hand fired or stoker stove which?

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: Virginia Woodworker On: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:04 pm

Thanks for all the help out there. It is great to hear from so many people. Does any one out there know anything of the D S stoves?
Also If I did put in a stoker can anyone tell me what the stove temps are. Do they get very warn so that it acts somewhat as a radiant stove. This would probably heat my basement while the air would go into the vents to heat the upstairs.

Thanks VW
Virginia Woodworker
 

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: Virginia Woodworker On: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:09 pm

Thanks for all the help out there. It is great to hear from so many people. Does any one out there know anything of the D S stoves?
Also If I did put in a stoker can anyone tell me what the stove temps are. Do they get very warn so that it acts somewhat as a radiant stove. This would probably heat my basement while the air would go into the vents to heat the upstairs.

Thanks VW
Virginia Woodworker
 

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: DOUG On: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:13 pm

The stoker temperatures can get just as hot as the hand fires. The temperature is usually controlled by a thermostat which varies the speed of the stoker feed rate. So, the temperatures will vary automatically according to the demand needed to satisfy the thermostat placement.

There are many different options available by anthracite coal stoker manufactures. For example, radiant heat only, forced hot air vents, or gravity style jackets.

The only downsides that I see with a stoker is that it needs electricity to operate and you can't burn wood. But Alaska Stove offers a underfeed stoker that can be adjusted to burn hard wood pellets.

The plus sides are that you have an almost automatic operation using electronic controls and the stoves are able to use a power vent for a chimney.

I can't speak on the D.S.Machine stoves because I haven't had the privilege of using one. If you do a search here on D.S.Machine Stoves, you'll find the right ups. Hopefully some of the D.S.Machine owners will see your post and chime in for you.
DOUG
 
Stove/Furnace Make: CHUBBY, D.S.MACHINE BOILER
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: oliver power On: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:16 pm

If I had to pick one, it'd be a hand fired w/hopper. I like the HITZER EZ-Flows.
oliver power
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II)
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
Stove/Furnace Make: HITZER / KEYSTOKER
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93 & 30-95 , Kaa-2

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: GeorgiePorgie On: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:23 pm

Once you hook up a stoker with a digital programmable thermostat, you'll never go back to a hand fired stove !

The only time you'll miss a hand fired stove, is when you have some extra wood logs, and just realized you can not burn them in a stoker stove. I keep thinking of designing one that will do both, As I mentioned in previous post, someone made a prototype once, but never made it to production !

To have a good combination Stoker/programmable thermostat look for the triburner based stokers ( reading/old Alaska/Leisure line ). That will be your best bet for the money. my buddy who had a Mark III Harman and was in love with it for years, just installed a stoker with 7 days 4 cycle per day program, and he'll never go back to a hand fired stove, having that temperature locked on to any desired setting, regardless of the outside temperature changes, is an unbeatable feature, and he assured me he saved well over one ton this season over previous seasons. ( 4 tons versus 5 or more )

I am aware of the better efficiency of hand fired stove, but for all practical purposes, the features and convenience of a properly setup stoker, outweighs the benefits of the hand fired types of stoves.
GeorgiePorgie
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska, Harman, Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Stoker

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: oliver power On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:46 am

"The only time you'll miss a hand fired stove, is when you have some extra wood logs, and just realized you can not burn them in a stoker stove". Sorry GeorgiePorgie, I personally disagree with that. The time you'll miss the hand fired most is when the electric goes out. And that "to me" is the biggest factor of which stove to choose. Next factor in line is time between tendings. Should you need to be away for extended perionds of time (24+ hours), the stoker should still be going strong. That is, if the electric didn't go out. And then, like you say, you can not burn firewood in a stoker. As far as performance goes, I don't see much of a difference between the two. I'll tell you what I am surprised at; And that is how many people replied to this post stating they'd choose the hand fired over the stoker. In my opinion, the best stove out there is hand fired, and hopper fed. That being said; I do like my Kaa-2. If it wasn't for the fact of needing electric for running circulator pumps anyways, I would have never bought a stoker boiler. My HITZER 50-93 was tended every 12 hours during the coldest days of winter. It would stretch out to 18 hours easily. Under the same wheather conditions, my Kaa-2 gets tended every 24 hours, and can easily stretch out to 36 hours. With this warmer wheather, I walk past the Kaa-2 after 24 hours, and sometimes say to myself; "I'll tend it tonight" , or "I'll tend it tomorrow morning". Hardly any difference in coal useage between the 50-93, and Kaa-2 during cold wheather. So far, it looks like I'm going to save a lot of coal during warmer temps with the Kaa-2 boiler. My timer pins are down to three per group. It idles most of the day. Runs off triple aquastat at night.
Last edited by oliver power on Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
oliver power
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II)
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
Stove/Furnace Make: HITZER / KEYSTOKER
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93 & 30-95 , Kaa-2

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: GeorgiePorgie On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:48 pm

Well, my comparison was for "Under Normal circumstances "

Don't get me wrong, in the area where I live, we have had many power outages, but somehow, that all seems to have dissapeared after I started using my stoker, we still get some brown-outs, bt for the last three years my stoker never stopped during the season.

I was very insisting on figuring out the efficiency of burn between a hand fed and a stoker, and I would agree with you about a hopper fed stove being a great option, this is what I believe makes a hand fired or a hopped fed stove better in burning the coal:

When burning coal through a hand fed or a graviy fed, walnut coal / pea coal is used, and as the coal burns, ashes are formed on the outside of the coal particles, but with every shake, the ashes fall to the ash pan, and expose more of the coal inside the coal particles to be reburnt, the process continues till most of the coal is consumed. Looking at ashes coming off of a hand fired or a gravity fed stove validates what I just stated !

With stoker stoves, it's a different scenario, the rice coal is pushed on the grate, with an attitude of ( hopefully it all burns by the time it travels to the end of the grate ) ashes are not shaken off, rather, the entire particles are pushed off, with the hope of the blowing combustion air reaching all the unburnt coal. It's less than perfect setup, but very practical.

And as far as :
Oliver Power wrote: I'll tell you what I am surprised at; And that is how many people replied to this post stating they'd choose the hand fired over the stoker


It's simple, do the math, most had fired stove are really inexpensive ( do a search on CL. ) I just got a Victory 700 with extra new shakers for FREE for a friend of mine, hoping he'll start using coal, he is still insisting on the convenience of a stoker, but again can not afford one yet ! for under 800 Dollars you may be able to buy the best of the best of hand fired, while most used stokers start at about that price. Who was it that said :" When you got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow "

By the way, I'll be glad to trade you a hand fired gravity fed, and I'll even throw in a hot water heater for your kaa-2 ( Just kidding )
GeorgiePorgie
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska, Harman, Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Stoker

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:22 pm

I don't agree with this statement:

GeorgiePorgie wrote: With stoker stoves, it's a different scenario, the rice coal is pushed on the grate, with an attitude of ( hopefully it all burns by the time it travels to the end of the grate ) ashes are not shaken off, rather, the entire particles are pushed off, with the hope of the blowing combustion air reaching all the unburnt coal. It's less than perfect setup, but very practical.

With a stoker, there is fan forced combustion air, the coal is burnt much hotter and more completely when the stoker is running, and a fan is blowing through the coal bed.. with a hand feed, there is only chimney draft slowly pulling air through the coal.. and with the coal bed of a hand feed, you have inconsistant buildup of ash, causing cool spots, or clinker build up, and other inconsistancies in the combustion supply.

The size of the coal used in a stoker is smaller for a reason: it burns up by the time it reaches the end of the grate.. rice and buckwheat both do the job..
In underfeed stokers, like the EFM, VanWert, Gentleman Janitor etc, larger coal will still burn up to a fine powder, without any shaking or agitating. It's the nature of coal pieces to shed the outer ash, and burn all the way to the core of the piece.. ONLY when the combustion air is interupted like in an old style TriBurner stoker going to idle mode, or most stokers during a power outage, will the coal not be burnt fully..

Just look at the flames and color of the coal on a LL or similar flat bed stoker.. you have high flames, and red/white hot fire where the fresh coal is fed onto the grate, and as this coal burns and is pushed down the grate, the flames are diminishing, and the coal becomes a dull red, then dark ash. Then it is pushed off the grate, fully spent and burnt up.. If it isn't burnt it isn't coal, it's slate or bone in the coal.

I've taken the ash from a LL Hyfire and Pioneer, and ground it up, there is no unburnt coal in the center of the rice or buck sized pieces. My AA sometimes has partially burnt coal in the ash, but that's the nature of the AA design. It burns most pea coal to a powder or clinkered ash.

For me, if I could use a stove, and had a lot of power outages, I'd use a hopper fed stove,, but you can also have backup power supplies.. remember, when the power goes out ALL heating systems are dead, except for a wood stove or hand feed coal stove. Only a little gravity feed from a few boiler setups.

So: you have to decide if you are worried about power outages, or long burn times, longer times between tending the ashpan or shaking. etc..

There is no question that a stoker stove is much more convienent if you have an irregular schedule, and could miss a shaking and feeding of a hand feed.. but you you live an orderly and predictable life, then this it moot.

I enjoy having a 5-7 day coal hopper and a 2day+ ashpan.. I only use this setup because I'm gone for days at a time, and need my boiler to be easy to tend to for whoever I con into taking care of it while I'm gone..usually it is one caretaker for the place..

