LL AA-220 Relocation

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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swyman
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line AA-220
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Post Fri. Sep. 09, 2016 12:11 am

I am in the planning stage of relocating my boiler into the basement as many have advised last (my first) heating season. Just to bring up to speed if you didn't follow last years roller coaster ride thread (for me). I had the boiler located 220' from the house in a newly remodeled, well insulated garage that only had 1 loop. The loop went from the garage into the house to the hot water heater, then to the furnace, and finally the attached garage (hanging coil with fan) and back to the other garage. My garage that housed the boiler (36'x28' 11' ceiling) stayed anywhere from 55*-65* on the coldest days so that boiler is putting off a lot of heat to keep that garage warm which as many folks pointed out to me is efficiency wasted. Mind you there was no coil or fan in this garage, just heat off the boiler. I agree this whole setup is wrong and I want to make sure I set this new system up the correct way and I would like as much feedback from you all as possible.

Right now I am thinking of running 3 zones.....1 to house furnace coil, 2nd one to hot water heater/attached garage, and 3rd to coil/fan in remote garage. I was planning on each of these zones having their own pump that would run nonstop. Also I was thinking of switching my DHW heat exchanger to a plate style instead of the tube in a tube that I bought from Central Boiler 8 years ago when I had the forest eater. It just didn't seem to transfer heat very well last season so wanted to replace. I guess this is pretty vague right now but I'm sure by tomorrow night and as this thread goes on you guys will ask the right questions on setup and this should get pretty in depth (I hope) and get this setup as good as can possibly be!
I am still waiting on builder to start the addition which should happen in the next couple weeks so I have plenty of time to get a good plan together. Basement will be 9' deep and I will be using my direct vent for now. Will also have a coal bin down there that will store approx. 10 ton. I planned on running 1" pex on all zones. Last year I bought the book "Pumping Away" as recommended by some members but I did not get the other book......can't remember the name off hand but I may look back at my old thread to find it and might be worth a read before I start this also?

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StokerDon
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Post Fri. Sep. 09, 2016 9:23 am

swyman,

I wish you luck with your new project. The boiler in the basement arrangement is better Than the boiler in the garage arrangement.

There is no need to run the pump (or pumps) 24/7. You can control them with thermostats. You can also use one pump and control the zones with zone valves.

For your DHW, I recommend getting an indirect fired water heater. The Amtrol Boilermate is a good one and can be found used for cheap money. This will require it's own zone. One of the benefits is rather than making hot water on demand, your heating and storing the hot water in a super insulated tank giving you a good buffer.

Are you sure 1" PEX is going to be big enough for the load your heating? The smaller the PEX, the larger and more expensive the pump will be. Also, 1" PEX is only 7/8" ID and most of the crimp on connectors/Tee's are only 3/4" ID.

Keep us posted!

-Don
Last edited by StokerDon on Fri. Sep. 09, 2016 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tsb
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Post Fri. Sep. 09, 2016 9:39 am

Put up a chimney while your at it.
Coal -- It's not a hobby, It's an addiction.

Olllotj
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Post Fri. Sep. 09, 2016 10:22 am

I think Don is giving you good advice. Most homes have zones per rooms, or floors, or areas. but you're talking zones per building (s).

I would run 4 zones. 4 zone valves. 1.25" to the furnace coil. 1" to the hot water tank and garage,and barn.

And leave behind the constant pumping. Let the pump turn on when a zone valve opens.

Pumping constantly bleeds BTU's when not called for.

Here, the work is done for you, 3 1" zones, and add a 1.5x 1.5 x1.25 tee for the coil

http://www.pexuniverse.com/3-branch-threaded-boiler-header-manifold-1-1-2-trunk-x-1-outlets

lzaharis
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Post Fri. Sep. 09, 2016 6:10 pm

swyman wrote:I am in the planning stage of relocating my boiler into the basement as many have advised last (my first) heating season. Just to bring up to speed if you didn't follow last years roller coaster ride thread (for me). I had the boiler located 220' from the house in a newly remodeled, well insulated garage that only had 1 loop. The loop went from the garage into the house to the hot water heater, then to the furnace, and finally the attached garage (hanging coil with fan) and back to the other garage. My garage that housed the boiler (36'x28' 11' ceiling) stayed anywhere from 55*-65* on the coldest days so that boiler is putting off a lot of heat to keep that garage warm which as many folks pointed out to me is efficiency wasted. Mind you there was no coil or fan in this garage, just heat off the boiler. I agree this whole setup is wrong and I want to make sure I set this new system up the correct way and I would like as much feedback from you all as possible.

Right now I am thinking of running 3 zones.....1 to house furnace coil, 2nd one to hot water heater/attached garage, and 3rd to coil/fan in remote garage. I was planning on each of these zones having their own pump that would run nonstop. Also I was thinking of switching my DHW heat exchanger to a plate style instead of the tube in a tube that I bought from Central Boiler 8 years ago when I had the forest eater. It just didn't seem to transfer heat very well last season so wanted to replace. I guess this is pretty vague right now but I'm sure by tomorrow night and as this thread goes on you guys will ask the right questions on setup and this should get pretty in depth (I hope) and get this setup as good as can possibly be!
I am still waiting on builder to start the addition which should happen in the next couple weeks so I have plenty of time to get a good plan together. Basement will be 9' deep and I will be using my direct vent for now. Will also have a coal bin down there that will store approx. 10 ton. I planned on running 1" pex on all zones. Last year I bought the book "Pumping Away" as recommended by some members but I did not get the other book......can't remember the name off hand but I may look back at my old thread to find it and might be worth a read before I start this also?
========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Hello Swyman,

The text I recommended is Classic Hydronics by Dan Holohan and you can purchase it from amazon or http://www.danholohanbooks.com

Is your old heat exchanger the shell and tube type with a many loops soft copper inside
the exchanger or a single pass shell and tube heat exchanger with two sets of tappings-
one for the boiler water and the second set of tappings for the domestic hot water.

If you have a Domestic Hot Water heat exchanger with the spaghetti loops of soft tubing you can
use vinegar to clean it but the process will take a while.

If the beast is all limed up you could/should invest in a very small single pass shell and tube heat exchanger
to get all the hot water you need for your home and it would let you have a hot water tap/ laundry tub
in your house garage. They are easier to clean of lime scale too by using boiler brushes.

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swyman
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line AA-220
Location: Blissfield, MI

Post Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 12:15 am

StokerDon wrote:swyman,

There is no need to run the pump (or pumps) 24/7. You can control them with thermostats. You can also use one pump and control the zones with zone valves.

This makes sense but one area of concern was the barn. Being 220' away there is no good way that I can think of knowing when to cycle the zone valve? If it circulates constantly then I can just cycle the fan on a thermostat. Is there a way you can do it without running thermostat wire?

For your DHW, I recommend getting an indirect fired water heater. The Amtrol Boilermate is a good one and can be found used for cheap money. This will require it's own zone. One of the benefits is rather than making hot water on demand, your heating and storing the hot water in a super insulated tank giving you a good buffer.

Pictured below is what I have which to me seems kind of like the boilermate? I have a electric 40 gallon that I use in the summer months and a 75 gallon gas hot water heater which the gas valve is junk and doesn't work so basically I have a 75gal insulated hot water tank which has worked awesome for the past 8 years.

Are you sure 1" PEX is going to be big enough for the load your heating? The smaller the PEX, the larger and more expensive the pump will be. Also, 1" PEX is only 7/8" ID and most of the crimp on connectors/Tee's are only 3/4" ID.

I have had 1" going to coil since I first installed it 11 years ago. It has always worked flawlessly until last season (1st with coal). I only had trouble on the coldest days when the boiler would not keep up so I would run my gas furnace in conjunction and was okay. I figure (could be wrong) that I ran into problems due to a few issues....1 the coal boiler only has a 45 gallon tank vs 400 gallons that the Central Boiler had.....2 the AA-220 has less than half the output rating of the OWB......3 running a single loop with 1" pex heating 3 buildings is a disaster of a design ( I didn't know any better) but it worked flawlessly with the OWB. I really feel that running directly to the house heat exchanger from the new location about 20' away will work flawlessly with the piping already set up. I can always increase size if I need to since the run is so short but to keep costs as cheap as possible I will see what happens with what I have. I am confused with the statement about smaller the PEX the larger the pump? Is that because the pump would build more pressure to move the same amount of water through a smaller opening?

Keep us posted!

-Don
Attachments
water heater.png
Last edited by swyman on Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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swyman
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Post Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 12:25 am

lzaharis wrote:
Hello Swyman,

The text I recommended is Classic Hydronics by Dan Holohan and you can purchase it from amazon or http://www.danholohanbooks.com

Is your old heat exchanger the shell and tube type with a many loops soft copper inside
the exchanger or a single pass shell and tube heat exchanger with two sets of tappings-
one for the boiler water and the second set of tappings for the domestic hot water.

If you have a Domestic Hot Water heat exchanger with the spaghetti loops of soft tubing you can
use vinegar to clean it but the process will take a while.

If the beast is all limed up you could/should invest in a very small single pass shell and tube heat exchanger
to get all the hot water you need for your home and it would let you have a hot water tap/ laundry tub
in your house garage. They are easier to clean of lime scale too by using boiler brushes.
Thanks for the name of the book. I think it would be in my best interest to read it before moving forward. Still won't make me an expert but hopefully point out some things to do correctly. Below is a pic of my water heater with exchanger attached to it. I am sure that it is all lime scaled up inside. Have had it a long time. I really like the idea of the shell and tube exchanger. If I went that route would it be like a on demand system that I could get rid of my water heater with exchanger?
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swyman
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Post Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 12:29 am

tsb wrote:Put up a chimney while your at it.
I am going to have the builder give me a quote so I'm not ruling it out. I really like the idea but that sucker would have to be tall, I have a 2 story old farmhouse.

