how far is it practical to haul coal from the pit

vibert_c
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Post By: vibert_c » Fri. Feb. 23, 2018 1:56 am

Gid day Gents
I just blew in from Ottawa Canada, an 83 yr old geezer that grew up on coal fired hot air in the late thirties. For a small dwelling that consumes 41-51 K BTU/hour of electricity on the coldest day in the last ten years is it practical to consider hauling coal this far north from the coal pit?

It has been over 15 yrs since we had coal available here in Ottawa.

I certainly have no way to accomodate a tri axle load as I am rural on a 3/4 acre lot.

Presently I have a 35 yr old York heat pump with electric backup still working nicely (but pricy now with Time of Use billing.

For three years I have been learning about steam heat at the heatinghelp.com website and have digested Dan's portfolio of books on the subject.

This summer I hope to gently bead blast my collection of 1909 Warden King emitters, spray prime & paint them and install them appropiately for steam. Before I purchase a propane or oil fired "small steam boiler" I want to investigate the possibility of firing on coal.
Am I going nuts? (my old bones are getting hard to heat; ha ha)
vibert_c

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gaw
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Post By: gaw » Fri. Feb. 23, 2018 7:52 am

A quick check on my map software shows Ottawa 370 miles from Hazelton. They ship anthracite further than that. Not being able to accommodate a truckload or having a dealer nearby buying by the truckload is a problem. If you have a small truck and trailer you have to figure your cost to drive 750 – 800 miles and how much coal can you haul back. The other thing to check is crossing the border, do they tax it or not.

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Post By: Pacowy » Fri. Feb. 23, 2018 12:04 pm

I don't see why a 3/4 acre lot would prevent you from taking truckloads. We're in the Berkshires on less than 1/2 acre and we have taken TL's. You probably won't get a triaxle - most long distance moves are by tractor trailer.

That said, are you remembering how much effort is involved in handling the coal into the boiler and the ashes out of the basement? There are some threads on the forum about mechanized methods people have used, but it's still a fair amount of work.

If you want to do steam for some kind of sentimental reason, it's certainly your choice. Before reading your post, the only new residential steam installation I've ever heard of is in New Zealand. I know you've read the books, but you may not find much knowledgeable local help if it turns out to be needed.

If the quality of steam heat by coal is important to you, have you considered "moving south" to northeast PA, where coal is readily available as are older homes with steam?

Mike

vibert_c
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Post By: vibert_c » Fri. Feb. 23, 2018 4:02 pm

@Pacowy Thanks for your wisdom. I'll do some math. I have a Toyota 1/2 ton and trailer.

As crazy as I am you couldn't get me to move to the U.S.A. these days.

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Post By: rberq » Sat. Feb. 24, 2018 8:55 am

vibert_c wrote:
Fri. Feb. 23, 2018 4:02 pm
As crazy as I am ...
At age 83, you have to figure that in another 25 or 30 years obtaining and handling coal might be too much for you. Perhaps a heating system like everybody else has will be more practical. Are the newest heat pumps more efficient than your 35-year-old model? Can you install the emitters (radiators???) for hot water rather than steam, if that is more common in Ottawa? Much as I like coal heat, I would not want to be the only installation in town, with no dealers around to bring my fuel. If you're crazy enough to do that, you're crazy enough to move to the US. Bring your gun.

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Post By: lzaharis » Sat. Feb. 24, 2018 11:08 am

vibert_c wrote:
Fri. Feb. 23, 2018 1:56 am
Good day Gents,

I just blew in from Ottawa Canada, an 83 yr old geezer that grew up on coal fired hot air in the late thirties. For a small dwelling that consumes 41-51 K BTU/hour of electricity on the coldest day in the last ten years is it practical to consider hauling coal this far north from the coal pit?
It has been over 15 yrs since we had coal available here in Ottawa.
I certainly have no way to accomidate a tri axle load as I am rural on a 3/4 acre lot.
Presently I have a 35 yr old York heat pump with electric backup still working nicely (but pricy now with Time of Use billing.
For three years I have been learning about steam heat at the heatinghelp.com website and have digested Dan's portfolio of books on the subject.
This summer I hope to gently bead blast my collection of 1909 Warden King emitters, spray prime & paint them and install them appropriately for steam. Before I purchase a propane or oil fired "small steam boiler" I want to investigate the possibility of firing on coal.
Am I going nuts? (my old bones are getting hard to heat; ha ha)
vibert_c
=================================================================================================

