First coal fire this year

First coal fire this year

PostBy: laynes69 On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:50 pm

Its going to get cold tonight. I had a good bed of harwood coals, then I added layer after layer to get the coal burning then I filled it up. My limit on my fan is set at 145 on and its been an hour now and the fan still hasn't kicked on. Seems like the fire isn't pushing any heat yet. Anyone know abouts how long it takes to get a new coal fire burning hot. I haven't touched coal since last year and I didn't have these issues. Im more than sure its getting enough draft. Its just not burning as hot. Its been over an hour.

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PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:06 pm

My boiler takes about 1.5-2 hours to bring the water up to 160 from a dead stop. I would think a stove would make heat quicker. I would open the door and look for a real strong glow, without that you won't get much heat.
If you've had no trouble in the past, I'll guess something in the chimney (I found a child's ball in one) or maybe door gaskets. Baro stuck open?
Is the stovepipe hot and the stove cool?
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: laynes69 On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:45 pm

I checked the fire just now. The top of the coal still isn't red, just black with blue flames above it. I have roughly 100 pounds of coal in it, with a bed of probably 8 inches deep at least. It has been 2 hours since the start and my spin draft is all of the way open at 6 turns. The blower has ran for the last 30 minutes, and the house is rising now. Tommorrow its going to be cold and I need the most heat I can get from the coal, also for tonight. Is there a time in the fire process where heating will peak? Still no bright glow yet, and when it gets there, about how long will it last. Chimney is clean, I have been burning wood all of this year, and I raised the draft on the barometric damper. Im hoping this bed will burn 10 to 12 hours. I guess im used to wood, and Im a little impatient with anthracite coal. Soft coal is no problem for me. Stovepipe was somewhat hot, but not burning hot. The Furnace there is no way to tell because of the air jacket around it.

PostBy: coal_kid On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:05 pm

Wow 100 lbs before it was a roaring hot coal fire? I believe that is the problem.
Just dumping 100lbs on could starve the fire of oxygen. You might get lucky, and it could catch. If not, you might have to drop the fire and start over.

It sounds like you had the hot wood fire down. I normally only add a small coal shovel full (maybe1 lb I have no idea) every 5 minutes to my wood fire. My wood fire has some regular charcoal in it too, to hold the heat. I keep this up even adding some kindling for maybe 30 minutes. Then I start using my coal bucket to slowy adds maybe 1/4 bucket a time (5 lb). I wait each time until the fire roars and I get blue flame. I’ll do this every 30 minutes for a while, even adding more. I will usually go though 2-3 20lb coal buckets between 6pm and 11pm.

Wide open draft isn’t always good either, you need to make sure heat stays in you stove. I work mine back down to almost closed, which with a 300 stack is about -.05. Fully closed at 300 is about -0.04. I was meter-less until xmas, so it was just a guessing game then.

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:12 pm

Everything happens slow with anthracite. Have patience. The fact that it has been two hours and the top of the bed of coal is not red yet is good. This means that you will probably get a 10-12 hour or so burn out of the coal.

You may get a little less total heat from the anthrcite than with a roaring wood fire, but it will last a lot longer. I can only get about 2-3 hours out of a hot wood [oak] fire, but can get 12 hours of similar heat from coal in the same firebox.

There is not a hard-and-fast recipe with coal, or wood for that matter. Each stove, furnace or boiler is different, with a different chimney, and in a different house.

I can tell you what works in my boiler, but it is unique, no other one like it. An owner of your make/model furnace can offer advice but the chimney, ductwork, size of house, insulation etc will be different.

You will soon figure out what works in your furnace in your application. Please share with us what you learn so others can learn as well.

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: laynes69 On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:22 pm

Its burning well I guess. My furnace holds 110 pounds, so for the first load of the year, I need that much coal. My bed was hot and probably 4 to 5 inches deep before topping it off. I remember one night waking up to a 90 degree house with anthracite. Hopefully when the temps drop in the 20's and teens I can keep the house at 74 to 75. Believe it or not with this furnace I can get a good clean burn of around 8 hours with good hardwoods, or ash rounds and locust. It will pump the heat, but I want my wife and kids to stay warm, without her waking up to tend to it. I get up at 5 am and I will shake it down then and top it off and go to work. This way she doesn't have to tend. My wife refuses to freeze, which for us is 70 to 72. So far this year the LP furnace hasn't ran and we have used about 2 cords of wood, which is free! The house was heated with coal for years, so we have a good masonary chimney. I would go to all coal, but wood is free for life.

PostBy: laynes69 On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:17 pm

Well its about 9:15 here, outside temps are 35 and dropping. The house is 76-77 degrees, with the air coming from the registers at over 100 degrees. I have reduced the draft from 6 turns to 4 turns. Still coal isn't burnt on the top yet, but below is a nice hot fire. I just wasn't patient. Hopefully in the next couple of days I am able to keep the fire going and keep the house up to temps. I will let you guys know.

PostBy: Oo-v-oO On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:49 pm

Yep, patience is the key. We have an Ashley wood/coal stove and we never really tried burning coal in it until last year. There is a steep learning curve when going from wood to coal - I have found that coal needs a lot more air than wood does, and if you have a wood mindset the coal will really not get going. I only tend the fire twice a day, as a general rule - once before going to work and once when I get home. I may top it off with a shovel or two before bed. I keep the bottom ash pan door open to get the most air through the fire when loading and after, to allow the coal to get going in good shape. Leaving it open that long with wood would certainly melt the stovepipe and possibly the top of the stove.

Just don't forget and leave the door open, lest you melt the grates or warp the stove!
Stove/Furnace Make: Ashley

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PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:57 pm

Happens to me every time I burn wood. I think it softens the brain. :)
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: dirvine96 On: Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:29 am


I think you have the same stove as I do. A US Stove 1537 or 1557. You need to keep the bottom door open longer. Here's my method.

1. Build a good wood fire with hard wood. Wood no bigger than an inch to 2 inch square.

2. Get a good bed of coals. When you think you've got a good bed add more wood and get more coals. At this point my stove temp in pushing 700 to 800 degrees.

3. Add 3/4 of a drywall bucket of coal. I burn stove coal, so what i do is sort though my bin and get the smallest stuff I can. :arrow: :arrow: :arrow: :arrow: :o

4. Open bottom door close feed door, make sure your feed door damper is closed and the door is closed tight.

5. Go upstairs and watch the tube or read them paper. Waite about 20 minutes. Go down stairs and take a look. It should be roaring.

6. At this point I add three shovel of stove coal. It fills the stove about three quarters. I get blue flame working up through the new coal. Repeat steps 4 and 5. I some time waite a full half an hour.

7. Go down stairs take alook should be roaring. Fill stove and repeat steps 4 and 5. I only need to waite about ten minutes for the last load to take.

8. Close the door and set your damper.

As a new burner I have become very good at staring the fires. The difficult part is keeping the fire going for more than a couiple of days.
I have a thermometer on my stove and stack thermometer. I keep a close eye on these every time I do something to the stove. Its getting colder so my draft is improving. [/code]
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 82FA

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:55 am

dirvine96 wrote:The difficult part is keeping the fire going for more than a couiple of days. [/code]

You should not be losing the fire in 3-4 days. If you shake and bank properly the fire should go the winter unless there is a problem somewhere.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: laynes69 On: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:02 pm

Im loving it right now. Its 25 and windy out and the house is 75 degrees. It burned from about 6:30 pm to 5:00 am and still hadn't reached the top coals yet, good bright below the surface. Looked exactly the same when I loaded it. I shook it down good, opened the ash door, loaded about 3 to 4 shovels full and shut the ash door. House has stayed 75 all day. I just got home at 2:30 and shook the hell out of it, got all the ash out, and I'll reload it in an hour or two. Its burning bright, and i'm warm and happy. If it was cheaper I would go to all coal, but wood is free. For now with the temps and the weather the way they are, I'll burn coal and save the wood. Thanks for all the help. Like I said all looks good!

PostBy: laynes69 On: Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:00 pm

Well that morning was about 9 degrees and the house was 68. I wasn't happy for thats too cold. I haven't been able to get that coal glow. Well I ajdusted my damper so I get 1 more turn from it, and so far now I am gettig the heat I was looking for. I cracked the ash door a little and the fire came to life so I knew I wasn't getting enough air. The fire was a dull glow. Now the house is coming up in temps, and this baby is pushing the heat! Haven't lost the fire yet so hopefully things are better tommorrow morning.

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