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Mstank357
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Us radiator capitol red top a8
Coal Size/Type: Kittaning soft coal

Post by Mstank357 » Thu. Oct. 17, 2019 10:10 am

Moved to a new house last October. There is a us radiator Capitol red top boiler with an old cast iron monoflo heating system. Burned wood an anthracite at my old house. Looking for advice on burning bit coal.

 
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McGiever
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Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: BUCKET A DAY water heater
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 414A
Coal Size/Type: RICE,PEA,NUT,STOVE /ANTHRACITE and EGG / BIT
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump and some Solar

Post by McGiever » Thu. Oct. 17, 2019 10:17 am

Welcome :)
What was the previous coal burner for wood and anthracite?

 
Mstank357
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Us radiator capitol red top a8
Coal Size/Type: Kittaning soft coal

Post by Mstank357 » Thu. Oct. 17, 2019 10:23 am

Two different units. Jordahl hot air wood furnace and a Harman Magnum stoker. Never hand fired coal before. Just want to try something new being that it is set up for it. Wasnt prepared last year but did burn some wood in the boiler. It still took too much oil to heat the old cast iron. Hopefully get coal to burn throuh the night. I am from western pa and have access to a lot of different coal.

 
xackley
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Post by xackley » Thu. Oct. 17, 2019 6:45 pm

60 years ago we had a soft coal furnace in the basement with a big grate in the center of house.
My dad would tend it morning and night. Warmest house we lived in. Unlike anthracite, I remember smoke drifting from the chimney. Our driveway had a good layer of coal ash.

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carlherrnstein
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Post by carlherrnstein » Sat. Oct. 19, 2019 12:18 am

Welcome, start your fire with wood, once that's going put some coal around/on the fire. Just a little at first, its really amazing how much heat is in coal, bit burns really hot at first then slows down somewhat. I am completely unfamiliar with the design and configuration of your boiler. However here are a few suggestions.

PLEASE check to make sure the boiler has the correct pressure/temperature valve installed and is functional the oil burner probably had controls that could "shut the fire off" with solid fuel you can't shut the fire off automatically or manually and could cause bad things to happen.

Make sure you have a working CO detector.

Also its not a bad idea to have a "easy" source of heat (kerosene,propane,electric heater) in case you get the flu and cant fire the furnace and your wife/girlfriend can't tend the fire. Ask me how I know :roll:

Many hand fired coal boilers were converted to stoker fired, used stokers come up for sale and new bit stokers can still be bought new. Its something to consider.

 
Mstank357
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Posts: 4
Joined: Thu. Oct. 17, 2019 9:35 am
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Us radiator capitol red top a8
Coal Size/Type: Kittaning soft coal

Post by Mstank357 » Sun. Oct. 20, 2019 9:13 pm

Thanks for the information. Ive got the fire making down. Just a little cautious on loading coal. How deep should the bed be? What is the best way to bank coal for the night?

 
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carlherrnstein
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Post by carlherrnstein » Tue. Oct. 22, 2019 5:18 pm

It does not matter how your firebox is shaped banking bit coal is basically all the same you pull/push the burning coke into a pile, either towards the fire door or to the back, and make a tapering pile that gets thinner towards the fire.

Perhaps 8"-12" at the deepest tapering to 2"-3" right at the fire. That is just a example I have no idea how big your firebox is or how much heat you need/want, obviously the more heat you want the more coal you need to burn.

Just remember do not cover the fire over completely or you can have a poof, I have had my barometric damper thrown across the room. The fresh coal will off gas a very flammable mixture of hydrocarbons that you want to burn in the boiler there is a lot of energy in it. If you cover the fire over there is not a easy source of ignition and the firebox/heat exchange area/flue will be filled an when it does finally find ignition it can be somewhat violent.

 
fig
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Post by fig » Tue. Oct. 29, 2019 10:10 pm

Since you’re new like me I’ll share this. If the fire doesn’t really take off, don’t have your face In front of the door when you open it.

Sounds logical enough, right? In a rush, I did just that and if I hadn’t had glasses on I’d probably be blind.

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coaledsweat
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Post by coaledsweat » Wed. Oct. 30, 2019 6:59 am

Never swing the door wide open, crack it a bit and let it breathe for a few seconds before you open it fully.

 
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McGiever
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Joined: Sun. May. 02, 2010 11:26 pm
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: BUCKET A DAY water heater
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 414A
Coal Size/Type: RICE,PEA,NUT,STOVE /ANTHRACITE and EGG / BIT
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump and some Solar

Post by McGiever » Wed. Oct. 30, 2019 10:10 am

Cracking open the bottom ash door can clear the smouldering fire box and possiblly allow for a more controlled reignition behind the still latched loading door.
It still can be somewhat violent though if not done in a very small way.

 
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corey
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Coal Size/Type: Eastern KY bituminous

Post by corey » Wed. Oct. 30, 2019 5:51 pm

+1

I have had fire surge out the load door once or twice.

My main rule for myself is do not blanket the fire with fresh bit leave some burning coke visible.

Also have at least 3 screws in each pipe joint last year i come close to blowing stove pipe off my stove by not having screws in it like i should.

 
Mstank357
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Posts: 4
Joined: Thu. Oct. 17, 2019 9:35 am
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Us radiator capitol red top a8
Coal Size/Type: Kittaning soft coal

Post by Mstank357 » Thu. Nov. 07, 2019 8:54 pm

Thanks for all of the information. So far so good. It is a lot different than burning wood. Itll take a little getting used to.

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