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Keystoker (Coal) Problem Please HELP!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Tullia, Jan 6, 2008.

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  1. Tullia

    Tullia Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central PA
    Hi, Im new to this, and do not have the jargon down probably.

    My Keystoker Rice Coal system is actign up after a year and a half nonproblematic use. Tonight it shot up to 20 pressure and 290 degrees, while the thermostat was on 72 degrees. We tried to bring the heat down by removing pins from the fan timer disc, and then slowing the feed, with little change. Then we turned our thermastat up to 88 in hopes of drawing the heat out of the stoker into the house. We have large iron radiators, and only about half of them began to warm, and not very hot either.

    It is now at 12 pressure and 240 degrees, the radiators are not very warm, and the house is cooling down into the 60s. Inside the stoker it is gurgling, and the overflow tank is also making bubbling noises. The person that installed our system is of no help atm, since we have done what he said - ie take out pins, reduce feed, turnup the thermostat. At one point the top (I think the flow valve) was making clanging noises while the pressure held at 20.


    Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
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    Welcome to the Boiler Room, Tullia.

    I have no idea how to troubleshoot your problem, but the temps you are reporting should be cause for alarm. Clearly, the heat is not moving from the boiler into your radiators. Could be a bad circulator or air in your system or possibly air in the radiators. Have you vented them lately?

    Sounds to me like you should call a heating professional and have them cover over for a look. You don't want 290 degree water in your system, and you need somebody who knows what they're doing to look it over. I don't think the fact that you're burning coal is part of the equation. Sounds to me like another problem with your system that anybody with hot water heating expertise should be able to diagnose and fix. No fun calling those guys on the weekend, but I'd get it looked by a competent tech asap.

    Anybody else hanging around the Boiler Room this evening with some ideas?
  3. Tullia

    Tullia Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
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    Loc:
    Central PA
    I bled all the raditors and get streams of cool/lukewarm water from them, with no air atm. Had bled them a month ago also.

    I have 2 pumps withint he sytem for 2 different areas of my house. Both pumps seem to be running. Is the circulator somethign seperate from those?
  4. Bartman

    Bartman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    It's sounds like your system may be air bound. Do you have purge valves? Are ther valve on both sides of your circulator pumps? The 2 pumps you have are the circulators.
  5. Bartman

    Bartman Member

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    Loc:
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    Are your two pumps hot to the touch?
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Obviously, if your boiler is overheating (which it is) and you're not getting any heat in your house (which you're not), there is a hot water distribution problem. Maybe, like Bartman says, it's an air lock. Has anybody done anything to your heating system lately? Has a pressure relief valve blown? If not, do you have any zone valves on your system? How many thermostats do you have in your house?

    These are all important questions that will help us diagnose the problem.
  7. Tullia

    Tullia Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central PA
    Thank you all very much for the help. I did not have releases on each side of the pumps. However I did get a hold of someone to make a house visit, when I put the phone near the system and they could hear how it was now banging. They are working on it now, and seems I was air locked, and they are trying to get water into my system now. We have not had any work done recently, except some plumbing in our upstairs bathroom. So somethign might have been done a couple weeks ago, and just now seeing the effects.
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