successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: VtFarmboy On: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:42 pm

I'm Back. Well after last years experiments with Coal I have got the wife on board this year. We are going to heat primarily with coal. I have an outdoor wood furnace by US Stoves (similar to the clayton) We have completely reworked the duct connections since last winter. I originally used flexible duct. It worked well when it was working but between the cats tearing holes in it to keep warm and issues of keeping it together we went ahead and secured metal duct so all is solid and I dare the kitties to rip a hole in it. So wish me luck If I have problems be assured I will be back to ask for help. you were a great help last year when I was trying it out.
VtFarmboy
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: VtFarmboy On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:51 am

So here is a lingering issue from last year. I get the coal going in the furnace. It runs and heats well all night a good 1 to 12 hour burn and now its time to reload. I have tried shaking first then layering and also putting a layer on before I shake. Every time no matter what I seem to do the coal goes out. What am I doing wrong. I keep having to relight the fire. Last year I would throw in some kindling to get a fire going and that seemed to work ok as I was reloading.
VtFarmboy
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:10 am

How much coal are you putting in the firebox when you first load the stove?
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

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: Lightning On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:23 am

Yes I remember. I believe the culprit is lack of draft coming up thru the coal bed after you load. The kindling with wood reestablished your draft.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: franco b On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:01 am

General recommendation is to put a few scoops on and then open ash door for a few minutes to let fire build up heat. This will establish good draft. Once fire is going good, shake down and add more coal. If the previous load of coal is almost exhausted then building back up takes longer and perhaps it could have been loaded higher previously. Also check how thoroughly Lightning clears out the ash from above and below.
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: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: Lightning On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:37 pm

If I remember right, this guy has an outdoor furnace with a short chimney on it. I don't think it's producing enough draft with coal like a wood fire would. Last year I remember he would put wood on top the fresh coal which would help pull air from underneath.

Too many woods goin on there hahaha. :?
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:08 pm

I was having similar problems with a different stove and setup, but maybe what I tried (thanks to the forum) can help.

I thought I didn't have enough draft in this old habd fired bit furnace. I added a barometric damper this year and so far in early test runs am doing much better.

It seems I had tto much draft, but it seemed like I was never getting enough draw, so I often had the lower draft control and ash door open. I got heat, but had trouble with a long lasting fire that didn't cool off too much to make heat and was hard to add coal/reignite.

I was sending too much heat up the chimney.

I also followed suggestions posted here and move the hot coals to the side and load fresh coal on the other side of the box. I add a lot of coal at once, use poker to make sure there are open airways in both the hot coals and the fresh coal, and then open the manual damper (I have both mpd and baro) and the ash door until the fire stokes up and starts the new coal. About 20-45 mins. Then I close mpd about 1/3-2/3 of max and close the ash door with the draft aboult 25-50% and the fire seems to settle in nicely.

This part may be of particular interest.

My furnace is Not air tight and I have a tall masonry chimney. A baro helped me stabilize my draft. Having and maintaining a good draft allows better burns and helps pull smoke out the chimney , even when the mpd is cut way back.

With a short chimney, you may need more draft, then use less primary air for a better burn and heat. Try that loading procedure I mentioned. It was posted by some one from an old magazine article.

Hope this helps.
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous
Coal Size/Type: Kittanning Seam, Stove size
Stove/Furnace Make: old handfired bituminous

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: VtFarmboy On: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:58 am

Here is what I have done recently and things seem to be smoothing out a bit. Instead of just letting the fire go for 6 to 8 hours we have been feeding just a couple of small shovels full on every couple of hours. Shaking it down a few times a day. I also have found that keeping the ash pan clean several times a day helps. I am sure that has to do with air flow. By doing that it says going quite well and only a couple of times have I had a hard time restarting it. We have been running completely on coal for about 4 weeks now and its working great. I have given up on the hope that this furnace will heat the whole house without some help during the coldest part of winter here but we can deal with that by keeping the wood stove going downstairs. If I wasn't so attached to that stove I might consider a coal stove. I worked for a company called Woodstock Soapstone Co a number of years ago and had the opportunity to build my own soapstone stove.
VtFarmboy
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: VtFarmboy On: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:08 am

Lightning wrote:If I remember right, this guy has an outdoor furnace with a short chimney on it. I don't think it's producing enough draft with coal like a wood fire would. Last year I remember he would put wood on top the fresh coal which would help pull air from underneath.

