I must be doing something very wrong...

I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: JKinPA On: Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:01 pm

I have an Alaska Liberty stove it is a rice auger fed stove. two controls one that reads T'Stat and One that Reads Idle.

Ran the stove last night and went through about 70 lbs of coal.

The ash was mostly unburned coal. I sifted through it and when I weighed it I had 37 bls of un burned coal. Thats almost half of my coal not being sent to the ash bin with out being burned. I can't be sifting every ash pan to reclaim the coal that's not burned.

Can some one please tell me what I am doing wrong. I have heard stories of people who have these stoves and have nothling but ash in the bin.

If there is nothing I can do I might as well switch to wood pellets.

Thank you
Joe
JKinPA
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: gambler On: Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:05 pm

I think some of the alaska liberty stoves had the combustion blower mounted wrong and were not forcing air through the coal like they are supposed to. You may want to check that.
gambler
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: WNY On: Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:16 pm

Yes, check the combustion blower (should be plugged in and run full for best burn, some run on the rheostat and vary speed with feed rate) and check the feed rate adjustment. Maybe the feed rate is up too much. You will have SOME unburnt depending on the stove, but 35#'s seems excessive. Just make sure it Unburnt COAL and not junk (Rocks, etc...) maybe got bad coal?
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

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Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: JKinPA On: Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:27 pm

gambler wrote:I think some of the alaska liberty stoves had the combustion blower mounted wrong and were not forcing air through the coal like they are supposed to. You may want to check that.


How would I know???
JKinPA
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:48 pm

A fan is designed to turn one way, and push a lot of air. If it is turning the wrong way, it puts out a very feeble amount of air.

When your fire is burning, with full feed, you should have 8"-12" of flame above the fire. Unplug the combustion fan for a moment or two, the fire will die down to an idle, only the chimney draft will be pulling air through the fire. Then plug the fan back it, the flames above the fire should resume to be about a foot high.

I'd remove the combustion fan, inspect the fan itself.. a piece of paper, a few pieces of carpet fluff, a quantity of dog or cat hair, anything can clog the inside of a squirrel cage fan, and make it ineffective.

If the fan is clean, then there should be a very strong output from the fan when it is running, like a hair dryer. If not, then the motor may be turning the wrong way, and the fan can't do it's job.. If this is the case, contact the manufacturer for a correctly opperating fan.

Let us know what you find.

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

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: JKinPA On: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:38 pm

Still Racking my brain...

The fan is in correctly, I have cleaned the stove completely twice, and it has helped but I still have about a third of my coal un burned. Contacted the MFG and they suggested making sure the chute was smooth so that the clunkers didn't have anything to stick to also check to make sure the chute was level. Both done, still I'm looking at 1/3 of my coal being un burned. I bought 4 ton at $190 per ton 1/3 of that is over $250 sitting in the ash pile.

THere are no adjustments on the stove for fan speed, I get a good 12" flame when the stove is burning hot but when at idle it's about 6".

The two controls I have are TEMP and IDLE The temp controls the amount of coal and size of burn, the idle controls the burn once the thermostat reaches the desired temp and turns the stove down.

When at full burn I see about 4.5 to 5 inches of bed of burning coal and the bed is about 1.5 to 2 inched deep, but all of the coal is not burning through. My ash has a small amount of flyash, most of the ash is a hard sharp almost ceramic type of material, and then I have clumps of the same ceramic type material (klunkers?) the ash is grey to grey white and brownish red.

The coal left over is coal not rocks I have broken them and they are un burned. I have even sifted then through the sifted coal back into the stove and it burned just fine.

What else can it be????

Thanks
Joe
JKinPA
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: Pacowy On: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:50 pm

I had a problem in an Alaska 140 with red ash coal forming big "muffin" clinkers that caused "plowing" of unburned coal over the side of the burn plate and messed up the fire when they dropped off the end. You might want to try a different (white ash) coal.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: ken On: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:27 pm

If theres a small plate over the intake , remove it. I would the flip the flange inside to the cage. Make sure the cage moves. It not move it on the motor shaft. Those 2 things will give you your max on combust air.
ken
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker - Rice Coal
Stove/Furnace Model: 75K - Bay Window - Direct Vent

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: JKinPA On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:18 pm

ken wrote:If theres a small plate over the intake , remove it. I would the flip the flange inside to the cage. Make sure the cage moves. It not move it on the motor shaft. Those 2 things will give you your max on combust air.


No plate over the intake. The motor Blower Fan and Augger are all on different plugs. I currently have the fan plugged in seperately but I'm thinking that it is tilll being controlled by the thermostat.

I'm thinking of pluging in each device seperately but I don't know what effect if any that will have.

Joe
JKinPA
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:35 am

If your combustion fan shuts down when the stoker shuts down, then the coal on the grate will not burn fully. Try plugging the combustion blower directly into an outlet, letting it run full-time. Watch your coal and ash for a day or two. See if this reduces or eliminates the unburnt coal. Several other stoker manufacturers now use a full time combustion fan, and control the heat with coal feed, not with the fan and feed.

Let us know if it helps.

A photo of two of the grate with an idle fire and a full fire would help with diagnosis.

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

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: Badog On: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:30 pm

I just installed a new to me Alaska Liberty and fired it up on the 27th. I do not have a thermostat just a rheostat that adjusts the feed rate. The combustion fan runs continuously and so far it works great. I am heating 2500 sq. ft. colonial and burning about 50lbs. a day which I think is great considering the winds and temps. we have been seeing. I am using a power vent and the draft is at .04. Have you checked your draft? I see very little un-burnt coal, though the few times I have set the feed down to about 2 I do see more un-burnt coal. At that rate the draft is a bit lower but if I increase the draft it seems to help.
My only complaint is that I wish the ash pan was a bit larger. I need to empty it daily in this cold weather.
Badog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: JKinPA On: Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:00 pm

Badog wrote:I just installed a new to me Alaska Liberty and fired it up on the 27th. I do not have a thermostat just a rheostat that adjusts the feed rate. The combustion fan runs continuously and so far it works great. I am heating 2500 sq. ft. colonial and burning about 50lbs. a day which I think is great considering the winds and temps. we have been seeing. I am using a power vent and the draft is at .04. Have you checked your draft? I see very little un-burnt coal, though the few times I have set the feed down to about 2 I do see more un-burnt coal. At that rate the draft is a bit lower but if I increase the draft it seems to help.
My only complaint is that I wish the ash pan was a bit larger. I need to empty it daily in this cold weather.


Wow, I have to empty the ash pan about 2 or 3 times a day and go through about twice teh coal you do. We are heating the same amount of space my house is a ranch with the stove in the full basement. Where abouts are you in PA?
JKinPA
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:21 am

JKinPA, could you post a few photos of your ash, your idle fire and full fire??

Is you ash fully burnt? or is there a lot of black, unburnt coal in the ashpan??

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

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: Badog On: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:27 pm

JK,
I am in the Lehigh Valley and I am heating a 35 year old house so the insulation and windows are not that good. It does seem like you are burning a lot more coal than you should for what you are heating. I normally run my stove at about 2.5 to 3 on a scale of 1 to 5 or about 50% of its capacity by the amount of burning coal. During the coldest and windiest nights I did turn it up to 4.5 but I have not yet run it at 5.
Badog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty

Re: I must be doing something very wrong...

PostBy: JKinPA On: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:23 pm

LsFarm wrote:JKinPA, could you post a few photos of your ash, your idle fire and full fire??

Is you ash fully burnt? or is there a lot of black, unburnt coal in the ashpan??

Greg L


I will get the photos up here. There is alot of black unburnt coal in the ash pan. I'll photo that tonight when I empty.

Joe
JKinPA
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty

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