Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:27 pm

In the EFM world we judge the coal to air ratio after a 30+ minute burn cycle, with the stoker still running. It sounds like the Coal Gun needs a similar burn cycle before you judge the height of the fire.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: macdabs On: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:44 pm

I appreciate all the feedback. I have lowered the settings below to 113 to increase the burn height in the sight tube and everything looks great . The problem is everything looked good the day it blew the stack and baro apart! :o If I had all day to make sure the fire was perfect they should put a glass window on it instead of the tombstone cover and call it a handfed unit instead of a stoker. :lol :lol: :P

I have to joke a bit , everybody breaks my nuts about burning coal when I have acres of fallen oak trees and a big fancy fireplace I never use in my house. The boiler works great and I am burning a lot of coal and heating my house /shop cheaper than using heating oil or chopping wood all weekend long. The reason I went with an AHS was not to be fussing all day with a fire like a hand fed unit.

Mac
macdabs
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Other Heating: Pellet,oil
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: S260

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:55 pm

I would add that it seems best if the ash grate motor is wired to run only when the boiler fan is operating. AHS can assist with this minor alteration, which is how their UL listed boilers are now wired.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:31 pm

Macdabs, what temperatures are you nominally maintaining within your AHS S-260 boiler. What is your L4006A Aquastat set at? I wonder if this could have some impact. Just curious.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: Yanche On: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:45 pm

I got a private message from a forum member saying the "Anthratube_Design_History.pdf" link in my posting above doesn't work. I just tried and it works fine. Anyone else download the file successfully?

The link really points to: "<removed link, files in PM's can only be read by the recipient or the sender >". It's a file I originally posted in a private message and I just linked it here.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: macdabs On: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:56 am

lsayre wrote:Macdabs, what temperatures are you nominally maintaining within your AHS S-260 boiler. What is your L4006A Aquastat set at? I wonder if this could have some impact. Just curious.

The boiler is at the factory setting at 180* and the low side I think is around 160-165* . I have two Wilo large pumps feeding my oil boiler to my house at 245' with insulated pex and one circulator pump for the boiler . I have one smaller wilo pump feeding my in floor heat at the shop all on one zone/ 3200 sq ft .

The only time I have seen the boiler drop to 150-155* would be on a very cold day in the teens with a large heat demand for my house and the garage at the same time. And it would only be for a few minutes and the boiler would get above 160*-170* in no time. I am very impressed with the heat output of the boiler and the ability it has to maintain a constant temp 0f 170-180* the majority of the time. Now it uses a fair amount of coal during the low temp days that the house has a large demand.
I am heating the house warmer than I ever did with oil . I heat probably at least 7,000 sq ft the majority of the time with the home at 70* and the shop at 63*. The shop is a 6-10" concrete slab on top of foam insulation. I can't say enough about the in floor heat in the shop . Demand for heat is very rare and for maybe for only 10 min. throughout the day. With the thermostat at 63* room temp the slab is probably around 70* and is the most comfortable shop I have ever worked in. :) I have the domestic coil for hot water in the shop since the location of the boiler is in the shop and have more than I would ever need . The big mistake I made was running the water supply line from my house in the same pipe as my heat runs. What happens is the water supply line becomes very warm so I end up with more hot water than I need . I probably will end up placing a 40 gallon well tank so the water can cool .

Mac
macdabs
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Other Heating: Pellet,oil
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: S260

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: lsayre On: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:01 am

lsayre wrote:Macdabs, what temperatures are you nominally maintaining within your AHS S-260 boiler. What is your L4006A Aquastat set at? I wonder if this could have some impact. Just curious.


I'm no longer just curious of this. I dropped my boilers temperature (via the L4006A) by only 5 degrees yesterday evening at about the time I typed the above (with no other changes), and I have experienced a couple robust whomphing puffs since, whereas I had none before. The digital CO meter in my boiler room was reading zero when I just checked it, but the history (which had been day in and day out consistently also reading reading zero through yesterday evening) was showing a 12, meaning that sometime during the night it went up a bit, then it came back down to zero again. I just set my L4006A back up to 180 degrees.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: lsayre On: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:13 am

Put one of these on your DHW line to moderate the temperature. There are several good brands.

http://www.taco-hvac.com/en/products/50 ... tegory=116
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: macdabs On: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:59 am

lsayre wrote:Put one of these on your DHW line to moderate the temperature. There are several good brands.

http://www.taco-hvac.com/en/products/50 ... tegory=116

I have mixing valves on the whole system, the problem is the main water supply line is wrapped with my feed lines to my oil boiler. Without demand for water the 245' supply line becomes almost 180* from sitting in the same pipe as the heat lines. The supply line is 3/4 pex @245' so it takes some time before fresh cool water flushes through. Washing your hands in the sink is not enough use. I think adding a uninsulated well tank should take care of it .

Mac
macdabs
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Other Heating: Pellet,oil
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: S260

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:53 am

The owners of the Coalgun who are members of this board should realize that thousands of people own a Coalgun and don't have the benefit of a forum (like this one) to discuss issues and concerns with other owners. What I'm trying to say is, how many others exist who have no idea what might be wrong with their Coalgun or even a basic concept of where to go for help.

