A few questions...

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: Pacowy On: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:39 pm

Rob R. wrote:I am a big fan of the K.I.S.S. policy, and see no reason to complicate things with additional equipment...but you can probably make it work.

Fly ash is corrosive when damp, and my preference is to feed warm & dry air to the blower...not cold and damp from outside.


Letting make-up air into the boiler area is fine - I've thought about using a unit like that instead of keeping a window open. However, I agree with Rob that it shouldn't be piped directly to the air intake on the stoker. I don't think those things were built with the idea of -10 deg air being blown into the burn pot, and there may be draft issues too. I think the basic objective is accomplished by venting the room, without the risks and unknown issues associated with connecting directly to the stoker.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: JRDepew On: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:28 am

A little update. After fixing the Will-Burt timer and timing a 1.5 minute timer cycle, the boiler is now idling around 160 degrees at the top, and around 155 degrees at the bottom. My aquastat settings are still 150 low, 210 high, with a 15 degree differential. Some of the coal ash appears to be unburnt coal, but it has a more dusty appearance, and doesn't seem quite as hard as it once was. So, I am not sure if this is unburnt or some of it burns and keeps a very black appearance.

For now, I am thinking that replacing a window pane with a piece of steel and putting a vent in that may be the way to go. This would be the easiest/cheapest/simplest solution. My only concern is that my windows aren't very far above ground level, and I don't want snow to block the vent off. I will be getting something in place in the next few days though. Then I will reset the draft and hopefully I will just be adding coal and taking out ash for the whole winter!

Joe
JRDepew
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:58 am

Good to hear you are making progress. Some unburned coal is normal when the stoker is just loafing along on the timer, and there will usually be a few pieces of "bone" mixed in that at a quick glance looks like unburned coal. Don't fret over the appearance of the ash, when you get the make-up air solution in place and the draft properly set, do another "burn test" like I described earlier and double check the appearance of the ash ring. After that, just keep the drum full and take out the ashes as required.

I thought you might get a kick out of my make-up air solution...pictured is my basement door that opens to to a stairwell in the garage.

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Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: JRDepew On: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:10 am

Here are some ash pics, of ash that has been rained on. This is all my ash since starting the boiler a few weeks ago. Is it normal to see this much black? Burning Reading bagged rice at 4 teeth feed 4.5 air. Draft is better at .04 - .05 after a good long run. I never see below .02 when the boiler is just sitting. I know I have been slacking on the burn pic and install pics, been busy with a whole bunch of other stuff as well :D

Thanks,
Joe
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Closeup of Ash Pile, rained on heavily
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All my ash since starting the boiler, rained on heavily
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JRDepew
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:22 am

Try burning coal from a different source. You'll probably have less 'unburnt' in your ash from a different coal retailer.

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: A few questions...

PostBy: JRDepew On: Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:58 pm

LsFarm wrote:Try burning coal from a different source. You'll probably have less 'unburnt' in your ash from a different coal retailer.

Greg L.


A local place just started carrying Kimmel's actually. Maybe I should give that a try. I bought 4 ton of the Reading bagged, so it will get used up, just wondering if I should increase my air setting even more to get a better burn. I would like to get a few bags of Blaschak and Kimmels to test vs. the Reading. Would like to try UAE as well. I am only using the pot auger into a 55 gallon drum at this point and would like to keep it that way due to layout restrictions. A full bin auger would drop the 55 gallon drum right in front of my staircase I think toothy
JRDepew
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: JRDepew On: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:37 pm

So I finally got around to doing my burn test and taking some pics of the install. Let me know what you think....keep your criticism to yourself :D Just kidding, I can take it.

First off are some install Pics:
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JRDepew
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:22 pm

Looks good.

