Cleaning a stoker for the season

Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: crochunisclan On: Tue Sep 08, 2009 10:59 am

Howdy everyone--It's been a while and since it's September, I thought it would be a good idea to start thinking about this heating season. I had a good experience with the stove last year and am hoping to have the same results this year.

My question today is how to properly prepare my stove for this season. It's an Alaska Kast Konsole II. I didn't really clean out the stove last season (because I forgot--yeah, I know) so I assume I will have to disassemble all my stove pipe from the back of the stove to the power vent and clean it out. What should I look for? How clean does it have to be? How do I clean the section of power vent outside of the hose properly? Do I need to oil/lube the power vent?

Any help would be appreciated.
crochunisclan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak II

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: Matthaus On: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:50 am

I would take everything apart you can without challenging your availability of tools or ability. Since you didn't clean it before the summer, there may be a good coat of rust on things, that should be wirebrushed and painted with high temp aluminum paint, the out side of the stove can be re-coated as needed with the matching color. Take the sections of pipe apart and clean out with the hose or simply vacuum out the loose stuff, a dust mask is a must for this operation unless you want a nice coating of fly ash in your lungs. ;) Also the power vent needs some maint:
Lubrication
When you get all done you will need to burn off the paint on the outside if you did so, this requires good ventilation so make surte you open a few windows and clear the area.

There are lots of other threads on stove maint so you can do a search for additional info. Best of luck for a successful cleaning and relighting! :)
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: WNY On: Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:59 pm

Normally done after the burning season to prevent corrosion, rust, etc...but, what Matthaus stated.

Here's the thread on cleaning...

Spring Maintenance
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

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: crochunisclan On: Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:32 pm

I'm going to assume that I stil want to spray with baking soda and water and let it sit for the month or so before I start burning again?
crochunisclan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak II

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: Yanche On: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:55 pm

Last week I took my AHS S-130 Coal Gun stoker boiler back to the factory for some modifications and additions. I had removed the combustion blower and it was easy to see the crud buildup on the combustion gas path. Jeff, AHS's founder, suggested taking the boiler to a car wash. I did that and it worked well. I used the spray wand type and it cleaned the passages down to bare metal. It did a very good job. I would expect a pressure spray washer, something I don't own, would do an equally good job.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: coal berner On: Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:24 pm

Yanche wrote:Last week I took my AHS S-130 Coal Gun stoker boiler back to the factory for some modifications and additions. I had removed the combustion blower and it was easy to see the crud buildup on the combustion gas path. Jeff, AHS's founder, suggested taking the boiler to a car wash. I did that and it worked well. I used the spray wand type and it cleaned the passages down to bare metal. It did a very good job. I would expect a pressure spray washer, something I don't own, would do an equally good job.

I guess that would show & blow out of the water the so called theory of the self cleaning part on these boiler aswell as The AA design I have always never believed this theory that these designs where self cleaning after seeing many AA that where full of all kinds of Fly ash soot & rust. Any unit that burns any type of fossil fuel will need seasonal cleaning no
matter what brand it is especially if it burns coal .
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: Yanche On: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:06 am

I agree the "self cleaning" claim is a bit overblown. But at least in my boiler the buildup had the characteristics of air stream flow. What I mean there were streaks where it was fairly clean right down to the metal. There were other places where it was not. So there is some validity to "partially self cleaning". For best heat transfer efficiency an annual cleaning by brushing, scraping or pressure washing would be advised. My first cleaning was after three seasons of use. What I saw this time after one season was not much different. Suggesting that at least in my installation where I have a short stove pipe path to a completely vertical clay lined chimney, i.e. good flow characteristics, the buildup seems to reach a certain amount and doesn't continue to grow.

What does concern me is the buildup of burnt coal pieces pushed directly into the entrance of the boiler tubes. This appears to be caused by too high a burning fire in the "stack" of coal. The coal height stack is set by the frequency of ash grate operation. My boiler has the standard timer option and I do not adjust the setting much. Perhaps it's an operational adjustment problem. I did have a thermocouple sensor installed so I will be switching to the "thermo-ash" style of control for this heating season. I'll report the improvements if any in a year. :-)
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: coal berner On: Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:11 am

Yanche wrote:I agree the "self cleaning" claim is a bit overblown. But at least in my boiler the buildup had the characteristics of air stream flow. What I mean there were streaks where it was fairly clean right down to the metal. There were other places where it was not. So there is some validity to "partially self cleaning". For best heat transfer efficiency an annual cleaning by brushing, scraping or pressure washing would be advised. My first cleaning was after three seasons of use. What I saw this time after one season was not much different. Suggesting that at least in my installation where I have a short stove pipe path to a completely vertical clay lined chimney, i.e. good flow characteristics, the buildup seems to reach a certain amount and doesn't continue to grow.

