Coal Fire Burns Out After 1 Week

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Posts: 3
Joined: Thu. Nov. 16, 2006 2:16 pm
Location: Simsbury, Connecticut

Post Thu. Nov. 16, 2006 2:42 pm

Hi all, I have a Liberty Bell stove about 30 years old. Last year, I had to replace the grate, I found a cast iron one mailorder. It is not original equipment but it fits perfectly and shakes down fine. Since getting the new grate, during last winter, I could not keep the stove running for more than about 1 week. Same problem this year as I just started it up. I am wondering if it is the grate, inferior coal or something else. I have run this stove for almost 20 years now and never had this problem. I used to go over 2 months with the fire not going out. I have never done any maintenance on the flue or chimney. Every 2-4 years the steel vent pipe rusts out and I replace it. Wood burns fine it in, but even with my vents wide open, the stove fire goes out in about a week. I am going to try mixing in some bagged coal from another source, and increase my shakdowns from 2 -4 times a day. Any other suggestions?

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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 Thu. Nov. 16, 2006 3:14 pm

Hi Keman, welcome to the forum.

The next time the fire burns out and won't keep going, clean the firebox out and check out what is on top of the grate. Are the gaps and slots in the grate clogged with ash?? This is what happens with my grates, after a week or so, if I don't very aggresively shake the grate, it will eventually clog with hard crusty ash. Soon the air is blocked and the fire goes out.

Since you changed the grates then have had this problem. Check to make sure the grates are hooked up right and are getting full movement with the shaker handle. I'd watch the grates with no coal on them and see what motions with the handle give the most effective grate movement.

If you can see the bottom of the grates from below through the ash pan door, you might be able to keep the grates open with a stiff wire poker. Use the poker to dislodge the ash in the dark, cold areas in the grate, the hot, red areas are getting enough air.

Hope this makes sense and helps. 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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