Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

Re: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: Pacowy On: Sun Aug 03, 2014 5:59 pm

AFAIK increasing the thickness of the coal bed could be offset by reducing the travel of the pusher arm, so the total rate of coal feed wouldn't necessarily increase. From running a few Alaska stokers I'm under the impression that a little added thickness could help if there is an outfire issue. Almost anything seems preferable to blowing a steady stream of cooling air into a boiler that's trying to maintain a given set temp.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:20 pm

Whatever works for you is fine with me. In Don's case, I still think his efforts would be better spent on insulating the boiler than swapping the stoker...but that is just my opinion.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: McGiever On: Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:34 pm

Most if not all rice and pea stokers are of older designs. And the bigger stokers have one thing coal likes...size, size of the fire-pot.
But for smaller units it gets touchy at times. :)

Back in the day the majority of the anthracite coal was the high quality deep mined type. Even w/ the then quality of the deep mined coal the coal companies would still push the lesser quality coal off to the side to maintain the best quality product in the then, highly competitive coal mining industry. Reputation was everything.

Fast forward to today and now residential coal sales is somewhat of a novelty, and the deep mines are a thing of the past. :cry2:
Open pit strip-mining is where it's at now. Now it is less trouble in many aspects, regulations are far easier on the operators than what it is in the deep mines.
The strip mines also require far fewer people and then there is now nearly no limitations on what size machinery you can have to get the coal out of the ground and through to the breakers. Blah, blah, blah, sorry...to the point...

The dang coal ain't what it used to be...sometimes a decent batch will come though, but it is a whole new ballgame.
These old stoker designs were worked out on that deep mined stuff, and it liked to keep burning all by itself.
Seems that today's strip mined coal now either fades fast when there is a lack of air or even sometimes chokes in it own excessive ashes.

All this get us to the main point here...you just may need a little more air to keep the fire happy. When the fan is off longer on milder days the fire can start to shrink.
When a call for heat does come, and as the call is usually a short call during these milder days, the call does get satisfied but perhaps the shrunken fire has barely recovered only to sit again again shrink once more.
It's getting all the air that it needs during the heat call...it's the idle fire that needs a little air boost to maintain that optimum idle fire to be ready for the next coming heat call.

The heat lost up the chimney is of little consequences if the idle fire cannot be effectively maintained w/o the added air or you are needlessly dropping quantities of partially and unburnt coal in the ash pan.$$$

Y'all hand fired nut coal burners may find YMMV from what's described here...IDK :)
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Sun Aug 03, 2014 8:41 pm

Ahhh, That's what I love about this forum, I go out to work on something for a while, when I come back, I see there has been a healthy debate about the finer points of running a stoker.

In my case I'm going to put most of the blame on my necked down, probobly too short chimney. I am getting ready to put up a 8" chimney that will go about 6' above the peak of the roof.

I'm not %100 sold on the second combution blower idea either. I will likely try it though, in the future. But that will be another expirement.

Thank you,

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Yellow Flame "Competion Series" 3 grate boiler, Losch 475
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker1? can't figure out these dern Alaska names!!! It's a big old black one.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: ben On: Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:32 am

My grandmother had a Yellow Flame stoker. I remember it being a 3 grate unit. She always used rice coal nothing else. I would clean it for her yearly pull out the grates etc. I don't remember her unit using a lot of coal. I think in the summer she went 2 weeks before she emptied the ash tub.
I really liked the unit no compalints. This unit was in a three story brick row home and heated well.
ben
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 350

Re: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:31 pm

ben,

Wellcome to the forum, It's always good to hear from someone that has run a Yellow Flame, there aren't many of us around.

Two weeks! wow! I hope mine behaves that well when I get it running for domestic hot water.

Thank you,

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Yellow Flame "Competion Series" 3 grate boiler, Losch 475
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker1? can't figure out these dern Alaska names!!! It's a big old black one.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:39 pm

I stopped on the way home from work today and picked up the addaptor plate. I will have to do a little fitting work with a file but, in general it fits.

This is the hole it's go'in in.

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The plywood templet and the addaptor plate.

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Yes, I will do some finish work and paint it!

Fits in the hole.

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The old Tri-Burner fits right in the plate nicely.

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With the hopper on it.

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If only I wasn't in the middle of re-doing all the boiler plumbing I could test fire it! Ho well, I guess thet will have to wait.

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-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Yellow Flame "Competion Series" 3 grate boiler, Losch 475
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker1? can't figure out these dern Alaska names!!! It's a big old black one.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:42 pm

The Tri-Burner addaptor plate is done! I welded the heads of the bolts on the inside to make easy to remove the burner from the addaptor plate when installed.

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I put some gasket material on the face that seals to the boiler.

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Then bolted it in place.

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The finished product ready for the hopper to be put on.

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I have completed all the boiler and boiler mate plumbing, I still need to do the wiring and put up the 8" chimney. In 2 or 3 weeks if all goes well, I will be fire'in it up for DHW!

Then we will know if this little experiment is a sucsses!

OR a flop!

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Yellow Flame "Competion Series" 3 grate boiler, Losch 475
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker1? can't figure out these dern Alaska names!!! It's a big old black one.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:40 pm

I couldn't wait for the chimney!!!

The Tri-Burner conversion has been done for a while now. I finished all the plumbing 2 weeks ago. This weekend was all about getting all the wiring done. Next weekend will be the 8" chimney install.

First, I cut and painted a piece of plywood then hung it on the wall.

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Next I screwed the boxes to a work bench in the same order that they go on the wall. This gave my the ability to wire and attach everything without hanging off a ladder.

