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Thread: Coal fired boiler

  1. #1
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Coal fired boiler

    I'm getting ready to purchase a coal fired boiler for my place on the Denali Highway. Does anyone have any personal experience with them? How they work, etc? I'm also wondering what it takes to plumb them in myself? I'm not sure I can afford to pay anyone to do it, and I'm not sure I have the time to do it myself with my other jobs.... Any thoughts on how long it would take and how much money in supplies to plumb in 6300' square feet? Would anyone like to come up and do the job in exchange for free lodging for you and all your buddies for hunting season???

    Thanks for the thoughts and guidance!

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  2. #2
    Member Dupont Spinner's Avatar
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    Default

    Claude,
    Obiviously you are running liquid system.....now are we looking at base boards, in floor, radiation/forced air combo??? Are you using a water or gycol system?

    If using an outdoor system then need to all your exterior work completed before freeze up. The time to complete is all dependent on your heating system choice. I do recommned you use plastic pipe over any copper pipe. You have less btu loss from source to system. The other thing is plastic is a little more forgiving if things go wrong and you freeze up. The other thing is they have a new connector out for plumbing called Shark Bite connectors. These things are the bomb. It works on plastic, copper and pvc.

    I wish we could have done this earlier in the year. I was off all summer and went back to work this past Monday. Would have loved to worked out an exchange deal.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Thanks!

    Thanks for the reply! I'm looking at using glycol, through baseboards, and a pump from the boiler, which will be sitting about 10 feet from the lodge. The boiler was ordered on Friday, and should be setting next to the lodge in about a week or two, along with 2 dump truck loads of Healy coal. I have used the Shark Bites, and figured they would work great. I hear you on the plastic pipe. I used pex for the rest of the plumbing in the lodge, and I'd sure like to use it for the heating. Problem is, I can't seem to find plastic or pex finned baseboards. They all seem to be copper, which I figured if nothing else I could use pex between each room (there are 12 rooms on the first floor), and that should do it.

    Does anyone know of any plastic finned baseboards?

    Thanks for any help and guidence anyone can give me.

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  4. #4
    New member
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    Default Pex

    Just finished rebuilding a second fourplex for the boss. We used pex tubing for all the "wet" lines in each building (boiler/heat, water, etc.). We put in baseboard heaters. All of which have copper tubing and fins. The pex connects to the no problem. The first fourplex we built, we finished last summer and no problems with any of the "wet" lines.

    Here is a link to the pex site:http:
    //www.pexsupply.com/Baseboard-Heaters-808000?gclid=CPugqsnKi5wCFRZCagodDzEFXg

    Good luck and stay warm.

  5. #5
    Member 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Default

    Wow what a good deal. You wouldn't happen to need a doula or a henna artist would you? Hahahah.
    Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North
    http://cloud9doula.wordpress.com/

    Does this shotgun make my butt look big?

  6. #6

    Default

    Yeah, you can just connect your pex straight to the copper on the baseboard. I don't think they make pex baseboard. You just need to buy the brass adapters that solder to the copper and connect to the pex.

  7. #7
    Member AK LIVIN's Avatar
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    Default system sizing

    Hello,

    I feel that more importent than the type of pipe utilized would be how your zoning, sizing and pumps were sized / located. Your place is large @ 6000 sq ft and should your system not be zoned or sized corectly you will not have the effenincy you should be getting and therefore lots of hard work needing re-done. Plus seem as though you are coal I'm guessing you will utilize a boilermate for hot water distrobution rather than propain? If so this must be prioritized through your boiler controls / zone controler.

    I do suggest you consult with a contractor. Even if you do the work yourself a simple A to Z drawing and material take off from a contractor would save you lots of time and unecessary trips to town. In example, at 45 BTU's per foot your boiler should be 270,000 to 300,000 BTU's just for space heat and possibly larger should your domestic hot water not be controled as priority. You could even possibly contact a contractor and next time in town bring a drawing and go over your system at his office. ask what their consulting rates are and get all the information here rather than paying him for window time.

    Going with glycol is the only way for your remote area and I'd even install a small glycol make up tank assuring no H20 reduces your glycol % and that your system PSI is always at 12 to 15 PSI worry free.

    Just a suggestion and good luck

  8. #8
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Thanks again!

    Well, more good info. I have gone with an installer for the first floor and getting the system plumbed in and working. When I go up for hunting season, I'll see if I can do the second and third floors myself. I've purchased a Royall 300,000 BTU system that will be more then adequate (I'm told) to heat the entire lodge and the cabin. It is to be delivered next week along with 40,000 pounds of coal, and 15 cord of wood..

    Last weekend, I brought up a pallet of beer, as we finally got our liquer licence in place, so I do have my priorities in order!

    Still have some minor wood cutting, brush stacking, plumbing and carpentry work for anyone wanting a free lodge stay for hunting season! You can do any of those things for a free stay!

    1stimestar... not sure what a doula or henna artist is, but I'm sure we could find a use for it somewhere at the lodge! You working the Gin Gin this winter?? I'm open to helping out whereever I can!
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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