dead spot

dead spot

PostBy: joespond On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:06 am

Good morning coal burners out there.

Tonight will make 1 week since I lit my first coal fire. It's been burning all week. Since I'm a little new to coal burning, and to this stove(harman MKII), I decided to experiment a little. I burned it longer than usual to see how long I could go. When I went to bed, there was a hot spot glowing in the front left of the stove. This morning, that hot spot was dark, and the stove was only glowing on the right side and a little in the left rear corner.

I opened the ash door for a while, then sprinkled some pea coal(I usually burn nut, but have some pea also) that I have on the hot areas. I kept slowly adding pea to those areas until I had a nice bad of healthy stuff in those areas. When I felt those areas were strong, I shook down. I shook quite a bit, since it really needed it, and finally got it loaded back up with pea. I decided to try the pea today, since its a bit mild today, and I wanted to see how the stove works with the different types. I left the door open until the blue flames were rolling around well, then closed it up. Its been burning for about 1 hour.

The left front quadrant is still not glowing. My question is: Will the fire eventually migrate back to the dead area? This morning when I first opened the door, I grabbed a piece of burned coal from the dead area. I broke it open, and it was a little back in the middle. I know that totally burned stuff has no black in the middle, it just crumbles up.

It seems like it could be a bummer if one part of your stove has thick burned ash, while the rest doesn't, since shaking settles everything together. It would be hard to remove that ash.

Any thoughts?

Bill.
joespond
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: dead spot

PostBy: SemperFi On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:44 pm

Hello Joespond. I think your exercise in seing how long the stove could go was good. Now you know that to expect in this weather anyways. The dead zone will migrate around the stove due to air flow and ash build up. The dead spot will recover if there is unburned coal there and good airflow. Good luck.
SemperFi
 
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: H.F. hopper 90k btu

Re: dead spot

PostBy: joespond On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:57 pm

Thanks for replying. Its 49-50 degrees out. The bottom door knob is open 1 turn. The stove top center temp is 225 degrees.

I'll see how it looks late afternoon after simmering most of the day.

Thanks,

Bill.
joespond
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

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Re: dead spot

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:11 pm

joespond wrote:My question is: Will the fire eventually migrate back to the dead area? This morning when I first opened the door, I grabbed a piece of burned coal from the dead area. I broke it open, and it was a little back in the middle. I know that totally burned stuff has no black in the middle, it just crumbles up.


The dead area will probably not come back because there is not enough fresh coal in there. You did exactly the right thing by "feeding" the good area & getting it lively. Once you do that, what I always do is poke down into the dead area (without disturbing the good side) & add some fresh coal to it. Even though it looks dead the new coals will eventually catch from the good side. This might take all night so just leave it alone. Next day, I'll bet you have a nice full fire & you can shake it all down normally.
(Throughout the winter you'll always have good & bad side/areas. (fires rarely burn evenly) Feed the good....Get it going strong with fresh coal & only then do the bad side. Try to avoid shaking down again as you may compact the good side to much)

As long as you have a good area (& leave it alone), you'll never lose your fire.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: dead spot

PostBy: joespond On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:47 pm

Hi,

Thanks...............you were right, the dead spot is still dark, although I can see a little red glow down deep in the adjacent areas. Do you ever remove the burned ash from the dead spot, and replace with fresh?, or just add a little in there figuring some fresh stuff will help burn up any partially burned stuff. In my case, I think those pieces in that area were actually not totally burned, as when I crack them open, the centers are sorta black, whereas the totally burned ash will just crumble to nothing, and has no black content.

I figured it would all get good again eventually, but I just wanted a little input from others about their experiences.

Its wicked windy out here (west danville, VT), so I opened er' up another turn. I'll shake down this evening and fill. Think I'll try a full bed of pea tonight and see how it does compared with the nut, although conditions outside are quite different from my 1st week of burning nut.(warmer) Maybe by morning I'll be back to an even burn again.

Thanks,

Bill.
joespond
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: dead spot

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:59 pm

joespond wrote:Thanks...............you were right, the dead spot is still dark, although I can see a little red glow down deep in the adjacent areas. Do you ever remove the burned ash from the dead spot, and replace with fresh?, or just add a little in there figuring some fresh stuff will help burn up any partially burned stuff.


You can remove some dead ash if you want but it's too messy & time consuming. Just poke down well into the dead area & twist the poker as you poke. (to break up any clumps) Fill with fresh coal & leave it alone. Next day it will all be burning & fine. When you shake down tomorrow you can get rid of all the ash you poked down.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: dead spot

PostBy: joespond On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:20 pm

Actually, I may have spoken too soon. I've had it open two turns for an hour I guess, and just went down, and the thing is cranking at 500 degrees with an even bed, no dark spot. I sprinkled on some more pea across the top, and off I go.

Awesome. I have really enjoyed learning this, and this site made my first coal experience pretty smooth. Its a good thing too, because I filled my basement with 5 ton of coal having never burned a chunk and hoping it would work well. It has !

Thanks,

Bill.
joespond
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: dead spot

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:35 pm

joespond wrote:I've had it open two turns for an hour I guess, and just went down, and the thing is cranking at 500 degrees with an even bed, no dark spot. I sprinkled on some more pea across the top, and off I go.


Great!

You may want to shake it down a little earlier than usual, while the entire bed is going well. Liven it up really well & then shake it down & see if you can get allot of the dead ash (from earlier) out.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

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