New user. Just started up my stove last night.

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:34 pm

Keep in touch on the coal issue--did you switch to NUT??--it's COLD--How about your draft--have you changed in accordence with outside temps//you need to do that!
69dartgt wrote:Just a quick question here. My stove burned well (around 400) for the first two weeks. Now I am struggling to get it above 250. I'm not doing anything different that I know of. The only thing I can think of is the quality of the coal. Has this ever happened to anyone? I buy it in 100 lbs bags. I just started another bag. Maybe that's it, I don't know. It's a bad time to have problems around here. It's kinda cold out.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: coalvet On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:35 pm

Maybe ash buildup, shake the you know what out of it!

Rich
coalvet
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane Model 404
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: NG Boiler

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: ScubaSteve On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:38 pm

Welcome!!! You will love that stove! I love my Vigilant II. I never use pea coal, My stove burns nut coal extremely well! If you have any questions feel free to ask.
ScubaSteve
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vermont Castings Vigilant II
Stove/Furnace Model: model 2310

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Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: heartofcoal On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:15 pm

Yup, I was thinkin' ash too.
heartofcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Russo
Stove/Furnace Model: C-80

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:58 pm

69dartgt wrote:Just a quick question here. My stove burned well (around 400) for the first two weeks. Now I am struggling to get it above 250. I'm not doing anything different that I know of. The only thing I can think of is the quality of the coal. Has this ever happened to anyone? I buy it in 100 lbs bags. I just started another bag. Maybe that's it, I don't know. It's a bad time to have problems around here. It's kinda cold out.


Yes, there can be a big difference in the quality of coal. I have 160 lbs of Reading coal that just won't burn well in my Mark II. It's left from years ago when I didn't know any better and now rides around in the bed of my pickup to give me traction in the ice and snow. Every once and a while I'll bring a bag in the house and try to burn it up but the fire has to be very hot and even then I expect a lot of unburned coal in the ash. Needless to say I'm not buying Reading coal anymore. In fact, I drive past several Reading dealers to get my Blaschk Coal.

If you suspect that the coal is what is causing your problem, I would suggest trying to burn a hotter fire if your stove will allow that without damaging it. Just turn your air intake up a little and see if it burns any better. The fire should burn hotter and therefore faster but at least you'd be getting the heat you need. It could also be that although you have been shaking the stove, you haven't really been cleaning enough of the ash out of the coal bed. After you shake the stove, does the ash pan reflect the red coals from the coal bed above it. Or does it have shadows across the pan. If there are shadows on the ashpan, you are not cleaning the ashes out well enough. Go to your local hardware store and get a piece of 1/4 rod and put a wooden handle on it. Some folks put a 90* bend on the end to reach up from the bottom. Use that to "poke" your coal bed and loosen the ash. Then shake the stove again. Good Luck, I hope this helps but if the situation continues let us know. I'm sure others will have more suggestions. Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: Chuck_Steak On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:27 pm

lowfog01 wrote: .. If there are shadows on the ashpan, you are not cleaning the ashes out well enough. Go to your local hardware store and get a piece of 1/4 rod and put a wooden handle on it. Some folks put a 90* bend on the end to reach up from the bottom. Use that to "poke" your coal bed and loosen the ash... Lisa


These work pretty well. One for the top.. one for the bottom..
Like Lisa said... 1/4" rod, that you can get at your favorite hardware/box store.

Dan
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Chuck_Steak
 
Coal Size/Type: mostly nut, sometimes stove, Santa brand
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark III

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: 2001Sierra On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:41 pm

The ash will build up, and lower heat output big time. Be careful how you "knife" the coal, depending how your grates, and grate basket are configured so you do not get your knife or whatever you are using stuck. My old Buderus hand fed had tight clearances that would jam the coal, preventing me from removing my tool of choice Also I found shaking the stove with the combustion air closed would prevent the ashes from collecting in the exhaust passage ways. The exhaust would pass through a passageway around the fire box, and up through the back of the stove. It was rated at 60000 BTU's with a chimney pipe less than 5 inches.
2001Sierra
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90 Chimney vent
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Buderus Oil Boiler 3115-34
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 90 Chimney Vent

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:13 pm

You probably have an accumulation of ash blocking the combustion air flow to to coal bed. Or a few large clinkers sitting on the grate blocking airflow. I'd see if you can open up the airflow to the fire..

