Round 2....so far so good

Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: chevymatt On: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:35 pm

Well my chimney is back on and the unit is up and running. 24 hours and so far so good. I lowered my ash temp to 125 and opend the little view port dial all the way. I also took and clipped a paper clip on the bottom of the door so it opens faster when the blower is shutting down. Darren at AHS said a slight air gap on the door won't hurt anything. They still won't admit there is a problem with there units so unfortunately someone is probably going to have to be hurt or worse before they correct all the issues.
chevymatt
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S260

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: ValterBorges On: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:45 pm

Too bad they dont look at some other ideas to correct the problem and use this as an opportunity to shine in customer service. The blower is a monster and i think if it was variable speed and you could regulate it, slow down at shut off, speed up based on draft and also regulate the amount of ashing and blowing with an empty hooper or low firepot then the problem would go away, or if the gases building up were some how sucked out thru the stack.

Based on ahs site sounds like they have sensor to detect hooper coal level. The same tech could be used to figure out firepot level and stop too much ashing at once or blowing and ashing with an empty hooper. An override could be added for those trying to burn wood to start it.

I also know the motors for pool pumps have variable speed abilities so some of this tech could be adopted.

Automatic augers employ a proximity switch inside the hopper. This switch will sense the presence or absence of coal.
ValterBorges
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: S260

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: dchartt On: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:54 am

chevymatt im with you on this, My boiler was installed to ahs specs and code, it blew my flue pipe apart and sat in the barn running for half a day like that because I was out hunting, I thank god I put the boiler in my barn because if I wouldve put it in my basement my wife was sick in bed all day, imagine what wouldve happened, everybody says puffbacks are issues for any furnace, I have never seen a furnace have problems like this thing, I burned soft coal out of a boiler in my basement that barely had enough draft to keep the smoke out of my basement and It ran better than this thing, If i could trade this thing for a used EFM right now i would, yada yada yada eevrybody has opinions, mine is you spend 7 grand on something the sales rep tells you to start a fire and itll run great all season, my ass
dchartt
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glacier Bay

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:20 am

Was the flue pipe secured with 3 screws at each joint...
I have had some pretty big booms but have yet to blow any pipe apart...
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: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: Yanche On: Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:11 am

dchartt wrote:chevymatt im with you on this, My boiler was installed to ahs specs and code, it blew my flue pipe apart and sat in the barn running for half a day like that because I was out hunting, I thank god I put the boiler in my barn because if I wouldve put it in my basement my wife was sick in bed all day, imagine what wouldve happened, everybody says puffbacks are issues for any furnace, I have never seen a furnace have problems like this thing, I burned soft coal out of a boiler in my basement that barely had enough draft to keep the smoke out of my basement and It ran better than this thing, If i could trade this thing for a used EFM right now i would, yada yada yada eevrybody has opinions, mine is you spend 7 grand on something the sales rep tells you to start a fire and itll run great all season, my ass

Sorry to learn of your bad experience. Did you take photos of your bad experience? If yes, post them here. I don't know what will motivate AHS to engineer a solution. They seem to have no shame. Obviously they know customers are having problems. The response is predictably the same draft, coal or operator procedure. What's needed is a solution that has considerable margin for error from the optimum draft, coal quality or operator procedure. There is no question in my engineering mind that there is a solution. The challenge is to instrument the boiler and record the combustion gas percentages leading up to a "puff back". Then develop a way to prevent those gas percentages from happening. My guess is a programmed variable speed controller on the combustion blower would do it. Programmable speed controllers for 1/2 HP and less motors have come down in price in the last few years. Perhaps a solution has been developed and the selling price increase is too great to make it competitive to other boilers. Like so many other things in life, action gets taken only when a tragedy occurs. Let's hope it doesn't happen here.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: Coalfire On: Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:23 pm

Just a question? If people know about these problems before, why do they buy them over an EFM or Keystoker?


Just wondering


Eric
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: lsayre On: Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:09 pm

Not everyone has the problem. I'm guessing that those having it are well in the minority (though they may appear to be in the majority since those not having problems may not tend to post as much as those having problems). Higher potential efficiency and greater potential longevity and a long historical track record of quality and durability might be some reasons to go with an AA or an AHS, and ease of use (no pins or timers to fuss with) may be a factor as well, but burning pea instead of rice was a key selling point for me, as the one and only anthracite dealer who is willing to deliver bulk anthracite to my door does not offer rice in bulk, but rather only pea and nut. My coal supplier is located in Amish country, and apparently they don't use too many stokers in Amish country. He does have bagged rice, but at a much higher price premium.
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (It has been fixed!)

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: macdabs On: Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:26 pm

Coalfire wrote:Just a question? If people know about these problems before, why do they buy them over an EFM or Keystoker?


Just wondering


Eric

I would say burning coal is like Hot Rodding , you keep breaking things till you win! :lol: We had a car dealer in town that had a bad reputation for over pricing on his vehicles yet everyone would go back to buy vehicles over and over even if they got screwed before. I asked him why they come back since he was a rip off, his answer was "They hope they can get even on the next one". :P The hopper and long burn time over the augar is what sold me over the EFM . Also the high BTU output on the S-260 with a smaller stack than the Keystoker. Price wise they are all pretty much even when you are looking at a 250,000 BTU boiler , I think the EFM could have been $700.00 more .
Mac
macdabs
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Other Heating: Pellet,oil
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: S260

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: dchartt On: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:03 pm

CapeCoaler wrote:Was the flue pipe secured with 3 screws at each joint...
I have had some pretty big booms but have yet to blow any pipe apart...