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

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: Virginia Woodworker On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:55 pm

Thanks all for all the great info. Not to drag this out but what I understand is that in my scenario stove in basement , with handmade shroud over the top and a total of 2600 sq. ft. upstairs and down either type stove will do the job. With that said what size stove should I get. Do I have to get one that services 2600sq. ft. or will one smaller do it? I live around Raonoke VA and the temps are not extremely cold usually. It may get into the teens and the windchill close to 0 at times but usually not. I am not asking you all to make the final decision however I do not want to do like some I have read about on the forum that went out and purchased a stoker and because it did not do the job had to get a hand fired. I would prefer a stoker but need to know for sure it will work in my situation.
Thanks, VW
Virginia Woodworker
 

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: Coalfire On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:57 pm

Hi VW
I see your question about the stokers radiating heat. They will to some degree, most of them have a pretty good fan which washes most of the heat off the stove. Our basement is all open 1300 sqft unisulated, but all below ground.The basement was 67 all winter, upstairs was 73 in front of house and 67 at the very back. So yes the stoker will radiate some heat but not much. My mag only washes off the back and top, If you look at some other stokers they also run air over the sides, so you would have less heat in the basement, but more going upstairs. when a stoker is idiling you will have less heat radiating off the stove cause of the small amount of coal burning. The one thing to remember with a stoker you are moving hot air, instead of radiating heat. With our hand fed granted the basement was warmer but the upstairs temp was even in all the rooms. You will see people with stokers making duct work to get the heat were they want it, some with good results some with marginal results. Just something to consider.
Have a great day, Eric
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: Coalfire On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:03 pm

Hi VW,
How old is your home, how drafty is the home, is it well insulated, is your basment well insulated a couple of answers on your home and I am sure some others will chime in
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: Virginia Woodworker On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:50 pm

The home is 8 years old. No drafts. The Basement is concrete walls and I studded all around it with 2x4s then drywalled that. I have one large room down there where the wood stove is and four smaller rooms off to either end, two on either side. The ceiling is insulated also. The whole house is very tight and the wood stove bakes us out if I want it to. I hope this helps.
VW
Virginia Woodworker
 

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: sterling40man On: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:32 pm

LsFarm wrote:There is no question that a stoker stove is much more convienent if you have an irregular schedule, and could miss a shaking and feeding of a hand feed.. but you you live an orderly and predictable life, then this it moot.


Hi VW,

Welcome to the forum. There are a lot of experienced coal burners on this site.

Greg makes an excellent point on the quote above. That is the reason I went with a stoker. I really wanted a hand fed but, I'm on shift work. With a hand fed you almost have to tend to it at the same times of day. One of my co-workers has a hand fed. He finds it difficult to tend because of the shift work. Take care and good luck.
sterling40man
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker K6
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: sharkman8810 On: Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:39 pm

From what i can tell the current heating setup is for gravity fed hood collection , then routed that way. The simplest way to go to coal is just replace it with a radiant coal stove and feed it coal instead of wood. All the stokers that i know of use a fan and be like a forced air furnace.

To do a "drop in" replacement I'd look at the harmon mark ii and mark iii series, hiter 82/or 50-93, d.s. machine, and i am sure alaska has a hand fed model too. Basically a 80k-90k btu model radiant type stove should do what you are asking and be pretty affordable.

Burn times vary by type and style, but i dont see why you can't 18 hrs out of one or two of the models I listed above.
sharkman8810
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 82 ul
Coal Size/Type: nut
Stove/Furnace Make: hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 82 u.l.

Re: hand fired or stoker stove which?

PostBy: ceccil On: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:52 pm

Virginia Woodpecker, another thing to consider is that most stoves are designed as supplimental heat to your existing system and are not really designed as a complete replacement. There are many that are heating their entire home with one of these units with anywhere from marginal to great success.

If you currently have a forced air system in place, there are some other options. You can look at some of the furnace type stoves that should heat your house well. They use a plentum type system that hooks into your current ductwork to move the warm air throughout the house.

One of these is the Keystoker Koker or the A-120 hot air furnace.

http://www.keystoker.com/products.php#waf

Scroll down to the bottom for info.


Another option is the Alaska Model 140 coal stove,


http://www.alaskastove.com/site/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=133&category_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=53
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


You could also look into the Leisure Line stoves and see if they have a furnace type stove that will work for you also. The nice thing about the Leisure Line is that the owners of the company are also members of this forum and are ALWAYS there for their customers. You can PM either Flyer5 (Dave) or Matthaus (Matt) and they will get back to you.


I'm in no way trying to steer you away from a hand fired stove. There are many great hand fired stove out there, I just have no experiance with them. I just wanted you to see some other options as far as a stoker type stove that may fit the bill for what you are looking for that I didn't see mentioned in another post.

Good luck.
ceccil
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Mark III

Visit Lehigh Anthracite