Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: mjbooth1234 On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:32 pm

I've been the owner of this house for 3 years now and have had no issues with my coal burning boiler, until this year. This year the coal didn't seem to be burning as well so I took it apart and cleaned everything up. Something I probably should have been doing every year I guess. My boiler is an American Radiator Co. boiler which has a Prills underfed hopper and auger set up with the rotating ring and plate. There is another thread on this forum talking about the same issues he was having with a home made 55 gallon drum as his coal bin.

Here's what I've tried to do so far:

1. Cleaned all flues and chimney pipes
2. Cleaned chimney, was pretty dirty
3. Adjusted barometric dampener so pulls max draft up chimney, almost fully closed when unit is running
4. Emptied ashes
5. Pulled the burning plate and rotating ring off and cleaned
6. Pulled the whole assembly out of the boiler, (hopper, auger tube, fire plate is all one unit which is a prills) and cleaned out air shaft of debris and under the hopper had a lot of coal dust under that. Put everything back the way I found it and resealed the lid to the hopper bin.
7. Adjusted air volume from fan to as little air as possible thinking I had to much air
8. Completely filled the hopper with coal
9. Opened a basement window to help with draft

So far there has been no change, I am still getting smoke coming back through the auger tube and into my hopper which is sealed but the smoke still manages to find a way out. I can actually see the smoke rolling up around parts of the lid, and down some of the seams of the hopper bin itself.

I am burning WY Coal but it is last years coal so it is pretty dry and dusty, is that the problem that it is to dry? Any help would be appreciated. As of right now I've got a fan blowing continually above the hopper pointed down towards the auger tube and have used some towels to seal up around the fan so there is a positive air pressure on my hopper at all times to prevent the smoke from coming back down the auger tube.

Does anybody have any other ideas???????
mjbooth1234
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Radiator Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal #1 Red Flash Boiler

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: theo On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:40 pm

Real Quick, sounds like a draft problem ( i get that at the local watering hole ) Did you check your draft with a guage to see what it is actualy pulling ? Please have some co detectors in the house. I'am sure some others will chime in here with more suggestions. Keep us posted
theo
 
Stove/Furnace Make: LL
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire 2

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:43 pm

Has your draft changed ? What's your manometer reading ? Is your Barometric Damper clean and free at the hinge?
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

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Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: mjbooth1234 On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:54 pm

Yes I do have CO detectors, good there. I don't have a draft measuring device, My chimney is a 6 x 12 brick chimney which is about 35 to 40' high. My house is a two story home. I can feel a pretty good draft with my hand by the barometric dampener if I hold it open and put my hand over the opening as well.
mjbooth1234
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Radiator Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal #1 Red Flash Boiler

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: mjbooth1234 On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:59 pm

Boiler
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American Radiator Co. #1 Red Flash boiler
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mjbooth1234
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Radiator Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal #1 Red Flash Boiler

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: mjbooth1234 On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:02 pm

Prills hopper
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mjbooth1234
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Radiator Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal #1 Red Flash Boiler

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: mjbooth1234 On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:02 pm

Prills
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Prills
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mjbooth1234
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Radiator Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal #1 Red Flash Boiler

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: mjbooth1234 On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:04 pm

Boiler and piping
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mjbooth1234
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Radiator Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal #1 Red Flash Boiler

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: mjbooth1234 On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:05 pm

Chimney pipe/barometric dampener
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mjbooth1234
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Radiator Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal #1 Red Flash Boiler

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: mjbooth1234 On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:07 pm

Fire plate/ring while not running
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mjbooth1234
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Radiator Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal #1 Red Flash Boiler

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:38 pm

With an Iron fireman stoker, which is similar to the Prills, there is a small return pressure line back to the hopper to keep it supplied with a positive pressure. The lid has a rubber seal around the loading door for the same reason.

Is the smoke leaking out of the hopper when the stoker is running, or when it is idling, or both?
If when idling and there is no Prill combustion fan running, then I'd say you definitely have a draft problem. If the smoke comes out when the combustion fan' is running, then maybe the auger is getting worn, and the comustion gasses are backing up the feed auger.

Beg, borrow, buy or steal :lol: a manometer, and use it to monitor your draft, so you can watch what the draft is when the hopper is leaking smoke.

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

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: rockwood On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:27 pm

LsFarm wrote:Is the smoke leaking out of the hopper when the stoker is running, or when it is idling, or both?

That is the first question that needs to be answered.

Next question is were you having smoke problems BEFORE you took anything apart?
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: mjbooth1234 On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:07 pm

Thank you for all the replies so far. The smoke is coming out around the hopper lid only when it is running, and only if it runs for a longer period of time like say over 7 min. If it is turning on only to maintain the fire there will be no smoke since it only runs for a minute or two. Once it cycles off the smoke disappears in a matter of seconds, (15-30).

I went ahead and cleaned my chimney once again and looked down it with a flash light, looks really good and clean.

Another adjustment I made tonight was I opened up the blower fan to increase my air flow of the fire. I had it just about closed so there was not a lot of air, could that make a difference too?

Yes the smoke was coming out the hopper lid/auger tube before I took everything apart. That is why I took everything apart in the first place to clean it out and try to understand why it was smoking like that.

I did not see anything that would allow air back into the hopper when the fan engages or any pathways, but I could have missed it. When I put it back together I added some silicone around the auger tube where it attaches to the hopper. I did that because there was a small build up of coal dust that almost blocking the air from getting to the fire ring. But as mentioned before the smoke was backing up before I did my cleaning and reassembly.
mjbooth1234
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Radiator Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal #1 Red Flash Boiler

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: mjbooth1234 On: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:13 pm

Also I've run this unit once for a whole week with the hopper lid open with no smoke returning.
mjbooth1234
 
Stove/Furnace Make: American Radiator Co.
Stove/Furnace Model: Ideal #1 Red Flash Boiler

Re: Help!!! smoke coming out of auger tube/hopper box

PostBy: McGiever On: Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:02 am

Another adjustment I made tonight was I opened up the blower fan to increase my air flow of the fire. I had it just about closed so there was not a lot of air, could that make a difference too?


After all the cleaning and inspections this was the only difference from before when it was working fine.

I suppose you'll have your answer after running it over night w/ increased air. :)

You might want to pickup some newer coal to test out the theory of last years dry coal being a problem...western coal is a different animal from what we use here. :idea:
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

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