First Time Coal Burner With Some Questions.

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IOERROR
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu. Jul. 19, 2012 12:19 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker?
Stove/Furnace Model: 90 or 120?
Location: Hanover Township. Pa

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 11:28 am

Well I fired up my coal stoker on Wednesday and everything seem to go fine. I commented on the sulfur smell on Facebook and a friend said that's normal and nothing you can do about it. I did some searching/reading this morning and found that might not be 100% correct. Now it's not a real strong smell but it's a smell regardless. I read a few posts and some said there shouldn't be any smell at all. Is that true?

I don't know what kind of stoker I have so here are some photos maybe someone will know. Don't mind the basket of booze and drywall dust we just moved in and I have since cleaned that up.
Image
Image

I picked up a 1000lbs of Blaschak (test run) bag coal and it's really wet. Should I put it in 5 gallon buckets to help it dry out? Could this be the cause of the smell? I cleaned up the inside of the stoker and cleaned the bottom of the chimney but after reading I guess I should have cleaned the horizontal pipe before firing it up. I'll do that tonight just in case but air flow seems to be fine with the unit.

Besides the smell I'm completely happy so far with coal. I was shocked at how little I used since Wednesday night. If I had to guess I burned maybe 30lbs from Wednesday at 8:00pm to Friday at 8:00am.


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freetown fred
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 11:50 am

Nope, shouldn't be any smell--wet does not matter that much with the hopper--yes, put it in pails to help dry it some--make SURE all your gaskets are in good shape--close door & anything else that opens--put a dollar bill between doors & stove & the bill should be REAL snug when pulling out Are your pipes screwed together--3 at each joint---what is that box & why is it unplugged--feeder??? blower???
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

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Lightning
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Posts: 8303
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. Nov. 09, 2012 11:54 am

Hi partner! Welcome to the forum and good move posting your question! The sulfur smell indicates that you are leaking exhaust into the room. This is a very bad thing since Carbon Monoxide is also leaking into the room.

Carbon Monoxide detectors are mandatory with a coal appliance in the home. They can and will save your life in the event of CO poisoning.

You definitely need to fix the smell. There shouldn't be any. Please keep us posted :)

IOERROR
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu. Jul. 19, 2012 12:19 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker?
Stove/Furnace Model: 90 or 120?
Location: Hanover Township. Pa

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 12:01 pm

I do have a CO detector but I am unsure of the age so I will pick up a new one today. I'll check the seals tonight when I get off work but in the mean time I'll have my GF shut the stoker off.

The box on the floor is some kind of timer that the original owner had. No clue why he used it but I don't have it hooked up. And these photos were taken before I started the stoker up so everything is unplugged.

Not sure if the pipes have 3 screws in or not I'll check that again tonight.

Thanks for the advise. I'm going to shut everything down and go over ever seal and pipe tonight just to be sure.

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freetown fred
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
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Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 12:05 pm

PS--make sure all the pipes are clean/clear of any obstructions---YES especially the horozontal--Do it while your shut down
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

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Canaan coal man
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Joined: Thu. Nov. 08, 2012 12:37 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: A little cubby coal stove in the basement
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood #6
Coal Size/Type: Stove And Nut
Location: East Canaan, CT

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 12:26 pm

Im no way shape or form an expert (Only been burning coal for 48hr now) but have done a ton of reading on this site.

How is the draft you will need a manometer to check it once the stove is up to temp. and is the barometric dampner moveing freely?
BEER, GUNS, AND COAL Make me happy!!!!!

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Canaan coal man
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Posts: 539
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: A little cubby coal stove in the basement
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Location: East Canaan, CT

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 12:29 pm

I notice a faint smell when I come in from out side, but its not strong and it dosnet smell sullfurish?? could be the stickers on the new black pipe bakeing off. my co detectors read 0.
BEER, GUNS, AND COAL Make me happy!!!!!

coalnewbie
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Invader 2
Baseburners & Antiques: Wings Best, Glenwood #8(x2) Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice,
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22
Location: Chester, NY

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 12:58 pm

I think I have your answer, you have a 90 or 110K Keystoker, yes? Firstly, amend your profile to let us know where you are and what your stove is - clairvoyance is a coal burners weak suit. Secondly,the only stove I ever had a problem with was this keystoker and it was the beginnings of a hopper fire with a strong sulfur smell - CO detectors clanging. I would bet that is what is happening and it is very serious. ALERT, ALERT - pay attention. This is what I pinned it down to, Keystoker claims you can't have a fire as the road is flat and the coal is pushed out AND the air comes from under the coal bed and through the back through of the hopper - the hopper has open air vents for that reason. They even have a patent on this design. All well and good unless you fail to seal that fire road well during maintenance and it leaks up the back as the combustion fan pushes through the coal bed and starts a reverse air flow. Can't happen? It did to me and thx to this board I learned I was in trouble - you are in trouble as when you push the heat up things WILL get worse. Shut it down now, cool it down, clean it up and reseal that fire road with hi temp cement - make sure the back is sealed real well. Do it NOW as this is arguably the most serious coal burning problem you can have as it is non-obvious.

PS, only listen to keystoker or people on this board on this issue. The internet is full of dolts that think they know about coal - trust me they don't have a clue as a rule.
Posted by an unreasonable adult.


IOERROR
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu. Jul. 19, 2012 12:19 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker?
Stove/Furnace Model: 90 or 120?
Location: Hanover Township. Pa

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 2:06 pm

Canaan coal man wrote:I notice a faint smell when I come in from out side, but its not strong and it dosnet smell sullfurish?? could be the stickers on the new black pipe bakeing off. my co detectors read 0.
This is the same thing I am noticing. When you walk in from outside you can smell it but it's not super strong.
coalnewbie wrote:I think I have your answer, you have a 90 or 110K Keystoker, yes? Firstly, amend your profile to let us know where you are and what your stove is - clairvoyance is a coal burners weak suit. Secondly,the only stove I ever had a problem with was this keystoker and it was the beginnings of a hopper fire with a strong sulfur smell - CO detectors clanging. I would bet that is what is happening and it is very serious. ALERT, ALERT - pay attention. This is what I pinned it down to, Keystoker claims you can't have a fire as the road is flat and the coal is pushed out AND the air comes from under the coal bed and through the back through of the hopper - the hopper has open air vents for that reason. They even have a patent on this design. All well and good unless you fail to seal that fire road well during maintenance and it leaks up the back as the combustion fan pushes through the coal bed and starts a reverse air flow. Can't happen? It did to me and thx to this board I learned I was in trouble - you are in trouble as when you push the heat up things WILL get worse. Shut it down now, cool it down, clean it up and reseal that fire road with hi temp cement - make sure the back is sealed real well. Do it NOW as this is arguably the most serious coal burning problem you can have as it is non-obvious.

PS, only listen to keystoker or people on this board on this issue. The internet is full of dolts that think they know about coal - trust me they don't have a clue as a rule.
OK you have me a little freaked out now to the point I'm about to go back to electric heat only. I'm very handy but I'm a complete noob when it comes to coal. From the sounds of it, it sounds like I should just get a new heater and if that's the case I'll go propane. I have 3 boys in my house and I'm not sure I would trust their lives with my skills of cementing something.

If it's an easy fix that's fine but I need to be able to sleep at night knowing we are all safe and DIY on a coal stove doesn't really seem to fit that bill. Are there instructions online on how to do this or at least pictures of the parts and what needs to be fixed?

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Lightning
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Posts: 8303
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. Nov. 09, 2012 2:13 pm

Safety is paramount :) but don't panic, the people here will help you and you will love coal! Just be sure to have at least 2 Carbon Monoxide detectors and they WILL let you know when there is a problem. The Kiddie Night Hawks with the digital readouts are the best for the money.

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Rob R.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
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Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 2:27 pm

You can kill yourself with propane just as easily as coal...but it will cost you 3x as much to do the job.

Where do you live? Maybe someone can give you a hand?

In addition to checking the grates, the draft needs to be checked.

IOERROR
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu. Jul. 19, 2012 12:19 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker?
Stove/Furnace Model: 90 or 120?
Location: Hanover Township. Pa

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 2:29 pm

Lightning wrote:Safety is paramount :) but don't panic, the people here will help you and you will love coal! Just be sure to have at least 2 Carbon Monoxide detectors and they WILL let you know when there is a problem. The Kiddie Night Hawks with the digital readouts are the best for the money.
Yeah I did a little reading on the issue and it seems more like maintenance not repairs. I just got a little freaked out thinking my house would burn down. I'd never had anything but electric heat so open flames still scare me. Haha

IOERROR
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu. Jul. 19, 2012 12:19 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker?
Stove/Furnace Model: 90 or 120?
Location: Hanover Township. Pa

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 2:30 pm

Rob R. wrote:You can kill yourself with propane just as easily as coal...but it will cost you 3x as much to do the job.

Where do you live? Maybe someone can give you a hand?

In addition to checking the grates, the draft needs to be checked.
I'm in Hanover Township, Pa .

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freetown fred
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Posts: 21424
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 2:37 pm

canaan coal man---you know how to use your PM---just wonderin :)
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

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freetown fred
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Posts: 21424
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Fri. Nov. 09, 2012 2:38 pm

I guess that answers that :clap: toothy
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower


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