Hello, Mound, If the stove is designed right, and the chimney has a good draft, you could load the stove with Bitum without getting very much if any smoke, soot or smell in the room.
You would do like the airtight wood folks have to do. You open the draft control, and let extra air into the fire, this will increase the heat output and increase the flue temps. This increases the draft in the chimney.
Then [and only then] you slooowwly open the door and let the draft pull in the remaining fumes from the firebox. Once the door is open, then you can load the firebox.
A bituminous fire after it is burning looks and smells little different than an anthracite coal fire, it is only during the adding of fresh coal that the differences are really noticable and objectionable.
Bituminous when first added to a hot fire acts like it has been soaked in kerosene or used motor oil. Each lump of coal will have flames shooting out of it or off of it. These flames as described earlier are heavy yellow flames with thick oily soot. Look at Berlin's avatar. The other thing is that the flames are a large volume of hot sooty air. If the draft of the chimney can't keep up with the large increase in the volume of air in the firebox, it will get out the doors into the room.
You DON'T want this soot in the house, it is very hard to clean up!
So, the trick to loading Bituminous is to do it fast, and completely in one motion. Berlin told me he dumps a full 5 gallon pail of fresh coal on his fire at a time. Then closes the door and leaves it alone for an hour plus.
Both Anthracite and Bituminous coal gas-off flamable fumes when first added to a hot fire. There have been several posts on the forum about the sudden igniting of these fumes surprising and giving a scare to the forum members. Bituminous makes a lot more of these fumes and flamable smoke than an Anthracite fire. So caution is advised, a curious person can end up with singed [sp?] eybrows and hair!!
So virtually every time I burn a pure bitumnous coal fire I get a pretty good 'woof' from the boiler when the fumes light-off.
The trick to preventing the sudden burn is to have one end or corner of the firebox not covered by the fresh coal, it's open flame/hot coals will light off the fresh coal steadily instead of suddenly. Therefore less chance of the 'minor explosion'.
As Berlin mentioned all flue joints should have at least three screws and be sealed with high temp chimney sealant. Otherwise you will get soot leakage into the room.
,Mound City = prehistoric indian mounds east of St Louis/ Cahokia??
Last edited by LsFarm
on Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.