Best time to start burning coal baker wood/coal stove

Best time to start burning coal baker wood/coal stove

PostBy: splitter On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:50 am

Hi everyone,

I have been waiting a long time to try to burn coal but the weather has not been right at this time during the day the temps are 58 to 65 and at night they drop to about 33 degrees. I've been reading the posts and the best time is to burn coal when the temps are below 55 and when the temps are at 33 degrees for a couple of days is when you want to burn coal is this true? also I have a baker wood/coal stove and the baker company said to keep the stove temps at 250 to 375 but when reading how to start a coal fire it is best to have the stove burning at 900 degrees for the anthracite coal for it to start is this a true fact. I sure would like to start trying to burn coal as soon as I can but the weather is holding me up so I'll just have to wait.

thanks

Steve
splitter
 

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:57 am

No need to wait, you will only have problems if you don't have a good draft. We burn year round but its a large furnce.


...but when reading how to start a coal fire it is best to have the stove burning at 900 degrees for the anthracite coal for it to start is this a true fact..


These are two different temperatures, the coal fire itself when lit will be well above 900, 900 would be what they are recommending to get it going. You need a good decent wood fire and some patience.

The lower temp is most likely in reference to the flue temp.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: splitter On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:05 am

If I understand you right if the temps outside are 58 degrees I still can start a coal fire without any problems I'm I right about this? also my thermoneter is on the side of the stove does this make a difference with the temp reading also the stove is an insert and we are burning wood right now and it is hard to stabalize the heat output I'm starting to hate wood everyday when starting the stove up.I might go out and get some coal today and give it a try the temp is to be 58 today and the low tonight 30 and Saturday 60 at these temps will the stove be ok. I'm just learning and there is a lot to learn.

thanks

Steve
splitter
 

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PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:26 am

Hi Steve, like Richard [admin] said, the only issue may be having your chimney provide enough draft with warm outside temperatures.

Since you are currently burning wood, I'd go ahead and give it a try this weekend. When you have your wood fire burnt down to a nice hot bed of wood coals, pour on about 2-3" of coal, cover the entire surface of the fire, and from side to side. Don't leave any gaps where air can get around the coal.

Close any air vents above the fire [in the loading door] and open the air vents in the ashpan door, or even keep the ashpan door open for awhile. WARNING !! DO NOT leave the room with any door open or vent wide open. You may get distracted and forget the fire, and damage the stove or worse !!

This is the voice of experience, I badly damaged a good wood stove, and had a bad chimney fire [burning wood] because I left a door open and then the phone rang..... 20 minutes later, my neighbor beats on my front door, telling me to call the fire department. I found out what my stove looks like in a nice cherry red color!!

Sorry for the diversion..

Once the first layer of coal is burning well, you can fill the firebox up to the top of the firebrick, and start turning down the air vent to control heat output. This will be different than for a wood fire, so you will need to experiment.

With a good chimney you should be able to run the coal on minimum air during the warm days, and just open up the air for the cool evenings..

Take care, let us know how it goes, Add a photo to the 'pictures' thread.

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

PostBy: splitter On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:51 am

Hi Greg,

thanks for the advice the only problem is now I just got a call from work and they asked if I would work this weekend and I said I would so I will try next weekend to fire it up then I have three days to play with it and to learn. I live in York Pa, and the weather as been funny last month and most of the people around this area say not to burn coal until you get a 4 to 5 day of cold weather then you can use coal that is what they say in the York area. I will burn coal next weekend for sure. I have a question where can you get a good rake at around here no one has one even the baker stove company doesn't sell one any suggestions on getting one? thanks again for your help.

Steve
splitter
 

PostBy: splitter On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:11 am

Hey Greg

I forgot to say that I do have a stainless steel liner will this make any difference at all?

Steve
splitter
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:24 am

Hi Steve, the SS liner should make your chimney draw better. Even though you are working this weekend, if you have a wood fire going, and it won't last the night, I'd go ahead and burn coal for the night.

Most of us like to start a fire in the fall and not have to start another one for the whole season. So a lot of people don't want to start a fire untill it is cold enough to keep it going for a while.

But if you are regularly starting a wood fire each night, and want to try out coal. Just follow the directions above, let it burn all night, and see what you have in the morning.. You may be very pleasantly surprised, and have plenty of fire remaining, and will just turn down the air a bit more for the day and let it either burn out or be waiting for you when you get home to add some coal to the remaining fire.

