Coal will not move down grate

Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: joia24 On: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:09 pm

I am in year 3 of taking care of my 15 yr old (but great) Keystoker 105 BTU, Serial #2278 coal stove - still have lots to learn. After careful cleaning, I lit the fire to discover the feed was not working and coal was backing up behind the fire and not moving down the grate. I removed all the coal from hopper to check if pusher bar was moving easily - slightly in and out - which it was doing just fine. Put rice coal back in hopper - lit - same problem - coal not being pushed down grate. The gear or auger motor is working - at least the fan is going around. This motor was replaced 3 yrs. ago. Prior to lighting, I had carefully cleaned the stove - removed all fly ash under grate and throughout stove, cleaned fans, oiled motors etc. Didn't know what else to try so called my fix-it man who is busy repairing stoves so he can't get to me until Oct. 17. I live just south of Rochester, NY so you know I'm going to be cold. Any suggestions that I can try would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Joia24
joia24
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 105 BTU 1996
Stove/Furnace Model: Serial #2278

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: blrman07 On: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:37 am

Turn it on and make sure that the pusher block is actually moving. Just the fan running doesn't mean that it is actually feeding. Keystoker has a nylon eccentric that pushes the coal feed pusher block back and forth. If the nylon has melted then the motor will run and the bar won't move.
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Baseburners & Antiques: rebuilding a 1906 March Brownback Double Heater, using a UMCO 1920's Pot Belly stove in the church
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: stovepipemike On: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:36 am

As mentioned ,is that white nylon disc that pushes the feed block rotating? Watch it for a time before deciding as it turns very slowly. Did you check to see if the grate surface is reasonably smooth and free of heavy rust buildup? If the coal is "bunching up" behind the fire on the hopper side that may indicate that the pusher parts are doing their job and there is resistance to the movement down the slope.Just my $.02 worth. Mike
stovepipemike
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KAA-2

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Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: Pacowy On: Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:26 am

If the pusher is moving and the coal is "backing up" behind the fire, that sounds like a problem I had with a flat grate stoker when I switched coals to a red ash coal that made such big clinkers that they wouldn't slide easily off the grate. This produced a lot of "plowing", with unburned coal going over the side of the grate "uphill" from the fire.

Also, if this problem came up right after you lit the fire, is there any chance that something you used to start the fire is stuck on the grate and backing up the coal?

Good luck.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: joia24 On: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:46 pm

stovepipemike wrote:As mentioned ,is that white nylon disc that pushes the feed block rotating? Watch it for a time before deciding as it turns very slowly. Did you check to see if the grate surface is reasonably smooth and free of heavy rust buildup? If the coal is "bunching up" behind the fire on the hopper side that may indicate that the pusher parts are doing their job and there is resistance to the movement down the slope.Just my $.02 worth. Mike


I removed coal, turned on auger motor and watched the pusher bar move easily up and down. Got all excited about trying again but couldn't coal to light.
Never had such a hard time before. Tomorrow's another day. Thanks so much for your help. Joia24
joia24
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 105 BTU 1996
Stove/Furnace Model: Serial #2278

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: joia24 On: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:50 pm

stovepipemike wrote:As mentioned ,is that white nylon disc that pushes the feed block rotating? Watch it for a time before deciding as it turns very slowly. Did you check to see if the grate surface is reasonably smooth and free of heavy rust buildup? If the coal is "bunching up" behind the fire on the hopper side that may indicate that the pusher parts are doing their job and there is resistance to the movement down the slope.Just my $.02 worth. Mike


Hi Mike,
I removed all the coal from hopper and grate - turned on auger motor - and happily watched the pusher bar move up and down. Excited to try again because your suggestion
that something was keeping the coal from moving (used mouse lighter which, in hindsight, was apparently stuck to the grate. For some reason, I could not get the fire to
light today - if it's not one thing it's another. Usually one mouse does it - not today. Tried 5 times! Very frustrating. Tomorrow's another day. I do thank you so much. Your
tips are great.
joia24
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 105 BTU 1996
Stove/Furnace Model: Serial #2278

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: joia24 On: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:54 pm

Pacowy wrote:If the pusher is moving and the coal is "backing up" behind the fire, that sounds like a problem I had with a flat grate stoker when I switched coals to a red ash coal that made such big clinkers that they wouldn't slide easily off the grate. This produced a lot of "plowing", with unburned coal going over the side of the grate "uphill" from the fire.

Also, if this problem came up right after you lit the fire, is there any chance that something you used to start the fire is stuck on the grate and backing up the coal?

Good luck.

Mike

Yes, I think it was the mouse I used to light the coal sticking to the grate. Today, unusually, nothing would lite the fire. I finally wore out. Even tried soaked coal as a starter to no avail. Tomorrow is a new day. Thanks for your help.
joia24
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 105 BTU 1996
Stove/Furnace Model: Serial #2278

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: Wiz On: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:25 pm

joia24 wrote:
Pacowy wrote:If the pusher is moving and the coal is "backing up" behind the fire, that sounds like a problem I had with a flat grate stoker when I switched coals to a red ash coal that made such big clinkers that they wouldn't slide easily off the grate. This produced a lot of "plowing", with unburned coal going over the side of the grate "uphill" from the fire.

Also, if this problem came up right after you lit the fire, is there any chance that something you used to start the fire is stuck on the grate and backing up the coal?

Good luck.

Mike

Yes, I think it was the mouse I used to light the coal sticking to the grate. Today, unusually, nothing would lite the fire. I finally wore out. Even tried soaked coal as a starter to no avail. Tomorrow is a new day. Thanks for your help.


So now you have 2 issues, coal will not light and coal doesn't slide across grate. After reading your first post I keep looking at statement of cleaning prior to lighting first time.. I would suggest inspecting grates again, by following manual A. Remove combustion blower. Vacuum from under grate chamber.
B. Remove nut and bolt from bottom of grate, tap grates in upward direction. Lift
grate out vacuum chamber. Clear unit and grate of old furnace cement. Any
blocked holes may be opened with a 1/8 punch. Gently tap punch with
hammer. Re-cement grates to create an air tight fit from start of holes to top of
grate
Wiz
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker Ka 6
Coal Size/Type: Casey Junk Coal :(

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: McGiever On: Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:29 pm

joia24 wrote:Yes, I think it was the mouse I used to light the coal sticking to the grate. Today, unusually, nothing would lite the fire. I finally wore out. Even tried soaked coal as a starter to no avail. Tomorrow is a new day. Thanks for your help.


Plenty of coal lighting techniques here...

Lighting a stoker
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

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:29 pm

I have had excellent luck lighting my stoker with cowboy charcoal, and recently I tried some wood chips (applewood, etc in the BBQ smoker section) that also worked very well.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: joia24 On: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:41 pm

Wiz wrote:
joia24 wrote:
Pacowy wrote:If the pusher is moving and the coal is "backing up" behind the fire, that sounds like a problem I had with a flat grate stoker when I switched coals to a red ash coal that made such big clinkers that they wouldn't slide easily off the grate. This produced a lot of "plowing", with unburned coal going over the side of the grate "uphill" from the fire.

Also, if this problem came up right after you lit the fire, is there any chance that something you used to start the fire is stuck on the grate and backing up the coal?

Good luck.

Mike

Yes, I think it was the mouse I used to light the coal sticking to the grate. Today, unusually, nothing would lite the fire. I finally wore out. Even tried soaked coal as a starter to no avail. Tomorrow is a new day. Thanks for your help.


So now you have 2 issues, coal will not light and coal doesn't slide across grate. After reading your first post I keep looking at statement of cleaning prior to lighting first time.. I would suggest inspecting grates again, by following manual A. Remove combustion blower. Vacuum from under grate chamber.
B. Remove nut and bolt from bottom of grate, tap grates in upward direction. Lift
grate out vacuum chamber. Clear unit and grate of old furnace cement. Any
blocked holes may be opened with a 1/8 punch. Gently tap punch with
hammer. Re-cement grates to create an air tight fit from start of holes to top of
grate


Just a few weeks before lighting the fire, I removed the combustion motor and completely cleaned out the fly ash (I've fitted a much smaller hose to my vacuum that reaches
to the end of the grate. The grate itself was replaced 1-1/2 yrs ago (some age cracks - needed replacing) when I installed it wrong (didn't get the upper lip into the little slot) causing the fire to move up the grate and burn out the gear motor. Expensive - another learning experience. Another Mike repaired all and replaced the grate beautifully. I'm loath to remove it. I have checked all the holes in the grate with an awl and all are clear. Air comes nicely through the holes when combustion motor is on. I did remove all the coal again, plugged in the auger motor and watched the pusher bar move easily back and forward. If I could light it, I think the feed might be OK. Also sanded and vacuumed the grate for easy sliding. I"ll be back at it tomorrow (napacrossroads has one more lighting idea that I haven't tried). Thanks so much for all your help. Just great to talk to a knowedgeable someone about this.
joia24
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 105 BTU 1996
Stove/Furnace Model: Serial #2278

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: joia24 On: Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:45 pm

Rob R. wrote:I have had excellent luck lighting my stoker with cowboy charcoal, and recently I tried some wood chips (applewood, etc in the BBQ smoker section) that also worked very well.

Tried to start fire again today with no success. Even tried a heat gun (are they kidding?). Don't know what cowboy charcoal is (buffalo chips?) but wood chips I understand;
Thanks again for your suggestion - I'll give it a try.
joia24
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 105 BTU 1996
Stove/Furnace Model: Serial #2278

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: Wiz On: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:26 pm

joia24 wrote:
Rob R. wrote:I have had excellent luck lighting my stoker with cowboy charcoal, and recently I tried some wood chips (applewood, etc in the BBQ smoker section) that also worked very well.

Don't know what cowboy charcoal is (buffalo chips?) but wood chips I understand;
Thanks again for your suggestion - I'll give it a try.


http://www.lowes.com/pd_246595-37442-12 ... facetInfo=

Get a bag of charcoal, pick up paper lunch bags. Crush up charcoal to smaller pieces, place in bag and close loosely. Now place bag upside down and light. Add more charcoal to get a nice hot bed, add little coal every so often.
Wiz
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker Ka 6
Coal Size/Type: Casey Junk Coal :(

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: McGiever On: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:39 pm

Another alternative brand, same to Cowboy (both are Lump charcoal)

Royal Oak All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
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

Re: Coal will not move down grate

PostBy: Globeoak On: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:07 pm

I had simiar problem with my rice burner last year :(
in my instance the burn plate had rusted over the summer months ,,I must have missed it when I sprayed my fire box with
wd-40 last spring
the rice would not slide accross the plate because of mild pitting and it caused a pile of rice to build up but not move accross the air holes in the plate.
My solutoun was to remove burn plate ,,,,clean with a wire wheel on a grinder then re cement/secure plate back in stoker mecanism
rice could then be pushed all the way accross the burn plate and complete combustion was achieved

Good luck
Globeoak
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Axemen Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130

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