regulating coal feed

regulating coal feed

PostBy: byrdy11 On: Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:09 pm

Just a simple question, I hope! I am using my keystoker direct vent coal stove for the first time. I had it going and set the thermostat for 70. It never got above 68 the entire three days I had it running (cold snap), and it appeared as though the coal was running through too fast and wasnt completely burning. According to the directions with the stove, you can adjust the feed with the 'white nut' on the underside of the hopper (yes, I am a woman LOL). I did this (counter clockwise to slow the coal feed), but it seemed to have a mind of it's own and just adjusted itself back. Is this because the thermostat ultimately controls the coal feed and it was trying to reach the set point temperature (72) by turning up the feed/burn rate? I am just concerned it's not thoroughly burning the coal. My dad told me the thermostat is controlling the feed rate and I needn't bother adjusting the knob.
Any insight?
Clueless in Weedsport, NY
byrdy11
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 90
Coal Size/Type: rice

PostBy: pvolcko On: Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:02 pm

I'm wondering if you have a Coal-Trol Digital thermostat installed on this. It sounds like you're describing what our control does. If you don't have one then your best bet for help will be to call your dealer or Keystoker directly.

If you do have one and are still having problems please let me know here or feel free to call our office (315-299-3589) to get some help adjusting the control and stove properly. If you want to give it a go yourself one more time the control should have come with an user manual which describes how to adjust the minimum and maximum feed rate settings in the thermostat. The maximum feedrate needs to be adjusted down so that hot coals are not falling off the end of the grate.

If you end up having to adjust it down a lot, say to less than 25, then you probably should adjust the knob behind the stove to a lower setting and the then readjust both the min and max feed rates in the thermostat. To be most effective you want to have the Coal-Trol Digital's min and max feedrates to be set 30 or more points apart if at all possible.

Hope something in there helps. Post again if it doesn't. :)
pvolcko
 

PostBy: byrdy11 On: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:13 am

Hi, thanks for the reply. My stove has a honeywell thermostat, so I just set it for 70 and it doesnt reach 70, nor does the blower run non stop like my oil furnace will until it reaches the set point. The reading on the bottom of the honeywell got to like 67-68 or so, but, not to 70. Maybe it's just not that accurate, or there is a normal variation of a degree or two and I need to set it to like 75 to get my house warm enough? It only got to about 65, which isnt bad, but I have a 4 month old baby so I want the house a bit warmer. I am just not sure what to think of it. Since I am so new to this, I am just not sure that the coal is completely burned. Below the 'line of fire' there is about 6 inches of ash before it falls off the conveyor into the ash pan. When I dumped the ash, it just didnt seem completely burned. Last winter, the house was consistently 72 degrees with the coal furnace running, but, I have no clue what my ex set the honeywell for to get it that warm...and I am not about to ask him!
thanks for your help!
byrdy11
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 90
Coal Size/Type: rice


PostBy: pvolcko On: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:35 am

The ash can have what appears to be unburned coal in it. So long as the majority is flaky and ash like and there is not burning coal falling off the end of the grate you probably are getting a complete burn of the coal.

From what you describe, 6 inches of ash after the burn line, it sounds like your maximum feed setting needs to be turned up. At full burn the grate should be mostly burning coals (visibly red) with maybe 2 inches of ash at the end. 6 inches of ash is excessive and means you are not getting the maximum heat output from the stove yet. To increase this you either use the adjustment knob like you mentioned before or you need to change the max setting on the timer box (if your stove is equiped with one).

Hopefully someone else here with more experience with standard thermostats setups with Keystokers can help you out more.

Given your concern for your child you should call the dealer you purchased your stove from and have them help you, that's what they are there for. :)
pvolcko
 

thanks

PostBy: byrdy11 On: Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:42 pm

I'm going to look at it more thoroughly tonight after I get home and turn it up. The manual I have is very good, so I may be able to figure it out with my dads help tomorrow.
Thanks!
byrdy11
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 90
Coal Size/Type: rice

PostBy: WNY On: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:33 pm

Also, There is a box with a white switch for the convection blower (to put heat into the room) on the side of your stove, make sure the button is pulled out for automatic control. If pushed in, it will run continuously and blow cool/cold air if the stove is not up to temperature.

on Automatic, It will run until the surface temp reaches a certain point and then shutoff, heat up and turn back on.

You can take the cover off and see the temp. settings for the blower to turn on/off. I think 'ON' at 160 and OFF at 120 for the stove temperatures.

How far away is your thermostat? The old round honeywell are not real accurate, they are very sensitve to being level, if slightly off, they will not trigger properly. You can use a digital, ours works great and setback at night a couple of degrees. Just remember it takes a while longer to heat up, so set it about 30-50 mins before you get up for good heating!

Yes, you should about 2-3 inches of ash at the end and 4+ inches of new coal in the back and about 3-4 inches of burn area. Sounds like your grate is clogged, a lot of ash can accumulate under the plate and has to be cleaned out. See attached.

