Burning Too Much Coal?

 
Becker
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Post by Becker » Mon. Feb. 24, 2020 6:38 pm

Hello,

I have and EFM DF 520 coal boiler. I live in northeastern NY (Saratoga/GlensFalls Area). I burned a ton of coal in the past two weeks alone (5.5 tons for the year: older 2500 sq ft home). I have changed nothing from last year (5-7 teeth on the feed, air at 7, aqua-stat set at 135high/125low). I buy Leigh Anthracite from Tamaqua, PA. It seems like a lot. Can anyone suggest things for me to check so that I decided if I'm losing my mind?

Thanks.


 
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northernmainecoal
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Post by northernmainecoal » Mon. Feb. 24, 2020 6:46 pm

I would change your feed to 4 teeth and air to 4-4.5. also bump your temp up to 170 high/155 low

 
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Rob R.
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Post by Rob R. » Mon. Feb. 24, 2020 7:26 pm

How long has it been since you have cleaned the boiler heat exchanger?

 
LouNY
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Post by LouNY » Mon. Feb. 24, 2020 8:46 pm

Can't help with your boiler problem but I do have a question for you.
Were are you getting your coal from?
I'm also burning Lehigh that I get from a dealer up in Granville.

 
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Lightning
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Post by Lightning » Mon. Feb. 24, 2020 8:57 pm

Becker wrote:
Mon. Feb. 24, 2020 6:38 pm
aqua-stat set at 135high/125low)
I've never heard of anyone running their boiler that cool. I'm just curious why you chose to run at those temps.

Is your boiler also providing domestic hot water for you and your family? If so, how many people and what are the usage habits like?

 
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Rob R.
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Post by Rob R. » Tue. Feb. 25, 2020 8:46 am

Lightning wrote:
Mon. Feb. 24, 2020 8:57 pm
I've never heard of anyone running their boiler that cool. I'm just curious why you chose to run at those temps.
Me either. Running at that low of a temperature would likely result in the heat exchanger in the boiler getting filthy.

 
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Post by Pacowy » Tue. Feb. 25, 2020 9:04 am

Rob R. wrote:
Tue. Feb. 25, 2020 8:46 am
Running at that low of a temperature would likely result in the heat exchanger in the boiler getting filthy.
And possibly corroded. Isn't there a risk of condensation below about 140 deg? Combine that with coal ash and you get an acidic mess that is bad karma for the boiler.

Mike


 
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Post by Dave 1234 » Tue. Feb. 25, 2020 2:16 pm

One more question, is there a barometric dampener in your stack? And is it working ?

Dave

 
Becker
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Post by Becker » Tue. Feb. 25, 2020 8:29 pm

Thanks for the replies. I will respond to them in the order that I got them.
1. I may have never cleaned the heat exchanger. I clean out all of the ash and the fly ash regularly. Can you point me to a video or article on how to clean it?
2. I buy Leigh Coal in Granville also. Great guy who sells it. I am just curious about the quality. He says it great. I'm not sure how you tell the quality. I have bought bulk coal from Champlain Coal in Whitehall, Blaschak Coal from Davis in Cambridge, Tractor Supply Coal . . .
3. I have used the boiler for domestic hot water, and I kept the aquastat higher. It was inconsistent, so I have a propane water heater. It is plumbed so that I can feed hot water from the boiler to the hot water tank or directly to the house.

 
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Post by Becker » Tue. Feb. 25, 2020 8:50 pm

Sorry. Missed the last response.

**I don't have a barometric damper. I have a short run of metal exhaust pipe that feeds into a masonry stack. I could add one if that would improve my efficiency. I have never had a problem with drafting.

I just saw an "Annual Maintenance and Cleaning" posting on the forum from 10/23/10. I do everything in that posting at least once a year.

 
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Post by LouNY » Tue. Feb. 25, 2020 8:52 pm

I've gotten it from Mullholand over in Greenfield Center that was Blashack which was very good coal, then I got 4 tons of Reading from them one year, that didn't burn as good and had a lot of fines in every bag.
I have gotten Kimmel from Hoosic Valley Farm Supply in Schagicoke, wasn't impressed with it.
Also gotten coal from Lavern Davis. This year Hoosic Valley Farm Supply in Schagicoke carried Lehigh, my brother got his from them this year,
I got my Lehigh from Kieth in Granville again, think that was the fourth year from him.
Of the coals I have burnt at this time the Lehigh is my favorite followed by the Blashack the others I was not impressed with.

 
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Rob R.
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Post by Rob R. » Tue. Feb. 25, 2020 8:55 pm

Is your boiler installed in the house? Or is it installed in a remote building with piping underground?

The most critical area to clean is behind the baffle and two hanging steel plates. If you are doing that at least once per year, you should be fine.

Your feed and air settings likely are not helping. I would set both at 4 and see how it goes. If you need more heat, go to 5 teeth and 4.5 air. When the stoker runs for 20-30 minutes you should have about 2" ring of ash around the fire. I would also set the aquastat as EFM recommends, with a low limit of 160 and a high limit of 200.

 
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Post by Becker » Tue. Feb. 25, 2020 9:09 pm

To LouNY: Thanks. I bought some Ben Franklin, which I am told is a Blaschak product, from GF Heat and Oil. $305/ton, which is $15 more that Keith charges. I figured I'd try it. It's that same travel distance for me to go there or to Granville. I can only get a ton at a time with my half ton Chevy and a small trailer--not the most efficient way to get coal. I'll probably continue to buy from Keith, especially if he gives me a bulk purchase deal over the summer. He treats me really well.

To Rob R.

The boiler is in the house. I do clean those back plates at least once a year. The teeth are set at 4; the air is at 4, as you suggest. I have the aqua-stat set at 165/high and 150/low. I will bump it up if you think that might be the ticket to more efficient burning. The ash ring and fire appear to be correct.

 
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Post by LouNY » Tue. Feb. 25, 2020 9:17 pm

I had been putting 3 pallets in a stock trailer, this year I used my nephews trailer and got 4 tons in one load it was a good load for my 1/2 ton.
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freetown fred
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Post by freetown fred » Wed. Feb. 26, 2020 5:45 am

Nice hauling set up L!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)


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