Maybe use a poker and poke through the fire and see if you can find and pull out the clinkers if that is the problem or the poker will help push ash down through the grates..

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: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:55 pm

Chuck_Steak wrote:
lowfog01 wrote: .. If there are shadows on the ashpan, you are not cleaning the ashes out well enough. Go to your local hardware store and get a piece of 1/4 rod and put a wooden handle on it. Some folks put a 90* bend on the end to reach up from the bottom. Use that to "poke" your coal bed and loosen the ash... Lisa


These work pretty well. One for the top.. one for the bottom..
Like Lisa said... 1/4" rod, that you can get at your favorite hardware/box store.

Dan


I'm going to have to go pickup a few rods of 1/4 tomorrow. I currently use a 3/8 poker that I made for the Chubby but it's short and the bend on it isn't that long. I usually have to go through the hopper to get at the back grate in the DS. Those are pretty nice. Did you make them up yourself?
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:06 pm

Mine isn't so pretty but it works. The guy at the True Value took a 3 ft piece of 1/4 inch rod and stuck a wooden handle on it. He asked me if I wanted a threaded rod or smooth rod and not realizing it would make a difference I took the threaded one. You want to go with the smooth rod. The threads hold the ash and then the ash releases as you move the thing around. The last thing I need is more flyash released into my room. I don't have a bend in mine but the hardware store should have a vise that would make putting a bend on it fairly easy. Good luck, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: heartofcoal On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:14 pm

I tried the standard fireplace tools.
Not much good for coal
Did the same thing. Made my own.
You can make plenty of handles from a old shovel or rake etc.
And you can say they're custom made! that's cool.
Oh, I attached the handles to the rods with Gorilla glue. Good stuff!
heartofcoal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Russo
Stove/Furnace Model: C-80

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: MURDOC1 On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:24 pm

Howdy neighbor, just wavin' a warm hand from Harleysville, Pa... Welcome to the forum!!! Tons of knowledge and great people here, enjoy!!!

Murdoc
MURDOC1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska/Franco Belge/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: S.S. 2/ 144.08.02/ Mag Stoker

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: 69dartgt On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:46 pm

Just an update. Today seemed a little bit better. In response to feeding more air into the fire, that does not seem to make a difference and I'm not sure, but it might make the situation worse. That's what I can't quite figure out. I do have an external masonry chimney, and if it is a still day outside, I don't have the draft I would like to. Maybe its a combination of things.

I do have a good glow in the pan after shaking/poking it down. So it can get plenty of air. Guess we will see how it goes.
69dartgt
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Vigilante
Stove/Furnace Model: I

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: Chuck_Steak On: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:54 pm

I'm On Fire wrote: I'm going to have to go pickup a few rods of 1/4 tomorrow. I currently use a 3/8 poker that I made for the Chubby but it's short and the bend on it isn't that long. I usually have to go through the hopper to get at the back grate in the DS. Those are pretty nice. Did you make them up yourself?


For the Harmans, the shorter bend one makes it really easy to get to the clogs in front
from the ash pan door.
The taller one, obviously works easy from the top.
TBH, the shorter one gets the most use, as it does a better job from the bottom...
Yes I did make them.
To get a nice tight bend, you really need a torch, then the rod bends like playdough...

The hardware store rod material, like these, is mild steel, and even a propane torch will get it
to glow red... MAPP is better, it just takes a tad longer than a welding torch.
Without the heat, it's just tough to get a crisp bend..

And yes... use round UNthreaded rod if possible....

Dan
Chuck_Steak
 
Coal Size/Type: mostly nut, sometimes stove, Santa brand
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark III

Re: New user. Just started up my stove last night.

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:30 am

It could be the cold temperatures cooling your masonry outside chimney. Do you have a manometer to set the barometric damper and/or monitor draft? I do know that Vermont Casting recommends NOT to use a barometric damper because of all the bends and convoluted flame path in the Vigilants. It needs all the draft it can muster unless you get up near 0.1 (?), then maybe you'd need one. Rewinder makes out fine with his old units and a baro. Is your baro opening? If it is, close it off with some foil to see if that helps.

No fly ash laying in the bottom of that elbow is there?

Your experience with the thermostatic air inlet is correct. If you keep it open too far, the stove can over fire and the excess air entering the fire box will blow the heat right up the chimney so you end up getting less heat off the stove.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

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