Having a heck of time finding the right balance

Having a heck of time finding the right balance

PostBy: AKHEARTH On: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:22 am

I apologize up front for the length of this. I recently put in an Alaskan Kodiac Stoker Hearth model with Coal-trol in my semi-finished basement. I am new to the coal thing so bare with my lack of knowledge. I have oil hot water baseboard and was hoping to help with my heating costs this winter. My fireplace is near the steps that go to my main living area and are located near the far left side of my house. (See attached sketch) I have a split level ranch where a two car garage is under part of the right side of my house. Two of the bedrooms, a bathroom and the hallway are above the garage. The other bedroom along with a bathroom are above the finished part of my basement. The kitchen is directly above the family room where the stove is located. I currently have a pedastool fan blowing the heat up the stairs. I bought a floor vent and duct and am waiting on an inline fan that I ordered over the internet. Matteaus recommended puting in the floor vent in the furthest part of the house and ducting it back to the room where the stove is in to get the "convection" going from downstairs up into my living area upstairs.

I can not seem to find a good adjustment on my settings. I could get the stove burning ok but it doesn't seem to have the heat coming out of it that it should. I have my Thermostat temporarily running up the stairs to my kitchen area. Last night I changed my settings to what the T2 book recommended, 40 max and 6 min. I have the CFT set at 15. I filled my hopper with coal. When I went down this morning my stove was almost out. Here it burned the whole hopper of coal in about 5 hours. I can not seem to figure out what I should be doing. Maybe I need to have this burn at max for a couple days to get my "core" house temperature up. Again, at this point I'm not quite sure what I should be doing.

Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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AKHEARTH
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: Having a heck of time finding the right balance

PostBy: WNY On: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:27 pm

How far away is the thermostat??, how much do you change it for temperature?

The stove can only produce so much heat to satisfy the thermostat, if you set it at 72 degrees and it's 25 feet away, it might be 75 at the stove, but 68 at the thermostat, it will keep feeding and feeding and if it doesn't reach 72 and stay there to back the stove down, it will continue until it reaches 99 feed rate and just keep feeding the stove, if it nevers reaches the setpoint, your stove runs out of coal.

You either have to get it closer or move the heat better to the thermostat, or lower it by a degree or two so it can satisfy it easier. Especially if you have a fan blowing on it or around it, it may keep it cooler than it needs to be..

There isa HLF (Heat loss factor) in the advanced menu depending on your home and heat loss. It defaults to Zero, but you can change it to 1 to see if it responds any faster.

I would move the thermostat or lower the temp to see if it will satisfy it first and back the stove down, then start tweaking other things from there. Make sure you feed screw is max on the stove too.
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Having a heck of time finding the right balance

PostBy: traderfjp On: Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:37 pm

Is the basement finished or insulated?
When you said the stove was almost out was it idling or almost out of coal. How hot was the stove running when it burns through a hopper full or coal in 5 hours?
What brand of coal are you using?
Is there any way you could move the stove to your living area.

The temps have not been hot enough to burn through so much coal.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: Having a heck of time finding the right balance

PostBy: AKHEARTH On: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Thanks for your replies. The Thermostat is about 25 feet away up the stairs. The fan is down stairs and usually does an ok job sending some of the warm air up to the kitchen where the Thermostat is at. The temperature at the Thermostat was 69. I had both the day and night set at 71.

What would adjusting the HLF to 1 do?

When you say adjust the feed screw to max wouldn't that push more coal out or am I thinking of it backwards?

The basement is semi-finished but it is insulated with the 4 x 8 sheets insulation behind the paneling. This morning the stove was out of coal and not just idling.

The coal came from Jeddo below Hazleton. I understand for next year to get the deep mine coal not the strip mine coal.

It would be tuff to move the stove into my living area upstairs. I would have to get a new chimney and do some other work.

Thanks again for your help.
AKHEARTH
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520

Re: Having a heck of time finding the right balance

PostBy: traderfjp On: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:36 pm

When the stove is running hard what is the air temp in the basement compared to the upstairs? It sounds like you're having a hard time getting the heat to distribute through your house. I would vote for moving the stove to the living area. You can buy a power vent or direct vent and pipe for under 500.00 and you'll save that in coal after one year. I've been using about 10lbs a day and have the stove in my living area.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: Having a heck of time finding the right balance

PostBy: pvolcko On: Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:31 pm

First, light the stove, go into SETUP and let it sit on the MAX setting for an hour or so. Do you get a full grate of fire? Should have about 1-1.5 inches of ash at the edge. If it isn't full, increase the setting by 5 and let it sit for 30 minutes then check again. Keep adjusting until it is a full fire. If you are overstoking and don't have enough ash at the edge or are even pushing hot coals into the pan, then dial the setting back 5 points, wait 30 minutes, and check. AS you get closer you can make small changes.

Once you've got a good MAX setting, move back to the round robin screens and let it run for a 2-3 hours. How hot does it get in the room the stove is in? If you see a large difference between that room and the room the thermotat is in, then you need to solve your air circulation problem with the cold air return duct and fan Matt recommended.
pvolcko
 

Re: Having a heck of time finding the right balance

PostBy: AKHEARTH On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:53 am

Thanks to all for the help.
AKHEARTH
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520