Again, not being an owner of a Coalgun myself, I can only rant from my keyboard soapbox. I would not recommend a Coalgun to anyone at this point until a satisfactory resolution from the manufacturer is formally put into place. The Axeman-Anderson is the father of all Anthratubes and is built to last a century of continuous, trouble-free use.

If the principals that currently own AHS would realize the gravity of the situation, they would surely understand the need to respond to customer complaints, analyze and engineer a solution or remedy, write a proper operating manual and ensure the future success of the company by rethinking the culture of apathy toward it's customers.
EarthWindandFire
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Lil' Heater.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer model 75.
Other Heating: Oil and Natural Gas.

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: macdabs On: Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:43 pm

EarthWindandFire wrote:The owners of the Coalgun who are members of this board should realize that thousands of people own a Coalgun and don't have the benefit of a forum (like this one) to discuss issues and concerns with other owners. What I'm trying to say is, how many others exist who have no idea what might be wrong with their Coalgun or even a basic concept of where to go for help.

Again, not being an owner of a Coalgun myself, I can only rant from my keyboard soapbox. I would not recommend a Coalgun to anyone at this point until a satisfactory resolution from the manufacturer is formally put into place. The Axeman-Anderson is the father of all Anthratubes and is built to last a century of continuous, trouble-free use.

If the principals that currently own AHS would realize the gravity of the situation, they would surely understand the need to respond to customer complaints, analyze and engineer a solution or remedy, write a proper operating manual and ensure the future success of the company by rethinking the culture of apathy toward it's customers.


I questioned AHS about the puff back issues before purchasing my S 260 and I was told it was draft issue and if I had good draft I wouldn't have any issues.. I never really have had any problems or even heard a wimper from the boiler at all . The explosions always occured when I was not in the shop and I would arrive to see pieces on the floor . My wife says the anti -coal gremlins come out when I Ieave. :o :o I was searching on the net and found that the AHS wood guns have a puff back issue and one of the users claim it has something to do with the cyclone funnel in the exhaust and ash. Nice to know we are not alone .

At this point in the game. I changed my settings as instructed , verified draft , and replaced my last Baro on this boiler. If it blows things apart I will make a visit to the factory with the boiler and a bill and all the other AHS owners are more than welcome to come with me.

Mac
Mac
macdabs
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Other Heating: Pellet,oil
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: S260

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: lsayre On: Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:47 pm

I just watched my S130 blow flame out of the barometric damper during a puff-back. It was a Doozy. Happened within scant seconds of the fan cutting off. Manometer was reading 0.03" before and after the event. I just checked my zero on the manometer and it zeros just fine when disconnected.

Considering that I had no puff-backs all last season, and the only change I made is Harmony vs. Blaschak, I have to believe that the Harmony pea itself is at least somewhat suspicious at this point.

I just dropped my SV to 117 degrees. Very leery of going below 120 degrees, and the manual says to not go below 120....
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: lsayre On: Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:20 pm

What does it mean in the Axeman-Anderson manual when it says that: "Fire too thick may cause puff-back" :?:
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (if I ever get it fixed)

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:43 pm

lsayre wrote:What does it mean in the Axeman-Anderson manual when it says that: "Fire too thick may cause puff-back" :?:


I read that as too much burning & unburned coal in the tube. If you ash the fire too aggressively you will end up with a lot of unburned coal on top of the fire.

AA units allow you to adjust the on/off setpoint of the grate ANDthe amount that the grate moves in relation to each rotation of the auger tube. Freddy had some "booms" when he first got his AA130 online, I believe he cured it by changing the grate setting (e.g. 3 clicks to 2).
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Coalgun- Puff backs & Explosions

PostBy: McGiever On: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:13 pm

lsayre wrote:What does it mean in the Axeman-Anderson manual when it says that: "Fire too thick may cause puff-back" :?:


Thick fire = Low Fire
Thin fire = High Fire
Axeman's manual has been around for a long time and uses different terminology than AHS.

There are three sections in the fire-tube basically...the raw coal layer, the fire layer and the ash layer. They are not totally distinct sections, but for adjustment purposes that is how they are described.

When the fire is thick then the ash would be thin and vice versa. In the thick fire case the ashing setting would be too high and need to be lowered.

To take this a step further...(this was mentioned earlier) a thick fire has consumed most of the oxygen deeper in the fire bed plus a quantity of raw coal has just been added on top and is out-gassing volatiles,so with the lack of oxygen in the upper fire bed the stage is now set for a" woomph" when oxygen eventually is allowed to be introduced.

BTW: All boilers have different firing cycles relative to the different loads of the dwelling and of the seasonal demands. Pretty hard to just have one setting and be good all season.

I know AHS boiler owners would just love to have AHS mfgr tell them their magic setting for their boilers, but they can not...you will just have to discover those settings on your own by experimenting. :)
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek