Central vacuum powered coal feeder

Central vacuum powered coal feeder

PostBy: mlchelp On: Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:40 pm

Hello all, I had an idea today and wanted to see if anyone thought it would work. I have a central vacuum installed by the previous owner in my house. It a big unit with plenty of horsepower with PVC ran to every room in my house. It has a bucket that collects all the dirt and then exhaust outside my house. I use it all the time to clean the stuff after it has cooled. The bottom of my stove usually has a lot of coal in the bottom that falls off the sides of the grates. It sucks all this up no problem and moves it all the way through the PVC and into the bucket on the central unit, all the fine coal ash is exhausted out of the house. The idea I have is to create a new cover for my hopper with two pvc connectors. One would be connected into one of the central vacuum’s pvc intakes right next to the stove. The other would be ran to PVC that runs through the walls and ceiling and into my coal bin in the garage. I already have contacts on the pvc intake near my stove that when shorted turn the central unit on and off. I could mount a switch here and turn the unit on and off. When the coal reaches my hopper it should fall right in due to the airstream slowing like it does in the bucket at the central unit. I know that I must have some coal in the bottom of my hopper so that there is no suction passing through to the stove. I have a super mag and I think between 5 or 6 inches of coal in the bottom and the pusher block underneath that it should not be an issue. The hopper steal seems sturdy enough that it won’t implode the sides. I know there is plenty of suction to move the coal because it works fine when I vacuum it up normally and it goes through all of the pvc with 90 degree elbows and up’s and downs etc. The coal dust won’t be a problem because that will pass through to the central vac and be exhausted outside my house.I also have to put a shutoff on the PVC intake that goes back to the central vac so that when the wifey uses it in other parts of the house it doesn’t start sucking up coal. What do you think? Will this work? It won’t cost a lot I already have the vac, I just need to buy the PVC and create the new top for my hopper. Or just use the top I have and mount the PVC. Of course this all has to look very neat or my wife will kill me. you thoughts would be apreciated. I reall y dont mind emptying the ash at all, But I absolutley dread carrying buckets of coal in from the garrage.
mlchelp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum

Re: Central vacuum powered coal feeder

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:50 am

I suppose you won't know unless you try, but my gut says that the coal in the stove hopper won't be enough to stop the vacuum.... you'll be sucking up smoke & maybe even coal. And two: Unless you have some sort of cyclone baffle or something, I think you'll have a certain amount of coal making it to the trash can. If it does work, I think you'll be wearing out PVC pipe faster than you think.... I don't know....it just seems that moving rock through plastic pipe will erode the plastic. Maybe I'm all wet... Tryyyy it!
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Central vacuum powered coal feeder

PostBy: stovepipemike On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:15 am

No chance of any fine coal dust getting to the motor,right? Mike
stovepipemike
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KAA-2


Re: Central vacuum powered coal feeder

PostBy: coalkirk On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:48 am

I don't know about being able to suck the coal into the hopper but it would work well to handle the dust. I have a cover over my hopper which is auger fed. I have a shop vac hose connected to an opening in the cover and when the auger runs, the vacuum does also. Works great.
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coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Central vacuum powered coal feeder

PostBy: mlchelp On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:25 am

Freddy wrote:I suppose you won't know unless you try, but my gut says that the coal in the stove hopper won't be enough to stop the vacuum.... you'll be sucking up smoke & maybe even coal. And two: Unless you have some sort of cyclone baffle or something, I think you'll have a certain amount of coal making it to the trash can. If it does work, I think you'll be wearing out PVC pipe faster than you think.... I don't know....it just seems that moving rock through plastic pipe will erode the plastic. Maybe I'm all wet... Tryyyy it!


I shouldn’t suck up any coal into the central vac bucket because the airstream in the hopper will be a lot less than the air moving through the pvc and it should just drop into the hopper when it reaches that point. If I do suck up any smoke it will just exit the house at the exhaust on the central vac. Pvc wear is something I’m worried about but I could always replace the section leading to the coal bin and I think it should last for quite a while. I think that I’m going to set this all up with some kind of regular hose first to test this out. My thought is that if this works I could activate the vac motor by a sensor in the hopper and have it constantly topping the hopper off anytime it goes down 8 or 9 inches. Then I would have a lot of coal in the hopper already and less chance of pulling any air from the stove. If this works I’m thinking that this could also be done with a powerful shop vac that is mounted in a box or something outside the house. Same principal as the central vac, the dust etc would just move through the intake pvc and be vented outside the house through the shop vac exhaust. I’m basically using my hopper as the bucket for the shop vac. I know everyone on here likes the auger idea but this is a lot simpler and a lot less expensive.

stovepipemike wrote:No chance of any fine coal dust getting to the motor,right? Mike


no chance the central vac has a lifetime washable filter.



coalkirk wrote:I don't know about being able to suck the coal into the hopper but it would work well to handle the dust. I have a cover over my hopper which is auger fed. I have a shop vac hose connected to an opening in the cover and when the auger runs, the vacuum does also. Works great.
auger.jpg


my thinking exactly, the dust will just exit the house into the outside air. The auger seems like to much work. I can run the pvc any way I want and can even use vacuum hose if I want. I know for a fact that the coal will move through the pvc because I can already hook my vacum hose into the vacum port next to the stove and suck all the coal I want into the bucket on the central vac and it travels through the vac's pvc which runs along way through the walls and cieling and drops in the bucket on the bottom of the system.
mlchelp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum

Re: Central vacuum powered coal feeder

PostBy: Wiz On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:01 am

I made a corn vac several years ago to transport from bin to hopper, and in the process of making one for coal. Items needed 8hp shop vac. Container ( I used 25 gal drum). toilet flange. 3in ball valve, 2in pvc pipe.... Fasten toilet flange to botton of drum and connect ball valve. Drum lid make (2) 2in holes for pvc pipes. I hooked shop vac to drum and used drum as the tank for shop vac. Connected small section of shop vac hose to drum then to pvc and place in bin. Turn on vac waited to drum was full, open ball valve to release corn in hopper. For coal you'll have to deal with dust, maybe damp towel drape of vac will using it. I could move a ton of corn in 15 mins using this method, from trailer to bin.



Image
Wiz
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker Ka 6
Coal Size/Type: Casey Junk Coal :(

Re: Central vacuum powered coal feeder

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:18 am

I hooked up the shop vac in outside box, it was already in place as a pass through from wood burning days. My intent was to only have the vac for clean up without the screaming vac in the house and I added a hole in my hopper and a lid to suck up the dust from my dried out bagged coal. The problem I ran into was that the coal dust is so fine that it plugged the filter and attracted moisture, completely plugging it.
My concern would be that the unburned coal is heavier and would not flow well. When you shut it off, the pipe will be full of damp coal and I wonder if the vacuum will get it moving again after it sets for awhile. Hey, if you've got the time, nothing ventured nothing gained!

Kevin

Great set up Wiz!!
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman (Back In Maine)
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Central vacuum powered coal feeder

PostBy: McGiever On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:55 pm

I like the electrical conduit bends that *Lightning* used...gradual bends, not abrupt.

Filter plugging is easily avoided w/ a cyclone inline. *Search* Dust Deputy :idea:

I have considered a similar set-up for my Dad to get his wood pellets up stairs without lugging bags/buckets. :)
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: Central vacuum powered coal feeder

PostBy: mlchelp On: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:56 pm

Wiz wrote:I made a corn vac several years ago to transport from bin to hopper, and in the process of making one for coal. Items needed 8hp shop vac. Container ( I used 25 gal drum). toilet flange. 3in ball valve, 2in pvc pipe.... Fasten toilet flange to botton of drum and connect ball valve. Drum lid make (2) 2in holes for pvc pipes. I hooked shop vac to drum and used drum as the tank for shop vac. Connected small section of shop vac hose to drum then to pvc and place in bin. Turn on vac waited to drum was full, open ball valve to release corn in hopper. For coal you'll have to deal with dust, maybe damp towel drape of vac will using it. I could move a ton of corn in 15 mins using this method, from trailer to bin.



Image


Very nice, this is exactly what I thought about doing originaly but my wife would kill me if I had something like that mounted over the coal stove. lol. So then I thought well why not just use the hopper itself as the bucket and just have 2 black pvc pipes run down out of the cieling into the top of the hopper. I could make them close together and they wouldnt be that much of a eye sore. Im going to do it next weekend. Im going to use smooth vacuum hose and make a plywood cover for my hopper for testing. It should be very easy.
mlchelp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum