Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:34 pm

Not a boom...
But a friggin' geyser...
Forgot about the 'wet' bucket of coal and tossed it on... :mad:
It was the bucket that had all the frozen/snow coal...
Now turned to about a quart of water...
Impressive show...
Good thing about all that coal in the DSM...
I did not slow down a bit...
But I need a shower... :oops:
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: dlj On: Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:26 am

CapeCoaler wrote:Not a boom...
But a friggin' geyser...
Forgot about the 'wet' bucket of coal and tossed it on... :mad:
It was the bucket that had all the frozen/snow coal...
Now turned to about a quart of water...
Impressive show...
Good thing about all that coal in the DSM...
I did not slow down a bit...
But I need a shower... :oops:


CapeCoaler, I just did the same thing yesterday. Came in with a hod full of coal and snow after digging the coal out of 3 feet of snow. When it hit the fire, it was spectacular!

dj
dlj
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Baseheater #6
Coal Size/Type: Stove coal
Other Heating: Oil Furnace, electric space heaters

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: longzoo On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:45 pm

WOW, over 3 years worth of stories about people getting whooshes! I'm sorta glad I'm not alone here. I just started burning coal 2 weeks ago and got an impressive hair, beard, eyebrow, and eyelash trimming! had a hot fire and WAAY overloaded to bank for the night. i thought it had smoldered the fire after 10 minutes or so and with the ash pan open decided to open the firebox and poke a hole in the middle of the coal... BAD MOVE!! i have an old boiler with a 18"x18"x48" firebox and i mean to tell you it will hold some gas! BIG BOOM!

It happened so quickly that i didn't understand why i couldnt open my eyes for a second. I really wish someone had been there to see it (and to guide me to my house from the garage). My wife was growling about me tracking snow and dirt across the carpet before she saw my face and understood. I had black marks across my face, singed hair everywhere and little bits of coal all through my eyes. Fortunately there was no permanent damage after a good eye flushing but my eyelashes did curl up and made it hard to blink for awhile.

Now i always leave the front of the fire box uncovered and flaming AND i wear safety glasses while poking around ;)
longzoo
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Rad./Standard Sanitar
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal 7

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: coldcoal On: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:22 am

Last night a new thing sort of related to this happened to me, as I'll explain, though all within closed firebox. Not an explosion, more a gastric eruption. I write more to seek council on what I did next. First on wet coal mine is stored outside by seller on pallets, and it's cold, so always a moist black mess coating inside of bags. Also commonly a black wet mess on tiles when you move bag away from load spot. I figured frozen, common, nothing you can do. (?)

Back the the story though. Great fire going all day, ashed at night, 1/2 full box after, loaded er up in one shot. Had 2 clear spots where flames were coming through steadily. Firebox closed, ash door open. 5 minutes later it sounded like a propane burner burst on, but a really big one. The box was brilliant blue like I'd never seen. High high flames of blue as this gas escaped violently. I then closed the ash door as I was afraid of over firing, but the high blue engulfing remained strong a minute or so later.

Here's the ''was this right or wrong" part. I thought perhaps the blue needed to 'burn off'? That the new coals needed to heat more and get these gasses out, and I'd also read here too much blue is bad, yellow and some blue on flames standard. I then reopened ash door. After a minute of heating I could slowly see the massive blue flames going yellow, eventually mostly yellow and orange flames, closed ash door and called it a night. Still healthy fire this morn. So was my thought on making this hotter to eradicate this right, or should I have let the blue die off on its own to not over fire the coals?

Thanks!
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:29 am

Well I like to allow the new load to heat up, crackle and pop, then give it a bit of over fire air to allow the blue ladies . then let it do its own thing. the show is great! :)
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: titleist1 On: Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:21 pm

Sounds like you're getting this coal burning stuff down pretty good!! :D

If you kept the blue flames after closing the ash door I think you would have been fine without re-opening it. The idea is to keep the flame present so it can burn off the gas as it comes off the new coal rather than it accumulating and burning off all at once - BOOM!! :shock:

Sounds like you were right on the edge of that happening with the first ignition! Some over fire air after loading the new coal will help keep the blue flames active enough to burn off the gas as it is produced.

