Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: asuplee On: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:27 pm

Hello all!

I am considering setting up a coal fireplace insert (i.e. Hitzer 503), but have a burning question about this (pun intended): is it possible to install a Hitzer 503 or similar fireplace when the house has no fireplace? I know it's probably a stupid question, but I got the idea from looking at gas fireplaces. Not interested in dealing with the volatility of LPG prices these days (no natural gas where I am), a friend suggested coal. I'd really rather not have a free-standing stove as the space in which I want to install it is not huge, and I don't want a big hearth taking up a lot of floor space.

So, if I want something like the 503, do I first need to install a proper fireplace? Best time to ask is now, BEFORE I end up making a goof!

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers from MD's Eastern Shore!
Andy Suplee
asuplee
 

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:44 pm

I'm not familiar with the Hitzer line of stoves which always receive good comments from their users. What you will need regardless of how or what you set-up/choose are the proper set backs from combustible surfaces. This includes beneath, beside and in front of the stove so a 'proper hearth' is required no matter what you choose to proceed with. With regard to the hearth in front of the stove, IIRC it's 18" minimum and I'd suggest adding a few more inches to that since it's a new install. Coal is a rock and rocks bounce - I know this somehow :oops: If you don't already have a chimney to use, properly sized/height (above the nearest roof line) inside chimneys provide more reliable draft. Masonry chimneys are lifetime + and insulated double wall stainless steel chimneys run warm but have a lifetime defined by the care you give them.
    As usual, it all comes down to this: How much do you want to spend on the project? Sounds like your considering building an outside fireplace and exterior chimney to accomadate the stove. Maybe the Hitzer group will tell you if it can be installed as a Zero clearance unit :?:
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: asuplee On: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:57 pm

Hi! Thanks for the reply, and I suppose I should elaborate a little on where we'd like to install the fireplace. We have a moderately vaulted ceiling in the living room (11' peak and 8' walls), and on the end wall, we envision a stacked stone hearth going to the ceiling, with a small projection into the room. Do I run the chimney inside the hearth, do I run it outside? These are the questions to just get started. That being said, my wife also wants something that's going to be aesthetically pleasing.

So, I like your suggestion about contacting Hitzer. I'll get in touch with them and hopefully get the details I need so I can figure out which questions to ask next! I know it's not going to be cheap, but what job done well is, eh?

Thanks again for your time, and I'll be back to visit!

Cheers from MD's Eastern Shore!
Andy Suplee
asuplee
 


Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: titleist1 On: Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:57 pm

Welcome to the forum Andy from the northern part of the eastern shore! You could run the chimney either way since you are starting new. You could also use a power vent and not have a chimney if you were to install a stoker rather than a hand fed. If your electric service is out often and for long periods of time you will need a generator for backup power if you want to heat with a stoker.

There are many good choices, your decorating committee will obviously have the final say, however! :)
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: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:36 pm

First off are you sure that you have a reliable source of coal close by? I'd lock that down first. If that's not available you'll be spending all you save on coal heat getting to the nearest dealer. I'd expect you'd be using around 3 tons a winter and because of your location you'd be using bagged coal that goes for $300 or $350 at ton. Use the fuel comparison chart on the board index to get an idea of the money you'd save by using coal. If that all seems feasible then I'd start looking at various stoves. Good luck, Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: robb On: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:48 pm

Where are you from on The Northern Eastern Shore? I work in Cecil County and Live Southern Lanc County.....I got bagged coal so I could know exactly how much I am using this year I got it for $5/bag.....that is $50/400lbs...so about $250 a ton.....NEXT>>>If you chimney outside the house you may be able to reduce the intrusion into the room and still maintain your clearances. I have a Hitzer 608 Stoker and LOVE IT....would also recommend this stove to anyone...Here is what I did with my stove...
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robb
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 608 stoker

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: WNY On: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:13 pm

Here is another option that a member had done, with a small LIL' Heater from Leisure Line, it doesn't take up much space on your hearth.

Lil' Heater install complete/up and running pics...
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: asuplee On: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:57 pm

Wow, what a great bunch of replies! In short, I have no chimney, so will have to build some means of exhausting the fireplace. AS for a source of coal, a friend has had bulk coal delivered, and I intend to find out more from him about that. As for location, I'm on Kent Island. Our power has actually been surprisingly stable where we are on the Island, but nothing lasts forever. I would like a stoker as opposed to hand fed, as this will be more acceptable to the "decorating committee", which consists of my wife, three daughters, and my mother-in-law (yes, I'm surrounded)!

So, I think my first task is to contact Hitzer and see what they recommend for the chimney.

Again, the first thing you have to do in a project like this is figure out which questions to ask!

Thanks again for the response, this could be fun!

