smoke in hopper

smoke in hopper

PostBy: voss On: Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:07 pm

I just bought a used keystoker and have started it twice and keep getting smoke in the coal hopper. What could be causing this, it seems to have decent draft.. Once the stove has been burning for about 40 minutes, I've notice that the fire is burning close to the stoker and not out farther..
I did'nt get an operating manual with the stove so I don't know how to adjust it properly, any help would be greatly appreciated !!!

PostBy: timberman On: Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:37 pm

How much coal do you keep in the hopper? My instructions to my Keystoker furnace says to keep coal in the hopper at all times to avoid the smoke or fumes. Hope this helps.

PostBy: WNY On: Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:44 pm

Sounds like a bad draft. The draft should be checked. on ours, there is a small hole in the ash door (hex screw) that a draft gauge can be hooked to. Our manual states (-.02 to -.04)

Do you have your combustion blower adjusted properly? ours is about half closed on the side cover.

Is yours standard top draft or forced draft/power vent on the bottom.?
(ours is a power vent, so draft is not an issue)

It should be burning about in the middle and closer to the front end, and not towards the back. Do you have the hopper full? and the burn tray of coal even on top.

You could have clogged combustion holes and or alot of ash inside the bottom of the combustion air channel below the burn plate.
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

PostBy: coalkirk On: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:21 am

If your draft is good, it sounds like your combustion blower is improperly adjusted. Blowing too much air into the stove, it takes all ways it can to get out and the next easiest way for smoke to get out besides the flue is through the hopper. I had the same problem with my Harmon boiler. There should be a restirctor plate on the intake area of the fan. Try adjusting it closed about 1/3 of the way. You wil have to experiment with it. And buy or borrow a draft gauge. That's critical.
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal

PostBy: Jerry & Karen On: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:09 pm

I have to agree with everyone else, it sounds like a draft problem. The shutter on the combustion fan could or could not help the problem depending on your draft reading. I think if you call Keystone they'll send you a manual and help you out. Without seeing the actual problem and sitution we're all just guessing. Don't mess with CO and don't burn your stove without have an alarm or two.
Jerry & Karen

PostBy: voss On: Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:38 am

thanks for all the info, I burnt the stove all day yesterday and did'nt smell any smoke. I ordered a manual from Keystoker also... other than a contractor where can you get a draft gauge?
Thanks again

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:17 am

voss wrote: I burnt the stove all day yesterday and did'nt smell any smoke.

As suggested get a CO2 detector, CO2 is odorless.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: voss On: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:14 am

Thankfully I do have a co detector because it went off yesterday, the stove had been going for about 36 hours. the hopper had smoke in it again. I shut the stove down and this morning went down to check the situation and i have cold air blowing in through the damper.
It got cold here last night about 30 degrees, I thought it would draft better the colder it was outside...
what effect does wet coal have on these stokers?
there is so much I need to learn because I want this stove to be safe and to run properly! I hope the manual comes soon

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:22 pm

voss wrote:what effect does wet coal have on these stokers?

Besides the affects of corrosion on the hopper should be none. Only trouble I've heard any customers comment on about burning wet coal was if it was barley which is much smaller than rice and holds the moisture more. Obvioulsy you don't want it dripping wet but moisture should not affect it.

I have a old placard here from Van-Wert and they reccomend the coal be damp. Many old timers will even tell you to keep it damp. If it has any beneficial affect I really don't know.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite