Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

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Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: MarkV On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:09 am

The quotes are on purpose. Read on...

I'm into year 2 of burning my new DS 1500 WH. Last year, I burned bulk Blaschak nut and it was sweet...consistent 24-hour burns at 450-500* on cold days, bimetal slightly below 3, and only slight temperature falloff on warmer/damp days. Last spring when outside temps reached 50s, I was able to cut the bimetal back to nearly 2 and maintain a good burn without overheating the house.

This year, I ordered 2.5 tons of Blaschak nut from the same dealer. It was delivered mid-November and I lit the stove the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I noticed after I had the fire going and started to fill my coal bucket, there were a lot more fines and flat pieces--sheared off like shale--than last year's deliviery, which was mostly round pieces, and larger than average for nut size. This year's stuff almost looks like range coal.

Two days into the burn, temps rose to high 40s with fog and rain. Came home that day to find the stove temps at 300 and dropping, pipe temp was around 175 and dropping. I immediately opened the ash door and MPD--any other time, the fire wold be roaring again in 20 minutes. This time, it took two full hours to heat the fire back to 400*. I guess the damp air reduced the chimney draft, and the fines in the coal choked off the air coming through the firebed.

Since then, the stove has burned ok but at lower temperatures at the same settings compared to last year. I've also noticed I'm getting a bit more ash this year, and the ash is darker and coarser, with more chunky-looking stuff than last year. Some days it seems to have a lot of reddish ash mixed in, like I used to get when I burned medium-hard coal in my old Franco Belge stoves.

I'm beginning to suspect i got snookered on the coal--either the coal isn't Blaschak, or it's part Blaschak blended with something else. (Hence the quotes in the thread title.) I've attached some pictures of the ash and the coal. I know a lot of you here burn Blaschak--does this look normal to you?

Also would appreciate suggestions on whether/how to approach dealer, and/or contact the Blaschak office. Thanks in advance for any input.
2013 Ash.JPG
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Here's the ash I'm getting. There's a quarter on edge of ash pan for scale.
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2013 Coal 1.JPG
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Random half-shovel of coal from my bin. Smaller pieces to left. Quarter on lower left edge of paper for scale.
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2013 Coal 2.JPG
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Typical odd piece of coal...1/2"x1/2"x2".
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2013 Coal 3.JPG
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Flat piece of coal, from top. Lots of pieces like this in the load.
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2013 Coal 4.JPG
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Same piece of coal as above, shown from edge.
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MarkV
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine DS-1500WH
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak bulk nut

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: anthony7812 On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:59 am

The blaschak I'm burning now is producing the finest ash I've seen so far. Not too mention the least amount of ash also. To me this has been the best year so far with coal quality. My ash looks nothing like yours, but if I recall my last years load did. It's not bad coal just gotta give her some more air to get them temps up.
anthony7812
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: VanWert VA 400
Coal Size/Type: Buck/Nut/Anthracite

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: dcrane On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:37 am

The bagged Blaschak I got seems better than anything else ive tried this year. Mine looks similar to your except you seem to have some smaller stuff (I hit those bags sometimes that just seem to have more pea size pieces in it :? but its pretty darn consistent for the most part... heres my bucket for today... i always like seeing that sheene/shine and yours seems to have it (unlike some of the crap out their)
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dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: GA cracker On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:34 am

This is my first year with the Blashack. I have burned coal for three years now and it is the best as far as ash, fines, heat that I have used. My only gripe is the inconsistent size. Half the bag is nut and the other is large pea size but this is just a small problem compared to what I have had.
C.
GA cracker
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark iii
Coal Size/Type: nut
Other Heating: Central heat and air

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: anthony7812 On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:45 am

I guess I didnt touch on size inconsistency on my previous post. Yes I see this also, I purchase bulk loads not bagged so I kinda expect to see some fines but with blaschak I do get alot of pea mixed in. I do have some rice lookin stuff, not alot, but hey being loaded in and outta trucks and then dumped in my bin then bucket out... its gonna break a few times along the line ;)
anthony7812
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: VanWert VA 400
Coal Size/Type: Buck/Nut/Anthracite

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:17 am

It is entirely possible that you got Blaschak coal and it isn't the same as last year. They pull from many different sources and usually blend the various types of coal into a predictable product. The other possibility is that your dealer switched suppliers and didn't mention it.

