Lots of Ash/Not Much Fire

Re: Lots of Ash/Not Much Fire

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu. Nov. 13, 2008 12:05 pm

MA_coal_fan wrote:To Wood/Cole,

I bought the loose coal from Superior Coal in PA. They came well recommended by members here in this forum.

As for the question about how long the coal will last; my guess? 7-8 years. Assuming I don't rip my coal stove out of my house and throw it through a window!


Superior nut is considered very high quality coal by most members, lots of btus and free of rock. One member in particular, "coal berner" swears by Superior coal, if he doesn't chime in on this thread you may want to send him a PM; I'm sure he can give you specific advice to deal with the ash content/characteristics of the Superior coal.

I remember this thread from a few weeks back that might give you some insight: red ash or white ash
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

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Re: Lots of Ash/Not Much Fire

PostBy: dutch On: Thu. Nov. 13, 2008 12:10 pm

it might be a shaking issue, not getting enough good shakedown to get the ash
outta there.
I'm not a poker, at last not regularly :P . After a few weeks of burning, I may start
to see my fire concentrate in the middle, or one side and have to get real aggressive
with my shaking, or poke around a little, to get that build up of ash down and out.
But, only once in a while.
Another thing to try is get your thermometer up on your pipe and see how it reads there.
I never have read my temps on my stovetop, but I run about 160-225 most of the winter
at the pipe. I would imagine 300 is too low at the top of the stove???

also, with the mark series stoves, they have a secondary air vent on the
loading door around the glass.
I have posted about this and how I installed some gasket material to reduce this
airflow into the stove so the stove draws all it's combustion air only from below.
you might want to look into that, again, it's just something I have found to work for me.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III

Re: Lots of Ash/Not Much Fire

PostBy: rockwood On: Thu. Nov. 13, 2008 8:45 pm

MA_coal_fan wrote: Assuming I don't rip my coal stove out of my house and throw it through a window!


Don't give up, you'll get it figured out. :)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

Re: Lots of Ash/Not Much Fire

PostBy: Razzler On: Thu. Nov. 13, 2008 9:31 pm

MA_coal_fan and ss_burns, When your shaking down your stove open your ash door and watch as the ash falls, don't be afraid of getting a little agressive with the shaker, short choppy strokes. Keep shaking untill you see a nice glow across the whole bottom of the grates. Don't worry if you see a few hot coals dropping here or there you need to get that glowing, that tells you that you have good air flow. If you can't get it glowing under the grates then you have to poke it like the other guy's said.
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: rice

Re: Lots of Ash/Not Much Fire

PostBy: CoalHeat On: Thu. Nov. 13, 2008 9:57 pm

Since it's Superior that eliminates the bad coal possibility. Harmony and Superior are my favorites.

Superior and Harmony will clinker up if you are burning it too hot. I saw you have the air vent set 1/4 turn open and have a baro damper on it. I run my Mark I stove 3/4 turn open minimum or I'll slowly loose the fire, I'll go as high as 1 1/2 turns open on a cold day. Running it at 1/4 is probably not enough air.

What's the draft running at? Have you checked it with a manometer? You can't set the baro by the weight markings, they are approximate. I would set it at -.05" WC with a full fire burning.

If you burn Superior too hot it will clinker up and clog the grates.

After you shake the stove and see embers drop into the ash pan, take it out and then poke up through the holes in the grate with the bent wire, loosen up the ash just over the grates.

"Clinker Fishing" is gently removing large clinkers from the burning coal bed after shaking and before adding fresh coal.
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Baseburners & Antiques: Sears Signal Oak 15 & Andes Kitchen Range
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Lots of Ash/Not Much Fire

PostBy: JB Sparks On: Fri. Nov. 14, 2008 7:16 am

Hi Guys,
What a timely post this is, just had to refire my boiler as the boiler water temp was down to 130*and when I shook it down I didn't get that much ash,but didn't know why it wouldn't liven up with the ash door open. so I poke around with the hoe and found it was loaded with ash. So I hoed from the top and got all the ash out, made a whole in the middle of the coal and started it up with kindling. i'm back up to temp. Question, when you say "rake the coals" what are you using as a rake and what exactly are you doing? Guess I got to get more aggresive getting the ash out.
Thanks for any info,
JB Sparks
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman - Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman: SF160 - Chubby Sr.

Re: Lots of Ash/Not Much Fire

PostBy: lincolnmania On: Fri. Nov. 14, 2008 7:42 am

if you got your coal from superior, the coal is'nt the problem.......i live next door to the hegins mining co and I wont burn that crap anymore.....i used to get 10-15 days out of a ton of their buckwheat.....jay turned me on to superior last year......i get 18-25 days out of a ton of superior buckwheat......going there today for 2 tons of nut for the kenmore
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: efm af-150 1982
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: alaska kodiak stoker 1986
Hand Fed Coal Stove: warm morning 1980 kenmore

Re: Lots of Ash/Not Much Fire

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri. Nov. 14, 2008 11:08 am

JB, you need to aggressivly shake untill you see a red glow throught the ashpan door, you need the whole grate area to be red, this will indicate that the ash has fallen off the grate and into the pan, opening the air passageways.

Greg L
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

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Re: Lots of Ash/Not Much Fire

PostBy: captcaper On: Fri. Nov. 14, 2008 6:59 pm

I first shake it down then open the loading door and Like Dallas say's I Poke down the fire if it's idleing good from the top. The ash fall's easily to the bottom. I clean out the corners with this poker I made from 3/8 round stock from HD with an almost 4in. bend at the end. I poke the rest of the fire good to free up any ash collecting amounst the coals. Then shake it one more time. This works good for me.
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Super Magnum
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum Stoker