LsFarm wrote:Bit coal smokes a LOT when first heated, Anthracite just pops and crackles. And it gets soft when heated, and swells and sticks together. Since your coal has this swelling and sticking on the grate characteristic, to me, it's Bit coal.
But you can try this: get your stoker bed going with a good big anthracite coal fire, at least 4-5" of the bed burning red.. Take a hand full of the suspect coal and lay a 1/2" layer over the hot fire.use a coal shovel or a BBQ spatula, be careful.
if it is Antracite, it will just pop and crackle [wear goggles] and catch fire. hte fire will be a clean white to blue fire
If it is Bit coal it will smoke with a yellow gray smoke,then burn with a dirty oily yellow fire then change to a normal red bed of coals.
The problem is not the smoke, it is the fact that is swells and glues itself together, that alone makes it unusable in your stoker
Take it back, and get actual coal bagged at the breaker, not bagged from 'mystery coal' in you retailer's yard..
If you do this test, take photos, I did this test with known Bit coal once,, and it was a spectacular fire when the bit smoke ignited !! Be ready!!
Okay, so I tried this test. I think I might have executed it wrong though because I turned my combustion air back on and after reading your post, I'm tempted to believe it should've been left off when you said that it will turn to a red bed of coals. Anyway, what I saw was a mixed bag of both. I saw the coal crackle and pop like antracite, but it immediately was smoking an enormous amount and the flame was yellow the whole time. It never turned back to blue'ish until the coal being pushed in from the hopper started lighting as you could tell because the blue was only on the rear of the grate.
I'll try again tomorrow with the bags and the bulk to see if the behavoir is different. On another note though, my brother took half of a ton from this last trip and now he's having a similar issue. He left for a little while today and came home to find his house at 64 degrees and a coal dam built up and preventing new coal from being pushed onto the grate.
I've never had issues with clickers, smoke and/or white dust so something's changed. I've been burning coal for about 5 years now so I'm pretty sure that something's changed in the batch I just bought. I'm thinking that Reading is cutting the anthracite with bituminous and I might have got a mixture that's out of their spec.