Successfully Burning Anthracite Coal in a Clayton Furnace

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
richerrr
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed. Dec. 21, 2011 5:38 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: usa 30 a
Stove/Furnace Model: usa stove

Post Tue. Dec. 27, 2011 6:05 pm

ty you both for the reply I check for the holes dindnt see any front or back . I really think if I could get then comb fan air under the grate some how it would be a big help since im relying soly on draft from the chimny I think if this were fixed I would have a better chance at removing the ash with out the fire goin out. ive resorted to a big fan blowing right in the ash door with the door open and pan out and im meen a big one gets the fire goin good so I have time to work it but if im gone there is no fan and it gos out just not enough draft to push up thru the ash with out it. id like to take out the dial damper and put the fan on the front cap off the back where its installed now but don't no if thats possible some one mentioned a steel tube comin from the draft fan in the back to go under the grates but I think ill have to tear half the stove apart to do that. willing to try anything at this point cause I do love the heat of coal but may have to resort to wood which its aweful late into winter to cut it for free anyway .

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richerrr
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed. Dec. 21, 2011 5:38 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: usa 30 a
Stove/Furnace Model: usa stove

Post Tue. Dec. 27, 2011 6:07 pm

i wanted to add not sure what bridging is

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Lightning
Member
Posts: 8301
Joined: Wed. Nov. 16, 2011 9:51 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size
Location: Olean, NY

Post Tue. Dec. 27, 2011 6:36 pm

Rich, close off that inducer fan somehow, the one in the back that is blowing air over the top of the fire. Can air pass thru it when its not running? If so, it maybe the culprit!! You don't want any air getting thru there. All air must come up thru the bottom. You may need a secondary air feed in the ash pan door. I bought my furnace used and the owners before me added another air feed. I don't hardly ever open the spinner air feed. I only use the one they fabbed in. I'll try to get a picture of it for you.

How high is your chimney and what kind is it? Do you have a Baro damper set too low that is stealing your draft? Have you tried measuring the draft with a manometer?? Does the room your furnace is in have a way to replace the combustion air going into the furnace. Crack a window open a half inch. Could the room have a negative pressure in it that is cannibalizing draft up the chimney? We gotta figure out why you aren't getting enough draft. I beleive that is the key to your problem. I just can't believe you can't keep a coal fire burning in that thing. The only reason I can come up with is that there just isn't enough air getting thru the coal bed.

Maybe you need one of those draft inducers that gets mounted on the stove pipe that actually pulls draft thru the furnace...

Hopefully we can figure this out and get ya burnin the hot rocks :)

RLB112
Member
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon. Aug. 30, 2010 8:28 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: clayton and stewart oak
Stove/Furnace Model: clayton and stewart oak 270
Location: syracuse ny

Post Wed. Jan. 04, 2012 12:24 pm

i just applied what I learned from running my 50-93 and the clayton took right off. the clayton runs better than my hitzer did, and I can actually move the heat with the blower. the shaker grates get a little clogged here and there but im gonna modify them in the spring. it was a pain trying to get the hitzer started when it went out but this thing is gravy it fires right up.

Op4_camper
Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon. Feb. 28, 2011 7:02 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: hot blast burning hard nut.
Stove/Furnace Model: us stove
Location: 15935 Hollsopple pa Summerset Co

Post Wed. Jan. 04, 2012 6:16 pm

Lightning wrote:Hey Rich, Don't give up on that furnace for coal yet!! I have a Clayton with a very simalar design. I discovered that there are small openings in the front and back of the firebox around the front and back liner. These openings were allowing combustion air coming in from my ash pan air feed valve to actually bypass the coal bed. In othere words the air coming in thru the ash pan could "go around" the grates instead of going up thru the grates to feed the fire from the bottom. THis isn't a problem UNTIL you get some ash cutting off air supply up thru the grates, then the draft would pull up thru between the liner and firebox, bypassing the coal bed and slowly killing the fire.

SO, I took some fiberglass insulation and plugged MOST of these bypasses. Problem solved, I'm getting more heat in the house, less up the chimney and right about now I'm gonna go crack a window cuz I'm sweating lol.

