Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: spidy67 On: Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:01 pm

Bob B wrote:Greetings and HELP!
We just moved into a new home which has a Biasi 3wood5 in tandem with a conventional oil boiler heating system. I am looking to burn anthracite coal but all I have to work with is the instruction book that came with the stove. I really need some help to pull this off.
From what I have read on the internet, it seems that it is not necessary to have the grates to burn coal. Is this correct?
If so, how much coal do (can) you load in (before it starts to fall out of the door)?
Do you bank it up to the rear/sides of the stove?
Any support would be greatly appreciated.



You can burn without the grates but it is more difficult without. I burned 200lbs without the grates and although they are not great they do help. The grates have a high front so you can pile alot in. My biasi orignally came without the grates, there is a knockout in the side of the stove and the metal cabinate so they can be added. If you decide not to use the grates i would reccomend a piece of threaded rod and maybe a second bent in the shape of an L so you can go between the built in grates. Either way you will get about 50lbs or so in before it runs over. My boiler is hooked up in parallel with my oil boiler, I could have it set so my oil boiler comes on when low on coal but i turn the burner off and just run it on coal. I get about 24 hrs out of a 50lb bag, the temps are in the 20's at night so im not sure what that will be like later since this will be my first season burning coal, i am keeping the house at 74deg. I can tell you its much cheaper than oil. I check it twice a day once at 5 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. open it up shake it down fill it up and a few minutes later close it down again and walk away for 12 more hours. I dont really bank it i just fill it up leave it a little high in the middle and slope it slightly to the front because if i put too much in it will fall out the door. l40knocker helped alot as well as reading some posts in here, I had taken the barometric out and you really do need one. My stack temp runs aroun 75 to 100 deg. closing the built in damper on the back of the stove helps the coal last alot longer. If you have any other questions i will try to help.
spidy67
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood5

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: spidy67 On: Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:16 pm

Bob B wrote:Thanks so much for the offer to help. I am totally new to burning anything, let alone coal. But I am ready, willing and able. Going through your checklist of what I'll need...
1)Nut size coal. Is this the same as chestnut size. When I explained the stove to the coal distributor he said that I should get the chestnut. Are we talking about the same thing?
2) Barometric damper. Don't have or know what it is. I'll look it up on the internet.
3) Threaded rod. Easy one. What diameter and how long? Where do you put it for shaking?
4) Co Detector. Got it.

I was looking at the stove today and pretty much understand what I'm looking at. Previous owner has a dump zone installed to a modine heater in a garage. I have quite a chore of cleaning this thing out before I fire it up. The upper chamber is almost completely filled with ash and creosote from burning wet wood. Nothing that can't be cleaned with a little elbow grease.

It looks like you can load about 10 inches of coal to the bottom of the loading door and I'm sure you can pile an couple of inched above that comfortably. What is considered a deep bed of coal? How much coal do you put in when you load it up?
Are you happy with the grates? Would you recommend getting them in the future?
Thanks again.



I wouldnt worry about getting it all out, the creasote that is, after you burn 200 lbs or so that will dissapper like it did in mine. I burned wood in mine for a couple years before i converted, they reccomend you burn some coal to help remove the creasote. I would still clean it out the best you can but you will be amazed at how much will dissapear. Chestnut is the coal i use and seems to work well, and it idles well also. The Barometric will keep the heat from just going up the chimney, it will throttle the draft so you dont get too much and just send the heat out the chimney. Its a little tricky to adjust but i used the same setting that is on my furnace. I dont have the tools necessary to adjust it properly but it seems to be working ok, maybe i just got lucky on that one.
spidy67
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood5

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:35 pm

Awsome. Thanks so much for the info.
I picked up 6-40 lb bags of Blaschak nut coal on the way home for testing. I'm going to try it out before I take the plunge of getting a couple of tons delivered. Tonight I going to try and clean that upper chamber out. It's almost completely clogged and I wouldn't feel comfortable lighting it up like that. The next step is to get my chimney cleaned, so I'm way behind on getting this whole thing set up. I had hoped to get into this house during the summer or early fall but the closing kept getting pushed back for one reason or another. Does burning a coal fire also eliminate the creosote on the chimney flue?

Here's a question about something I noticed. The flue damper on the back of my stove (called the Breach in the instruction book) is always in the closed position. When I turn the "T" handle and open it, it just closes from it's own weight when I let the handle go. That doesn't seem right to me as I would have to use a wire or something to tie it in an opened position.
Is there something wrong here?

Also, I now know (thanks to all of you and this site) that the barometric damper will certainly help to control the burn. Can I get away without installing one?
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

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Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: spidy67 On: Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:11 pm

Bob B wrote:Awsome. Thanks so much for the info.
I picked up 6-40 lb bags of Blaschak nut coal on the way home for testing. I'm going to try it out before I take the plunge of getting a couple of tons delivered. Tonight I going to try and clean that upper chamber out. It's almost completely clogged and I wouldn't feel comfortable lighting it up like that. The next step is to get my chimney cleaned, so I'm way behind on getting this whole thing set up. I had hoped to get into this house during the summer or early fall but the closing kept getting pushed back for one reason or another. Does burning a coal fire also eliminate the creosote on the chimney flue?

Here's a question about something I noticed. The flue damper on the back of my stove (called the Breach in the instruction book) is always in the closed position. When I turn the "T" handle and open it, it just closes from it's own weight when I let the handle go. That doesn't seem right to me as I would have to use a wire or something to tie it in an opened position.
Is there something wrong here?

Also, I now know (thanks to all of you and this site) that the barometric damper will certainly help to control the burn. Can I get away without installing one?


The damper should "or at least mine does" have preset notches when i hit halfway it stops and i have to turn it a little more when im closing it up. If you are cleaning the top out i would take the stove pipe off, clean and check the damper maybe its just dirty, it shouldnt be loose or close on its own. And if the top section is as bad as you say i would make sure you get most of the creasote out. With that said when you burn the coal it will break up anything that is left. Burning coal does help remove alot of creasote that is left from burning wood. I dont know how much creasote burning coal will remove from a chimney since the stack temp. doesnt get has high, when burning wood i would see temps. of 300 deg. or so. Burning coal i have seen a max. temp. of 175 to 200 deg. so i dont think it will remove much from the flue, maybe some around the thimble but not much beyond that. I would check out the flue damper, if its closing on its own something is not right. I think you can get away without a barometric, BUT im sure most of the people in here will say you should have one, i would reccomend that you have one if possible.
spidy67
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood5

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:23 pm

Thanks Spidy. I am definetly going to take the stove pipe off during this cleaning operation and see what's going on with that damper. Sounds like I'll be ready to burn coal by the summer at this rate. :cry: I'll try to put some pictures up if I can figure out how to do it.

Getting back to shaking down the coals with the threaded rod. Still not sure that I understand how it is done. Am I putting the rod into the front of the loading door or the ash door?
:idea: I am picturing the rod with an L bend facing up inserted into the ash door and poking the L up through the slots in the grate to rake. Is that the way to do it?
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: l40knocker On: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:19 pm

Bob

To shke it down you will be pushing the straight rod through the ashe that is on top of the grates. Most will fall through the grates and with the help of the L shaped rod pushed up between the grate openings as you said before, it will get most of the ashe down into the ash pan. I have piled as much coal as I could keep in the firebox without it rolling out onto the floor and it has burned nicely. I would definitely have the chimney brushed out before firing it up. If you set the barometric damper at the .04 setting it will put you close. The manual pipe damper should not close on its own. I am suspecting that there is something stuck onto it or it might be broken. It is finally getting cold enough in CT to think about firing mine up. I think I will light it this weekend.
l40knocker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Biasi 3 Wood/Co
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut
Other Heating: oil fired hydro air system
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 Wood/Coal

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:28 pm

Thanks l40knocker, I get the picture now on the shaking the ashes.
I agree about having the flue cleaned out. I'm stuck untill next week as far as getting someone to brush out the chimney. For this first time i would like to have a pro do it and look the whole thing over. When I get a little more experience I might invest in the brushes & poles and do it myself.
I'll spend the weekend cleaning out the stove and checking that damper. Now that I have removed some of the heavy stuff that was behind the upper flue gas cover, I can see the damper looking into the loading door. Seems to be intact but just won't stay in position once I release the handle. In the parts drawing of the instruction book the damper is numbered #39. The drawing shows a small unlabeled part just to the right of the damper. I can't make out what it is but I am thinking that it may be a spring or something. Hope to find out once I get it apart.
Right now my stove doesn't have a barometric damper installed and I was hoping that I might be able to get started without it. What do you think about that idea?
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: l40knocker On: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:00 pm

Without the barometric damper it will be tough to keep the coal fire going. As the wind, temperature and barometric pressure change so will the draft on your chimney. It will aggrevate you to death especially if it is not really cold outside. I tried it without the baro and drove myself nuts. Once you lose a coal fire you have to clean the whole thing out and start another fire and get it all going again. After you do that a few times you will soon have a baro to smooth out the draft.
l40knocker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Biasi 3 Wood/Co
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut
Other Heating: oil fired hydro air system
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 Wood/Coal

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:01 pm

Now that is what I call an informative answer!
I didn't understand the need for the barometric damper but you have made it crystal clear to me now.
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience.
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:28 pm

Took the rear end apart today & completed the major cleanout. Found that there is a spring on the rod of that rear damper that adds pressure to hold it in whatever position it is turned to. Mine was compressed too much and not applying any pressure. I stretched it out a bit and reinstalled it. Between the cleaning and the stretching the spring the damper now stays in position when the handle is released. Once I get the chimney cleaned out this week I'll be ready to burn.
Wish I was ready last night and tonight we're going into the teens.
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: shawntitan On: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:09 am

My manual pipe dampers have failed in the same way too, the heat wrecks the tension of the springs... I just put mine in the right place, and put a screw thru my stove pipe to hold it open.
shawntitan
 

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: spidy67 On: Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:41 pm

Glad to hear you got the damper working that will come in handy when you get it fired up. I found that closing the damper 1/2 to 3/4's of the way it helps save on some coal. When you get ready to fire it up let me know i will tell you how i get mine going when i start it up, maybe that will help you when your ready.
spidy67
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood5

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:25 pm

My system is set up pretty much like the "Parallel Piping" diagram of page 30 of the instruction book. I was looking at the water settings today of the existing system and thought that they seemed to be set a little low. I haven't changed anything yet, I just left them the way I found them. The previous owner stated that he heated the home almost exclusively with wood, using the oil burner as a backup. I don't see how he could do that with these settings. I am comming from a gas/hot water heated home and I used to have the aquastat set at around 180°for heat.

Here's the way they are currently set:
Oil Boiler 150°
Biasi Boiler (rear) 140°
Baisi Overheat (front) 165°

Does this make sense to anyone? Aside from just being LOW, I would think that the Biasi temp. (the water from the Biasi to the heating system) should be set at the same or higher temp. than the oil boiler. This would satisfy the oil boiler's need to come on since the water is already at or above the desireded temp. If the Biasi is at 140° and the oil burner at 150°, wouldn't the oil burner always be comming on to heat the water up 10° from 140°to 150°? Am I missing something?
The instructions have the settings at:
Oil Boiler 180°
Biasi Boiler (rear) 180°
Biasi Overheat (front) 200°
Is this cutting too close?
My wife is ready to have a heart attack every time I tell her I'm going down to light the stove. I'd rather not to prove her right by blowing the pressure relief the very first time I light it.
I would appreciate anyone sharing their settings and thoughts.
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: l40knocker On: Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:01 am

I have my oil boiler set at 120 and the Biasi at 180 and the overheat at 200. The water in the system is under pressure. Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level. The pressure relief valve will blow off if the pressure goes too high. Make sure the overheat loop and overheat zone valve are all working correctly and you should not have any trouble at all. I have seen my temp guage go over 200 a few times and it is not a problem. Make sure your expansion tank is not full of water either as this will cause a blow off from the pressure relief valve.

Using the settings you describe will be pointless because the wood fired boiler will never keep the oil fired boiler warm enough.

Once you get it rolling you will be happy. I just got home at 1030pm and the last time I took care of the coal fire was 620am this morning. When I got home I just shook it down and added a heap of coal and she will be all set till the morning again.
l40knocker
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Biasi 3 Wood/Co
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut
Other Heating: oil fired hydro air system
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 Wood/Coal

Re: Anyone burning coal in a Biasi 3 Wood/Coal

PostBy: Bob B On: Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:36 pm

Thanks, I agree and your settings are exactly what Biasi recommends with the exception of the oil burner at 180°. I like the idea of having the oil burner set below the Biasi so you would be just running on the coal. I'll fiddle with it when it's hot.
So spidey, how do you start yours up?
Bob B
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Biasi
Stove/Furnace Model: 3wood6

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