Researching simple coal stoves...could use some help.

Researching simple coal stoves...could use some help.

PostBy: Carole Marcum On: Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:42 pm

Hello,

I have just begun researching coal stoves online. I think I just would like a small coal stove for radiant heat in my kitchen-eating area and be able to put a tea kettle on top. Lots of questions here such as: Do I have to have a chimney? (My Dad just had a pipe from stove to the outside going up above the roof when I was a child.)

Is the Harman Magnafire Series Coal Stove Mark I or something else comparable to that a suitable choice for minimal installation issues?

Does it have to be located by outside wall? I would like to use inside wall with backer board and nice-looking ceramic tile to help with heat protection?

I know very little, am retired and expect to hire someone to install the stove if I get one. I really need to keep my initial expense down insofar as possible.

I have other questions, but will save them for now. I have spoken with several dealers and they are not very helpful. I did read some of the specs online and did not understand a lot of it.

Thanks for any help.

Carole
:)
Carole Marcum
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:49 pm

Hello Carole, and welcome to the forum.

I'll try to answer some of your questions. It will help if you describe how big your kitchen is, and how many doors exit out of the Kitchen. And what is above the kitchen, another story to the house, or just an attic space and the roof?

If you have only an attic space, and a roof above your kitchen, then a properly installed metal chimney through the ceiling and roof will do the job. If you have a second story above the kitchen, then you will have to get lucky and have a closet to hide the chimney in, or give up on using an inside wall with a chimney.

If you can use an outside wall, then you can vent the stove using a power vent or similar system. This is a horizontal pipe that usually has a fan motor to pull smoke/fumes from the stove instead of having a chimney pull the fumes out.

Most of the small hand load stoves create a lot of heat, more than you would want to have in a small to medium sized kitchen. so having a few doorways to let some heat out may be desired.

As for specific stoves to consider, I can't help, hopefuly some other forum members will have suggestions

Hope this helps, Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:14 pm

An additional thought: The chimney coming out of a coal stove can be hot enough to ignite wood and paper, so it has to be installed correctly.

You must use some form of UL approved chimney and get professional instalation. Your homeowners insurance will void any claim if the instalation and chimney product isn't up to standards and code.

What your father had when you were growing up may have worked, but could have been something that would void any insurance claims in today's world.

Hope this helps. Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland


have just begun researching coal stoves online

PostBy: Carole Marcum On: Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:20 am

Hi Greg,

Thank you for the responses and information.

My home is one story L-shaped ranch. Kiitchen, eating, (and contiguous den with 6 foot opening from eating area all contiguous space and open to one another. kitchen and eating area is about 15' by 26'- plus 12' x 15' den area. Doorway from den to a bedroom (one thermostat for one furnace by this door at least twenty' from potential stove location with large closet between) and on opposite end doorway from kitchen to large vaulted ceiling living room roughly 20' x 27'

Left to right: den (brick fireplace wall on end of house), eating area with backdoor to outside, then kitchen. all contiguous. All this is about 15' x 40' of open area before any inside doors. Door to living room has pocket door that can be closed or open. but usually in winter I close it. House is L-shaped and uses two gas furnace systems. I close off one area that is not used that much and live almost 100% in the kitchen to den area. Yes, attic space above all this area. except vaulted living room beyond kitchen.

I would like to place the coal stove along wall directly opposite back door. This would be near the apex or wall directly beneath the highest roof point. One other consideration is radiant heat wires in plaster ceiling. I would need to take pipe through ceiling carefully and protect the radiant system. I love the radiant heat from it, but it is way too costly to use being electric. My meter goes very, very fast even with only one of the rooms radiated. I have all these heating systems, but all are too expensive to use.

I am not concerned about hiding the pipe. Actually, I expect to see some exposed, then would like to use cement backer board to build out around the upper part and have a nice mantle and ceramic tile below and behind stove under mantle if possible. All this only if I can meet clearance requirements, etc. Mostly I am concerned about the piping and requirement of fresh air and venting of gases, etc. Is is possible to use inside wall and still accomplish what I would like? How hot really does a coal stove get? I think I have seen 600 degrees mentioned. I don't wish to fry here. Just be warm.

Only available outside wall is window wall beside back door and is going to have additional sink and kitchen cabinets eventually.

>>

So this would mean I have to keep fan motor running anytiime stove is being used? Would this defeat my attempt to save on electricity (as well as gas) since my gas furnaces also use electric fans that increase my winter bills? If I cracked a window open slightly, would I still need the fan arrangement for venting? Or is that a dumb idea?

