Whats Everybodys Opinion on Keystoker Boilers

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1975gt750
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Stoker Coal Boiler: keystoker kaa-2
Coal Size/Type: rice coal / blaschak
Other Heating: pensotti oil boiler with riello 40 burner
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: kaa-2
Location: new hampshire

Post Sat. Nov. 03, 2007 11:26 am

i looking to install a keystoker boiler either a kaa-2 or a ka-4.just wondering what everybody thinks and if there is something better that I can install. I have a 1200 square foot house in southern new hampshire with forced hotwater oil heat.

any help is greatly appricated.
chris

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

Post Sat. Nov. 03, 2007 11:55 am

All stoker boilers are made very well, it becomes a matter of comparing what is available in the size you need and price. Remember when sizing a boiler you are much better off getting a smaller unit than an oversized one. You save up front and in the long run.

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Flyer5
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
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Post Sat. Nov. 03, 2007 1:09 pm

1975gt750 wrote:i looking to install a keystoker boiler either a kaa-2 or a ka-4.just wondering what everybody thinks and if there is something better that I can install. I have a 1200 square foot house in southern new hampshire with forced hotwater oil heat.

any help is greatly appricated.
chris
I have beeen looking at them as well ,undecided what I will get yet they do look nice .But I don't believe they make the kaa-4 anymore that is what I was told anyway . I do like the idea of the flat stoker on the Harman VF -3000 though . But I don't think they are not large enough for my application . They should be good for yours the Kaa2 also should work for you . Kaa-6 would be too much . Good luck ,read as much as you can to get a good decision ,or like me end up even more confused .Dave

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gaw
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County
Location: Parts Unknown

Post Sat. Nov. 03, 2007 1:48 pm

Flyer5 wrote: I have beeen looking at them as well ,undecided what I will get yet they do look nice .But I don't believe they make the kaa-4 anymore that is what I was told anyway .
I have heard the same thing also. No more KA-4

The KAA-2 uses a different stoker mechanism than the KA-6. The KA-6 and larger units use basically the same stoker mechanism only they add a 3" wide section of grate for every step up in size so the stoker just keeps getting wider for each size up.

See some good photos of a brand new KAA-2 here. (page 2 & 3 of the thread)
Replacing My Propane Fired Boiler With a Keystoker Or Harman Boiler

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Flyer5
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Post Tue. Nov. 06, 2007 1:07 am

Does anyone on the forum actually have one up and running . Either the Kaa6 or 2 .I would be happy to hear pro's or cons . Thanks ,Dave

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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 Tue. Nov. 06, 2007 3:22 pm

Hey Flayer5 Have you looked into A E.F.M. http://www.efmheating.com just a thought There made in Emmaus PA been around since 1930 check them out lots of dealer's around should not have a problem finding one near you just a :idea:

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Flyer5
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Post Tue. Nov. 06, 2007 5:47 pm

coal berner wrote:Hey Flayer5 Have you looked into A E.F.M. http://www.efmheating.com just a thought There made in Emmaus PA been around since 1930 check them out lots of dealer's around should not have a problem finding one near you just a :idea:
I have been kicking the idea around . But they are too pricey new . I don't think the better points out weigh the extra cost . Maybe if I had a larger home ,but it is just around 2000sq/ft and newer as well .Used I have gotten prices for 3k-4k for the square door EFMs .I just keep thinking I am better off new . So the Keystoker is at the top of my list along with the Harman .There are reveiws on the Harman but I don't seem to find any on the keystoker . They are both the same price . Dave

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e.alleg
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
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Post Tue. Nov. 06, 2007 7:58 pm

For used EFM's you'll have to look in the local NEPA papers, there's a lot of them in that geographical area and not very many anywhere else. I drove 5 hours for mine because it was $1200. I hooked up mine to my forced air propane furnace, not the easiest job but not overly difficult either. All said and done I have about $2000 into the installation. For $3000 you can buy one that has been completely reconditioned, although there aren't many parts to break on the thing. I think a good cleaning, new door gaskets, a new electric stoker motor, and maybe a new worm will make any old one like new. The beauty of the EFM is you can easily change the BTU rating of the boiler from 12,000-230,000BTU's so maximum efficiency is possible during all seasons, it takes literally less than 2 minutes to change the BTU settings.

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Flyer5
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Post Tue. Nov. 06, 2007 8:05 pm

Finding the DF with the square door is the hard part . They are not as popular .Then I would still have either rebuild it or purchase it that way and its still 20yrs old or more . I am keeping an open mind and have a lot of time to look .But I would still like to hear from someone who has a Keystoker Kaa boiler . Thanks ,Dave

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Highlander
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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
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Post Tue. Nov. 06, 2007 9:07 pm

I have the Harman boiler and like it. The Keystoker KA6 was very high on my list too. I had a Mag stoker so I was very confortable with Harman, and there was a Harman dealer within an hour of my house. I had a chance to see a Harman boiler working before I bought mine, had I seen a Keystoker, who knows?

Here are my observations and opinions about the two.

The Keystoker KA6 uses their older more robust stoker design, not the same one as the KAA2 or the Keystoker stove. It has an external gearbox tied off of the main blower which actuates the pusher bar. A small auxillary blower, a recent addition helps keep the fire going during warmer weather and helps in more complete combustion.

The Harman uses the identical stoker from the Magnum stove. It is a very robust design also, and uses a quality dayton gearmotor with needle bearings and drives a heavy pusher bar riding on two bronze bushings. The pusher itself is a large aluminum block. The Harman pushes the coal up a ramp onto the grates whereas the coalpath on the Keystoker is all downhill. Clinkers blocking the coal on the grate can be a problem on both designs, but the keystoker might be a little more suseptible to fire burning back into the hopper if the draft is poor. The Harman stoker motors tend to run very hot when they run continuously, leaving the cover off or adding a small muffin fan helps keep them cool. Are you listening Dane?

Keystokers are one piece boilers, the flue opening position has to be specified when it is built at the factory.

The Harman is a two piece with a seperate base that can be flipped fairly easily during the installation.

The KA6 is a larger boiler than the Harman with a 55 gallon water jacket, vs the 50 on the Harman, and a 275# hopper vs the 250# on the Harman. It has an 8" flue vs the 7" of the harman. It is rated at 144KBtu input, 122KBtu Net, the Harman just lists the input as 95KBtu. Both are carpet or bed type stokers and burn rice coal. The Harman will probably burn a little less coal in pilot mode, due to its smaller grate area. During the summer months my average coal useage was 12# per day, and this supplied all my hot water.

Keystoker uses two water walls vs the Harman which uses a single water wall and 8 schedule 80 pipes on the top of the fire box. They both have a large amount of surface area exposed to the fire and will probably perform very similarly. Both completly surround the firebox with the water jacket. Both boilers have a very low flue opening so heat is trapped within the boiler.

The Harman has a scraper rod that helps knock off accumulated ash off the water tubes and water wall, the KA6 doesn't.

The Harman is built with .250" steel plate, and has been in production since 1989, not sure about the KA6, but I suspect its also .250" steel plate. I'm Not sure when they started production but its probably over 20 years. The Harman boiler looks to have mostly machine made welds, the Keystokers look to be welded by hand.

Both Boilers can be fitted with oil guns for an alternate fuel supply.

You should also consider the AHS coalgun, lots of folks on this board have them and love em, a very similar design to the Axeman Anderson which is also stil lin production. Both have higher list prices then either the Keystoker or Harman.

Good Luck with your decision.

Bill A.

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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 Tue. Nov. 06, 2007 11:13 pm

Hey Flayer5 you are 123 miles away from Keystoker about 2hrs 20min you should take a ride down and take a tour They are very nice people they will show you the first step to the last step on how they make them I live 8 miles away from
them And yes they are all Hand Built Most of the Machinery is From the day they Open the doors way back when so hop it the car and take a ride down I-81S to route 61S Schuylkill Haven PA. They will be on your left side on 61 up on the hill They driveway is next to R & R Chevy Dealership

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gaw
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Posts: 2639
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County
Location: Parts Unknown

Post Wed. Nov. 07, 2007 2:30 am

Flyer5; I have and am using a KA-6 Keystoker. It works well for me. Highlander did a good job of comparing it with the Harman and I have nothing to add to that. My opinion is all the coal stoker boilers made are good units and most of the problems encountered will be from either improper setup and/or installation or poor quality coal. Good luck in your boiler shopping.

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Flyer5
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Post Wed. Nov. 07, 2007 8:34 pm

Thanks Highlander and GAW , Those were the answers I was looking for . Dave

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Flyer5
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Post Wed. Nov. 07, 2007 8:36 pm

coal berner wrote:Hey Flayer5 you are 123 miles away from Keystoker about 2hrs 20min you should take a ride down and take a tour They are very nice people they will show you the first step to the last step on how they make them I live 8 miles away from
them And yes they are all Hand Built Most of the Machinery is From the day they Open the doors way back when so hop it the car and take a ride down I-81S to route 61S Schuylkill Haven PA. They will be on your left side on 61 up on the hill They driveway is next to R & R Chevy Dealership
BTW its Flyer5 not Flayer5. Thanks for the tip . Dave

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