Can't Get Enough Heat Out of VF3000

Stoker Coal Boilers automatically feed the coal and have controls and pumps just like any conventions boiler. They are intended to be used as a primary heat and often have domestic hot water coils as an added bonus. They can be set up independently or in dual sytem with your existing oil/gas boiler. They can accommodate both hot water base board or steam plumbing.
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Rick 386
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work
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Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 10:58 am

coalkirk wrote:Ok, you've got a combustion air problem. Fan is not fully in its slot under the grates, is not running at full speed, cleanout lever is open, etc. Look forward to seeing your pics later.
THIS RIGHT HERE !!

If you are not getting flames like his picture and if you open the door and it does not look and feel like a blast furnace, something's wrong.

Are the motors plugged into the correct outlet ?? Perhaps you can run an extension cord from a different outlet and plug just the combustion blower into it and see if that changes the way the flames look.

Rick
Master of "Trial and Error."

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McGiever
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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 Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 11:45 am

How many pounds of coal has been pushed through since the cleaning you had done under the grates before beginning this season?
Seems unusual that you had to again clean out so early in the season.

I now suspect you may have excessive fines in this coal, and that they quickly sift down through the grates. Excessive fines would even be troublesome for the air flow with the accumulation being recently cleaned out and get worse again very soon.

Try sifting some coal through some 1/8" or 3/16" mesh screen and see what passes. :idea:
A couple drops of oil will help the motors too.

BTW: Sounds like your FORK is okay if you are able to push hot coals off the grate. :)
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KLook
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000
Location: Chattanooga, Tenn

Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 12:37 pm

I would look at the plug in. My son had trouble and because he was able to Skype me with his tablet, I immediately realized the blower was plugged into the wrong outlet on the back of the stoker control. As mine was gutted and I rebuilt it with a separate timer and relays, it was not running at all. Prehaps your fan is running at a reduced speed. You did say you took it all apart and cleaned it. Something did not go back the same. That is a good idea to plug it straight into a cord and observe the speed.

Kevin

Hillside
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Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 1:25 pm

When it comes right down to it the boiler has never been any better since new then what it is now... I live alone so when it was colder last year I just put up with it. I will try to down load a pic of the fire this with the pusher rod turned back one turn, and the air on the side open 3/4 of the way,, I am assuming the blower motor is plugged in the right recepticle.. Someone tell me the one thiers is plugged into on the side of the control box and I will check it.. plugged itin a cord and didn't seem to make any difference. THis is the best fire I have had since its been installed.. you asked about the fines,, I been burning it about 40 days since its been started...
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Rob R.
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Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 1:34 pm

That is one LAZY fire.

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KLook
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
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Location: Chattanooga, Tenn

Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 1:52 pm

Looking at that picture, I would check the holes in the grates. the fire does not appear to be all the way across and not the whole length of the grates. sorry if you have already checked them. Then it is still more air. what kind of coal or brand are you burning?

Kevin

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lsayre
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)
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Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 1:54 pm

Is it possible the house is so tight that the boiler is struggling to find supply air?
-Larry

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KLook
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
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Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000
Location: Chattanooga, Tenn

Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 1:58 pm

That is another excellent suggestion. I improved mine by putting vents into the woodshed/coalshed door.

kevin

The manometer would tell this tale however.

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Pacowy
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Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 1:59 pm

Yes, ensuring adequate make-up air (e.g. by leaving a nearby window open a crack) is important. Also, how about increasing the feed rate by a turn and opening the air up all the way? And if you have a chance it would be good if you could provide a picture of your coal with something like a quarter on it for reference.

Mike

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KLook
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
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Location: Chattanooga, Tenn

Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 2:37 pm

A turn is a lot but so what? Just push a little off the end.... maybe. I would have the air at 100% even though I ran mine at about 3/4 also. Because its pushing it out through little holes in the grate, it gets enough air with the blower sucking it through a reduced opening. but it appears to be not burning evenly across the grate.

Kevin

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Rob R.
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Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy
Location: Chazy, NY

Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 2:47 pm

Is it possible to have the motor run backwards and the unit still run? If so, verify that the fan spins in the proper direction.

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KLook
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
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Location: Chattanooga, Tenn

Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 2:51 pm

That would be exhausting the bad stuff into the boiler room and would stink real bad I think. plus the picture showed some flames going up.

kevin

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KLook
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000
Location: Chattanooga, Tenn

Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 3:02 pm

Another thing that happened to mine which is why I put a screen over the hopper, is bigger then acceptable stuff got in there and plugged the opening as the pusher bar only goes back about 1/4 inch. Because it is not pushing the whole width of the grate, it may be blocked.

Kevin

Throwing a lot of stuff at ya, but it will do better then that.

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coalkirk
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Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal
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Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 5:42 pm

Ok, that fire looks odd for sure. Here are the pictures I would like to see. Remove the ash tub and take a picture of the bottom of the grate holder. Take a picture of the area where the combustion fan slides intot he bottom of the stoker. Take a picture of the combustion fan itself from the front of the boiler. Take a picture of your vent pipe showing it from the boiler to the chimney.
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McGiever
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Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Fri. Nov. 23, 2012 6:06 pm

All here seem to be in agreement on the needing of more air...

1.) Fan/motor not up to par...needs remedy.

2.) Fan is okay, but having difficulties due to other conditions...such as w/ impaired grate or too dense of coal bed on the grate.
Excessive fines mixed in coal will do a couple things...drop down through holes and accumulate under grate and also settle between larger pieces and block/restrict the holes in the grate...all signs of not enough air.

As mentioned, let us see a picture of your coal w/ a coin for size comparison...spread some out on a sheet of newspaper or something similar.
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