Hitzer 30-95, 30-93 or Kodiak?

Hitzer 30-95, 30-93 or Kodiak?

PostBy: Jersey John On: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:04 am

Well, I have had a lot of success in members responding to my request about the Hitzer stove line, and hope I can come to a final conclusion with this inquirey.

As mentioned in the past, I have been seeking a heating appliance that could heat the better part of a very fragmented house. Basically, there have been two distinct basements with a solid block wall between, each containing a wood stove. Whereas the older Fisher stove is in my office in the smaller open basement, a Vermont Castings Defiant Encore is in the large, but broken up with smaller rooms finished basement. The house above is aprox. 2000 square feet.

The main part of the house is heated by Pellet and Electric baseboard, used sparingly. Still, the cost of pellets have nearly doubled in the last 8 years, and well the cost of electricity is sinful. At one time, I used a very efficient direct vent kerosene heater to heat the main part of the house, but the cost of fuel tripled in price over the last 17 years.

Therefore, my initial thought in burning coal, was to replace the older Fisher with either a hand fired or gravity fed hopper system. I am not interested in a stoker, as I am not looking to use any more electricity, not to mention the fact that we lose power quite often.

So, I had actually narrowed my choice down to the 30-95, knowing that I could remove the hopper to burn wood during the warmer months. Though the larger 30-93 would put out more heat, the hopper not being removable would eliminate the second option of burning wood.

Now, I have learned that Alaska Stove Company's Kodiak stove may suite me even more. Certainly having a local service/sales distributor is something to consider. In the case of the Hitzer, I planned on ordering the stove direct from Hitzer, since there was no local representatives within 50 miles.

With the Alaska Kodiak, I am told that it can heat 3000 feet, which though it is more than I have, most of my house is under insulated, and I imagine by the time you factor in two basements and upstairs, I am not that far off . I actually have a mason who will be opening a door between the two basements, so that I can benefit from shared heat, as well as offer more venting options to the rooms above.

Please offer your advice so that I can finally direct my purchase in the next week to 10 days. As I mentioned in my past posts, I spend about 1-2 weekends a month out of town visiting my girlfriend in South Jersey. Though I know I may not have much heat coming out of the stove, I am hoping that by banking it down, I can leave for 36-48 hours and return to enough coals to start the fire back up again.

This is about the most informative forum I have ever participated in, and look forward to sharing my stories of coal heat before too long. Thanks again for your replies.

Jersey John
Jersey John
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS 1500
Coal Size/Type: Nut, Pea
Other Heating: Regency Wood Stove

wood too

PostBy: bigchunk On: Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:00 pm

the kodiak burns wood too, you can buy the fire screen, screen for burning wood. i saw one at a alaska dealer they are very nice stoves. built solid like a rock with a very nice viewing glass. the dealer told me the amish around where i live have them in there homes and they never have electricity. the stove is a good stove. another guy left from his house while it was burning (first time user ) it had gotten so hot in his house that it had melted some candles . eye opener.
bigchunk
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: sf250 magnafire

PostBy: JerseyCoal On: Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:46 am

Hi John:
I have no doubt that whichever stove you choose, you will save money and enjoy the blessings of coal heat for many years to come. I am, however, somewhat concerned about the girlfriend in South Jersey.There is a very good chance that she is what used to be called GU (geographically undesirable). From a strictly economic standpoint, consider the following: all of the savings on heating your home with coal may be frittered away by (a) gasoline costs and tolls in travelling to South Jersey; and (b) long distance telephone charges, unless you have an unlimited calling plan. Just as coal stoves have minimum clearance requirements, the same applies to girlfriends. Too close is no good but, too far also has its disadvantages. I'm sure some of the forum members have a spreadsheet or other program to help evaluate this issue but, I figure that having a girlfriend no further away than what a gallon of gas will take me is a good rule of thumb. This is highly technical stuff; you may want to hire an engineer to assist you with it. By the way, if she's a good woman, disregard the foregoing. Enjoy your stove and cherish your girlfriend.
John.
JerseyCoal
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Franco Belge model 10.1475

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PostBy: Jersey John On: Sat Sep 22, 2007 1:19 am

Interesting perspective. Actually, Katie and I have been together now for nearly 2 1/2 years, and there isn't a woman from my past that holds a candle to her....I do cherish her and enjoy every mile of that drive. Fact is, we are probably more suited for each other than most any couple I know.

