draft problems ??

draft problems ??

PostBy: mikey55 On: Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:46 am

as i have stated before this is my second year burning coal.i have a keystoker ka-6 boiler with a masonary chimney.my first year when we fired up it was already cold 40 for highs and after some adjusting on the feed screw everything worked great.in spring i switched to oil for hot water.this fall when i fired up the stoker i had some sulpher smell and temps of boiler were low.after playing with the adjustments i got temps to where they should be.i also cleaned the pipe (fines had elbow almost closed off)so i thought that was causing my smell.when winter set in and temps stayed cold not above 40 everything was fine .now that temps are 50-70 during the days i am noticing the sulpher smell again.checked pipe it was not plugged.at night when temps drop back down smell seems to go away. but when i get home from work and its been warm the smell is there.i do have a co upstairs in living area that has not gone off yet.is there something i can do to inrcease the draft when its warm out.i have been told that a masonary chimney does not draft as well when warm.i am not sure what a mano is. i have heard that mentioned on here before. i do have a automatic damper installed.thanks for any help you can offer.
Stoker Coal Boiler: key stoker ka6
Stove/Furnace Model: ka6

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Re: draft problems ??

PostBy: ceccil On: Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:10 am

Here is a link to the KB on this site. This will explain what a manometer is and what it does.


A manometer is perhaps one of the most important tools used for a coal burning appliance. This will ensure your getting the proper draft when running. It is also a good tool to give you an idea of when your exhaust pipes need to be cleaned.

There are a number of different types of mano's out there that will work for you. The Dwyer Mark II model 25 is probably the most common and least expensive of them. They can be found on ebay rather cheap, usually anywhere from $20 and up.

You can alo purchase a draft inducer to help during warmer periods if this is an issue. I'm not famaliar with these so I won't go into detail about them. Some other member are using them and may comment here shortly.

Here is a pic a my mano.
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Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Mark III

Re: draft problems ??

PostBy: plumb-r On: Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:26 am

I had a similar problem the other night. In the evening my wife complained of a egg smell, and I just dissmissed it. Later that night or early the next morning(4:00 am) we were awaken by the co detectors going off. I shut down and vented the house out. It sounds as though you are right on the verge of the same thing. Do you have any co detectors? I think it's warm enough that you are not creating enough draft. There is I think a manometer loaner program. It's a gauge used to check draft.Be very carefull and don't dissmiss what I think could be some warning signs. You could either steep up the burn rate to create more draft or possiably extend chimney higher to solve the problem. Shut down if your not sure of the draft. Better cold than dead. I'm sure some one with more info will chime in shortly. :)
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 608 Energy Master I Stoker

Re: draft problems ??

PostBy: WNY On: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:00 pm

What type of chimney? Outside/Inside? That may have an effect running low/idle. You can't get the air to heat up enough to pull a good draft out of the stove at idle. Yes, check it with a Manometer (Draft Gauge) first. Sometimes you have to turn the idle up a bit to overcome the coldness of the chimney pipes to maintain a good draft.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: draft problems ??

PostBy: Bratkinson On: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:23 pm

We've had record-breaking warmth this week in western MA, so I "throttled down" my Channing III to a hair above "2" on the dial.

Remembering last years' warmer days in spring and this past November, I was expecting the return of some rotten-egg smell, as the 60+ year old masonry chimney on this house doesn't draw very well above 50 or so. Remembering, too, my CO problem one warm day this past November to which I came home from work to multiple CO alarms merrily chirping away and a woozy dog, I figured I'd open a couple of windows a bit, to disapate any smell and/or CO, should it occur.

But I also made a couple of changes, too. In January, I upgraded my baro to a Field Controls "Type M"...==well worth the investment==!!! Much better draft control and, surprisingly, NO sulfur/eggs smell, even when it was 75 during the day yesterday! The lowest draft reading I saw was 0.01 yesterday. Most of the week, it was 0.15 - 0.25. Far better results than with the cheapo baro I bought when I got the stove 13 months ago.

I also put a small window fan in my 2nd floor bedroom window, set at 'low', pulling air into the house. This had the effect of "pressurizing" the house a bit, and possibly contributed to the absence of smell and CO.

As I have digital Nighthawk CO detectors that show have a 'highest level' feature, I checked every day this week. ZERO every day!

In short, a couple of minor changes, and "viva la difference"!
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III
Other Heating: Gas FA
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III

Re: draft problems ??

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:51 pm

It makes a huge difference to open a window and provide a fresh air source to the 'box' that the chimney is trying to pull air out of.

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

Re: draft problems ??

PostBy: mikey55 On: Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:25 am

thanks for the suggestions.chimney is masonary (new) 3 years ago.the chimney runs inside the house.i do have co detector that we our watching close.going away in april so i will shut down for a week and then use my hated oil.when i get back i will install a draft gauge and clean pipe and boiler.then i will fire it back up and see how it works.i'll let you know .
Stoker Coal Boiler: key stoker ka6
Stove/Furnace Model: ka6

Re: draft problems ??

PostBy: oliver power On: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:47 pm

One more thought; Close the intake air a little. With a stoker, the fan pushes the air to the fuel. If the chimney draft can not exaust the air being pushed, you need to push less air. you want to push less air than the chimney can take away.
oliver power
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II), D.S. 1600 Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)

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