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Hello all.

I'm in the market for a coal fire boiler to supplement my fine oil fired boiler. The local coal companies have some specific manufactures for these types of boilers. At the present rate of increase in fuel oil costs the coal alternative looks like a good supplement.

From my preliminary calcs, including building the hopper, piping, storage tanks, controls my simple paypack will occur between year 3 and 4.

- Hope all is well with you and have a happy heating season!



  • BetzBetz Member Posts: 58
    have you tried

    an outdoor wood boiler? There are some on the market that have very nice illustrations on how to tie into an existing boiler.
  • David Van WicklerDavid Van Wickler Member Posts: 63


    WHy would anyone want to walk outside at 5F and fill/stoke a boiler unless there was insufficient room for a boiler located indoors?

    I haven't understood/realized the benefit (except for a long burn period) of the outdoor boiler yet.

  • BetzBetz Member Posts: 58

    3 day burn times, no ashes, smoke, soot, fire hazard, etc. inside the house. Insurance companies are actually starting to prefer these types of units over any type of indoor boiler because of safety from fire, carbon monoxide, etc.
  • hrhr Member Posts: 6,106
    Insurance, as ckbetz mentioned

    is the main reason you see so many wood boilers installed as outdoor units. And I have learned different carriers have different requirements as far as distance from the home.

    I agree it seems like a stupid place to have you heating appliance, OUTSIDE :)

    Check with your insurance company if they consider coal a solid fuel and prohibit this appliance from being indoors.

    I have two brands of pressurized indoor wood boilers that can handle coal and wood. However if you want one with an auto feeder it would be be coal only.

    Lots of wood burner folks just add some coal manually during cold, cold periods or to carry through the night better.

    I'm shopping for coal myself, not much around here anymore. Unless I slip into the nearby coal fired power plants in my area. Train loads of coal get shipped to them every week.

    I'm also looking for a used waste oil gun to try in one of these boilers. Fairly easy to find drain oil cheep, or free, around here. A bit less hassle than wood or coal. Maybe?

    hot rod

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  • greggreg Member Posts: 71

    Try Alternate Heating Systems for the "Coal Gun" which is a knock off of Axeman Anderson's Anthratube (still made as well).

    This is the best design and are ASME cerified. I have an Axeman-Anderson S130 and it is fantastic.

    Also try EFM, Keystoker and Harman.

    These are designed for anthracite.

    There are soft coal fired units made in Canada.

    Stick with anthracite, its cleaner and more efficient.

  • Mike T., Swampeast MOMike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    3rd that motion. Companies are getting REALLY particular about solid fuel for heating and old knob-and-tube wiring.

    My homeowner's insurance recently changed companies due to a buyout. Required a new inspection. Outside I had a few cords of firewood from a giant hackberry tree that had tilted severely (but lived for years) in a wind storm. It finally lost it to a freezing rain storm. Had everything split and seasoning both for sale and use in a decorative fireplace in another location.

    Insurance inspector insisted I show him that I was not using solid fuel for heating as they would not write the policy. While in the basement he saw some old knob and tube wiring still running through joists. Had to show him the cut-off ends.

    Two in-laws had flue fires within the last few years. They have total electric houses built during the last energy crisis when no more natural gas hookups were allowed. Both used cast iron fireplace inserts and neither bothered to have their flues cleaned regularly. One got lucky, was outside and hosed down the roof. The other had his roof catch on fire--his policy was cancelled despite decades without a claim and he had to go to an extremely expensive state-sponsored alternative insurance.

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