Odor from Coal Storage Bin

Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: Bruce M On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:49 am

First off Hello My name is Bruce and am new here. I've been reading just about anything I can from this forum over the past month as I am in the planning stages of installing a hand fired coal/wood stove to my basement. This forum is a great wealth of information and probably has saved me money already, from not making mistakes. One answer I can not find is if there is an odor or fumes from coal as it sits in a storage bin. I will be building a bin that fits 15 tons in my basement but it is situated directly under my living room. I can not smell a thing due to my sinus condition but my wife is another story. If there is an odor coming off of the coal and it can rise up to through the floor than that creates a problem for my wife, which in turn creates one for me :( . I already have new CO/fire detectors installed and am planning on installing a damper and getting a flow meter to adjust.
Thanks for any help.
Bruce M
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1627 basement stove

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: jrn8265 On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:03 am

I have 6 tons stored in my basement and there is no smell whatsover as long as your coal is not OILED.

I have it delivered "wet" each year and it takes a month or so to dry out and during this time I have to be aware of any mold issues but if I see any I just spray it with Bleach.....
jrn8265
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker Koker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker 160

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: steamup On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:10 am

What kind of odor? musty, urine, etc.?

Do you have any cats?
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice


Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: Dennis On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:25 am

My coal bin is under my living room also. I had 8.2 ton delivered and I wet the coal going into the bin. The coal was literly touching the floor joist and never had any odor from the coal. Although the thought about mold might be a concern to some people.This is my second year and had never had a problem with mold.Maybe before you fill the bin can you spray some bleach on any wood that will be in contact with the wet(damp) coal,as a preventive measure? And welcome.
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: Bruce M On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:30 am

Thanks all for the reassurances, I just don't want to put a bunch of coal down the basement only to have the smell of it to be unacceptable to my wife, mine and my son's backs would like to avoid that scenario.
Bruce M
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1627 basement stove

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: Dennis On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:36 am

I really don't think there will be a problem with mold unless you have a "smitty" basement.
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:37 am

Right on, I keep nut coal in my basement. My 2 outdoor cats also use the basement at night to keep warm and so wild animals don't have them for dinner. I never smell the coal, but I do know when to clean the cat box down there, cuz I smell that lol.. I guess cats like the rice sized coal to use as a litter box, but so far they have stayed out of my nut sized coal.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:59 am

Lightning wrote:Right on, I keep nut coal in my basement. My 2 outdoor cats also use the basement at night to keep warm and so wild animals don't have them for dinner. I never smell the coal, but I do know when to clean the cat box down there, cuz I smell that lol.. I guess cats like the rice sized coal to use as a litter box, but so far they have stayed out of my nut sized coal.



thats just nasty :sick:

Iv had a slight sulphur smell in some of my ohio bituminous coal but it also had pyrite in it so its loaded with sulpher.
carlherrnstein
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: dave brode On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:32 pm

Bruce,

I buy bulk, which is often wet. I just hauled 6.5 tons in. My bin is apx 8' square, coal is at present time six feet deep [higher than in the pic below]. It was fresh from the breaker, and wet. Water has been seeping out of the bin for a week now, onto my boiler room floor. Like jrn, mine takes a long time to dry out. Some moisture is present for a long time. Although, I can't say that there is much odor, certainly not anything offensive.

Hindsight: A pipe [or two, or three] laying on the floor of bin, end sticking out through the boards holding the coal in the bin. Pipe or pipes would allow air to get back into the coal at floor level, speeding the drying process. Think the type of pipe designed to drain footers and such. Although, you could drill smaller sch 40, no need for 4". Fine screen clamped over the holes to prevent coal from getting into pipes.

If water on the floor is an issue, 90s could be stuck onto the ends of pipe or pipes where they 'daylight" to hold the water, and a shop vac could be used to pull said water out of the pipes until it stops.

Note: the water that drains from anth is normally nearly clear. Not black yuck water, like you would get from wet bit coal.

more fwiw, sealing any wood in the bin is a good thing imo. I use solvent based conrcete sealer to seal wood. ChemMasters, solvent base Polyseal, not water based polyseal [WB]. http://www.chemmasters.net/Cures-Seals.htm#Polyseal

Wood soaks it up well, and dirt and dust doesn't stick to the wood. The 2x4s are 20 years old, they were nasty from my years of burning bit. I pressure washed them and poured the poly seal to them when I "re-did" my bin when I went to anth. Even new wood soak it up pretty well. My point is, anything to make it easier to keep stuff clean = happier wife.

Here's a pic taken during my boiler install. The water runs out at the bottom, and under the sill into the boiler room. The "hindsight pipes" would stick through the boards at floor level. The bottom pic if from inside the bin room. Picture a pipe or pipes coming through the bottom board, possibly with wyes or a tees to the center, or even rear corners of bin. Such a setup would also allow some air to get into the bottom of the pile. I will probably do such a setup the next time my coal gets low.

Dave
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Last edited by dave brode on Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:05 pm, edited 10 times in total.
dave brode
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KAA-2
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: used to have a 5 section Red Square
Coal Size/Type: rice anthracite

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: WNY On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:33 pm

Keep mine in the basement 4-5 ton also, no smell. If they use the wrong OIL to OIL the coal to reduce the dust, it can get rancid. or if you cats get into it (If you have them) then go figure. Other than maybe a little moisture seeping out, if you don't have it lined, onto the floor as above. I have some heavy 6mil plastic in the bottom of my bin to prevent any moisture running out if the coal is damp or raining when it's delivered.
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: Bruce M On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:59 pm

Thanks to you both, those are some great ideas to incorporate into the bin and I will definitely use them.
Bruce M
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1627 basement stove

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:02 pm

There is no smell from coal. IF you have a very high sulfur coal and it's sopping wet, you may have the faintest wiff of hydrogen sulfide by sticking your nose right over it, but, again, this requires the coal to be sopping wet continuously and have a very high sulfur content.

I would recommend you seal (to the best of your ability) your coal bin for another reason - keeping ALL fine coal dust out of the home. put plastic up on the joists and seal it to the bin; use "great stuff" or caulk to seal any gaps and make a door - even something temporary - so that when you load coal if it's not thoroughly wetted you won't have dust through the basement and the home.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: crazy4coal On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:35 pm

If the breaker reuses the wash water you may have a smell from the wet coal. If the water that collects on the floor is yellow or leaves a orange stain it has iron or suphur in it some times it can be nasty.
crazy4coal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: buderus
Stove/Furnace Model: logana

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: cabinover On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:03 pm

I have never noticed any smell from coal other than when it's burning.
cabinover
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid Axeman Anderson 130
Baseburners & Antiques: Sparkle #12
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Buckwheat, Nut
Other Heating: LP Hot air. WA TX for coal use.

Re: Odor from Coal Storage Bin

PostBy: steamup On: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:04 pm

For the record, my first year with a coal bin - no odor. Coal went in damp and dried out fairly quickly, but is not in a damp location. Wet coal does not smell.

Dust on the other hand is a concern. I am planning to install a hose bib near the coal bin to wet the coal down when I handle it to minimize dust kickup.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice