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Adding coal boiler

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ethanr
ethanr Member Posts: 2
Hi everyone. I want to add a coal boiler next to an existing oil burner. I'll explain the existing set up... I recently bought a restaurant I am renovating over the winter in NEPA. I currently have a burnham oil burner that has an expansion tank with air vent breather, to 4 push circulator pumps to 4 zones controlled by thermostats. On the domestic side there's a big propane heater next to the oil burner with valves configured to use either/or or both for hot water. To save on heating costs I want to add in a coal boiler I found for sale for a good price (it's a Harmon sf 260). Ideally, I want to use the coal boiler when it gets very cold out and just use oil when it's not too cold out. and i want the oil burner to take over automatically if someone forgets to feed the coal boiler or if the coal boiler can't keep up. So should I add tees and ball valves to tie them in ? Or should I have the returns all go into the coal boiler then coal boiler into oil burner then leave the existing manifold and circ pumps alone ? Basically series or parallel? This coal boiler comes with a safety valve that is for overheats or electrical outages so I suppose I should add a small heat dump loop into the next basement room with some leftover baseboards. Next question is the added 5 foot horizontal flue run to add in the coal boiler a problem or is that still plenty of draft? Maybe 8 feet overall to the chimney. And finally the propane line for the gas water heater has to run past the coal boiler. What's the clearance so I don't blow up? Or should I make the gas line run in a big loop far away from it. Thanks

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  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,159
    edited November 2018
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    Hello ethanr,

    Before you go further I am sending you a PM
  • Gilmorrie
    Gilmorrie Member Posts: 185
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    You need to be prepared for hand shoveling coal and getting rid of the ash. Also, for the dirt and mess. What is the delivered price of the coal you will use? And what is its heat content, Btu/lb?
  • ethanr
    ethanr Member Posts: 2
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    14,000 btu per pound for anthracite at 150$ a ton delivered here in PA. I plan to have the dishwasher do the shoveling and handcart the ash bucket out to the back field. That's why I want the oil burner to take over when he forgets to load the coal stove. I think my biggest concern is if the flue and chimney can handle the coal burner, propane heater, and oil burner at once. Or if I should put a side vent through the window for the oil burner.
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 530
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    "I think my biggest concern is if the flue and chimney can handle the coal burner, propane heater, and oil burner at once. Or if I should put a side vent through the window for the oil burner."

    It is against code to connect a solid fuel appliance to the same flue as an oil or gas appliance. If you can power vent the oil burner, but then you still have the propane unit to deal with. From your post I can't tell if the propane unit is a water heater, or a second boiler?