Still learning, can’t quite get it!

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Dfmihm
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Jensen

Post by Dfmihm » Sun. Nov. 26, 2023 6:13 am

As I stated before I’m trying to learn how to run a hand fed boiler. Been a long long time. Unfortunately around here where I’m from it seems like everybody has a little “trick” to their boiler using either a cracked open ash pan door or something of such. I feel like that doesn’t have to be but who am I to say?

Anyways, here’s my current situation. I can load coal heavy in small amounts until it’s full but I can’t go more than maybe 3 hours max without having to go break it up and mess with it. I’m getting a lot of ash to where I’m shaking it down maybe 4 times a day. Also noticed that my grates are clogging up which perhaps that may be from some rust but not sure. I get a nice hot glowing base but it seems to bridge out and I have to always be breaking it up. Pretty much reminds me of a massive turtle shell on top. Essentially then it blocks the heat and my water temp goes way down.

My settings: “low limit” for the fan is at 140 degrees. “High limit” for my pump to dump off is at 150 degrees. Takes it down to 130 which cycles the fan back on u til it hits the 140 mark.
Also, the fan flap is set to half, and as far as I can tell it primarily sends air to the ash pan and up through. I don’t really see where it allows any top air into the fire box. Course I can’t find much info on this Jensen boiler, which in turn can’t determine what is normal and what was pieced together over the years.

I’ll include some pictures for some references. Got a good burn cause my ash is pretty fine.

Burning “washed nut” from Somerset, PA

ANY advice would be so appreciated. I know at one point this boiler and from what I have read on this forum most people are getting a much better and longer burn on theirs.

Yes, does have a “V” fire box also.

Thanks!

Dan
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carlherrnstein
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Location: Clarksburg, ohio
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Post by carlherrnstein » Sun. Nov. 26, 2023 10:29 am

It's a coal problem, it has a high coke button/swell index. The only way I know of to deal with that situation is to break it up. It can help to "bank" the fire so the whole grate isn't burning at the same rate. It can also help if you burn cordwood along with coal.

I kept getting high swelling coal and my permanent solution was to install a stoker stove. Stoker mechanisms can be found that automate your boiler. Will-Burt is the only one I know of that is still being made new.

 
Dfmihm
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Jensen

Post by Dfmihm » Sun. Nov. 26, 2023 1:34 pm

Cordwood. Basically throw some small wood pieces in with it once in a while?


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

Post by carlherrnstein » Sun. Nov. 26, 2023 4:50 pm

That would work, what I would do with my ussc wondercoal stove was bank it so the fire would burn from front to back and have some sticks of firewood in it. About the time the coal starts to stick together the wood is burning well an will burn away an leave a void that air can go through.

With high swelling coal you just have to fiddle with it a little bit. It absolutely can work, but you're not going to get 18 hour unattended burn times.

I highly suggest you try to"bank" the coal. If the fire burns across the grate it might not bridge as badly.

 
Dfmihm
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Jensen

Post by Dfmihm » Sun. Nov. 26, 2023 5:47 pm

I’m going to try all your suggestions. I’m about out of coal so might try a different bit coal next time. Thanks for all the help!

 
Dfmihm
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Jensen

Post by Dfmihm » Mon. Nov. 27, 2023 4:56 am

Update: I tried banking it last night, got a better burn for sure! Not super long, but definitely an improvement!


 
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carlherrnstein
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Posts: 1547
Joined: Tue. Feb. 07, 2012 8:49 am
Location: Clarksburg, ohio
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Post by carlherrnstein » Mon. Nov. 27, 2023 12:21 pm

Good, you can pile the fresh coal quite deeply, it's not anthracite and will burn sideways. You can increase the burn time by piling the fresh coal deeper, just don't cover the fire completely over there will be a poof.

 
Dfmihm
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Jensen

Post by Dfmihm » Mon. Nov. 27, 2023 7:27 pm

Had a few “poofs” so far. Gets ur adrenaline pumping at 4:00 am 😳😂

 
Dustycloud
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Post by Dustycloud » Tue. Dec. 19, 2023 5:33 pm

Dfmihm, I too bought my nut coal from Somerset, PA. I have a feeling we got it from the same place. Mine does exactly the same as yours. Still gives me fits all the time. I had to add a secondary air in the load door for initial burn or I would have a major soot problem. I also tried banking the fire to burn from back to front. I got way longer burn times but again major soot problem there aswell. The only way I found to burn this high swelling, gooey stuff was to let it burn over the entire grate and do not mess with it even if it clumps together, unless I have to I will not break it up. It will eventually burn to the top with blue dancing ladies. Then I add fresh coal over the top and when thats good and hot ill shake it just a little then go from underneath my grate with a poker shaped like an "L" and open the grates up. I am running my baro between a .05-.06. Next year I plan on finding a better bit coal, for now I have 3.25 tons to burn up.

 
Dfmihm
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Jensen

Post by Dfmihm » Tue. Dec. 19, 2023 6:15 pm

Dusty, I actually burned through that Somerset goo with some wood mixed in and now I bought some Indiana nut. Chimney smokes like a freight train while the vol burns off, but a much hotter burn with less mess. And imagine that; I too made a “grate hook” to clean out the grate slots from inside the ash door. So far I’m liking the Indiana better. Guy at the coal yard actually recommended I try it, or else mix the Somerset with stoker coal. Not much for blends though. I don’t run a baro mainly because I substitute wood from time to time (free fuel).

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