNY
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Posts: 5849
Joined: Mon. Nov. 14, 2005 8:40 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY
Contact:

Post Sun. Feb. 26, 2006 5:17 pm

Keystoker 90
Yes, There is a heat channel up the back and across the top, the blower blows in from the bottom back and up across the top and out the front. It is on a thermostat in the air path that turns on 160 and off around 110 degrees. It also keeps the back of the unit cooler (where the motors and hopper are). there are no side vents or anything.

I should have opted for the optional 6" top vent and ran a duct to direct the heat upstairs at night.
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer

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Mike Wilson
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Posts: 155
Joined: Fri. Dec. 30, 2005 10:54 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 90 DV
Stove/Furnace Model: Jøtul Kennebec Wood Insert
Location: Orient Point, NY

Post Sun. Feb. 26, 2006 8:32 pm

Is that Keystoker 90 a true direct vent, or do you have a power venter located outside the house?

-- Mike


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WNY
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Posts: 5849
Joined: Mon. Nov. 14, 2005 8:40 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY
Contact:

Post Tue. Feb. 28, 2006 11:53 am

Yes, the direct vent is mounted on the bottom back of the stove, not outside. Only thing I would have opted for was the 6" top vent, I could have ran a pipe upstairs to help heat it better. The upstairs is 4-5 degrees cooler, but older house, and needs some more insulation.

I have a couple of pics in this thread showing the blower and vent outside the house.

Direct Vent Vs Power Vent...
Last edited by WNY on Wed. Mar. 01, 2006 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer

Daryn
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Location: Binghamton, NY

Post Tue. Feb. 28, 2006 11:02 pm

I purchased a 90K Keystoker this winter with a 6" duct on top of stove w/350CFM blower. My stoker is located downstairs and ran a single 6"pipe upstairs to open floorplan house. I am heating a little under 2100sqft upstairs. I put programmable thermostat upstairs and have setpoint at 70. Stoker start feeding coal at 69 and stop feeding at 71. I usually burn 40-55lbs a day.

With my current settings my idle feed rate is .761 lbs/hour and when calling for heat it burns 3.83 lbs/hour. On a warm day you will burn less than 20 lbs.

I believe thermostat is far superior to constant feedrate. Temp in house stays constant no matter what outside temp is. Keystoker can also be run at constant feedrate if that is your preference.

I looked at Harmon, Keystoker, Alaska, Leisure Line, and Reading. They all looked like capable units but I got the Keystoker because it offer what I was looking for at the best price. Mainly thermostat control with the largest blower of the group. The 350 CFM blower really washes the heat off the unit very nicely.

My only regret is not getting the optional hot water coil.

I hope this helps

Daryn

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Mike Wilson
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Posts: 155
Joined: Fri. Dec. 30, 2005 10:54 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 90 DV
Stove/Furnace Model: Jøtul Kennebec Wood Insert
Location: Orient Point, NY

Post Tue. Feb. 28, 2006 11:31 pm

I like the sound of that Keysoker 90 more and more. I'll put it in the basement, and run the duct upstairs. I have 3 zones, and am only looking to supply primary heat to one of them (1900 sq/ft). I was concerned about the heat loss in the basement, which is uninsulated poured concrete, but based on what Daryn is saying, I should get plenty of heat upstairs notwithstanding. The fan must be pretty good.

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WNY
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Posts: 5849
Joined: Mon. Nov. 14, 2005 8:40 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY
Contact:

Post Thu. Mar. 02, 2006 8:02 am

Our house is almost 100 years old, but is mostly insulated. 1900sq.ft.
The stoker has been the only heat since last Nov.
Our stove is on the first floor. Our basement stays a constant 50 degrees without any heat.
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer

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Mike Wilson
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Posts: 155
Joined: Fri. Dec. 30, 2005 10:54 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 90 DV
Stove/Furnace Model: Jøtul Kennebec Wood Insert
Location: Orient Point, NY

Post Thu. Mar. 02, 2006 9:16 am

WNY, so how many tons have you used so far, and how many do you expect to use for the whole season?

-- Mike

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Richard S.
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Posts: 12712
Joined: Fri. Oct. 01, 2004 8:35 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Thu. Mar. 02, 2006 2:31 pm

AL-53 wrote:
All the stoves mentioned are quality built...so you look over the stoves and see what your needs are.....
I think that about sums it, brand name stoves like Keystoker, Alaska Leisure Line (figured I throw that in there for Leisure Line) are all going to get good reviews by there users. Especially considering many are not going to have anything to compare it to.

They are all well built american products, that's what your paying for. I realy don't think I've heard anyone say they didn't like there stove. You have to figure out what is right for you...

The only thing I will add is make sure you get a big enough one, don't make the mistake of getting one smaller than what you need. Many will buy a small stove thinking they'll just use it and supplementary heat and wish they had purchased a larger unit by the end of there first heating season to heat the whole house. The extra thousand (or whatever it is) is worth the investment.

Personally when buying products I always get a little better than what I need at the moment. Too many times in the past I ended up wishing I had splurged a little bit extra.... not anymore.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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WNY
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Posts: 5849
Joined: Mon. Nov. 14, 2005 8:40 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY
Contact:

Post Fri. Mar. 03, 2006 8:16 am

Hi guys.
First, we don't keep it as warm and others, around 63-65 in other rooms, stove room is 65-70+ with a digital thermostat in the other room. While working during the day, it sets back to 61 while we are not home.
(The gas furnance is set at 58, if the stove goes out, but hasn't yet!)

To monitor usage for my first year, I got it bags and keep track of filling the hopper (A bit more in price, but easier to handle). Purchased 3 tons (120 bags)

I started stove on Nov. 7 and running 24/7. I have 50 bags left. So, approx. 2500# left. That should last for approx. 2+ months.

Burning Approx. 800-1000+#/Month. Depending on outside temp. If it gets below 15 degrees, it will burn up 50# in 12-14 hours easily.

This year has been pretty mild, so less usage.
My Usage (50# bags):
Nov. 16 bags
Dec. 20 Bags
Jan. 18 Bags
Feb. 17 bags

Once I build my bin in the basement, I will get 3-4 ton bulk next year, to start. (During summer when it may be cheaper)

Gas bill has been under $40 per month.!!!

Thanks!
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer


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