Can I Burn Coal in My Modified Century Free Standing Stove

Can I Burn Coal in My Modified Century Free Standing Stove

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:07 am

I'm from Northern NJ, Sussex County area. I've got an old Rheem oil fired furnace. Its so old that I can't get parts for it anymore and if I do a Google search for it the internet laughs at me. I've also got a modified Century wood stove rated at 155k BTU. It does a decent enough job of heating my house when I'm home but I can't even get any more than an hour burn time on it. Last year I went through 2 cords of wood but the year before that I went through 4 because it was all that I was using.

Anyway, I have some questions. Like I said, its a modified Century Free Standing stove. What I did was cut the ash box off of it and welded a plate in the hole and then welded legs on it. The reason for this was because I already had a fireplace but again, it came down money as my wife and I could not afford an insert. So, I did that to put it in the fireplace. I ran a new liner and redid the floor. State code is 18" in front of the stove so I went 33". The issue I am having is that I am only able to get a maximum of 2 hours burn time out of this thing. So, stoking it before bed at 10pm will only net me to 12. I have one damper installed at the base of the liner and the top of the stove. If I were to pull the liner back out and install a t with a barometric damper would it increase my burn time? Could I even use both a manual damper inside the liner and a barometric damper? Or would I be better getting a top mounted damper for the top of the chimney? I'm asking because a Barometric Damper is about $250 cheaper than the top mounted damper. My stove isn't real big the box only measures 18" x 22" and is only rated at 70% efficiency but considering our financial situation its the best I can do right now. Am I pretty much stuck with the crappy burn times? I'm not looking to get an 11 hour burn time like some of the newer units but having maybe at the very least an additional hour or so might alleviate going through fire wood like its going out of style. Speaking of which, does anyone know of anywhere I can get some firewood for less than $200 a cord? I do have a pickup truck and a log splitter so I have no problem driving to get it as long as its within a reasonable distance from my house.

I'm not entirely sure I can even burn coal/anthracite in my stove. Can I? I'd have to dig up the paperwork on it. Plus, I've never even burned coal so I don't even know how to do it.

I'm currently burning wood when I am home and using the furnace when I am not.

I have thought about using coal in the wood burning stove I'm just not sure I can.


Can I install a barometric damper on my wood stove in a T or should I get a top mounted damper for the top of the chimney/liner?
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator


Re: HI! I'm new!!!

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:10 pm

Some stoves are hybrids that will burn both wood and coal. To burn coal you need a stove that has shaker grates so that you can remove the ashes and stir the fire. If your stove doesn't have those it will be hard to impossible to burn coal. Do your stove's grates move at all? Coal also requires the draft to come completely from under the fire. Coal stoves have "ash" doors with air vents on them so you can control the air flow. That's how you control the heat production; the more draft the hotter the fire, the less air, the lower the fire. If your stove has both of these things you can burn coal.

A barometric damper is not usually recommended for a wood stove because of the creosote the wood produces. That stuff gets all over the baro damper and throws the weight off making it ineffective.

A wood fire is not going to allow you a long burn without attention to the fire. Coal on the other hand, if properly tended, will burn for 12 or 15 hours with no attention. It also produces a great deal more heat. I didn't see where you are from but coal is generally cheaper then wood unless your wood is free. Coal will burn wet and does not attract bugs. The correct size coal stove will heat your entire house for years. You can find reliable used coal stoves for almost nothing on craigslist and ebay. If I were looking to replace my heating appliance that's how I'd go. What am I saying, that's exactly what I did!

I haven't regretted it one bit and I cut my heating bills in half. Good luck with whatever you decide. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: HI! I'm new!!!

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:35 pm

Then, no, no I can not burn coal in my wood burner. I have none of those options on my wood stove that LowFog mentioned. So, I guess the only option I have on the damper for the wood burner is a top mounted damper that is either eletrically or manually (with a chain) controlled? Like I said, I already have one at the base of the liner and top of the stove but I feel it is still burning too hot and quick. I want to slow the burn down a little more. Replacing the wood stove for a coal unit just isn't a viable option for me and my family at this point. We don't have much money so we have to make do with what we have which leaves me with making improvements to the one we have. Heck, my wife is already mad that the furnace is down and needs repair too.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: HI! I'm new!!!

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:12 pm

markviii wrote: At $200 per cord, I would be parting company with the wood burner. Used coal stoves can be had for a couple hundred dollars if you look around.


I agree. I'd personally look at the total cost of replacing your burner and then see it I could find a good used coal stove for less cost. You may find that it's a better expenditure to go with the coal appliance. You'd definitely save on your energy costs. I know the correct sized coal stove would be able to heat your house to a warmer temperature for a lot less money. As I stated, coal needs less hands on then wood and can go 12 or 15 hours without looking at the stove. They are very basic and need little maintenance over time. Several members have their stoves hooked into the house's vent system ducts so that the stove in the basement heats the entire house. You may want to check out the archives and see if switching to coal is a viable alternative. If it comes down to six of one or a half dozen of the other, I'd go with coal. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: HI! I'm new!!!

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:46 pm

I'll definitely look into switching the wood burner out to a coal burner. From what you guys are saying it seems like it'd be a little more cost effective. But after I get my furnace issue corrected.

Speaking of the furnace. I spoke with the supply house I found the Webster M34DK3 pump at and that pump supersedes the M34DA3 that I have. So, I bought it. Total cost for the new pump $82.73 and then I picked up the Dwyer Mark 2 Model 25 Manometer and when I get both. I'll be repairing my own furnace.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: HI! I'm new!!!

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:54 pm

I'm On Fire wrote: Total cost for the new pump $82.73 and then I picked up the Dwyer Mark 2 Model 25 Manometer and when I get both. I'll be repairing my own furnace.


Sounds good like deal. Good luck, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea