PostBy: blueduck On: Fri Dec 15, 2006 5:46 pm

Hi everyone,
I put a new shingles on my home this year
at the tune of 6 grand. You guys already
know from my other posts that I'm not
very happy with coal heat so far.
We had some rain today followed by sun
sine and wind. Well the shingles dried out
and it looks like the fly ash is starting to
make a brown streak stain down the roof.
Any Ideas on what to try and neutralize it
with? Tomorrow I'm going to try dish soap
and warm water. I'll have to search the net...

If anyone has a UL approved wood stove with
2 foot clearances and wants a Harman Mark I
I'd considering trading or selling my coal stove
this spring.


PostBy: blueduck On: Fri Dec 15, 2006 6:06 pm

Speaking of stoves for sale.

My grandfather bought a Leisure Line
Pioneer LE top Vent with Digital Coal-trol
thermostat about two months ago.
He wants to sell the stove for $1600.
The only thing I ask is go and look at
them to see if you really want one. He
is 85 and I don't want to just bring people
over to look at it....
Thanks, PM me if your interested.

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:35 pm

This topic caught my eye because I just spent this entire weekend ripping & re-roofing most of my house (no time to do the other half). Had to replace 4 sheets of rotted, moldy plywood... boy ,was THAT fun! :roll: I just finished an hour ago - - my back & right shoulder are KILLING me! Not to many friends to help due to Chrismas coming..... What a pain
in the ass!! I wish I had the cash to pay someone to do it for me!

Anyways, my old man had some stains on light colored shingles on his house. He used a pressure washer (on LOW pressure, obviously) with a solution of bleach & water. Those 20 year old shingles looked like they were just installed! Worked great!

I don't know why your getting stains from your chimney. My chimney is barely holding up (after 150 yrs!!) & I have no stains whatsoever. But, I have black (well, now charcoal colored) shingles. Is it a masonary or a stainless steel chimney?
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:40 pm

I'm a bit tired ...

I just read your getting fly ash streaks. That should easily come off with just a hose. Maybe spray it down first with 409 or some other light cleaner. Shouldn't be hard to get that off. Probably straight water with the hose, as long as you aim it DOWN, for obvious reasons.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:58 pm

Blue Duck, you must have some really bad coal. Unless your chimney is only 6" above the shingles you should not have any staining. The only soot I've seen or experienced is from Bituminous coal. If I burn bituminous coal, I can change the snow from white to gray downwind of the chimney.

Did you go to a different source and buy some brand name coal in bags??

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

PostBy: blueduck On: Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:19 pm

Hi Smitty,
I wish that I could have done my own roofing. The
roof is a 10/12 pitch, the roofers used ladder jacks.
What was amazing is they were also walking around
up there. When I go up I have to stay in the valley
until I reach the peak. The chimney is stainless.
I got up there Saturday and added 18" of chimney,
took the hose and dish soap with me but no luck?
If the weather holds I'm going to try the bleach.
I'll have to test it on some of the leftover shingles
to see if it does anything strange.
The chimney Cap has a band called the wind guard.
The fly ash seems to go up and hit the top of the cap
the settle on the base and that band. I wonder if I
should remove the band? So that the wind will clear the
ash as it exits the chimney.
My old chimney was a open masonry type. No cap
what so ever. I wonder if my draft will be irregular if
I remove the band?
My other problem is I'm been buring some bad coal
seems to be high sulfur anthracite.....

PostBy: blueduck On: Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:55 pm

Hi Greg,
Yes I did get some different coal but then it warmed up.
40's and 50's I think it almost hit 60 the other day. I've
been testing the different coal, old coal and even wood
over the last week or so. I wanted to have some good
cold weather before posting an update on my other
topic. In a pro coal heat forum I've been kind of negative
so I want to put some hours on the stove when it's cold
Now if it stays warm all winter..... there's always next year. :)

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:05 pm

Well I have to agree that we are for the most part 'pro-coal'. But most of us are concerned as to why you are having problems. Most of us have had an education period with our coal experiences. We all want to help you figure out what the problem is.

Almost all of us see coal as the best solid fuel to burn.

That all said, you mentioned burning wood, Is it burning the way you expect?? The Harman Mark stoves are supposed ot burn wood and coal.

Is your father burning the same coal as you were?? Bad coal can certainly give a bad experience.

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

PostBy: blueduck On: Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:03 pm

Yes the wood burns great. I had some wood leftover
from last year. I split it and used a chop saw to make
it shorter. I've been using charcoal to start my coal
fire but ran out so I decided to use wood. Then I decided
that first night to burn wood while watching a movie.
It was great! But I would not recommend using wood
because of the secondary air on the Mark's when you
start a wood fire you need to have the dial turned 1 full
turn until the fire brick is hot. I left 2" or so of the dead
coal fire in the bottom to cover the grate. It still gets air
but not to much. You burned wood so I'm sure you know
wood burns better is a bed of ash. Now once the fire brick
is hot the fire really takes off then you have to close the
primary air but the fire still burns a little on the hot side
for a while pulling air in from the bottom and top of the
glass. Once I have some coals built up and a few chunks
of wood in the stove then I can really tune the fire in.
1/8 turn to 1/4 turn on the primary air. Pulling air in around
the glass above the fire is really nice because it heats the
air before combustion. You just have to watch it. But If you had
a problem there would be no way to starve the fire. I'd bet a
Mark II or II would be better because you could use standard
size fire wood but if you had a chimney fire there would be no
stopping it...
It's been nice in this warm weather when I come home the house
is chilly so I have a wood fire. The living room warms up fast, with
in a few hours most of the house is 70 + then right before I go to
bed I rake the wood coals flat about 3" and its perfect for the coal.
I put on about 6 scoops of coal or about 3" deep. Fire it with the
draft door and its 70f in the morning. I let it go out and start over.
Here is the thing, remember I posted about not liking the lower flu
temps with coal. Well if I run the wood at 200 to 250F when I go outside
it stinks like a wood fire. When I run the temp at 350 to 400F
NO stink outside. When its warm out the lower stack temps
give me a problem. So far I like the new coal better. Its washed NOT
OILED. That oil has a stink of it's own if you ask me. I'll write more about
the coal types tomorrow.
As for my Grandfather he is 85 and I think the coal is to much for him.
I asked the Coal Guy to bag 25 pound bags but he does not like
taking the ashes out or lighting the stoker. He thinks it's dirty
and wants to clean it every day.... Its a good stove if you want a

PostBy: blueduck On: Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:15 pm

This is what I'm finding the difference is with the Coal

The Oiled Coal. (this is the coal that may be bad)

When adding coal to an established fire I crack the
bottom door to heat up the chimney then close it
and slowly open the loading door. Their are no fumes
at this point. As soon as I finish loading the stove
I can smell the awful fumes before getting the door closed.
Its very faint but its there. Then I go out side after
firing the new load and let me tell you it's nasty. It
will make you cough. After that passes the coal does
have a stronger smell. This coal shakes down into a
more yellow flaky chunk ash.

The Washed coal. (this the Coal I picked up)

The coal has a faint smell when loading on a hot fire.
Its not nasty but you know if you have loaded the stove.
This I can live with. Now out side its the same, it smells but
not like the other stuff. When I shake it down its more
like a powder and more white and gray than yellow.

Like the washed Coal a lot better. But you can't get that
here in bulk. The local coal guys want you to buy 3 ton
at one time what happens if you get bad coal, that's a
long winter...
The other big difference between wood and coal for me is
the stack temps. When I run the Coal at 350 to 400F
I don't smell anything outside but you can't do that. The fire
would be out after 7 or 8 hours and the stove would be junk
in a year.
This new problem with discoloring the new shingles has got
me worried, they were dry today when I came home from
work and looked really bad. To tell you the truth after seeing
that again and writing this response I think this is the end of
the road for me and coal.
I may just get a pretty wood stove for weekend fires and Holidays.
Just buy Oil.... I know what you guys are saying, there was
a time when handling 10 to 12 face cords a winter was fun
but those days have passed. I could get 3 years out of 5
face cords if I used wood for fun and have some on hand
for power outages.
I know you guys like the coal and I want you all to know
that I truly appreciate you're help and concern. This forum
is full of great people, it's the best part of having an internet
connection. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy
New Year.

Thanks, Blue

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:48 am

Hi Blueduck, I would try removing the chimney cap completely. That 'windguard' strip you mentioned has me scratching my head. I don't see any need to guard the shimney from wind. In fact wind blowing across the chimney top is what you want to pull more draft and remove the smoke and ash.

With the problems you are having, I'd try your chimney without a cap or only a very simple rain cap for a week or two. I have just a rain cap on my short 8" diameter SS liner, and it drafts strong inspite of being only 14' tall.

Coal ash or wood ash/creosote should not accumulate in the chimney cap or fall on the roof. The only staining I've ever seen is from really nasty Bituminous coal.

Hope this helps. Greg L

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