Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: BlackDog On: Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:57 am

Have been burning nut in my Harman MKII for many years with great success. I normally burn wood until about mid December when the temps drop then switch to coal until early spring. This year due to the wife being pregnant I did a poor job of building a good wood and coal supply for the winter (I know, poor planning on my part). When the time came to switch to coal I ran into the coal shortage wall and was forced to buy from a local supplier, none of the breakers would sell me enough to justify the cost of driving to get what they would limit me to buy. Picked up a ton of Blaschak pea (they were out of nut) and began to burn. I have burned their nut before and loved it, but this is a different animal entirely. Any one here in PA can attest to the roller coaster of temps we have had here and that is where my problems start. I love the way the pea coal will sit and idle all day and night when the temps are warm, and when It gets cold I can fire it hot and get plenty of heat... Problem I have is when the temps outside change quick like they have been it is hard to adapt. After a long slow burn, 24 hr. or so when it is above freezing, my recovery time is abysmal at best. I can do a shake down and reload at 9 pm and it will be at least midnight before my stack temps break 200 and the house temps drop considerably in that time. Hopefully next month I am heading to the breaker and grab a few ton of nut, but is there any tricks that anyone has for burning the pea? I have to keep the wife and kids happy until then.
BlackDog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mk II

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: EasyRay On: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:17 am

After you reload try running the stack temperature up to about 200 or 250 before you make the final primary setting. Don't forget that pea needs more air than nut to run the same temperature. Also try leaving your MPD open if you are using one. If you are using a barometric damper try covering with tin foil to increase your draft on those warm days.
EasyRay
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman TLC 2000
Coal Size/Type: Pea,Nut or Stove

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: BlackDog On: Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:49 am

I do wait until the stack temps rise before setting my air intake, still takes forever and a day for the temperature to come up. Think I have found a work around, I run the stack up to about 400 before loading fresh coal. Get a few klinkers doing it that way but it gets me by until I can switch to nut in the coming weeks.
BlackDog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mk II

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Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: EasyRay On: Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:09 am

Another thing to try is not loading all at once. Try loading a layer at a time with the increase temperature. Another way is to load the center and let that get going and then finish off with the sides. I usually just get the stove temperature up to about 300 before loading, but everyones draft situation is different. Trial and error and what works best for your set up.
EasyRay
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman TLC 2000
Coal Size/Type: Pea,Nut or Stove

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: buck24 On: Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:46 pm

BlackDog..... Sounds to me like you are not getting enough air through the coal bed. It shouldn't take that long bring the hot fire back after reloading. Try this, after a good shakedown and you have a nice even glow in the ash pan, start your reload. Do this by adding coal in steps ( 2 or 3 times ) not all at once. Your manual damper should be wide open and your air slot for draft on the ash door should be fully opened. After your second step of adding some coal Poke through the coal a couple of times nice and easy from the top with a 1/4" inch straight rod about 2' long to get through the whole bed down to the grate and a little below it. You will feel it when its through. You want to get all the way through so the air flows from under the grates and through the coal easier. Sometimes with pea coal you have to help it out a little bit to get a bit more air flowing through. You could also do this from the bottom of the grate through the coal bed with a poker if you have enough room. My Buck 24 has enough room that I can do this from the top or bottom. You should notice a big difference after poking a few air paths through the pea coal. Give it a try and see what happens. Then after the poking process and the fire is burning good set your mpd and your ash door draft.
buck24
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: New Buck Corp. / MODEL 24 COAL
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut / Anthracite

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:33 pm

BlackDog wrote:...8<...After a long slow burn, 24 hr. or so when it is above freezing, my recovery time is abysmal at best. I can do a shake down and reload at 9 pm and it will be at least midnight before my stack temps break 200 and the house temps drop considerably in that time. Hopefully next month I am heading to the breaker and grab a few ton of nut, but is there any tricks that anyone has for burning the pea? I have to keep the wife and kids happy until then.


Another likely situation deduced from the above quote is the fire is thin after 24 hr. Disturbing a thin fire in any manner could nearly kill it. Next time, before you shake give it lots of air to liven up the fire. Don't shake the grates first. Add a good ( 1-2") layer of coal leaving a strong spot of the mother fire open. Feed allot of air to it and the layer will catch fire. Once this layer is going well and showing blue flames and some new red coals, add another layer covering the original fire. Keep the extra air feeding. When the blue flames appear on the second layer, it's OK to rod down to the grates like suggested in the previous post but don't stir it up, just poke the rod thru to the grates in three or four places. When the layers constitute ~5" and the fire is strong it's time to shake.

