Tube From Blower Applying Positive Pressure to Auger Tube?

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daluds
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Post Tue. Sep. 17, 2013 7:50 pm

Started my EFM 520 last night, and forgot to clean out the 6 holes in the upper tube which were clogged from wet coal so got bunch of sulfur smell in the house. I don't want to have to keep taking the tube out to clean every couple of weeks so has anyone run a small tube tapped into the blower to the upper auger tube? Any photos and suggestions on parts to make this modification?

I ordered coal from different mine this year so hopefully its not so wet/oily and filled with fines.

Thanks,

Dave

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stoker-man
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Post Tue. Sep. 17, 2013 7:55 pm

Dave, I think you experience the difficulties of about 10 average stoker users combined. :(

daluds
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Post Tue. Sep. 17, 2013 10:46 pm

Well, I have 1/2 ton left of coal from last winter. Its been sitting outside all summer away from the rain, and it is still wet as can be. Must be bagged that way. EFM works fine with dry coal. I put some in my drying tank. There was a stream of water running out the corner of the bags as I carted them into the basement. I did clean out the EFM with wire brush on drill, and it looks almost like new inside. I have a wood dust collector with large cyclone that works great as a EFM vacuum. Most of the fines even fall into the drum as they are sucked up. Its amazing. Anyway, I cleaned out the holes in the upper auger pipe and its working great tonight. It doesn't take long for this crap coal to clog it up. I suspect by the weekend I will have to pull it and clean it since I didn't have any dry coal to put in the coal bin. Its still drying in the 2nd bin. Also, this wet coal doesn't create the long blue flames as it does when its dry. It runs about half as high if that is any measure of how it burns.

Did anyone have any success at making a tool to unclog the holes without pulling the upper pipe? The upper auger comes out without too much trouble, and it would save a lot of time to use a pick like tool up the pipe rather than taking it out.
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Handful of wet coal from bags

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Scottscoaled
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Post Wed. Sep. 18, 2013 8:04 am

Just to see if this is a common thing, where did you get the coal from? I have several friends that are having the same issues. Clogged gas checks, poor feeds from fine buildup in the bottom of the pot. I never had problems with my EFM because of wet coal. I preferred it that way to keep the dust down. I elevated my 55 gallon drum and drilled a hole in the bottom for drainage. I would say that your coal is the problem. Where did you get it?

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daluds
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Post Wed. Sep. 18, 2013 4:50 pm

Last year was Kimmel Coal in 50lb bags. I am planning on trying another brand this winter, but it has not been delivered yet. There seems to be a lot of small pieces/fines in the coal as shown in photo from previous post. I too have holes drilled in the bottom of the coal bin.

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Rob R.
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Post Wed. Sep. 18, 2013 6:08 pm

Any chance you are using a steel bin pipe that is rusty inside?

Did you ever replace the pot auger last year?

daluds
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Post Wed. Sep. 18, 2013 6:47 pm

The upper pipe looks good. I didn't check the inside of the lower pipe, but I have been replacing each season now. I haven't done it yet this year, but did replace it last year.

I haven't replace the augers. My EFM rep hasn't given me a price yet... :-) However, might as well try the new coal first before replacing the augers. I suspect it will be here soon.

I'm going to start working on the air tube between the blower and upper pipe. I'll let you know what I figure out.

Thanks,

Dave

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Scottscoaled
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Post Wed. Sep. 18, 2013 10:11 pm

When you look into your pot, can you see a big portion of the auger bushing sticking out into the middle?

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Rob R.
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Post Thu. Sep. 19, 2013 6:15 am

daluds wrote:The upper pipe looks good. I didn't check the inside of the lower pipe, but I have been replacing each season now. I haven't done it yet this year, but did replace it last year.

I haven't replace the augers. My EFM rep hasn't given me a price yet... :-) However, might as well try the new coal first before replacing the augers. I suspect it will be here soon.

I'm going to start working on the air tube between the blower and upper pipe. I'll let you know what I figure out.
Replacing each season?? That tells me the pipe is getting severely corroded by your wet coal. The rough surface of a rusty pipe will grind the coal. Fines + moisture = black sludge = plugged holes in the pipe

Hundreds of people burn Kimmel's rice with out the issues you have reported. My family has burned about 50 tons of their rice in EFM 520's...some of the coal had more fines than I like, but it still burned fine without any of the issues you have reported. I tried to think of what makes your setup different than everyone else, and the only things I came up with are that you started out with a bent auger and have run sopping wet coal through rusty feed pipes. If your EFM guy can't get back to you with a price, find a new EFM dealer. There are guys with augers in stock that would be happy to get an order.

1. Switch your bin pipe to aluminum or stainless.
2. Make sure the pipes are cut square and fit tightly against one another in the coupler.
3. You already had to replace the pot bushing, which usually has the same or great lifespan as the auger...so the pot auger is probably not in great shape either. I would replace it. Same with the bin auger if it was bent. No more than 2.5-3 flights of the bin auger should stick out beyond the pipe.
4. If you can get coal with less fines, do it. Find a way to drain off the excess water.

I know that list is a lot of $$, but you have already spent a lot of money on a boiler...might as well get it running the way it is supposed to.

Mark (PA)
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Post Thu. Sep. 19, 2013 7:55 pm

I have never experienced this issue in the 5 years I have used my EFM.

My coal EARLY in the year is somewhat wet but not soaked. it doesn't take long for it to dry out in my basement Bin either so maybe I am lucky.

Only item I will add is that I have about 5 flights out the auger pipe into my barrel without issue. Don't know if that helps or no.

Good luck!

I am going to clean my stoker this weekend possibly. Will need to check out these holes you mention that are plugged on your unit to be sure!

Seven
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Post Fri. Nov. 01, 2013 6:44 pm

How did you, would I, know that the holes in the auger tube were blocked?

At times I have the sulfur smell in my basement too but I assume that is from poor draft. Is there a check I can perform without shutting down the unit and pulling the pipe?

Thanks,

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Rob R.
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Post Fri. Nov. 01, 2013 6:50 pm

Sorry, but you can't check the pipe without shutting down and removing it.

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