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hs tarm 502 soot problem

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Billhilly, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Billhilly

    Billhilly New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Hey all, I just recently purchased an hs tarm 502 used. The people before me burned pine in it and after I got it I scrapped all of the dried on sap off in the fire box and in the box where the 12 flu pipes are. I had no problems just burning wood but, when it got colder and I switched to coal I started to have a real bad problem with soot. I now have to take every thing apart and shop vac it about ever 5-7 days(it clogs up those six pack of pipes completely). I am not sure if I am doing something wrong or if its my coal. If anybody could help me out here Id greatly appreciate it.

    Also where there are those two sets of six tubes for the fire box and the oil burner there is a metal plate in there and six heatsinks(not sure of what they are). I have the heatsinks on the oil side now and that plate resting over the six oil flu pipes. I am not sure exactly what to do with those either. I do not use the oil side at all at this time.

    It seems to be drafting good I can feel it pulling from the bottom flap.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
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    12,384
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I'm going to make a guess here that you are burning some sort of soft coal - which is really not what it is designed for! It is designed for hard coal, in which case you'd hardly ever have to clean the tubes.....much cleaner than wood.

    I'm afraid there may not be an easy solution if the coal itself is dirty burning....

    Make sure you open the secondary air inlet on the side......I think it has one.....and also on the upper door. Make sure that the coal is burning as hot as possible - that makes it burn cleaner and burn up all the gases which are now probably settling as soot in the tubes.

    I think the metal plate stands upright between the oil tubes and the wood tubes....
  3. Billhilly

    Billhilly New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
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    4
    Sorry for the extremely delayed reply. I went out and got some hard nut coal to try, I was burning soft. I am having a hard time getting the hard to really get going good. Did have a hot wood fire going first which did get the coal burning, but once the wood was completely out(coal still glowing orange with blue flames) it didn't want to get the fresh coal going. I had to throw some wood and soft coal in to get it re going...also mixed in some of the hard too. after about an hour it had every thinking really burning good. but once I throw more hard on it takes for ever for it to light off. I also for some reason can't get the boiler temp over 110. I can hear the draft from the chimney. I know the boiler temp is way to low but do you have any thoughts on it.
  4. Mike Hippert

    Mike Hippert New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    There is a bit more to learn/do with coal. If I start with a cold boiler(lower then 150) I shut the valve or kill the circulator off so I am only heating up the water in the boiler and I don't open up the valve until I am on my way to 180. I also get most of the way up to 180 before adding any coal, this way I have a large bed of wood ash to get the coal going, then I add coal slowly only covering the what is glowing red with one layer at a time until I have a few layers glowing. Coal creates a lot more ash and it does not fall through the greats like wood ash, it needs to be shaken down and if you don't have shaker grates it can be another learning curve. I mix coal with my wood as I don't have shaker grates and I don't have enough wood to last the winter.
  5. Billhilly

    Billhilly New Member

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    Nov 15, 2012
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    This is what I have tried n it worked really well last night. Boiler temp was about 110 when I started. There was some coal still left over from when I went to work. I pushed the coal to one side and started a big wood fire next to it. When the boiler hit 140 I started to mix in some of the hot coal and hand full of fresh coal with more wood. I kept doing this till the boiler hit 180. This is all with the pump off. At this time most of the wood was out but the coal was ripping. Turned the pump on brought the boiler temp to about 130. Kept adding coal cause it kept burning it. Filled the box. Left pump on all night(pump is on a switch). House was warm in the morning boiler temp was about 110-120 Added coal before work and girlfriend added some more before noon, about 5 shovel loads total. In 5 hours my boiler temp has dropped to 70 and there is still a nice blue flamed hot fire going.

    What I am seeing is after there is only coal left, which is burning hot the flew pipe right out of the furnace is cold to the touch after about an hour I can hold my hand on it and the boiler temp will not go over 130 with the pump on. I tried cycling the pump which didnt help.

    I really don't understand my my flew pipe is ice cold and my boiler wont build heat
  6. Billhilly

    Billhilly New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
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    Also I do not get why the fire will last n burn good all night n burn fresh coal right away in the morning but will not do it during the day. I am away pretty much the same amount of time and do not change anything
  7. Mike Hippert

    Mike Hippert New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
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    So first off and I should have posted it before but check out these links for the manual http://www.woodboilers.com/images/stories/documents/500 series brochure.pdf

    http://www.woodboilers.com/images/stories/documents/500 series manual.pdf

    In the manual jump to page 31, they have a trouble shooting section and the first scenario is low output and low stack temp just as you described.

    Also do you have the baffles for burning anthracite coal? I have read before that it can be fairly difficult to burn coal without them.

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