EFM Pressure Is Too High

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.
User avatar
Yanche
Member
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 Mon. Feb. 11, 2008 11:19 pm

e.alleg wrote:If you put in a new one do yourself a favor and install ball or gate valves on both sides of it. I forgot to put one on the boiler side of mine, so even though it needs changing I really don't feel like draining the boiler. Live and learn.
Also install with pipe unions. Pipe it in such a way that you can pry the pipe so you can easily get it apart.
Yanche
Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Stoker Boiler burning Anthracite Pea Coal

Visit Alternate Heating Sytems

User avatar
e.alleg
Member
Posts: 1285
Joined: Fri. Feb. 16, 2007 10:31 am
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520
Location: western ny

Post Mon. Feb. 11, 2008 11:31 pm

This is actually one area where I screwed up when I installed my boiler. I wasn't sure if coal was going to work for me so I saved myself a bunch of money and used all leftover iron pipe and no unions or ball valves. Well, uh, now that the thing is working great I have to use a sawzall and take it all apart if there is a leak or something needs to be changed. In the summer I'm going to re plumb it with all copper and put ball valves on each side of every component that can break or need service. It sucks having to drain the boiler for a simple repair, a 10 minute job turns into an all day affair.
Burning coal is definitely worth the extra work involved.
"Good enough" is not good enough.

User avatar
stoker-man
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 2063
Joined: Mon. Nov. 19, 2007 9:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA

Post Tue. Feb. 12, 2008 5:55 am

I have unions and shut-offs at my coil, shut-off flanges at the circulator and numerous ball valves at all other places. Besides being bad for fresh water to be added to a boiler, it's also a pain to re-purge the thing.

You might want to add some water conditioner while you're down. I drained a bit of water from my boiler recently and it was still milky white.
‹(•¿•)›

User avatar
coaledsweat
Site Moderator
Posts: 9825
Joined: Fri. Oct. 27, 2006 2:05 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Tue. Feb. 12, 2008 7:49 am

If you have a few zone valves and isolation valves in the system, you won't lose much water anyway. Shut off the power so no zones open, close all isolation valves, bleed off the pressure and service it. You will lose a little water but not much, you can catch it in a pot or bucket. I change pumps like this all the time. If you only punch one hole in a juice can, how much juice do you get?
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

User avatar
stoker-man
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 2063
Joined: Mon. Nov. 19, 2007 9:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA

Post Thu. Feb. 14, 2008 5:46 am

Dave, Have you figured out the problem yet?
‹(•¿•)›

User avatar
Scottscoaled
Member
Posts: 2597
Joined: Tue. Jan. 08, 2008 9:51 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520, 700, Van Wert 800 GJ 61,53
Baseburners & Antiques: Magic Stewart 16, times 2!
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck
Other Heating: Slant Fin electric boiler backup
Location: Malta N.Y.

Post Thu. Feb. 14, 2008 9:23 pm

How come the pressure releif valve isn't blowing off. I thought they go at 30lbs. And you are reading 33#? Sure your pressure gauge is right? :?
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.

User avatar
LsFarm
Member
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 Sat. Feb. 16, 2008 10:52 pm

e.alleg wrote:If you put in a new one do yourself a favor and install ball or gate valves on both sides of it. I forgot to put one on the boiler side of mine, so even though it needs changing I really don't feel like draining the boiler. Live and learn.
a valve on both sides and dont' forget a union, then it is real simple to swap out the regulator... My first house had pretty poor water, and I had to replace the fill valve about every three years... it just started to over pressure the boiler.

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?

User avatar
gaw
Member
Posts: 2608
Joined: Fri. Jan. 26, 2007 2:51 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County
Location: Parts Unknown

Post Sat. Feb. 16, 2008 11:35 pm

I think the pressure reducing auto fill valves are a waste of money. Actually you are spending money now to give you problems down the road. I installed a gate valve in my fill line at a place where I could operate the valve while watching the pressure gauge on the boiler. Simple, works well, and cheap. What more could you want? This is the way many boiler were installed years ago so there is also a 50 year history of doing it this way without any issues. If you use an auto fill and shut the boiler down in the "off season" I would have a valve between the boiler and auto fill and shut this valve before allowing the fire to go out and the water to cool down. If you don't the auto fill valve will add water as the pressure drops and you will have higher pressure next season when the boiler heats up.
Just my thoughts, worth every penny you paid for them :lol: :)
Some people make the world happen;
More watch the world happen;
Most wonder what happened.
Its your choice, Which group you want to belong to….

If a man is a fool, you don't train him out of being a fool by sending him to university. You merely turn him into a trained fool, ten times more dangerous.
Desmond Bagley

Visit Alternate Heating Sytems

Bob
Member
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun. Mar. 18, 2007 11:28 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite
Location: Schuylkill County

Post Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 11:18 am

gaw wrote:I think the pressure reducing auto fill valves are a waste of money. Actually you are spending money now to give you problems down the road. I installed a gate valve in my fill line at a place where I could operate the valve while watching the pressure gauge on the boiler. Simple, works well, and cheap. What more could you want? This is the way many boiler were installed years ago so there is also a 50 year history of doing it this way without any issues. If you use an auto fill and shut the boiler down in the "off season" I would have a valve between the boiler and auto fill and shut this valve before allowing the fire to go out and the water to cool down. If you don't the auto fill valve will add water as the pressure drops and you will have higher pressure next season when the boiler heats up.
Just my thoughts, worth every penny you paid for them :lol: :)
There is a potential safety issue ff there is no auto fill valve and no low water shut off--if a slow leak develops and the water level drops in the boiler it is possible for the boiler to fire continuously because there is inadequate heat transfer to the aqua stat that is no longer in water. I would add that auto fill valves are a lot cheaper than low water shut off controls--and more reliable.

User avatar
Yanche
Member
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 Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 2:41 pm

Bob wrote:
gaw wrote:I think the pressure reducing auto fill valves are a waste of money. Actually you are spending money now to give you problems down the road. I installed a gate valve in my fill line at a place where I could operate the valve while watching the pressure gauge on the boiler. Simple, works well, and cheap. What more could you want? This is the way many boiler were installed years ago so there is also a 50 year history of doing it this way without any issues. If you use an auto fill and shut the boiler down in the "off season" I would have a valve between the boiler and auto fill and shut this valve before allowing the fire to go out and the water to cool down. If you don't the auto fill valve will add water as the pressure drops and you will have higher pressure next season when the boiler heats up.
Just my thoughts, worth every penny you paid for them :lol: :)
There is a potential safety issue ff there is no auto fill valve and no low water shut off--if a slow leak develops and the water level drops in the boiler it is possible for the boiler to fire continuously because there is inadequate heat transfer to the aqua stat that is no longer in water. I would add that auto fill valves are a lot cheaper than low water shut off controls--and more reliable.
I use automatic fill valves because they do give some protection against the loss of boiler water and potential overheating. I guess with sufficient overheating without water the overtemp safety aquast would eventually trip. I always pipe a water by-pass around the auto fill valve. This allows me to get full water pressure and flow into the boiler when power purging the heating system. I find the automatic fill valves to be very unreliable. They are constantly getting stuck. The tiny needle valve corrodes in place and no water will flow. It's easily cleaned upon dis-assembly.

My goal is to have a system free of leaks so no make up water is needed. Like a refrigerant loop. It's a illusive goal because in spite of my best efforts there are leaks at valve stems. Not so much water leaking out but air leaking in. When a system cools it's pressure drops allowing air in. This air is eventually purged taking with it some water. I also find leaks at the automatic air vents, both water out and air in depending on the level of the float in it. So I normally have the metal tire valve cap screwed down tight. Like gaw says, my pennys worth.
Yanche
Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Stoker Boiler burning Anthracite Pea Coal

User avatar
stoker-man
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 2063
Joined: Mon. Nov. 19, 2007 9:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA

Post Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 2:45 pm

In PA, there was a rumor going around by our dealers that a low water cutoff was required/or going to be required on all residential hot water and steams boilers. I contacted the local state rep and found this to be untrue.