Too many woods goin on there hahaha. :?


You got it Lightning. Got this gong good now. Last year was just an experiment. This year I am heating with coal nearly 100 percent. I have slowly worked out the bugs. Now i am working on educating the wife and others homeless who live in my house how to keep it going but it is working. I Just keep putting layers on every couple of hours. that seems to work best. I think I might have been just expecting it to burn longer than I should have before. I did completely redo the ductwork from the furnace to the house. We used flexable duct last year. I found the cats would put holes in it and lay inside to stay warm. I was heating the outdoors and I didn't know it. We installed all metal duct and insulated it real well so the house stays warm with the furnace alone until it hits about 20 degrees then we start the woodstove in the basement just enough to take the chill off and things stay nice and warm in the living area. I found if I can keep the basement warm with the wood stove the furnace does the rest. At some point maybe next summer I will put a duct down there and see if that helps with heating the rest of the house. I certainly want to thank you all for your help and suggestions last year and this. It has been a process. Like I keep telling my wife. Its not like burning wood but once you get the hang of it, it works well!
VtFarmboy
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: VtFarmboy On: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:15 am

Thanks for the suggestions. I have worked out the chimney issues. I think I was just expecting it to burn to long. At some point the coals are red hot but they are done burning. They are hot but not hot enough to light new coal. A baro wont work unless I can find one for insulated chimney. Being an outdoor furnace I don't have a leighth of regular stove pipe out there to put one into. Things seem to be going well. I just put a layer or two on every couple of hours and shake it down a few times a day. I also found keeping the ash pan clean made a big difference. I will try moving the coals to the side as you suggest. I haven't tried that. We do let it go about 6 hours without a charge over night. I have had just a couple of mornings where we slept in that I had to work to get it going again. I will try that next time we have that issue.

Thanks
Dennis AKA VtFarmboy

CoalisCoolxWarm wrote:I was having similar problems with a different stove and setup, but maybe what I tried (thanks to the forum) can help.

I thought I didn't have enough draft in this old habd fired bit furnace. I added a barometric damper this year and so far in early test runs am doing much better.

It seems I had tto much draft, but it seemed like I was never getting enough draw, so I often had the lower draft control and ash door open. I got heat, but had trouble with a long lasting fire that didn't cool off too much to make heat and was hard to add coal/reignite.

I was sending too much heat up the chimney.

I also followed suggestions posted here and move the hot coals to the side and load fresh coal on the other side of the box. I add a lot of coal at once, use poker to make sure there are open airways in both the hot coals and the fresh coal, and then open the manual damper (I have both mpd and baro) and the ash door until the fire stokes up and starts the new coal. About 20-45 mins. Then I close mpd about 1/3-2/3 of max and close the ash door with the draft aboult 25-50% and the fire seems to settle in nicely.

This part may be of particular interest.

My furnace is Not air tight and I have a tall masonry chimney. A baro helped me stabilize my draft. Having and maintaining a good draft allows better burns and helps pull smoke out the chimney , even when the mpd is cut way back.

With a short chimney, you may need more draft, then use less primary air for a better burn and heat. Try that loading procedure I mentioned. It was posted by some one from an old magazine article.

Hope this helps.
VtFarmboy
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: VtFarmboy On: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:20 am

Rob once I get it going I probably have 60lbs or so going. I would guess about a bag and an half (40lb bag) That brings it up to the top of the fire brick.