What does concern me is the buildup of burnt coal pieces pushed directly into the entrance of the boiler tubes. This appears to be caused by too high a burning fire in the "stack" of coal. The coal height stack is set by the frequency of ash grate operation. My boiler has the standard timer option and I do not adjust the setting much. Perhaps it's an operational adjustment problem. I did have a thermocouple sensor installed so I will be switching to the "thermo-ash" style of control for this heating season. I'll report the improvements if any in a year. :-)

Yanche have you seen much coal pieces by the fan area I seen alot of the AA with pieces of coal hitting and taking chips out of the fan fins see any in yours those fans real suck the air & coal pieces threw as you know .
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: Yanche On: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:18 am

J.C., I've not seen pieces of unburnt coal anywhere near the combustion blower wheel. What I see is mostly burnt coal and some unburnt coal inside the center boiler tube close to the firebox. The burnt coal has the appearance of coal that was superheated and then burnt in place. Just what you would expect to see if a piece of unburnt coal was pushed in and then repeatedly heated with hot burning coal gases. Kind of makes the burnt coal lump look flaky.

There is no damage to my blower wheel. It's clean, no dings or bent blades.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: RICHARD2 On: Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:19 pm

Yanche wrote:Last week I took my AHS S-130 Coal Gun stoker boiler back to the factory for some modifications and additions.

I'm am curious to know what "modifications and additions" you are making. Would you mind elaborating?
RICHARD2
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: KA2

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: Yanche On: Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:06 pm

RICHARD2 wrote:
Yanche wrote:Last week I took my AHS S-130 Coal Gun stoker boiler back to the factory for some modifications and additions.

I'm am curious to know what "modifications and additions" you are making. Would you mind elaborating?
I bought my AHS 130 boiler new 5+ years ago, before I discovered this forum and educated myself about installing and operating them. For reasons that not even Jeff at AHS can explain the supply taping on my boiler was on the front (inspection port end) of the boiler. The return tapping is on the lower front left of the boiler. All the AHS boiler photos I have seen show the supply tapping on the top rear of the boiler. It's my engineering belief the for good thermal heat transfer the water flow in a boiler should flow across the extremities of the boiler. I believe that placement of the supply tapping on the front of my boiler was a mistake made by AHS. Jeff tried to convince me that the location wouldn't make much difference. I wasn't convinced. So I put my money where my mouth was and paid them to move it.

My boiler pre-dated the thermo-ash controller. While the boiler was at the factory I had a thermocouple installed. It's just the type K thermocouple sensor, not the electronics. Cost $80. It's installed by drilling a hole in the rear of the boiler base. The probe projects forward through that hole into the grate area. A welded tab holds the front of the probe at the proper position. I purchased a thermocouple controller and SSR (solid state relay) from my electronic supply contacts and will be making my own control box. It will have other features like running time meters for the ash grate motor and the circulator pump.

I've re-piped my oil and coal boilers to a true primary-secondary system. I've also install pressure gauge ports at the coal boiler circulator inlet and outlet. This will allow me to measure the operating point on the circulator pump curve. Knowing this and the supply and return water temperatures will allow me to calculate the delivered BTU of the boiler. Stay tuned, in a couple of months I'll post pictures and operational data.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: RICHARD2 On: Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:41 pm

Yanche wrote:for good thermal heat transfer the water flow in a boiler should flow across the extremities of the boiler.


I agree. Thanks for the details.

Yanche wrote:Stay tuned, in a couple of months I'll post pictures and operational data.


I shall look forward to that.
RICHARD2
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: KA2

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:58 pm

Yeah, definitely let us know if you notice major differences between your previous setup & the primary/secondary setup. I have quite a few elbows, valves & tees laying around - I might be temped to plumb a similar system up here ...... if I ever get my coils.... :roll:
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Cleaning a stoker for the season

PostBy: crochunisclan On: Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:06 pm

Hey Matthaus,

Thanks for the info on cleaning the stove. Its up ad running like a champ. When I cleaned out the power vent, I saw a disk shaped entity inside. Is that the infamous baffle you have spoken about in the past?
crochunisclan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak II

Visit Lehigh Anthracite