can the coal in a hopper of a stoker catch on fire

can the coal in a hopper of a stoker catch on fire

PostBy: timmy3131 On: Sun Dec 04, 2005 8:35 pm

i just installed my stoker furnace today and i have some safety questions i just want to know what keeps the coal in the hopper from catching on fire as well, and i also wanted to know about coal gasses what and when are there dangers if any. i have 2 good inches of burned ash at the end of my grate and the rest is burning well but it does look like it's burning kinda far up near my stoker and i am just curious. thanks in advance

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:01 pm

Anthracite needs a considerable amount of draft to burn which it doesn't get in the hopper. If you think your hopper set up is odd you should see the setup on a Franco Belge. Essentially there is a hole in the top of the unit with a cover to fill the internal hopper. The hopper narrows at the bottom with a about a 3 inch gap that extends the entire width of the stove (about 2.5 feet). The coal burns directly in front of this gap, the burn can even work it's way into the hopper a little but the coal inside the hopper never fully ignites.

As for the gases make sure to clean your unit thoroughly. I know on large furnaces this should be done once a year. By clean I mean the exhaust pipes and any internal parts where fly-ash can accumualte. This also includes the clean out at the bottom of your chimney. How often depends on the stove and the size of the exhaust pipes. This usually only has to be done once a year but there's no harm in doing more.

Deaths due to coal gas, more specifically carbon monoxide are nearly all attributed to blocked exhaust pipes from the fly ash or other obstructions.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: timmy3131 On: Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:50 pm

thanks for the reply i feel much better now. by the way can anyone tell me the amount of ash that is suppoded to be at the end of my gate thank in advance

PostBy: timmy3131 On: Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:53 pm

supposed and grate

PostBy: SenecaFallsNY On: Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:48 pm

The fire in your stove CAN get into your hopper under certian circumstances. It has happened to me. I have an Alaska Kast Console II stoker stove. When I run the stove at the lowest setting, say in the early fall or late spring, the coal sometimes doesn't feed fast enough which normally causes the fire to go out. On two occasions though, the fire crept back into the hopper. The reason, which I discovered later, was beause there were coal fines underneath the plate in the coal shute. This allowed air in through the hopper area causing the fire to get into the hopper. After cleaning under the plate the problem was fixed. My stove has a powervent which draws extra air from the stove. Without this, I think the stove would have gone out like it normally does when the coal feed is running to slow.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Kast Console II
Coal Size/Type: Rice

Kast Konsole Hopper Fire

PostBy: liven42day On: Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:23 pm

Yes, you can have a fire in the hopper. We bought a used older Kast Konsole II, the people we bought it from said they had just replaced all the gaskets. Well they replaced all but 1, a very important one, called a Strong back. It goes under the trough at the hopper. Ours was missing and we had a nice full hopper fire. What a scary experience, but we removed the fire down the trough and into the ash pans. We checked the hopper all over and luckily it did not do any damage. We replaced the Strongback and have had no problems since. We also use a power venter.
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Soker II