If you don't think you can get through the winter with it, or you can't make adjustments to get the heat you need, give your dealer a call and explain what is going on. You don't want to burn any bridges, but give them a chance to offer advice or a solution. If the coal creates more ash and smothers the fire, perhaps mixing the nut with some stove size coal will help.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:46 am

My FORUM buddy/neighbor "fastcat" turned me on to a couple 5 gal. pails of BLASCHAK nut/stove mix this season & I couldn't be happier with it--question has been--is it really BLASCHAK--trucking people say no, dealer says yes--it doesn't really matter--I've got a real good burn, good ash content & the house is nice & toasty :) Guy's, this is Mother Earth stuff, it is what it is & we've got to compensate for her inconsistencies--as in--ya got to be smarter then what you're workin with :clap: toothy
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: titleist1 On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:26 am

It could be that your delivery guy just got to the bottom of his pile and scooped up some 'bad' stuff. I'd call them and ask if anybody had been calling them with complaints about the coal burning. Let them know what you are experiencing and see what they offer up as a solution if any.

I had a similar experience with a dealer about 5 minutes away quite a few years ago. Very convenient, but they piled their coal on the ground and would scoop up some stone & crusher run along with the coal. I asked him to scoop from the middle of the pile, he pissed and moaned about it but did it. I found another dealer 40 minutes away, but he has his coal on concrete pads and its very 'clean'. I never went back to the first guy for coal.
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: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: SuperBeetle On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:32 am

My coal guy stores his coal inside on concrete. Usually, pretty good stuff but, once in a while more fines than normal. He always makes it right so, I have no complaints.
SuperBeetle
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark II
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut, & Stove Anthracite

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: mozz On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:48 pm

We have a hardware store here who has sealed pallets and open pallets of Blaschak. Some of it, i know for a fact, has been sitting here close to 5 years. I just bought 8 bags of coal for the weight in the back of my 2wd pickup truck. The bags are slightly different and the word pea is stamped red on some bags and yellow on others. I always thought of their coal to be average, nothing special, always blended as was said.
mozz
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 1982 AA-130 Steam

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: MarkV On: Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:08 pm

Thanks, everyone, for your input. And for the pix, dcrane. I think your coal looks more like what I had in last year's load.

Between what I'd read on here about Blaschak, and my great experience last year, I guess I was expecting a little more consistency year to year. I don't think I'll have a problem getting through the winter with this load, but I won't be as trusting of the fire when the warmer temps get here in the spring, with the stove throttled back.

I'll talk to the dealer soon and let him know what's happening. I'll post back and let you know what he says.

I also appreciate the heads-up on how the coal is stored in the yard. This is only the second year I've used this dealer, and I've never visited the yard, but I will soon.

Freetown Fred, one thing I've learned reading this board is that you can always be counted on to get to the nub of the matter with a pithy comment and observation. I'm now inspired to try to stay one step ahead of my coal!!! :lol:
MarkV
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine DS-1500WH
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak bulk nut

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: fastcat On: Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:21 am

freetown fred wrote:My FORUM buddy/neighbor "fastcat" turned me on to a couple 5 gal. pails of BLASCHAK nut/stove mix this season & I couldn't be happier with it--question has been--is it really BLASCHAK--trucking people say no, dealer says yes--it doesn't really matter--I've got a real good burn, good ash content & the house is nice & toasty :) Guy's, this is Mother Earth stuff, it is what it is & we've got to compensate for her inconsistencies--as in--ya got to be smarter then what you're workin with :clap: toothy


Now that comment has hit the nail on the head.
fastcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Nut/Stove Mix

Re: Not so sure about this year's "Blaschak" bulk nut...

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:46 am

I had this issue a few seasons ago .... what a pain it was ...

But my lot this year is fine.

I guess its your turn.

Sorry.
davidmcbeth3
 
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Visit Lehigh Anthracite