Soot Build up

Indiana dave
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Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton model 1600m
Coal Size/Type: bit coal, egg to foot ball size

Post Mon. Jan. 05, 2015 11:21 am

Hi everyone, I am fairly new to home heating with coal. I have a Clayton model 1600 M and, am burning egg to football size bit coal. I have a five run of connector pipe which elevates gradually from the furnace to the chimney and am using a baro damper. My question is , I know the soot is flammable but, how heavy of deposit before it would ignite? It seems to build fairly quick in this run of pipe (1/8th inch in two days. I also have a manual damper in the connector that seems to minimize the build up , with it almost fully open and regulating the fire with primary and secondary air dampers. Any [email protected]


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McGiever
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Post Mon. Jan. 05, 2015 12:15 pm

Disclaimer: I am NOT a bit burner, so take this for what it is. :)

Soot is un-burned fuel...find a way to burn it before it leaves the fire box and the issue will be greatly reduced or not exist.
Search and read of secondary burn. :idea:

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SWPaDon
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Post Mon. Jan. 05, 2015 7:52 pm

Soot from coal isn't flammable that I'm aware of , you can check out this thread: Coal Stove Blamed for Douglas Fire

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McGiever
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Post Mon. Jan. 05, 2015 9:26 pm

I agree that coal soot is not as flammable as wood's creasote when it covers the interior surface of the chimney.

I was stating that if the fire consumes the fuel (carbon) better, then there will be less soot left over to coat/collect in the chimney. ;)
Last edited by McGiever on Tue. Jan. 06, 2015 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

franco b
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Post Mon. Jan. 05, 2015 9:32 pm

I don't think you can compare the fly ash of anthracite to the black soot of bituminous. Looks like carbon to me and I suspect it would burn like oil burner soot, not easily, but will burn

Indiana dave
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Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton model 1600m
Coal Size/Type: bit coal, egg to foot ball size

Post Tue. Jan. 06, 2015 8:06 am

In my original post, I asked how much coal soot would have to build up in the flue before it would pose a fire hazard. I should have worded it differently because at one time, I had a soot fire from bit coal. The house had an old sears and roebuck octopus in the basement and was converted to burn gas. After a winter of enormous heating bills, I placed the grates back in and was burning bit for about a month. I threw some paper in to fire off some kindling when it happened. The paper had taken off and I closed the firedoor to get kindling. When I opened the door, the paper was out and I heard the roar of a fire increasing in intensity but no flames in the firebox!! I ran out side to see black smoke rolling out of the chimney and I quickly set off one of the chimfex fire extinguishers and closed it all up. After I calmed down, I open things up and found the fluffy ,black soot about an inch deep all over the inside of the what I would call a clean out chamber behind and below the firebox. Smoke and gasses were directed out of the firebox, down into this chamber before exiting a couple inches from the floor, up the connector pipe and into the chimney. You could see where the soot had ignited and burned to a white,greyish ash. I wanted to hear if anyone else, had experiences like this. It caused me to reconsider not using coal or wood heat for a couple of years . :(

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SWPaDon
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Post Tue. Jan. 06, 2015 8:57 pm

No, I've never experienced anything like that with Bituminous coal. The coal I was using 2 years ago created so much soot, that there were long black strings hanging down inside my firebox. So much soot would exit my chimney that my yard would turn black within 24 hours of a snowfall. I would need to remove my flue pipe every month to clear the soot out of it.

I had lots of wood fires in between those times, as that coal burnt up very fast and we would wake up very often the coal fire being out. I could never get the soot to light though.

I never used gas, so I can't comment on any possible contributing factors there. Although I did have one flue fire when I was a woodburner. I was able to put it out by shutting the stove down completely. Then I built another fire and put potato peelings in the fire. An oldtimer told said it would clean the chimney, and it seemed to work.

Indiana dave
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Post Tue. Jan. 06, 2015 9:43 pm

I've heard of using potatoe peelings too for clean the chimney but, have never tried it myself.


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McGiever
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Post Tue. Jan. 06, 2015 10:09 pm

Indiana dave wrote:I've heard of using potatoe peelings too for clean the chimney but, have never tried it myself.
Can you elaborate some more on this?

Indiana dave
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Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton model 1600m
Coal Size/Type: bit coal, egg to foot ball size

Post Wed. Jan. 07, 2015 5:04 am

McGiever wrote:
Indiana dave wrote:I've heard of using potatoe peelings too for clean the chimney but, have never tried it myself.
Can you elaborate some more on this?
I was told by a fellow years ago who burned wood, to save up your potato Peelings for a week and throw them in the fire to clean the chimney. I've heard this only one other time but, have never tried it myself.

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blrman07
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Post Wed. Jan. 07, 2015 5:10 am

I had heard this before myself. I researched it and found a disclaimer....

Burning the potato peels should be used as a cleaning method for a fireplace only in conjunction with thorough cleanings and inspections.

If I'm going to do a thorough cleaning, why am I burning the potato peels again?

Indiana dave
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Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton model 1600m
Coal Size/Type: bit coal, egg to foot ball size

Post Wed. Jan. 07, 2015 6:16 am

blrman07 wrote:I had heard this before myself. I researched it and found a disclaimer....

Burning the potato peels should be used as a cleaning method for a fireplace only in conjunction with thorough cleanings and inspections.

If I'm going to do a thorough cleaning, why am I burning the potato peels again?
I believe it was meant to be done as a preventative, between the thorough cleanings. Like the soot remover they sell today. I've been told of people throwing in a handful of rock salt once a week to reduce soot and creosote also. Never tried this either.

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SWPaDon
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Post Wed. Jan. 07, 2015 7:09 am

I never heard the one about the rock salt.

Indiana dave
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Post Wed. Jan. 07, 2015 8:31 am

Supposedly, it canbe used with burning wood as it combines with the moisture coming off the wood , to form a weak acid which, dries out the creosote and helps it to flake off. They say not to use with a metal flue because it can cause corrosion.

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SWPaDon
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Post Wed. Jan. 07, 2015 9:39 am

That's very interesting.
As I posted earlier though, when I was burning the real sooty coal, I would remove my pipe once a month and dump it into a bucket. My total pipe length is about 2 feet long. That includes one 90 degree elbow with a slight rise to the flue opening.

The coal I'm using now makes kinda like a fly ash, like Franco B referenced above. It has a grayish/tan color to it. I just dumped the pipe 2 days ago and there was less than 1/2 cup total in it.


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