I Think I Have Gophers

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.
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europachris
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Posts: 993
Joined: Sat. Dec. 09, 2006 5:54 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner
Location: N. Central Illinois

Post Mon. Feb. 18, 2008 7:49 pm

I went downstairs this morning to check the stove before going to work and lifted off the hopper lid to find this:
P1000048.JPG
Gopher hole?
I had filled up the hopper early yesterday morning with a new bag of Blaschak, and as I've stated previously, this is a recently bagged batch and it is SOAKING wet. I have to be careful otherwise I'll drool water all over carrying the bags, NASTY water.

Anyway, I thought it was amusing to find this gopher hole all the way down to the pusher block. I don't think it would have gone too much longer before it was sucking air, unless the pile decided to collapse down. Anyone want to make coal castles??? :lol:
Economic Stimulus = Supporting your local Miners
I love the smell of Illinois bituminous in the morning.
Have you hooked a clinker today?

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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 Mon. Feb. 18, 2008 8:11 pm

You must have water dripping out of the bottom of the coal hopper!!

BTW: how many inches of additional snow did you get?? Aren't you at record snow fall amounts??

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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CoalHeat
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Posts: 8327
Joined: Sat. Feb. 10, 2007 9:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Baseburners & Antiques: Sears Signal Oak 15 & Andes Kitchen Range
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert
Location: Stillwater, New Jersey

Post Mon. Feb. 18, 2008 9:31 pm

That's interesting. The coal I'm burning in the Alaska now is really soaking wet, because it's outside. I don't have a bin built yet for it. I've been filling buckets and carrying them in. Today I filled a plastic garbage can in the cellar, shoveled it down my aluminum siding chute. I haven't had that problem in the hopper. It looks like there is a lot of fines and powder down by the bottom and it caked up.
BTW, I don't have a cover on the hopper, I sealed the grate all around and used gaskets on the hopper base, I think that would eliminate the dreaded hopper fire possibilities. Should I be worried? :shock:
Heating a circa 1832 farmhouse with a Harman Magnafire Mark I & a 1959 EFM 350 (heating DHW).
100% Oil Free!
"It's what we learn after we think we know it all that counts."


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Matthaus
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Posts: 1929
Joined: Mon. Oct. 02, 2006 8:59 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel, natural gas
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite
Location: Wilkes Barre, PA

Post Mon. Feb. 18, 2008 10:12 pm

Wood'nCoal wrote:...eliminate the dreaded hopper fire possibilities. Should I be worried? :shock:
Nope as long as you have a -.04" WC draft and the grate is properly sealed you are ready to go with no worries. :)
Matthaus
Leisure Line Stove Company
http://www.leisurelinestoves.com/

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europachris
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Posts: 993
Joined: Sat. Dec. 09, 2006 5:54 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner
Location: N. Central Illinois

Post Mon. Feb. 18, 2008 10:21 pm

LsFarm wrote:You must have water dripping out of the bottom of the coal hopper!!

BTW: how many inches of additional snow did you get?? Aren't you at record snow fall amounts??

Greg L
Only got an inch or two, a lot less than they were expecting. But yes, we're VERY close to the all time record here for snowfall, second only to the '78-'79 year where the entire Midwest was a blizzard. We did get almost an inch of rain on top of 15" of snow, a lot of which melted in the 40F temps. Now it's 3F outside and howling wind, so now all the standing/flooding water is freezing solid. A real mess.
Economic Stimulus = Supporting your local Miners
I love the smell of Illinois bituminous in the morning.
Have you hooked a clinker today?

User avatar
CoalHeat
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Posts: 8327
Joined: Sat. Feb. 10, 2007 9:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Baseburners & Antiques: Sears Signal Oak 15 & Andes Kitchen Range
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert
Location: Stillwater, New Jersey

Post Tue. Feb. 19, 2008 5:44 am

Matthaus wrote:
Wood'nCoal wrote:...eliminate the dreaded hopper fire possibilities. Should I be worried? :shock:
Nope as long as you have a -.04" WC draft and the grate is properly sealed you are ready to go with no worries. :)
I haven't worried about it at all, I just had a "moment" while looking at the photo of Europachris's hopper. The draft is more like .025 to .03, though. Should I reset the baro so it's around .04?

EDIT:
I raised the burn rate for more heat, the draft is holding at -.04" WC, so I would say it's OK at the present settings.
Heating a circa 1832 farmhouse with a Harman Magnafire Mark I & a 1959 EFM 350 (heating DHW).
100% Oil Free!
"It's what we learn after we think we know it all that counts."


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coaledsweat
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Joined: Fri. Oct. 27, 2006 2:05 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Tue. Feb. 19, 2008 7:39 am

Gophers?
Chew up a stick of Juicy Fruit gum and then stick it in their hole. Gopher eats the gum and can't digest it. Gum blocks Gophers gut up. Dead Gopher.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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WNY
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Posts: 5849
Joined: Mon. Nov. 14, 2005 8:40 am
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
Contact:

Post Tue. Feb. 19, 2008 7:43 am

Never had mine do that extreme, usually when it get low, it will valley, ...! WOW.
I dump my wet bags into 40# cat litter buckets to get them moved around and dry out a bit and let them sit for a day or two until needed.
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer

lincolnmania
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Posts: 830
Joined: Fri. Jan. 26, 2007 9:55 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: alaska kodiak stoker 1986. 1987 triburner, 1987 crane diamond
Location: Birdsboro PA.
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Post Tue. Feb. 19, 2008 11:29 am

helps if you drill some drain holes in the buckets too.......why I don't use rice......too messy

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europachris
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Posts: 993
Joined: Sat. Dec. 09, 2006 5:54 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner
Location: N. Central Illinois

Post Tue. Feb. 19, 2008 11:48 am

lincolnmania wrote:helps if you drill some drain holes in the buckets too.......why I don't use rice......too messy
I was taking the bags and sitting them over a 5 gal. bucket after poking a hole in a bottom corner to let some of the water drain out. I'll have to start doing that again, but the stuff is still really wet and gloppy. At least it burns well....

I'd much rather run buckwheat - I think it was some Superior buck that GregL gave me to try. VERY clean and evenly sized with no fines. Burned really well until I had a hopper fire and melted the nylon bits on the stoker......
Economic Stimulus = Supporting your local Miners
I love the smell of Illinois bituminous in the morning.
Have you hooked a clinker today?

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