Maintaining a continous burn....

PostBy: Ed.A On: Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:10 pm

I believe, that alot of folks (including me) use Coal as a supplemental heat source, ie: tired of Wood and it's issues as way to offset Oil, Propane or Electric. In my case I use the alternate heat source ( my 1st year with Coal) for primary in the winter because Electric is bogus and frankly outrageous.

The fact that you're using it for year-round useage and you're a newbie at it is seriously impressive.

The others here that use it as primary year round source are most indeed helpful and hearty souls.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III/ '94 Stoker II
Coal Size/Type: Rice

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PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:33 am

DCrane_II wrote: to find out that the coal wasn't blazing but still hot,

That's normal operation of stoker, it runs as needed. Because of the forced air you don't need a constantly large file. Most likely when the cold weather comes around you won't have any moments where that happens.

If you don't have timer I'd suggest getting one especially if you intend on running it in the summer for hot water. For that matter this is the worse time of the year to keep a stoker going, if its set up like mine. You get a cold night and the stoker gets all revved up overnight then won't run during the day...
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: DCrane_II On: Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:34 am

Well i got some good and bad,

there was a timer on the stoker but it wasn't working up to par, also for this type of stoker as im ever so slowly finding out it needs to reach a temp of 195F for it to work properly, meaning the timer which shuts off the blower, but the goodthing it has been steady for two days now with some help of feeding the coal which puzzles me.

For some reason the coal out of the bin doesn't seem like it should come out at the rate of the burn to push the ashes into the ash bin, instead the coal fire burns straight back to the coal bin and goes out leaving a trail of ash that should have been in the ash bin not on the grates. :cry:

The grate below the coal is moving but doesn't seem like its doing anything to help progress the movement of coal. :?

Like said above i can help it along but isn't the whole idea behind a stoker is that it self feeds its self?

Any ideas to somewhat correct this issue? :idea:

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:04 am

I think there is an adjustment on the gearbox that will increase the length of the stroke of the grate. I think you move the pivot point further out on the revolving drum on the gearbox.

You should be able to turn down the aquastat to have the water at 160* or so, This time of year the weather isn't cold enough to have to have 195* water.

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

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:58 am

Again not sure about your particular model but as LsFarm pointed out 160 is sufficient as a minimum, we even go as low as 140 in the summer. You should have two settings, one for low temp and the other for high temp. If the water temp reaches the low temp setting it will burn until it reaches the low temp, if it reaches the high temp such as when its very cold it will go off, basically if it gets that hot there's no need for more fire.

The timer is used to insure that it burns at least once an hour so it doesnt go out. You really don't even need it in the winter, summer may not even be problem if you get the high and low set up correctly for summertime operation. It's during this time of the year when you have wild swings in temperatures between the night when you have demand for heat and the day when there is none that you really need it.

What will happen is you get demand for heat early in the morning. The furnace at this point has been idling along for the last 20 hours or so so it takes a while to get up to speed which gives you big fire. Then it gets warm out and there is no more demand for heat but you still have this big fire going, it won't run for many hours without a timer.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:57 am

Hi DCrane. I think your type of stoker the whole bed moves back and forth, the outside portion slides on 'gaskets', sort of like felt strips around the fan box. And inside the stoker bed swings on two short pieces of chain. Sort of like a kid's see-saw.

This type of coal feed 'action' depends on a heavy column of coal in the hopper to try to push out the bottom, onto the grate. As the grate moves back and forth, the coal kind of 'oozzes' out onto the grate. It is the weight of the coal in the coal bin the helps force the coal on down the grate, pushing the burnt ash off the end.

So if you have too big of coal, or really wet coal with lots of powdery-fines that make it 'sticky' or if you have only a few inches of coal in the coal bin, any of these may let the coal in the bin 'hang up' in the opening, and not provide enough weight or tall enough of a column of coal to force it's way out onto the grate [as it swings back and forth].

Most current in-production stokers have a mechanical bar, or shovel or a paddle that actually pushes coal out onto a stationary grate. Your stoker depends on the weight and flow of the coal trying to get out of the hopper onto the grate to feed coal and push the ash off the end. So it won't work very well with only a few inches of coal in the hopper.

Let us know how much coal [how deep] is in the coal hopper, do you keep the lid on the hopper? You need to keep a cover on the hopper so that combustion air will not be pulled from this area, the coal burns towards it's air source, so it can burn back into the hopper without a lid.

So: Put a lid on the hopper
pour in at least 12"+ of coal in the hopper
make sure the grate/blower assembly is moving in and out enough, increase the 'stroke' adjustment if needed.
turn down the aquastat to 150* or so.

Post a photo if you can so we can help figure this out.

The photos below I'm pretty sure are of your type of stoker.

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

Visit Leisure Line