First Night Burning Coal

First Night Burning Coal

PostBy: paving2007 On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:34 pm

Well this was the first night burning coal in my stove, started out fine had a good coal bed going with the blue flame coming thru that was about 9:00 pm, went to bed @ 12:00 woke up at 3:15 am to check on stove found that half coals were out had hard time getting started, had to light wood fire back up house temp dropped to 65 deg. (not good) it was 4 deg outside with the wind blowing.

Don't know if I did something wrong or not not real sure how long the fire (coals) are supposed to last once it gets going, this is something I am going to have to work on over the weekend during the day when I can watch the stove and the coals.

Want to thank everybody for their input on getting me started, I just have to work on this to get it right so I can burn steady coal. (right now have wood in stove burning for now, to cold outside to let fire burn out in middle of night :)
paving2007
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Fire Boss
Stove/Furnace Model: Wood/Coal Fireplace Insert

PostBy: rouxzy On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:52 pm

Before you close up the stove after filling with coal make sure you have a real good fire burning. When I first fill my stove I will instantly get blue flames burning on top. If I close it up, (ash door), and walk away the fire will sometimes choke itself. What I do is let the fire burn with the ash door open for about 10-15 minutes until I get a real good fire going. Some of the flames will have a whiteish color. All stoves burn a little differently so like you said spending time experimenting on days off is a great way to figure the best routine for yourself.
Tom
rouxzy
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III
Coal Size/Type: Stove, Nut / Anthracite

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:55 pm

HI Paving, How deep was the coal on the fire?? How high are the firebrick on the sides of the firebox? The deeper the coal the better. Don't try to limit the heat by limiting the coal, instead limit or control the air.

With a good fire going, load the firebox up to the top of the firebrick. In my big boiler this take about 100# of coal!! BUT if I try to burn a shallow fire, the results are usually like what you describe.

So load it up, then throttle back the air once it is going nicely.

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

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coal bed thickness

PostBy: paving2007 On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:02 pm

Hi Greg,

I am not sure on the of fire brick on a coal burner, but mine stand up which I think are 9 1/2" wasn't really sure how much to load up in stove I used about 1 1/2 bags of nut coal to get started = +/-60#
I wa afraid to put to much in didn't want it to fall out of the front when I open my doors to check on it
I am going to take a picture of the stove and post it on here to let you see it and maybe you can point me in the right direction

Thanks,
Tony
paving2007
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Fire Boss
Stove/Furnace Model: Wood/Coal Fireplace Insert

Pictures of wood/coal Burning stove

PostBy: paving2007 On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:20 pm

here are a couple of pics of my stove it is a fireplace insert
don't really know if it helps any tried to get good picture of inside but too hot lol
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paving2007
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Fire Boss
Stove/Furnace Model: Wood/Coal Fireplace Insert

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:27 pm

Hi Tony, I have to use a garden hoe to push the coal towards the back of the firebox. I like to mound the coal in the middle.

Like Tom said above, make sure the coal is really going well before you shut down the air. And like Tom said each stove and chimney is different, and the weather plays a big part in how a chimney draws, which will change how the air control will make the fire burn.

For example, if you have the ash door open and a real hot fire going, the chimney will draw strong. Once you close the ash door the fire will cool some and this will reduce the draft from the chimney, which will reduce the air through the fire. So you need to check on the fire after an hour or so to make sure your air is enough or too much.

It's not unusual to have a few days of learning before it all 'clicks', It took me MUCH more than a few weeks!! :lol:


Greg.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: coalkirk On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:46 pm

Tony,

In the pictures Isee you are burning wood and you have the combustion air vents in the doors open. When you are buring coal, do you close the air in the door and just have the lower air vent open?
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

PostBy: rouxzy On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:55 pm

Good eyes Tony. He's right you want all the draft coming from under the coal.
Tom
rouxzy
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III
Coal Size/Type: Stove, Nut / Anthracite

PostBy: tstove On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:29 pm

Hi paving,I noticed on your pics the stove thermometer needle was pinned all the way over to the high side.Is it broke or is the stove that hot :shock: .Also I noticed some smoke stains on your brick, is that your insert stack pipe leaking or previous stains from the fireplace? Good luck!
tstove
 
Stove/Furnace Make: russo,gibralter
Stove/Furnace Model: c-55,cfi

Thermometor needle

PostBy: paving2007 On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:34 pm

Thermometor is @150 deg off waiting for new one this week
I usally burn the wood @ 650 deg in the stove
the brick is from previous owners of house from using the fireplace (no insert)

the 2 draft knobs in the doors I shut all the way and open the ash pan draft all the way when I was burning the coal
paving2007
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Fire Boss
Stove/Furnace Model: Wood/Coal Fireplace Insert

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:50 pm

Tony, you have a rather low threshold just inside your doors, you could go to a lumber yard or masonry sales store and buy a couple of firebrick to make a higher front wall so you can stack the coal deeper at the front.

This is what I do in my boiler. I never knew when I designed it that I needed a 18" deep firebox!! I stack three firebrick horozontally, this is 4.5"x 3=13.5" high front wall.

Just be VERY carefull about knockiing the red-hot firebrick out of the doorway onto the floor, first they are hot enough to burn you through leather gloves [don't ask], and second they will ignite any paper or kindling they land on. [again, don't ask :) ] My boiler is out in an outbuilding, not attached to any other structures. Make sure you have a non flamable floor in front of the stove.

Let us know how you do in the morning. I'm off to load the night's coal in the boiler.

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

PostBy: keyman512us On: Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:46 am

Hi All...
...I have a question similar to Tony's. How do you build a good all around coal fire? What i mean (since I use a boiler) is good volume,hot with most BTU output? Any secrets? When you say "ashpan air"(underfire), vs "loading door air" (overfire)what is the best ratio? 20 or 30 to 1? No overfire air at all(let the chimney draft give it air)? I have been reading and am interested in the draft portion because that seems to be the key?

...I know what Tony is getting at...wood throws out quick heat for a short time, vs coal throwing out the same heat just over a little longer time.

Kind of like the difference between running 100yard dash vs a 10k marathon?

Firing with wood is childs play...coal is a science with a hell of a learning curve...thanks in advance for the teachings.

LsFarm...we need to talk more on good coal fires.
keyman512us
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:03 pm

Hi Dustin, there is no single answer to your question about building a good all around coal fire.

The reason is there are so many variables. The stove or boiler design, natural draft or a combustion blower, the chimney, short or tall, windy or calm. Cold outside or warm.

I can answer your question about the under fire vs over fire combustion air. If you are burniing anthracite coal, you don't want any over fire air. If you are burning bituminous coal you may want a little overfire air during the first hour after adding fresh coal. This is to burn off the volitiles from the bitum coal.

In general large coal burns hotter, and faster. Smaller coal lets less air through the coal bed, so the coal burns slower and with less heat. When I 'm hand feeding my boiler, I use wood to start a fire, and add stove size coal to get a good hot fire going to bring the water up to temp. Then I may add a bag of nut coal to slow the burn rate down, but usually I just let the aquastat control the combustion blower to control the burn rate. If it is warm out, and I'm getting too hot, I'll place a magnetic plate over the blower inlet to partially block the natural draft air.

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

Visit Hitzer Stoves