Lighting nut coal

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:44 pm

Glad you got er filled up and going Cold coal. looks like your on the road to coal collection tomorrow. :) maybe a small bag of cowboy charcoal and small bag of fatwood for furnature safe fire starting if needed.. if funds are short then just get the co detector in stead!! try the rear fan and watch the stack temp.

dont worry if you get up several times in the middle of the night and look at the orange glow and find your self smiling...... 8-) we all do that!!

goodnight :)
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Bear038 On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:48 pm

You have a lot more terms to learn grasshopper, but it sounds like you are on your way.

Next new term to learn, and install is barometric damper. Your stove really needs one and the manufacturer recomends one. This will allow you to have a steady draw on the coal bed, and help keep you from over heating the chimney.
Bear038
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:49 pm

No blower on Smitty, and holding steady at 290 stack temp with 2 turns open. Looks like it might last the night! Unsure how hot I need it, I know when my stack temp was at 350 with wood it became an oven down here. Wood, though, you can regulate easily by cutting off air until it calms. As you say coal is slower to respond, so yeah loads to learn. I will say this though, I can see once it's lit it is indeed "gravy" as someone said.

Ok bear I'll look into it, no chance of it going in this year, but soon maybe!
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:53 pm

Ya know....you learned in 9 hours what it took me about 2 years of trial and error to learn. (the second year was relearning what I couldn't remember from the first year) But that was before the internet and a great forum like this one! :D
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: SMITTY On: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:56 pm

2 turns works great with my stove. Just have a look down there periodically to see what the temp is doing. If it's ramping up slowly, that's fine -- it will take a couple hours to get the whole big pile lit up & red.

Sounds to me like it's going good. I'd leave it be for now & just keep an occasional eye on it for a couple hours. After that, she'll go all night long and part of the next day. :verycool:

Congrats on your first coal fire .... and good luck! :cheers:
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:18 am

Not bad,not bad at all,,,,I lay down for a nap,and I awake to you've got a coal fire going and you still have legs on your furniture ! I told you to stay with us and we'll stay with you. Now start to do your cypherin' and homeworkin'. Get your terms down and understand your stove,piping,chimney and flue. Download the factory manual for your stove from Harman. Get all you can from here,and in no time you'll pay these guys back by contributing from your time on board. Now it's time for the rest of my"Nap". Take care of yourself and get that CO Detector. Good Night,Coldcoal and a huge thanx to all you Coal Santa's that helped him knock the heck out of this for him.....Bob :up:
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:50 am

coldcoal wrote:OMG that's a lot of coal! All the way to the top bricks?


Sounds crazy when you are used to wood but that is the way you do it. Not only is it slow to react as already mentioned but it's much more controllable than wood. A full stove is not going to take off on you if it doesn't have the air. You can easily get a 12 hour burn out of it, you can even go longer with bigger stoves but of course you're going to be getting less heat. No more messing with wood in the middle of the night. Most people get on a schedule of reloading in the morning and evening and set the air to maximize the heat output and have enough left to keep a fire going. This isn't like wood where you will light for occasional fire, most people light once in the Fall and keep the same fire until the Spring.

While wood is more like supplementary heat coal is more like a primary heat even with a stove. If the area you are heating is getting too warm I'd suggest you look into ways to move that heat to other areas of the house.

You mentioned bag coal, look into bulk delivery especially if you're in PA. It can be as little as half the price of bagged coal if you are in NEPA.

I do have some concerns here about safety. Some things to be aware of since you were burning wood. The coal is going to dry out the creosote in your chimney. Once it dries it will dislodge from the flue and can potentially block it. You really should clean it beforehand.

As far as the barometric damper goes this too poses another potential hazard because of the previous wood fires. They don't use these on wood stoves because you will provide a perfect draft for a chimney fire, if you install one you will want to avoid burning wood. As far a your current situation goes if you have a lot of creosote this same hazard exists until its been removed.

Last but not least get a CO detector. You should have one of these no matter what you're using for heat with the exception of electric. Any heating system that burns a fuel has the potential to create a CO hazard and as I already mentioned it's a bigger concern with the coal because of the fly ash blocking the flue. In your case because of the creosote it's worse.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:04 am

Hi Guys,

Great responses to the coal newbie! Let me chime in with a couple of things I didn't see in the postings. First, I didn't see any mention of attaching the black pipes with a minimum of 3 screws. As Smitty's cat knows, that's important to maintain the black pipe's integrity after a puff back. A puff back is what happens when you have a minor explosion of the volatile gases in the stove during a reloading or recharging of the fire. Some can be very impressive. The other thing I noticed was the location of the stove's thermometer. As someone said it needs to go on the front or side of the stove. That's because the Harmon has a false ceiling or baffle to aid in the heat distribution. If you put thermometer on the stove top you will get a false reading.

Finally, I want to reiterate the use of a timer so you don't leave the ash pan open accidentally and cause an over fire of your stove. As you have learned, the heat production of a coal stove comes from the strength and amount of under the fire draft. If the ash pan is left open for even 15 mins your fire is going to be roaring - over time this is going to cause damage to your stove and maybe a house fire. Do not leave the room if you have the ash pan door open. We've all done it and most of us have had our over fire scares. It's not pretty. My Harman produces a nice orange glow in an over fire situation. :) Get a timer, put it in your pocket and use it every time you have the ash pan open. Mine is on a cord I so I can put it around my neck. If you do think the fire is getting to hot too handle, throw some new coal on it and turn the air down. As you noted, that will reduce the temperature of the fire quickly. I also keep a bag of baking soda I got at Costco near the stove just in case I need to put the fire out quickly; or you could use sand.

