Coal sizes

 
btarby15
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Post by btarby15 » Sun. Mar. 07, 2021 7:59 am

I have an outdoor coal boiler, I was just burning wood in it but have made the switch the coal recently. So far it’s going pretty well, learning a lot.

My manual says to burn stove size anthracite or a similar size. I got 2 ton of anthracite stove size coal and have been burning it for the past few weeks.

Would there be any advantages to going down a size to nut size? Or perhaps mixing stove and nut sizes? Do smaller sizes get up to temp faster?


 
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BlackBetty06
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Post by BlackBetty06 » Sun. Mar. 07, 2021 8:03 am

Smaller sizes will get up to temp slower most likely because the coal bed will be more compacted resulting in air moving slower through the fire bed. Does the boiler have forced combustion fans? I’d keep it at stove size. Maybe even try stove and Egg mix if you can find it! How much coal are you going though daily to heat what size building?

 
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Lightning
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Post by Lightning » Sun. Mar. 07, 2021 8:41 am

btarby15 wrote:
Sun. Mar. 07, 2021 7:59 am
Do smaller sizes get up to temp faster?
Generally speaking, bigger sized coal is more responsive to primary combustion air adjustments and also will burn hotter/faster than smaller sized coal. Blackbetty described it well.

What exactly are you wanting the boiler to do? Is it taking a long time to recover after shaking ash and loading fresh coal? How often are you tending the fire? How deep is your fire bed after loading fresh coal? Tell us about your tending routine.

 
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freetown fred
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Post by freetown fred » Sun. Mar. 07, 2021 9:51 am

A big +1 on what BB said.

 
btarby15
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Post by btarby15 » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 11:27 am

Lightning wrote:
Sun. Mar. 07, 2021 8:41 am
Generally speaking, bigger sized coal is more responsive to primary combustion air adjustments and also will burn hotter/faster than smaller sized coal. Blackbetty described it well.

What exactly are you wanting the boiler to do? Is it taking a long time to recover after shaking ash and loading fresh coal? How often are you tending the fire? How deep is your fire bed after loading fresh coal? Tell us about your tending routine.
Sorry for the delayed response! I had notifications turned off...the boiler seems to take a longer time recovering after shaking and loading fresh coal. It seems like if I don't catch it at the perfect time and let it burn too long, it takes forever to get back up to temp. I try to keep a 8-10" thick bed.

My routine is typically shake and load first thing in the morning, around 5-5:30am, then shake and load more after work, around 4:30pm, then another shake and load before bed. The manual says I should be getting 12 hr burn times out of a load for my house size, but I'm definitely not getting that. I also learned that I can overload it, whereas too much coal falls to the sides, away from the shaker grates where the air is coming through. This has put my fire out twice. I'm planning on lining the firebox with firebrick, so that the coals are only over top of the grates...the idea being everything I put in gets burnt.

 
btarby15
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Post by btarby15 » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 11:30 am

BlackBetty06 wrote:
Sun. Mar. 07, 2021 8:03 am
Smaller sizes will get up to temp slower most likely because the coal bed will be more compacted resulting in air moving slower through the fire bed. Does the boiler have forced combustion fans? I’d keep it at stove size. Maybe even try stove and Egg mix if you can find it! How much coal are you going though daily to heat what size building?
Yes, the boiler has forced air. It turns off when water gets to 185F, then kicks back on at 165F. I've been wanting to change this temp difference to be smaller, but its set from the factory.

Building is about 2200 sqft, only insulation are my 18" thick stone walls though! I've been having to load it around 3x a day to maintain temps...the coal bed isn't always burnt down but it seems like if I don't catch it in time, it can take forever to get it back up to temp.

 
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coaledsweat
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Post by coaledsweat » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 11:58 am

Not sure what your procedure is when you shake and reload. You should be revving the fire up pretty good before you shake and reload. Are you doing that? Opening the ash door a several minutes prior should get you there.


 
btarby15
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Post by btarby15 » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 12:13 pm

coaledsweat wrote:
Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 11:58 am
Not sure what your procedure is when you shake and reload. You should be revving the fire up pretty good before you shake and reload. Are you doing that? Opening the ash door a several minutes prior should get you there.
My boiler has forced air from under the grates. The ash cleanout is at the back of the boiler, so if I opened the ash cleanout, I would think the air would just go right out the back of the boiler, rather than blowing under the coal.

 
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coaledsweat
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Post by coaledsweat » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 1:05 pm

Well however you can do it, you need to rev it up before you service it. That may be why it seems lazy.

 
btarby15
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Post by btarby15 » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 2:04 pm

coaledsweat wrote:
Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 1:05 pm
Well however you can do it, you need to rev it up before you service it. That may be why it seems lazy.
Typically my fan is on when I tend it, and there is usually a nice hot bed of coals established...are there other tips/tricks to get it going more? I'm pretty new to burning coal...

 
waytomany?s
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Post by waytomany?s » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 9:10 pm

btarby15 wrote:
Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 11:27 am
Sorry for the delayed response! I had notifications turned off...the boiler seems to take a longer time recovering after shaking and loading fresh coal. It seems like if I don't catch it at the perfect time and let it burn too long, it takes forever to get back up to temp. I try to keep a 8-10" thick bed.

My routine is typically shake and load first thing in the morning, around 5-5:30am, then shake and load more after work, around 4:30pm, then another shake and load before bed. The manual says I should be getting 12 hr burn times out of a load for my house size, but I'm definitely not getting that. I also learned that I can overload it, whereas too much coal falls to the sides, away from the shaker grates where the air is coming through. This has put my fire out twice. I'm planning on lining the firebox with firebrick, so that the coals are only over top of the grates...the idea being everything I put in gets burnt.
I don't understand this. How can you over load it? Everything you put in has to get burnt or it doesn't go down through the grate. Got any pics of the fire box?

 
waytomany?s
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Post by waytomany?s » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 9:18 pm

http://www.mikesheating.com/wp-content/uploads/20 ... grates.gif

Hopefully this works. Are these your grates?

 
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Post by waytomany?s » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 9:24 pm

I think the website I looked at listed your fire box at 28"wide and 36" deep. I couldn't find how many bricks of depth. I don't think you're filling it, your just mounding it in the middle over the grates.

 
btarby15
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Coal Size/Type: Anthracite, Stove
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Post by btarby15 » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 9:47 pm

waytomany?s wrote:
Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 9:24 pm
I think the website I looked at listed your fire box at 28"wide and 36" deep. I couldn't find how many bricks of depth. I don't think you're filling it, your just mounding it in the middle over the grates.
My firebox is about 28” wide and 28” deep, with about 12” from the grates to the bottom of the door. The grates don’t fill the entire bottom, so there is around 6-8” on either side of the grates where coals just sit. Yea I was just mounding it on top of the grates...

 
lee192233
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Post by lee192233 » Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 10:54 pm

Hi
With my Big Jack I added fire brick to allow the coal to only sit above the grate. Any true coal burning furnace has grates under the entire firebed. Here's a picture with the fire out. My firebox is approximately 22x12x12". When I load it up I can get about 90 lbs of nut size coal in. The deeper the firebed the better the burn will be.
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Here's a picture that shows how high I have it loaded up. This was after 12 hours with outside temps around 0° and the house was at 72°. When I load it up the coal is at the top of my firebrick.
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I would try adding brick to keep your coal above the grates. That way you won't have a bunch of unburned coal on the sides. Then when you load it up don't be afraid to fill it up. You should be able to get at least 200 lbs in that firebox. I can get easy 12 hour burns with my furnace even when below 0 at night. Coal is 100% controlled by the amount of combustion air. Make small adjustments and give plenty of time to see the result. I also take notes of my settings and performance changes. It makes things easily repeatable.

I hope my ramblings help,
Lee


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