Coal ash as insulation?

Coal ash as insulation?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:27 pm

There has been no snow down here for about 3 weeks now. For the past 2 weeks daytime temps have been in the 50's and 60's. Today was a bright and sunny mid 70 degree day, it actualy felt hot to me. So I ran the gas out of the snow blower and put it in the basement, fired up the tiller to see if it still ran and got ready to pull the plow off of the tractor.
Since it was a harsh winter, I have collected a LOT of coal ash. There was so much snow this winter that part of the time I could not get to my normal ash dumping hill, so I started a new one at the edge of the driveway. This pile got to about 4 1/2 feet tall.
Before taking the plow off of the tractor I like to plow down the ash hill and the one by the driveway I was just going to level out next to the burn pile.

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Ash pile

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Ash pile

You can imagine my suprize when I hit the smaller ash pile the first time and saw this!

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Here I am sweat'in by be-hind off, haven't even thought about snow for over 2 weeks, and under this ash pile is a sizable amount of SNOW!

I guess coal ash makes good insulation!

Stoker Coal Boiler: BairMatic BMC-500 with Van Wert VA400 Stoker, Gentleman Janitor GJ-671/EFM S-15 stoker, Van Wert VA-600
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Re: Coal ash as insulation?

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:17 pm

Go Figure ! You never know what you're going to learn! :yes:
Hambden Bob
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Blower Model Coal Chubby 1982-Serial#0097
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni ! / Nut
Other Heating: Pro-Pain Forced Air

Re: Coal ash as insulation?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:26 am

My ash pile is the same way, full of snow and ice. Under the ash there is snow, and where the big snow piles just melted there is green grass. :)
Rob R.
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Coal ash as insulation?

PostBy: Lightning On: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:21 am

Yeah man!! That is a good demonstration of why it is so important not to let fly ash collect on the interior walls of your fire box, baffles and fire brick. Ash will cut down on heat transfer big time! :idea: :)

I'm pretty anal about keeping all that stuff clean in an attempt to keep the best heat transfer that I can. I use a wire brush at every shake and load to keep the water coils clean and also run it across parts of the fire box wall. Nothin too enduring, just a minute or so of scouring..
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size

Re: Coal ash as insulation?

PostBy: 2001Sierra On: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:35 pm

Same here raking my ask piles and finding frost, and pretty deep as well. We also have had some rain so ash seem to ether insulate or absorb the moisture from the rain :o
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: Coal ash as insulation?

PostBy: McGiever On: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:11 pm

Can add some ash during warm days to insulate part [1/2] of the coal bed when burning output needs on insulating heat just as well as cold...just shake out that added ash for more output over the night time.
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: Coal ash as insulation?

PostBy: samhill On: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:42 pm

With having a direct vent I determine when I need to do a quick clean on my vent pipe by simply feeling the temp difference between top & bottom. If I can hold my bare hand on the bottom & then slowly work my way up the sides I can just about tell how deep the ash is getting. Can't hold my hand on top for long at all, I just take the T off outside & have a long piece of all thread with a half moon piece of tin bolted on, I slide it in rounded side up turn it & pull out ash a little at a time until I hit the inside vertical. Go in the house & feel it & if hot on the bottom I'm good to go. Got to be able to stand back far enough because the fan pushes out pretty good but the heavy ash just drops into a bucket.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Coal ash as insulation?

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:50 pm

I just burn my ash ... lol

No, just goes in the trash.
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503