Maintaining a Continous Burn...

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
DCrane_II
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Location: Shamokin PA

Post Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 11:00 am

I have a Yellow Flame stoker that provides me both hot water for the tap and also hot water for the registers. I'm kind of new to the whole stoker thing and learning very quickly in how to maintain it. I'm able to get the coal lit without problems with some charcoal and sticks. Once the coal is lit it burns evenly and hot.

Now the problem I'm having is the coal burns way to quick. It would only last a day and half then the hot coals go out. Coal is being fed by the stoker but a slow rate, this is evident when looking in the coal bin and seeing a small hole forming when the coal is dropping.

Is there something that I'm missing here? Is there a way to control air flow? Or is it ther stoker jamming and not feeding the coal correctly?

At this time im at a loss. Any suggestions?


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LsFarm
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 12:14 pm

Hi DCrane, welcome to the forum. Do you mean you are emptying the coal hopper too fast? or do you mean the coal on the grate is burning fasther than the feed mechanism can supply fresh coal??

Is the stoker mechanism running for awhile, then the motor shuts down, the fire on the grate burns slower without the fan forcing air trhrough the grate? Or when the stoker shuts down is the flame off the coal just as high as without the fan running?

Do you have a Barometric damper on your chimney? This is designed to cut back on the draft from the chimney if it is excessive, this would reduce tha air being pulled through the grate and burning up your coal.

OR: is the stoker running, but not enough coal feeding?? and the fire goes out? Maybe the opening at the bottom of the hopper is clogged with some oversize coal or old hardened fines ??

Give us a little more complete discription of what is happening, and we'll try to help.

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?

DCrane_II
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Joined: Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 10:08 am
Location: Shamokin PA

Post Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 12:50 pm

Hi! LsFarm:

The coal on the grate is buring too fast for the feeder to supply fresh coal from what I noticed.

The blower motor and the stoker run together and when the blower motor is shut down the flame dies down.

I did clean out under the grates when I moved in, the past owner did not do this and it was full but now it cleared out.

I do have a Barometric damper, if thats the thing where it swing back and forth on the duct work between the stove and chimney.

I know one of the grates is warped, I have three of them not sure if that would effect the movement of coal. down the grates.

I did take notice last night that under the grates there is a medal door that can slide back and forth. I'm not sure if this acts like a bellow where more air can be blown in or to lessen the air flow under the coal?

I wish I could find some kind of documentation on this stove to get a better idea on how to adjust it.

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pret
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Location: Schaefferstown, PA (23 miles North of Lancaster)

Post Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 1:22 pm

I googled your boiler and a member on the site has a hot air version:

Just Fired up My Yellow Flame Stoker Warm Air Unit

Maybe you can find some info in this thread, or touch base with the member with the yellow flame!

Pret
Burning pea coal in a rebuilt 1954 AA - 130... ahhhhh - I'm feeling it!

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Richard S.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 2:16 pm

DCrane_II wrote: Is there a way to control air flow?
Might be, our VanWert has a plate on the air intake that can be raised or lowered to resrtict the air.

I'm assuming there is a motor with a pulley? Is there seperate motors for the feed and the air or just one?
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

DCrane_II
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Post Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 3:14 pm

Actually its a manual pull level without any mechanical pullies that moves this plate which is under the grates. The feed and air is controled by one motor. If the air is shut off the feed shuts off.

DCrane_II
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Post Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 3:39 pm

I just got thinking shouldn't the metal grates move to push the coal down for a continous burn?

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Richard S.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 4:16 pm

The pulley I was referring too is on the motor, if you had separate motors for air and coal you could get a different size pulley to increase/decrease one or the other.

The plate on my furnace is external but it certainly sounds like the plate you are referring too is the same thing except inside, have you tried closing it a little? If it does restrict the air you'll get a longer burn out of the coal.

Not familiar with your furnace so I really have no idea. You can upload pics if you want, might help if people can see what you are talking about.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein


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e.alleg
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Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520
Location: western ny

Post Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 5:36 pm

Do you have a timer on the furnace? I have a timer on mine which cranks it up 2 minutes every hour and then it's "off" for the other 58 minutes.The timer controls my stoker motor which feeds in coal and blows air under it. In 2 minutes the coal goes from being almost out to fully blazing. The timer is a "Will-Burt" - a very simple device actually.

DCrane_II
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Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2007 8:38 am

e.alleg,

I'm thinking about putting a timmer on the blower so it doesn't run continous, but here is an up date:

I disasembled my furnace to give it a good cleaning (removing all the fly ash), making sure that the rocker plate with the grates was moving freely (which it wasn't), replaced all three grates (due to them being warped), lubercated the blower and rebuilt the gear box (which was needed badly), once all was done, I did my usual rutine in starting the fire up, I used two brickets of charcoal, some burlap and some wood. In about 4mins the coal was a blaze.

Everything was functioning correctly for once. :)

Woke up this morning, after 7hrs of burn time, to find out that the coal wasn't blazing but still hot, the barmetric damper door wasn't moving like it usually does but atleast I know it was working the way it should be without any unburnt coal in the ash bin.

