Got a Thrill This Morning

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Pap
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III
Other Heating: Oil
Location: Middletown, Pa

Post Sun. Feb. 05, 2006 5:50 pm

This morning around 6:30 I shook my Harman Mark III down and took the ashes out to the ash pile. I filled the stove up with coal like any other morning went out and filled my coal bucket up. I opened the ash door to let the fire catch up a little bit, it was pretty low from burning it slow over night.

I went to the kitchen got a cup of coffee and sat down on my chair beside the stove and turned the TV on. I was keeping my eye on the stove waiting for the blue flame to start. The door was open for about ten minuts all of a sudden WOOOOOF :shock: :shock: ashes came out the ash door and it sounded like the stove blew up :shock: . I guess gasses built up inside the stove and ignited! Needless to say the blue flame was there! Not sure what happened but don't want it to happen again. I have left the ash door open to let the fire catch up before and this has never happened before today.

Has this happened to any of you? I almost had to go and change my shorts, what a way to start my day.

Pap

AL-53
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Location: Massachusetts

Post Sun. Feb. 05, 2006 7:21 pm

Pap...

I had that happen once with a riteway model 37 coal wood combo stove once...lost some eyebrow hair and front head hair....and I did change my shorts...lol...scared me ..was the last year for that stove....

here is a picture of the stove

http://radioranger.org/WINTER/bunkhouseheat.htm

Al

Richard-deactivated
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Post Sun. Feb. 05, 2006 8:47 pm

I have to laugh now but it wasn't funny back then. When I built my house we put in an Oneida soft coal furnace. Dad always told us to make sure there was flame before adding coal. I came home from work one day and my wife told me about her "experience". She fired the furnace but didn't pay any attention to the flame. The result was a mini explosion that blew soot all over her. She didn't get burnt and was not injured. Of course dad had to say I told you so. I now am using a Harman Mark II and have not had any experience like yours, so far. I will keep your post in mind from now on when I fire the stove. I thought that this was a result of dust from soft coal, didn't think anything about hard coal peforming like that. I would have to assume that it was caused from gas building up ?


Oo-v-oO
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Post Sun. Feb. 05, 2006 11:57 pm

Heh. I've had that happen with wood before, but the conditions have to be just right. It's usually enough to get your attention.
-Lee, KB1GNI
"Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas"
[Happiness is understanding how things work]

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blue83camaro
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Post Mon. Feb. 06, 2006 12:48 am

I had that happen with wood. I loaded some wood in and had the ash door open and decided to shake the grates. The ash was plugging the grates and it puffed a little when I shook them blowing ash all over me. Fortunataly it was just dust and not embers. When I reload with coal I always leave about 8" of the fire uncovered so there will always be flame. After the new load gets burning I fill the rest of the firebox. So far it has worked.

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LsFarm
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Location: Michigan

Post Mon. Feb. 06, 2006 1:44 pm

I have had the same experience. I was looking at the flue temp gauge once when the gasses ignited and there was movement and excaping smoke at the joints in my flue. Not enough movement for the slip joints to come apart, but still enough to get my attention.

So Pap, I'd recommend checking your flue pipe connections for security. I stopped procrastinating and put a few screws in each slip joint in my flue. I sure wouldn't want a joint to slip apart and have all that dust, ash and smoke in the boiler room!!

To reduce the likelyhood of having a repeat performance, load a smaller amount of coal initially, let it light off and then top off with the final amount.

Take care, Greg L
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?


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Richard S.
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Post Mon. Feb. 06, 2006 5:14 pm

If you have a manual damper on the stove make sure to open it fully before opening anything.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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Pap
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Location: Middletown, Pa

Post Mon. Feb. 06, 2006 5:55 pm

So Pap, I'd recommend checking your flue pipe connections for security. I stopped procrastinating and put a few screws in each slip joint in my flue.

I do have screws in all of my joints. I put three screws in each one.
To reduce the likelyhood of having a repeat performance, load a smaller amount of coal initially, let it light off and then top off with the final amount.

Good advice Greg, I will NEVER make that mistake again. It sure took me by suprise.

Pap

Mlou
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Post Wed. Feb. 15, 2006 7:00 pm

Welcome to coal, everyone is told about this, but no one remembers until it happens to them.

The "explosion" is actually from a build up of gasses, they are more than usual because you had doors open then closed them suddenly. Creates more than usual draft, then it suddenly stops, the fire is confused, doesn't know what to do with extra gasses. To avoid these "explosions" in the future, any time you have a door open, after you close it always open your front door and hold for about 30 seconds. This will balance out your draft and keep you from getting surprized.
Anthracite....the only way to heat!!

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Pap
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Post Thu. Feb. 16, 2006 7:05 pm

Welcome to coal, everyone is told about this, but no one remembers until it happens to them.

I am new to burning coal, this is my first year for it. No one told me about it but now that I know I will NEVER FORGET!!
The "explosion" is actually from a build up of gasses, they are more than usual because you had doors open then closed them suddenly
The top door was closed, just the bottom door was open. The "explosion"
happened with the bottom door open!! I didn't close the bottom door till after the fact. I learned the hard way and won't forget.

Pap

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