Wonder Coal Stove Question

Wonder Coal Stove Question

PostBy: Watty On: Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:54 am

I was recently in the market for a wood or coal burning stove for my home as a secondary and backup source of heat. I ended up going with a WonderCoal by US Stove Company. I installed a new 8" double wall stainless chimney that is on the outside of my home and about 2 & 1/2 stories tall (12 inches or so above roof line.) I came threw the wall with one 36" length or double wall threw a wall thimble and transitioned to 6" stove pipe and NO damper. The manual does not say anything about any type oy baramentric damper. I did put a damper inside the pipe for slowing down draft when burning wood.

The problem I am having is keeping my coal fire going. If I babysit it and contantly put a thin layer or anthricite on it will keep going no problem. But the reason I got a coal stove was for longer burns with less tending. I am sure I am doing something very wrong. Wood burns great in this stove with no problems and will stay hot enough to keep blower on for about 4 hours. With coal I am lucky to keep the same 4 hour burn time. The manual and all liturature claim that 10 to 12 hour burns can be obtained. I've tried getting a supper hot wood fire going, letting burn down and adding a single layer of coal to that until it is well ignited and then pouring the coal on about 6" thick. I've tried putting less at first then ramping it up, and still the same problem. My draft is -.15 to -.25 with no fire. Over fire I have about a -.2to-.3 I don't have a stack temp gauge except my TESTO 325 I use for my oil service business, and I don't want to risk damaging it by puting it into a wood/coal burning chimney.

Very frustrated :(
Thank you,
Kris "Watty" Watson
Watty
 

Stove Size

PostBy: Watty On: Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:57 am

By the way I am using Stove Size Anthracite. This was my other concern. Should I be using nut size? I called US Stove and they said Stove Size should be fine.

-Watty
Watty
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:15 pm

Hello Watty, and welcome to the forum. I did a search for US Stove to see how your stove is built. Is your Wondercoal a model 2827?

I downloaded the instruction manual, the directions are not very good for burning coal. You want the secondary air on the door closed when burning anthracite coal, you would want some secondary air only if you were burning Bituminous coal. Get a good hot wood fire going, load on the Anthracite coal, [don't stir the coals like the manual says]. Close the door and leave it closed for 30-45 minutes. Any volitiles will have burnt off by then.

Read this thread: http://nepacrossroads.com/viewtopic.php?t=1115

Make sure your ONLY source of air to the fire is from below the fire bed. All air going to a coal fire must come up through the grate, through the coal bed then out the stove and up the chimney.

Make sure the loading door is sealing, and make sure that the [at least] 6" deep pile of coal you load on the fire completely covers the entire firebox and grate. There can be no gaps where combustion air can get around the coal instead of through the coal.

I'm not sure from your post what you mean that you can't keep the fire going. Is it burning up the coal too fast, or is the coal fire going out?? A 6" deep bed of stove-size anthracite should burn at least 6 hours, longer with the combustion air cut way back.


Hope this helps. Greg L

.
Last edited by LsFarm on Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:16 pm, edited 5 times in total.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland


PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:21 pm

This is too good, the oil service guy burning coal! :P

Just curious, how much loaded coal in #s are we talking here and the 3 dimesions of your firebox?

Stove coal is traditionally used when the firepot is 12" deep and about 16" wide. The stove size coal will burn faster (and hotter), you can switch to nut and or mix the two and it will damp down. The larger chunks provide more room for draft between them. I think the real problem is you have too much draft. A coal appliance should run @ .05-.06" of draft, if you are at .2-.3 your heat is being sucked up that beautiful chimney (I'm jealous) because the draft is 4 or 5 times what it should be.

A barometric damper is pretty much required with coal. It will start to break the draft at a fixed setpoint (.06"). I recommend the Field Control RC unit for coal, about $25.

Also, don't try to build a small fire, Anthracite wants a full bed full time. The firebox must be full! The draft will regulate your heat output once it is at the right level and you will find you have a different stove all of a sudden.

Unless you are pushing it hard that thing should run 12-18 hours minimum between loadings with the north east's current weather pattern. I have run my boiler out 20 hours a few times with little or no problems.
Last edited by coaledsweat on Sun Dec 31, 2006 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Thank you!

PostBy: Watty On: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:17 pm

Thank you so much. From what you have said the directions are WAY off!!! Model 2827BB (Model with heat circulator) This is my first time burning coal, what a way to start... bad directions. I had the draft wheel on the door open full blast as per the directions. This is a lot different then oil, can't wait to learn it. I have a few RCs on my service truck, I'll throw one on.

The fire box is about 12wide by 26deep and the firebrick is about 10" tall. Manual says it can hold up to 20 pound of coal.

