Hello everyone! I’m new here, and just wanted to join to express how pleased I am with my new Coal-Trol Digital!
I have a 30 year old Alaska tri-burner. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a tri-burner is, it is a coal stove that runs with one motor. On the top of the motor, there is a pin that moves back and forth which controls the hopper slide, and on the bottom of the motor there is a plastic combustion fan which throws air into the coal stove and up through the grate where the coal lays. The term “tri-burner” confused me at first, so I wanted to explain it for anyone new that would happen to read this post.
Anyways, when I was first told about the Coal-Trol by someone I work with, I can honestly say that I was a skeptic. I just couldn’t understand how an old machine like mine can become automated. So… I called the company. I called after hours and the number was forwarded to the owners cell phone. I’ve never talked to a man that was so proud of his product. We must have talked for at least a half an hour and he explained all of the concepts of how the Coal-Trol actually works. He told me that the Coal-Trol uses an algorithm that tweaks the time the hopper motor runs each minute. Unlike the hopper plate motor running constantly, it only runs when the module tells it to run. If the temperature in the house is getting below the setpoint in the thermostat, the amount of time the hopper motor runs every minute increases. The module also controls the convection fan on the stove. Instead of the convection fan blowing constantly, it only runs when it needs to. The basement where my coal stove is located used to be a constant 95 degrees… mainly due to the convection fan blowing constantly into my basement. This is certainly not the case anymore. After hearing how the device works I was sold.
The owner suggested that a convert my tri-burner (one motor) coal stove into a coal stove with two motors. One motor to run the combustion fan, and one motor to control the hopper. He told me that with two motors, the combustion fan would stay on all of the time, and the motor that controls the hopper would be separately controlled to give more accurate results. I wanted the best results possible so I decided to convert. The guy at Coal-Trol even gave me the Grainger model number of a motor that was known to work with most stoves. The link is below:http://www.grainger.com/search?searchQu ... sst=subset
I ordered the Coal-Trol and the extra motor on one day, and had them both the very next day! The conversion went rather smoothly. It was as simple as pulling the plastic fan off of the old motor, and installing the new motor underneath of the existing motor. Anyone who knows how to drill a couple of holes can easily perform this conversion.
My coal stove is located in the basement, so I needed to go out to the hardware store to buy a Cat-5 patch cable and a coupler to be able to run the thermostat to the upstairs kitchen. I also needed to buy an electrical plug with a ground for the new motor that I purchased from Grainger. It was all relatively easy to install.
Installation of the actual Coal-Trol module was very easy. I mounted the module on the side of my hopper, which only took about a minute. After that, I just needed to plug the motors and the thermostat into the module, and follow the directions for setup!
I can honestly say that this was the best purchase I’ve made all year. No more 85 degree nights in the house during the fall, or 50 degree nights in the winter!
I wrote this post mainly to express my appreciation to the makes of Coal-Trol, and to assist people in making their minds up about this product!