Good day for a cleaning

Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:57 pm

I decided to take advantage of the 40 degree weather and shut the EFM down this morning. After it cooled down to 140 degrees or so I put on an old sweatshirt and some welding gloves, put a few scoops of ash on top of the fire, pulled the baffles out, and brushed it down. I was pretty surprised at how much flyash had collected in the heat exchanger area...towards the top it looked like "barnacles" of flyash were growing between the sections. My draft was still fine, but I had noticed the stack temperature seemed a little higher than normal.

I've burned about 4 tons since I gave it a thorough cleaning, so I was wondering how long the rest of you are going between cleanings?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:26 pm

About 6 months. :clap: toothy Couldn't help myself my friend. ;) By the way, thanx for the snow you sent this way you young woodpecker!
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:37 pm

Not sure if there is a recommended time frame for cleaning the unit or not? Would love to hear if there is.

Generally Since I started burning 4 years ago in the EFM I run it from approx OCT 10th or so until late April or early May.

Then Clean it and prepare it for its summertime sleep. I guess that is about 7 months.

And most years I run about 7 to 8 tons of coal thru it during those months.

This year unless things change drastically soon I will probably only have 6 Tons used which is ok on the bank!
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:28 pm

freetown fred wrote:About 6 months. :clap: toothy Couldn't help myself my friend. ;) By the way, thanx for the snow you sent this way you young woodpecker!


Hey Fred, if I was like you and got 30 days out of a 5 gallon pail of coal I'd probably use the same cleaning interval. 8-)

It probably would have been just fine if I had left it alone until May, but I'm trying to conserve wherever I can...if a 30 minute cleaning saves me 500 lbs of coal it was well worth it.


Mark, my dad's EFM is a Highboy and it doesn't seem to get nearly as much flyash builldup in the heat exchanger...plus the additional surface area probably makes it less sensitive to a little ash buildup.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:52 pm

It's all in the pokin method. :flex: toothy
Rob R. wrote:
freetown fred wrote:About 6 months. toothy Couldn't help myself my friend. ;) By the way, thanx for the snow you sent this way you young woodpecker!


Hey Fred, if I was like you and got 30 days out of a 5 gallon pail of coal I'd probably use the same cleaning interval.

It probably would have been just fine if I had left it alone until May, but I'm trying to conserve wherever I can...if a 30 minute cleaning saves me 500 lbs of coal it was well worth it.


Mark, my dad's EFM is a Highboy and it doesn't seem to get nearly as much flyash builldup in the heat exchanger...plus the additional surface area probably makes it less sensitive to a little ash buildup.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: jkabdoors On: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:02 pm

Hi everyone, i am new to the coal family this season. I was also thinking about the cleaning part. Do i have to do it more often with a power vent? Not sure still in the learning process.I can honestly say i love it am we ( myself and wife ) are hooked Thanks Again
jkabdoors
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: CatholicBoy1957 On: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:37 pm

I called someone in to clean it about ten years ago. I wasn't watching the whole time, but I don't recall seeing him clean what I assume you re referring to is the boiler area above the pot? I did vacuum out the bottom of the chimney, and the back of the furnace where the fly ash accumulates, about a year ago, or maybe it was 2.
CatholicBoy1957
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 1967 AP520-1 & S20

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: titleist1 On: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:39 am

CatholicBoy1957 wrote: I did vacuum out the bottom of the chimney, and the back of the furnace where the fly ash accumulates, about a year ago, or maybe it was 2.


1 or two years....been that long ago?!?!? I would suggest cleaning out that area where the fly ash accumulates again! :shock:

Do you have multiple CO detectors in the house?
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: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: CatholicBoy1957 On: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:49 am

I definitely will, but I was planning on doing it when the weather is warmer, let's say, April, or May. I have one CO detector, and it does work, I found out.

I'm going to have to review with the local guy what parts he cleans when he does it.
CatholicBoy1957
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 1967 AP520-1 & S20

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: titleist1 On: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:17 pm

Do you have a manometer to watch for a drop in draft due to fly ash build up?

I usually vac out the horizontals about twice during the heating season and then again at the end of the season.

I shut down today since it is going to be warm the next couple days. This will be a good time to vac everything out again, swap out the blowers and clean and oil the ones I take out. Probably doesn't need it real badly since it was not too long since the last vacuuming.
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: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: CatholicBoy1957 On: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:04 pm

I don't have a manometer. Is that something a typical homeowner should have? I have seen, in the past, what a clogged chimney will do to draft. The fire and smoke come at you, instead of away, when you try to relight. I thought it was actually pretty obvious, and I wouldn't want it to happen again. I suspect that some fly ash may have built up on the upper chimney walls, and came down suddenly in a bad storm, by the looks of the lumps.

I did talk to my local mechanic today, about an hour ago, and he explained to me how my particular model is done, and said it should be done once a year. Because of my physical condition, it was extremely difficult to vacuum out the bottom of the chimney, and bottom of the furnace. Cleaning the tubes in the back and removing the partition in the front is beyond my ability. I will have to pay him to do it this summer, which may not be possible either, because I'm going to have to come up with the money for that, and I still didn't pay off the repairs from December.

That hopey changey thing ain't working out for me. In fact, it turned out to be a change for the worse. Thanks a lot to all of you who voted for it. And don't tell me what he's doing for the poor. I am the poor.
CatholicBoy1957
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 1967 AP520-1 & S20

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:26 pm

Is there any chance a friend or neighbor could give you a hand with this? Maybe ask the local church? If you can find someone willing and able to do the physical work, we can provide the instructions to clean the boiler.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: CatholicBoy1957 On: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:34 pm

I've asked "friends" and neighbors for a lot less, and got rather little. That would be a really tough one. I've got a lot of stories. Just as an example, the pastor of my church recently placed several blurbs in the Sunday bulletin, looking to start a "Garden Club", so that volunteers could take care of some areas on church grounds, and I was the only person that made an inquiry into the "Club", and I'm disabled. My health insurance provider, Highmark Blue Shield, did arrange, after a very long wait, for a volunteer to help with some yard work. That person did offer to try to help with cleaning the chimney, so I could try to run boiler cleaning by him. He's 70, and doesn't do much work around his own house, so I'm guessing it may be over the top. I may invite him over this summer to watch, when I call someone in to do the job.

My local mechanic tells me there are tubes in the back of the boiler that need to be brushed of fly ash, and that it is done through the hole for the exhaust pipe. He also mentioned that there's a partition, accessed through the front hole, that hangs from 2 pegs, and that gets removed and brushed, and there's a shelf above that partition that gets brushed also. I take it that this part of the job is not as critical as emptying the chimney and exhaust area, as a clog could be far more serious than the boiler getting accumulations. After all, it hasn't affected the running for the past ten years.
CatholicBoy1957
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 1967 AP520-1 & S20

Re: Good day for a cleaning

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:09 pm

CatholicBoy1957 wrote:My local mechanic tells me there are tubes in the back of the boiler that need to be brushed of fly ash, and that it is done through the hole for the exhaust pipe. He also mentioned that there's a partition, accessed through the front hole, that hangs from 2 pegs, and that gets removed and brushed, and there's a shelf above that partition that gets brushed also.


He is correct. The partition you are referring to is a cast iron baffle, and it looks like this:
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I would brush the tubes out last, since the flyash that collects on top of the "shelf" will fall down through the tubes when you brush it off.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy