Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

Re: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: the coop On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:29 am

It has been mild here, but it seems like there is more unburt coal than burnt. And it seems that the unit is not holding the fire, unless I'm not doing proper adjusting, which is very possible. When I get it to about an inch of burn on top of the grate, and it looks good, it slowly goes out.
the coop
 

Re: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: titleist1 On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:43 am

Welcome to the forum, you have come to the right place to get it figured out. A little patience is all that is needed and in a day or two you will be enjoying the heat and wondering what all the fuss was about!

Is the fan that supplies combustion air to the fire running when it goes out, I suspect it is not. I am not running your model stove, but it sounds like the timer settings for "pilot" mode need to be tweaked.

Here is a short explanation of what I am talking about, I apologize if this is too simplistic a review, not trying to insult, just covering the basics. When the temps are warm enough so that the thermostat doesn't call for heat the stove will fire on and turn off based on timer settings to keep a fire on the coal bed, like a pilot light on a gas unit. If the timer to turn on is too long since the last "pilot" burn then the fire will go out because no air is being supplied to maintain the fire. If the "pilot" burn is too short before turning off, then the coal bed doesn't get fired up enough to stay lit until the next "pilot" burn is called for. There is a balance from stove to stove and install to install to get it dialed in so that you get the most efficient coal burn that can be reasonably expected. With a stoker you will always have some partially burned coal because of this on /off pilot operation during warmer temps.

Do you have a manual for the stove describing how to set the timers and maybe a suggested initial setting for them? Can you post a pic of a close up of the control box, maybe the controls and their current settings can be seen?

Also just thought to ask if the power vent has been thoroughly cleaned of fly ash? I am assuming this is a new installation so there shouldn't be any at this point, but just in case it is a used unit.......
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: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: the coop On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:10 am

Titleist1, no need to apologize for simple, I need simple, thank you.The stove is used, the direct vent is brand new. I have the manual in my documents I found on the Reading website. It does not have a starting setting. Just what to adjust and when. And is even a little confusing to me, it seems it contradicts itself.

As far as the "pilot" when its not calling for heat, what is keeping it burning. Thats when mine seemed to go out.

I don't have the best camara or the best picture taking habits, sorry. At least they are easy to upload to the forum.

Here is a pic of the feed timer adjuster.A tad blurry,the setting to the left is "MIN"

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Here is the carpet plate setting, probably no help showing this, but I figured why not.

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the coop
 

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Re: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:17 am

I'm not sure, but I don't think your stove has a timer.

Question:

How do you control the amount of heat you desire? Do you have a thermostat that goes on a wall & wire to the stove? Or perhaps you simply have one knob on the stove that you adjust from like zero to ten.

Comments: I have a Reading stove. Before I did my "Triburner conversion" I used to get a certain amount of unburned coal no matter what. After I added the blower I get zero unburnt coal. You can not get too much combustion air in this type of system. If there is extra air it just goes through the ash.

If all you have is a knob then that simply controls the speed at which the coal is delivered. But, the fan is also attached to that same motor, so when the feed is slow, the combustion air is slow, thus, unburned coal. Can you show us a picture of the parts directly under the hopper?

<edit> I see you posted a pit while I was typing..... maybe this will help? A pic is worth a thousand words.
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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: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: the coop On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:33 am

I do have a thermastat on the wall to control heat desired. When I first fired up the stove I did adjust the adjuster you pointed out in my pic. Going by what I was told to do and the manual. Slightly differant, but similiar.
the coop
 

Re: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: titleist1 On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:44 am

OK, I just downloaded the manual for the Lehigh myself, and no timer, simply a dial setting for the idle feed rate. Since Freddy has had one of these he will be better to advise you on its operation and tuning. I see he already gave some help on the feed rate adjustment picture...it was a good idea to post it, there can never be too many pictures!

The fire stays burning between calls for heat or the pilot burn just by the amount of time it takes for the coal fire to burn out. The combustion fan should kick on before the fire dies out totally and new coal fed to the grate. It should stay on long enough to get this existing/new coal burning completely enough so that it doesn't snuff out before the next call for heat. Just as an example on a unit with a timer...in pilot mode mine is set to burn for 4 minutes and then shut off for 11 minutes. If I shut my stove off the fire on the grate will burn out in 15-17 minutes. I experimented to get to this setting, it will vary from install to install and from coal brand to coal brand. Yours has a dial and I am guessing that the dial does something internally that is similar to my timers.

Since the stove is used, were the grates cleaned? Airflow has to come up through the coal and if that air is blocked from ash and whatnot it could be interfering with the complete burning of the coal as well. The manual describes the grate cleaning. Also, according to the manual there is a gasket around the grate that needs to seal any air from bypassing the coal bed.
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: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: the coop On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:58 am

Unfortunatly, I don't now if the grates were cleaned, and I didn't see the part about cleaning them, I will do that now to be sure. I take it I must empty the hopper to do this. I lifted the grate a little and coal seemed to pour down. I guessing if I don't empty the hopper, the coal will all just empty out.
the coop
 

Re: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: titleist1 On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:10 am

I don't know about emptying the hopper...The stoker maintenance section of the manual is on page 18 of the version I downloaded.
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: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: the coop On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:19 am

There was quite a bit of ash under the grate. The holes in the grate were not plugged. I do need to go get another gasket for the grate though. Maybe there was enough ash to make a differance. Hard to tell, being so new to this.
the coop
 

Re: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: the coop On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:30 am

And the grate gasket opens up a new can of worms. When I took the grate out, the gasket stayed on the stove so I'm not sure how it sets back on the grate. It looks like it was folded over the edge of the channel around the grate. But the lower end of the grat is flat (no channel) so not sure what to do there. How critical is placement on this gasket?
the coop
 

Re: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: titleist1 On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:37 am

I would run a drill bit through the holes by hand to clear them out since you already have it shut down, then you know they are fully open. The manual mentions a 1/8" bit.

Don't know about the gasket, the manual doesn't give an exploded parts view so without looking at it....
Got a pic or two or three you could post? :)
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: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: whistlenut On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:41 am

The posse to the rescue. I meant that if you think you have a good burn rate, try it for an extended period of time. The adjustment will probably be noticed in 30 minute or less, but you can get too aggressive and send it over the end, or reduce it too much and lose air from the burn zone. The point is to relax, enjoy an adult beverage if that helps, and watch what happens. Is it possible that you have some ash under the grate? Is it fitted properly? Happens sometimes and that is all that is wrong. The drill bit is a good idea also. with age, sometimes the holes get 'fused', but even brand new, they could be restricted.
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks Boiler,Itasca415,NYer130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska-4,Keystoker-2,
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: the coop On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:52 am

Heres the bottom side of the grate. The flat part goes up towards the hopper, not the bottom.

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Here is how the gasket looks like it was in it. Not sure though.
Looking again, there are 4 holes plugged.
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the coop
 

Re: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: the coop On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:57 am

Whistlenut, your advice to relax and have an adult beverage couldn't come at a better time. I just got a call from my Dr. that my stress test scheduled for a couple weeks has a cancellation and I'm going today. Should be off the charts.
the coop
 

Re: Coal Not Burning Totally to Ash

PostBy: the coop On: Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:22 pm

I just broke 2 drill bits trying to drill out the holes that are plugged. 5 along the top. Is getting these 5 drilled out that important? And Whistlenut I did have some ash under the grate. By the looks of the gasket, I'm not surprised, it was beat.
the coop
 

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