Need an Irish Coffee This Morning

Re: Need an Irish Coffee This Morning

PostBy: franco b On: Wed. Jan. 23, 2013 1:58 pm

coalkirk wrote:I agree with the remarks of larger boiler may mean greater efficiency.

The operative word here is "MAY" which may not be the case.

Any stove or boiler has only one point where it reaches its highest efficiency. Any thing above or below that it loses. The large unit will have lower stack loss than the smaller one fired harder but at a lower firing rate it will lose out by generating more CO and other unburned gasses which a larger mass of coal burned more slowly and less hot will do.
franco b
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Need an Irish Coffee This Morning

PostBy: Yanche On: Wed. Jan. 23, 2013 5:43 pm

I'm experiencing the same cold wave "coalkirk" is. This morning my wife noted it's taking much longer for the living room to warmup. I looked at the thermostat setting and noticed it was 2 deg below the 73 deg set point. To get a bit more heat I raised the boiler water temperature by raising the aquastat 20 deg. I normally run 160/140, it's now 180/160 deg. Since my boiler is in my uninsulated detached shop most of my wasted heat is from direct boiler radiation. Only way to minimize it is to run a lower boiler water temperature.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Need an Irish Coffee This Morning

PostBy: Boots On: Wed. Jan. 23, 2013 8:00 pm

Im having problems with the cold weather as well. But my issue is not a matter of the boiler keeping up, it' s that I do not have enough radiant baseboard in my kitchen or my living room. I have 13 feet in the living room and 14 in the kitchen. The Tstat is in the living room. this morning when I got up it was somewhere around 8° outside and 72 inside, the Tstat is set at 74°. I went down to check the boiler, water temp was 190°. All of the other rooms in the house feel warmer than those two with the exception of my laundry room and my kids play room which are currently un-heated. That aggravates the hell out of me, I just expect things to work. I understand that I am asking A LOT to keep the house 74° when its so cold outside. And I know these temperatures for extended periods of time are rare, but I just want things to work flawlessly even in extreme conditions. My wife says im too picky ;)
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Burnham SFB 101 (sold)

Re: Need an Irish Coffee This Morning

PostBy: titleist1 On: Wed. Jan. 23, 2013 8:47 pm

Boots wrote: My wife says im too picky ;)

My wife said that to me once...

I said if I was.....

she wouldn't be my wife....... :poke: :out:
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: Need an Irish Coffee This Morning

PostBy: theo On: Wed. Jan. 23, 2013 8:53 pm

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Stove/Furnace Make: LL
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire 2

Re: Need an Irish Coffee This Morning

PostBy: coalkirk On: Thu. Jan. 24, 2013 11:24 am

Extra part for vf3000

This is a 2008 post from member "Highlander" from the above thread.

"What I have noticed with the restrictor plate, which I did have installed for a while is that it tends to limit how much heat you can get out of the boiler when its firing close to capacity. Harman's method to check the draft is detailed in the Magnum stoker stove manual, your supposed to monitor the draft at the breech, and then monitror it over the fire, by removing the small 1/4" plug and inserting the probe there. There is a plug in the door of the boiler also for this purpose. They don't mention at what firing rate your suupposed to do this.

Harman also assumes that the combustion blower only runs during the actual stoking, not continuously as many people on this forum do. Without the blower my boiler will go out within 15 minutes or so in the warm weather, there just isn't enough draft to keep it going especially with the low idle fire I run. With the blower, I have never experienced an outfire. By running the blower at a lower rate, I can keep more of the heat in the boiler, and I think I get a better burn with less unburned coal in the ash.

Keystoker has added a small blower to help with outfires in the warm weather, and If I remember correctly, they claim it saves coal also."

My wife says I only half listen to her. She may be right cause for sure I only half read Highlanders post in 2008. Some of you who have been around on the forum for many years may remember the story of the first time I fired up the VF3000. It filled the basement with flue gases. The Harman manual at the time had no mention or even a picture of the restrictor plate for the combustion fan. It was an extra part with no explanation. By running the fan unrestricted it blew more air into the combustion chamber than could be exhausted with the draft I had so the flue gases backed out of the hopper. Harman was neither helpful or apologetic. Later versions of the manual the restrictor plate magically appeared.

Anyway once I figured out what it was and where it went (this was in 2003 before I had found the coal forum) I installed it and adjusted it by checking the draft through the hole in the combustion chamber door. Problem solved. Then last heating season following Highlanders lead, I installed the motor speed control on the combustion fan. For those of you not familiar with the VF3000, the combustion fan is only intended to run while the stoker is operating. This control allows the fan to run when not stoking but at a lower speed. It made a big improvement in the overall performance of the system. In my case it improved the draft of my chimney which is an 8x8x17' terra cotta on the exterior of the house by keeping it warmer. I never changed the restrictor plate setting after this modification. The boiler worked better than before and all was well. That is until Wednesday morning when it was 9 degrees.

So yesterday I went over the boiler top to bottom trying to see if there was a problem that maybe I had missed. Started messing with the restrictor plate position and eventually just opened it up fully. I fully expected to get flue gases out of the hopper but I did not. The improvement in the chimney draft from the fan speed control modification was enough to overcome the fan. Naturally the fire is much more vigorous as a result. This morning the boiler temp was 180 degrees. It was not quite as cold this morning as yesterday but I think this is making a big difference. The real test will be Friday night into Saturday morning as it is supposed to be single digit temps again. Once the weather goes back to a more normal temp, I may have to revisit the restrictor plate setting. But for now this thing is working much better. I did notice my stack temperature is about 25 degrees hotter than before. Right around 300 degrees north of the baro.
Last edited by coalkirk on Thu. Jan. 24, 2013 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal

Re: Need an Irish Coffee This Morning

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu. Jan. 24, 2013 11:45 am

My crossover point is between 20 - 30° . Higher if it's windy. We spend months below those temps. Don't feel bad. :lol:

My house is a roasting 61°. I ain't complainin' though. Better than 4 tanks of oil at close to $4 GRAND ... :shock: That's the way I look at it. What choice do I have? :D

Down in the basement next to a 750° stove, the floor was still 50° - LOTS of air comes in my basement. There's no easy or cheap way to make that go away.

If I was smart I would've bought what you have instead of the Mark I, then the Mark III ...
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Need an Irish Coffee This Morning

PostBy: Freddy On: Thu. Jan. 24, 2013 2:06 pm

I don't know where my cross over point is.... I hope to never find out!

I do raise the thermostat a couple of degrees in this intense cold.... it uses more fuel, but gives extra work time when something goes south. It's only half a dozen nights a year, it can't cost that much.

8 below last night...predicted to be 12 below tonight.... but next week back to teens at night & 20's days.
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