Now only if the nights will stay below or around 55 I would be happier yet.

dirvine96
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Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 82FA
Location: Rochester New York

Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2007 9:20 am

DCrane,

How is old Mokie Town. My mothers side of the family is from Shamokin.
My grandfather and his brothers all worked in the mines. My grandmother three brother also worked in the local mines. They all lived up on Bearvalley Ave. during the depression. That neighborhood has changed. My grandfather alway said the best coal in NEPA came from Shamokin. Last I heard there weren't any mines operating in the area.

Til his dying day my grandfather would bitch about what the strip miners did to that area.

Don't get down there to much anymore. I miss the Lebanon baloney from Mosers and sticky buns that come from a small bakery. Can't remember the name.

Don

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coal berner
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Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520
Location: Pottsville PA. Schuylkill County PA. The Hart Of Anthracite Coal Country.

Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2007 12:39 pm

DCrane_II wrote:e.alleg,

I'm thinking about putting a timmer on the blower so it doesn't run continous, but here is an up date:

I disasembled my furnace to give it a good cleaning (removing all the fly ash), making sure that the rocker plate with the grates was moving freely (which it wasn't), replaced all three grates (due to them being warped), lubercated the blower and rebuilt the gear box (which was needed badly), once all was done, I did my usual rutine in starting the fire up, I used two brickets of charcoal, some burlap and some wood. In about 4mins the coal was a blaze.

Everything was functioning correctly for once. :)

Woke up this morning, after 7hrs of burn time, to find out that the coal wasn't blazing but still hot, the barmetric damper door wasn't moving like it usually does but atleast I know it was working the way it should be without any unburnt coal in the ash bin.

Now only if the nights will stay below or around 55 I would be happier yet.
Hi DCrane II I was wondering where you found the parts for you Yellow Flame being the company is out of Business what used to be there Plant is now a Napa Auto Parts store in Orwigsburg Are fellow member stockingful as a Yellow flame unit and when he was down in June I took him to the old Place I am sure he would be interested in any info on Parts maybe you could PM him with some info or let me know and I will thank you Keep it storked up :lol:
J.C.

Heating house & water with a 1986 electric furnace man DF520 using buckwheat Anthracite coal

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LsFarm
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Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2007 2:52 pm

Hi DCrane, your fire will be opperatiing during basicly two different situations. And some variations of the two.

The first situation is when the boiler is calling for heat, which makes the stoker motor run, which runs the fan, and the gearbox, feeding fresh coal onto the grates. During this 'active' burning stage, the flames will be high, because of the combustion air being forced through the coal bed.

The other situation is the 'resting' or 'idle' time. This is when the boiler water is hot enough, so the aquastat is not calling for more heat. So the stoker motor is not running, no fresh coal is being fed, and the combustion fan is not forcing air through the coal.

During the 'idle' mode, the draft from your chimney will pull a lesser amount of air through the coal bed, this will keep the fire going. As long as the 'idle' period doesn't last so long [warm weather] that the coal on the grate burns up. This is where a 'keep fire' timer is handy. The timer is set up to run the stoker motor for a set time each hour. Something like 2 minutes or so. This 'revs up the fire' and feeds more coal onto the grate so the fire won't go out.

During warm weather, the draft from your chimney is lower, and sometimes may not be enough to keep the fire going. But this doesn't sound like a problem you have.

Try to see how long the stoker runs, and how long the fire is in 'idle mode'. And keep an eye on how healthy the fire is. If you go a long time in idle mode, you probably should add a 'keep fire' timer.

Hope this helps. Greg L

Got any photos of those warped grates??
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?

DCrane_II
New Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 10:08 am
Location: Shamokin PA

Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2007 4:14 pm

I'll be posting some pics of the stoker and grates. I was shocked when I pulled out the old grates and how warped they were. Since the stoker has three grates the middle grate was so bowed that it almost made a perfect arch(I'll be posting this pic).

I like the whole timer thing with the blower, its a good idea and most likely a simple upgrade. Also benifical for when summer roles around. Seems like the temp/burn time can be regulated more easily.

getting back to a pervous post in where I found the spare parts for the furnace, believe it or not the past owner left them behind. I still have to go part searching for I would like to get a new gear box cause there is some play.

Maybe tonight I can get the stoker to last for two days straight which would be sweet.
Yellow Flame Stoker
Domestic hot water and Registers

DCrane_II
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Joined: Thu. Oct. 18, 2007 10:08 am
Location: Shamokin PA

Post Fri. Oct. 19, 2007 4:24 pm

I forgot to mention one thing which is probally the most importain bit of info, the stoker that I do have has a gravity fed bin where the grates move back and forth to displace the coal on the grates and move the ash down to the bin. :oops:

I was so riled up and frustrated in trying to figure out how and why the furnace wasn't functioning correctly in the begining. I think im almost there in getting all the bugs worked out and learning on the way. :)
Yellow Flame Stoker
Domestic hot water and Registers


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