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Advice on burning coal in my DAKA 521

Posted: Wed. Oct. 27, 2021 1:59 pm
by SDLars
I converted my furnace with a kit from the manufacturer and although I'm still learning I'm happy with results to this point. It hasn't been very cold here as yet so I haven't tried a full load to the top of the fire brick. Those days are coming.
A couple of questions: The kit came with a new fire door with a knob that I assume is to control over air but it's stationary unless washers are either added or removed. How should I be using this feature? I've been controlling draft with the automatic damper. Should I consider a damper in the flue?
I'll try to include a picture of the controls and one of the coal I'm using.
Enough for this post. Any and all help is appreciated.
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Re: Advice on burning coal in my DAKA 521

Posted: Wed. Oct. 27, 2021 3:10 pm
by SDLars
Forgot to mention, I'm burning Wyoming coal.

Re: Advice on burning coal in my DAKA 521

Posted: Sat. Oct. 30, 2021 4:41 pm
by fig
There was a guy with a DAKA on here that completely redid the grate system in his. He didn’t like the factory coal grates. Might be able to search DAKA and find him.

My experience with this type of furnace and soft coal was disappointing. I tried two different models. Neither were DAKA so can’t comment on it. The issue I had was it burns fast. Had to reload every six hours. Sometimes I could stretch it to 8. Since I’m gone 10 or 12 hours at a time it wasn’t feesable. I made quite a few changes and modifications to try to improve with not much result. Puff backs and runaways are a completely different story. Maybe your coal is less volatile.

With my stove I would start a wood fire and let it burn down to a deep bed of coals. Then toss in a shovel full of coal to the back leaving red coals to the front. This will begin to smoke. The over fire air knob on the door should be wide open to let the volatiles burn off. After this has began to burn good toss in another scoop gradually build up a good fire. This may take an hour or two to fill the firebox the first time. Once all the volatiles have burned off you can close the over fire air and control the fire with the mpd and the auto draft.
If the smoke build up then ignite it will cause a puff back, sometimes violent. Always open the door very slowly when you go to add coal. When you introduce more air to the smoke it can ignite and blow the door open.

The best advice I can give is read, read, read the forum on burning soft coal in a stove of your type. Learn what to do if it runs away. Hero a five gallon bucket of sand or ash by the stove in case you need to stop it. Best of luck.

Btw. I eventually just started buying anthracite or hard coal. It’s so much easier and I was burning so much soft coal that the price difference was negligible.

Re: Advice on burning coal in my DAKA 521

Posted: Sun. Oct. 31, 2021 9:38 pm
by fig
Newbie Burning KY Bit in a Hotblast 1557M

Here’s some info on a similar situation.

Re: Advice on burning coal in my DAKA 521

Posted: Mon. Nov. 01, 2021 1:50 pm
by SDLars
Thanks for the advice. DAKA says not to burn anthracite in this stove. Don't know why? In any case, there is no source that I know of for anthracite in this area. Thanks again. I'll keep reading and learning.