looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: ratdog On: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:51 am

just started my new harmon,seems to work well. how long should a bag of coal last at 300 degrees? its all so different then my wood stove. First night it whent out,I dont think I shook it hard enough. I lost my job so i need to make the most of this new way of heating our home. How can a stove burn 20 hours if you are not there to shake it down? So many questions!!
ratdog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harmon mark 2
Stove/Furnace Model: harmon mark 2

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: rberq On: Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:52 pm

300 degrees is fairly low. Your stove probably takes 45 pounds when you shake down and recharge -- just guessing based on what my smaller Mark I takes. At that temperature it should easily burn for 24 hours without being shaken down.

To get the most from it, make sure you have a barometric damper properly adjusted for draft (.06 per the Harman manual), and make sure you have and use the convection blower. You can plug the blower into a rheostat to run at lower speed (lower noise!) when the stove is at lower temperatures.

Make sure you always fill the coal to the top of the firebrick. It's not like wood where you can add a little fuel at a time, every couple hours. With coal, you get it burning well, then control heat output by adjusting the air inlet.

Just keep exploring old postings on the forum, reading whatever looks relevant, and you will learn a lot. And post whatever questions come to mind .... lots of folks here ready to help.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: ratdog On: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:00 pm

Well thanks so much for the info! I have not been filling the stove all the way to the fire brick all the time so that will help. I knew I must have been doing somthing wrong. Dont get me wrong the stove heats real nice,I have only had it for four days and one of those days my wife and kid looked over it and thats the night it had gone out? Anyway I get it started with a good hot wood fire heat the flue real well and start adding coal. After I get a good burn going I add more and more until i am at the top of the brick,How often should I top it off? That is if i am at home? I keep hearing 24 hours it should burn and this I will have to see for myself. What temp do you run your stove on an average night seems like anything over four hundred would use alot of coal??? Just wondering? I have not one person to talk shop with and my wife is tired of talking about my coal stove. Thanks and I look forward to your reply.
ratdog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harmon mark 2
Stove/Furnace Model: harmon mark 2


Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:11 pm

This is my four year firing a Mark II. This is what I learned to insure the longest, least expensive burn. Thank you members of the Forum.

First, if you don't have a barro, get one. That made the most difference in reducing my coal usage and retaining the heat for home use instead of losing it up the chimney. I don't really understand it but I'm willing to believe it works because I've seen a drastic reduction in my coal usage. Before anyone writes me to fully explain how the barro works, thanks but I don't care - I just believe. I feel the same way about knowing why you can’t divide by zero and most other mathematical questions. Oh, and Santa Claus :D

Second, use pea coal for "smoldering" fires that produce heat over a long period of time. This type of fire will not have a lot of the "blue ladies" dancing but it will last a long time and put out a lot of heat without attention or minimal attention. Do you have a thermometer on the stove front or top? If not, you need one to properly control your heat production.

Right now - 65* outside - with the stove idling, as long as I maintain a stove top temperature of 150* I know I have a fire no matter what it looks like (it looks pretty dead.) Remember, coal burns from the bottom up and can burn a long time without any actual flame. Sometimes I can only see a glimpse of red coals deep in the bed but as long as the stove is 150* I know my house will be 79 degrees. (Yes, that's warm but we need the heat at night. We open a window during mid day.) The air intake is adjusted to provide this temperature; too little air, no fire, to much air, too much fire i.e. wasting coal. Right now, to reach my perfect balance I have my Mark II air valve at 1/2 turn open. That will change as the outside temperature gets colder and I need more heat. Then I have to find a new perfect balance. That’s the art of burning coal in a hand fired stove.

The after barro temp on the chimney connector pipe should be about 100* less then the stove front or top. If its not you are losing heat up the chimney.

The pea coal will not need to be shaken as often nor as vigorously; it’s just something about pea coal. Some unburned pea coal will slip out of the grate along with the ash if you shake too hard. If you are shaking it just right you will have "crumbly" ash, not a powder but crumbles. With this type of pea coal "smoldering" fire you should only have to gently shake it once a day, if that.

The hardest part of burning a “smoldering” fire is trusting that the coal will do its thing. It looks dead but there is a fire. True story; last winter I had a 36 hour burn when we went away for the weekend. The house was the same temperature when we got back as when we left and there was only one ash pan of ashes to empty. A quick refresh and it was good to go.

A 24 hour burn without shaking is possible but you have to believe first; trust the thermometer - find your perfect balance between air and temperature. If you have any questions, ask! Someone in the Forum will have the answer or can find it fast.

Good luck, Lisa
Last edited by lowfog01 on Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: 009to090 On: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:16 pm

Ratdog, where are you located? Maybe you have a neighbor thats a member of this forum. Time to make the invite for someone to come over and look at it with you? :D :cheers:
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: rberq On: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:29 pm

ratdog wrote:... Anyway I get it started with a good hot wood fire heat the flue real well and start adding coal ...

Remember, you're allowed only one match per year. :) Seriously, it's a pain to start a coal fire, so the ideal is to start it once and keep it going for weeks or months. I think I shut down only once last winter, because I had to fix a gasket. Also, kindling and half a bag of charcoal is easier than wood for starting the coal. Give it lots of air (ash door open) and as soon as the charcoal is blazing start adding the coal.

ratdog wrote:... What temp do you run your stove on an average night ...

There is no average night. You will have to learn from experience what temp keeps your house warm, depending how cold the weather is.

ratdog wrote:... How often should I top it off?

It doesn't hurt to top it off every few hours (without shaking), but it's generally not necessary. This time of year, you can likely get by with shaking it down once a day; in really cold weather, probably twice a day. After shaking down the ashes, top it off. There are a number of threads on the forum on how to top off and get the new coal burning without any puff-backs (minor coal gas explosions). The usual advice is, try to leave some red coals exposed when you add new coal, so they can ignite the gas before it builds up.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: ratdog On: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:51 pm

I live in maryland and I only have three homes near mine and they all burn wood. They think I am crazy for changing over to coal but I bet I can get at least one this year to convert over from wood to coal. This coal stove thing is like my thing ! I dont drink I dont do drugs I do coal!!!!! Its a blast. :D :D :roll:
ratdog
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harmon mark 2
Stove/Furnace Model: harmon mark 2

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: TdiDave On: Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:25 pm

im in maryland also but i have a stoker.
TdiDave
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line - Pocono
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: samler17 On: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:28 am

I live in Maryland and I'm in the same situation as you. Learning how to use this thing. I have a Mark III and I really can't wait to get it fire up, I'm sick of hearing the heatpump running. I to am burning pea coal this year. Can't wait I feel like a kid at a candy store.
samler17
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harmon Mark III
Other Heating: Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark III

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:41 pm

ratdog wrote:This coal stove thing is like my thing ! I dont drink I dont do drugs I do coal!!!!! Its a blast. :D :D :roll:



Well I was just about to offer to help you with your stove but now in light of this new information, I don't what we would do when we weren't watching the stove? Just kidding. I'm in Harford County and could take a look sometime if you need help.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: samler17 On: Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:28 am

I'v been burning for 2days now, had a co incident on Sat got that taken care of was on 7 days prior. I'm running my Mark III one full turn on the intake during the day and one and a half during the night. I'm seeing some tall blue ladies usually on one side or the other. I'm burning pea coal and I've read that you shouldn't see any with Pea. Am I buring it too hot? My house is only 74 deg.
samler17
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harmon Mark III
Other Heating: Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark III

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: coalkirk On: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:22 pm

Doesn't sound like you arte burning too hot. At 74 degrees, the house would be too warm for me. I like it about 70-72.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: looking for tips on how to get the most out my coal

PostBy: samler17 On: Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:18 am

That's not the whole house just the living room area above the stove. The bedrooms are over the unfinished part of the basement and it's about 68 there. I just get a little nervous this is my first full season using it. My wife likes it a little warmer with having a newborn in the house.
samler17
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harmon Mark III
Other Heating: Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark III