Automatic Ignition on Stokers

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.

How does a automatic ignition coal stoker sound?

Yes
112
85%
No
20
15%
 
Total votes: 132

User avatar
gerry_g
Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu. Dec. 10, 2009 10:51 am
Coal Size/Type: rice
Other Heating: Electric, Propane
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent
Location: Eastern MA

Post Fri. Jan. 21, 2011 2:00 pm

LsFarm wrote:Freddy is correct,, a propane torch is not hot enough,, even a acetylene/air torch is just barely hot enough.. An Oxy/Acetylene torch does a good job though !

clip

Greg L
.
Actually I believe an air-propane flame is hot enough, far above the flash point of coal. The problem is it heats the top of the coal bed and doesn't get the bottom of the bed hot enough. Since the draft is upwards, the top quickly cools and the fire goes out. Oxy/Acetylene or even air/Acetylene does work (hot enough to heat the bottom of the bed) for me but a few lumps of charcoal seems far simpler.

An air-propane torch sure fires up my charcoal fast, not needing any fluids.

gerry
Check your CO detector - It's nasty to wake up dead


User avatar
no74falcon
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Posts: 142
Joined: Fri. Jan. 01, 2010 9:39 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: 2) Leisure Line Pioneers, 1) Keystoker
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: 1) Hitzer 82FA, 1) Newmac WG100
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer, Newmac, LL, Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: 82FA, WG100, Pioneer, 90
Location: Erieville, N.Y.

Post Sat. Aug. 27, 2011 10:25 am

Lighting a stoker can be a pain in the ass, especially if you are inexperienced. I guess it would be good in the right situation but I would never feel the need for one. And as for me, I just feel it's one more thing that could go wrong. I'm a firm believer in the K.I.S.S. rule.
Allen Clark
Erieville N.Y.
In God We Trust

User avatar
Yanche
Member
Posts: 3032
Joined: Fri. Dec. 23, 2005 12:45 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Location: Sykesville, Maryland

Post Sat. Aug. 27, 2011 8:34 pm

gerry_g wrote:
LsFarm wrote:Freddy is correct,, a propane torch is not hot enough,, even a acetylene/air torch is just barely hot enough.. An Oxy/Acetylene torch does a good job though !

clip

Greg L
.
Actually I believe an air-propane flame is hot enough, far above the flash point of coal. The problem is it heats the top of the coal bed and doesn't get the bottom of the bed hot enough. Since the draft is upwards, the top quickly cools and the fire goes out. Oxy/Acetylene or even air/Acetylene does work (hot enough to heat the bottom of the bed) for me but a few lumps of charcoal seems far simpler.

An air-propane torch sure fires up my charcoal fast, not needing any fluids.

gerry
I light my stoker boiler with an oxygen-acetylene torch. I do it via the inspection port door. It's easily hot enough to get a few top coal burning. Then add some cutting oxygen. This forces the burning down to the bottom of the coal bed. Simple enough for a wife to do it. :-) But, she wouldn't try it. Best I could get her to do was take a picture, in between yelling, "Your going to blow us both up". Picture is posted on this forum somewhere!
Yanche
Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Stoker Boiler burning Anthracite Pea Coal

coalnewbie
Member
Posts: 6204
Joined: Sat. May. 24, 2008 4:26 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Invader 2
Baseburners & Antiques: Wings Best, Glenwood #8(x2) Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice,
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22
Location: Chester, NY

Post Sun. Aug. 28, 2011 5:35 am

Like the group agrees an automatic igniter may be a nice thing to have but with coaltrol and lighting and setting on min 3 (my setup) I am actually putting out less energy than an electric fire. So mid Sept I intend to light and let the thermostat do its thing. No windowlator needed and most importantly no more one more damned thing to go wrong.
Posted by an unreasonable adult.

User avatar
EarthWindandFire
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Posts: 1457
Joined: Sat. Dec. 18, 2010 12:02 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Lil' Heater.
Other Heating: Oil Furnace and Kerosene Heaters.
Location: Connecticut

Post Sun. Aug. 28, 2011 6:35 am

With all due respect I think many of you have missed the point.

Automatic ignition, if successful and made durable and user-friendly, would revolutionize the coal stoker industry.

Manufacturers like Leisure Line and Keystoker for example, would go from selling less than a thousand units a year, to selling several thousand units. The greatest competitor to the coal stoker in my opinion is the pellet stove with automatic ignition.

These new pellet stoves are desirable to a wider audience than a coal stoker. Besides auto ignition, they feature innovative styling, design and features, often winning HPBA Vesta awards. Several manufacturers offer pellet stoves that can modify their temperature via a text message from your cell phone. A company named Thelin seems to be the industry leader.

http://www.thelinco.com/
Mark

Inflation is the Grim Reaper to prosperity.
Printing money without a gold standard is the crime of counterfeiting.
The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
Mr. McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
Si vis paceum, parabellum.

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vermontday
Member
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed. Oct. 22, 2008 8:27 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Location: Bennington, VT

Post Sun. Aug. 28, 2011 1:18 pm

As I only have to light my EFM twice per year (fall and after shutting down for winter vacation), I don't see any value in having an ignitor.

However, should EFM do more testing and proving trials with pellets, they may need an ignitor for that.

As EFM is an underfed pot and can burn pellets or coal, I do think EFM is missing an opportunity appealing to the people who think they want to burn pellets. Once the homeowner has the unit installed, they likely will try coal due to it's much lower cost. Once they see how clean, easy and efficient coal is, they will never burn pellets. It is sometimes easier to sell someone what they think they want and then let them find out for themselves what they really want.

So with the exception of new units above, I would not pay any money for an ignitor retrofit kit should it ever be available.

It is very easy lighting the coal with charcoal. Striking that match and knowing you are setting in motion a flame that is going to last for months is really cool (or warm)!
US dependence on foreign oil has created the greatest transfer of wealth in history.

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vermontday
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Posts: 328
Joined: Wed. Oct. 22, 2008 8:27 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Location: Bennington, VT

Post Sun. Aug. 28, 2011 1:53 pm

I do agree with Earthwindandfire that coal stokers would appeal to a larger audience and compete better with pellet stokers having autoignitors available. It is just in my own home in my own case, I don't need one.

The anthricite coal industry (mines and appliance builders) should band together and support each other to develope systems with more market appeal. It is much safer than woodstoves and better than pellets. The gap between the public's perception of coal and the realities of a good coal system is huge.

Autoignitors, bulk bag feed systems, realistic oil field to burner versus coal mine to burner CO2 comparison information would all help sell the Northeast consumer on anthricite.
US dependence on foreign oil has created the greatest transfer of wealth in history.

User avatar
whistlenut
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Joined: Sat. Mar. 17, 2007 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ & V-Wert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks,Itasca 415,Jensen, NYer 130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska, EFM, Keystoker, Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska, Keystoker-2,Leisure Line
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska, Gibraltar, Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Ford, Jensen, NYer, Van Wert,
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwoods
Coal Size/Type: Barley, Buck, Rice ,Nut, Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB
Location: Central NH, Concord area

Post Sun. Aug. 28, 2011 8:34 pm

Just as automobiles have become MUCH more reliable, auto=igniters would preclude the user knowing much about the coal burning process. How many folks do you know that ever check the oil when refueling? or washer fluid? If you can't start a charcoal grill today, what do you think the odds are you will figure out coal ignition? I think it is a great idea, however after a few moons on this planet, I constantly refer to the KISS philosophy as most reliable and durable. My vote is "No'.

No matter how hard you try, you cannot engineer out 'The Stupid Factor'. If all you did was fill it and/or remove ashes, folks would just plain forget to do the ashes.....or clean the stacks.....or actually check any part of the unit. It is like having no CO alarm. Probably you would never have a problem, but there are no second chances with monoxides. I prefer safer than easier.

:idea:
"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a 'piece of human solid waste' by the clean end." More true today....


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Rob R.
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Posts: 11358
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Sun. Aug. 28, 2011 8:40 pm

At the risk of sounding like a jerk...here is my opinion: It takes a certain type of person to run a solid fuel appliance. If you can't handle building the fire, you probably can't handle the rest either. There are exceptions, but for the most part that is what I have observed.

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freetown fred
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Sun. Aug. 28, 2011 8:49 pm

I gotta seriously agree with my friend WN on this one. God knows he's been around a long enough time ;) to be right on the money. Scratch up another NO--you gotta love that KISS philosophy. Rob, please share one of those exceptions?? :roll:
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

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steamup
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Posts: 1209
Joined: Fri. Oct. 03, 2008 12:13 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice
Location: Napoli, NY

Post Sun. Aug. 28, 2011 9:29 pm

I have to position myself with the "no" votes also. With auto ignition also comes safety devices that would require lockout after so many failed attempts of lighting so fuel didn't build up to excessive amounts, etc. More cost, more complexity, more chance of failure than if none installed in the first place. Even a inplace manual ignitor seems excessive. I had a kerosene heater with an electric ignitor on it. The ignitor never worked well. A match was so much easier.

I agree that solid fuel appliances need to be tended to. Auto ignition is one more reason to ignor that appliance as face other problems.

If ease of lighting is what you want, go buy some of those burnable rodents. Personally, I'll stick to my cowboy charcoal.
Steamup

"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself."
Sam Levenson
"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler."
Albert Einstein

User avatar
Rob R.
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Posts: 11358
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Sun. Aug. 28, 2011 9:46 pm

Fred, I was just thinking that a coal fire can be tricky to start. There are plenty of handy, capable, folks that struggle starting a coal fire until they are properly instructed. Just because you don't currently know how to ignite anthracite doesn't mean you aren't smart enough to run a stove. If you still can't handle it after being shown, or think it us too much work...then go get a pellet stove or call the oil man.

With that said, I continue to be impressed with how easy it is to start the fire in my EFM. A handful of wood chips or charcoal is all it takes...5 minutes and it's burnin'.

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freetown fred
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Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Mon. Aug. 29, 2011 7:28 am

Very well put my friend ;)
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

User avatar
coal berner
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Posts: 3591
Joined: Tue. Jan. 09, 2007 12:44 am
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 Wed. Aug. 31, 2011 1:38 pm

EarthWindandFire wrote:With all due respect I think many of you have missed the point.

Automatic ignition, if successful and made durable and user-friendly, would revolutionize the coal stoker industry.

Manufacturers like Leisure Line and Keystoker for example, would go from selling less than a thousand units a year, to selling several thousand units. The greatest competitor to the coal stoker in my opinion is the pellet stove with automatic ignition.

These new pellet stoves are desirable to a wider audience than a coal stoker. Besides auto ignition, they feature innovative styling, design and features, often winning HPBA Vesta awards. Several manufacturers offer pellet stoves that can modify their temperature via a text message from your cell phone. A company named Thelin seems to be the industry leader.

http://www.thelinco.com/
Can't speak for L.L sales but I know for a fact Keystrokes already sell thousands of stoker stoves and boilers per year and have been since they opened their doors in 1946 and that is with out any Auto ignition However why not have it as a
option easier for most women & some men with it then with out it.

I seen it when they did the demo at L.L. retail store in drums in 08 when Jerry still owned the stove company the Guy's from coal trol know what there doing it is a good option it is a fairly simper design not rocket science
Last edited by coal berner on Wed. Aug. 31, 2011 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
J.C.

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

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freetown fred
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Posts: 21422
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut
Location: Freetown,NY 13803

Post Wed. Aug. 31, 2011 4:04 pm

Yes, I picked up the key word for me---"fairly simpler"--sorry, I'm still a hands on kinda guy ;)
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower


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