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.
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Lightning
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Posts: 8289
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 Fri. Dec. 28, 2012 7:10 pm

VtFarmboy wrote:Here is a new development. As I have used up this round of coal about 3 pm or so I threw some wood on top. Well now that coal is going and I have plenty of heat. The house I plenty warm. The two pieces of wood I put in are well Burt up and now we are just on coal. Things are toastu and going good.
Ok that makes sense.. The burst of heat up the chimney (from the wood) caused a good draft under the coal which made it go :clap:
I would absolutely try a motorized combustion blower or make the chimney higher for better results with coal!

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VtFarmboy
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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
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Post Sat. Dec. 29, 2012 8:18 am

Raising the chimneynwont happen until the spring as I will have to bribe my wife into climbing a 20 foot step ladder to get it done. Now before you all think I am not a good husband I want you to know I have a really bad record with step ladders and my wife will never volenteer me for charity work ever again. Yeh, I think the chimney just wasn't getting hot enough to cause a good draft. I will say the house was nice and warm until about 2 am. I didn't have any more coal so I couldn't continue. Let me run this plan of action by you.
I am on the road this week so this won't happen until mid week or so. I am going to get a thermometer. I tried to take the one from the stove but it fell apart when I tried to take it off the pipe. 30 years old I am not complaining. When I get the coal going I will throw a little wood on top. I have noticed the following. When the wood is going the door handle is to hot to open with my bare hand. When the coal has been going the handle is cold. The coal has been burning just not well. I think once I get things going I should be able to keep the coal going. I will get the draft blower coming.

VtFarmboy
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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 Sat. Dec. 29, 2012 11:03 am

I was also thinking of trying stove coal next time. Would there be any advantage? My thought was that it might allow more air through to keep the coal burning. Any thoughts? Or should I go the other way with smaller size.

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Lightning
Member
Posts: 8289
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. 30, 2012 11:27 am

VtFarmboy wrote:I have noticed the following. When the wood is going the door handle is to hot to open with my bare hand. When the coal has been going the handle is cold. The coal has been burning just not well.
I believe the wood is causing the chimney to draft stronger which makes the coal burn hotter/faster. Once the wood is depleted, the draft weakens and the coal burns cooler/slower.. The coal will burn well with enough draft under it :D
VtFarmboy wrote:I was also thinking of trying stove coal next time. Would there be any advantage? My thought was that it might allow more air through to keep the coal burning. Any thoughts? Or should I go the other way with smaller size.
Thats correct, bigger pieces allow more air through the coal easier and it will tend to burn hotter/faster than a smaller size. Bigger coal should help your situation 8-)

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. Jan. 09, 2013 12:54 pm

Coal adventure 3.0, I have 300lbs of stove size coal. I have not raised the chimney or put a blower on. This time after I get the coal going if I need to I will throw a couple of pieces of wood on top to get the chimney warmed up. Starting it this afternoon. Right now I am waiting for the furnace to cool so I can clean it out good before I start.

Stngllhm
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Posts: 35
Joined: Thu. Oct. 18, 2012 10:59 am
Stove/Furnace Make: US Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: Hot Blast 1557m
Location: Casper WY

Post Thu. Jan. 10, 2013 1:04 am

Just curious how your trial is going. Your situation sounds a lot like mine. Going to bigger size of coal helped me a ton. Good luck I hope it's going better for you tonight.

VtFarmboy
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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 Thu. Jan. 10, 2013 5:34 am

Stngllhm wrote:Just curious how your trial is going. Your situation sounds a lot like mine. Going to bigger size of coal helped me a ton. Good luck I hope it's going better for you tonight.
Things went great. Its been burning since 3pm and we have heat. I haven't had to throw any wood in to heat the chimney. I should say it wasn't the coldest night out there but this is the best run so far. I am going to keep this going as long as I can but I think we have it licked. Stove coal was the final trick to make it all work.

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 Fri. Jan. 11, 2013 3:58 am

I have had a bit of an issue. When I shook it down I figured it was going good. I just threw a shovel on top. Half an hour later its almost out. Put a couple of pieces of wood on and its going again.. think this will just be the route. I just have to keep the chimney warm.

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Lightning
Member
Posts: 8289
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 Fri. Jan. 11, 2013 6:42 am

Unfortunately, it sounds to me that your chimney set just doesn't want to keep pulling hard enough to keep enough combustion air coming in. My suggestion would be to get small combustion blower mounted on the ash pan door OR in a place where it will push air in under the grates. It would need a thermostat triggered from indoors to make the furnace produce heat when needed.. that way you maintain the temp in the house that you want and it will keep the fire healthy.