Last week we started supplying low water cutoffs to any steam boiler sale because our dealers were saying they were required, possibly by local codes.

As far a ANY commercial use for a hot water or steam unit, two low water cutoffs are required by L&I. Also, ANY commercial application in PA requires a coded boiler. It was rumored that Key Stoker was going to get out of the commercial end of the boiler business because of this requirement. Coding adds about $2000 to the cost of a boiler. At efm, we have been making ALL boilers coded for many years.

I asked our local L&I inspector, Nate Smith, how he determines what is a commercial business. He says, anything with a sign outside qualifies. He created a big stir in Harrisburg when he forced a state legislator in NE PA to remove an almost-new boiler in his home office (commercial) because it wasn't coded. There was alot of pressure put upon him in Harrisburg to back down, which he did not do. You do not want to see Nate knocking at your door if your boiler is not registered with the state.

For the above reason, whether required or not, an auto-fill valve is a good idea if you don't have a low water cutoff. A boiler can develop a small leak and go unnoticed, and because the water evaporates before hitting the floor, you won't notice it. Without the auto-fill valve, your water level will drop. The first sign will be that your hot water coil will stop producing hot water and if the water turns to steam you will have a vessel pressurized at least at 30# psi with steam; an invitation to an explosion. An efm steam boiler normally runs at 1 1/2# pounds of steam with a 10# pressure relief valve.

I would have either an auto-fill valve, or a low-water cutoff on any boiler and for this reason many municipalities are requiring one or both.
‹(•¿•)›

User avatar
Yanche
Member
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 Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 3:25 pm

stoker-man wrote:I asked our local L&I inspector, Nate Smith, how he determines what is a commercial business. He says, anything with a sign outside qualifies. He created a big stir in Harrisburg when he forced a state legislator in NE PA to remove an almost-new boiler to be removed because it wasn't coded. There was alot of pressure put upon him in Harrisburg to back down, which he did not do. You do not want to see Nate knocking at your door if your boiler is not registered with the state.
Well, I guess the state legislator won. PA passed an amendment to their Mechanical Code that had required coded boiler in residences. See the PA Senate version of what got passed in the attached pdf. Any chance one of the bill's sponsor is the person?
Attachments
PA_Coal_Boiler_Leglislation.pdf
(17.07 KiB) Downloaded 25 times
Yanche
Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Stoker Boiler burning Anthracite Pea Coal

User avatar
e.alleg
Member
Posts: 1285
Joined: Fri. Feb. 16, 2007 10:31 am
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520
Location: western ny

Post Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 3:54 pm

in reading that link, it seems the only difference between a boiler with the stamp and one that doesn't have the stamp is simply the physical stamp?
Burning coal is definitely worth the extra work involved.
"Good enough" is not good enough.

User avatar
coaledsweat
Site Moderator
Posts: 9825
Joined: Fri. Oct. 27, 2006 2:05 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 6:07 pm

Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

User avatar
stoker-man
Verified Business Rep.
Posts: 2063
Joined: Mon. Nov. 19, 2007 9:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: 1981 efm wcb-24 in use 365 days a year
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Chestnut
Other Heating: Hearthstone wood stove
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA

Post Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 6:30 pm

I don't think the state legislator won. His office was considered commercial because there were employees on site and I know that the boiler was removed. This was about two years ago.

As far as I know, residences are not required to have coded boilers, but commercial places have been.

I edited my original post to read "residential" in the first sentence. I was carrying over a thought from another's post and residential was implied and I didn't differentiate.

I also edited to show that the state legislator's office was considered commercial because it employed at least one person.
‹(•¿•)›

Visit Alternate Heating Sytems

Post Reply

Return to “Stoker Coal Boilers Using Anthracite (Hydronic and Steam)”