One relative discouraged my coal stove idea, told me to buy various other things using either gas, electric, wood. I am low on trees here and like to split wood, but what I am using came from trees I had removed and I use den fireplace (rather large opening) strictly for esthetics now and then, not for real heating, since it is not the best for efficiency. Am I on the wrong track with a small coal stove?

Thanks again for any help. Hope this info clarifies somewhat. What a great forum. I am enjoying reading through it.

There are few dealers nearby (Huntington, West Virginia) so that also is a problem if dealer must be near for service. (I do not recall Dad ever requiring service, but that was then. He had this large brown metal coal-burning stove beside backdoor withe the pipes going directly outside and up. I do not recall any blower if it had one, but the space was large about 30' x 30' and Dad may not have been as careful as he should have been)

Carole

:)
Carole Marcum
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:53 am

Hi Carole, an electric vent motor does have to run all the time the stove is burning. The motor and fan take the place of the natural draft from a chimney.

Your central wall in the Kitchen sounds about perfect. With all the connecting rooms with walkways instead of doorways will allow free movement of heated air.

I'd get a contractor out to see about the radiant wiring in the ceiling above your ideal location. A good Stainless Steel insulated UL approved chimney will work fine from what I'm visualizing. One of the 'stud-finder' tools that sense density behind plaster and plaster-board may be able to map out the radiant wiring.

I don't think you are on the wrong track with a coal burner. Coal is virtually odor free. Wood is dirty, and smelly [I have decades of wood burning experience]. Pellets and corn are options, but buying fuel is the key. Coal can be purchased in bags and stored for years if needed. Corn and pellets don't store well, they absorb moisture, rot and mold. Even a very small hole in a bag will allow enough moisture in to ruin the whole bag of pellets or corn.

You need Anthracite to burn in your stove, WV bituminous is good coal, but it has different burning characteristics and most stoves are designed to burn Anthracite not Bituminous. I burn both, but my boiler is outside in an outbuilding. And I put up with the other less desireable characteristics of Bituminous coal.

I'd say the next step is to make sure putting a chimney in your location in the kitchen is feasable. The electric grid for the kithen could just be disabled if needed, the coal stove is going to provide lots of heat.

Hope this helps. Greg L

.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

newly researching Coal stoves

PostBy: Carole Marcum On: Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:17 pm

Thank you for your reply and information. Too bad about the electric motor. Not much good during power outage and I would like to avoid the regular utility companies, but........

The radiant heat is actually embedded into the plaster ceiling. I know because I took out a section of ceiling to track down a leak when windy rains come. This is no problem since by carefully removing ceiling section and moving flexible coils asid and probably insulating very thoroughly, I could get around that problem.

Glad to hear I can have my chimney on interior if all else is done properly for safety. Definitely want to burn antracite.

Thanks again. Such a useful site online here. People can really be helpful.

Carole


LsFarm wrote:Hi Carole, an electric vent motor does have to run all the time the stove is burning. The motor and fan take the place of the natural draft from a chimney.

Your central wall in the Kitchen sounds about perfect. With all the connecting rooms with walkways instead of doorways will allow free movement of heated air.

I'd get a contractor out to see about the radiant wiring in the ceiling above your ideal location. A good Stainless Steel insulated UL approved chimney will work fine from what I'm visualizing. One of the 'stud-finder' tools that sense density behind plaster and plaster-board may be able to map out the radiant wiring.

I don't think you are on the wrong track with a coal burner. Coal is virtually odor free. Wood is dirty, and smelly [I have decades of wood burning experience]. Pellets and corn are options, but buying fuel is the key. Coal can be purchased in bags and stored for years if needed. Corn and pellets don't store well, they absorb moisture, rot and mold. Even a very small hole in a bag will allow enough moisture in to ruin the whole bag of pellets or corn.

You need Anthracite to burn in your stove, WV bituminous is good coal, but it has different burning characteristics and most stoves are designed to burn Anthracite not Bituminous. I burn both, but my boiler is outside in an outbuilding. And I put up with the other less desireable characteristics of Bituminous coal.

I'd say the next step is to make sure putting a chimney in your location in the kitchen is feasable. The electric grid for the kithen could just be disabled if needed, the coal stove is going to provide lots of heat.

Hope this helps. Greg L

.
:) :)
Carole Marcum