Works for me! I rare cases I've had to add some split hardwood kindeling ontop of the thin fire. It's not so much to add heat to the new layer that follows but to kick up the draft before layering.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: Bootstrap On: Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:06 pm

I'd never poke a rod through the coals.... If you don't get enough heat from pea coal or you don't like the long ramp up/down times you should get nut.
When reloading I just open the MPD then the ashpan door. Let the fire ramp up for a little while and add new coal. After the new stuff catches I shake it down and add more. Process involves about 10 minutes of work twice per day. Piece of cake. Never poke a rod through or disturb the fire in any way- thats my motto.
Bootstrap
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 30-95

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: BlackDog On: Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:33 pm

Think I have it figured out, though we haven't had an abrupt change in temp to test it out. The problem was definitely air flow related. Breaking the bed up a bit solved the problems. Never had to worry about that with nut. Now I am actually considering buying more pea since we are having a mostly mild winter and I find it a bit easier to idle at a lower temp then nut. All in all a successful experiment.
BlackDog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mk II

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: buck24 On: Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:18 pm

Glad to see you got it figured out. Pea is a little different than the nut. I burned nut, range, and pea coal and out of the three I like the pea the best. Burn safe and stay warm.
buck24
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: New Buck Corp. / MODEL 24 COAL
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut / Anthracite

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: dlj On: Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:19 pm

Bootstrap wrote:I'd never poke a rod through the coals.... If you don't get enough heat from pea coal or you don't like the long ramp up/down times you should get nut.
When reloading I just open the MPD then the ashpan door. Let the fire ramp up for a little while and add new coal. After the new stuff catches I shake it down and add more. Process involves about 10 minutes of work twice per day. Piece of cake. Never poke a rod through or disturb the fire in any way- thats my motto.


I guess whatever works for you works. But I poke the fire, move it around, change how the coal sits in it, will even completely mix it all up sometimes. It all depends upon what I'm doing with the fire. It will also sit there for days on end with only shake and fill, shake and fill.

But, I poke through the fire a lot...

dj
dlj
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Baseheater #6
Coal Size/Type: Stove coal
Other Heating: Oil Furnace, electric space heaters

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: buck24 On: Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:30 am

dlj....... I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who pokes through the coal bed if I think she needs that little bit more airflow. You learn some tricks when your burning coal for 32 years. :secret:
buck24
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: New Buck Corp. / MODEL 24 COAL
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut / Anthracite

Re: Pea coal vs. chestnut coal vs. stove coal

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:14 am

Duengeon master wrote:Stove coal will burn better with lower draft than nut. I would experiment with both before making a commitment. Don't experiment like Al Gore and global warming, use real numbers. :bang:

Very true about the better burn with low draft. I burned my first ton of nut and thought all was good. Well, I was having a hard time getting more nut and one supplier just recieved a load and most of it was stove size and they kept putting me off with a ton of nut. I think it was promised to someone else and the person wouldn't pick it up, becauuse they told me they were out and I kept seeing 2 ton on the ground. To make a long story short, I had no choice but to get a ton of stove size and I'm liking it. Puts out all kinds of heat when needed and I'm able to calm it down on low draft sunny days. This is day 7 on it and I've been able to cut back to one shake a day and every once and a while I throw 7 or 8 chunks in and walk away for 5 or 6 hrs. Maybe the 30 yr. old stove I bought was made for it, don't know, don't care. Like a member states, "if it ain't broke, don't @%#$ with it."
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: dlj On: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:54 pm

buck24 wrote:dlj....... I'm glad to see that I am not the only one who pokes through the coal bed if I think she needs that little bit more airflow. You learn some tricks when your burning coal for 32 years. :secret:


Buck,

I've never figured out where the idea came from that you shouldn't touch a fire... I guess it may be dependent upon the stove, but I've never met a stove yet that I couldn't mess with the fire some and get it running more to what I want... Especially if you're trying to get it going hotter. Now if I'm trying to make it run cooler, I won't poke through it, but I may pack it down and smooth over the top... I guess coal burning for me started when I was a kid and used to watch my Grandfather run our big old coal furnace. He had big long tools to work with the fire. He'd pull out clinkers, move the fire around, poke it to get it going well. I used to love to go down to the basement with him to load it up. Once in the morning, once at night. As I got older then I'd do it without anybody's help. I used to go down and sit in the furnace room and enjoy the heat and the fire. I must have been about 10 when they finally got rid of the coal furnace and put in a oil furnace. I got my Glenwood a few years later, I think when I was somewhere between 12 and 14. Later learned blacksmithing and man, that was an education in how to run a coal fire. Of course, that was all soft coal, but talk about playing with a coal fire - had to learn how to run that fire controlling the balance of air and fuel to make it exactly as required for whatever was being forged... Got to the point where I was reproducing samurai swords - that requires fire and temperature control that is way beyond anything approached in a stove for heating...

I play with the fire in my stove way more than I need to, just 'cuse I like to... But sometimes, it is because of need... Yeap, after many years of burning coal, you learn some tricks...

dj
dlj
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Baseheater #6
Coal Size/Type: Stove coal
Other Heating: Oil Furnace, electric space heaters

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: mof1964 On: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:35 pm

I just installed a coal chubby and am burning nut coal and it is burning hot. I have to have the air cut back to about a 1/16 of an inch to keep the stove temp around 325. The manual pipe damper is closed also.
I am wondering if anyone has topped off the nut with buck coal( have this for my stoker) and it that would let me open the air vent more and still keep the temp and give me a longer slower burn?


Thanks,

Mitch
mof1964
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Coal Chubby

Re: Pea Coal Vs. Chestnut Coal Vs. Stove Coal

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:52 pm

Mitch

Before you cut back the air what was the temperature of the Chubby?
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

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