You will have to remove the screw and the one grate can be removed and cleaned out, make sure all the holes are clean too and then seal with high temp stove cement.

Hope that helps!
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WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

PostBy: red ash On: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:40 am

WNY, I noticed the rust inside the stoker! That is a problem with keystokers during the off season! Keystoker told me to run a drop light with a 100 watt bulb for several hours every day during the off season. The heat drives out the moisture from the stove and helps to reduce the rust! They also recommend disconnecting the stove from the flu and blocking the outlet with a rag! Nice to see a guy who knows the workings of his stove, do you work in a related field?
red ash
 

PostBy: cozmo469 On: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:31 pm

Is this problem only specific to Keystoker or is is a problem with all steel stoker stoves?
cozmo469
 

PostBy: WNY On: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:24 am

:( you caught me. Oops, I didn't have time to clean it out immediately after shutdown (it sat for a week or so), WOW, you wouldn't think it would rust that fast!

I took the pics before cleaning it out...but I scraped, wire brushed it, vaccummed it out, took the motors out, cleaned, oiled, etc...looks better now and running perfect.!! I did coat the insides with WD40 for over the summer and yes, forgot to close off the outside vent....so it did rust up a bit....nothing a wire brush couldn't clean off...

(Eletrical/Mech. Engineer). Yes, like to tinker with stuff too, next toy will be the CoalTrol to play with when we move to our new house (next month or so!!). Larger house, hope it will keep up.!!
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:56 am

Dave, how many more sq. ft. is the new house?? Do you have a centrally located room to put the stove in?

Do you have any more photos of that stoker unit when it was out and apart? I'd love to see them. Are the grates cast iron or steel? In the photo they look like steel.

I'll send you a PM.

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: red ash On: Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:39 pm

Dave, my Keystoker looks identical! The drop light trick helps but i think it does more for your peace of mind than it does for the stove! I intentionally overfeed my stoker so i overrun the thermostat. I want that extra heat to help keep the entire house warm! A Coaltrol would not be good for me since it would eliminate the overrun and force the stoker to run much more often to compensate for the temp. variance in other sections of the house! The first floor is never below 72 deg. and i forced three ton through that stoker last year.

cozmo469, No that rust problem is not unique to Keystoker! With few exceptions, any metal exposed to fly ash and moisture is going to deteriorate. The old full size boilers were run all year to make domestic hot water but it also eliminated the possibility of moisture getting inside that stoker and flu.
red ash
 

PostBy: George-NJ On: Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:47 pm

Your thermostat wire might not be hooked up inthe back of the stove. My wire was thread through the control boxes on the back of the stove , but not hooked up to the teminals when we installed my stove. I ran the TT wirte to the TT & TT location, dialed it up and waited for the heat. It never came, sounds like your situation.

Anyway, I poked around back in the control boxes and found that it wasn't hooked up at all on that end, so it was an easy fix. Also, TT wire is thin and could be easily damaged.
George-NJ
 

PostBy: WNY On: Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:27 am

Attached - Thermostat Hook up on a KeyStoker. The Red/White wire is the Thermostat wire (not included with stove)

You can actually here the relays turn on/off when the thermostat needs to turn the stove up.
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WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Finally!

PostBy: byrdy11 On: Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:11 pm

Ok....with my dad's help we FINALLY got it down! First I turned the damn thing off and cleaned it. I am small so I could actually get inside it and scrub it down with a wire brush (disgusting mess-I wore a half face respirator) and vacuumed it out (there was a TON of ash in the lower corners which cannot be good). I cleaned the grate, oiled all the hinges with WD-40 and vacuumed the back near the motors to get out all dust and loose pieces of coal (not bad for a blonde!!). Then I started it back up and nothing seemed different. I was starting to freak out because it got cold and the blower was not coming on and the house was 57! My dad came the next day, took one look at the white nut in the back that regulates the coal feed and declared it needed to be cranked down........a lot! After he did that the fire bed increased to where it should be, the blower came on and the the thermostat started reading accurately..it was set for 70 and it got to 68 upstairs (stove in basement). I had been adjusting it incrementally all along, but, apparently just not enough...it was really off! I let it run this way for 4 days and it never waivered. Today I turned it down while I am at work to 65. It was burning 2 buckets a day prior to that, so I am hopeful (and warm) that everything is ok. I can stop putting the baby to bed in hats now! I am so relieved....now hopefully nothing will burn out or break because my life is stressful enough at this point!
Thanks for all the help!
byrdy11
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 90
Coal Size/Type: rice

PostBy: byrdy11 On: Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:12 pm

Oh..and one more thing.......thank GOD I found this site! It has been so helpful! If someone could tell me how to post pictures I would take one of the stove and my coal bin!
-Deb
byrdy11
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 90
Coal Size/Type: rice