Let me mention that in my humble opinion, at your location if you burn your stove at 2 turns open, you will chase everyone out of the room and may be pushing an over fire situation. It's just not cold enough out to counter that heat production. Smitty lives in MA and needs to counter sub 0 wind chills; you may occasionally but not constantly. Start with 1 or just a smidgen more in the day and open it to 1 1/4 or 1/2 at night and see what kind of heat that gives you. It will save you on coal, too.

As everyone has said, you're on your way. I think you are going to like the heat of a coal stove. I know that once you've learned the basics you will love the cost savings and convenience of it. Take care, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: oliver power On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:27 am

coldcoal wrote:Thanks for reply! Ok I have no wood, but I can gather loads of sticks. I also cant take these coals out so should I light fast burning sticks on top? Why didn't the wood or charcoal light it the first time? I hear it's supposed to burn with a blue flame, no signs...

Off the the woods for yet more sticks...
Door open??? Above fire air dampens the anthracite coal fire. I'm a late replier on this post. I see you are on your way already.
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: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:03 am

Lowfog, Richard, Bob, Smitty, a plethora of fab info above! Thanks and I will study and reply once I ask this quick morning q!

As I turned down the stairs, in a heat filled home, I basked in the glory, of the amber glass dome.

Well the top of the glass is a little rounded anyway. 8-)

So it staid lit and lots of coals left! I've done nothing to it until I asked my new black diamond pals. I looked in, gray around the edges, ash, all orange in the middle. Stack temp 220. Great by me as that made this room quite toast and the rest of the house great. I opened the back door to let some cool morning air in, ya know you're ok when you're doing this. I notice my humidifier empties faster than wood, bone dry this morn, so really gotta fill it to the top at night.

So now...?
My guess now would be something like Shake rocker panel handle, let ash fall into pan leaving good above. Add full load of coal, open ash door, let it cook 15 mins, clean ash pan during this time. Close ash door, leave it at 2 turns to bring it back to reasonable temp.

How close am I? Wizzards of the rock, please advise! :D
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: titleist1 On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:11 am

I'd open the ash door first for about 5 minutes to get the coals stoked up before shaking down and adding coal.

Short & choppy on the shake down so you don't get coal stuck between the grates and dump your hot coals into the ash pan. Stop when you see some embers falling into the ash pan.

Leave the ash door open after adding coal for about 15 minutes to get the new coal fired up.

Load it to the top of firebrick again and enjoy the rest of the day!

Each set up is a little different so your times may vary a few minutes here or there.
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: titleist1 On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:19 am

Should have mentioned to leave some of the fire exposed when you add the first coal and have the ash pan door open. This will allow the volatiles to burn off the coal more completely and help avoid a puff back.

After a few minutes you should see the blue flames on the new coal and that is when I add the rest of the load for the day.

Sounds like you can run with the spinner knob closed another 1/4 turn or so if it was too hot for you at the 2 turn setting. That will extend your burn time and save on some coal. I think getting a baro and manometer will also help extend the burn time for you, especially in wind conditions like last night and today.
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: coldcoal On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:34 am

Titleist, thanks very much, doing it now. Here's after a minute of ash door open, pre shake, just to show what was goin on this morn.
Image

I found a fireplace poker handy to break the cooked gray edges up and get them through the rack. Shook first, that doesn't quite do it, then busted em up and got em through. It appears to be catching the new load nicely.

Just saw your second post, lol. Well I covered all the red but it's finding its way through so far, I'm not going to stir it, right?

No 2 is perfect, not too hot at all, there's a split lever here and this is the lowest floor, so it makes the house perfect.

edit: just added even more coals as that was catching fast, so full load now!
coldcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: 3 warped grated useless beast

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Bear038 On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:43 am

Coldcoal,

Each stove loads a little different, including the same model in different installations. You may want to take it a little easy and add you coa for this morning in several lifts. Usually I do it in 3 lifts with mine, or I cool the fire down sooooooo much, that it is like starting over again. On this breezey morning, not so nice. Shaking the grates on these Harmans is more of an art than a science. Start with very short choppy and fast strokes. I only move the handle on mine 1 or 2 inches at the most. You will not get all the ash out of the fire. You will start getting little bits of red coal falling out the grates. The grates should start showing red light into the ash pan. Some of us use a piece of 1/4" round stock bent with a 90 on the end to help open up the grates from the bottom, big help with mine. Once you have a good bit of red showing, you can liven up the fire by leaving ash door open, then start adding coal, slow at first till you see how your stove reacts. Keep it good and hot.

Good point about not putting a baro in until the chimney is clear of creasote. I have a taller chimney here, and my baro runs wide open on days like this, and I still have .08-1.1 WC. Lisa also has a very important point, screw the black pipe together at the joints. And the idea of baking soad for the fire extinquisher is billiant (going out to get some today Lisa, thanks )

You will be very glad you are going through this learning curve. It seems these things take almost the same care to maintain fire like you would put into keeping an older engine running. Things have to be close to right to do well. They are also as addictive once you learn how to run them.
Last edited by Bear038 on Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bear038
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark II

Re: Lighting nut coal

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:47 am

maybe you need to call that supplier and tell him your not brining it back?? tell him you sold it to Santa cheap for next years stockings!!!! :D 8-)

glad you stayed warm. get the co detector... :)
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Visit Hitzer Stoves