I suggest a small garden hoe rather than a rake. Or get a rake that doesn't have the metal 'hoop' but just the bar with the teeth, and cut it down to a narrower size.

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

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:26 am

Go with the hoe. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Mastiffman On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 11:30 am

With daytime temps jumping into the hi 50's/low 60's I've had to open the windows in the afternoon, but the fire has kept burning.

Yesterday I put a new cap on my chimney clean out in the basement, one that actually fits tight, and now I have a much stronger draft at the stove. By the time I washed up the fire was going strong and I had to cut the air setting that was working well way back.

Steve - enjoying the learning curve
Mastiffman
 

PostBy: splitter On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:02 pm

Hi,

my understanding from the baker company is to open the vents at the loading door because of gas build ups is that true when do you open the vents to the loading door. I guess I'll try to give coal a try tonight after I take my parents out for supper. I hope that this works tonight. I took out the glass in the stove and replaced it with a castiron plat that came with the stove so I will have to open the loading door to check on the coal to see if it is burning or would anyone have any suggestions on this or a better way. I'm going to pray a lot so this works and give it my best thanks.

Steve
splitter
 

PostBy: splitter On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:41 pm

what causes a chimney fire and how do you prevent it from happening?
not far from my home over in Lancaster this had happened to a family that was left homeless so I was thinking how do you prevent one from happening to you and your family.
splitter
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:33 pm

Hi Steve,
Opening the air vent on the loading door is to help prevent a minor 'explosion' if you load a huge amount of fresh coal in the 'wrong' way.

Read this thread: http://nepacrossroads.com/viewtopic.php?t=2130

A chimney fire will not happen when burning only coal. A chimney fire is caused by the buildup of creosote in a chimney from the partial burning of wood. A hot wood fire, burning dry wood with a hot chimney will not deposit very much if any creosote in the chimney.

But if the fire is damped down by reducing the air, or the wood is damp, or the chimney is cold, then creosote, which is unburnt but very flamable byproducts of wood combustion, will accumulate on the inside of the the chimney. Then if enough heat, oxygen and flame are applied, the creosote starts to burn very hot very fast and often with catastrophic results.

When burning coal in a stove that has been burning wood, the creosote often drys out, and flakes off, falling into the clean out or tee or stove.

Creosote is why wood burners often have their chimney cleaned several times a season. With coal it is unnesessary. Coal creates fly ash, an inert dry ash that can't burn.

so to prevent chimney fires, clean your chimney, burn only very dry wood, with lots of air, and keep it burning hot. When you limit the air, then lots of smoke is created, the chimney cools down, and creosote is deposited in the chimney.

Hope this makes sense.

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

PostBy: splitter On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:13 pm

Hey Greg,

I'm going to try a coal fire tonight like I said in the other post is when do I open up the vents to the loading door do I open them when I have a fire going? and how far or is that a judgment call. The manual for the stove calls for a quarter of a turn and to keep them open I want to be sure that everyone is safe that is why I'm asking these questions my wife says I worry to much but I rather be safe then sorry thanks.

Steve
splitter
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 3:42 pm

What I meant was to provide lots of air to the wood coals to get them good and hot, to get to the '900*' temp needed to ignite the coal you just added to the firebox.

I personally would not open the air in the loading door, I'd 'bank' the coal like I described in the 'explosion' thread. I suppose opening the loading door vent 1/4 turn when you load fresh coal won't hurt anything. But I certainly would not leave any over the fire vent open when you leave the stove for the night.. I would want all air going through the coal bed, not over the fire.

Once the coal is glowing red and the blue-white flames are dancing above the coal, close down the air vents to what Baker suggests. Each stove and chimney combination is different. So you will have to learn what your's likes.

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

PostBy: Cap On: Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:20 pm

Steve--

Sounds like you have a similar stove to my Harman SF-250. Harman also recommends cracking open the top dampers to allow the draft to pull away the flammable gases.

My technique, open the ash door for a few seconds prior to opening the loading door. This creates a rush of air and should pull away the gases. I keep the top damper closed tight. Or sometimes, I will open the top damper for a few seconds to pull away the gas. Either way, it works.

I had a *minor explosion* once. It wasn't fun.
Cap
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator

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