Running a EFM With a Large Hole in the Base?

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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e.alleg
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
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Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2008 8:43 am

I was thinking of a plan of putting a EFM in a garage that is built on top of a bank, the plan is to cut a hole in the base where the ash pan normally would be and install a "chimney" under it and just let the ashes fall down below into a collection area below the garage. The chimney would contain the dust and funnel the ashes into a storage area where a loader could be used to clean it out periodically. My only worry is that it might pull a draft through the hole, what are your thoughts?
Burning coal is definitely worth the extra work involved.
"Good enough" is not good enough.

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stoker-man
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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. Mar. 27, 2008 11:25 am

I suppose if you could seal off the lower chamber from any outside air, the same way the base is sealed in normal operation, your draft wouldn't be affected, but that's just my thinking. I couldn't find anything, anywhere, in the efm manual about that creative idea. :)
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Richard S.
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Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2008 11:30 am

What you need is mine subsidence under your home, then you just dump it down the hole. :D True story.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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stoker-man
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Location: Lehigh Valley, PA

Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2008 11:53 am

If everything was sealed up, it should work. I would install an L6006C to shut down the unit on an outfire though. You wouldn't want raw coal falling down there followed by live embers or you could have a movie called Centrailia II. :)
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coal berner
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Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
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Location: Pottsville PA. Schuylkill County PA. The Hart Of Anthracite Coal Country.

Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2008 3:19 pm

It could be dunn but like Chris said you must seal the bottom up to keep the air out You would have a open ash Pit stoker like The Wagner made by the Automatic stoker company inc. in Allentown PA they also made the lowline Model like a EFM
with the bottom and side feed The wagner was a Open bottom with the feed out the front everything sat on the floor
blower motor auger fed from front to back There are a few in my area yet what you do is make a pit in the floor on either side of the stoker then make a ramp that goes under the stoker unit the you have a rod that hooks on your ash tub so you can pull the tub up you will have a steel door covering the pit on the floor you can put it on either side in the front of the unit seen one a few months ago on E bay went and looked at it There was another one on a few weeks ago the first one was still hooked up in the guys basement it was in Hegins PA the second one was Pulled out of a building in
Donaldson PA It can be dunn Ed good luck & have fun
J.C.

Heating house & water with a 1986 electric furnace man DF520 using buckwheat Anthracite coal

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e.alleg
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
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Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2008 9:07 pm

Thanks for the info, I think a steel plate is the answer. Every day when the cleanout rod is pulled I'll rig another rod or lever next to it that will slide a steel plate off the floor of the base; allowing the ashes to fall down the pit. Maybe a scissors type plate. Should work like a champ.
Burning coal is definitely worth the extra work involved.
"Good enough" is not good enough.

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Scottscoaled
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Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520, 700, Van Wert 800 GJ 61,53
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Location: Malta N.Y.

Post Thu. Mar. 27, 2008 10:48 pm

Why not make a spring door? When enough ash falls on the door, the straw that breaks the camels back empties the door and the spring pulls it back up. Scott
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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LsFarm
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Post Wed. Apr. 02, 2008 2:04 pm

Two thoughts: If you have an open hole under the boiler, to make up for the lost draft at idle, you could put an additional fan blowing into the intake of the fan housing, this would give a little positive pressure down the airway to the fire pot.. this would be the same as the full time fan on the flat bed stokers...

Or.. you could put your pit or below floor ash pit off to the side of the the base, and use a wide 'hoe' or pusher to shove the ash out of the base, push from one side out the other into the pit... Just keep the pit covered with a steel plate, so you don't step into it..

My concern with a sliding steel plate under the base, is that the ashes can get heavy, and the ash itself is pretty gritty, makes for a lot of friction... if you make up a sliding plate, provide lots of leverage to move it in and out..

Greg L

The differences in design dictate lots of different instalations... the AHS and AA talk about building a pit under their boilers in the installation sheets.. their draft needs and uses are quite different.

GL
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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stoker-man
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Location: Lehigh Valley, PA

Post Wed. Apr. 02, 2008 2:38 pm

Any extra air introduced to the fan would stoke the fire, since it would go directly to the underside of the plates and through the coal bed. :(
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LsFarm
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Post Thu. Apr. 03, 2008 9:56 am

The standing draft also 'stokes' the fire. that's what this discussion is about.. that if you leave an open hole under the base, then the chimney draft will NOT pull through the inlet tube, and the standing coal bed, and the fire will no combustion air pulled through it, and it may go out... With a small squirel cage fan blowing AT the opening of the fan it will push a small amount of air to the fire, not a lot, just enough to replace the lost draft from the hole under the boiler. You would have to make some kind of fancy ductwork, and use a big fan to 'stoke' the fire to above an idle. That's what the big combustion fan does.

Take a candle or cigarette and hold it near the fan inlet when the boiler is idling... the smoke/flame will be pulled into the opening.. the chimney draft is pulling air through the coal bed... this is what keeps it burning without the fan runing.. your timer feeds a little coal, and the fan heats up the fire every 30 minutes.. but the standing draft keeps air pulling through the fire.

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

Post Thu. Apr. 03, 2008 1:03 pm

Another option is to simply put a door at the base of the ash chute. The chute will be sealed off from outside air except when the door is opened and the ash shoveled out. It will basically be a 20"x20"x12' tall sealed pit. The bottom of the base will always be open to the pit but it won't draft through it. I think it might work. Anyway it's time for me to start thinking about seeds for the garden, enough of this cold B.S. it was 17 degrees last night, 50's the other day. C'mon warm up!
Burning coal is definitely worth the extra work involved.
"Good enough" is not good enough.

User avatar
stoker-man
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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. Apr. 03, 2008 5:04 pm

I think if the base was sealed up, you wouldn't have to make any additions to the air supply. If it doesn't work out, then take additional steps.
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