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Keystoker Stoker Stoves, Coal Boilers, and Warm Air Furnaces

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FAQ's

 What size coal can I burn in my Keystoker?

On direct vents, Rice only

On chimney models, rice, buckwheat, or a mixture of both.

 How do I get the fire started?

We find charcoal best. Use a sheet of newspaper with a handful of charcoal. Roll paper into a loose ball and push into coal on grate.  Light paper and plug in or turn on switch. Coal will usually light quickly.

 How often will I have to fill the hopper?

Depends on the weather. In cold weather a stove with 100lb hopper could last 30 hours or more. I furnace or boiler with a larger hopper may go several days. In milder temperatures a hopper could last a week or more depending on its size

 Do I need a chimney for a stoker stove?

No. All Keystoker Automatic Stoves, Koker Furnace, and K2, K-6 Boilers can be direct vented, using our own made venter. All electrical components are located inside the home, safe from exposure to outside elements.

 Your stoves are made top and rear vent.  How do I choose?

For chimney models it depends on the flue height. If flue is higher than the stove, a top vent is the answer. If flue height is lower than top of stove, you need a rear vent.

For direct vent stoves if the stove is going against an outside wall above outside grade, a rear vent is best. If below grade, a top vent will allow you to get to an outside wall.

 How often should a stove be cleaned?

Once a year. At end of heating season brush down inside firebox remove and vacuum stovepipe and clean under grates. For direct vent systems it may be necessary to clean exhaust system more frequently in cold weather.

 Can a stoker stove make hot water?

Yes, a stainless steel loop coil is available that will pre-heat water in a water heater that is within 10 feet of the stove.

 When starting a new fire the unit fills with smoke. Is this normal?

Yes. The chimney will not draft properly until it gets warm. Visible smoke will only last a few minutes. If smoke does not clear up, there may be a blockage in your chimney that will need to be cleared.

 What is the difference between a power vent and a direct vent?

Because of the toxic carbon monoxide in the burning of all fossil fuels, a vent or a chimney is needed to remove dangerous fumes from the home.  For homes without a chimney, a venting system is required. Power vents are placed on the outside wall of the home, which exposes them to dampness and humidity, which causes clogging of squirrel cage fan blades. This causes regular nuisance cleaning, maintenance, and replacement of expensive motor and fans. Some manufactures recommend a barometric damper on the stove pipe when using a power venter system, but this will remove much of the homes already warmed air.

A Keystoker designed direct vent system is mounted directly on the stove and never comes in contact with moisture, thus expanding the life time of the motor and fan blade. The blade or a direct vent is a flat radial blade which doesn't collect dust and cleaning maintenance is needed sparingly. Keystoker direct vent systems or stoves do not require a barometric damper.

 How much coal should I burn in a year?

That all depends on the size of your home, amount of insulation, outside temperature, and how warm you want your home to be. But the average consumption for one year with a stove is 3 to 4 ton. Boilers burn more because they are designed to run 12 months a year rather than 6.

 If I purchase a Keystoker stove, what are the regular adjustments I must make?

None, other than the normal cleaning at the end of the heating season. Once your final adjustment is made enjoy the comfort and warmth your thermostat will take over. All you have to do is put coal in the hopper and remove ashes.

 What are the heights of the flue exhausts on Keystoker stoves?

90/105 Bay Window Hearth
Top Vent: 39"
Rear Vent: 6"
Top Vent: 28"
Rear Vent: 1"
Rear Only: 3 1/2"

 Why would I want to purchase the optional higher CFM connection blower?

1. To direct more heated air to a distance location.

2. The higher CFM blower will remove more heat from the stove, which will lower the temperature of heated gases going up the chimney, thereby increasing the efficiency of your stove.

 Why would I elect to purchase a stove with multiple or a 6" or an 8" opening in top?

To allow the stoves radiant heat to warm area of stove location and force heated air to another room or another floor where you desire more heat.

 Must I wait until it gets good and cold to light my stove?

No, an automatic stove will operate 12 months a year with a small maintenance fire that will only burn approximately ½ lb per hour or less than 7,000 BTUs.

 Why should I install a barometric damper on chimney models?

To maintain a stable and low draft over fire. High drafts especially on windy days will suck super heated air from stove to be wasted up the chimney.

 When I purchase a Keystoker, what all comes with it?

Manual, carbon monoxide detector, glass cleaner, charcoal (fire starter), thermostat.

Direct vent models include wall kit:
1—4X18" stainless pipe 1—12X6" black pipe 2—wall plates
1—4" stainless tee 1—6"x4 Cap 2—Ash Tubs

 What is the purpose of the timer?

To maintain a minimum fire when thermostat is not calling for heat. The timer is factor set to run 75 seconds every ten minutes on stoves and furnaces and 75 seconds every fifteen minutes on boilers. If fire won't stay lit, more pins should be added. If overheating, pins need to be removed.

 Is it okay to connect a stove or boiler to the chimney used for my oil boiler?

Not unless there are two flues in the chimney. Check local building codes.

 On dual fuel coal and oil boilers and furnaces, will it automatically switch to oil if the coal fire goes out?

No. This must be done manually. When burning coal you need to remove the nozzle assembly from the air tube and insert some fiberglass insulation to protect cad cell and transformer. So to switch to oil you would simply remove insulation, reinsert nozzle assembly, and flip the switch coal to oil.

 Is the hot water coil standard in boilers?

Yes, a 5 gallon coil is installed in every boiler giving you a plentiful supply of hot water year round.

 Will a boiler overheat in summer months?

No, the timer will maintain a small fire using very little coal.

 What are the fitting sizes for feed and return on boilers?

  K-2 K-6 K-8 K-10 K-12 K-15 K-18 K-22
Feed 1 ¼" 1 ½" 2" 2" 2" 2" 3" 3"
Return 1 ¼" 1 ½" 2" 1 ½" 2" 2" 2" 2"

 What type of expansion tank should I use for boiler?

A basic 15 or 20 gallon tank, EXTROL tank, or FILL-TROL tank can be used.

 Why do we recommend a loop in plumbing installation?

1. In smaller size boilers, maintaining a small fire will produce less than 10,000 BTUs, but Keystoker's efficient boilers trap and store maximum BTUs.  Even a small maintenance fire will cause boiler temperature to rise above desired water temperature setting in the upper part of boiler.  The loop will allow hotter water, stored in the top of boiler to flow naturally to lower part of the boiler. This will maintain a more even boiler temperature and reduce chance of overheating water.

2. Installing a loop will prevent boiler shock. When circulator runs cooler water from return, the line will not all dump into boiler. Some of the cooler return water will flow through loop and mix with heated water in supply line. This will allow circulator to run for a longer period which is especially important in large heating loads or for homes with radiators.

3. If timer is running too long, or if coal feed adjustment is set too high, water will be overheated. If water temperature reaches temperature setting of 4006B (recommended setting is 220), circulator will turn on to reduce boiler temperature. Cooler water from return line will be forced through loop to cool water quickly (approximately 10 to 15 seconds). This will lessen the likelihood of overheating the entire heating system.

 Can I tie a coal boiler with my existing gas or oil boiler?

Yes, many people do this.  Return water could feed into coal boiler where it is heated then circulate through existing boiler or bypassing existing boiler.  The gas or oil boiler would never need to run making it a backup system.

 Is it okay to install a boiler outdoors without any protection from rain?

No. However, it may be installed in a garage, shed, or other enclosed structure and piped underground into home.

 How do I size a boiler?

Check BTU rating on your current boiler. If not available, you need to measure radiation or get some footage of home. Contact your local dealer for more information.

 What is the difference between right and left hand models?

Boilers and furnaces are made with inspection and ash door on either side for proper position in the home. Standing with chest against coal hopper and looking toward the stack outlet on the opposite end of the boiler, choose whether you need doors on the right or left side for more convenience access.


60 Keystoker Lane Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972 E-Mail: info@keystoker.com Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday 7-3:30 & Saturday 7-11

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