Rob R. wrote:How much coal are you putting in the firebox when you first load the stove?
VtFarmboy
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: F.N.G On: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:45 pm

Hi new to burning coal but this form has help a lot Ben going a bout a week got two day of good heat so thank you for all the help I think I got it going but if it was not for all u's I'll be burning wood by now thank you
F.N.G
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1600 m
Coal Size/Type: Nut/stove

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:48 pm

Nice FNG--welcome to the FORUM :)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: coalcracker On: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:36 am

coalcrazy wrote:i noticed looking through the posts i saw controversy over the use of baro. dampers vs. man. damps. i will share my experiences with both. the man. damp.,was ok at first but as nights got colder my draft would increase drastically (w/ damper vertical allowing a factory set amount of air through 2 quarter size holes)making the fire burn too hot thus making my house at 3am hot as heck! not to mention a pile of ash and weak fire around 5am, not good, i have to go to work and don't have the time to revive a coal fire. this happened many times until i saw in my owners manual,barometric damper stongly recomended! recomended didn't mean mandatory to me at the time of installation. so i finally went to my local stove shop and the people there were very knowledgable and i bought one at 90.00 bucks(the good one)and borrow a draft meter from the shop and installed the next day w/ the proper settings. BY FAR THE BEST THING I EVER DID TO MY FURNACE!!!!!




This was an interesting case and read.
2 quarter sized holes on intake draft side, is actually about 8x more draft my Harman I needs to burn, at one constant rate all year long. That is a LOT of draft for any stove ! It only makes sense the unit would need a baro or something to reduce the draft on the chimney pipe side, and that it was overfiring.

Why not just reduce the size of the 2 quarter sized holes, down to less than the size of 1 dime ? My stove runs all year on .300" square inch of draft intake setting. I measured it precisely with mechanics feeler gauges and did the calculation for area.

I'm a firm believer most over-drafting situations can be cured by sealing up the stove and cutting the the intake draft back. The more reports like this I hear, it also appears this is overlooked, and the fix then becomes choke down the stovepipe side to adjust the draft down lower.

The reason the stove was weak in the morning at 5 AM was, it had burned all its fuel and there was barely enough left to hold a fire. That's a common problem with a stove with too much intake draft, or leaks in the doors, glass, etc. They overfire, get too hot, then try to go out early.

We just finished tuning up an Iron House Newcastle stove, that did the same thing as yours. It would burn 2x the amount of coal my Harman burns daily, with the Newcastle draft intake CLOSED.

The doors and glass were leaking, but more importantly, and this is often overlooked- the raking rod linkage assembly, where it went through the right side of the stove, was leaking a MASSIVE amount of air. I had someone shine a flashlight there while I looked inside, and could not believe how big the hole was. Made a small gasket for it, and re-assembled the raker, and now it idles right down to a simmer. It is heating the basement and first floor as I key this, about 2000 square feet, with enough residual heat for the 2nd floor attic. We only paid $300 for the stove and another $100 or so for pipes, seals.

The critical issue is, it does not need or use any type of stovepipe damper. No baro or MPD whatsoever. Nothing but a gentle curved 90 degree stovepipe, into the masonry chimney flue, where it then goes another 90 degree vertically up the flue. The stove has a top outlet.

The next mod will be, extend the inside baffle. It's currently 6" tall. Yesterday I removed the baffle, measured the airspace over it while inside the stove, and it can be 8.5" tall and still have a 2" gap between the baffle and roof of the stove. That will also improve efficiency and heat output.

The stove can't and won't run away with overdraft, if the intake side is airtight. There's nowhere for the air to get in, other than the draft controls. If they are precise and the stove sealed, it will have a high degree of control.

The only place I could see possibly using a baro damper, would be on a stoker type boiler that also perhaps does the hot water for the home, that is fully automatic and on a thermostat. Then for the sake of being a true t-stat controlled system, and hands-off turnkey operation, a baro may be required.

A baro on a hand fired just makes no sense to me, because the stove is being tended 2-3 times a day anyway. You're right there. With a stoker type boiler, it may be tended less often. IMHO the first fix would be, seal up the stove front end- but there's more than one way to skin a cat, glad you got it going right.
coalcracker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Standard sealed hot water boiler, hand fed
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark I Magnafire
Baseburners & Antiques: Lehigh Oak 18, Washington potbelly, Sears Roebuck parlor cabinet, PIttston 6 lid cook stove, vintage combo gas/coal cook stove 4 lid
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark I Magnafire

Re: successfully burning anthracite coal in a clayton furnace

PostBy: Lightning On: Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:50 am

Coal Cracker, it doesn't make sense to you because you don't understand the benefits that a barometric damper offers to a hand fed fire.

I also think it's unfair that you continue to bash the use of one when apparently you have never tried it.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Visit Hitzer Stoves