Alaskan CHANNING 3 Cant Get Lit

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.
mainecoalguy
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Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: channing 3

Post Tue. Dec. 27, 2011 8:43 pm

I want to say this is a great resource....have been reading up here for a year. Just installed a slightly used alaskan channing three. Everything seems fine, blower, combustion and feed motors working. Tried to fire her up today with some starter bags that seemed like shredded paper and charcoal. Followed idrections, opening bag, placing rice coal on top.lighting bag, turning on combustion fan.....it seemed to start to take....got flying sparks, some small flames, and glowing coal...but it died out after several minutes...tried this three or four times. Stove venting into chimney.
Iive read theposts on starting a stoker....seems like I was doing everything right but to no avail. May try propand torch/flares tomorrow as some have mentioned that.
Thanks and look forward to contributing....once I get this going.....


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WNY
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY
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Post Tue. Dec. 27, 2011 9:02 pm

Sounds right. Slowly put more coal on top of it as it starts burning (small handful, don't smother it). You don't ahve to OPEN it up, just bury it in the coal and light it, and make sure you have it on the part of the grate that has holes so it can help keep it going with the combustion fan. Feed should be set to 0, so it doesn't push it off the grate until you get it going.

(Also, don't ask the same question in 2 different posts....)
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer

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Rick 386
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Posts: 2474
Joined: Mon. Jan. 28, 2008 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work
Location: Royersford, Pa
Contact:

Post Tue. Dec. 27, 2011 10:27 pm

Oh geez you Mainers are a pain in the ....

Actually just kidding. No problem with you guys at all. I love the area and the hospitality I always get up there.

Now on to your starting problem. Here's a little trick. Get yourself 2 wooden paint paddles. Cut them to fit between the sides of the stoker mechanism. 1 will be used to hold the coal back from the hopper so it doesn't creep onto your starter bag and smother it, and the other to keep the starter bag on location until it has started all of the coal burning. By the time everything is burning well, the wooden paddles will be on fire and will travel down the burner chute along with burning coal.

Now install the paint paddles making sure that the holes are exposed on the burner. Either place a starter bag or other method so tart the coal burning. Light the bag and throw about a half handful of rice on top of the starter bag. Close the door and turn on convection blower. If your glass is clear, you can watch it burn. As soon as there are sparks flying well, open the door and throw another half handful of rice on top of the spark pile. Close door and watch some more. When you see the blue flames coming through the burning coal, you are there. Add more coal as necessary until the upper paint paddle burns away releasing the coal from the hopper and plug in the feed mechanism. If necessary, add more coal until the feed us feeding coal down the burner chute and burning with the other coal.

Starting a cold clean stoker takes a little help with the paint paddles. Otherwise the freshly started coal may get blown down the chute into the ash pan before it has a chance to start the feeding coal. Or the new coal may b=get fed down on top of the fresh started coal before it has a chance to really get going.

As an alternative, I use a hammer to break up several pieces of charcoal or "cowboy" or lump charcoal. Use the hammer to break them up into pieces about the size of rice or larger. Throw them in a 1 gallon zip loc bag. Give a squirt or 2 of lighter fluid into the bag. Shake the bag to get the pieces coated with the fluid. Dump these pieces between the paint paddles. Immedieately after lighting, close the door so you don't get the lighter smell in the house.

Any other questions, feel free to post them here.

Rick
Master of "Trial and Error."

mainecoalguy
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Joined: Mon. Dec. 26, 2011 10:10 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: channing 3

Post Tue. Dec. 27, 2011 11:00 pm

Thanks rick and others...will try those tips tomorrow....I'm thinking you are right either the started coal was pushed off before it had a chance to really get going or it was smothered by fresh coal
Maine is a great place....I'm on the coast in a scenic area...been looking forward to getting this stoker goingl mark

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Rick 386
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Posts: 2474
Joined: Mon. Jan. 28, 2008 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work
Location: Royersford, Pa
Contact:

Post Tue. Dec. 27, 2011 11:19 pm

Mark,

From cold start to full burning coal should only take 5-15 minutes at the most.

