Alaska Kodiak stoker, problems getting it to fire up

Alaska Kodiak stoker, problems getting it to fire up

PostBy: pjb153 On: Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:32 am

I recently bought a used Alaska Kodiak model. I am not sure of the exact model number, it has the hidden hopper in the left side wing and the coal shoot comes in from that side. It is a stoker and seems to run fine mechanically, but I am having trouble getting it to fire. I cleaned the stove up, ran the motor to make sure the carpet was moving, fan was blowing.. all seems to operate. The carpet has a chunk taken out of it at the very end (almost like a bite mark) and I am not sure how much is missing. The coal I was using was a little wet and I tried to fire it with the starter bags. Draft was good and I ran the motor and watched the coal push down the shoot.

I have a few questions: The wing-nut to adjust the distance between the carpet bracket and the end of the rotating motor arm... what is a good setting to ensure that I do not push the hot coal off the shoot (seems the second time I lit the bag last night it did that)? Also, the carpet.. if worn out and broken on the very end.. will it make a huge difference in the function of the stove. It seemed to push the coal, but when on the return stroke.. it also seemed to drag some coal backwards, even just a tiny bit.

I suppose I am looking for all the advice I can get to make the stove run and run well.

Thanks for your help.
pjb153
 

Re: Alaska Kodiak stoker, problems getting it to fire up

PostBy: Matthaus On: Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:38 am

pjb153 wrote:I have a few questions: The wing-nut to adjust the distance between the carpet bracket and the end of the rotating motor arm... what is a good setting to ensure that I do not push the hot coal off the shoot.........


I believe you have the Alaska fireplace insert model, if the grate is 5.5" wide you have the 5k to 38K btu unit (the 5k to 85k unit is 7.5" wide). For the unit to work properly the carpet must be whole, you have one that appearsto be at the end of it's life.

In my experience there should be around 5/8" space between the adjuster and the carpet when pushing coal, then you can use the rheostat to adjust the heat output. Since the carpet is extremely worn you will have to play with that. I have found the best way to adjust it is to start with a small fire and then gradually increase it to the point of just having burning coals go into the ash pan and then back it off a tad. Also you didn't mention what rheostat setting you have been running.

Additionally I usually take the end nut off when lighting the unit so that no coal is pushed until it gets going (this allows the blower to run withut pushing coal). The drawback of this unit is that the ratio of combustion air to stoker operation is not linear since they are operated off the same motor. 1/2 speed on the motor results in only 1/4 the air and so on. I have been using a Broan 688 bathroom fan turned on it's side so that the outlet adds combustion air at low fire settings (it feeds the combustion fan inlet).

I'm no expert since I only starteds burning coal in Sept 2006, but I have several of the old style Alaska stokers I have been playing with and have figured out a few things.

Hope this helps, keep posting your results and don't give up till you get the stove running right. :)
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

PostBy: pjb153 On: Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:48 am

I called around to price the carpet.. I need to take it out and go get one.. I am really not sure what model I have and i am at work, so I can't measure it right now.

I have no rheostat hooked up so the motor is running at ful bore. I think between the combination of wet coal and the carpet being near the end of its life.. I need to do a little more work on it and play with the settings.

Also, this model has a fan that blows air into the motor/hopper wing from the back of the stove. that might help only with cooling the motor.. not sure.
pjb153
 

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PostBy: Matthaus On: Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:10 pm

pjb153 wrote:I called around to price the carpet.. I need to take it out and go get one..
Also, this model has a fan that blows air into the motor/hopper wing from the back of the stove. that might help only with cooling the motor.. not sure.


You could actually make the carpet out of .125 steel with a little work and a vice. Or you can cut it off square and butt weld an extension on. If you call Alaska @ (570)387-0260, they can steer you to the closest parts source (if you didn't already do that). Are you anywhere near Scranton PA? I could give you a hand with fixing the one you have.

The blower you are seeing is the combustion blower, it is on the same shaft as the stoker gear box. One other thing I forgot about is the grate is probably plugged with fines (little broken pieces of coal). The grate will lift up once you remove the carpet. Might have to tap it with a wooden mallet to get it out. There is a piece of stove gasket rope with a metal stiffener in it at the back. Just pay attention how it was in there as you remove the grate. I definitely think you should clean the air holes in the grate.

The other thing is the stove will work better with a rheostat, I have some extras if you don't have any other source to get one (you can even make your own by buying them from discount motor warehouse or similar and assembling with common electrical parts form Home Depot). Actually you really need two, one for the stoker and one for the distribution fan.

PM me if you like with your phone number and I can give you a call when you are going to try it again.

Hang in there you will get it! :roll:
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

PostBy: pjb153 On: Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:07 pm

Matthaus,

Thanks for the help. The stove is running strong. I am confident enough to spend the time and effort in replacing the broken glass and replacing all of the seals. The fan is shot though. I got it blowing air, but then it quit on me again. It would be nice to get that hot air off of the stove.

I will probably run the Kodiak smaller BTU until I get the 85 BTU stove in. Then I am giving the stove to my father to run for next season (he still has larger coal to burn up yet this year).

It is amazing on how sensitive the fire is to the turns of the red wing nut on the threaded carpet arm. Two or three spins one way or another and the fire is either burning in the middle of the shoot at a lower heat or almost falling into the ash pan and putting out allot more heat. I am sure I can play around with this stove and drive my self nuts fine tuning.
pjb153
 

PostBy: Matthaus On: Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:45 pm

Glad to see you are keeping warm with it! :thumbleft:

Let me know if you want to repair the carpet, am getting my stoves out of the corners I have them stashed in this weekend so will be in the repair mode. :)
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

PostBy: stokerstove On: Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:21 pm

pjb153, on my Alaska, 2 -3 turns makes a world of difference! I experimented with all kinds of settings and when I found the lowest that would keep the fire going I put a locknut on the threaded rod to prevent turning it down any further. From there I rarely turn it up more than 3 turns, on the rare occasion I'll turn it up 4, but the coals are close to pushing off the grate.
Your stove may be different, but in my manual Alaska recommends only moving it 1 turn at a time and waiting for the stove to adjust.
stokerstove
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Kodiak Stokerstove 1

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