Adding Water to Coal

This forum is for common products and questions such as chimney installations, CO detectors, coal bin designs and a variety of other general topics that do not fit into the other forums.
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Post Fri. Dec. 14, 2007 11:05 am

I was thinking about this last night and I watered my coal hopper. I actually watered it pretty good and mixed it so all the coal was wet. The fire looks nicer, it's like the coal burns better wet.
Burning coal is definitely worth the extra work involved.
"Good enough" is not good enough.

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Post Thu. Dec. 20, 2007 6:42 pm

So, I'm outside scraping ice and cleaning off the side walk, plus the drive is a bit slippery. I decide to throw some ash, which I dump in a 30 gallon garbage can, on the drive. The ash seemed a little damp.

I'm back in the house ....
I'm trying to get the stove cookin' a little, but it seems to be in a "coma", once again. I've shaken it down and poked it, and have the draft on, but it's "just lying there" (you know what I mean :no1: ). There seems to be draft going through the under fire slide. :confused: I open the top door and get flames, close it and they go out. I shook it down further, 'till red coals were dropping and poked it some more. ... it took off! :up: :wtf:

I'm wondering, on a semi humid, semi warm day, with the humidifier running, if the ashes below the fire could get pretty damp, "in the stove!", and pack pretty tight, cutting down on the "burn-ability"? I think, with humid air entering the lower draft and things dampened off, those ashes might get damp. ??

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Post Sat. Dec. 22, 2007 9:49 pm

well today I was adding my first to buckets of coal to my coal hopper on my stoker. the coal is wet from snow and rain. I had steam alot of steam coming out of the flapper with the combution blower going...... then all of a sudden..... flash ... boom on the outside of the boiler . went around half way. scared me alittle :shock: checked things.. all ok... looks like the expansion of the steam carried the coal gas until something lit it off. be safe out there

center of Bradford county pa

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Post Sat. Dec. 22, 2007 10:42 pm

e.alleg wrote:I was thinking about this last night and I watered my coal hopper. I actually watered it pretty good and mixed it so all the coal was wet. The fire looks nicer, it's like the coal burns better wet.

E. did you actually water down your hopper, or did you water down your coal? Personally I like the Blashack bagged coal in the watered down plastic bags. My other coal I got up in Munson Mass. comes in plastic "burlap" that wets down real nice and comes in 50lb bags.

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Post Sun. Dec. 23, 2007 11:15 am

As I have said on previous posts, if you want to reduce the "dust" associated with coal, wet your coal with a spray bottle before and during shoveling or use. Additionally, I believe the coal burns better damp/slightly wet.

I stumbled on wet coal last year when my second delivery had snow on it. When it was delivered I wasn't thrilled but it was really a blessing in disguise

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Post Thu. Jan. 03, 2008 12:50 am

My father tried to wet his coal "a little" to keep the dust down by sprinkling his hose over some 5 gallon buckets of coal and when he dumped the first one in the hopper of his Keystoker there was some extra water in the bottom that went right through the hopper and onto a red hot grate which cracked immediately. I was there when it happened and I didn't even see the water so it couldn't have been much. I guess that's one advantage of the water-cooled grates like the Losch.

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Post Thu. Nov. 27, 2008 10:49 am

I have been burning coal now for 20 years . Ive had the old parler stoves , then a hand fed boiler , now a k6 keystoker . One of my closest freinds who was in his 80's when he passed away told me that when he was growing up they kept the coal outside. He said that when the coal is wet it burns the gas off faster , he said you get the heat faster .on my old stoves where you had a manual damper you left the damper open until the gas burned off, then closed it down to retain the heat . ive watered my coal in my coal bin with a garden hose ever since, keeping it damp as it will dry with time .

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Post Thu. Nov. 27, 2008 11:15 am

I am burning bagged rice, bags are weaved plastic, like grain bags, they are not water tight. Burned about half a pallet so
far, coal is moist. No problems. Some of the bags 1/3 down the pallet have more water than the rest. More to do with
packaging than anything. That burns the same as the others. In the hopper, going in moist, after a while, mostly dry.
I have had 0 dust issues while loading. Taking out the ash is another story!

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Post Thu. Nov. 27, 2008 1:32 pm

Hi, Everyone. I was reading this topic and my mind got jolted by a website I saw last year. It was the Vermont Heat Research an experimental wood chip furnace. On page two it explains why it uses green wood for wet gasification. This wet gasification sure sounds like what happens when we burn wet anthracite coal. It is an interesting thread. The website is

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Post Thu. Nov. 27, 2008 4:07 pm

Wetting coal to move it dust free is fine. I would think any water going into the firebox would be a heat loss. The energy used to convert the water to steam would no longer be available to heat your home. I'm sure it isn't much, but it would be a loss none the less.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

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Post Fri. Nov. 28, 2008 8:34 pm

Amen, coaledsweat: Those coal producers sell a lot of water for $260 a ton. I don't think they care if I get a little dusty.
"Don't make the place in which you work too comfortable." Benjamin Franklin

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Post Thu. Dec. 04, 2008 11:47 am

Why do I sense there is going to be some independant Wet Vs Dry Coal testing being conducted this month? Must be my Spidey Sense.
You can put your boots in the oven, but that don't make 'em Biscuits - Grandma

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Post Thu. Dec. 11, 2008 11:58 am

I don't have to worry about watering my coal. I get it in bulk, 4 tons at a time, and it is sprayed with oil to keep the dust down. When I had it delivered it started pouring rain the minute they started dumping the coal into my bin in the basement. That was delivered in September and it is still wet when I dig the shovel into the pile. I don't have any problems with it burning either. The only dust I'm seeing is from the ash removal.

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