I know on my set up if I keep the ash door open, the draft is so strong that the blue flames don't get time to curl around the firebox and I guess most of the gas is also being sucked up the chimney. It is like the high powered propane torch you described, but only flames where I leave the fire exposed. When I close the ash door at this point the blue flames start to make their way around the coal bed burning off the gas. The blue flame is fairly large, but only for a second or two and it rolls around the firebox, rather than an explosion.

Did you get a manometer to measure your draft and maybe install a baro to help with pulling too much air through the coal bed?
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: heartofcoal On: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:46 pm

I have'nt had it happen to me yet . I'm sure it will.
Watched SMITTY's video a few times. WOW!!!
It looked like his cat jumped right on the stove, then did a 180
heartofcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Russo
Stove/Furnace Model: C-80

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: offcoursey On: Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:25 pm

I had that happen when I first started burning coal this year. I still don't know why it started burning like (too many fines?)that but it sounded like torch...the roar was loud enough to hear in the next room. The stack temp went from 175 to 450 in about 2 minutes. SCARY! At the time, I remembered reading that coal will go out if there is too much over fire air. I opened the load door and closed the under fire draft for a minute or two and the torch stopped, turned to nice flames. I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do but it worked, no boom, and no sulfur smells in the house.
offcoursey
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glacier Bay
Stove/Furnace Model: Glacier bay

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:20 pm

I'm a potential stove owner who is very concerned about stove explosions. What are the procedures that should faithfully be observed in order to to minimize (or ideally eliminate) hand fed coal stove poofs. What are the absolute no-no's.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: grumpy On: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:29 pm

See how to light a hand fired stove in the best of forum..
grumpy
 

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:31 pm

Will do! Thanks grumpy!!
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: grumpy On: Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:37 pm

Your welcome, I'm still learning myself..
grumpy
 

Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:11 pm

I'm probably just blind, but I didn't see it.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Stockton Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)


Re: Minor Explosion In Coal Stove

PostBy: CadillacFuel On: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:52 pm

I'm just a new guy on here, but I have had this very same thing happen to me and have figured out how to replicate it, stop it and control it. I am burning Superior nut, and based on some other threads, I understand it to be especially gassy. Basically, I can cause this "propane torch" anytime after loading the boiler with fresh coal, simply by restricting the volume of under fire air too much too soon. This is after all of the new coal appears to burning with blue flame - no orange glow yet. Stack temp is up good for me at about 325 or 350. If I mostly close the under air fire at this point, I will get blue flames in my flue and within a couple of minutes - maybe less, the stack will go to 700 if I let it. The cure? Simply crack the loading door to allow some over-fire air. This puts this "torch" out almost immediately. Sometimes I have to open it a little more than a crack to get it to go out, but a crack is all it needs to keep from happening while the coal is burning off these volatiles. I know this topic has been discussed other places in this forum, and a lot of time there is talk about how over-air fire is not good for coal - which I totally agree with once the volatiles have burned off. However, after loading new coal, is one situation where over-fire air is useful, at least for the type of coal and the setup I have. I have been experimenting with only allowing a tiny bit of over-fire air, still allowing a flicker of blue flame in the flue, without the crazy torch, to see if it allows me to shut the boiler up sooner after I put new coal in. I'm not sure if it speeds things up or not, but the point is I can control this "torch" by increasing or decreasing the amount of over-fire air after loading new coal.

I just want to share my method of dealing with this for the other new people, because the first time it happened to me, I was terrified because I didn't know for sure what caused it, or what to do about it. After getting up the guts to experiment, it was easy to see how to control the problem. I hope this helps someone else.
CadillacFuel
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Kerr
Stove/Furnace Model: Titan TC202 Boiler

Visit Hitzer Stoves