AHS S130 Coalgun- Puffbacks & Explosions

User avatar
Yanche
Member
Posts: 3030
Joined: Fri. Dec. 23, 2005 12:45 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Location: Sykesville, Maryland

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 2:45 pm

lsayre wrote: Did the Coal Guns made 5 years and more ago have the 3/4" port hole in the sight tube cover plate?
My AHS S130 is a 2004 model, non thermal ash, with a simple timer motor grate controller. It originally had a solid view port door and solid steel bar went across the front to limit travel of the flapper during puff backs. The trick to get some air flow with the flapper close was to use a paper clip on the sheet metal, keeping the door somewhat ajar.

I now have the new tombstone cover and the flapper door with adjustable opening. Much better design and it has eliminated my puff backs.

Visit Alternate Heating Sytems

rychw
Member
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed. Jan. 30, 2008 2:23 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: 130
Location: Sykesville, MD

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 7:22 pm

I have had my AHS 130 for 6 years and have had booms each heating season. My chimney drafts very well and have used a variety of coal from different companies without any success in eliminating the booms. I have tried a barometric damper and it has blown apart due to the blasts. I now have sealed stainless stove pipe without a damper. I have my ash dump temperature set at 120 and agree that the blasts occur when the grate operates and allows "fresh" coal to enter the burn chamber in too great of a quantity. I intalled the device to allow air through the flap and have it open 50%. I noticed that the new AHS boilers have a door covering the flap and the electric relays have been moved to the back of the boiler away from the flap. My fear is that one of these explosions will seperate my stove pipe or damage my chimney. My friend has experienced substantial chimney damage from an explosion with his AHS 130. There needs to be a solution offered by AHS since this is an ongoing problem that all of us AHS owners are experiencing. I don't buy the poor coal quality and chimney draft excuse. The new owners have also replaced the Fuji ash control with another type. I'm happy with the boiler perfomance but am very concerned about my family's safety. Any comments are appreciated.

User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11509
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 7:42 pm

Do you have plenty of make-up air available to the boiler?

rychw
Member
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed. Jan. 30, 2008 2:23 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: 130
Location: Sykesville, MD

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 8:15 pm

Yes, plenty of air available. My ash controller can't be set below 120 due to programming by AHS. I wonder if a lower ash temp would help prevent the explosions. Has anyone tried lower or higher ash dump temps in order to eliminate the explosions?

User avatar
watkinsdr
Member
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat. Mar. 24, 2007 8:14 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S260 Boiler
Location: Kensington, New Hampshire

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 8:39 pm

Double check how your flapper door is operating. My ka-booms ceased after loosening the flapper door such that it always releases when the boiler fan stops running---it cannot stick now. My most recent S260 ka-boom was caused when too much draft kept the flapper door sucked up against the sight tube (even with the rotating door open). I discussed with Darren at AHS---he recommended loosening the flapper door significantly to ensure fresh air is always pulled across the fire bed, exhausting excess gas volatiles when the fan stops running. Sounds good in theory; and, I haven't had any explosions since loosening the flapper door... Double check your baro damper too if you're using one... Clean out any residual fly ash; and, lubricate the pivot points with some 3 in 1 oil.

User avatar
McGiever
Member
Posts: 6074
Joined: Sun. May. 02, 2010 11:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 8:48 pm

So, AHS doesn't see it necessary to have this kind of info. in their manual...they wait till you call after you have had an explosion or three and call up saying WTF... then they give you the solution. Ooookay :!:

User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11509
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 8:57 pm

rychw wrote:Yes, plenty of air available. My ash controller can't be set below 120 due to programming by AHS. I wonder if a lower ash temp would help prevent the explosions. Has anyone tried lower or higher ash dump temps in order to eliminate the explosions?
At some point I think you would be risking a hopper fire...there is a reason they don't want the ash setpoint below 120 degrees. Try admitting more air over the fire.

Bob
Member
Posts: 304
Joined: Sun. Mar. 18, 2007 11:28 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Anthracite
Location: Schuylkill County

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 9:00 pm

rychw wrote:Yes, plenty of air available. My ash controller can't be set below 120 due to programming by AHS. I wonder if a lower ash temp would help prevent the explosions. Has anyone tried lower or higher ash dump temps in order to eliminate the explosions?
If you have the Fuji controller it can be programed so that the temperature can be set lower. SV-L is the low temperature limit in the instructions. Set it to, for example, 115 and then you can set the grate down to 115.