SO take a good look inside the firebox, see if you can spot these bypassing ports. Just be careful - I'm sure these ports are designed for allowing air to come up over the fire for burning wood or BIT coal, but they seem to be a hinderance for burning ANT coal.

Check out this thread :)
Fly Ash and/or Residue Insulating Firebox?
Excellent suggesting my hot blast hast a gap that small pieces of coal drop threw. Im ether going to fire cement or rope gasket. Not sure which takes higher temps. Cement I would think, have to read.
Sticking it to OPEC one ton at a time. plus the money stays local.

Op4_camper
Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon. Feb. 28, 2011 7:02 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: hot blast burning hard nut.
Stove/Furnace Model: us stove
Location: 15935 Hollsopple pa Summerset Co

Post Sun. Jan. 08, 2012 10:25 am

cemented the bypass vents and top vent left bottom open.

Seems to help, know more in a week.

Thanks everyone. :)
Sticking it to OPEC one ton at a time. plus the money stays local.

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Lightning
Member
Posts: 8301
Joined: Wed. Nov. 16, 2011 9:51 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size
Location: Olean, NY

Post Sun. Jan. 08, 2012 11:12 am

Also I just installed a barometric damper and now my furnace is a tamed heat monster! I'm very pleased with its performance. Steady consistant heat for 10-12 hours at a time :)

VtFarmboy
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun. Dec. 16, 2012 11:43 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.
Location: White River Junction Vermont
Contact:

Post Sun. Dec. 16, 2012 11:53 am

After reading all of this. I am to assume I am better off putting a larger amount of coal in my furnace than I am trying a smaller fire.

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VtFarmboy
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun. Dec. 16, 2012 11:43 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.
Location: White River Junction Vermont
Contact:

Post Sun. Dec. 16, 2012 12:30 pm

coalcrazy wrote:if you own a clayton furnace and having trouble burning coal, contact me ,i know all the tips on to have success w/ it. there are too many factors and variables to list. if you explain your set-up I can understand better the best thing for your stove.
I recently purchased the U.S. STOVES outdoor version of the Clayton. I have been trying to get coal working. From what I understand here it is better to use more coal to fill it up rather than try a small fire. I have had it going for a couple of days but don't seem to get much heat. It seems to burn well. We have probably put 10 to 20lbs in at a time.

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Lightning
Member
Posts: 8301
Joined: Wed. Nov. 16, 2011 9:51 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size
Location: Olean, NY

Post Sun. Dec. 16, 2012 12:34 pm

Welcome to the forum partner! Heap that coal in there up to the top of the fire brick around the sides and mound in the center so its 12 inches deep from top of the coal to the grates. It may take 80 or more pounds total.. Put coal on in layers 20 pounds at a time till you build it up, letting each layer get burning before adding the next.

VtFarmboy
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun. Dec. 16, 2012 11:43 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.
Location: White River Junction Vermont
Contact:

Post Sun. Dec. 23, 2012 12:21 pm

Lightning wrote:Welcome to the forum partner! Heap that coal in there up to the top of the fire brick around the sides and mound in the center so its 12 inches deep from top of the coal to the grates. It may take 80 or more pounds total.. Put coal on in layers 20 pounds at a time till you build it up, letting each layer get burning before adding the next.
What size coal would you suggest. My first go round was nut. Tomorrow I am going to pick up more. The nut seemed to work once I got it going but if a smaller size would work better I would like to try it.

VtFarmboy
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun. Dec. 16, 2012 11:43 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.
Location: White River Junction Vermont
Contact:

Post Sun. Dec. 23, 2012 12:27 pm

coalcrazy wrote:having problems burning anthracite w/ your clayton furnace? I did to, but learned how to have great success! these furnaces are excellent, but if your not familiar W/ set-up and operation you'll rip your hair out! if you have poor draft you need to get this fixed or it'll never work for any make furnace. if your chimney is too short w/ a large flue diameter you'll have to line it w/ properly sized pipe. also burning on warmer days is difficult(poor draft). you must properly install a barmetric damper. be sure to try coal from different suppliers. use coal stove size only. nut coal stops air flow and jams the grates in this model(see manual).load to top of fire bricks adding one thin layer at a time. draft fire heavily during loading after fire is strong draft as low as possible.see posts on starting coal fires. as w/ all coal fires grates must completly covered w/ coal end to end, side to side, top to bottom. no excuses.contact me and i'll do all I can to help I have learned so much in the last 4 years it's unreal. don't panic your furnace is fine just slow down and think.
Do you have suggestions for what size works best. I will be picking up 300lbs tomorrow. I tried nut last time. It worked or at least Burt well once I got it going. I did end up with some good sized clinkers though. I have done some more research and I am ready for the adventure of coal round two!

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Dennis
Member
Posts: 1066
Joined: Sun. Oct. 30, 2011 5:44 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size
Location: Pottstown,Pa

Post Sun. Dec. 23, 2012 4:03 pm

I don't know about the working of the new outdoor version of the clayton,they say it's been modified for burning coal better. If the nut coal is working and not falling thru the grates in whole pieces while shake down then thats good,if not step up to stove size coal or even better get some to expermement with.
Member "Lightning" has had very good burns and modified his furnace to burn anthracite coal,it might be a good thing to talk with him.

VtFarmboy
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun. Dec. 16, 2012 11:43 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.
Location: White River Junction Vermont
Contact:

Post Mon. Dec. 24, 2012 12:41 pm

:?:
Dennis wrote:I don't know about the working of the new outdoor version of the clayton,they say it's been modified for burning coal better. If the nut coal is working and not falling thru the grates in whole pieces while shake down then thats good,if not step up to stove size coal or even better get some to expermement with.
Member "Lightning" has had very good burns and modified his furnace to burn anthracite coal,it might be a good thing to talk with him.
Thanks Dennis. I am pretty sure I was just not burning enough. Had 50lbs going. Just didn't get alot of heat. Going to try again. I got more nut. It was fine on the greats. I just don't think I had enough going at the time. As suggested going to fill it to the top of the grates and heap her up in the middle and see how she goes. This is my first experiance with coal so I do know I have a learning curve. Have a merry christmas!

VtFarmboy
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun. Dec. 16, 2012 11:43 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: outdoor US Stoves EF1600
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: use some wood in woodstove when it gets real cold outside.
Location: White River Junction Vermont
Contact:

Post Wed. Dec. 26, 2012 6:57 am

Lightning wrote:Welcome to the forum partner! Heap that coal in there up to the top of the fire brick around the sides and mound in the center so its 12 inches deep from top of the coal to the grates. It may take 80 or more pounds total.. Put coal on in layers 20 pounds at a time till you build it up, letting each layer get burning before adding the next.
Finally got some heat. I was determined to master this coal fire thing. Monday I picked up 6 50lb bags of nut. Started it about 3pm. I cleaned the furnace good before starting the coal. Did as everyone said started a 3 inch or so layer. Then just layered it a little at a time until I was to the top of the brick. I still wasn't getting much heat though. That took a hundred pounds. It was as far as I was concerned burning well. Had the blue flames on top I dug down I just to take a look and it seemed to me that the entire mass was going well. But finally after I almost gave up last night it started showing signs of life. All night and day up until last night the blower would start then shut off after 30 seconds. But last night about 8 or so I noticed it staying on longer. So I literally thru another complete 50 lb bag on top yes I took it out of the plastic bag. I heaped it up in the middle I now have what looks like a mountain ridge Dow the middle of the fire box. Well the blower stopped completely for a while. I said the heck with it started the wood stove so we didn't freeze. I should say it was nice to have my wife cuddleing close to stay warm. She's no totally convinced as I am about this coal idea. I finally went to bed at 10 cold house wood stove going. About 3 am I woke. I noticed the blower was running for several minutes at a time. I checked the furnace and finally it get hot when I
reached for the door. It looked wonderful. Nice blue flam front to back centered in the middle. I put a couple of small about 4 am I woke up house was warm furnace and coal working great I think I have mastered starting the fire. Now to keep it going!shovels
full in shut the door and went back to bed.

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