need help in RI

need help in RI

PostBy: gixxer On: Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:07 pm

Hi Guys.
Newbie in Scituate RI and was wondering if anybody in the area has experience with burning coal in the area. I can't keep a fire for more than a week. If somebody in the area could check out my setup beer/coffee/conversation is available. Thanks
BK
gixxer
 
Stove/Furnace Make: firepower

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: rberq On: Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:18 pm

gixxer wrote:Hi Guys.
Newbie in Scituate RI and was wondering if anybody in the area has experience with burning coal in the area. I can't keep a fire for more than a week. If somebody in the area could check out my setup beer/coffee/conversation is available. Thanks
BK

If you are keeping your fire for a week before it dies, then you can't be doing too much wrong. The most likely problem is not clearing enough ash, so it builds up and up and finally kills the fire. Some stoves also build up excessive ash in the corners of the firebox so you end up with a narrow fire in the center. Coal can be deceptive, because you can see lots of happy coals burning on top, but you need a DEEP bed of coal, and if the layers underneath are all dead ash the fire will eventually die.

More information about your stove and setup would be helpful in diagnosis, and we LOVE pictures! You can also edit your forum profile to include your location and stove model and so on.

P.S. Welcome to the forum. Take heart, we will have you all fixed in short order!
Last edited by rberq on Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: gixxer On: Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:26 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. It's a fire power wood/coal furnace from the 80's. IT will burn great for days then the back side of the stove burns out(like today) and the front is sure to follow (tomorrow morning). Then it takes 150lb of coal to restart. I'm on my 30th bag this year (mostly due to restarts). I'm burning nut coal and I belive I have the right size grates?
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gixxer
 
Stove/Furnace Make: firepower


Re: need help in RI

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:43 pm

looks like the grates aren't as wide ass the width of burn chamber. Also looks like grates are set down in a recessed well(step). This will not make it easy to get ash out if its sitting on the ledge around recessed grates. I use a poker rod, 1/2 stl rod with 60* bend on end i poke with, i pay attentiom to corners, and all sides around center of my burn area, making sure ash is pushed down towards grates. i empty my ash tray once every 24 hours, two reasons: 1 helps to keep grates from overheating and warping if too full, and 2 doesn't interfere with under fire draft. Tend my burner every 12 hours 6AM & 6PM. still have good bed of coals, but can see where ash is from burning.Edges mainly.

Secondly, what controls the under draft blower? how often does it run? is there an idle air draft adjuter for when blower isn't running? how frequent are you tending times to stoke with coal, and how often do you empty ash?
wilder11354
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF260
Coal Size/Type: nut or pea, anthracite
Other Heating: crown oil boiler, backup.if needed

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:41 am

Am I looking at a chain draped over the top of the furnace in the first photo, and if so, does it belong to a bi-metal spring loaded air intake?
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: 2001Sierra On: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:52 am

My neighbor ran a FirePower for a few years. I will talk with him tomorrow, and ask about his struggles. I think he did not really have any problem with burning for weeks without loosing a fire. The rocker grates would clinker up from time to time. Is your ash white or red?
2001Sierra
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90 Chimney vent
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Buderus Oil Boiler 3115-34
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 90 Chimney Vent

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: gixxer On: Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:36 am

Thanks for the replies.
Ash is white.
There is no chain, air intake is all controlled by blower motor. There is no aux intake. I've been poking with a 3/8 rod but not getting into the sides. I try to get to the fire every 12 hours and empty ash almost every time, if not every other.
gixxer
 
Stove/Furnace Make: firepower

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: 2001Sierra On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:18 am

White ash is better for a hand fed, whcih is what you have. I believe ash will be your enemy, and you need to learn the best way to account for it. Do you turn off the combustion blower when opening the front door or during shaking?
2001Sierra
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90 Chimney vent
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Buderus Oil Boiler 3115-34
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 90 Chimney Vent

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: SteveZee On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:56 am

That ash is deffinately your problem. Ash build up is killing your fire. Those grates are not that aggressive either so fabbing a good poker is going to help you keep it running.
SteveZee
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Modern Oak 116 & Glenwood 208 C Range

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: gixxer On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:47 am

Since we all agree that ash is the problem. Once I get a good bed of coals going would taking a rake/hoe and going in the stove and really mix stuff up be a good Idea? I was under the impression that you don't want to move the coals around that much.
gixxer
 
Stove/Furnace Make: firepower

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: freetown fred On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:12 am

Do NOT confuse poking with raking/hoeing--the latter you do not want to do. :)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: rberq On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:09 am

gixxer wrote:I was under the impression that you don't want to move the coals around that much.

I get lots of ash buildup at the front of the firebox, less at the rear which is lucky because the rear is a lot harder to reach. Every couple days, after shaking down, I take a rod and poke down to the grates at the front edge and front corners, then pry with the rod to lift and loosen things up. I like to compare it to tossing a salad, only not so extensive. I DO mix things up a lot, but not enough to bring up the bottom coal to the top. The back half of the firebox doesn't get disturbed too much, and I have never come close to losing the fire with this stove. (I did come close with my previous stove whose firebox was narrower front to back.) It is best to do this kind of poking when the fire is burning well, not right after reloading fresh coal. Also, it's OK to do just half the job now, wait an hour or a day and then do the other half so as not to shock your fire too much. Once you start doing this poking you will get a good sense for how often it is needed with your particular setup.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: need help in RI

PostBy: wilder11354 On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:57 pm

i do my poking usually on every second tending, unless of course theres signs of a faster burn, more ash built up in corners, and sides. I have a good hot bed of coals when i do the poking. stick in, shake rod a bit, and a ever so slight push pull foward-aft while doing so. i do the poking across back, then down sides, then front and a few spots randomly in middle of red coals, shut doors and shake down ash, with quick jerking/chopping short movements of shaker handle. wait a minute, then open ash door look for glow of emebrs on ash in ash pan area, if isee a glow, i leave ash door open, open feed door and add more coal build up rear first, then down each side, then in front, i poke/slide coal over some in middle to espose some hot(red) embers to help ignite the gas coal makes while it lites off. close feed door, leave ash door up for about 10 minutes, then close ash door. Leaving ash door open for about ten minutes get burning coal on bottom/middle of coal bed flaring up so o help lite off new coal on top.

If you have a weak ember bed, do the ash poking only in ash areas, leave hot embers alone, the shake to get rid of ash, but be careful not to shake too many embers down in ash pan, then load coal lightly around hot embers, out to outer walls, back and front, but leave hot embers exsposed in center(good size area). with some larger pieces of new coal on embers, l close feed door, leave ash door open, check in 10-15 minutes, if the ember bed has picked up, and coal on embers& edges is dancing blue and some more all around, a lil bit more on center embers, close feed, leave ash door open still, check again in 10 minutes. Third time the ember bed should be spreading underneath to new coal on sides,front, back. Look for glow on ash in ash pan.. if dull but good looking thru feed door, sahke ash grate again watch for underneath glow to increase some, when it does stop shaking. Then finish loading fire bos to usual depth, close all doors, set draft as you like. Check it again in an hour, open ash door, wait a minute, then slowly open feed door. blue flames should be on top of bed, and red embers getting bigger all around and bright under new coal, if so its good to go for 12 hours. shut doors and wait 12 hours for next poke, shake feed cycle.
wilder11354
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF260
Coal Size/Type: nut or pea, anthracite
Other Heating: crown oil boiler, backup.if needed