Purchased a Home With an EFM A520W in the Basement

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.
GasBurner
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: A520W

Post Fri. Feb. 08, 2013 8:54 pm

Hi everyone,

This forum has been a wealth of knowledge.

I purchased my first home back in December, and in the basement is an EFM A520W dual fuel (oil/coal) auto stoker boiler.
It is heating my house with cast iron rads, and domestic hot water. It is currently set up to run on oil with a Beckett burner. However, it has a 10 foot worm shaft connecting to a 55 gallon drum hopper.

I found the original instruction and operational manuals for this unit, along with a few other documents in the basement. It appears to be dated 1973-1976 or the early 1970's.

Before purchasing the home, we contracted with UGI to convert to natural gas. As soon as they can dig, I am having a mod/con Triangle Tube Solo 110 and an indirect fired water heater installed. The 520 has been serving us the past two months without issue to heat our two story 1800 ft2 home. As part of the home inspection, we had the unit serviced, and the plumber said it is in great shape.

My plumbing contractor is going to place it on a pallet in my basement when he installs the gas boiler. I am thinking of selling it. Would anyone be able to provide a ball park estimate of what an asking price would be? Is their a used/refurbished market for these in Northeastern PA or Upstate NY?

I am located near Wilkes-Barre, and can provide pictures of the setup.

Thanks in advance for your help,

Gas Burner

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McGiever
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Post Fri. Feb. 08, 2013 8:59 pm

Yes there is a market. And around $3500.00, depending on who's looking to buy. ;)
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Scottscoaled
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Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck
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Location: Malta N.Y.

Post Fri. Feb. 08, 2013 10:19 pm

Oh, Heck no! You ought to be able to get $4800 for that. Just kidding :) It's got to be in really good shape, almost brand new to garner that kind of money. It's an older model.
I think a man does what he can, untill his destiny is revealed. Right now that is trying to sell my EFM plate boilers in 520 and 700 sizes.

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stoker-man
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Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 6:38 am

You won't have any trouble selling it. If you have the stock oil burner package, it would be at least '79 or newer. Does it have a square door on the front? Then it should be a DF520 model. If it's an AP520W, then maybe it's one of the first dual fuels with the old round door.
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GasBurner
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: A520W

Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 8:20 am

I'm going to get pictures up later today after I shovel out.
Thanks to everyone for their input and advice.

cabinover
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Location: Fair Haven, VT

Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 8:40 am

Why not have it plumbed in and left in place? NG will go up in price eventually. Then again if you have plenty of $$ it is a mute point.

I rather like having a couple of heating units to work with. Helps me keep a little bit more of what I work so hard for.
Always learning, still stupid though :D

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LsFarm
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Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 8:57 am

I would leave it in place, plumb in the NG boiler in a P/S loop, and keep both units.. As Cabinover said above, NG won't stay cheap forever.

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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SteveZee
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Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 8:58 am

cabinover wrote:Why not have it plumbed in and left in place? NG will go up in price eventually. Then again if you have plenty of $$ it is a mute point.

I rather like having a couple of heating units to work with. Helps me keep a little bit more of what I work so hard for.
That's a great old unit you have there Gas. I might be temped to keep it and see what NG does.

I'm with you Cabinover. I have two coal stoves, a Jotul propane Allagash unit and an oil steam boiler in the basement. Mix and match. ;)

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whistlenut
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Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 9:29 am

Are you really sure you want to sell it? You just might develop an interest in the culture that belies the lifestyle. You are very lucky to have NG available to you, so I do understand your logic.
I suggest, as many others, leave it plumbed in, with shut off valves. The T-Tube unit is an absolute contradiction in technology with the extremely 'low-mass method' vs the 'adequate thermal mass heat retention method'.

Along with hundreds of forum members, I will suggest that you will never be as comfortable with any other form of heat as you will be with coal.
Please don't fall for the 'sucker punch' of : Why would you go backwards in technology and use a carbon based fuel.......when the NG is SOOOOOOOOO efficient and clean.

Also, as to the value of your unit, I'm thinking that a rebuild will be necessary, and that keeps the value below 3000.00 unless someone absolutely has to have the boiler RIGHT now, and overlooks the wear items.

Good luck in your endeavors, and thanks for sharing with the forum. :idea:

PS: The Triangle Tube Solo 110 is a VERY fine unit. It has the best warranty and there are PLENTY of them in my area, all burning Propane.......as we have no NG available.
Last edited by whistlenut on Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 10:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Rob R.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 9:38 am

GasBurner wrote:My plumbing contractor is going to place it on a pallet in my basement when he installs the gas boiler. I am thinking of selling it. Would anyone be able to provide a ball park estimate of what an asking price would be? Is their a used/refurbished market for these in Northeastern PA or Upstate NY?
McGiever wrote:Yes there is a market. And around $3500.00, depending on who's looking to buy. ;)
$3500 is a common asking price for a round-door unit that has been run through the shop...."basement price" is considerably less. Whoever buys it has to travel, extract it, haul it home, spend hours going through the stoker, possibly repairing the tankless coil area, etc. NOTHING comes apart easily, and it is easy to put $1000 in parts into them. The bottom line is....it is worth whatever someone offers you after they look at it. There is no doubt that someone will purchase it, but what they offer will depend on the condition of the unit and the difficulty of getting it out of the basement.

GasBurner
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: A520W

Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 11:24 am

Here is a link to the pictures:

http://s1287.beta.photobucket.com/user/GasBurner1 ... e.jpg.html

Part of me wants to keep it and part of me wants to give it a new home. I like to tinker and appreciate good engineering. I think it is a fantastic concept, and I would possibly like to have a secondary source of heat just in case. The Triangle Tube Solo seems like a good unit, but it looks like a stainless steel stock pot with a fan mounted inside a Rubbermaid tote.

The plate on the auger motor says model S20, serial 30531.

Based on the pictures, what type of condition is it in, and how hard would it be to shut off the oil burner and get the coal mechanism running again...what is all involved to burn coal? The radiation in my house is cast iron water and is rated at 63,300 BTU per my plumber. I don't even know how to turn the coal part on, but I am mechanically inclined, as restoring motorcycles and fiberglass boats is a hobby of mine when I find a good project.

I am worried about carbon monoxide, but I have alarms in the basement. The house was built in 1942, and the basement has two separate "coal shanty" rooms under the front porch with a chute in the wall for the coal truck to deliver from the street. There is actually a reclaimed coal pit mine right behind my home.

If it ran coal, would the circulator pumps still run to feed the hot water through the system based on need from the thermostat, or is it always running? Would it overload the pipes?

If anyone needs more detailed pictures let me know.

Thanks again.

GasBurner
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: A520W

Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 11:38 am

Here is a better link to all of the pictures:

http://s1287.beta.photobucket.com/user/GasBurner1 ... 0848851178

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Rob R.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 12:07 pm

That is a fine looking unit and installation. Any chance there is a cast iron door near the boiler that says "EFM" on it? You would need a door to cover the opening where the oil burner is mounted.

The stoker itself would need to be checked, the auger/bushings and six burner plates are the most common wear items. Depending on how long your unit has been run on oil, the stoker might not need much work at all.

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Rob R.
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Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 12:08 pm

By the way, thanks for sharing the original literature. Lots of the information on those service cards has been lost to history.

Pacowy
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Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
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Post Sat. Feb. 09, 2013 12:47 pm

I agree with Rob on the value issues. A used unit sitting in a private party's basement is different from one being offered by a dealer or someone else with recognized expertise. Also, I don't think you should be using DF models as a benchmark. A dual fuel unit generally has a separate port for the oil burner. From what I could see in the pics (and I seem to be having a browser problem when trying to view them), yours looks like a round door plate boiler with an oil gun mounted in the fire door. A round door plate boiler certainly has value, but in the market I'd figure it to be lower than a square-door DF model.

I don't think I'd favor keeping it around if you don't intend to use it. These units like to work, and don't benefit from sitting unused in the basement. If you decide to sell it, you might want to see whether your plumber could/would pull the boiler head out of your basement with the same rigging he may be using for your new boiler. The new one undoubtedly is lighter, so my suggestion might not work, but if it does a 520 on a pallet in the garage is worth more than one on a pallet in the basement.

Mike

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