Yes they are, someone posted on a different topic about their tombstone cover being blown off, that's insane
dchartt
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glacier Bay

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:09 pm

dchartt wrote:My boiler was installed to ahs specs and code, it blew my flue pipe apart

How much raw coal is sitting on top of the fire when it goes boom? Specs and codes will not have any affect on your anthracite's happiness if you are operating out of it's sweet spot. I learned running a clumsy converted wood boiler that if I don't bank my coal, I'm going to have puff backs. Greg's 260 start up saga is proof that it is critical to start the fire properly and run it at a correct depth in the Axeman based designs. They hold onto a lot of heat with multiple passes, that same area will fill with explosive gas if it isn't burned off. I'm guessing that the people complaining about puff backs now will be starting threads about replacing the lower lip of the combustion tube in the next few decades. The fire needs to get up at surface to burn off the gas, if it doesn't get about halfway up the cone of fresh fed coal on occasion, it's to low

With my 260M, I have a lousy chimney, no tombstone on my cover and have used various sizes and grades of coal. The current batch of Jeddo is the gassiest stuff I have ever used. Never have puff backs, never make adjustments.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: dchartt On: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:11 pm

Coalfire wrote:Just a question? If people know about these problems before, why do they buy them over an EFM or Keystoker?


Just wondering


Eric



I didnt know anything about these problems with the Coalgun before I purchased it,(or I wouldnt have) I ran into a guy I work with right after i ordered my boiler and he has a EFM, after talking to him I wish I wouldve meet him before hand I would be running a EFM right now, and as for pins and gadgets to mess with on a EFM that allows you to completely fine tune the machine, I wish my s130 could be fine tuned as much as a EFM can be, only thing that can be changed on these is the ashing temps and I would like to know if there is anyone out there who ran there s130 in milder weather like 40 to 60 degrees without having large amounts of unburnt and partially burnt coal?
dchartt
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glacier Bay

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:25 pm

lsayre wrote:Higher potential efficiency and greater potential longevity and a long historical track record of quality and durability might be some reasons to go with an AA or an AHS, and ease of use

This is why they buy them.
I forgot to mention in my last rant that the shape of the fire seems to be very important too. The fire should be like a cheese wheel, not a basketball. Picture the two shapes and how it would affect reading ash temperatures correctly and how fresh coal rolls over the top and you'll see what's going on.
Stop worrying about unburned coal, you have the most efficient boiler on the planet even with it. They just like spitting a few out.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:01 am

Absolutely pitch the cheaper smoke pipe, use the heavier gauge black welded seam pipe and the fixed elbows where ever possible, and screw everything together with at least 3 screws.

I have no real-world experience with AA or AHS appliances, so I con't offer any other advice, except to say that underfed stokers don't have this issue. As far as "fussing with the timer" I don't find that a major problem. The only issue I have experienced with my EFM is outfires on warm days following cold nights, but that's a draft problem with my chimney.
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:29 am

Not long ago I was considering having a truck muffler fabrication shop custom bend a 6" inch steel muffler pipe and use it as my stove's exhaust. At the time I was having issues with CO leakage and I became very fearful of an exhaust leak. I thought that if I used a one-piece pipe the potential for CO leakage would be reduced or even eliminated.

The reason why using a one-piece exhaust pipe for a coal boiler may be a good idea is because of the inherent strength and resistance to high-pressure as a result of a puff-back. The pipe could be designed with a pressure relief damper designed to vent gas explosions prior to the chimney thimble which would help mitigate damage to the chimney. The damper would break open to vent only after a certain psi pressure level was reached and would close by gravity after the pressure was vented, the same principle as a pressure relief valve.

The cost would be higher than black stove pipe of course, but may be worth the cost if it prevented an accident.

Edit: I wonder if someone were to approach Ben @ AHS or Pete Axeman, if they would be willing to provide a monetary award or prize, say $ 1,000.00 dollars, to the individual that can resolve the puff-back problem effectively and at low-cost?
Last edited by EarthWindandFire on Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
EarthWindandFire
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Lil' Heater.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer model 75.
Other Heating: Oil and Natural Gas.

Re: Round 2....so far so good

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:54 am

EarthWindandFire wrote:The hopper and long burn time over the augar is what sold me over the EFM . Also the high BTU output on the S-260 with a smaller stack than the Keystoker. Price wise they are all pretty much even when you are looking at a 250,000 BTU boiler , I think the EFM could have been $700.00 more .


Maybe I am misunderstanding your post, but how does the hopper on a Coal Gun give longer burn times than an EFM? You can feed an EFM out of a 10 ton bin if you wish, and I think we can agree that would outlast a 400 lb hopper. The size of the flue collar is a good point if you have an existing 6" flue, but if that is the case you better make sure the chimney stays clear of flyash.

Wood'nCoal wrote:Absolutely pitch the cheaper smoke pipe, use the heavier gauge black welded seam pipe and the fixed elbows where ever possible, and screw everything together with at least 3 screws.


AHS says right in the manual to only use 22-24 gauge stovepipe and to secure each joint with screws. I have used Heatfab brand 22 gauge pipe in the base, it is tough stuff.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy