Fired my boiler last night.

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David...
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Posts: 187
Joined: Sun. Nov. 06, 2016 9:48 am
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks 80k output
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Jotul 507B
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Location: RI

Post By: David... » Fri. Nov. 10, 2017 7:42 pm

Last night I finally got to light a fire in my boiler. 28 now and it's running great.

David
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cabinover
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Posts: 1859
Joined: Wed. Feb. 04, 2009 7:13 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid Axeman Anderson 130
Baseburners & Antiques: Sparkle #12
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Buckwheat, Nut
Other Heating: LP Hot air. WA TX for coal use.
Location: Fair Haven, VT

Post By: cabinover » Fri. Nov. 10, 2017 8:15 pm

I'm with ya on firing. Just heard mine shut off after running for just shy of an hour straight. That's good though, she's ready to roll. Bring on that 2°F stuff!!

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wilder11354
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Posts: 1019
Joined: Sat. Jan. 29, 2011 10:48 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF260 Boiler
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: nut or pea, anthracite
Other Heating: crown oil boiler, backup.if needed
Location: Montrose, Pa.

Post By: wilder11354 » Sun. Nov. 12, 2017 9:33 pm

thats a gnarling looking beast... rust flakes and all. Bet it packs some good BTUS with right tending!

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David...
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Posts: 187
Joined: Sun. Nov. 06, 2016 9:48 am
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks 80k output
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Jotul 507B
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Location: RI

Post By: David... » Sun. Dec. 17, 2017 3:29 pm

I have been reading posts here for about a year and a half. Today I figured I would share my heating system. Above is a picture of my 2 boilers. The oil boiler is rated about 83K output. I installed it in 2013. The coal boiler is a hand fed and rated at 80K output. The boilers can be set so that return water goes through the coal boiler first and oil boiler second. By changing a couple of valves I can bypass the coal boiler and just use the oil one.
The picture attached shows my manifolds. I don't have as much wall space as I would like in my basement. To try and save space, I put my return manifold behind the supply manifold. The returns all have ball valves and are easy to reach through the supply lines. The yellow and black circulator on the left side of the manifold supplies 5 heat zones, consisting of 2 hydro air, and 3 with radiators. This circulator is a variable speed based on temperature difference between supply and return water temperatures. I have it maintaining a 30 degree difference. One of the radiator zones has cast iron, the other 2 are steel panel.
The circulator in the middle supplies a 40 gallon indirect water heater.
The circulator on the right supplies a staple up radiant zone that heats most of the first floor. Beneath the indirect circulator is a nonelectric mixing valve to control the radiant water temp. The valve can go up to 180, but I usually have it set to maintain a temperature at 140 or less. I manually adjust the mixing valve, usually about once per month. The green control behind the radiant zone circulator is my zone valve control. There is another one not shown in the picture. Beneath the zone valve control is a cheap thermometer to show me the mixed water temperature feeding the radiant zone. Beneath the thermometer is a service switch.
Beneath the service switch is an outdoor reset control. This lowers the water temperature from the oil boiler as the outside temperature rises. The minimum is set at 140 and it doesn't move off of that until it gets into the 30"s out. The control also has an automatic differential, meaning the control decides on the fly when to turn the burner off and on.
When I am burning coil I usually shut off the service switch on the oil boiler. I use programmable thermostats and so when a zone comes out of setback the coal boiler temperature can go down to 120 for short periods of time. If the oil boiler was turned on it would bring the water temperature up to whatever the reset control wanted, usually around 140. Years ago I tended the boiler 3 times a day. Since coming here and learning, I have been able to tend twice per day unless it is only up in the 20's during the day. My work gets busy as it gets colder out. If I think I may be very late getting home I will leave the oil boiler turned on so that my burn time is extended. I have stretched burn times to 22 hours with the help of the oil burner. Usually the oil boiler is just left off.
In the past I wouldn't burn coal until daytime highs were below 50. This prevented my house from getting too hot. My dump zone is a hydro air for the first floor. Nowadays the weather can fluctuate quite a bit and I am better at controlling the heat. This fall with outside temperature at 60 my house got up to 72, I am pleased with that.
The temperature of the coal boiler is controlled by a White Rodgers aquastat. I used to run the boiler at 180, but get less overheating maintaining 165 now. The aquastat powers a 24v motor to open the ash door. I have thought about switching to an aquastat with high and low limits, but haven't decided how I would control it.
My back isn't what it used to be so my days of shoveling coal to and from a bin are over. Bagged coal doesn't stress my back at all. I used to take the ash out when my ash can was full, about 100 lbs. Now I empty it more frequently and rather than dumping in the dumpster at work, my garbage company takes it.
My basement stays around 70 when burning coal, although with the colder temps this past week I am seeing 68.
If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask. My heating system makes me comfortable in my home and I enjoy tending to it as much or as little as needed.

David
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Starting Out
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Posts: 158
Joined: Thu. Feb. 20, 2014 5:33 pm
Other Heating: Burnham Oil Boiler with Beckett Gun
Location: Ringtown, PA

Post By: Starting Out » Mon. Dec. 18, 2017 2:48 pm

WOW, that's a whole lot of confusion for me!!! Good luck though.

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David...
Member
Posts: 187
Joined: Sun. Nov. 06, 2016 9:48 am
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks 80k output
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Jotul 507B
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Location: RI

Post By: David... » Mon. Dec. 18, 2017 5:38 pm

It's pretty simple.

David

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David...
Member
Posts: 187
Joined: Sun. Nov. 06, 2016 9:48 am
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks 80k output
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Jotul 507B
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Location: RI

Post By: David... » Mon. Apr. 09, 2018 4:14 pm

Last night I threw the last of my coal in the boiler. I expect the fire will be out when I get home tonight. I burned 3.5 tons since the second week of November. That's about average for me. I will miss not hearing the oil burner running. I'll clean out the boiler and remove the flue pipe. I plug the chimney in the warm months.

David

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