Fire that puppy up !!!!!!!!!!

As a new burner it is best to do this when you can sit and stare at it for about 3 hours or so after it is lit. A cooler of nice cold brews helps to pass the time and allows you the ability to fully appreciate the burning qualities of coal. But be careful, you can be hypnotized by the burning flames. This in turn leads to consuming more beverages than is required but gives you a certain feeling of pride and a smile that can't be wiped off for some time !!!!!!!!

Welcome to the forum.

Rick
Master of "Trial and Error."

mainecoalguy
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Posts: 10
Joined: Mon. Dec. 26, 2011 10:10 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: channing 3

Post Wed. Dec. 28, 2011 2:15 pm

Ggrr...Propane otrch no luck....your tips tried no luck.....highway flare no luck.
I can rebuild a house but can't light coal
Ppic below if itworks during trial with starter bag charcoal, etc...got spaks almost flame then dies out
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2011-12-28_08-37-51_516.jpg

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sterling40man
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker K6
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6
Location: Northern Maine

Post Wed. Dec. 28, 2011 2:35 pm

Are the holes on the grate plugged up? Maybe the air is not going through. Before start up in the fall I always take a drill and drill out the holes.
"I think the next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it."

Bob

CapeCoaler
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Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove
Location: Cape Cod, MA

Post Wed. Dec. 28, 2011 2:37 pm

Not a stoker kind of guy (yet) but looks like you need some more fuel for that fire...
Have you tried adding more coal to the pile between the sticks...
Are you getting air from the blower thru the holes...
I am not an engineer, train or otherwise!
I stay at a Holiday Inn at least once a year!
Most of all I do have common sense and a practical application of logic.
Oh, add humor, on the dry side, along with a wee bit 'o sarcasm.


Pocono Pete
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Posts: 120
Joined: Tue. Nov. 18, 2008 6:58 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing 111
Coal Size/Type: Rice Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 111
Location: Gouldsboro,PA

Post Wed. Dec. 28, 2011 2:47 pm

I have never had much luck with those bag starters. I use what they call mice, a small box with a green fuse sticking out of it which I buy at the dealer I bought the Channing III from, I don't know if there is one in your area. There was a thread back in Nov. 2010 by MPeck where he told how he used a hot air paint peeling gun, you might want to try that. I think the thread was " I Found The Easiest Way To Light Coal" I was going to try this if I run out of mice.

Pocono Pete
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Posts: 120
Joined: Tue. Nov. 18, 2008 6:58 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing 111
Coal Size/Type: Rice Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 111
Location: Gouldsboro,PA

Post Wed. Dec. 28, 2011 3:35 pm

mainecoalguy, I sent you a private message (PM)

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Rick 386
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Posts: 2474
Joined: Mon. Jan. 28, 2008 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work
Location: Royersford, Pa
Contact:

Post Wed. Dec. 28, 2011 4:31 pm

Damn.

You almost had it there. Move those sticks closer to the hopper. The upper one about 1 inch closer to the hopper. Then leave only about 2-3 inches for the bottom 1. Try the lighter soaked charcoal between the 2 sticks. Light it close the door and turn on the combustion blower. Within a minute the sparks should be flying. As soon as you get that red showing, put a little coal by hand on top of the red charcoal. Just barely cover the red. Close door and watch. As soon as you see the red coming up through the coal, add a little bit more.

You were so so close I almost felt the warmth down here !!!!!!!

Check your PM's.

Rick
Master of "Trial and Error."

Bratkinson
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Posts: 208
Joined: Sat. Jan. 31, 2009 12:29 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III
Other Heating: Gas FA
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing III
Location: Western MA

Post Wed. Dec. 28, 2011 5:49 pm

My Channing 3 had me on the verge of trying a stick of dynamite trying to get it lit after my first mid-season shutdown/cleaning. I went through 5-6 'bag' mice to no avail, highway flares, and a cheapo handheld blowtorch. All failed. The flares only succeeded in plugging a couple of air holes with the hot liquid they produce so I had to drill it out after it cooled.

After reading one of the threads here about stove lighting, the big solution seemed to be 'cowboy charcoal'. Not the brickets, but charcoal'led wood chunks. Check a local feed and grain store or some place like that for cowboy coal.

I also "discovered" here the idea of a little 'dam' to keep the cowbow coal/rice coal from sliding off the fire grate too soon. Having played with some sheetmetal for ductwork, I simply cut a piece about 3/4" high and 8" long (6",7",8", whatever works) so that I could bend it into a "U" shape and have it be 'springy' against the sides of the grate, just below the air holes. I figured I could fish it out of the ash pan either once the fire was going, or when I dumped it...or make a couple of them for future use and toss 'em with the ashes. In short, anything that will make a dam will work, but it has to be able to be pushed off the gate by the stoker mechanism (or you can reach in with a long rod once the coal fire is going). Alternatively, make or buy some carpenters shim-stock and cut wide enough to barely wedge between the sides of the grate, just enough 'wedge' action to stop everything from sliding down too soon.

Take a couple of chunks of cowboy coal and hit it with a hammer so most of the pieces are perhaps 1-1.5" at their longest measurement. I've used bigger chunks, but my luck has been better with smaller chunks. Put the pieces on the grate, and drop a handful of rice coal on top.

Blowtorch time. Using the cheapo (blue can) blow torch takes forever to light the cowboy coal and the charcoal often didn't stay lit. So I bought a yellow-can blow torch (supposedly hotter) and it lights the charcoal faster. Get a couple of areas of charcoal glowing pretty good...small flame showing is even better. Close the door, turn on the combustion fan, and let it rip. You should see lots of sparks flying due to the combustion fan and cowboy coal dust. I've gone back in at this point with a little more torch action if the cowboy charcoal doesn't seem to be getting hotter. Note, you will get a couple of sparks on your arm/shirt sleeve, etc. Once I see the cowboy charcoal going OK, (about 1/2 to 3/4 of the width of the grate is burning at this point), drop in another handful of rice coal on the fire and close the door. Once you are quite sure the real coal is burning...small bluish flame perhaps 1" high or so, you've got it made.

Let it burn for a couple of minutes while more coal gets burning... By now, the cowboy coal should be mostly burned up. Turn on the stoker to about 2 or 3 and away you go! Remember to plug in/turn on the convection blower at this point, too.

One possibility of "failure to fire" that I've run into has been poor draft in my 60 year old brick chimney on the outside of the house. In fact, some of the times I've tried to light up and the down draft is quite strong. The key here is to close both doors on the stove sooner rather than later to essentially force the air/fumes to go up the chimney rather than blowing back into the house. I've also started a fire with a couple of 6" scrap 2x4s in the bottom of the chimney and let it burn for 10 mins or so two warm up the chimney and get an updraft going.

Usually, the cowboy coal method works first try for me these days. But when I fired up the first time this fall, I didn't have success until the 2nd try. :>(

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MURDOC1
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Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska/Franco Belge/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: S.S. 2/ 144.08.02/ Mag Stoker
Location: Harleysville, Pa.

Post Wed. Dec. 28, 2011 6:13 pm

Does this stove have the combustion blower/feed gear motor all in one unit?
Adam in S.E. Pa.

Burnin' rice X twice= twice as nice!!!
Alaska= Modified Stoker Stove 2 (garage downstairs)
Harman= Mag Stoker (living space upstairs)

Lets Talk ROCKS!!!

mainecoalguy
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Posts: 10
Joined: Mon. Dec. 26, 2011 10:10 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: channing 3

Post Wed. Dec. 28, 2011 6:57 pm

It has seperate comb motor and feed Motor...thanks...and to all others trying to solve this...this is a great users group....Talking to nasa...i try to ignite it with left over solid rocket booster from the shuttle program...mark

Pacowy
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Posts: 2741
Joined: Tue. Sep. 04, 2007 10:14 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite
Location: Dalton, MA

Post Wed. Dec. 28, 2011 7:18 pm

I think making sure the slide brick is open improves the draft for start-up.

Mike


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