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 Fri. Jan. 11, 2013 12:08 pm

Lightning wrote:Unfortunately, it sounds to me that your chimney set just doesn't want to keep pulling hard enough to keep enough combustion air coming in. My suggestion would be to get small combustion blower mounted on the ash pan door OR in a place where it will push air in under the grates. It would need a thermostat triggered from indoors to make the furnace produce heat when needed.. that way you maintain the temp in the house that you want and it will keep the fire healthy.
I have one on order. Just not here yet.

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. Jan. 14, 2013 9:16 am

Just an update. I have been on coal almost a whole week now. Other than a few hicups she has been running well. I am still waiting for my draft blower to come. I have just gotten into the habbit of throwing two sticks of hardwood in after I shake it down and charge it. I have been able to go 18 hours between loading her up and have been burning about 40 lbs a day.

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Lightning
Member
Posts: 8289
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 Mon. Jan. 14, 2013 4:54 pm

VtFarmboy wrote:Just an update. I have been on coal almost a whole week now. Other than a few hicups she has been running well. I am still waiting for my draft blower to come. I have just gotten into the habbit of throwing two sticks of hardwood in after I shake it down and charge it. I have been able to go 18 hours between loading her up and have been burning about 40 lbs a day.
Sounds good partner.. The blower you ordered, is it for this particular furnace? Reason I ask is, you wanna be careful it doesn't over fire and do damage like warp the grates or worse.. Will it run in conjunction with some kind of limiter/thermostat on the furnace? Maybe you could share the link to the model of the blower 8-)

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 Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 9:07 am

Lightning wrote:
VtFarmboy wrote:Just an update. I have been on coal almost a whole week now. Other than a few hicups she has been running well. I am still waiting for my draft blower to come. I have just gotten into the habbit of throwing two sticks of hardwood in after I shake it down and charge it. I have been able to go 18 hours between loading her up and have been burning about 40 lbs a day.
Sounds good partner.. The blower you ordered, is it for this particular furnace? Reason I ask is, you wanna be careful it doesn't over fire and do damage like warp the grates or worse.. Will it run in conjunction with some kind of limiter/thermostat on the furnace? Maybe you could share the link to the model of the blower 8-)
Yes this is the blower for this furnace. I had seen this unit offers with the blowed installed but for some reason ordered it without. Mine has on the upper spin draft a flapper that is triggered by the thermostat in the house. That will be removed and the blower is triggered by that same thermostat I believe. I am still waiting for the blower they informed me there was a back order of about two weeks. It should be here soon. In the mean time I have a system that is working well just could work better I think with the blower.

User avatar
Lightning
Member
Posts: 8289
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 Sat. Jan. 26, 2013 8:04 am

I would like to share a technique that I have been experimenting with lately during my shake down routine. My Clayton has the "V" shaped firebox with the two "inline" grates. It seems that after a couple weeks of burning, coal ash would cling to the sides of the sloped fire brick and my burning space would become narrow, not to mention less efficient with the ash further insulating the sidewalls of the firebox. SO, in an effort to combat this condition, first I shake most of the ash out. Then I take my raking tool, (which is kind of a homemade heavy steel rod with a loop at the end of it) and I'll pound down the unburnt coal thats leaning up against the fire brick. This seems to be loosing and at the same time persuading the clinging ash to move towards the grate. Thats when I shake it a second time to remove any ash that may have loosened and moved over the grate during the pounding.. The clean firebricks reveal more surface area at the top of the coal bed, meaning its wider and there is now more room for fresh coal. My furnace seems to be transferring even more heat to the air in the duct work now :D .... I had 134 degree air being pumped thru the heat registers last night, where normally at the same settings I would have 125 degree air 8-)

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captcaper
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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Super Magnum
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum Stoker
Location: Northern N.H.

Post Sat. Jan. 26, 2013 2:10 pm

I have a friend here in town that bought one from Tractor Supply. He can't keep a fire going or get lot's of heat out of it. His house is small too. He ordered a blower and still doesn't do it for him. I tried to help him for over a year now (last season too) and give up. Can't figure out why..he just rambles on. I've been there and showed him how to get and keep a good fire going too. I think he doesn't fill up the box to the top or higher so it burns out ,etc. quick.Told him to fill it right up high like an ice cream cone.
I wouldn't of spent the money on one myself. I'm all coal or just Oil. He gets wood from his son so he likes to use some wood. But gee he wants to burn coal but has a big hassle. He doesn't go on the internet so he's on his own., I told his wife who goes on the web and sent a link to here but I don't think they have done much.
Current Stove Harman Super Magnum
Owned before
Harman Mark III Wood Parlor stove Scandia Wood Stove 2 Chubby Coal Stoves Small Pot Belly Cast Iron

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