As for information on the Kodiak, I do appreciate it. I know both stoves to be quite well made, and regardless of which one I choose, both have the ability to do the job. I have been recently thinking that due to the limitations of having electric heat only as my main heat source, perhaps I would even explore a multi fuel stove that could burn coal, wood and oil. Since there is mention that the Kodiak can also burn wood, I think I'll take a few hours and drive out to Pa sometime soon to check one out.

Thanks again for your thoughts...

John
Jersey John
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS 1500
Coal Size/Type: Nut, Pea
Other Heating: Regency Wood Stove

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:14 am

Jersey John wrote:I have been recently thinking that due to the limitations of having electric heat only as my main heat source, perhaps I would even explore a multi fuel stove that could burn coal, wood and oil.


Wood/coal is OK but I would avoid combo's with solidfuel/oil ability as they tend to be inefficient on one side or the other. You would be better off with two seperate units, in addition you will have 100% backup if there is a problem.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: jpen1 On: Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:59 am

John
I wouldn't buy a combo solid fuel and oil they are very inefficient and are a pain to maintain. My buddy has one only a few years old and he is always having to fix or replce something on it. The way I understood it I think the gravity feed hopper on the kodiak is an option. Also they have an option for a Bimetal thermostat draft control like is standard on the hitzer you will need this if you want any chance of burning over 24 hrs. without shaking the grate. As the coal burn if you set it down low to go away the ash will start to choke the fire after about 18 hours and will require more air to even maintain the fire. I don't think there is really any way you will get 48 hrs out of it without shaking the grate but the ability to increase the air as it burns automatically sure won't hurt your cause.
Last edited by jpen1 on Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
jpen1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

Re: Hitzer 30-95, 30-93 or Kodiak?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Sep 22, 2007 9:24 am

Jersey John wrote: I am hoping that by banking it down, I can leave for 36-48 hours and return to enough coals to start the fire back up again.


If you want more than 16-18 hours between services you need a stoker. Don't settle for less as it will be a disaster. You will spend more time cleaning and restarting the stove than you will heating with it.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: Jersey John On: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:24 am

Thanks for the information regarding multi fuel furnaces. I did read that there are a few that have separate chambers for each of the fuels, but they then are very expensive.

There is the other part of having an add on wood or coal burner to an oil system. In my case, it's a real hard sell to buy into any system that requires my purchasing oil. Of course, the cost of electricity is prohibitive, but I am very frugal when it comes to the use of electricity in my home, and even keep the right off peak usage to minimize my bills.

I was not aware that the Kodiak did not come with the bi metal damper, and will look to find out how much it costs. From those who have told me about their Hitzer stoves, I do know that they are capable of much longer than 16-18 unattended burns. Fact is, I know of a Harman dealer who has gotten 2 days, albeit with minimum heat out of a Mark III.

I also know that I am quite capable of getting another fire going, in the event I lose one. And if the worst scenario is that I have to do that a few times during a heating season, it really doesn't seem like an out of the question inconvenience.

From what I have read from nearly all of you, is that regardless of your main heating system, it has been by your design to replace it with coal heat. Most of you have clearly shown that we can live independent of the Oil and Propane utilities, and in my case, I simply want to have ample heat, most of the time to enjoy at a minimum cash outlay.

I am contracting with a local mason to install a new Regency stove in my living room to burn wood. It will replace the Whitfield Pellet stove I have owned for 7 years, and certainly will offer more heat for less money. Fact is, I have free wood and only need to cut and split it. It is however a chore that I find gets me out into the woods, gives me fresh air, and allows me to work off some calories. All in all, a win win situation.

So then, side by side, would you choose the Hitzer or the Kodiak, knowing that you also wanted the ability to burn wood in the early part of fall? Personally, I like the look of the Kodiak better, but have found more members committed to the reliability and worthiness of the Hitzer.

Thanks! Hope you enjoy the weekend. Looks like we're in for a week of warmer temps. Fine with me, as I decide the route to take.

John
Jersey John
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS 1500
Coal Size/Type: Nut, Pea
Other Heating: Regency Wood Stove

PostBy: jpen1 On: Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:10 pm

I saw a kodiak burning at the Bloom fair today . It is a well built stove and can burn both wood or coal. The bimetal thermostat and convection blower are both options. It is just as well built as the hitzer that I saw down there as well.
Last edited by jpen1 on Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jpen1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

PostBy: Jersey John On: Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:43 pm

Since it appears you're in the town that Alaska Stove company is manufactured, have you been to their showroom? How far would you estimate it to be from the Delaware Water Gap? What stove do you use?

I emailed Alaska Stove company to see where the most local dealer that carries their stove is. Unfortunately, in New Jersey, it is rare to even find a dealer that sells coal stoves, since for some reason we also don't have suppliers local who sell quality Anthracite.

Whereas I like the Hitzer Stove , there is only one dealer in the area, and he is nearly 3 hours away. Hoping to find a Kodiak dealer closer so I can see one in person, rather relying on photos. I do of course respect all the comments I have received on the Hitzer and all other stoves, so it is just a matter of what works best for me.

Thanks again...
Jersey John
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS 1500
Coal Size/Type: Nut, Pea
Other Heating: Regency Wood Stove

PostBy: coal berner On: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:14 pm

Hey jersey john you are looking around 77.6 miles 1hr 22min thats what Googles say here is the dierections head N.W. on 611 towards shepard Ave / sheppard Ave turn right at broad st. slight right at 2028 N. take I-80 W take exit 236A to merge onto Lightstreet RD. PA 487 S towards Bloomsburg turn left at penn st. turn right at 2nd st. hope this helps I am going up there tomorrow morning with the family If you can you should try to go you will enjoy all that it offers http://www.bloomsburgfair.com check it out lots of coal stoves . :twisted:
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

PostBy: Jersey John On: Sat Sep 22, 2007 11:49 pm

Thanks for the directions. My sales business is quite filled this week, but I am going to see if there is a way I can scoot out there for a look see. I responded a moment ago to jpen for his information, and it seems there may be a deal to be had if I can make it.

So, perhaps I could also get some coal delivered with a purchase, since quality coal is hard to find near me without a $1.00 a mile delivery. as it is, I am hoping to make my final decision with the ability to compare stoves in person, and up to this time have only had the internet and everyone's comments to work with.

Thankfully, Mother Nature has been providing some moderate weather while I make up my mind
Jersey John
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS 1500
Coal Size/Type: Nut, Pea
Other Heating: Regency Wood Stove

PostBy: coal berner On: Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:41 am

jersey john if you pm me I can give you some info on getting a coal delivery you are about 143 miles away from one of the good coal breakers and 139miles from the other oneway I would think you would have to order between 5 to 10 tons before they would deliver just a guess Pm me I will give you some contact numbers right from the source remember the bloomsburg fair ends on sep 29th
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Hitzer 30-95, 30-93 or Kodiak?

PostBy: oliver power On: Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:10 am

coaledsweat wrote:
Jersey John wrote: I am hoping that by banking it down, I can leave for 36-48 hours and return to enough coals to start the fire back up again.


If you want more than 16-18 hours between services you need a stoker. Don't settle for less as it will be a disaster. You will spend more time cleaning and restarting the stove than you will heating with it.
Coaled sweat , I'm with you. Jersey John will be very very disappointed if he thinks he is going to be happy with a hand fired coal stove. The hours he wants to go between tendings is way too long. Building a coal fire while teeth are chattering is no fun. He will be starting his coal fire every week , not 2 or 3 times a season. And what a mess. Jersy John , in your case , should you want to burn coal , Don't be disappointed. Buy a stoker. PS: Both my stoves are hand fired.
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: Hitzer 30-95, 30-93 or Kodiak?

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:18 am

He will be starting his coal fire every week , not 2 or 3 times a season. And what a mess. Jersy John , in your case , should you want to burn coal , Don't be disappointed. Buy a stoker. [/quote]

It takes about 6-8 hours just to get the fire up to speed, load it and off he goes for two days. when he comes back, he will have to clean the stove and restart. I would say 3 times a week minimum. It will be an ugly mess repeated many times. It will however increase his vocabulary. :)

STOKER! Five minutes every 4-5 days for service, it won't neeed a nursemaid.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

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