brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: grizzly2c On: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:41 pm

well i had to give it a try, I have a brunco 190. I got a 5 gal. bucket from a friend to try today. I got a good wood fire going and burned it down to hot coals almost. I then added half of the 5 gallon bucket and then the rest of the bucket in. it wont put out much heat. I have a tempguage on my stove pipe and with wood i usually try to keep it around 350-400. Its hard to even get the anthracite nut coal that hot even with the bottom ash door open. When i close it down it eventually just drops and drops temp.

I read about this problem on this forum the last couple days and this is what alot of people said would happen. what are my alternatives other than buying another stove. I havent read much about bit coal but if i am correct it is very dirty and smokey, and the smell.. I dont think this will work for me. I wonder why with even the bottom ash door open it takes way way longer than wood to get up to around 500degrees. Is there something I am missing? Is there something else I can try?

The brunco models have the forced air but no spinner on the ash door? i wonder if putting a spinner on the ash door would help? I am also think that a 5 gal bucket wasnt even enough to give it a try. The firebox is really large, I would assume i could put about 10 to 15 gallon in at 1 time to get it up to the top of the firebrick?

I appreciate any help.. Thanks
grizzly2c
 
Stove/Furnace Make: brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: 190

Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: DOUG On: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:17 pm

Well, I'm kind of grinning because you are experiencing the same results that I had with the Brunco 190.

If I did keep that beast, here is a few things that I would try.

1) Put a spinner on the ash door. I found that by leaving the ash door open too much, it would tend to cool the fire and give poor results. When the ash door was cracked open just enough and stayed where I placed it, it would heat up faster and maintain the heat better, but still very fuel hungry.

I found that I had to put at least 80 to 120 lbs of anthracite coal in it to maintain good heat.

2) Keep the feed door spinner closed and the blower fan off. When I used the blower fan, it would only forge the fire up front and quickly put the fire out. The feed door spinner would also cool an anthracite fire very fast. It was okay for wood and bit coal though.

3) Try a manual damper before the barometric draft regulator. This will hopefully keep more heat in the very large firebox to facilitate a continuous hot burn.

4) If you don't need the radiant heat from the stove in the room, line the furnace jacket with foil insulation. This will allow more heat to get to the duct work.

5) I even once thought of reducing the firebox in half, by fabricating something over the rear half of the grates and adding another layer of firebrick on top of the ones sitting on the frame. This would allow for a deeper, more compact firebox that anthracite likes to burn in.

As for the bit coal, it did burn it quite well. It was hungry, made a ton of ash, made a lot of black stringy soot throughout the stove, stovepipe, and chimney, and would back puff regularly through the feed door spinner. If you want, go ahead and try some, but don't expect the same results as wood.

The Brunco 190 is a big wood burner with shaker grates and it isn't that efficient of a wood burner either. You probably used 1/3 more wood than you really needed to heat your place with a Brunco. At least that was my experience. They are well built stoves though, but lack the efficiency in design.

You have to remember that anthracite coal is slow and lazy, but once you got it going, you can maintain a nice hot steady fire. Just be prepared to go through the fuel, it's hungry.
DOUG
 
Stove/Furnace Make: CHUBBY, D.S.MACHINE BOILER
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: grizzly2c On: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:36 pm

thanks doug for the reply. I guess i will just stick with wood. very frustrating though.. I hate the idea of using bit coal for all the soot and smell and such.. i often get a nice wood fire going and cant even see any smoke coming out of the chimney. To me thats a nice clean fire.
grizzly2c
 
Stove/Furnace Make: brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: 190

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Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: DOUG On: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:45 pm

I used to throw in a few chunks or a shovel or two of bit coal in with the wood every once and a while, when I needed the extra burn time. Small amounts of bit coal mixed in with the wood did okay and there wasn't any soot because of the hot fire and a lot of air. Just a thought.

The only thing that I didn't like when I did that was after the bit coal turned to coke, it wouldn't completely burn to ash because of the lack of under fire air. The wood likes a nice bed of ashes to burn in, so I didn't shake all that much when burning wood. It gave a better efficient wood burn that way, but the bit coal stayed unburnt.
DOUG
 
Stove/Furnace Make: CHUBBY, D.S.MACHINE BOILER
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: grizzly2c On: Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:30 am

thanks again but I dont think i want the mess. I even try to keep my wood fires good and hot.when i brush my chimney I really dont get much creosote out. My father in law burns bit coal in his garage and when he has it going it reminds me of a steam powered train. It just boggle my mind still because it burned it but just no heat from it. it was glowing red but no heat.
grizzly2c
 
Stove/Furnace Make: brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: 190

brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: grizzly2c On: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:57 pm

