Stoker II hopper operating temperatures?

sitdwnandhngon
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker II

Post By: sitdwnandhngon » Mon. Jul. 30, 2018 7:41 pm

I got the Stoker II (older kind with the fan on the hopper lid) all set up in the basement, and the new duct work put in, I'm getting tons of heat into the main part of the house on the test fire, and a load of residual heat in the basement which seems like a good thing.

I'm wondering about operating temperatures though. On the top part of the front I'm getting over 500 degrees, on the area where the duct ring is I'm getting about 170 degrees.

The part that concerns me, the hopper lid is too hot to open without a glove on, nearly 170 degrees. Inside the hopper the sides and back are about 160-170, but the front part where it connects to the stove was reading 340.

The cover is currently not on a hinge, and just sits tight on top of the hopper, the pictures I'm finding online have it kind of sitting off the hopper at an angle with an air gap near the front. Do I need to just attach the lid to the top of the stove so some air can get out around it and it isn't sitting right on the hot part, or should I be concerned about how hot the front of the hopper is getting?

The ash bed looks fine inside, over an inch of dead ash at the end of the grate, grate is on tight with new gasket all around and it doesn't look like it's overfiring or anything.

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McGiever
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Post By: McGiever » Mon. Jul. 30, 2018 10:44 pm

Sorry, I wish I could answer your questions, but I don't know your stove that well.

Do you have a barometric damper installed and have you read your draft readings with a manometer?

We Love seeing pictures...can you share some pictures of the installed stove?

sitdwnandhngon
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker II

Post By: sitdwnandhngon » Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 7:29 am

Here's what I have so far. The side has a jacket on it that ties to the top, with a dayton blower attached. The hopper lid is detached and just sitting on the hopper, I do have the fan for it, it's just not in there.

Damper is installed in the chimney pipe, but I haven't ordered the manometer yet to properly set it.

I'm wondering if I need to install the hopper lid fan and get it blowing down through the gap between the hopper and the stove to keep cool air in there and prevent the hopper from getting so warm.

I would like to get it on hinges anyway, just because it's annoying to have to totally remove it to fill the hopper up.

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RT Hauling
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Post By: RT Hauling » Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 8:11 am

I have the one with just the fan in the lid. The front is open so I ducted hot air from there using two fans pulling air because the top has no place for a pipe like yours. I don't even use the fan on the lid anymore. As far as the lid getting hot I had to wear a glove either way. It looks to me like you're setup is just a more efficient way to get heat up to the pipe.

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Post By: sitdwnandhngon » Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 9:16 am

RT Hauling wrote:
Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 8:11 am
I have the one with just the fan in the lid. The front is open so I ducted hot air from there using two fans pulling air because the top has no place for a pipe like yours. I don't even use the fan on the lid anymore. As far as the lid getting hot I had to wear a glove either way. It looks to me like you're setup is just a more efficient way to get heat up to the pipe.
I had some time this morning, so I messed with it a bit more, I took the grate out and double checked all the new rope, then sealed the entire rear with furnace cement to make it totally air tight, with the knowledge that in the spring I will have to scrape it down and redo it after cleaning.

I used 1300* caulk/sealant to put a rope on the top of the hopper where the lid rests and attached a hinge to it, it now has at least some type of heat barrier between the hopper and lid and will keep it set back away from the stove a bit.

I might stop out at lowes later and grab a sheet of carbon mat to put between the stove and hopper to further reduce the head build up there, maybe even get some sort of silicon oven mit and attach it to the back of the hopper lid as a safe handle, I really don't like the idea of having to put on a glove every time I open the lid, especially if my wife has to fill it it.

The duct ring and jacket are total custom jobs, I added the jacket on the side since the set up I had wasn't getting air up through the ring very well at all, it's pushing a lot of heat now and I have it set up on a 3 way split with dampers on two of the ducts so I can control where the heat is going, it doesn't have enough ass behind it to run all three of them at once, so when I want all the heat in the main part of the house I can close the other two and push it all through one register.

My big question I guess still, is if it's okay for the front of the hopper to be getting that warm? I would assume that it is since they designed so it's basically attached right to the stove, there has to be 400-500 degrees coming up through that little air space between them.

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Post By: StokerDon » Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 10:18 am

When you had the grate off, did you replace the "strongback" gasket??? This is the gasket at the back of the air chamber under the grate. It seals the back of the grate from the coal feed.

The hopper itself should never get hot. The lid on yours looks like it is attached to the stove so it will get hot through conduction.

I don't think that silicone will last long with coal pushing over it.

-Don

sitdwnandhngon
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Stoker II

Post By: sitdwnandhngon » Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 11:00 am

StokerDon wrote:
Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 10:18 am
When you had the grate off, did you replace the "strongback" gasket??? This is the gasket at the back of the air chamber under the grate. It seals the back of the grate from the coal feed.

The hopper itself should never get hot. The lid on yours looks like it is attached to the stove so it will get hot through conduction.

I don't think that silicone will last long with coal pushing over it.

-Don
I took new rope gasket and furnace cement and sealed everywhere in the picture that has the black stuff on it, I also changed the gasket under the grate where it sets down on the ridge, but didn't cement that one, just a little bit on the underside of it to hold the rope into the grate firmly.

I set the grate in tight with a rubber mallet so the cement kind of squished out, the black stuff all over was just me with a nitrile glove trying to smooth it out a bit and seal it up, I plan on taking a scraper later and cleaning it up a bit.

How can I keep heat from building up between the hopper and the stove? I could hook the lid fan back up and use it to push cool air through the gap, or I could insulate it with carbon mat that plumbers use when sweating pipes. I'm open to suggestions.

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Post By: StokerDon » Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 4:15 pm

I just took a good look at the picture. This is a "Tri-Burner" type carpet fed stoker. sealing it up with silicone is way non-standared practice to begin with.

Not using the strongback gasket will cause feed problems. The strongback helps keep coal and fines from getting under the carpet. Once fines get under the carpet, coal will stop feeding.

If you give Alaska a call, or any stove shop that works on the stoves, they can get you the right parts.

-Don

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Post By: sitdwnandhngon » Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 4:49 pm

StokerDon wrote:
Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 4:15 pm
I just took a good look at the picture. This is a "Tri-Burner" type carpet fed stoker. sealing it up with silicone is way non-standared practice to begin with.

Not using the strongback gasket will cause feed problems. The strongback helps keep coal and fines from getting under the carpet. Once fines get under the carpet, coal will stop feeding.

If you give Alaska a call, or any stove shop that works on the stoves, they can get you the right parts.

-Don
There is a dealer not far from me that I got the new drive motor from. So it needs special pieces on the back of the grate and round rope won't work properly?

I can give him a call this week if there is a special part for it.

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Post By: StokerDon » Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 7:12 pm

I just happen to have one of these old stokers. It originally came out of a stove that looked like yours.
IMG_2961.JPG
I put a separate Fasco combustion blower on this one years ago.
IMG_2962.JPG
The strongback gasket goes at the back of the grate.
IMG_2963.JPG
It has a sticky back and metal inside to make it ridged.
IMG_2964.JPG
Good luck!

-Don

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Post By: sitdwnandhngon » Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 9:01 pm

Thanks, I'll call up and get one of those ordered, it looks like you use regular round gasket on the small verticals on either side correct?

An update on the hopper heat issue. I gave it a quick test burn tonight and watched it pretty closely. I bolted the hopper lid fan back in before firing it.

Just letting it go without the lid fan running the lid got to 150 degrees, and the inside of the hopper on the front panel got up to almost 300 again.

I plugged in the lid fan and let it go for about 10 minutes then shot it again. The lid temperature had dropped to 93 degrees and didn't feel hot on the hands anywhere, and the front of the hopper on the inside had dropped to about 190.

So running the lid fan full time pulls cool air in and pushes it down the gap between the hopper and the stove, it's very noticeable too, lots of heat blowing out from it the whole way down the gap.

Anyone know the added electricity cost each month from running that little fan full time? I think it's probably the best option for both keeping the hopper cool, and the safety of anyone that has to fill it. I can probably use the plug for the muffin fan on the side to make a new spot to plug it in, mine chatters, and the dealer said most people just unplug them anyway since it doesn't really get that hot under the hopper with a fresh air intake hooked up.

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Post By: RT Hauling » Wed. Aug. 01, 2018 8:26 am

Looks like you have some good solutions. The top on my stoker is open front and back. I can see where it being closed off on yours would increase the heat to that lid. I always wear a glove anyway to take out the ashes, but I never really noticed enough heat on the lid to be concerned on mine. If that is the factory 'squirrel cage' fan it does not use much power. There may be a wattage rating somewhere on it.

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Post By: RT Hauling » Wed. Aug. 01, 2018 8:33 am

One thing though, if you don't use the small cage fan on the side, keep an eye on how hot that feed motor gets. That is important to keep that motor cool. Also if your feed motor has an oiling hole on the lower bearing give it a few drops.

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Post By: sitdwnandhngon » Wed. Aug. 01, 2018 3:06 pm

RT Hauling wrote:
Wed. Aug. 01, 2018 8:33 am
One thing though, if you don't use the small cage fan on the side, keep an eye on how hot that feed motor gets. That is important to keep that motor cool. Also if your feed motor has an oiling hole on the lower bearing give it a few drops.
It was reading anywhere from 93-99 degrees the times I checked it last night, having the fan on didn't seem to affect the area that much, probably because it's pulling heated air right from the side of the stove anyway.

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Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500
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Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood
Location: PA, Southern York County!

Post By: StokerDon » Wed. Aug. 01, 2018 7:20 pm

sitdwnandhngon wrote:
Tue. Jul. 31, 2018 9:01 pm
So running the lid fan full time pulls cool air in and pushes it down the gap between the hopper and the stove, it's very noticeable too, lots of heat blowing out from it the whole way down the gap.
I didn't think of that. But, as I remember, the fan on top of the hopper was originally wired to run 24/7. Your stove used to have an opening in the front and back for that blower to blow through.
$300AlaskaStoker2 003.JPG
Without the blower running the hopper lid will get hot.

Could you just remove the lid from the stove?

-Don

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