And yes...the oil service man is burning coal for 50%+ of his heat. shhhhhh! :lol: Originaly I got it to deal with black outs that we seem to get every time we get any amount of snow. But I have access to free wood and a inexpensive coal mine about 45 miles from me in Whitehall NY, seems so far that I am cutting my heating budget down.
Watty
 

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:54 pm

Yeah, you want to go to nut size coal, that firebox is a little small for stove. Just mix the stove and nut togeather until the stove is gone. Not real sure of my math but I think that firebox should hold 80-100 #s of anthracite. 20# of coal isn't enough coal to build a real fire in anything I've seen that would heat a house.

Is this your stove?

http://www.usstove.com/Dealers/images/owners_man_2638.pdf
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Watty On: Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:12 pm

Yes that is my stove. That manual is different then the one I have. That one shows the "Optional" damper. Since my last post I closed of the draft wheel and added a damper. I have about 3/4 of a 5 gallon bucket of coal in it now, about half full, and it is burning very nicely. A lot better then it was before. Going threw my delivery of "stove coal" some of it is the size of half a masonary brick :shock: Definately going to get nut size next time.

Thanks- Watty
Watty
 

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Dec 31, 2006 4:42 pm

That's about 30#. I think as you get more used to filling it and banking when loading, you will want to fill it up a lot more. It should be filled to the top of the firebrick, both you and your stove will be a lot happier then. :)

It is much easier to maintain a coal fire for a beginner by attending it every 8 hours until you get used to the stoves likes and dislikes because there is less change involved with the load/draft/temp/etc. Every firebox/chimney/fuel has some issues involving the freshening of the fire. The devil is in the details with Anthracite. Once you learn them, your on easy street with a 12-18 hour burn between loadings..
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: LsFarm On: Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:05 am

Hi Watty, how did the stove do overnight?? Once you get it dialed in, you should get through the night on a full load of coal.

The parts exploded-view of your stove doesn't show much detail on the below the grate air control, is it something that can be fine tuned??



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: Watty On: Mon Jan 01, 2007 11:38 am

It ran great. To my surprise when I woke up this morning the heat circulator fan was still blowing. So it went from 10PM to 945AM and was still enough coal it could have probly gone a few more hours if I didn't try to refuel it :? Definately going to take some practice. Now that I have the starting and draft down, gotta work on refueling lol. I loaded on about 4 inches directly on a very hot bed of coals, left the ash pan door open and closed the feed door (thinking it would provide more air from below creating a hotter start). I shook the heck out of it to clear room for combustion air to get threw the coal, but....ehhh I just smothered it.

I kind of wish it had some sort of blower for adding combustion air from below when needed. I'm sure if I scavange my bone yard of oil burners I can make up some sort of fan. I got this paticular stove because it is in a high traffic area (my fully stocked bar / billiards room) and like the cool touch case around it, so the kiddies don't get burnt. Looking at some of your stoves I am now in envy.

-Watty
Watty
 

PostBy: Oo-v-oO On: Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:20 pm

I ran across this file when I was looking for something else - it's definitely worth a read for the :newb: coal-burner:

http://www.homewarmth.com/pdffiles/coalburningtips.pdf
Oo-v-oO
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Ashley

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:40 pm

Yep, that should be required reading. Where on earth did you come up with that smiley?
Last edited by coaledsweat on Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Oo-v-oO On: Mon Jan 01, 2007 1:48 pm

It's in the forum...

When you make a post, look below the smilies and you'll see "View more emoticons". That will pop up a window with a bunch more.
Oo-v-oO
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Ashley

PostBy: dutch On: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:50 am

Watty, good job so far in learning this art of burning Coal!

One suggestion that may help,, for reloading.

Open your ash door a few minutes before you shake/load
the stove. I do this every time (if I have the time) and then
a quick vigorous shake, and as the temp starts coming up I
layer in some new coal. (I do close it while I shake this year, less dust
flying about) In a few minutes, that batch starts
burning blue, and I can usually top it off at that point. If I
think I have smothered the fire, I leave that bottom door open
a few more minutes, and watch and see what my stack temp
does. If it stays put, and doesn't start to drop, I can then usually
close that door and leave it be.

I think the key here is don't shake unless you have a vigorous fire,
and don't load too quickly on a slower burning fire.

I am also still new at this, and have been trying to learn even
more tricks,, especially with this milder weather this winter.
These stoves seem to love to burn hot, and I'm finding it a real
learning experience to tone it down, and not go thru so much coal
and keep the home more comfortable. (not so warm)

good luck, and keep posting back with your progress. you'll be
a pro in no time!
:lol:
dutch
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:17 am

The trick with loading is you always want some live fire exposed on the surface, that's why it should be banked properly so as not to smother it. The fire must stay live from the ash bed to the surface to stay healthy.

Unless my fire is roaring I always open the ash drawer and ramp the fire up a few minutes before shaking. NEVER shake a cold fire! It should have a vigourus glow before attempting to shake it down.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea