Vanwert VA600 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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Dialdirect
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Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2008 8:36 pm

I presently have a Harman Magnum stoker in the main living area of my house. I use the Harman Magnum 24/7 and leave the oil burner in my basement off except five minutes in the morning and at night to keep the baseboard hot water pipes from freezing in the house. In the spring and fall I use the oil burner, but I am growing tired of spending $1000 a year to use the oil burner from May until the middle of October. I may have solved my problem with the oil boiler in the basement. A friend is giving away his VanWert VA600 Boiler. He no longer wants mess with coal and has switched to a new $7000 oil burner. The VanWert coal boiler that he is giving me looks to be in good shape. I wanted to know if the company was still in business and how hard it would be to get parts. I didn't see any dates on the VanWert, so I don't know when the stove was made. Hopefully I can rip out the oil boiler and put the VanWert in it's place and say goodbye to the oil bill.

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

Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2008 8:43 pm

Dialdirect wrote:I wanted to know if the company was still in business and how hard it would be to get parts. I didn't see any dates on the VanWert, so I don't know when the stove was made. Hopefully I can rip out the oil boiler and put the VanWert in it's place and say goodbye to the oil bill.
I think they are gone but parts are and will be available.

Don't worry how old it is, it will last longer than us.

Leave the oil there and add the VW.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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

Post Mon. Jan. 21, 2008 9:13 pm

They went out of business in the early 80''s I think, parts may be an issue but someone posted some places that may have them recently. There was a guy in Scranton that had anything but that number no longer works, I can only assume he went out of business. The last time it was called was when I was a kid, I'd imagine the Van-Wert guy had a lot in common with the maytag guy.

Having said that.... the parts you will be most concerned about made specifically for the furnce will most likely never need replacement. The stuff that does wear out is all common stock. Ours has been happily running along for more than 25 years now 24/7/365. The one in my Grandmother's house probably more than 30 years... If worse comes to worse you can always have something fabricated.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

Dialdirect
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Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2008 7:46 am

Are you saying that I could hook the VanWert boiler next to my oil burner? That would be be great if I ever went away on vacation then the oil burner would heat the house until I got back. My problem is that I only have one chimeny and I would be breaking code by hooking the two stoves into the chimney. The other option would be to powervent the oil burner and hook the VanWert into the chimney.

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

Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2008 7:54 am

Dialdirect wrote:The other option would be to powervent the oil burner and hook the VanWert into the chimney.
Bingo! Your insurance company and mortage holder would like to see a conventional heat source. And you'll love having backup (you'll love not using it too). :)
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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LsFarm
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Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
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 Tue. Jan. 22, 2008 9:17 am

You can use one chimney, but hook up only one boiler at a time... design the flue pipes for a 'quick-swap'. Just have the precut, and pieced together pieces ready to swap from the coal to the oil boiler... Should take about 5-15 minutes... You could have most of the flue pipes in place, and just cap the end.. remove the cap, install the connecting piece.. Go to the other boiler remove the connection piece, and cap the pipe.. pretty easy if you plan it right.

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?

Dialdirect
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Post Tue. Jan. 22, 2008 1:42 pm

Thanks for the help!! I will go home this evening and start to layout where I can put the VanWert boiler.

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LsFarm
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Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
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 Tue. Jan. 22, 2008 4:12 pm

A few suggestions. Once the VanWert is installed there will be very little need to access the boiler itself, just some cleaning and maintenance.
BUT you will always be accessing the ashpans, and the coal hopper. So plan for easy, convienent access to these two items.
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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Dialdirect
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Post Wed. Jan. 23, 2008 8:03 am

My last few questions I have on the boiler - How do I take the auger off the VanWert to move the beast? I will be pulling it out of a basement and putting into my basement and I would love to lighten the boiler and clean things up before putting everything back together. It looks as though 3 or 4 set screws hold the tube around the auger. Once I pull the tube off is their any easy way to take the auger off? Are their any other items that can be pulled and cleaned before moving and re-assembling the unit?

Thanks for all the help!!

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Matthaus
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite
Location: Wilkes Barre, PA

Post Wed. Jan. 23, 2008 9:26 am

Best bet would be to pull the side panel off an remove the whole stoker assembly (the firepot and auger) . Not only will this make the unit slightly lighter for easier handling but will allow you to completely inspect and clean the unit prior to putting it back into service. Along those lines you need to remove all items off the unit you can to preclude damage and make it as light as possible. Also if the base is open on the bottom make sure you strap some planks to it, this will prevent damage. Another option is to split the boiler section from the base and remove them as two pieces. This will allow you to reseal the joint and give everything a good cleaning and repaint.

Now that I have assumed (and you know what that gets you! :lol: ) to know your business, here is the answer to your question, I'm not sure how the auger comes out of the Van Wert but on the Gentleman Janitors you have to use a slide hammer puller to pull the bushing out of the firepot since it is a press fit. I hope your removal goes smoothly. :)
Matthaus
Leisure Line Stove Company
http://www.leisurelinestoves.com/

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

Post Wed. Jan. 23, 2008 10:18 am

The auger itself should be quite easy to remove. If I remember correctly you only need to take the chain off the gear drive, then loosen a few set screws that mount the auger housing to the furnace, once loose you can pull it right off.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

Dialdirect
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Post Wed. Jan. 23, 2008 11:08 am

Thanks for the advice. I'll start to operate on the boiler on Friday. If everything goes well I hope to have everything pulled out of my friends basement and placed into my basement by the end of the weekend. I can then go over everything and put a fresh coat of paint on the unit.

Thanks!!

Dialdirect
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Post Fri. Jan. 25, 2008 8:39 am

I went over to start taking apart the boiler, I have it about 80% disassembled. Everything looks to be in good shape except for the outer sheet metal covering. I guess moisture was trapped between the boiler and the fiberglass covering around the boiler and it rotted the sheet metal. It looks like I'll need to hunt down a place that can sell me a replacement covering for the unit. I was impressed with how solid the stove is built. Every piece is very heavy duty and I'm happy that I broke the thing down to lighten the load and keep from breaking any pieces. I will also need to find a new 50 gallon drum to hold the coal and a couple of new ash pans. I don't think the stove does but I was wondering if the boiler would burn rice coal? I'm sure that I'll have more questions before the weekend is over. Thanks for the help to this point.

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Richard S.
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Posts: 12712
Joined: Fri. Oct. 01, 2004 8:35 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Fri. Jan. 25, 2008 9:29 am

Unless you're going to run it in the summer I wouldn't be too concerned about the sheet metal.

It will burn rice but buck works better.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

Dialdirect
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Post Fri. Jan. 25, 2008 11:24 am

That's good to know. I just want to get the unit up and running. I can look for the metal covering later if I choose to burn the unit over the summer. I currently have a electric hot water heater so it would save me some money to burn coal year round. I was able to pull two names off the forum of places to go for parts - Anczarski Enterprises in Shenandoaha and Jack Ryan Plbg. and Heating in Mahanoy City. I'll give them a call and see how much the new sheet metal will cost.

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