Smoke in the House!

Smoke in the House!

PostBy: AZiggs On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:06 pm

Hello Forum,
This is my first post and I'm new to the forums and I'm looking for help. I bought a house a year ago that had a Keystoker 90 coal stove in the basement. I really love the stove but it seems to hate me :-D The first winter the fire constantly went out and I would need to restart it several times a week. I've used charcoal to start it each time which I know is not recommended but it seems to work best for getting the coal lit. I should mention the stove is self feeding with rice coal and has a chimney on the top that has a fan to help remove smoke.

I'm not sure what I had right or wrong last year but this winter the stove has almost never gone out. However the problem now is it constantly smokes and seems to have nothing to do with where the chimney fan speed is at. The first year when the stove was out constantly I didn't have this problem. The blower that puts air up through the coal that is burning needs to be turned almost all the way off or the smoke literally billows out of the coal hopper. The whole house smells like sulfer and I worry about my wife and young kids. I did not clean anything over the summer so I'm questioning if the chimney needs to be swept but I though I would ask here before spending the money to have it done.

Thank you for any suggestions :-)
AZiggs
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker 90 (I think?)
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric Baseboard

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: Lightning On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:11 pm

Not sure about the problem with yer appliance...

Its very important you have Carbon Monoxide detectors.. Shut it down if you don't have any installed.

You are lucky no one has poisoned yet..
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: franco b On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:14 pm

My suggestion is to shut down the unit and find out why you seem to lack draft. This is a dangerous condition and should be looked at right now. Both stove and chimney and connecting pipes need to be cleaned
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: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: AZiggs On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:23 pm

Lightning wrote:Not sure about the problem with yer appliance...

Its very important you have Carbon Monoxide detectors.. Shut it down if you don't have any installed.

You are lucky no one has poisoned yet..



I have CO detectors on both floors of the house.
AZiggs
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker 90 (I think?)
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric Baseboard

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: AZiggs On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:26 pm

franco b wrote:My suggestion is to shut down the unit and find out why you seem to lack draft. This is a dangerous condition and should be looked at right now. Both stove and chimney and connecting pipes need to be cleaned


The draft on the chimney doesn't seem to effect the issue like I said fan speed doesn't effect the amount of smoke coming out of the hopper in any way.
AZiggs
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker 90 (I think?)
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric Baseboard

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:53 pm

Are you saying you have a power venter instead of a chimney or you have a chimney? Does the coal in the hopper ever start to burn? Do you keep the hopper full?
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: AZiggs On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:58 pm

Carbon12 wrote:Are you saying you have a power venter instead of a chimney or you have a chimney? Does the coal in the hopper ever start to burn? Do you keep the hopper full?


I have a regular chimney with a fan built into it to help push the air out. The coal in the hopper isn't burning the smoke is just coming up through it from down where the fire is.
AZiggs
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker 90 (I think?)
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric Baseboard

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:08 pm

So you have a draft inducer? Do you have a manometer to check the draft of the system? It's the only sure way to know what's going on. I agree with others to shut it down until someone can look at the stove and chimney. Either the fan isn't working, the vent pipe is clogged or the chimney is obstructed. Possibly, all of the above. No smoke or fumes should EVER come out of the stove. There should always be a partial vacuum in the stove which sucks the fumes out into the chimney and out of the house.
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:08 pm

Damn, C12 beat me to it.



I think he may have a draft inducer. Since you never cleaned the stove out or chimney I'm also going to assume you didn't disconnect the pipes. Are you positive the draft inducer is even doing anything anymore? Sure, the motor may turn the shaft but if the impeller still there to move the air? Ash plus moisture are not friends. The impeller on the draft inducer is very thin, I wouldn't be surprised if it's rotted out and gone.

As for smoke billowing out the doors and hopper, are the gaskets good?

It really makes me think you have no draft or a reverse draft. Do you have a manometer? Do you know what your draft is?
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:10 pm

Perhaps it's a direct vent fan. Not sure why you would need one with a working chimney?
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: franco b On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:11 pm

AZiggs wrote:
Carbon12 wrote:Are you saying you have a power venter instead of a chimney or you have a chimney? Does the coal in the hopper ever start to burn? Do you keep the hopper full?


I have a regular chimney with a fan built into it to help push the air out. The coal in the hopper isn't burning the smoke is just coming up through it from down where the fire is.


If there is draft the gasses would not be coming out of the hopper but would exhaust up the chimney. Because you have a combustion fan that can pressurize the combustion area the potential problem is worse. Clean the fan, smoke pipe ,and chimney and see if the problem goes away.
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: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:11 pm

Post some good photos, if you can.
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: AZiggs On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:22 pm

Thank you all for the replies I will try to get some photos for you tonight or tommorow and I'll see how difficult it would be to take the chimney pipe off the back and look at the fan itself. I can hear the motor running but you are right if the fan blades are shot or something is fouled up I have no way to see that. I do have a flap on the side of the chimney that opens when the draft is to much and when I turn the fan up the little door opens to pull air from the basement that it can't get from inside the stove I assume.
AZiggs
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker 90 (I think?)
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Electric Baseboard

Re: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: titleist1 On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:23 pm

Please shut down and post some photos. You are sending exhaust into your house. With the photos we can then offer some suggestions as to where to look for the blockage and start running the stove again.

There are probably a couple things going on like horizontal flue pipe exhaust blockage, combustion fan running to high, etc.

A manometer is necessary to set the combustion blower properly based on the draft of your chimney. This would be a good time to thoroughly clean the stove so you get a good baseline reading of draft and temps. As you operate the stoker any changes to this baseline could be used as an early warning that something needs attention.

Please check back in, we are happy to help!
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: Smoke in the House!

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:25 pm

Is the flap that opens before or after the fan that blowers the exhaust up the chimney?
Carbon12
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite
Other Heating: Heat Pump/Forced Hot Air Oil Furnace