Hotblast Year 3

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.
larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1165
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous run of mine
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene
Location: Armstrong County

Post Tue. Jan. 03, 2017 2:58 pm

I'm into year 3 with my Hotblast.
Some of you may remember me from my voluminous threads.
Here:
Year 2-Still Freezing
And here:
Cold Air Return. Do I Need It?

I made no new modifications for this year.
One thing I wish I would have done is Lightning's mod on the grates using set screws

The only thing different is I'm on my 3rd coal supplier in 3 years.
This coal didn't come directly from the mines but from a tipple so it could be anyone's coal.

It's screened and the chunks are around the size of a lime or a little smaller.
It doesn't seem to burn as hot but an evener heat.
It is difficult getting 700-800 degrees with this.
500-650 seems like the highs now

Since we haven't had any real cold weather yet, I still don't know whether this furnace will heat my house toasty when it gets real cold with this coal.

Another difference is that I had someone haul my coal instead of going for pick up loads.
I thought I'd gotten enough to last all winter (3 tons), but it looks like I've used almost half already.

All my firing is by banking.
Push all coals to back and load to front.
Getting nice long burn times with temps 250-400
I haven't used secondary air at all except when I am relighting with wood.

I guess I've reconciled that I have what I have and won't allow the frustrations of the previous two years.

I am grateful for all the help and patience you have given in the past
I have a hate/sort of like with my Hotblast

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larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1165
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous run of mine
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene
Location: Armstrong County

Post Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 9:32 am

Simple minds have questions.
I was wondering where all the heat goes from my furnace.

For example, I took a couple readings with the IR gun.
The coals were hotter than the gun would read (1000+)

The face above the load door was around 350
The pipe 6" past the thimble was only reading 175
I didn't take a supply pipe temp but guessing it would be in the 150 range, more or less.

The basement's not terribly warm and the side and top of the furnace are slightly warm.
No problem putting my hand on it.
I'm not sweating up in the living area.

Is this just one of those mysteries of life?
:?
I have a hate/sort of like with my Hotblast

Olllotj
Member
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu. Sep. 04, 2014 10:01 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KB-8
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat
Other Heating: Utica Propane Hot Water Baseboard
Location: Western NY

Post Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 10:22 am

Just reread your post, and my idea was wrong.

It sound like you're running pretty nice.

The only thing I would change is order more coal. :D

larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1165
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous run of mine
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene
Location: Armstrong County

Post Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 10:58 am

Thanks for the reply, Olllotj.
I'm happier this year than the frustrating first two years.

I'd like to get more heat out and think that I should since this furnace is really big for my house.

My house is under 1000 sq. ft. and is pretty square and the furnace is rated at 135,000 BTUs
I have a hate/sort of like with my Hotblast

User avatar
corey
Member
Posts: 814
Joined: Fri. Nov. 14, 2014 11:14 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: USS Ashley coal stove
Coal Size/Type: Eastern KY bituminous
Location: Southwest VA

Post Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 6:43 pm

larryfoster wrote:Thanks for the reply, Olllotj.
I'm happier this year than the frustrating first two years.

I'd like to get more heat out and think that I should since this furnace is really big for my house.

My house is under 1000 sq. ft. and is pretty square and the furnace is rated at 135,000 BTUs
That BTU rating should be running you out in that small house.

larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1165
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous run of mine
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene
Location: Armstrong County

Post Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 7:02 pm

That BTU rating should be running you out in that small house.
I've always felt that, too, Corey.

My other furnace is a 90K BTU propane, 80%, and it keeps me as warm or warmer than the coal.

People have patiently made suggestions (one 48 page thread).
I've tried many of them and most have given me some improvement.

It's like there is something not right about the heat exchange, maybe.

I can get HOT fires
.
Now, it's an older house with older windows and no wall insulation.
I do have some R rating, though.
The exterior wall is shingles over celotex black fiber board
I have a hate/sort of like with my Hotblast

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KLook
Member
Posts: 3633
Joined: Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 1:08 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000
Location: Chattanooga, Tenn

Post Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 7:14 pm

Now, it's an older house with older windows and no wall insulation.
I do have some R rating, though.
The exterior wall is shingles over celotex black fiber board
Aaaaand that is the problem.
Most heat is lost UP and drafts around windows and doors . I have commented in another thread about putting 1 inch of styrofoam on the roof of my hunting camp, which is open framed, no insulation anywhere, and elevated off the ground on posts to keep porcupines from living under it. After the foamboard went on the roof, you couldn't stay in the camp with a good fire in the ancient Star Kineo cook stove going. Single pane glass windows, nothing to insulate anywhere except the roof......

Kevin

larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1165
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous run of mine
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene
Location: Armstrong County

Post Thu. Jan. 05, 2017 7:24 pm

Klook, I have 12" insulation in the attic.

It would seem to me that if that was the problem, the heat from the propane furnace would go the same way.

Until around 1973 this house was heated solely by coal with no insulation in the attic.
And we opened windows fairly often.

No wanting to seem disagreeable because I sure don't know the answer.

