Unusual 520 Installation Idea - Questions

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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FourDollarOil
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Post Mon. Jun. 02, 2008 2:20 pm

I would like to switch to coal from oil. I have a hot water oil system and want to join the two. It looks like the 520 is a good choice.

My idea is to buy a shed, say 10x12 ft and install the 520 inside the shed, at one end, and the other end of the shed would be my coal bin. All together in one neatly contained outdoor unit. I would bring the water in through insulated underground pex pipes? Like the kind they use for those outdoor wood burners (which I really don't like.)

SO, Do you think this plan has any merit? Will it work? What problems do you see?
is it possible to install the 520 with a power vent?
Does the 520 give off radiant heat? if I install it in the house, Will my unheated basement be significantly warmer?

That should be enough questions for a good conversation here....

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Richard S.
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Post Mon. Jun. 02, 2008 2:37 pm

Doesn't sound like you'd have enough room for coal, how big is your house? I gues you'd have to figure out how much room you'd need for furnace first then figure out what you'll have left for coal. It's about 40 cubic foot per ton, 2000 sq foot home is probably going to need about 5 tons on average.

The other issue is regulations about putting it in outside building. check with your building inspector.

As far as the power vent goes you'd probably be better off with small masonry chimney or something else. I don't even think EFM recommends power venting any of their stokers.
FourDollarOil wrote:Will my unheated basement be significantly warmer?


Yes, it will. The floor over our furnace is warmest part of the house. It will keep a sizable basement very comfortable without running any heating at all. Still stay resonably cool in the summer if you run it year round.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

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stoker-man
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Post Mon. Jun. 02, 2008 2:40 pm

FourDollarOil wrote:I

SO, Do you think this plan has any merit? Will it work? What problems do you see?
is it possible to install the 520 with a power vent?
Does the 520 give off radiant heat? if I install it in the house, Will my unheated basement be significantly warmer?

That should be enough questions for a good conversation here....
Yes, it will work. Be sure to use insulation and heat pex. A power venter will not work with a stoker. You need an 8x8 masonary chimney or 9" metalbestos pipe.

It will give off some radiant heat and will help to heat the basement, if that's what you desire. Insulate the piping if you don't want to lose heat.

Plus, what Richard said.
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FourDollarOil
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Post Tue. Jun. 03, 2008 8:52 am

Hmmm, a chimney on a shed makes this more dificult- but easier than a chimney on the house, which I don't have.

The reason I asked about the radiant heating is that, if I installed it outside, in the the shed, I was afraid I would lose alot of the heat to the outdoors, (warm shed, cold basement) I thought the 520 might be like many oil burners. They are insulated and give off virtually no radiant heat. My furnace room is very cold in the winter. I have a System 2000 by Energy Kinetics.

I thought half the shed could be the coal bin, maybe 5 x 10 feet. Using your 40 cu ft number, That would hold almost 4 tons at 3 feet deep.
This may need more thought. Can one of those prebuilt wooden sheds hold 8000 lbs of coal and an 800lb furnace? Wow.

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coaledsweat
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Post Tue. Jun. 03, 2008 10:00 am

FourDollarOil wrote:Does the 520 give off radiant heat? if I install it in the house, Will my unheated basement be significantly warmer?
Yes, and you won't have to trudge outside in the dead of winter to service it. The cellar will be warm and dry. The installation in the cellar will also save you a ton of money building a shed and digging up your yard and buying very expensive plumbing. Put it in the cellar where it belongs. :)
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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e.alleg
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Post Tue. Jun. 03, 2008 10:14 pm

With all the insulation on your boiler room will be around 65 degrees or more, remove the top layer of insulation and your boiler room will be 80 degrees but you'll use more coal. I have my boiler fully insulated and I added a little extra, then I just put a radiator down in the basement with a shut off so I can heat it up more when I'm working down there. My dogs sleep on the floor directly above the boiler if that is any indication. :D If you are worried about coal dust just buy bagged coal.
Burning coal is definitely worth the extra work involved.
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Spoiler
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Post Sat. Oct. 11, 2008 8:08 pm

If you ask me that is a awesome idea ...I'm trying to talk my buddy into doing the same thing...No draging ashes out the door ...no coal in the house..easy dump for the coal guy..I see alot of advantages to it not to mention if you build a garage and do it the garage will be heated...maybe I'm wrong but that is exactly what my future plans are..as far as heating the basement put some radiators on the return side of the piping from the 520 before it heads backout to the boiler to heat the basement...

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CoalJockey
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Post Sat. Oct. 11, 2008 9:17 pm

It has been done....And works well.

Just completed the whole deal today with finnaly lighting the stoker. Pictures to come 8-)

Tyler
--Tyler at W.L. Hall Lime & Coal Inc.

House coal yard dealing high quality anthracite and bituminous coals in all sizes, bulk spreading of ag-lime.

Making a living by trucking the two dirtiest products known to mankind for over 100 years!

My carbon footprint is not only huge but its growing all the time.

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Freddy
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Post Sat. Oct. 11, 2008 9:19 pm

Prebuild sheds have wooden floors. Coal boilers like concrete floors. Mason chimneys demand concrete. But... I think there is one forum member that has done exactly what you're thinking of. I think you'd want to insulate the shed.
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Fred

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

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