Lighting nut coal

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:31 pm

gerard,are you talking face cord--I never heard of that till I came to NY--a cord is 4x4x8--not this sissy Ny face cord which breaks down to 1/3 of a grown up cord :lol:
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:50 pm

Gerard, yes like you say that's a furnace, and I'm unfamiliar with the ones that take wood. I'd imagine it fired on its own when heat was needed, somehow, over it being a a continual hot burn? I say that because creosote buildup like that comes from heavy smoke. When people do wood stoves and try to keep the heat low they make a smokey fire, there's your creosote.

You're right though that wood has this fault, period. I had a forced hot air system in a prior place and did oil, no wood options there, but I would have still chosen oil as well for a furnace if so.

Rick 386 wrote:Soooooooooooooooooooooo,

Cold coal, how did you make out overnight ????? :hangover:



:smoke:


Lol, I liked the cig smoking emoticon as I was enjoying one as I saw it.

Ummmm, well, I didn't want to say anything as I've said a lot and caused a ruckus, but thanks for asking. I dunno man, I added another 25 pounds last night, even a little more after that pic as Pocono said to (I was ok with that as it stood, turns out it needed way more, maybe) I let new coals cook last night 15 mins, all red bed fast, sauna room with stack temp 310. Turned dial from 21/2 to 1 3/4 for the night. This morn I had a happy nice glow in the window, but all a mirage! Opened it up to loads of gray outside-black inside coals and in the middle back a fairly bright orange 3" x 5" x 2" glowing area, no flames. Shook down, it got dimmer fast. Poked the rest through that was breakable around edges, but even under glowing patch was a bed of gray ash that manic rapid fire shakes for 3 mins did nothing for, so I smacked it on top a few times. That made that ash break and fall. Opened ash door and let it sit 5 mins to heat up, added thin layer of coal with spaces as this looked in need of a gradual build. The coal put atop of gray remaining bricks was crackling a little so I had hope. On orange it crackled more but after the past 5 mins still no flames...so hope was limited. Kept ash door open 15 mins, listened from across the room as crackling dissipated, 15 mins later all dark and cold. Looked at forecast, said ''oh 41, nice day!'' Didn't relight. I'm ok with cold hands in one room with a radiator on, but yeah it's getting cold again and the whole house is feeling it, but I'd rather save the last bag plus stove leftovers for when I really feel it too since ain't nothin' new comin' til Monday anyway, lol. So yeah it failed, so the technical isn't so easy, what do I know. Maybe more coal, maybe 15 mins cooking new was too long, maybe the turn to 1 3/4, maybe smacking what may have lived even though it was flame-less, maybe I shouldn't have shaken down until after new coals baked on top since it was brighter then, maybe a few or even of all of these.

Thanks for asking again, I appreciate it, and go enjoy the Holiday with your 'peeps'!
:shots: :shots: :shots:
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: mason coal burner On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:31 pm

i have been watching this post from the start and i can't beleave how rude so of these guys have been . this is the first time i've seen this here . don't give up you won't regret it . i started burning coal last year . i will NEVER burn anything but coal . to compare coal comsumption to wood you need to burn coal for a little while . at least a week or so . to make a fair compairison you need to compare what temp you are keeping the house at with coal compared to wood . i'm not sure why your not getting longer burns . the only things i can think of is you sould redo the gaskets on the doors and install a barometeric damper . you can get a barometeric damper at some hardware stores , homedepot or lowes . i'm heating a 1780's 2700 sq ft drafty house burning 50- 60 lbs per day . only fill it twice a day . leaves time for other stuff . my time is worth alot . plus it has turned in to a hobby and i've made alot of friends here that i can rant with . get a CO detector when your at the hardware store for all of our peace of mind . its not worth the risk going without it . keep this post going til you get coal burning down . don't be afraid to ask any questions here . let us now how you progress . you can still partisipate here even if you don't switch to coal .
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:36 pm

mason coal burner wrote:i have been watching this post from the start and i can't believe how rude so of these guys have been . this is the first time i've seen this here . don't give up you won't regret it .


Lol, well most meant well. Sure one could perhaps make the point that people complaining how I leave after 9 pages of advice... yet they themselves appear nowhere in that 9 pages. I myself would never be so sarcastic and point this out.

And yeah as far as learning a new method and quitting because it's too hard, my underlying issue remains what's cheaper. Simple as that. I can see the stove needs work, I'm re-firing it now for the 1st time in a day and a half. Had a cold breeze downdraft for a minute until pipe heated, smoke comes through glass seams when draft is down if you close ash door, it's all good.. I made some tasty ribs with it. (jk) Anyway 2 wood fires later and it's catching slowly.

As to these barometric dampers I read good and bad. I read good here, but what's your thoughts on this Mason, or anyone?

There are two techniques we know of to reduce chimney updraft, and both involve some attendant risk. Barometric dampers, often used in conjunction with oil-burning furnaces, are installed in the stovepipe and have an adjustable, weighted flapper that is drawn inward by the updraft, allowing room air to enter the pipe to reduce chimney updraft in much the same way as the thumb slide on a vacuum cleaner hose reduces suction power below. The problem with barometric dampers is, the reduced updraft might adversely affect the secondary burn, reducing efficiency and increasing emissions. Further, the intrusion of room-temperature air into the flue cools the flue gases, causing increased creosote formation. Finally, if the increased formation of creosote leads to a chimney fire, the resulting extreme updraft will pull the barometric damper WIDE open, and could allow the chimney fire to rage out of control.

http://chimneysweeponline.com/hoxdraft.htm

:shock:

Plus if your starting with a downdraft like today it seems it would be insanity, maybe they lock for such instances, either way that won't happen this season wood or coal.

I did find the pieces of the missing firebrick and popped them in place though!

Shakedown seems to be my biggest hurdle as I think if I had gotten ash out from under what was lit yesterday morning enough oxygen coming up would have made new light. I might see why when looking at this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-voDLom7 ... re=related

I notice his grates go in 2 directions, mine tilt forward and back to level, not back from level as well. Mine's like a slot machine arm, one way only. Broken? Supposed to be that way? Either way I best get back to this, I got it to light after 1st fire and left the 2 layers in under wood, then added more coal again, this is new as it now has to spread down.
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Bear038 On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:19 pm

I'm re-firing it now for the 1st time in a day and a half. Had a cold breeze downdraft for a minute until pipe heated, smoke comes through glass seams when draft is down if you close ash door, As to these barometric dampers I read good and bad. I read good here, but what's your thoughts on this Mason, or anyone?


These few lines abover here Coldcoal, may just be the root of your problem. You may not have enought draw or at least a good steady draw on that chimney. I have never had a down draft in the set up that I am using, infact when the wind blows across the top of the chimney it draws harder and the baro really opens to keep the draw steady on the fire, so that may make the burning of coal much easier. What is the height of your chimney relative to what is around it? Do you have trees or higher roofs, or other building causing the down drafts into your place. It may not be easy, but just maybe you need a taller chimney.

As to barometric dampers on your particular chimney, with down drafts like that at all, not so sure you should use one. I would be curious to see what others have to say, but maybe coal is not such a good idea if you can be getting these down drafts.


Shakedown seems to be my biggest hurdle as I think if I had gotten ash out from under what was lit yesterday morning enough oxygen coming up would have made new light. I might see why when looking at this.



You may be expecting to get too much of the ash out. You will never get it all, you just need to get enough at first to liven up the fire for the new coal. Once the new fire gets going it seems it is easier to shack more ash out.


I notice his grates go in 2 directions, mine tilt forward and back to level, not back from level as well. Mine's like a slot machine arm, one way only. Broken? Supposed to be that way? Either way I best get back to this, I got it to light after 1st fire and left the 2 layers in under wood, then added more coal again, this is new as it now has to spread down.
[/quote]

It sounds like your grates are working as designed by harman. Personally I would agree that there have to be better systems for getting the ash out, but like you I have a harman and have to learn to do the best I can with it. Making the poker and using it from the bottom will help quit a bit. If you are getting all this hard baked stuff, it sort of sounds like you are getting over fired, which is the most comon cause of that. Even when things are working well, you will still not get all fine ash. There will be some bigger pieces, but they will go through the shakers. When I was over firing Reading coal, I could get stuff out of there the size of golf balls. They had to be picked out from the top.
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:39 pm

Bear038 wrote:
These few lines above here Coldcoal, may just be the root of your problem. You may not have enough draw on that chimney. I have never had a down draft in the set up that I am using, so that may make the burning of coal much easier. What is the height of your chimney relative to what is around it? Do you have trees or higher roofs, or other building causing the down drafts into your place. It may not be easy, but just maybe you need a taller chimney.


Yes if it sits idle I have an incoming cold draft for sure. It's 24 feet, masonry with terracotta pipe. No metal pipe goes to the top, no cap, no liners. It's a stainless corrugated that sorta sticks above the concrete insert at the bottom (if looking down chimney) and bends a little to rest on it, kinda like this.
Image
No buildings, trees yes, massive pines and other types all over but none directly over chimney. :D

As to barometric dampers on your particular chimney, with down drafts like that at all, not so sure you should use one. I would be curious to see what others have to say, but maybe coal is not such a good idea if you can be getting these down drafts.


Well once it's warm it pulls like a tornado. Any breeze and you hear the spinner whistle louder. I thought when cold downdrafts were more common, hmmm.


You may be expecting to get too much of the ash out. You will never get it all, you just need to get enough at first to liven up the fire for the new coal. Once the new fire gets going it seems it is easier to shack more ash out.


Ah, well I read here you should expect a 3-5" drop in bed when shaken. Perplexing as I never have 5 inches left once I'm shaking anyway, but ok that's good news.



It sounds like your grates are working as designed by harman. Personally I would agree that there have to be better systems for getting the ash out, ...


Me too! Here was mine today to fully clear the beast as it was still full of coal.
Image

Anyway 90 minutes into lighting, and my new avatar says what I always inevitably get no matter how big wood fire is. Lol. 1/2 lit, the other half you can set a candle on for scenic enjoyment. Then add that cold half over hot half... slowly over 90 minutes, and when it's really lit enough spread the pile out and add more. I know this is all wrong but when it's not spreading sideways an hour later...
How anyone gets this to 500 degrees from cold in an hour is amazing!



EDIT: 7:30PM- It's fuller than ever, a mere inch shy of top of back bricks, burning great. I'm just shaking it in the morning, without opening any doors, to see how long a full load can go. This load was officially full and shut by 6:30PM. This should be interesting and helpful to see.

PS, Bear thanks for the advice and info, especially on the drafts, I'm looking into that. Could be on to something there in a big picture kinda way.

Edit 10PM: Avatar changed to swatty creek shot, since no one thought it was funny, :smoke:
Last edited by coldcoal on Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: mason coal burner On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:44 pm

make sure you fill it to the top of the fire bricks . once you get it burning good i think you should set your spinner at about a half turn and see how that works for a couple hours . i think you have some leaks in your stove to burn that much coal that fast . how long between when you loaded your stove and your first shake down . you might want to do it a couple hours sooner . your not doing it justice if you have a leaky stove . you might be waisting good coal til you replace the seals .
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:19 pm

Mason,

It's going strong, has been, see 730 edit! I also never loaded it to the top like this, an odious amount to do so, 70 pounds is right! Did you say a 1/2 turn? Ok so it ran away a bit and was high blue flames, the last loading to the top took faster than I expected. High blue flames, I then closed ash door and put it at 1 3/4. It got a little cold in here and the rest of the house is cold, so I went to 2. I fear going down 1.5 turns from here would give me all 'fused' (see I do listen and learn these terms) unburnt coals with no fire! Ya still think go to a 1/2 from here?

On shakedown I've done it only a couple times period, and after a 10 or 12 hour burns. I thought that's when ya did it, pre-load? I'll shake in a couple hrs though, why not. Yes some glass seals perhaps. Who knows how many years that's been, best case about 4 seasons, maybe 10...or 28, all pre-me. Again though it likes to go out at 1 1/2 turns, and it burned wood great at 1/2 turn overnight, but yeah I'm sure a little leaky. In a downdraft, though, with smoke coming in if you shut everything would smoke not normally find its way out somewhere? Just how tight are these usually? What I do when this happens is shut top, open ash door, and open swinging door right next to stove. The fresh air for smoke, but also to feed fresh cold air into stove. That, the heat building in firebox as kindling and paper take, and 'barometric push' of the door opening always gets it going in the right direction immediately.

Let me know on q's, but I'd be really afraid to go to 1/2 turn, especially as it's the last of the coal for now and with it I really want to see how long a full hot load goes. All part of the ongoing evaluation.

Peace
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Stove/Furnace Make: harman
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: mason coal burner On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:05 pm

if that is your last bit of coal don't shake down at all . i meant if you are shaking after 10-12 hours this time do it at 8-10 hours . what is your stove temp with spinner at 2 turns ?
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:50 pm

Oh ok, makes sense. All I have is stack temp, was 320 at 2 turns, too hot with this big a load. I turned it down about 45 mins ago to 1.5 turns, now stack at 290. So with this full load a 1/2 turn seems to move it about 30 degrees.
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: titleist1 On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:13 pm

Your experience with a downdraft on a cold start up is what I experience also. I'll open a window and the basement door to help get the draft going the right direction when starting the paper kindling to get the wood fire going.
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: franco b On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:45 pm

Your quote about barometric dampers is by someone who obviously does not understand either wood or coal burning.

Barometric dampers are not recommended for wood because of the danger of runaway chimney fires in the event of creosote buildup.

They are recommended for manually adjusted air intake coal stoves since it is the only way to get uniform draft reliably. Without uniform draft a given air intake setting can have very different results in a burn, making any conclusions suspect. There are those though who from experience have become so attuned to the behavior of a fire and make timely adjustments that they get along fine without one. Best to have one though.

Your fire is going out because it is not getting enough air except under conditions of high stack temperatures where draft is so strong that the excess air is enough to keep the coal going. As soon as you throttle it down it goes out.

Air is going around the coal bed and not through it. I would suspect that it is going behind all those loose bricks, or the glass is leaking so badly that it is killing draft through the coal bed.
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:52 pm

titleist1

Oh good, I'm not the only drafty one, that's good. We fix it the same way too.

Speaking of similarities cool avatar ya got there, just noticed how close to my new one. Looks like the Susquehanna?

Went night catfish-in' a few times here, And what''s up with this 'throw the fish back' PA stuff!! Never went saw anyone in NY throw a bluefish, flounder, or Fluke back in the water. If they're big enough don't they know how good fried catfish is!? MAN!

Just had to say that, eat the fish people, eat the fish.
Last edited by coldcoal on Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Stove/Furnace Make: harman
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:02 am

franco b wrote:Your quote about barometric dampers is by someone who obviously does not understand either wood or coal burning.


Probably yeah, he mentions oil a lot in that blurb.

Barometric dampers are not recommended for wood because of the danger of runaway chimney fires in the event of creosote buildup.


Yeah he says that, but nothing about coal, so again probably so.



Your fire is going out because it is not getting enough air except under conditions of high stack temperatures where draft is so strong that the excess air is enough to keep the coal going. As soon as you throttle it down it goes out.

Air is going around the coal bed and not through it. I would suspect that it is going behind all those loose bricks, or the glass is leaking so badly that it is killing draft through the coal bed.


You may be right, still full and rockin' at 1.5 turns though. Steady humming whistle through the spinner. It never had a full load, 3/4th by most standards I'd say at best. It will be a 13-15 hr burn by the time until I touch it again. (based on when starting to light, or finally closed ash door times) I also saved a few small shovels of coal to see if I can get ignition at that time. I'll update and disclose.

Thanks for the comments
Last edited by coldcoal on Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:03 am

Coldcoal,

The agitator here. You know the guy who chimes in at the end......... :verycool:

A downdraft is common on a cold chimney. Some have used a hair dryer or heat gun to preheat the chimney to create a draft.

You mentioned early on in the thread that you have a tremendous draft with your chimney. You may be burning up your coal due to the excessive draft. A barometric damper will automatically limit the draft thereby keeping more heat in the stove. Use of a manometer will determine the exact draft and help you decide if a baro is needed and if so, how to set it correctly.

And if your stove is leaking input air as you may suspect, you will really have to play with that spinner to know where to set it.

And you mentioned that in the morning you poked the fire trying to get new coal to light. That will not work as has been mentioned here before. In the morning most suggest to open the ash door to fire the stove and get it cooking. THEN you would do your shaking and poking. up through the grates. Then add more coal. Get that cranking and then adjust the spinner.

Keep at it. YOU must learn your own stove's characteristics. It will get easier. :alone:



Rick
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