Just to add, the windows are single pane with storm windows

One more thought.
I'm not getting the heat into the house from the coal furnace, somehow
I have a hate/sort of like with my Hotblast

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larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1165
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous run of mine
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene
Location: Armstrong County

Post Fri. Jan. 06, 2017 11:41 am

Further readings because I'm still trying to figure out where the heat goes that is in my furnace

Outside 13

On the face by the load door 375
Thimble 175
Inside the heat supply 110

House Cool
I have a hate/sort of like with my Hotblast

Sunny Boy
Member
Posts: 12594
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 1:40 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace
Location: Central NY

Post Fri. Jan. 06, 2017 11:48 am

Is your duct work insulated, and does it have long runs below the living space ?

Paul
So many stoves - so few chimneys. I must be coal-stone crazy.

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CoalisCoolxWarm
Member
Posts: 1401
Joined: Wed. Jan. 19, 2011 11:41 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler
Location: Western PA

Post Fri. Jan. 06, 2017 1:01 pm

Ducted heat supply, right?

If you're using Bit coal, it is possible to have a "cool" fire and never quite get over that threshold to have good warm air in the ducts.

What are the settings on your blower control? The dial that controls the turn on/off blower...

If that is too low, you'll get some heat, but the fire needs some heat to get a good, efficient burn.

I used to set mine higher and let it run lower so the fire would build up before blowing. Something like 120F - 140F to start and then down to maybe 110F to stop might work?

Where are you getting coal? The "best" bit I had came from Valier's, just above Punxsy. It was a recommendation from guys here, which made a good difference in heat output.
Keystoker KA-6 online January 2015

larryfoster
Member
Posts: 1165
Joined: Fri. Nov. 21, 2014 1:02 am
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hot Blast 1557M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous run of mine
Other Heating: Propane Kerosene
Location: Armstrong County

Post Fri. Jan. 06, 2017 1:32 pm

Thanks for your response, Sunny Boy.

The dust work is not insulated.
In the main living area, specifically our living room, the registers are approx. 8' and 20' from where the furnace supply hooks into the duct run.
Our dining room, which is directly over the furnace, with a register that is a couple feet of run is comfortable but not hot.

In my simple reasoning, those may be contributing reasons but not the main reasons because the ductwork is the same as it has been for 60+ years.
The only change has been tying the coal furnace in.

I'm thinking that the furnace produces heat but it never gets a chance to heat the house well.
It's not really going out of the chimney and not going into the supply or the ductwork.

That 110 measurement just above here with a moderate fire that had been loaded a couple hours before taking the measurement.
It was taken in a supply pipe 6" above the furnace outlet.

Should that be hotter?

Just now, I took new readings.

Front of furnace over load door 310
Supply pipe 102
Thimble 126
I took measurements inside 2 registers.
One directly over the furnace 90 and 10' away 80

I don't have a thermometer to take room temp.

If I really work on making the furnace really hot by opening the ash door and get the front of the furnace to 500-700, I can get that temp inside the supply pipe to 150-160 up to 200.

But, in no cases do I ever have to open my windows unless it's 50 outside.
The previous coal furnace that was here until the early 1970s would really warm the house.
I have a hate/sort of like with my Hotblast

Sunny Boy
Member
Posts: 12594
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 1:40 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Anthracite Industrial, domestic hot water heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood range 208, # 6 base heater, 2 Modern Oak 118.
Coal Size/Type: Nuts !
Other Heating: Oil &electric plenum furnace
Location: Central NY

Post Fri. Jan. 06, 2017 1:56 pm

Larry,

Your stove and duct temp readings seem kinda low to me for trying to heat a whole house.

Do you have any readings of temps in the same places from the old coal furnace to compare to ?

How do the firebox sizes of the two furnaces compare ?

How about the surface square area of the heat exchangers ?

Any duct fans ?

If your present furnace's firebox, and/or, heat exchanger are even just slightly smaller than the old one, you'll have to run this one hotter to make up to difference.

Paul
So many stoves - so few chimneys. I must be coal-stone crazy.

User avatar
Dieselpowerf350
Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun. Oct. 25, 2015 6:51 pm
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Hotblast 1557m
Coal Size/Type: All and I want more....lol!
Other Heating: Oil
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa

Post Fri. Jan. 06, 2017 2:00 pm

How close is it to your regular furnace? Just the blowers on the back might not be enough to push it through your house. Mine will heat the duct up some, then the big blower from my oil furnace will turn on and push the air through my duct work.
Mike

User avatar
CoalisCoolxWarm
Member
Posts: 1401
Joined: Wed. Jan. 19, 2011 11:41 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler
Location: Western PA

Post Fri. Jan. 06, 2017 2:00 pm

larryfoster wrote: Just now, I took new readings.

Front of furnace over load door 310
Supply pipe 102
Thimble 126
I took measurements inside 2 registers.
One directly over the furnace 90 and 10' away 80
Provided you have metal ductwork and all required clearances, I would bump that OFF temp to 120F and the ON temp to 140F. See what happens.

You might be surprised how much heat loss you get after mixing and such beyond about 6-8ft from the stove. It will probably be 110-120F at the registers. {edit: I see you did see a similar result with the lower temp}
Keystoker KA-6 online January 2015

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