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swyman
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Post Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 12:36 am

Olllotj wrote:I think Don is giving you good advice. Most homes have zones per rooms, or floors, or areas. but you're talking zones per building (s).

I guess that sounds dumb, calling a whole building a zone?

I would run 4 zones. 4 zone valves. 1.25" to the furnace coil. 1" to the hot water tank and garage,and barn.

That would be easy enough to do but to keep costs down I am going to hook it up with what I have but if it struggles I can switch it over to a larger size quickly.

And leave behind the constant pumping. Let the pump turn on when a zone valve opens.

Does this cause any shock load to the boiler? Meaning does the water in a given zone that is not circulating cool off and cause a shock to the boiler when it is cycled?

Pumping constantly bleeds BTU's when not called for.

Here, the work is done for you, 3 1" zones, and add a 1.5x 1.5 x1.25 tee for the coil

That would take all the fun out of it...I like it! Would I have to buy 2 of those, 1 for supply and 1 for return?

http://www.pexuniverse.com/3-branch-threaded-boiler-header-manifold-1-1-2-trunk-x-1-outlets

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hotblast1357
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Post Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 5:56 am

yes you would need 2, one for supply and one for return, here is what I have installed.

http://www.houseneeds.com/heating/hydronic-heat-supplies/legend-boiler-manifold-header-4-zones-leg355-414

i am running 1" pex to my house heat exchanger, and also 1" pex to my two modines in my garage, with only one grundfos 15-58 feeding everything, no issue. boiler is 20 feet from house heat exchanger in duct work, and boiler is 50 feet from two garage modines. If I had the money at the time I would of either installed zone valves to each or installed a pump on each zone, but this is what I had so I made it work, it gravity circulates all the time because I took out the flow check in the pump, but with mine being a hand fed, its actually to my benefit because my boiler doesnt over fire that often.

i believe 1" pex, 3/4" I.D. will handle 70,000 btu's? or something close to that?

if everything you have all call for heat at once, you don't have enough boiler BTU to feed it all at max anyway so whats the point in putting 1.25" piping in?

i would recommend installing your manifold away from your boiler a little like I did, makes for a organized install with room around the boiler.

dont forget temperature gauges on supply and returns, for the little extra money, its WELL worth it!

http://www.houseneeds.com/heating/hydronic-heat-supplies/analog-temperature-gauge-12-inch-j40-703

I like these because they are in a well so they can be removed and replaced if need be with out draining water. Just install in them in a T coming off the manifold.

some good sites are,
houseneeds.com
badgerinsulatedpipe.com
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hotblast1357
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Post Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 5:58 am

swyman wrote:
tsb wrote:Put up a chimney while your at it.
I am going to have the builder give me a quote so I'm not ruling it out. I really like the idea but that sucker would have to be tall, I have a 2 story old farmhouse.
If a block chimney is out of the price range, I would say at least price a stainless insulated chimney also before putting the power vent back in.

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Freddy
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Post Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 6:12 am

swyman wrote:I will be using my direct vent for now.
I don't believe that is legal....and it certainly isn't safe. The smaller hot air stokers get away with a direct vent because they hold a very small amount of coal in the burn chamber at any given moment, and the fire goes out the second the fan stops, thus there is no carbon monoxide created to get into the house. With a boiler you have a huge amount of coal in the burn chamber and it is not dependent on a fan to keep it burning. If the power goes out you will immediately start pumping carbon monoxide into the structure. With the Axeman Anderson and other similar boilers, you must have a chimney.
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Post Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 6:29 am

Freddy wrote:
swyman wrote:I will be using my direct vent for now.
I don't believe that is legal....and it certainly isn't safe. The smaller hot air stokers get away with a direct vent because they hold a very small amount of coal in the burn chamber at any given moment, and the fire goes out the second the fan stops, thus there is no carbon monoxide created to get into the house. With a boiler you have a huge amount of coal in the burn chamber and it is not dependent on a fan to keep it burning. If the power goes out you will immediately start pumping carbon monoxide into the structure. With the Axeman Anderson and other similar boilers, you must have a chimney.
Freddy, this is a UL approved setup made by Leisure Line. The stoker is an inclined bed design, and doesn't have much coal burning at any given time.

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Post Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 6:37 am

Swyman is intimately familiar with a direct vent especially HIS direct vent :shock: considering all the problems he had with the first year of operation. His vent works exactly to specificiations set up by LL and verified by LL. :D
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Rob R.
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Post Sat. Sep. 10, 2016 6:37 am

Being 220' away there is no good way that I can think of knowing when to cycle the zone valve? If it circulates constantly then I can just cycle the fan on a thermostat. Is there a way you can do it without running thermostat wire?
You would have to run a wire. Running the circulator all the time is the simplistic approach, but also consumes the most kwh and coal. Depending on how well insulated your underground lines are, you will have to make the call on what you want. Due to the piping resistance of the pex loops, I would run each zone with its own circulator rather than a zone valve.

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