Oiled Coal Problem??

Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: MATTHEW D. On: Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:31 pm

I got a call to replace the grates and the bin coal pipe in a Van Wert. Everything went smooth...lit the fire....about 15 min later a odd smell started coming out of the transter area and the coal bin pipe. It also had a white haze to it. The draft was -.04 at the stove pipe before the baro, chinney was clear, boiler was clear. I even fooled with the air to see if that would help. This isn't the usual sulfer coal gas smell you get from burning coal. I talked to Arnie from Van Wert about this problem. This also happened to me once before when I worked on a Wagner Coal Stoker. Everything on the wagner was working the way it should. We were stumped why this was happening, just happens that his 8 neighbors all had wagners. They never smelled this before. Elwood, the oldest of the Wagner people stopped in to talk. He has his wagner since 1955 he was stumped also, we checked everything out.

The common factor in this is that both had the coal oiled. I think that can be causing the problem? Arnie from Van Wert said this did happen to someone he knows. I suggested to the Wagner guy to get some coal with no oil on it so we can see if this is the problem. He said forget it we have a HVAC company coming tomorrow to convert our house to electric, we are getting to old for coal. They just wanted the coal for backup. I'm suggesting to the Van Wert stoker person we shoud try some clean coal to see if thats the problem.

Has anyone experienced this problem with oiled coal??? Or am I missing something with this Van Wert?
Last edited by MATTHEW D. on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MATTHEW D.
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AXEMAN-ANDERSON & EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 & 900 x 2

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: mattcoalburner On: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:14 pm

if they are using the wrong type of oil OR too much oil this could be a problem
mattcoalburner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading Juniata

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:07 pm

I don't have much experience with oiled coal, but it seems like a volatile oil could cause problems like you described. Does the Van Wert stoker have any holes in the feed pipe or some kind of tube from the blower to pressurized the feed pipe?

Another thought - If the chimney drafts really hard (or there is more than one chimney in the basement) and the basement doesn't have enough make up air, the air drawn into the baro(s) can make the basement negative. I had this happen with my EFM once; it smelled like coal gas in the basement and everything appeared to be perfect...draft, fire looked good, etc. I noticed the baro on each boiler was wide open, so I opened the basement door...no more smell.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: MATTHEW D. On: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:41 pm

The van wert does have a conduit to pressurize the coal pipe, it was broke and i replaced it. After the first day then took it out thinking it might be helping push these gases down the coal pipe. Both ways it had the same effect...Its a old house and I could feel the cold air coming in through the coal bin, not sure makeup air is the problem. I could tell them to open another window to see if that helps.

For now I told them to get some unoiled coal to see if that is the problem.....I also told them to switch to rice coal from buck. I know sometimes when people burn buck in efm's they get coal gas down the pipe and when they switch to rice it goes away.
MATTHEW D.
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AXEMAN-ANDERSON & EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 & 900 x 2

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: MATTHEW D. On: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:55 pm

Well we decided to stay with buck and no oil. They got a new coal hauler and a new source of coal. The buck look much better and smaller than the old coal. The old coal was kinda big almost like Pea coal. The new coal burned nice and no gas came down the coal pipe. I'ts been burning for about 5 days now with no problems. So, was it the oil? Was it the oversized buck(pea)? Combination of both?..... One more possibility? I sent a sample of the old coal out to be tested. Some low grade anthracite being processed for Industrial use might have made its way into the residential market. That is why I'm having it tested to have more facts. I should have the results in a few days. Has anyone out there having a problem with coal gas like this?? I've been hearing more stories like this around Schuylkill County lately. When I get the results I'll let you guys know if this could be the problem.
MATTHEW D.
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AXEMAN-ANDERSON & EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 & 900 x 2

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:26 am

MATTHEW D. wrote:When I get the results I'll let you guys know if this could be the problem.


I am looking forward to seeing the results.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: MATTHEW D. On: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:20 pm

Well I got the results from the coal test and the coal is good. BTU 12400, sulfer 0.60% , Volatile 4.3% . We thought if it was high in sulfur and volatile it could be a problem. It was not. The homeowner has no clue where the coal came from. So what caused this problem, the oil, the size of the coal, or both. The oiled coal didn't have a bad smell in the bin. The old coal was slightly larger and elongated. Was that enough to leave air gaps in the coal pipe to let the gas come back down? Is it possible that the oil can start vaperizing as it gets closer to the burning pot? the new buck coal is smaller and has no oil, no coal gas is coming back down the coal pipe. These are all the facts. Cannot pinpoint it to just one fact. I'm just glad the problem is over and maybe this info can help someone else. Carry on :D
MATTHEW D.
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AXEMAN-ANDERSON & EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 & 900 x 2

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: Coalfire On: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:55 pm

MATTHEW D. wrote: Is it possible that the oil can start vaperizing as it gets closer to the burning pot?




Yes had this problem burning oiled coal in the hand fed. If I had the temp higher I could see smoke coming out of the hopper lid. So what I did was drill holes all around the hopper at the top to give the oil gasses room to get out as they got heated. It seemed to take care of the problem.




Eric
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: MATTHEW D. On: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:18 pm

CoalFire , good to hear from ya. Little confused on which way the air flow is going. Did the fumes come out the holes into the room?
MATTHEW D.
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AXEMAN-ANDERSON & EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 & 900 x 2

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: Coalfire On: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:33 pm

I have a hopper in the top of my hand fed Pictures of your stove here is a link you can see a pic, second one down. I think what was happening was with the coal in the hopper, and not much vent space at the top of the hopper it built a little pressure and would push out. once I drilled those holes in the top of the hopper(inside stove) problem went away.


Eric


The fumes were pushing right out of the hopper lid
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: MATTHEW D. On: Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:29 am

Thanks Coalfire, Did your CO detector go off? I for got to say the homeowners just bought 2 new CO detectors. We acually placed one in the coal barrel where the gases were coming out and did not set them off. Correct me I i'm wrong but is CO only produced from a combution process. If the detectors didn't go off, its telling me that the oil is vaperizing and giving off another gas. Maybe the gasses are not coming from the combution process. Or the detectors are junk? Any Engineers or Scientist on the forum have any input on this. Thanks
MATTHEW D.
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AXEMAN-ANDERSON & EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 & 900 x 2

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:14 am

I think it was a combination of the oil cooking off, and coal being on the high side of the sizing spec. Your AA130 would probably chew it up just fine. :)
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: MATTHEW D. On: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:25 am

That's true :lol:
MATTHEW D.
 
Stove/Furnace Make: AXEMAN-ANDERSON & EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 & 900 x 2

Re: Oiled Coal Problem??

PostBy: Coalfire On: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:26 pm

Co detector never went off or registered, and it smelled like hot oil.

Eric
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Visit Lehigh Anthracite