Edit: Do you intend to leave the smoke pipe necked down to 6"?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: JRDepew On: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:05 pm

Here are the burn test results. When I started the boiler the draft went to 0.03"
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I waited 5 minutes and snapped another picture. The draft was at 0.04 at this point and the barometric dampener was holding it there through some gusting wind. The ash ring at the smallest point looks to be about an inch. The front left doesn't seem to be burning as well as the rest of the pot.
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I waited until 10 minutes, draft still at 0.04 and rock steady. The fire still appears weak on the front left of the pot.
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Finally, at 20 minutes the pot has seemed to level out for the most part. The front left still seems a bit weaker than the rest of the pot, but is burning. The center of the pot is darker than the outer ring. Again the ring is about 1". The flue temperature reached 140F and stayed there.
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I am a little surprised that I am going through a bag of coal a day right now (its cold and windy here), seems like a lot. I was going about 2 days per bag when it was warmer out. I think I burned about 400 gallons of fuel oil last year. But, I am keeping the house 5 degrees warmer (70 as opposed to 65) and the basement is staying a few degrees warmer as well. Do you think that the 4 tons I got will be enough to get me through the heating season? I started burning roughly a month ago.

Thanks for looking,
Joe
JRDepew
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: Phil May On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:28 am

You better buy a tractor trailer load before Obama shuts us down.
Phil May
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 700
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 700

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:13 pm

Joe, in that last picture it looks like the burning coal is pretty close to the edge of the pot. I would increase the air by 1/4 and see how it goes.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:45 pm

Agreeing with Rob

Increase your air a bit.
Seems like your ash pictures from above have a bit more unburnt coal than I would like to see if it were me anyway. I had a bad ton of coal last year and it looked like that!

You can also get a good idea how your coal is burning from the weight of the ash bins. the heavier they are the more coal that isn't burning so well.

Just to give you an example in a year like last winter (read that winter not very bad at all) I burnt about 5 tons from Oct 10th til May 23rd. Keeping my home at 71 Deg all winter. I really don't know how people can take some of the colder temps I see in homes but again, money is an issue and heating with Oil is a expensive proposition.

This year based on the weather predictors I will probably go thru 6 to 7 tons, but I'll be warm!

6 years ago when i started this coal burning habit I was paying about $2700 A year in fuel oil (when it was $1.92 per gallon) now I pay half of that and the house is a few degree's warmer! Love it.
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:49 pm

I'm not sure if it was mentioned but you might want to watch that 55 gallon drum you have.

I see its a short pipe and didn't notice a lid. Might want to watch your combustion gas coming back into the basement thru that. The shorter the pipe with the less coal you have in it the more chance you have of this CO issue.

I got a really nice food grade 55 gallon drum with a lid from a local eatery. Really nice, won't rust... It had olives in it.

Anyway!
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: JRDepew On: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:47 am

Mark (PA) wrote:Agreeing with Rob

Increase your air a bit.
Seems like your ash pictures from above have a bit more unburnt coal than I would like to see if it were me anyway. I had a bad ton of coal last year and it looked like that!

You can also get a good idea how your coal is burning from the weight of the ash bins. the heavier they are the more coal that isn't burning so well.

Just to give you an example in a year like last winter (read that winter not very bad at all) I burnt about 5 tons from Oct 10th til May 23rd. Keeping my home at 71 Deg all winter. I really don't know how people can take some of the colder temps I see in homes but again, money is an issue and heating with Oil is a expensive proposition.

This year based on the weather predictors I will probably go thru 6 to 7 tons, but I'll be warm!

6 years ago when i started this coal burning habit I was paying about $2700 A year in fuel oil (when it was $1.92 per gallon) now I pay half of that and the house is a few degree's warmer! Love it.


I kept the house at 65 last year and it sucked. Cold feet all the time. I love keeping the house at 70 and keeping the basement warmer to boot. Feet are warmer, and I don't need to grab a blanket every time I sit down.

I am working on a lid for the bucket. Right now I have a CO detector directly above the barrel and it has been silent, but I do agree that it should be covered.

If you don't mind me asking, how large is your house, how insulated is your boiler and piping, and do you do any setbacks during the day when you are gone or at night for sleeping?

Thanks,
Joe
JRDepew
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 350

Re: A few questions...

PostBy: Mark (PA) On: Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:24 pm

my home is about 2400 or so sq ft... or close to that. I think... 2 story

My boiler is not insulated at all now it is a Highboy so it is larger than your unit but It is actually the only "radiator"in my basement and I choose to keep it that way to heat the basement for me.

I dont' have any pipe insulation either.. The house itself is slowly being insulated! A room at a time....


No setbacks day or night... steady 71 deg.

Good luck and we are here to help!
Mark (PA)
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 1953 EFM SF-520 High Boy
Stove/Furnace Model: Fitzgibbon Boiler