Done with OWB, look for suggestions

 
jpru5112
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat. Jan. 25, 2020 7:00 am
Other Heating: OWB

Post by jpru5112 » Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 1:08 pm

Hello,

My house was originally set up with a forced air propane furnace to heat the upstairs (2200sqft), and a wood stove to heat the unfinished basement (2200sqft). When the price of propane went crazy here (VA) in 2010, I decided to install a, OWB.
So, my current setup is a Woodmaster 4400 OWB with dual pumps. One pump is plumbed to the forced air system. The other pump is plumbed to cast iron radiators in the basement. This setup works okay, but I've had enough of spending my weekends cutting wood. I think this will be my last winter using the OWB. I'm looking for suggestions on a coal boiler for next year.

As stated above I live in VA, currently the only place I've found anthracite coal close to me, it as Tractor Supply. However, if I decide to start burning coal, I'll take the dump trailer a couple of hours up the road and buy it by the ton.

Thanks,

Advertise on Coalpail.com

 
User avatar
Richard S.
Mayor
Posts: 13614
Joined: Fri. Oct. 01, 2004 8:35 pm
Location: NEPA
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Post by Richard S. » Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 1:13 pm

You posted this in the hand fired boiler section, are you open to suggestions for automated stoker?

 
User avatar
gaw
New Member
Posts: 3844
Joined: Fri. Jan. 26, 2007 2:51 am
Location: Parts Unknown
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice from Schuylkill County

Post by gaw » Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 1:19 pm

Any boiler still in production; AHS, Axeman, EFM, Keystoker. Finding good used unit will save a lot of $$$. Buying obsolete boilers will make getting parts more challenging. Your already using hot water so installation should not be too hard, just figure out where to put it.

 
jpru5112
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat. Jan. 25, 2020 7:00 am
Other Heating: OWB

Post by jpru5112 » Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 1:20 pm

I'm leaning toward hand fired, but haven't ruled out anything yet.

 
Dave 1234
New Member
Posts: 549
Joined: Tue. Nov. 13, 2012 9:05 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1948 International boiler, EFM S-20 stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buck,

Post by Dave 1234 » Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 4:10 pm

jpru5112 wrote:
Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 1:20 pm
I'm leaning toward hand fired, but haven't ruled out anything yet.
Welcome JP,
Use ''stoker don'' in a you-tube search. Don has some great video up.

You are done with OWB heating from the sounds of your title. Find a stoker boiler that will meet the BTU needs of your heat loads and enjoy. You will be glad you went stoker.

Two WB converts to stoker boilers close to my house. Both love them, took only a few days to have them, and their SO see the way to cheep heat is a coal stoker boiler.

Dave 8-)

 
OTR
New Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun. Dec. 30, 2018 1:05 am
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: Crown Royal 7200 (OWB)

Post by OTR » Thu. Jan. 30, 2020 6:56 pm

I switched my OWB from wood to coal. Cost (if you don't count my wood processing labor) ends up being about the same, but boiler behavior is significantly improved (longer, hotter burns, less variability) and I don't have to spend all my free time processing wood anymore.

<there is a downside here... all that wood processing was keeping me in shape>

Your OWB does not appear to support burning coal, so my suggestion would be to consider a Forge 3500 or something similar. I don't have any experience with them, but I received a quote two months ago for $8200 brand new.

I burn about 2 ton per month, compared to approximately 10 face cord per month (my house is very old, drafty, and not well insulated).

Alternatively, you could look at used OWBs that can burn coal. I use a pretty old Crown Royal 7200 that I picked up for $1500.

 
Jlinde37
New Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat. Jan. 06, 2018 9:40 am
Location: Ellicottville, Ny
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: DS Aquagem 3200
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Pea

Post by Jlinde37 » Fri. Jan. 31, 2020 7:35 am

Holy crap! 2 ton a month! I enjoy the exercise of wood cutting as well. My idea is to cut 10ish cord of wood and sell it to pay for coal. Atleast I can do it when I feel like it and never be pressured to do it because 'I have to'

 
User avatar
freetown fred
New Member
Posts: 26568
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Location: Freetown,NY 13803
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Post by freetown fred » Fri. Jan. 31, 2020 7:43 am

J, don't do a wood burner that MIGHT do coal OK--if anything, get a coal burner that ya can put wood through on the shoulder months--I'd suggest looking at the HITZER line.

Advertise on Coalpail.com

 
User avatar
oros35
New Member
Posts: 460
Joined: Mon. Feb. 02, 2009 3:47 pm
Location: Pittsburgh Pa
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Cozeburn OWB burning Bit
Baseburners & Antiques: 1912 Smith & Anthony Hub Heater #215

Post by oros35 » Fri. Jan. 31, 2020 9:26 am

I went with a used OWB that was good to burn coal in. Paid $1000 for it. Going on 2 years now. It's not perfect, but my house does not lend itself to having a coal burning furnace inside the house. I still have the antique stove hooked up but wanted to get the fire outside cause I got tired of CO alarms going off and dealing with the extra dust and mess in the house. And I wanted something that could do both wood and coal since I have a sawmill and wanted to be able to burn the slab wood too.

 
jpru5112
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat. Jan. 25, 2020 7:00 am
Other Heating: OWB

Post by jpru5112 » Fri. Jan. 31, 2020 12:11 pm

After doing some more reading here. I think I'm going to try converting my OWB to coal this summer. The way my OWB is designed, when the fan kicks on, it's blows air under the grate. This pic shows the grate, I circled where the air intake is. I think with some fire brick and a homemade shaker grate, I can make this work.

Attachments

s-l640.png
.PNG | 167.8KB | s-l640.png

 
User avatar
freetown fred
New Member
Posts: 26568
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Location: Freetown,NY 13803
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Post by freetown fred » Fri. Jan. 31, 2020 1:06 pm

Looks like a plan J, keep us posted when ya start on it! :)

 
User avatar
oros35
New Member
Posts: 460
Joined: Mon. Feb. 02, 2009 3:47 pm
Location: Pittsburgh Pa
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Cozeburn OWB burning Bit
Baseburners & Antiques: 1912 Smith & Anthony Hub Heater #215

Post by oros35 » Fri. Jan. 31, 2020 1:37 pm

Looking at the design, if you have that ash auger, I think you might have problems with removing the ash. Coal makes drastically more ash and the ash is more like sand/rocks/slag, nothing like wood ash.

I hope you can get it converted over, but I suggest that you check out one that is burning coal so you have an understanding of what your working with.

 
User avatar
StokerDon
Site Moderator
Posts: 5647
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Location: PA, Southern York County!
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959Axeman Anderson130M, 1991Axeman Anderson130M, BairMatic BMC-500/Van Wert VA400 Stoker, down to 1Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500 reduced down to 3 grates connected to its own plenum
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Pea, Chestnut and whatever will fit through the door on the Harman
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Post by StokerDon » Sat. Feb. 01, 2020 9:08 am

jpru5112 wrote:
Fri. Jan. 31, 2020 12:11 pm
This pic shows the grate, I circled where the air intake is. I think with some fire brick and a homemade shaker grate, I can make this work.
I'm not sure how your boiler firebox looks inside, but that grate in the picture has no chance of burning anthracite coal effectively. Besides that, it looks like it is made out of steel, not cast iron. An anthracite fire will melt steel and will warp cast iron if you are not careful.

If you want to try to burn anthracite in this OWB, you should try to find a cast iron shaker grate system out of an existing anthracite coal stove/furnace or boiler that will fit you firebox. You will likely have to restrict the forced air a lot to burn anthracite. Also, your firebox is very likely "V" shaped which will make ashing difficult.

As stated above, a used coal stoker boiler is a great alternative. Probably less time consuming and expensive than modifying the OWB.

Yellow Flame for 300 bucks.
https://allentown.craigslist.org/mat/d/lansford-c ... 36367.html
EFM 520 for 900 bucks.
https://reading.craigslist.org/app/d/hazleton-efm ... 24505.html
2 Axeman Anderson.
https://altoona.craigslist.org/for/d/nanty-glo-ax ... 88512.html

The only problem is you would have to travel to PA to get them.
-Don

 
User avatar
dbsuz05
New Member
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu. Nov. 28, 2013 8:09 am
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Burnham 23"

Post by dbsuz05 » Sat. Feb. 01, 2020 12:44 pm

Without a doubt... get a stoker. EFM or axeman would be my go to choices. Figure out where you can put at minimum 3 tons of coal and have auger directly into that. I did the handfed route for 10 years. It’s fun for awhile but it gets old!

 
User avatar
artbaldoni
New Member
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun. Feb. 02, 2014 7:46 am
Location: Newville, PA
Hand Fed Coal Stove: $50 Crane 404
Other Heating: OWB

Post by artbaldoni » Sat. Feb. 01, 2020 4:15 pm

I am running a converted wood boiler on coal. My grate is nothing more than a steel frame with expanded metal. It has warped minimally and is in its 4th year. As long as the air can flow through the grate it will cool sufficiently to not melt. It was a temporary build, just to see if I could burn coal. You know the saying, "nothing is more permanent than a temporary installation". I burn nut sized coal. It took some minor modification other than the grate. I replaced the mechanical aquastat with an electronic one so I could tighten the differential to 3-5 degrees. I also just recently put a variable speed blower control on and am experimenting with air feed. My firebox is round with a flat bottom. It has an under fire blower and a large ash pan. My routine is to load and ash down twice a day. Ashing is done by running a poker with a 90 degree bend on the end under the firebed. Ash pan gets dumped every other day. It has been heating my 3000 sq' house and dhw without issue. So don't let anyone tell you it can't be done!
Image
Image

Advertise on Coalpail.com

Post Reply

Return to “Hand Fired Coal Boilers Using Anthracite”