Hello CVibert,

No you are not going nuts, There are steam plumbers in Ottowa,Quebec, Canada.
Existing hot water radiation is not designed for steam heating. You cannot successfully convert and use hot water radiation for steam

(according to the licensed steam plumbers that are listed on the heating help forum).
What I forgot to mention is that steam plumbers caution against converting hot water rads to steam due to the
corrosion that will occur when converting these hot water radiators to one pipe steam or two pipe steam with a wet return.
Don't get me wrong, I love steam heat as I grew up with a one pipe system and in my inlaws home they had a one pipe system fired by stove coal in thier Montgomery Ward Kit home at first when they moved there in 1946 then it was converted later to natural gas in the early 1950's.

I am sorry that you feel that I offended you and I never ment to do that; and for that I apologize to you.

My personal knowledge of what happens to areas that are flooded for hydropower and urban renewal/flood control present many problems especially with the dilution of naturally occurring heavy metals like Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Free Mercury and others will continue to be an issue as these metals migrate up the food chain to humans and animals that feed on these fishes.
=================================================================================================

You have to keep in mind that a pound of water will expand 1700 plus times to create one pound of steam.

With your heating load even the smallest steam rated coal stoker boiler would be twice what you need and would spend more time idling than running unless you have a lap pool, deep pool, hot tub spa or Sauna.

If you have no basement you would have to reinforce the exterior walls, hang new steam radiators or flat panel radiators used for steam on the wall to obtain the elevation needed to allow proper flow and return with a one pipe system.

I would be more worried about being in trouble with Hydroquebec than anything else as they would frown on this as you are a captive audience and use their electricity generated by hyropower to heat your home.
Me, I would be more worried about the damages caused by Hydroquebec have affected native canadians, The Inuit, Algonquian, Abenakis, Atikamekw, Crees, Malecites, Mi'kmaqs, Inuus, Naskapis, the Iroquoian Wendat and Mohawk tribes, and the animals (cariboo and others) that are killed annually by the hydopower reservoirs annual flooding up north.


(edited 2/25/18)
Last edited by lzaharis on Sun. Feb. 25, 2018 10:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post By: McGiever » Sat. Feb. 24, 2018 11:44 am

What does the hydro utility and natives have to do with helping this coal/steam question???

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Post By: hotblast1357 » Sat. Feb. 24, 2018 5:22 pm

WOW!!!!!!!

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Post By: vibert_c » Sat. Feb. 24, 2018 8:19 pm

Gentlemen

I arrived here following an invite on another forum.
My intention was to learn about coal:
How to purchase it,
Where to purchase it,
What the pros & cons were in burning it safely.

I have some in my basement now hoarded from several years ago.
(Kimmel pea 50 lb bags).

To be advised by some dude that cast iron emitters can’t be used in steam OR hot water service insults my intelligence no end, as I have the Warden King “pocket portfolio” manual at hand given to me by my uncle in 1952. Geeze, I am not a hayseed that fell off the turnip wagon last night!


Thank you for a providing a direct answer to my original query, very much appreciated.

Until the other posters (that wander off topic) have walked in shoes for 83 years they will not realize that what is important in the cold we have experienced this past season is “comfort” , the heck with efficiency.

What happens to a dwelling or heating system I put together after I am gone will be very likely be demolished in the surge of so called “progress” ie MacMansions built by dreamers, owned by the money lenders.

This false utopia that we live in today will end as abruptly as things collapsed in Argentina. It is doubtful that folks have studied what it takes to make a society collapse. Well, all the conditions are super ripe for that event presently.

I am blowing back out of this forum as fast as I came in. It appears similar to a lions den when “fresh meat” is dragged in.

In the days of CB things got out of hand when folks hid behind a moniker. That is happening once again, with the internet, history repeats. 73 ve3hjv

Vibert_c

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Post By: CapeCoaler » Sat. Feb. 24, 2018 8:40 pm

Most of us are fairly nice... :D
But like any family...
There are a few outliers of the bell curve... ;)

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Post By: Rob R. » Sat. Feb. 24, 2018 8:42 pm

I am blowing back out of this forum as fast as I came in. It appears similar to a lions den when “fresh meat” is dragged in.
This is one of the best alternate heating forums on the web. Unfortunately we do have a few fanatics mixed in with a large group of very intelligent & helpful people. I ask that you not judge the group as a whole based on the actions of a few.

Good luck with your project. If you decide not to pursue the radiator system, a hand fired coal stove might be something else to consider. I would be surprised if bagged coal is not available somewhere in your area. Call Blaschak and see if they have a dealer nearby.
In the days of CB things got out of hand when folks hid behind a moniker. That is happening once again, with the internet, history repeats. 73 ve3hjv
I agree. Have a good day, I'm back on the side. :)

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Post By: Olllotj » Sat. Feb. 24, 2018 8:47 pm

I wouldn’t take too much offense, I think a lot of eyebrows were raised at the comment that cast rads can’t be converted. I know if I fell for one that was a steamer, I would sure be able to get hot water in one side and out the other.

I am impressed at your willingness to take on a steam system design. I would love to have the time and energy to do so. As we gutted and remodeled I shamelessly used pex and a big pump, and made heat. I would love to get the chance to redo - undistracted this time.

I think there may be some Canadian members, but really most of us know nothing about getting coal in Quebec.

Sounds like if you need info on Native American tribes, you would have been set!

How about more info on the house, heat loss info, ?

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Post By: franco b » Sat. Feb. 24, 2018 9:00 pm

Hi Vibert,

As someone senior to you in years, I would counsel patience in the rantings of the young folk.

Of course many radiators are suitable for both steam or hot water and your BTU needs are well within the capability of many boilers.

As to suitability, coal will save you money and the physical demands are modest. As you point out acquiring anthracite will be the biggest hurdle.

Given your somewhat dark outlook concerning the future of society, the most prudent heating system would be one not needing electricity, which would eliminate stokers. The simplest would be a hopper fed, hand fired stove centrally located in the living space in your dwelling. Also the least expensive way to go to achieve heating independence, should the worst occur .

Best Wishes,
Richard

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Post By: rberq » Sun. Feb. 25, 2018 9:34 am

vibert_c wrote:
Sat. Feb. 24, 2018 8:19 pm
I am blowing back out of this forum as fast as I came in. It appears similar to a lion’s den when “fresh meat” is dragged in.
I'm sorry and surprised that you have taken offense. I just re-read the thread and it appears everybody tried to help with your questions, albeit with a little personality thrown in but nothing intended to offend. Information and opinions are not guaranteed accurate but there are lots of smart experienced people here. And don’t speak of other posters “that wander off topic” when you yourself have, in only three posts, meandered into internet anonymity, the imminent collapse of society, and the inadvisability of moving to the USA. :lol:

For sources of coal: If you go to the Blaschak coal web site, there is a phone number for inquiries, or a form you can fill in to look for local dealers. You can also try Kimmel Coal & Packaging, and Reading Coal.
Last edited by rberq on Sun. Feb. 25, 2018 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post By: coaledsweat » Sun. Feb. 25, 2018 10:30 am

I'm pretty sure Blaschak has a dealer in Ontario.

Here you go.

http://www.greenvalleyheating.ca/blaschak/

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