IS This Flame Too Close to the Hopper?

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.
Techie13804
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Posts: 11
Joined: Wed. Aug. 07, 2013 7:40 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker Furnace

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 8:26 am

HELP!!

I'm entirely new to coal heating and didn't get much sleep last night as a result of it. In June my wife and I bought our first house, it came with a Keystoker Koker. It was finally cold enough to warrant firing this behemoth up yesterday while I was fine during the day, but last night I couldn't help thinking that the burning coal was too close to the feed end of the burn plate. In my head I was afraid of the fire going up into my hopper and that my house would burn down. I'm fine with leaving the wood stove cranking all night long so the idea of a fire in the coal furnace shouldn't bother me either. I think it's just because my family had a wood stove growing up and I'm just more used to it.

I took these two pictures this morning, does this seem about normal? At the time I took these pictures, the thermostat was set for 66 and the thermometer was reading 64 There is about 3-3.5" of unburnt coal, 1-1.5" of burning coal and 6 or so inches of ash. The flames just seem awfully close to the feed. Please help assuage these fears, or instruct me on how to adjust the feed rate properly, Keystoker's manual isn't too clear.

Thank you.

-Jon
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Through door


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KLook
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Posts: 3636
Joined: Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 1:08 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000
Location: Chattanooga, Tenn

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 8:35 am

I think you are alright. But a Keystoker guy will weigh in soon. There are holes in the ramp that feed the fire and you are back to the last one back. The fire will be starved as it tries to burn further back. I think that hopper fires are caused by excessive draft pulling air through the hopper allowing the coal to burn back up into the hopper.

Kevin

Hang on for a more definitive opinion.

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Wiz
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Posts: 926
Joined: Sun. Nov. 27, 2011 8:45 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker Ka 6
Coal Size/Type: Casey Junk Coal :(
Location: Tannersville Pa

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 8:49 am

Looks like you have about 2 in of unburnt coal, I don't see a problem. Here's a video to put your mine at rest. Towards end of video gentleman opens coal door.

Randy
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Badog
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Posts: 111
Joined: Tue. Nov. 06, 2007 3:39 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Liberty
Location: Lehigh Valley Pa.

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 9:45 am

When you are burning at a low rate which is what I see here the fire will be a bit closer to the back but as long as you have an inch or so you are fine. Why are you set at 66? This is coal you can be comfortable:)

Rigar
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Posts: 857
Joined: Tue. Dec. 04, 2012 6:30 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace
Location: central new york (syracuse area)

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 9:56 am

Badog wrote:When you are burning at a low rate which is what I see here the fire will be a bit closer to the back but as long as you have an inch or so you are fine. Why are you set at 66? This is coal you can be comfortable:)
...ditto
but Im curious as to why house temp was lower than TT set temp???
what is your feed rate ??
....'Rigar

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McGiever
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Posts: 5997
Joined: Sun. May. 02, 2010 11:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 10:00 am

KLook wrote:I think you are alright. But a Keystoker guy will weigh in soon. There are holes in the ramp that feed the fire and you are back to the last one back. The fire will be starved as it tries to burn further back. I think that hopper fires are caused by excessive draft pulling air through the hopper allowing the coal to burn back up into the hopper.

Kevin

Hang on for a more definitive opinion.
What he said... ;)

What you have there is picture perfect for idle fire. 8-)
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

Rigar
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Posts: 857
Joined: Tue. Dec. 04, 2012 6:30 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace
Location: central new york (syracuse area)

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 10:05 am

McGiever wrote:
KLook wrote:I think you are alright. But a Keystoker guy will weigh in soon. There are holes in the ramp that feed the fire and you are back to the last one back. The fire will be starved as it tries to burn further back. I think that hopper fires are caused by excessive draft pulling air through the hopper allowing the coal to burn back up into the hopper.

Kevin

Hang on for a more definitive opinion.
What he said... ;)

What you have there is picture perfect for idle fire. 8-)
agreed-thats a good idle-
..but house should have been demanding heat
....'Rigar

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McGiever
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Posts: 5997
Joined: Sun. May. 02, 2010 11:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 10:19 am

I see, still no woories of hopper fire.
Now worry is of being cold if that's what a heat call looks like. :roll:
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE


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SMITTY
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Joined: Sun. Dec. 11, 2005 12:43 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler
Location: West-Central Mass

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 10:24 am

Now, if he was to have a large air leak in the hopper area I would think that would be more cause for concern than the fire creeping that direction. Fire follows air ...

That was my biggest fear when I first lit up .. because my 160+ year old punky timbers are a mere feet from the hopper. The fire would be swift and merciless .... :shock: I sealed any openings in the hopper with hi-temp Permatex Ultra Copper (700° limit), and so far, no hint of the fire heading that direction.
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Rigar
Member
Posts: 857
Joined: Tue. Dec. 04, 2012 6:30 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace
Location: central new york (syracuse area)

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 10:29 am

agreed- no worries of a hopper fire.

I question the feed rate because if its backed way off (for whatever reason)..and TT is demanding heat...then that fire may only be as big as it can get- thus not heating the house.
-techie:
....does the koker seem to run alot?
....'Rigar

Techie13804
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Posts: 11
Joined: Wed. Aug. 07, 2013 7:40 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker Furnace

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 11:03 am

Thank you to everyone for your responses. They did go a long way to put my mind at ease.

Rigar,

The koker does not call for heat very frequently, but I did hear the blower kick on a few times last night. Furnace directly below the master bedroom. I'm not sure exactly what my feed rate is but I used approximately a bag over a 24 hour period. This is about what the seller said he used.

Smitty,

I was told this will probably be the last season I can use my hopper and that I will need to replace it before next year. looks like it is rotting out. I will definitely be using High Temp RTV to seal any gap there may be.

Baddog,
My house has 4 methods of heating it, an oil burner, the koker, a pellet stove and a wood stove. The wood stove was going too it is definitely comfortable. I have absolutely NO INTENTION of evert turning on the oil burner.

Rigar
Member
Posts: 857
Joined: Tue. Dec. 04, 2012 6:30 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace
Location: central new york (syracuse area)

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 11:43 am

dont know how bad your hopper is (doesnt sound good !)...but it should remain half full or better at all times...
the question still remains why is the house at 64 if koker TT is set at 66....and its only 'idling'...(presumably)
...i would look into that (IMO)
....'Rigar

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Lightning
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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 Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 11:52 am

Can combustion air be adjusted so the burning coal line will be more out in the center of the plate? Or wouldn't that be productive?

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McGiever
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Posts: 5997
Joined: Sun. May. 02, 2010 11:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 12:27 pm

Lightning wrote:Can combustion air be adjusted so the burning coal line will be more out in the center of the plate? Or wouldn't that be productive?
Not possible/productive, is the short answer. :)

Once back at idle...it goes right back to where his pics show it.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

Techie13804
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Posts: 11
Joined: Wed. Aug. 07, 2013 7:40 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker Furnace

Post Sun. Nov. 03, 2013 4:41 pm

Ok so after the Jets won, I had my wife kick the heat up. The red LED (zone 1) on the relay comes on and the fan on the gear motor runs but nothing happened to the flames. They just looked like the idle flames. I double checked my wiring schematic and my connections are all good. Any suggestions? Thanks.


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