Coal quality

Coal quality

PostBy: Wicho On: Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:20 pm

Hello, we just purchased and installed our first coal stove- Alaska- Channing model w/ Alaska direct vent- (what a breeze to install!- did it myself and saved at least $500.00)

I 'm new to the forum and have a couple of newbie questions I couldn't find elsewhere in the forum.

1) Could anyone tell me if there are different qualities of anthracite coal?

a) If so- how can you tell (outside of burning and keeping burn rate statistics)?

2) What are the pros and cons of buying oiled vs. non-oiled anthracite?

(my stove came with a half ton of "free" bagged and oiled rice coal but the rice coal I ordered from my local dealer (in bulk) came in without oil. The dealer told me there was no difference other than the dust) I looked at a handful of the oiled stuff vs. the new bulk I just bought- the oiled is in a little larger pieces while the new stuff seems to have more tiny pieces- not sure if this makes a difference.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Re: Coal quality

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:24 am

Wicho wrote:1) Could anyone tell me if there are different qualities of anthracite coal?

Yes, depending on where it was mined and who processed it. Differences shouldn't be drastic.

a) If so- how can you tell (outside of burning and keeping burn rate statistics)?

You can't accurately judge short of having it tested. Your coal should be mostly shiny but there is no real indication.

2) What are the pros and cons of buying oiled vs. non-oiled anthracite?

AFAIK the only benefit is the dust. Jerry From leisure line pointed out that it would keep the hopper from rusting and would keep some internal parts lubricated, probably good for a good for stove for a stove that is only going to be used for the season but you could probably get the same affect =by spraying some WD-40. AFAIK the BTU increase is negligible, there's not a lot of oil used.

There's another thread about oiled coal around somewhere if you do a search you'll find it.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: blueduck On: Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:17 am

How do you like the stove? I Installed the same stove with direct vent.
Fumes have been my problem. The paint took a week to cure and their was a mounting hole in the venter that wasnt sealed. I had 80 ppm
carbon monoxide around the back of the stove. I'm still getting some CO
but I think its still the paint burning off.
I'm using bagged coal that is washed. Its a plastic bag so the coal is very wet and I'm finding its better to pour it in buckets to let it dry out some.
With the stove set a "3" I'm using about 40 pounds in 24 hours.

PostBy: Jerry & Karen On: Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:34 pm

You shouldn't be getting any CO from your stove. Only 0 amounts of CO is acceptable. Either turn your venter up a little or set the weight on your barometric heavier. If you continue to get a reading, call the people you bought it off of or the company that installed it. This problem does not go away on its own. Burnt paint will make your smoke alarms go off, not CO alarm.
Jerry LLS
Jerry & Karen

PostBy: blueduck On: Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:50 pm

Hi Jerry,
I have a Kane-May single gas analyzer for CO. I was thinking the same thing about the paint but I needed to run the stove very hot to get the paint to "burn off". Over loading the coal could also put more combustion gases in the stove than the venter can handle.
After sealing the unused mounting hole behind the added connector on the venter the sulfur smell in the house was gone. After that I started running the stove hot after work so I could cure the paint. It really smelled bad of paint and the CO analyzer had readings of 25 plus at the top where the warm air comes out. Now that I have cured most of the
paint I don't get any readings from the warm air outlet.
The Venter is Alaska's direct vent, the venter is mounted on the flue connector. I don't think you can adjust it and the barometric is built into the housing. I did call the store I got it from and Alaska, both of them were very good to me.
I'm still getting 4 to 5 PPM but can't pin point it and it doesn't happen all the time but it's getting better that's why I think its the paint. My other area of concern is where the combustion housing meets the stove body. Their is a very small gap and you can see light from the burning coal.

If anyone else has the Alaska channing III I'd really like to know how they like the stove.

PostBy: Wicho On: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:24 pm

Hello Blueduck,

We truly love the stove! We've been on a forced hot air system for years and it feels great to have the stove in the living room. The kids love to sit next to it and read and I spend more time in the room as well. We were used to keeping the house at 65 and down to 59 at night to conserve $$$. Now we keep it at 65 at night and up to 72 during the day. So far we haven't had any truly cold days but I'm very pleased so far.
The stove itself was extremely easy to install and I haven't had any CO problems. I've installed a CO detector about 6' away and 7' from the floor. I don't have a CO guage but maybe I should invest in one(?) I experienced the same paint smell you did Blueduck but it was gone in about 2 days- we had it painted honeybrown. I did need to make an adjustment to the interior glass piece to help the "clean glass" system work properly- now it keeps the glass pretty clean!

Thanks for the info about the 40lbs. on 3 over 24 hours- I'll check that out with mine and let you know if it differs much. I've been thinking about installing the coal-trol thermostat- I saw some posts saying they felt it really saved them some coal. At about $200.00/ton delvered I don't know how long the payback would be.

Thank-you all for your quick response to my post. Wonderful information on this site and I'll be visiting often.

Lord Bless,

PostBy: warmnow On: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:51 pm

Hi all, I had to register so I could reply to Blueduck. I also have a Channing III, bought it last fall and has already paid for it's self. My wife said " I should have let you buy a coal stove years ago if a knew it would save us that much $"
To the point, when I fired my stove up the first time I also noticed a glow from behind the stove, where the stoker bolts to the stove. The problem is there's a gasket between it and the stove, and it looks like when it was assembled the gasket dropped down thus leaving a gap between the stove and stoker. What I had to do is shut the stove off, empty the hopper and loosen the 4 mounting bolts and reach up the hole where the grate is and push the gasket back into place and tighten the bolts. After that all was good. That could be where your getting some fumes or CO2 from. Hope this helps.