Thermal Loop to Existing Water Heater - EFM520

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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Joe G
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Posts: 12
Joined: Thu. Jul. 10, 2008 8:28 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF 520

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 3:42 pm

Guys,

As I go about planning to replace my electric baseboard for hot water baseboard I've been wondering if it makes any sense to add my existing 82 gallon electric water heater to the mix via a thermal loop. I'm struggling to figure out the best way to have hot water during the summer months. When my Dad had this running we simply just kept the coal burner going but I wonder if there's a better way.

Any thoughts? Has anyone done this and was it worth while?

Thanks
Joe

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11343
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 Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 3:55 pm

Joe, as long as your electric water heater is well insulated (modern ones have spray foam and hold heat really well) I would just use a tankless coil in the EFM...hook it up to preheat the water going to the electric water heater. I did this in my brother's house and it works very well.

One thing to remember, be sure you pipe things so that if you don't want to use the coal boiler the water DOES NOT go through the coil. Running water through the coil in an unfired coal boiler will cause condensation and corrosion in the firebox.

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franpipeman
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Posts: 203
Joined: Fri. Jan. 11, 2008 4:27 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: efm 520 stoker fitzgibbons pressure vessel
Hand Fed Coal Stove: harman, russo
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: alpine propane condensing boiler radiant floor
Location: Wernersville pa

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 6:18 pm

IF using a indirect hot water heater, I would pipe parallel, in a geyser hot water heat pump in the summer , it also provides dehumidification and the space and provides cooling for approx. 700 watts of operation Heavy and severe demand may require intermittent short term back up like electric resistance heating , but I prefer getting dehumidification and cooling from my summer hot water production rather than additional heat,,,,, call me eccentric.

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franpipeman
Member
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri. Jan. 11, 2008 4:27 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: efm 520 stoker fitzgibbons pressure vessel
Hand Fed Coal Stove: harman, russo
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: alpine propane condensing boiler radiant floor
Location: Wernersville pa

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 6:18 pm

IF using a indirect hot water heater, I would pipe parallel, in a geyser hot water heat pump in the summer , it also provides dehumidification and the space and provides cooling for approx. 700 watts of operation Heavy and severe demand may require intermittent short term back up like electric resistance heating , but I prefer getting dehumidification and cooling from my summer hot water production rather than additional heat,,,,, call me eccentric.

Mark (PA)
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Posts: 383
Joined: Thu. Feb. 28, 2008 9:40 am
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler
Location: South Central, PA

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 7:10 pm

my Hot water tank is plumbed as Rob Mentioned above.

About 4 months a year I do not usually run my coal boiler. sometimes I do. Just depends on how much coal I have left etc.

But bottom line this setup works fine for me. Just so you can shut off the Coil when not in use as mentioned.

Joe G
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Posts: 12
Joined: Thu. Jul. 10, 2008 8:28 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: DF 520

Post Mon. Nov. 04, 2013 9:01 am

Rob R. wrote:Joe, as long as your electric water heater is well insulated (modern ones have spray foam and hold heat really well) I would just use a tankless coil in the EFM...hook it up to preheat the water going to the electric water heater. I did this in my brother's house and it works very well.

One thing to remember, be sure you pipe things so that if you don't want to use the coal boiler the water DOES NOT go through the coil. Running water through the coil in an unfired coal boiler will cause condensation and corrosion in the firebox.
Rob, since I'm nothing more than an advanced DIYer, can you or anyone else, help me understand what a tankless coil is and how it connects to the EFM? Maybe a picture would be enough.
I happen to have a very new hot water heater, so you're correct, it's very well insulated
Regards,
Joe

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kstills
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Posts: 639
Joined: Tue. Jan. 18, 2011 6:41 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: WL 110
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Location: New Britain, PA

Post Mon. Nov. 04, 2013 12:20 pm

Rob R. wrote:Joe, as long as your electric water heater is well insulated (modern ones have spray foam and hold heat really well) I would just use a tankless coil in the EFM...hook it up to preheat the water going to the electric water heater. I did this in my brother's house and it works very well.

One thing to remember, be sure you pipe things so that if you don't want to use the coal boiler the water DOES NOT go through the coil. Running water through the coil in an unfired coal boiler will cause condensation and corrosion in the firebox.
How did you do that?

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Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11343
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 Mon. Nov. 04, 2013 1:00 pm

Joe G wrote:Rob, since I'm nothing more than an advanced DIYer, can you or anyone else, help me understand what a tankless coil is and how it connects to the EFM? Maybe a picture would be enough.
A tankless coil is a heat exchanger for domestic hot water. Basically it is a bundle of copper tubing that bolts into the boiler with a gasket, the domestic water flows through it and gets warmed by the hot boiler water surrounding the copper tubing. Here is a link that shows what the various coils look like for an EFM: Pictorial: DF520 Domestic Water Coils W/Part Numbers
kstills wrote:How did you do that?
You just leave a bypass between the connection points. Picture a straight piece of pipe going to the water heater. Cut into the pipe, install a tee, then a ball valve, then another tee. The two tee's connect to the coil in the boiler, close the valve between them to force the water through the coil...open it and valve off the coil (always put ball valves and unions prior to the coil) to protect the boiler when not in use.

kstills
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Posts: 639
Joined: Tue. Jan. 18, 2011 6:41 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: WL 110
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Location: New Britain, PA

Post Mon. Nov. 04, 2013 2:26 pm

Rob R. wrote:
Joe G wrote:Rob, since I'm nothing more than an advanced DIYer, can you or anyone else, help me understand what a tankless coil is and how it connects to the EFM? Maybe a picture would be enough.
A tankless coil is a heat exchanger for domestic hot water. Basically it is a bundle of copper tubing that bolts into the boiler with a gasket, the domestic water flows through it and gets warmed by the hot boiler water surrounding the copper tubing. Here is a link that shows what the various coils look like for an EFM: Pictorial: DF520 Domestic Water Coils W/Part Numbers
kstills wrote:How did you do that?
You just leave a bypass between the connection points. Picture a straight piece of pipe going to the water heater. Cut into the pipe, install a tee, then a ball valve, then another tee. The two tee's connect to the coil in the boiler, close the valve between them to force the water through the coil...open it and valve off the coil (always put ball valves and unions prior to the coil) to protect the boiler when not in use.
Ah, crap. You used a water heater, I'm using an indirect. Different setup.

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