Replacing My Propane Fired Boiler With a Keystoker Or Harman Boiler

Stoker Coal Boilers automatically feed the coal and have controls and pumps just like any conventions boiler. They are intended to be used as a primary heat and often have domestic hot water coils as an added bonus. They can be set up independently or in dual sytem with your existing oil/gas boiler. They can accommodate both hot water base board or steam plumbing.
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Highlander
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Posts: 217
Joined: Tue. Dec. 05, 2006 9:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000 Sold
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000 Stoker Boiler
Location: Highland Lakes NJ
Contact:

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 12:55 pm

Im looking to replace my propane fired boiler with a stoker boiler. The two units on my short list are the Harman VF3000 and the Keystoker, either the KAA-2 or the KA-4. I like the AHS unit too, but its out of my price range.

The Harman would be a bit more money, but I currently have a Magnum and I'm comfortable with its operation. The VF3000 and the Magnum share the same stoker mechanism, and it seems pretty reliable.

Does anyone here have experience with a Keystoker boiler, in particular, the stoker feed itself?

I know one member here, Kirk, has the Harman and likes it. Any and all opinions are welcome.

Thanks Bill

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coaledsweat
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Joined: Fri. Oct. 27, 2006 2:05 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 2:19 pm

Spend the money on the AHS. It's worth it. :wink:

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italia899
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Stove/Furnace Make: Brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearthglow
Location: NE Ohio

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 2:34 pm

Take a look at the Axeman-Anderson "Anthratube"

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coaledsweat
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 2:38 pm

The A-A is even more, I think another $1500-2,000. But it's the best out there.

Complete Heat
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Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: AA-130/FHA
Location: Nashua, NH
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Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 2:45 pm

Bill,

I have sold and installed two KA-6 boilers (one was a dual fuel). One went into a ranch, and it has excess capacity for heat and hot water. The second went into a 4,000 sq. ft. victorian that is a 100 years old and not well insulated. It heats it up with no problem using about 3 bags a day. I have had no problems with any of the Keystoker product lines, and the customers, especially the ones with the boilers, absolutely love them.

In the Keystoker brocure there is a mis-print. It says that the hot water coil provides 200 gallons an hour of hot water. That is not accurate. The correct number is 300 gallons an hour (at whatever the tank temperature is). I have looked at the AHS unit, and it looks like a real nice unit as well, but it is more money. The Keystoker will last about 50 years and is built like a tank (1,000 lbs).

Mike
Heating with coal, driving with waste vegetable oil. Screw OPEC.

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Yanche
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Posts: 3032
Joined: Fri. Dec. 23, 2005 12:45 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Location: Sykesville, Maryland

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 4:29 pm

The A-A and the Eshland (Now AHS) boilers are very similar. They are both expensive but in my opinion worth it. I have the AHS S-130. Both are high combustion efficiency 84% and idle well during warm spells. The ash measuring thermocouple option on the AHS reduces coal use to a minimum when idling and makes it practical to heat domestic hot water during the summer months. Be sure to compare your current domestic hot water heating costs to what it will cost using coal. It's surprising how much it costs to heat hot water with conventional hot water heaters.
The comparison just might make the AHS affordable.

One caution on dual fuel boilers, it's a design compromise, single fuel boilers will have higher combustion efficiency.

Yanche

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coal berner
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Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520
Location: Pottsville PA. Schuylkill County PA. The Hart Of Anthracite Coal Country.

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 6:58 pm

Highlander try http://www.efmheating.com look at the Df-520 and http://www.alaskastove.com look at the 140 twin stoker good luck on you search
Last edited by coal berner on Sun. Mar. 11, 2007 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
J.C.

Heating house & water with a 1986 electric furnace man DF520 using buckwheat Anthracite coal

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Highlander
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Posts: 217
Joined: Tue. Dec. 05, 2006 9:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000 Sold
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000 Stoker Boiler
Location: Highland Lakes NJ
Contact:

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 7:40 pm

Thanks for the replies, I have looked at the AHS and the Axeman Anderson in the past also. They are undoubtedly great units, but at 130K BTU, a little large for my house. The last time I had checked the AHS was in the neighborhood of 6K$, a bit out of my price range right now.

The Alaska 140 unit is a furnace, I want to replace an existing propane fired hotwater boiler with a coal burner, mostly for the cost savings in the fuel. Im not real familiar with the EFM, if anyone knows more about it, especially how it compares with the Keystoker and Harman units, I'd be interested to hear about it.

Now if only Leisure line would build a boiler, I would be knocking on Jerry's door... :)

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Complete Heat
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Posts: 221
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Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: AA-130/FHA
Location: Nashua, NH
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Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 9:02 pm

The dual fuel on the keystoker is a compromise on the oil side, not on the coal side. The only difference between the dual fuel and the coal only models are the addition of a beckett burner. It is a nice feature to have if it is the only heat source, and you want to go on vacation.

Keystoker makes a 90k BTU (appx. I don't have the brochure in front of me) boiler, which is ideal for a ranch size house.

Mike
Heating with coal, driving with waste vegetable oil. Screw OPEC.

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Richard S.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 9:13 pm

Highlander wrote: Im not real familiar with the EFM, if anyone knows more about it,
Can't give you any specifics but they have been in business for decades if that tells you anything...
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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e.alleg
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520
Location: western ny

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 9:23 pm

Just for comparison sake, what does the E-F-M boiler cost and can anyone buy one? The site says it's the best coal stoker boiler ever. Does anyone have one?

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Berlin
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal
Location: Buffalo/Adirondacks, NY

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 9:40 pm

i personally like the keystoker design with the low flue outlet and vertical baffels, which prevent buildup of ash and debris. my sister has a large one fired with oil @2.?? gph single pipe steam in a huge 4000sq' house in the adirondacks and it's great, blow it down once a month and it works perfectly. i'm not sure about the stoker mechanism, but the boiler itself is well designed, simple strong and I like it.
Burning western Pennsylvania Bituminous in WNY using model 77 stoker furnace. BITUMINOUS equiptment: 2 hand fired stoves of my own design, Many Combustioneer Model 77 stokers, stokermatic furnace, Many Will-Burt stokers, & and Two Iron firemen.

Complete Heat
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Posts: 221
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Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: AA-130/FHA
Location: Nashua, NH
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Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 9:58 pm

The stoker design on the Keystokers are solid, and work extremely well. There may be some slight tweaking when you first get the unit going, but after that it is hands off.

Mike
Heating with coal, driving with waste vegetable oil. Screw OPEC.

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coaledsweat
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 10:07 pm

e.alleg wrote:Just for comparison sake, what does the E-F-M boiler cost and can anyone buy one? The site says it's the best coal stoker boiler ever. Does anyone have one?
They are very good units, my dealer in Middletown has one. I would rate it third after the A-A and AHS. Very well made but 1 & 2 have the edge on efficiency. I think they are around $5,000.

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LsFarm
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Sun. Mar. 11, 2007 1:38 am

The EFM boiler is a very high quality unit. The stoker mechanism is very heavy-duty. EFM has been around just about forever.

The stoker unit is an underfeed type. It uses an auger to pull coal from a bin into the burn pot. This means that the hopper is located on the floor instead of up in the air. The hopper is much easier to load. The hopper can be made of wood, or often a 55 gallon plastic drum is used.

The bed-type stoker units are not as heavy-duty, they work fine, but can jam with an oversize piece of coal, or a piece of rock, an auger feed could jam as well, but less likely.

I would get some information from EFM, here is their site address:

http://www.efmheating.com/d520.html

Greg L.

.
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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