LL AA-220 Relocation

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swyman
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line AA-220
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Post By: swyman » Mon. Dec. 31, 2018 10:06 am

lzaharis wrote:
Mon. Dec. 31, 2018 10:00 am
Hello swyman,

I have a solid 2 inches of ash on my flat bed stoker without any fly ash blowing through it with 14 threads out. You need to slow the stokers down another thread.
The bed of ash will always be heavy enough that the mat it creates will fall off in small chunks and your fire will still be very good.
I get small chunks with buck but one of the reasons I switched from rice was sometimes I would had about 4" hanging off the bed that would stay together. How far are your first set of air holes away from the end of the stoker bed?

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CoalisCoolxWarm
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Post By: CoalisCoolxWarm » Mon. Dec. 31, 2018 11:10 am

I believe the "Leave one inch or 3 inches at the end of the stoker..." is a guideline to convey the idea that your coal should be mostly burned up before it leaves the holes on the grate.

Make sure all the holes are cleared out (poke through them and a little ream to smooth the edges to keep things from building up, not making the holes larger).

The surface area of the bed determines the BTUs that can transfer.

Case in point. On my buddy's KAA-2, when just about 2 inch strip of coal burning, couldn't keep the temp up. Once we got the bed full of "lava" it did quite nicely.

He also has a power vent. Let me tell you something about THAT!

When using the power vent, it is CRITICAL to use manometer. We had the draft set a little bit higher than specs as a safety cushion while we adjusted everything. Using about 20-30 min intervals between adjustments...

At one point we had a "perfect draft" but not as much heat as we'd like and I know it should put out. Using experience from MY KA-6 to know what a good bed should look like when firing, including the aggressiveness of flames above the bed, I adjusted the intake/blower fan to get a less blowtorch and more "slightly pushing flame" then changed the power vent to get to the minimum/spec draft.

The power vent absolutely has the ability to suck the heat right out of the boiler!

Be sure to clean that power vent, his needed it badly and the adjustment was initially frozen.

I compare it to EXHAUST ON A VEHICLE. Needs a little 'back pressure' in the combustion chamber, not too much volume or aggressive air flow.

Took some playing, but subjectively estimating about 30% or more difference in usable heat transferred to the water.

Be sure to adjust draft when everything is hot and running/stoking for a while.

Remember "extra draft" = "heat vacuum to the outdoors" LOL.

It can be time consuming and even frustrating, but a properly dialed-in setup is a night and day difference! Yes, sudden and very noticeable difference when you hit the sweet spot.

Good luck and keep going, it's worth it :yes:

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swyman
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line AA-220
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Post By: swyman » Mon. Dec. 31, 2018 12:03 pm

CoalisCoolxWarm wrote:
Mon. Dec. 31, 2018 11:10 am
I believe the "Leave one inch or 3 inches at the end of the stoker..." is a guideline to convey the idea that your coal should be mostly burned up before it leaves the holes on the grate.

He also has a power vent. Let me tell you something about THAT!

When using the power vent, it is CRITICAL to use manometer. We had the draft set a little bit higher than specs as a safety cushion while we adjusted everything. Using about 20-30 min intervals between adjustments...

At one point we had a "perfect draft" but not as much heat as we'd like and I know it should put out. Using experience from MY KA-6 to know what a good bed should look like when firing, including the aggressiveness of flames above the bed, I adjusted the intake/blower fan to get a less blowtorch and more "slightly pushing flame" then changed the power vent to get to the minimum/spec draft.

The power vent absolutely has the ability to suck the heat right out of the boiler!

Be sure to clean that power vent, his needed it badly and the adjustment was initially frozen.

I compare it to EXHAUST ON A VEHICLE. Needs a little 'back pressure' in the combustion chamber, not too much volume or aggressive air flow.

Remember "extra draft" = "heat vacuum to the outdoors" LOL.

It can be time consuming and even frustrating, but a properly dialed-in setup is a night and day difference! Yes, sudden and very noticeable difference when you hit the sweet spot.
This could be my largest area of opportunity. I have tried, just a few days ago, to slow everything down but quickly found it could not keep up. I think I really need to find that balance, I don't think I need flames 14" high but I would like to run it as slow as it can keep up. When I slowed everything down the ash changed quite a bit, very fine instead of the popcorn char that comes off from running lots of combustion air. I made some modifications so the power vent last week while it was shut down. 1- I remove the motor so I can clean off the fan blades but I had to leave it hang because they used AFC to connect it. I removed the AFC and installed a plug so I can quickly and easily remove the motor and take inside to clean. 2- there were 4 deflectors on the exhaust outside the housing. These collect fly ash and restrict exhaust over time so I removed the 2 in the middle. Should help my fly ash cause. Another theory I have is I should have a lot less fly ash if I can slow the fire and exhaust down. One thing to note is when I first fired up this year I washed out the power vent housing and it ran very well. First clean up at thanksgiving I just used a brass brush to clean everything up including inside the housing. My performance really fell off and I had to run the rheostat wide open to keep up. Christmas cleanup for the first time I used a blow gun and air compressor to clean the housing and now I am running it about 60-70% which is great. The power vent is one area I have not really given much attention to. This year I added 2 manometers, one in the firebox and one at the breech and could not believe how much more accurate the Dwyer Mark 2's are compared to the Dwyer Model 460 handheld that came with the unit. I can fine tune the power vent and over fire draft a lot more. I think I will start going backwards instead of trying to push the throttle through the floor. I think I need to find that balance you speak of! Could you send a pic of your fire so I can grasp the size of flame I should be shooting for? Thank you for your reply, really has my wheels spinning!

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CoalisCoolxWarm
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Post By: CoalisCoolxWarm » Mon. Dec. 31, 2018 11:55 pm

I'll grab a pic in the am. Happy New Year!

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swyman
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Post By: swyman » Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 6:31 am

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Here is a pic of my fire and ash position. The stoker closest has about 1/2" of ash, I need to adjust otherside to bring the fire out farther. How does the fire size look? This is at about .03 draft, LL says .01-.02. Only way to adjust that is more combustion air which results in a taller flame unless that is what I need?

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nepacoal
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Post By: nepacoal » Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 7:27 am

from what I can see in that pic, the fire could be bigger. ..
I'd raise the combustion air to get to -.02 over fire. Then fine tune to get 1/2" or so of ash per the manual.

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swyman
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Post By: swyman » Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 7:36 am

nepacoal wrote:
Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 7:27 am
from what I can see in that pic, the fire could be bigger. ..
I'd raise the combustion air to get to -.02 over fire. Then fine tune to get 1/2" or so of ash per the manual.
Will do! So as long as I have ash breaking off at the lava flow 1/2" from end of grate, that is what I'm shooting for correct?

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nepacoal
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Post By: nepacoal » Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 7:42 am

Yes, or slightly more ash. You don't want burning coals falling in the ash bucket. I'll try to take a pic of mine if I can get it to run long enough. It's been so warm in the east, I don't think mine has had a 45 minute run in almost 2 months.

Give it a few hours after each small stoker adjustment once you get the combustion air set.

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nepacoal
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Post By: nepacoal » Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 9:54 am

Here's my Keystoker during an idle cycle and at 178 getting ready to shut off after a 20 minute run. The last pic is also after 20 minutes showing where the last row is. If it could have run another 10 or 15 minutes, the line of fire would straighten up a bit and move down an inch or so to the bright mark on the side of the stoker.
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swyman
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Post By: swyman » Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 11:28 am

nepacoal wrote:
Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 9:54 am
Here's my Keystoker during an idle cycle and at 178 getting ready to shut off after a 20 minute run. The last pic is also after 20 minutes showing where the last row is. If it could have run another 10 or 15 minutes, the line of fire would straighten up a bit and move down an inch or so to the bright mark on the side of the stoker.
Judging by those pics I'm on the right path, just need to increase the air like you said. Looks like you get plenty of fly ash also, how often do you clean that out?

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Post By: nepacoal » Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 11:37 am

I do a thorough cleaning at the end of September in preparation for heating season and shut it down for a quick cleaning of the flue path at the end of December to prep for the real cold weather. That's about it except I'll pop the flue breech cover off from the inside once or twice in the summer to quickly vacuum ash while it's running. I had my one and only outfire in late summer because my breech had quite a bit of ash and I lost my draft...

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swyman
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Post By: swyman » Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 8:33 pm

Well I know I was complaining about my CO detector not reading anything.....had a birthday party for my 11 year old tonight and my wife's super nose could smell sulfur. First thing was check my manometers... 0 at breech and 3 Mark's on the positive side over the fire. I did notice my rheostat when I cleaned acts funny.... I'll adjust it and a few minutes later will all of a sudden the power vent fan will slow down which is what happened here after a few days of no adjustment. So is it the rheostat or the fan motor? Oh, my CO meter was at 59ppm. Opened up Bilco doors and quickly went back to 0 but I am not an electrician and this needs to be fixed.

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Post By: McGiever » Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 9:41 pm

swyman wrote:
Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 8:33 pm
Well I know I was complaining about my CO detector not reading anything.....had a birthday party for my 11 year old tonight and my wife's super nose could smell sulfur. First thing was check my manometers... 0 at breech and 3 Mark's on the positive side over the fire. I did notice my rheostat when I cleaned acts funny.... I'll adjust it and a few minutes later will all of a sudden the power vent fan will slow down which is what happened here after a few days of no adjustment. So is it the rheostat or the fan motor? Oh, my CO meter was at 59ppm. Opened up Bilco doors and quickly went back to 0 but I am not an electrician and this needs to be fixed.
Multi-meter can reveal the truth.

Read motor leads with motor running first without changing anything...monitor voltage meter's behavior...
Next, read volts on running motor while rotating the rheostat knob and watch if voltage is smooth...

Disconnect and remove motor (shut down stove) and use a patch cord to connect with the 3rd wire to ground the motor for safety and then bench test it without any other parts in circuit...might add some of that special magic oil now too.

Got a SPARE on hand?

Rheostats are a weak point, and running 24/7 makes it much, much worse. Motors without ball bearings or( PSC) start/run capacitor will take a huge toll also.

Anybody ever put an hour-meter on a PowerVent to clock total run time? Running 24/7 can really add em up. Definitely an accelerated death sentence to a cheap motor running non-stop in a very harsh environment.

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swyman
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Post By: swyman » Wed. Jan. 02, 2019 6:38 am

McGiever wrote:
Tue. Jan. 01, 2019 9:41 pm
Multi-meter can reveal the truth.

Read motor leads with motor running first without changing anything...monitor voltage meter's behavior...
Next, read volts on running motor while rotating the rheostat knob and watch if voltage is smooth...

Disconnect and remove motor (shut down stove) and use a patch cord to connect with the 3rd wire to ground the motor for safety and then bench test it without any other parts in circuit...might add some of that special magic oil now too.

Got a SPARE on hand?

Rheostats are a weak point, and running 24/7 makes it much, much worse. Motors without ball bearings or( PSC) start/run capacitor will take a huge toll also.

Anybody ever put an hour-meter on a PowerVent to clock total run time? Running 24/7 can really add em up. Definitely an accelerated death sentence to a cheap motor running non-stop in a very harsh environment.
Good call, I will check it, and your'e right, it doesn't have a start capacitor. Now I'll have to be on the hunt to see if I can find a motor replacement, preferably with sealed bearings and start capacitor. Best scenario is I should start a chimney fund. just put money aside till I get enough. Silent operation and no cleaning/oiling every few weeks.

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swyman
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Post By: swyman » Thu. Jan. 10, 2019 7:14 am

Finally had some cold, well colder weather....low 20's with a strong NNW wind. Absolutely no propane fire cycles and boiler is keeping up on it's own! One thing that confuses me is I installed a foam board cover for the refractory cover and it's still 90* in the boiler room? I thought for sure that cover was radiating all that heat but could it be coming from the 1 1/2" pipes? ANyway was good to finally check settings under a heavy load and I have the fire settings as close to perfect as I have ever had them. Full grate of fire and my draft almost to factory spec...... .01 over fire and .05 at breech. If I went to .04 at breech would that slow down the draft just a fuzz to get more heat absorption in the water?

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