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The switch on the top is the main power, I have a fused switch on order, for now it's just ON/OFF. Below the main is the house zone pump over-ride, this turns the pump ON without the aquastat. To the left of that is the DHW zone pump over-ride, same deal as the other over-ride. Below that is a 600 Watt rheostat, the rheostat runs the Tri-Burner when the aquastat is NOT calling for heat, this way there is an idle and full-tilt. Next to the rheostat is the timer, not using the timer with the Tri-Burner but I will need it later. Down below all that is and outlet for the Tri-Burner to plug into.

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With that all done, first thing this morning I did the "Simitty" update to the Boiler Mate. I guess I should have hooked power to this thing before I took it apart. I hooked power to it and, nuth'in! dead as a stone. I opened it back up, put my ohm meter across that big 100 ohm resistor, wide open. I didn't have a 5 watt 100 ohm resistor so I put 2, 2 watt 470 ohm's in parallel. Hooked it back up, it powered on but, Er1 was on the display. I looked up Er1 = bad temp sensor! I guess I need to buy one of those.

After that dissapointment, I thought to myself, I could stick the old stovepipe back on this thing and use the over-ride switch to heat the hot water!

SO, here it is, I just took my first coal fired hot shower! It was GREAT!

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I have the HI on the aquastat set at 160 and the LO at 140. the boiler is maintaining about 160.

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DHW COIL UPDATE!

Last night when I filled the boiler I left the valve on the DHW coil open, and nothing came out. Now I have the coil at house water pressure, the boiler at 15 psi and NO PROBLEMS!

I put some water in a bucket with a gauge, it reads 136.

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So now my house is on coal fired hot water. So far the Tri-Burner seems to be running fine!

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Yellow Flame "Competion Series" 3 grate boiler, Losch 475
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker1? can't figure out these dern Alaska names!!! It's a big old black one.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:28 am

Am I the only one that still uses armored cable on the controls? :)

Nice job on the stoker install...now lets see how it performs compared the one you removed.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:52 pm

Rob,

I am a fan of armored electrical cable too but, I inheritted a good bit of very good 12-2 and 14-2 copper wire from my father so that's what got used. Wire these days is a bit on the pricey side.

I did some more feed rate vs. rehostat adjusting in the past 24 hours. It will take some tweeking to get it just right. When I got up this morning the boiler temp was at 190. I had the feed rate a bit to high. I need to be very careful of that because I have no dump zone, just a big expansion tank. I have not seen any water around so, no bolw-off happened.

In 24 hours it used about half a small metal bucket of rice coal.

The ash is nice and fluffy and well burned.

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Maintaining about 150 or so.


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Here's what it look like at idle.

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150-160
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So far, so good.

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Yellow Flame "Competion Series" 3 grate boiler, Losch 475
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker1? can't figure out these dern Alaska names!!! It's a big old black one.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:56 pm

I emptied the ashpan for the first time last night, 4 days run time. It wasn't all the way full but, it was time to have a look at the ashes.

The ashes are still well burnt and on the fluffy side.

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I found out one thing the hard way, this Tri-Burner will loose it's fire very quickly! One night I decided to try running it on the S400-A timer 15 minute timer with 2 minutes ON. I think it went out before the first timer cycle! Last night I had to shut the unit off to do some work on the aquastat. I knew I would be pressed for time. After 10 minutes, I looked in, the was still a faint light, turnned it back on thinking it would just take off. When I came back a while later, it was out! So, I will just run it on the rehostat for now

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Yellow Flame "Competion Series" 3 grate boiler, Losch 475
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker1? can't figure out these dern Alaska names!!! It's a big old black one.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:04 pm

I got and installed my main switch with fuse today. I got it from my local plumbing& hardware store, where I get most of my stuff. We took it out of the pack at the store to see what kind of fuse was in there. It turns out this thing uses the old time glass screw in fuses!

Lucky for me this store has been around forever, I went over to the area where the fuses were, found and old bag of 3 -15 Amp glass fuses, $1.99. I am sure the have been there for at least 2 decades!

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-Don
Last edited by StokerDon on Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Yellow Flame "Competion Series" 3 grate boiler, Losch 475
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker1? can't figure out these dern Alaska names!!! It's a big old black one.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:05 pm

1
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Yellow Flame "Competion Series" 3 grate boiler, Losch 475
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker1? can't figure out these dern Alaska names!!! It's a big old black one.
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: Yellow Flame to Tri-Burner conversion. What do you think?

PostBy: StokerDon On: Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:07 pm

OK, now I have a happy Boiler Mate!

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Today I took the Temp probe and put it in the aquastat well of the boiler while I had an ohm meter hooked to it. Sure enough, it started at about 10K and went down to about 5K. It's just a thermocouple, I don't think they can go bad.
I found a 100 ohm 10 watt resistor to replace my 2 470 ohm's thinking this may fix it, no dice. Then it took a very close look at things and noticed two of the wires on the ribbon cable going to the digital board were broken off and the rest were almost broken off. I re-soldered the ribbon cable, now it works fine.

I set the temp to 120 degrees and it is running fine.

Sorry, I was in a bit of a hurry today when I was fixing this so, no photos.

And, special thank's to Smitty for the detailed photos of his (or I wouldn't have known that resistor was 100ohm) and the discription of how to convert these to 120 or 24 volt only operation.

-Don
StokerDon
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Yellow Flame "Competion Series" 3 grate boiler, Losch 475
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker1? can't figure out these dern Alaska names!!! It's a big old black one.
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

Visit Lehigh Anthracite