The Van Wert VA600 Project

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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StokerDon
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Posts: 3254
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Jun. 11, 2017 9:09 am

Rob R. wrote:Very nice. Don, do you have a non-coal fired way to produce hot water?
I still have an electric water heater plumbed and wired in. I also still have the GJ/EFM out in the garage. I just have to decide if I want a crazy electric bill or a 100 degree garage.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11354
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. Jun. 11, 2017 9:29 am

StokerDon wrote:
Rob R. wrote:Very nice. Don, do you have a non-coal fired way to produce hot water?
I still have an electric water heater plumbed and wired in. I also still have the GJ/EFM out in the garage. I just have to decide if I want a crazy electric bill or a 100 degree garage.

-Don
The electric tank should be pretty economical to operate, especially if you have night-rate electric and put it on a timer. I did the math, and for me an electric tank would be the cheapest to operate over the summer. With that said, I like the small footprint of the propane hot water heaters, and that they do not require any electricity to operate. Will have to make a decision in the next couple weeks.

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3254
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Jun. 11, 2017 10:41 am

That's interesting, I never really thought about a propane fired water heater. Are they direct vent, or do they require a chimney?

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

lzaharis
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Posts: 1059
Joined: Sun. Mar. 25, 2007 8:41 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-4-1 dual fuel boiler
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: kerosene for dual fuel Keystoker
Location: Ithaca, New York

Post Sun. Jun. 11, 2017 10:56 am

Hello Stoker Don,

My 30 gallon propain water heater is a direct vent unit with a pass through
connection to the outside with a metal flap to protect the outlet from freezing.

It may be worth your while to purchase an exhaust fan to cope with the heat load
by tying it into a dayton manual thermostat used for a salamander space heater
as they plug into the power cord of the space heater.

I finally was able to return both of the defective triple aquastats the other day
when the wife's new dog had to have a vet check. I am glad I rid of them finally.

I have finish buying my spare parts now

1. blower motor
2. stoker motor and gearbox
3. timer motor

I need to set the dump loop up with a thermostat so I can have heat in the garage when I plumb in the logostor PEX
pipe run to the garage and I plan on using a third B+G NRF25.


Now all I have to do is wait to see what tractor supplies per ton sale price is for bagged
Kimmel rice coal versus the cost of Lehigh bulk delivered from the next county over.

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11354
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. Jun. 11, 2017 11:14 am

StokerDon wrote:That's interesting, I never really thought about a propane fired water heater. Are they direct vent, or do they require a chimney?

-Don
You can get them with a chimney vent, power vent, or direct vent.

I was looking at a Bradford White RG240S6X

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3254
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Jun. 11, 2017 11:43 am

Thanks for the info!

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

User avatar
StokerDon
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Posts: 3254
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Wed. Jun. 21, 2017 6:26 pm

I shot a video of the inside and outside of the VA-600 right after I painted it, I just got around to uploading it. I tried to show the gas path. It came out OK but if I have a chance I will do a more descriptive gas path video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J02UuB161aU

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3254
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Fri. Jun. 30, 2017 5:33 pm

I will be working on finishing and installing this project over the next few days.
IMG_1344.JPG
This would normally be real easy but, the oil burner is in the way of making a proper crossover pipe with boiler bypass. The crossover has to be bumped out to 18" from the boiler to accommodate the oil burner.
IMG_1345.JPG
IMG_1346.JPG
Also, the crossover, bypass and tridicator gauge can't be permanently installed until this side cover is refinished, painted and insulated.
IMG_1347.JPG
I guess the next step is refinishing the covers.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

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Rob R.
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Posts: 11354
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. Jul. 01, 2017 6:45 am

The piping would have been a little easier if you followed their diagram. ;)

I think the way you did it will work great - just a little more work and materials.
Attachments
Van Wert Piping.JPG

