Coal fire smoldering out due to poor draft...?

PostBy: lockeal On: Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:38 pm

My cousin sent me his draft meter and I checked my draft in the stove pipe and I'm at .05" with the stove at 200 degrees and .10" at 300 degrees which I believe is plenty of draft!

My stove, however, is still going out after 6 hours or so. This time, there was only a small 5" circular area of glowing coals that I couldn't get going again. The stove was down to 160 or so with a .02" draft at that point.

I'm going to do the candle test, check the draft in the firebox (as opposed to in the stove pipe) and try cracking a window in the basement but otherwise, I'm at a loss with this thing...
lockeal
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:07 pm

Try a couple of things. With the draft meter hooked up, have someone open a door or window to the outdoors and see if the draft gets stronger or weaker. This is to see if the house is just too tight and you need to provide an outside air source.

Do the same test with the draft meter reading in the ash pan area.

When you had only a small area of still hot coals to rebuild a fire from, was the dark, not burning area burnt out coal [ashes], or unburnt coal? I'm trying to figure out if there is ash blocking the grate in this outer ring, or the draft is so weak that there is only enough air to support the small fire in the center. What revitalizes the fire?? fresh coal, added air? Shaking the grate?? opening an outside door?

Mark [Cap]: I'm not sure I'm on the cutting edge with ideas or not. Sometimes my 'edge' seems pretty darned DULL !! I've found that when I post an idea I get about two or three new ideas or viewpoints back, which is very helpful. So I post a lot in my drive to learn [and to help others].

I may be getting a bit carried-away with posting though , my post count is starting to be embarassing. I have a few minutes of spare time on my hands virtually every day, and I really am focused on coal burning right now. So I visit the site often when I have internet access. When I'm sitting in a hotel with insomnia, I have lots of time. :)

Take care Greg L

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Last edited by LsFarm on Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: lockeal On: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:15 pm

The coal on the edges of the firebox are coated with a halo of white ash but unburnt inside of that . I'm putting most of a 5 gallon-bucket into the firebox, but perhaps I could fill it up even more... It is a relatively large firebox since it is dual-fuel. I could try going to pea-size coal, but it seems that would have the opposite effect and go out sooner.

After 6 hours and I'm down to a small orange area of coal, the only way to get it going again is to add wood. Could the wood ashes be clogging the airflow once the temperature drops perhaps?

I'll try opening windows etc. and measure the draft as suggested.
lockeal
 


PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:37 pm

Does your firebox look like the one in the ebay auction link on page one of this thread? Side to side grates with the same size slots in the grates as in the ebay photos??

If so try shaking gently at about 4-5 hours into your burn. or when the edges of the fire start to darken. See if much ash falls into the pan.

Another way to make sure your grate is open is to use a stiff wire [a wire frame from a political sign works great] with an 'L' bent on the end. poke up from the ash pan through the slots in the grate to make sure there is air flowing through the coal.

The ebay stove is smaller than your stove right?? If so, a 5 gallon bucket of coal would only provide about a 4" deep bed of coal, I would recommend getting a good fire burning and add another full bucket of coal. A 3-4" deep bed is hard to keep burning. 8" is better, 12" very good. The firebrick on the sides are 9" tall so heap the coal up to the top of the brick.

Are you changing the slotted draft setting in the ash door prior to the fire going out, or are you leaving it fully open? Have you looked at the other draft control to make sure it is operating correctly?? it may be unhooked or something and letting air in above the fire. I can't tell from the photos where it is or how it would work.

Just more ideas, Greg L

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