Cheers from MD's Eastern Shore!
Andy Suplee
asuplee
 

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: freetown fred On: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:29 pm

Welcome my friend. Finish filling out your avatar--nobody'll steal ya--if any questions you have require geographic info, it's easier just to look at the avatar--same w/ stove type when you decide-- Hitzer makes a fine unit & there are a bunch of people on here that have them. Again, welcome to the FORUM :)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: asuplee On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:25 pm

Well, I contacted Hitzer, and they said that I cannot install the 503 stoker since I don't have an existing fireplace. Drat.

Looks like my options are narrowing down a bit. I checked out the 608 and it could be a viable option, but I have to take that to the Decorating Committee.

Thanks, and I'll keep y'all posted!

Andy
asuplee
 

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: lowfog01 On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:40 pm

asuplee wrote:Well, I contacted Hitzer, and they said that I cannot install the 503 stoker since I don't have an existing fireplace. Drat.

Looks like my options are narrowing down a bit. I checked out the 608 and it could be a viable option, but I have to take that to the Decorating Committee.

Thanks, and I'll keep y'all posted!

Andy


I don't understand - why would this be an issue if you are willing and able to add a fireplace or Class A chimney to your house? I must be missing something. When I put in my Harman handfed I had to have a Class A chimney installed. My stove connects to the chimney via a chimney connector pipe through the thimble. During the summer when the stove is not installed, I have a hole in the wall; not a fireplace. It seems to me that you are in a good position because you can chose the best location for your stove to maximize your heating dollar. What am I missing? Lisa
lowfog01
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: asuplee On: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:21 am

Hi Lisa,

Perhaps I wasn't clear on what our intentions are here, so I'll give it another go.

First, I'll admit that I don't know what a Class A fireplace is, and when I mentioned a stacked stone hearth up to the ceiling, I was thinking more aesthetics than function. What kind of stove do you have? One thing I can tell you for sure is that, whatever we end up with, it won't be uninstalled for the summer, which makes the aesthetics a high priority. This installation will be in the main room of the house, and will be one of the first things seen when walking in.

So, with all that being said, we want an alternate source of heat for the house (currently all electric, and it ain't pretty), and I like the idea of having heat if/when we lose power. With that in mind, we were first considering a gas fireplace. No mess inside the house, easy to use, small footprint, and aesthetically pleasing. Sounds perfect, right? Once i found out about what LPG pricing is like these days, I changed my mind on that in a hurry. There's no Natural Gas available in this area. I also discovered (thank heaven for the internet), that gas fireplaces are not terribly efficient, which sealed that for me.

A friend started telling me about the free-standing coal stove he has in his living room, and how he switched from LPG to coal after one season of using LPG. With that information in mind, it was my hope that I'd be able to find a coal fireplace (ie Hitzer 503 stoker) that could be installed in the same fashion as a gas fireplace, but no joy. I really didn't want to add the cost of installing a full masonry fireplace into which I would then install the insert. This is what led me to contact Hitzer to ask that very question. Maybe I'm being penny-wise and pound-foolish? I'd appreciate thoughts on that. I haven't really considered a true fireplace, but maybe I should?

I am looking at other options, such as the Hitzer 608 free-standing stoker, but I have to work with the decorating committee on that. If the footprint required for the hearth is too large, it probably won't fly too well.

So, this is my dilemma: do I install a true fireplace so I can have the insert, or do I build a hearth that will support the free-standers? One of the appeals of coal (for me, at least) is what appears to be minimal mess for maximum heat, vs wood, or pellets.

I'm not trying to have this done for this winter, but I want to be ready for the next, for sure!

As I said earlier, my biggest challenge at times seems to be figuring out which questions to ask! From what I've seen here,though, it looks like I've found myself a home!

Sorry if I rambled a bit, and thanks for checking in on me!

Andy
asuplee
 

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: freetown fred On: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:29 am

Not really seeing house size/set-up--Hitzer makes some nice looking,real functional & simplistic freestanding units--do you have power outages? Hit Hitzers homepage & have a look see--there are other freestanding units that are comparable--but, I personally would go with the hearth/freestanding idea--it all depends what your needs are :) Later my friend
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: asuplee On: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:51 am

Hi Fred,

No, we don't have all that many power outages (which is odd for Kent Island), but you never know. I'm going to try to post pix of the current living/dining room, and maybe that'll help? Gotta run, but I'll do my best to post them today.

Thanks again for listenin', folks...it's helping a lot!

Andy
asuplee
 

Re: Totally new to coal, with lots of questions!

PostBy: PC 12-47E On: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:35 am

Hi Andy,
Take a look at Alaska Stoker Stoves...The Kast Console II & Kast Console III do not take up much room and I think they look very nice. A power vent will work on this stove.

Eddie


http://www.alaskastove.com/site/
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
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PC 12-47E
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Estate Heatrola, Jotul 507