Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: Stanb999 On: Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:25 pm

We purchased a Harman mark II. I installed the stove last weekend. Being that it was new I wanted to season the paint. (This is what I told the wife :D )

Well it burns very easily even with these high temps. I'm in the Mountains but even so the highs are in the low 70's. Plenty of draft. I'm suprised because my wood stove never drafted this well. Maybe it's due to the high amount of over fire air in the wood stove? who knows. Here is how I start it. I cover the whole botton of the stove with coal except a small area in the middle of the fire box. Here I put a few pieces of wood. Like a small hand full. Light it with the propane torch. Wait a few like 3-4 minutes and start putting coal on slow. This catches the coal fast. I figure the coal piled around the box consentrates the air flow. So I got the stove to burn for 2 days at a very low output. like 150-180 stove temp. I was seasoning it after all and wanted to bring the temp. up very slow. So it wasn't a "problem" that it went out. Here is the question....

When the stove is run this low does it have a tendency to fill the bed with ash? It seems that it will run good for the 2 days but then it just chokes itself out. I'm was shaking the stove down every 24 hours the first time. Then the second time it was every 12 hours. But the result was still the same. Now this past monday I finally heated the stove up some 350F. It held this all day. I started it at about 10:30AM. Just before bed I opened the ash door and let it get hot. It was almost instantly. So I shook it down just a bit and closed the door and damped it back a bit for the night. (yes I still had the windows open.) I woke up to find the fire out and the stove stone cold. Yesterday I cleaned the stove out after work to find the whole thing just choked with ash.

What am I doing wrong? I shake it till coals start to fall. Do I need to shake it more? From every thing I've read you shouldn't have to shake it a lot.
Last edited by Stanb999 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stanb999
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions.

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:18 pm

When you get it going, do you fill the firebox right to the top? If not, all you will have is trouble. The good draft is a giveaway, it sounds like you are burning a thin fire. Anthracite is only happy once it is 10" deep or more. If it's not happy, it will make damn sure you aren't. ;)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions.

PostBy: Stanb999 On: Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:27 pm

Yes, I filled it to the top. I had it full in the front and full tho sloped to the back. It's not so much that it didn't burn well it's that the whole box filled with ash and partially burned coal. After the ash was shaken it still looked mostly full, like down 1" or so. Then after it was out I took the coal out and pushed all the ash off the coal. It's actually only slightly more than half full now with the partially burned coal thats left. So it burned half the volume of the coal, but the shaker only removed like 10% of the ash. Does this make sense?

By the way I'm burning what is supposed to be nut coal, but it seems to have quite a bit of smaller stuff. Like a mixture of pea and nut.
Stanb999
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

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Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: Uglysquirrel On: Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:28 pm

Thinking that your draft is good when you get the fire going but when you turn it down to a 180 deg idle you lose draft. Having a good draft on a 70 deg day is hard to find in my readings of a lot of people on here. Sounds like you have enuf coal in there, I ran a Mark II last year and I can easily say that the optimal fire was when the frt was to the top of the frt and rear bricks with the coal heaped ~3" higher in the middle in a uniform mound in all directions.

Do you have a way to measure draft?, recommend before you worry too much that you have a dwyer draft meter set up to measure draft especially at these high temps. Lots of posts on this, search on dwyer.

And it sounds like you are doing better than me when I started.
Uglysquirrel
 
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:45 pm

Pictures!!!
Do you have a barometric damper?
How much was the air knob spun out?
What was the stack temp?
If you had too much air and the baro was set wrong the heat could have gone up the chimney...
And the coal would be burnt up.
At 180* the stove should burn 24 hours...
You did add more coal during the burning process, right?
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: Stanb999 On: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:57 pm

Uglysquirrel wrote:Thinking that your draft is good when you get the fire going but when you turn it down to a 180 deg idle you lose draft. Having a good draft on a 70 deg day is hard to find in my readings of a lot of people on here. Sounds like you have enuf coal in there, I ran a Mark II last year and I can easily say that the optimal fire was when the frt was to the top of the frt and rear bricks with the coal heaped ~3" higher in the middle in a uniform mound in all directions.

Do you have a way to measure draft?, recommend before you worry too much that you have a dwyer draft meter set up to measure draft especially at these high temps. Lots of posts on this, search on dwyer.

And it sounds like you are doing better than me when I started.


I figure it was drafting good because when I did the shaking the ash went up as well as down. I'll be getting a meter in the next few weeks before the season starts. The wife has said now I must wait till it gets colder to fire it up. She's tired of being hot with the windows open. Can you believe the nerve of this woman. LOL
Last edited by Stanb999 on Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stanb999
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: Stanb999 On: Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:01 pm

CapeCoaler wrote:Pictures!!!
Do you have a barometric damper?
How much was the air knob spun out?
What was the stack temp?
If you had too much air and the baro was set wrong the heat could have gone up the chimney...
And the coal would be burnt up.
At 180* the stove should burn 24 hours...
You did add more coal during the burning process, right?




No Baro But I'll be installing one in the next few weeks.
The knob was out 1/4 turn and it burned fine for the two days... like 50 hours really.
No stack temp. the stove temp averaged 165. But was as high as 200F for the first day.
The chimney was just warm to the touch.
No I didn't add more coal. As I said it didn't really burn much. I was amazed.
Stanb999
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: Stanb999 On: Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:03 pm

Could it be that I'm just not shaking the grates enough? I was doing it like 6-10 times. I read this evening that some are shaking it like 60 times. Am I just leaving too much ash in the fire?
Stanb999
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:14 pm

When you add coal the weight pushes the ash down and allows the grate to chew up the ash.
As stated the coal wants/needs a deep bed to burn...
What you described is a fire burning itself out due to lack of fuel depth.
A wood fire may be able to consume the fuel totally but coal...
It needs that deep bed to keep burning...
It gets too thin and dies out...
Leaving unburned coal behind…
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:55 pm

Another thought is firebox shape, some shapes are not happy unless the coal is banked when refueling. Mine gave me fits until I started banking it. In two days you run through the firebed and your done. Banking keeps reshaping the fire to keep grumpy happy. You need to rev her up good before you start beating her up though. ;)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: Stanb999 On: Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:48 pm

coaledsweat wrote:Another thought is firebox shape, some shapes are not happy unless the coal is banked when refueling. Mine gave me fits until I started banking it. In two days you run through the firebed and your done. Banking keeps reshaping the fire to keep grumpy happy. You need to rev her up good before you start beating her up though. ;)



What do you mean by "banking" ? Here is how I fill it.
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Last edited by Stanb999 on Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stanb999
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:54 pm

Stan did fine just did not add any coal after the initial charge :)
The knob was out 1/4 turn and it burned fine for the two days... like 50 hours really.
No stack temp. the stove temp averaged 165. But was as high as 200F for the first day.
The chimney was just warm to the touch.
No I didn't add more coal. As I said it didn't really burn much. I was amazed.

So...
It burned itself out after two days...
If you want it to burn longer and/or hotter you need to add coal every 8-12 hours
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Just got my stove. Now a few questions on coal ash.

PostBy: Stanb999 On: Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:42 pm

CapeCoaler wrote:Stan did fine just did not add any coal after the initial charge :)
The knob was out 1/4 turn and it burned fine for the two days... like 50 hours really.
No stack temp. the stove temp averaged 165. But was as high as 200F for the first day.
The chimney was just warm to the touch.
No I didn't add more coal. As I said it didn't really burn much. I was amazed.

So...
It burned itself out after two days...
If you want it to burn longer and/or hotter you need to add coal every 8-12 hours



The wife is saying I'm being a coal miser like I've been a wood miser in the past. :oops:
Stanb999
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Visit Hitzer Stoves