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BunkerdCaddis
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Posts: 230
Joined: Sun. Jan. 18, 2015 10:26 am
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yorker WC-90 or more likely a Van Wert VW85H [to be installed (soon, very soon)(well not as soon as I had anticipated]
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Waterford 105 pulling duty, Saey Hanover II getting dressed for the party
Coal Size/Type: pea/nut
Other Heating: oil fired hydronic
Location: SW Lancaster County

Post Sun. Jul. 02, 2017 12:19 am

Rob, if I may ask, so as to try and further my understanding (but not wanting to hi-jack the thread), the only movement of water thru pipe #7 (the bypass) on the diagram you posted, all pipe being the same size, would be by thermo-syphon correct? Maybe I'm not understanding the point of the bypass? Is it for de-stratifacation of the boiler?

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3254
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Jul. 02, 2017 8:17 am

Rob R. wrote:The piping would have been a little easier if you followed their diagram. ;)
I did consider running the return and bypass that way. It's Summer and I'm not in a big hurry, so I figured I would go with the crossover. The biggest problem with one of these is you need to leave enough room to install/remove the oil burner.
BunkerdCaddis wrote:Rob, if I may ask, so as to try and further my understanding (but not wanting to hi-jack the thread), the only movement of water thru pipe #7 (the bypass) on the diagram you posted, all pipe being the same size, would be by thermo-syphon correct? Maybe I'm not understanding the point of the bypass? Is it for de-stratifacation of the boiler?

This type of bypass is mainly for de-stratification but when the pump comes on you also get a bit of mixing of hot water into the return. This helps to keep the boiler temp from crashing at the beginning of a heat call.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11354
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. Jul. 02, 2017 8:46 am

Don, do you intend to use the oil burner? Do you have an oil boiler in the basement currently?

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BunkerdCaddis
Member
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun. Jan. 18, 2015 10:26 am
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yorker WC-90 or more likely a Van Wert VW85H [to be installed (soon, very soon)(well not as soon as I had anticipated]
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Waterford 105 pulling duty, Saey Hanover II getting dressed for the party
Coal Size/Type: pea/nut
Other Heating: oil fired hydronic
Location: SW Lancaster County

Post Sun. Jul. 02, 2017 4:23 pm

StokerDon wrote: This type of bypass is mainly for de-stratification
-Don
Thanks Don, I was under the impression that by-passes were for tempering the return water and I just wasn't seeing how that pipe layout was gonna do that, especially with the boiler being the path of least resistance. Knowing there is a different goal in mind helps.

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StokerDon
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Posts: 3254
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post Sun. Jul. 02, 2017 9:46 pm

Rob R. wrote:Don, do you intend to use the oil burner? Do you have an oil boiler in the basement currently?
This house has been forced air until last fall when I installed the radiators. So, no, there is no oil boiler in the basement. There is an oil hot air furnace though and an oil tank.

I will be installing the oil gun. This will be the first time I will have an oil backup for my coal systems!

I guess I'm a little backwards.
Today was painting day!
IMG_1348.JPG
First I wire brushed the old insulation off the back.
IMG_1353.JPG
IMG_1354.JPG
Then, wet sanding and cleaning.
IMG_1355.JPG
Ready for some nice, shinny paint.
IMG_1356.JPG
IMG_1358.JPG
I'm about 90% done cleaning and painting things.
IMG_1360.JPG
Tomorrow will be removing the BairMatic/Van Wert and installing this VA-600. I'm not making any changes so it should go very smoothly, I hope.

-Don
There are few problems in life that cannot be solved by lighting something on fire.

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lsayre
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Posts: 12232
Joined: Wed. Nov. 23, 2005 9:17 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)
Location: N/E Ohio, between Medina and Wadsworth

Post Mon. Jul. 03, 2017 5:59 am

The 600 will serve you well, and I wish you success with the install. But looking ahead, what's in the pipeline for 2-3 years down the road? Based solely upon past history, I speculate that you will eventually grow bored with the VA600 at some juncture and feel the urge to replace it. :lol:

What will you be doing with that second Van Wert?
-Larry

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