Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

PostBy: hyway61 On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:16 am

Got home late last night to find a dying fire in the Russo and not much draft to work with. Emptied ash pan and left ash door open but no response. Did some careful poking to feed oxygen. Took an envirobrick and squirted some charcoal starter on it and let it soak and placed on the weak fire...this has worked before and heated the system rather quickly....only the fire didn't take off this time. So far radical stuff with the squirt of starter, but did squirt alittle more against all cautions into the stove on the envirobrick, but fire still didn't flare. Was cooking dinner and resigned myself to starting a new fire from scratch....when KABOOM....volatiles ignited all at once...ash door was open with empty ash pan thankfully. Living room was instantly filled with weapons grade micro ash...not good. Cleanup was Okay and air cleaner did it's job, and wife not home.. :| Damaged my baro, too. Good news is I saved the fire. So guys .... DON'T DO THIS...DON'T TAKE STUPID SHORTCUTS WITH VOLATILE MATERIALS. BE CAREFUL AND FOLLOW THE RULES.


hyway61
hyway61
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Russo
Stove/Furnace Model: C-55

Re: Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

PostBy: no74falcon On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:50 am

hyway61. I am a new memeber here and very happy I found this forum. I think my very first post was on how NOT to use lighter fluid on charcoal to light your coal stove. I had a very bad experience doing that. I lost hair on my head, eye lashes, eye brows, and got some really nice blisters on my right ear, right side of my face, and the back of my right hand. Thing was, my mother had used the technique several times and so had I. Not really sure what happened that night (heavy air or bad draft?) Won't do that again!

Not sure how to move a link to the thread here but it is titled "Charcoal to light a coal stove" and it is here in the "Hand Fired" section.
no74falcon
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: 2) Leisure Line Pioneers
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: 1) Hitzer 82FA, 1) Newmac WG100
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer, Newmac, Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 82FA, WG100, Pioneer

Re: Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

PostBy: SMITTY On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:55 am

I've been lighting mine that way for almost 5 years now. The only way lighter fluid will flare up is if you put it on something that's already burning. If it's cold, it burns like diesel ... nice, slow & controlled.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

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Re: Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

PostBy: hyway61 On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:58 pm

I believe charcoal lighter fluid is just kerozene. I have used sparingly and have soaked envirobricks with a little of this fluid and have been able to light with no kindling. I think what happen is my stove was warm enough to volatilize the fluid, draft did not pull it up the chimney, and gas built up in the burn box....then when the gas finally met a hot coal....KABOOM...it went up all at once. Ash door was open and I got the mother of all puff backs!. Think I will have to re-think this technique...maybe just avoid it. Did save the fire though.
Looks like the baro got a bent stop and should be OKay when I bend it back when cool enough. Anyway that means this stove has been going for about 5 weeks nonstop with that 'save'... 8-) Be careful.

hyway61
hyway61
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Russo
Stove/Furnace Model: C-55

Re: Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

PostBy: Maxie105 On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:58 pm

What you did wrong was squirting fuel onto hot coals which smoldered and produced gas that filled the fire box stove and chimney. When a spark hit the gas the ignition took place, any time you put fuel on hot coals this will happen. Soak charcoal in the fluid, I use kerosene, and be sure to light a piece of paper or use a propane torch to start it immediately before fumes start to build. It is best not to do this at all but can be done if you are in a rush.PLEASE BE CAREFUL.
Maxie105
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93

Re: Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:04 pm

I believe charcoal lighter fluid is just kerozene.


It's closer to Mineral Spirits.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

PostBy: no74falcon On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:14 pm

Back to my mistake... After that I just used dry charcoal and a propane torch and it worked just fine. But that was with a stoker so I guess it's easier said than done with a handfired as the combustion fan helped a lot I'm sure.
no74falcon
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: 2) Leisure Line Pioneers
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: 1) Hitzer 82FA, 1) Newmac WG100
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer, Newmac, Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 82FA, WG100, Pioneer

Re: Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

PostBy: CoaLen On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:34 pm

Glad you've recovered and shared your story with us.

hyway61 wrote: ....and wife not home....


I've got this visual of a guy racing around the room with a vacuum cleaner hose in one hand and a dust rag in the other, cleaning up as fast as he can while watching out the window! :lol:
CoaLen
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Coal Size/Type: rice

Re: Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

PostBy: gerard On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:51 pm

no74falcon wrote:Back to my mistake... After that I just used dry charcoal and a propane torch and it worked just fine. But that was with a stoker so I guess it's easier said than done with a handfired as the combustion fan helped a lot I'm sure.

You saved me a post. I don't care if you CAN use lighter fluid safely indoors. It's a dumb idea. (this from someone who's done his share of dumb things!) A propane torch is about as easy and safe as you can light either charcoal, wood, etc. I like flammable liquids but only on outdoor fires :shock:
gerard
 
Stove/Furnace Make: yukon dual fuel
Stove/Furnace Model: husky

Re: Don't do this...The Last Days of Pompeii..

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:12 pm

When I saw the title of this thread I couldn't help but smile. I've had an explosion or two myself, but not from lighter fluid; my problem was adding too much coal at once and having the gases ignite.

I sometimes split a piece of firewood into 1" square pieces and put them in a pail with about an inch of fuel oil in the bottom, the wood soaks up the fuel oil overnight. When it's time to start the boiler, I lay down a bed of crumpled newspaper, put a few of the "fuel oil sticks" on top, some small pieces of plain firewood, and touch it off...once it is going good I start slowly adding coal.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

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