But exercise caution in going below 120--as you reduce the grate setting the fire moves up in the column and my experience is you want to be able to see it but not much above the bottom of the port.
Attachments
AHS Thermo grate programmingl.pdf
(67.1 KiB) Downloaded 17 times

Visit Alternate Heating Sytems

User avatar
whistlenut
Member
Posts: 3548
Joined: Sat. Mar. 17, 2007 6:29 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ & V-Wert
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Franks,Itasca 415,Jensen, NYer 130,Van Wert
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska, EFM, Keystoker, Yellow Flame
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska, Keystoker-2,Leisure Line
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska, Gibraltar, Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Ford, Jensen, NYer, Van Wert,
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwoods
Coal Size/Type: Barley, Buck, Rice ,Nut, Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB
Location: Central NH, Concord area

Post Mon. Nov. 07, 2011 9:25 pm

If you tightened the observation door nut too tight(spring compressed, too), that could be another cause for the 'big bang theory'. Some folks just don't understand that some free play is designed into the system, and most AHS units are not a problem. The Fugi controller is easily adjusted to lower grate temps, but don't get toooooooo damned smart and think you can re-invent the wheel. Many smart folks have been down this road long before you and I; appreciate it, and back off on the panic situation. If you have issues of shaking like a fairy at a weenie roast, then re-thing the whole coal situation. Personally, I hope you become very adept at running that fine unit, and the comfort you and your family enjoys will make this small issue something to laugh about later.

I did the first 'Big Bank' in 1972 with two AA260's, and I learned to respect off-gasses from whatever source. Heck I visited a friend that was spraying Lacquer Paint with a hand fed stove roaring away.......that had my knees knocking and heading for any opening in the building before it became a test explosion. Yup, it scares you until you understand why it happens...reaching the lower explosive limit from off gasses equals a bad noise and projectiles flying if not secured in place...... :idea: :!: :shock:

User avatar
Freddy
Member
Posts: 6624
Joined: Fri. Apr. 11, 2008 2:54 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Tue. Nov. 08, 2011 4:06 am

lsayre wrote:the puff-back trouble is generally related to both the quality of the coal
Maybe, but I personally am thinking that "the better" the coal, the worse the booms. I am burning Superior deep mined coal. (I understand the deep mined is no longer available). It has more heat per ton than most (all?) coal. I'll tell ya, I have had some record breaking booms! I honestly think it's because my coal has more energy in it than surface mined coal. Just this week I received a new manometer to replace the one that my last boom blew apart.... not barometer...manometer! As long as I have my anti boom device turned on I do not have booms. It's a home made device that holds the view port door open for ten seconds at the end of each burn. I use it in the Spring & in the Fall. During the dead of winter the coal bed doesn't get deep enough I guess.

rychw
Member
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed. Jan. 30, 2008 2:23 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: 130
Location: Sykesville, MD

Post Tue. Nov. 08, 2011 6:31 am

Thanks for everyone who has offered thier opinion and help with the booms. I had two more last night while in bed so I had a very restless night. I have the the flap adjusted to open immediately after the fan cuts off so that isn't the problem. Again both booms occured with the grate moving and ash dumping while the fan just cut off. I'm calling AHS today but not confident they will offer a solution different from the forum thus far. The boiler was completely cleaned a few weeks back and there is no fly ash in the stovepipe. I'll adjust the Fuji controller to dump at 115 today and watch the hot coal level closely.

User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11509
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Tue. Nov. 08, 2011 6:56 am

rychw wrote:Thanks for everyone who has offered thier opinion and help with the booms. I had two more last night while in bed so I had a very restless night.
I would be frustrated as well. One thing you haven't mentioned is draft...have you ever checked the draft while your boiler was sitting idle at operating temperature? What temperature do you normally operate the boiler at?

All coal boilers have their pros/cons, but chimney damaging explosions in the basement is more than I would be willing to deal with. If there are any women in the house I hope they are understanding and you are able to get this resolved soon.

User avatar
MATTHEW D.
Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue. Apr. 20, 2010 1:44 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: AXEMAN-ANDERSON & EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 & 900 x 2
Location: Pottsville, Pa.

Post Tue. Nov. 08, 2011 7:11 am

This is verbatim from the axemzn-anderson 130 manual. " While pea size coal is recommended, the unit will operate very well on Buckwheat size coal which is smaller. However, it is necessary on the 130m unit to remove the 5/8" plug in the sight cover when burning buckwheat coal to allow additional air to enter to prevent puff back. Due to the more compact fuel bed the gasses cannot always flow properly without this excess air. If the 130m is an older model without the sight cover plug simply drill a 5/8" hole in the sight cover." I had a few puff backs with pea. I am currently burning Buck, it eliminated my outfire problem in the summer. May be this can help? Here is a pic of my sight cover with the plug out
Attachments
100_8157.JPG
100_8153.JPG

rychw
Member
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed. Jan. 30, 2008 2:23 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Stove/Furnace Make: AHS
Stove/Furnace Model: 130
Location: Sykesville, MD

Post Tue. Nov. 08, 2011 7:25 am

I'm burning pea and my draft at idle is good.

Yes there are women in the house and it is getting increasingly difficult to keep the boom concern under wraps. At this point there appears to be a correlation between the booms and the ash dumping while the fan is off or just shutting off.

User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 11509
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Tue. Nov. 08, 2011 8:21 am

Does the ash controller have a differential setting?

Visit Alternate Heating Sytems

Post Reply

Return to “Stoker Coal Boilers Using Anthracite (Hydronic & Steam)”