Well after reading and asking alot of questions on here i did something today. I awoke and removed the ash door from my brunco. I took it to a local fab/welding shop and had them install 2 spinners on the ash door. I them went to kingston supply in latrobe and bought 540lbs of nut anthracite. I got the door back around 3 this afternoon and reinstalled it. I then crumbled up a bunch of newspaper in the firebox, then took my monster maul and made kindling out of a few logs, I threw them on top and lit it. I kept the ash door wide open for most of the time trying to burn it down as quick as posibble. In the meantime I stole a rubbermade plastic garbage can out of the garage and took it down to the basement and proceeded to carry five gallon buckets down to it and filled it up. By this time my fire was good to go. i open the bypass damper by pulling out the rod, them covered the wood coals with about 1 to 2 inches of coal, I got it going real good by leaving the ash door wide open. It crackled and popped for a while, then I fully opened both spinners on the ash door and closed it up for about 10 minutes or so. I left the bypass damper open until the stack temp got around 500 then i would close it down halfway or so. I then left it run like that for 10 more minutes or so, then I added another 2 inches or so of coal and opened the ash dooor again while it crackled and popped again,then I did just like the first time partially closing the bypass damper and closing the ash door for a goos 20 minutes or so. I repeated this process about 3 more times or so until i was up to the top of the firebrick.

I have been playing with the 2 spinners on the ash door since trying to find a good sweet spot. I have the feed door spinner cracked about 1 full turn from closed. The stack temp has been really consistant at about 190 degrees. The blower that circulates the heat threw the duct work has been kicking on and off and the house is steadily rising which is now 74 degress.

When I open the feed door to look in depnding on where I have the 2 spinners on the ash door set at I can make the little blue dancing ladies threw out, or with them barely cracked can see just a few blue dancing ladies. I can see glowing red down in the bed threwout the firebox. Which do I want??

I was really concerned about burning off the volitale gases so i didnt have an explosion so I tried to take my time inbetween loading more coal on.. did I do this correctly?? The whole process took me about 1.5 to 2 hours.. Maybe I was too scared??
As I am going threw my process as above written how can you tell when you are good to fully close the damper on the stove?? What I guess I am getting at it when do you know the volitale gases are burnt off??

Thanks to all and as usual all the comments, tips and suggestions will sure be APPRECIATED !!!!!
grizzly2c
 
Stove/Furnace Make: brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: 190

Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:11 pm

It sounds like you have it burning very well, I recommend closing the spinner on the loading door now that the fire is burning, and there are no more volitiles in fresh coal to burn.. once you have the red under-glow in the coal, and have the dancing blue flames, you can safely close the feed door air vent.

Your 'damper' you describe, is this an air diverter inside the furnace ?? Not a damper in the flue pipe? if it is in the top of the furnace,and it divertes the hot air to make a less direct route to the chimney, then once the fire is burning well, slide it to the most indirect postion, this will increase the heat transfer to the furnace body,and give you more heat for the house.

Hope this helps.

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: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: grizzly2c On: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:32 pm

hi greg
Ok so close the spinner on the feed door now.. yes the damper I speek of is inside the furnace. I do not have anything installed in the flue pipe going from the back of the furnace to the chimney. The damper in the closed position makes the heat and smoke come back toward the feed door then up and out the chimney. it is manually pulled out (opening for a direct route up the flue and into the chimney) by pulling it out towards you, it is closed by pushing it in( making it a less direct route out of the chimney ) . I do not have anything installed in the flue pipe like a manual damper or a biometric damper..

so by closing the feed door spinner all the way making the only air intake from the 2 new spinners on the ash door the only source of air, no over the fire air are you fairly confident i wont have an explosion.. I am a bit paranoid about a big bang tonight. I plan on sleeping on the couch fairly close to the furnace tonight to just keep an eye on things. I dont think i am going to get much sleep as it is.. lol.. just double checking with you to be safe.. Thanks again very much..
grizzly2c
 
Stove/Furnace Make: brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: 190

Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:54 pm

I'm sure you have read the 'sticky thread' at the top of the hand fired forum titled 'minor explostion ... ' Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

In every case the explosion is the result of FRESH coal added to a hot coal base.. the FRESH coal has the volitiles that escape as the coal is heated, and without a flame to ignite the volitiles, they can accumulate untill a small flame makes it through the coal bed and ignites the volitiles all at once..

The blue flames you see are volitlles and gasses being burnt.. so once you have blue flames above the coal, you are OK to shut off the over fire air.. and let only under-fire air feed the fire.

To safely add fresh coal, you want to 'bank' the fire,, add fresh coal either only on one side or one end of the firebox.. leaving the exsisting redhot coals exposed on part of the firebed.. then, as the FRESH coal starts to warm up and give off combustible gasses, there is a flame from the redhot coals to ignite the gasses in a slower, controled manner.. then once the fresh coal has had time to get started burning, and you can see blue flames above the fresh coal, then you can add more coal and cover the rest of the firebox. This method if done with patience, over say 30-40 minutes will pretty much eliminate puff-backs.. the larger the quantiy of fresh coal added, the longer it will take to cook off the volitiles..

I would not be at all concerned about a puff back in a firebox that has visible red coals showing through the coal bed and blue flames dancing above.. this is a normal, healthy coal fire.. relax and enjoy the heat.. I'd monitor the heat output and flue temps and furnace body temps.. you don't want to create too much heat, it is just wasting fuel.. turn down the air once the house is warm..

BUT be patient !! wait at least an hour after any air adjustments to see the effect on the fire.. coal is slow to react, unlike wood..

Hope this helps.. 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: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: grizzly2c On: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:06 am

Ok And yes it helps me alot. I already shut the feed door spinner after reading your last reply. All seems well burning good. I can see tons of bright red coals all threw the underneath of the fire and the top is blanketed with smallblue flames. I am going to read on the forum a bit more and then try this couch out and get some sleep..

This maybe is just me, but this coal heat feels a bit different than the wood heat I Have used for so long.. this heat feels softer but heavy.. I dont know very hard to describe. I guess heat is heat but just something feels different tonight.. Thanks and goodnight..
grizzly2c
 
Stove/Furnace Make: brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: 190

Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: DOUG On: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:38 am

Great job! It sounds like you have it burning well. I'm curious to find out how hungry he really is and how long you can keep him going. Yes I do find anthracite coal heat to be a different kind of heat as you describe. It's not that super instant hot blazing heat like wood or bit coal, but a more even steady constant warmth. Keep us posted. Thanks for sharing. :idea: :) DOUG
DOUG
 
Stove/Furnace Make: CHUBBY, D.S.MACHINE BOILER
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: grizzly2c On: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:45 pm

I am at work now but will report in later tobight with details. So far it is still burning good and the house was very very warm.. so around 4 or 5 this evening it will be 24 hours untouched.. My wife has also had to open the door to our garage to let some cooler air into the house.. Thanks talk to you guys later..
grizzly2c
 
Stove/Furnace Make: brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: 190

Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: grizzly2c On: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:51 pm

well its 6:45 here. I just got in and it was still going strong. didnt look like the coal depth / level had dropped that much. I most likley could have just left well enough but i was anxious to try and reload. I opened the bottom door and the bypass damper and heated here up a bit. Then i shook it about 25- 30 times until I had red coals dropping then I stopped. The level then dropped way down. Next I only added about 2 or 3 small shovels of fresh coal ( about 1/4 of a 5 gallon bucket ) on the left side of fire box only. next I opened the bottom door up again and got it going real good. Lots of dancing blue flames on the left side, some yellow flames and red hot coals on the right side.. The house is extremely hot right now 78 degrees with the kitchen door open which leads to the garage. does this sound ok to you guys?? Thanks..
grizzly2c
 
Stove/Furnace Make: brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: 190

Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:05 am

Sounds great to me. It looks like you have the technical part of burning your stove down and now you have to learn the nuances. It the 78* degrees is too hot for you, turn the new air spinners down. Obviously, that will cut the air intake and produce less heat and use less coal. Remember, like Greg said in his post, coal takes a long time to respond to change so be patient. Over time you will be come familiar with how setting your spin dials impact your heat production and it will become second nature. I've found keeping a journal of temps and settings helps pinpoint this data. Knowing how low you can have the spinners open and still maintain a fire is important for spring and fall idling; when you just want to take the chill off. It's all a game of discover at this point. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: brunco forced air furnace and anthacite

PostBy: grizzly2c On: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:27 am

Thanks lisa. yes 78 is a bit warm for us but i cantclose the spinners any more they are almost shut fully now. Now this morning when i checked my ash pan I had alot of unburnt coal in it. The ash pan was rather heavy. So I am thinking I was not burning it hot enough or last night when I shook it down I shook to much, maybe to big of strokes. I am thinking maybe a bit of both. I noticed the blower on the furnace that circulates the air threw the duct work would run for about 20 minutes then off for 10 minutes. It did this on off cycle all night. Where if I burnt it a bit hotter it would just stay running.. I am wondering if the on off cycle is harder on the blower moter?? So I gues I am rather happy other than lots of unburnt coal. It is costly so I dont want to waste it. maybe someone has had this problem and can help me... Thanks
grizzly2c
 
Stove/Furnace Make: brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: 190

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