Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: HeartnCoal On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:43 pm

Hey all, This is my first year burning coal. I've been getting the coal fires started using wood and burning it down to a good bed of coals. I poke and rake the wood coals to a nice thick even bed. Then with the fill doors and ash pan doors open, I load the coal in to the top of the fire brick. I'm guessing about 25 lbs. I then close the fill doors and leave the ash pan door open and watch the coal as it sizzles with an occasional POP. Within a minute or two, blue flames shoot up between the fence and the windows I'll let go for about a minute more then close the ash pan door.(then 15 seconds of being fascinated with the dancing blue flames) I adjust the vents and try for a stack temp of about 350 degs. It will "cruise" set like that for at least 14 hours. Now the shake down part......at first I would shake only when I would bank the stove in the morning and the evening. I'm using a method of shaking that I learned off of the forum here and that is to open the ash pan door leaving the fill doors closed. Reason being that the fly ash will go out the chimney. I am noticing that with each shake down that the ash is getting more difficult to shake through the grate until about the 5th shake down (2days after starting the fire) that it won't shake through the grate at all and will go out within a couple hours leaving a BUNCH of half burned coal. My question is...Is it possible by shaking the grate the way I have been that the fine fly ash is being force up into the ash bed and thereby "clogging it up" and binding it so that it wont fall through the grate when shaking it?
It was 12 degs outside last night so I bumped up the stack temp to 425 in order to keep the house temp at 68 degrees. The coals were burning BRIGHT orange the stove was mighty hot and this morning it was out. There big chips of what look like melted together half burned coal and unidentifiable other stuff. Is that a sign that the fire was too hot?
So far I love burning coal, but cleaning out half burned loads every two or three days is going to get old real quick.
Any advice, thoughts, suggestions will be well appreciated.
And the chimney is a 32 footer masonary with a wicked good draft.
HeartnCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:48 pm

More likely it's the coal. What kind of coal are you burning? (what company ie Reading Coal, Blaschak Coal, Superior Coal)

Read this: That's It- Stick With Blaschak!
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: HeartnCoal On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:50 pm

Hey Devil, It's Blaschak Nut.
HeartnCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

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Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: Dallas On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:58 pm

Did you read my coal stove tending post? See link below.
Dallas
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Modified Russo C-35
Other Heating: Oil Hot Air
Stove/Furnace Make: Russo
Stove/Furnace Model: Modified C-35

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:00 pm

HeartnCoal wrote:Hey Devil, It's Blaschak Nut.


I've never had a problem with Blaschak so I don't know?? (I've heard running very hot fires can cause clinkers but not sure??)
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: HeartnCoal On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:09 pm

Clinkers....that was the first thing that came to mind when I pulled one of those suckers out of the ash. It reminded me of a bottom of a beer bottle that spent the night in a roaring camp fire.
HeartnCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: Razzler On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:13 pm

Do you have a Barometric damper installed?
Baro? Why bother?
Razzler
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF 250

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: rockwood On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:21 pm

How big is your house? Maybe too big for your stove?

And when you say "half burned loads" do you mean the clinkers?
rockwood
 
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: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: HeartnCoal On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:25 pm

Hey Dallas, I watched the tending video. I'm not sure if it's going to help. I'm a total rookie at this and I am probably at the stage where I think tending is more complicated than it really is. My first thought after watching the video was, "that's too easy!" I don't have any dampers on the pipe, manual or baro. I do have a magnetic temp gage at location you see there in the pic.
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HeartnCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: HeartnCoal On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:44 pm

Rockwood, the house is close to 2,000 sq ft living space plus the basement where the stove is located. When I was checking out masons for estimates on the chimney they ALL said a stove that size should be in the basement for reason I felt made a lot of sense. They considered it to be a "big" stove.
HeartnCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: Dallas On: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:56 pm

Ya need a damper of some kind. I have both on my stove. The baro damper will keep it from over firing.
Dallas
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Modified Russo C-35
Other Heating: Oil Hot Air
Stove/Furnace Make: Russo
Stove/Furnace Model: Modified C-35

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:21 am

Some coal does not burn down to a fine powder, it burns down to a hard crunchy ash, the pieces about the same size as the coal was.. When you have ash like this, you need to move the shaker mechanism enough that the pieces of ash get caught between the teeth of the grates and crushed by the teeth. Otherwise the ash will build up like you are experiencing..
So from what you describe,, you need to shake a bit more agressively.. to get the crunchy ash down through the grates..

You definitely need a Barometric damper installed.. this will retain more heat in the stove, and extend your burn time on a full load of coal.

With your stove in the basement,, you need to insulate the basement,, it looks like you have bare concrete walls in the photo, these will pull an amazing amount of heat from the room.. I'd put a layer of foam boards on the walls and insulate the floor joist ends and the sill plates..

I think you just need to learn your stove, the coal and your shaking technique some more..

The clinker is from a very hot fire.. if you have 350* measured on the surface [magnetic thermometer] of your flue,, you have at least 550* inside,, probably more like 600-800*.. You are burning your stove quite hot... I'd insulate the basement or move it upstairs..

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

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: wwct On: Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:49 pm

I think he's raking it too soon. Initally coal doesn't like to be disturbed. Get the fire going, add coal a little at a time until you get a good bed burning. Then you can fill it, leaving air holes for combustion. Those pretty blue flames are just the gases burning off, he wants a red glow. And I prefer to shake morning, fill, and supper time, fill. Works for me.
wwct
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon Mark II

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: HeartnCoal On: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:10 pm

Thanks Greg, My ash, for the most part looks like gray powder and white flakes about 1/2" to 2/3" long or so. I am definitely full on in the learning curve right now and I think I'm starting to figure it out. Shaking a few times before banking seems to be helping alot. It's funny though, a couple of the masons I had over for the chimney estimates said that putting the stove in the basement will heat up the foundation and turn it into a radiational heater of sorts. OK, seems logical. But like you are saying it can also be viewed as a heat sink and compromise the heat that should be heating the house, not the foundation.
I will definitely get a baro damper now and do more research about installing and setting. Insulating between the floor joists is on order also.
Jim
HeartnCoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Coalbrookdale
Stove/Furnace Model: Darby

Re: Can improper shaking cause ash to "bind"?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:20 pm

If your concrete walls are insulated on the outside from the ground by at least 2" of water proof foam,, then you can consider them to be a heat storage device.. otherwise the walls are a major heat loss.

Heating a basement to warm the floor above is not a very efficient or effective way to heat a house.. it does work, but it takes a lot of heat in the basement.

Greg L

.
LsFarm
 
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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