Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: msmsantana On: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:46 pm

Hello Gentleman,

I am new to the Coal Stove world, I inherited a Franco Belge 10.1475, Last year I was able to operate it at the very end of winter, I was pretty happy, my utility bill was very good, however, this year, the stove seems to have retired from services, I am not sure if i should start paying it a pension or something :P , nontheless, I bought a bag of pea coal, and still won't start, people say i don't have a good draft, othe people say that i need manual. At this point I am very frustrated with it. Every time i try to get it started the entire house fills with smoke, and the fire never fully starts. "JerseyCoal", I would deeply appreciate if you can get me a copy of the manual, please let me know what i need to do to get it. Also, any advice on how to get it started would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards to all, and I am glad there is hope for new users like me !!!
msmsantana
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Franco Belge 10.1475

Re: Franco Belge Manual

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:52 pm

You may have someone that moved into the chimney over the summer. Racoons like them.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Franco Belge Manual

PostBy: JerseyCoal On: Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:47 pm

Hi msmsantana:
Check your PM.
John C.
JerseyCoal
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Franco Belge model 10.1475

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: Franco Belge Manual

PostBy: JiminBucks On: Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:08 pm

Hey Newbie, it sounds like a draft problem to me. I had problems like that when I started out. If you are piping it into a fireplace chimney? Then you have to extend the flue pipe all the up to the top inside the chimney. You can use just duct pipe as long as it is connected without any big gaps. That should help! Jim
JiminBucks
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFEL \ Franco Belge
Stove/Furnace Model: Classic Lion \ Normandie

Re: Franco Belge Manual

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:55 pm

msmsantana wrote:Hello Gentleman,

I am new to the Coal Stove world, I inherited a Franco Belge 10.1475, Last year I was able to operate it at the very end of winter, I was pretty happy, my utility bill was very good, however, this year, the stove seems to have retired from services, I am not sure if i should start paying it a pension or something :P , nontheless, I bought a bag of pea coal, and still won't start, people say i don't have a good draft, othe people say that i need manual. At this point I am very frustrated with it. Every time i try to get it started the entire house fills with smoke, and the fire never fully starts. "JerseyCoal", I would deeply appreciate if you can get me a copy of the manual, please let me know what i need to do to get it. Also, any advice on how to get it started would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards to all, and I am glad there is hope for new users like me !!!


The best thing to do here is start a thread! Please get all the boring details together. Chimney, masonry? metal? size, height. Then the other stuff, stovepipe, baro? Once done, it should generate a sucsess story. You need a draft to start with so make sure the chimney is clear. Remove the stove pipe and look up the chimney with a mirror, drop a small sandbag on a rope down from the top, something. Some people have had sucsess using a hair dryer to get a draft started. Stick it in the baro and let it run for 15, 20 minutes. Pull it out and light a few pieces of newspaper in the stove. If the smoke doesn't go up the chimney, you have problems in the chimney.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: JerseyCoal On: Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:40 am

Ordinarily, I would completely agree with the fellows who suggest that there is most likely a problem with the chimney. However, since this is Franco-Belge stove, there is another place where the problem probably exists: fly ash buildup in the left and right side exhaust ports which wrap along the sides and then the rear of the stove before exiting through the 5" outlet into the chimney.

This design is intended allow more heat to be drawn out of the exhaust fumes before it goes up the chimney. It works well in that regard but there is a terrible tendency for fly ash to accumulate, especially where there are two consecutive 45 degree turns getting around the back corners of the stove.

In prior years, I can recall getting 75% blockage only halfway through the heating season. I had to shut the stove down and when fully cooled off, I was able to get some of it out with a shop vac hose inserted in the exhaust ports. I also used a bent coat hanger or a piece of heavy copper wire to get deeper inside to drag the ash closer to so I could vacuum it out. If you can disconnect the stovepipe from the 5" rear outlet and attack the problem from that angle as well, all the better.

While the last two used stoves I acquired for parts were still outside the house, I shoved the nozzle of a leaf blower in the rear outlet and flipped the switch on; a huge cloud of fly ash filled the air. My neighbors probably weren't too happy, but at least I got a clean start.

By the way, there are two access panels that can be removed to facilitate the clean-out process but, I have found them to be more trouble than they are worth. Usually the threaded studs (2 per panel) are rotted and snap off. In addition, the asbestos? panels on the inside of the access usually disintegrate and have to be replaced. I usually let sleeping dogs lie and do the best I can from the front ports and the rear outlet.
JerseyCoal
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Franco Belge model 10.1475

Re: Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: JiminBucks On: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:55 am

Jersey, another sign that your exhaust ports are getting clogged is when firing up the stove from cold, it puff smoke from seams , top or under the ash grate , anwhere it can get out. This happened to me at the end of the last season.
As far as the access panels go, when I picked up my Nornandie last month, before I brought it online I cleaned the ports, but also had to drill new holes where those rusted bolts were, as close as possilble and insert new bolts from inside and secure with two nuts. first one tighten before the access panel is put back in place, that cardboard like piece has just enough space to do this! Didn't know it was abestos! :o
Anyone out there still breathing who used to work at Johns Manville in Jersey? :cry:
JiminBucks
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFEL \ Franco Belge
Stove/Furnace Model: Classic Lion \ Normandie

Re: Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: JerseyCoal On: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:32 pm

Jim: I don't know for certain if the cardboard-like piece is asbestos; just a guess but probably wrong.
John
JerseyCoal
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Franco Belge model 10.1475

Re: Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:41 pm

Whatever it is, wet it down good with water before playing with it. It won't become airborne when wet.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: JimS On: Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:50 am

coaledsweat wrote:Whatever it is, wet it down good with water before playing with it. It won't become airborne when wet.


WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT WET THIS DOWN!!!! When you do, it dissolves into mush! In fact, when you buy a new "one", it has no holes in it for the studs to poke through. The instructions for installing it are to place water on the piece where the studs will go through and push it on. The studs VERY easily pierce the insulation.

We find that we have to clean our stove twice per year. We just did it last week-end. When we clean it, we always remove the back and the corner plates. We had to replace the insulation once in seven years. If you are careful with it, it can be removed and replaced. I will admit -- when I bought the replacement set, I bought two, so I have another "emergency set" in the house in case I break it when I remove it.

If you should break it, don't attempt to fit the broken pieces in -- buy a new one.
JimS
 
Stove/Furnace Make: FrancoBelge
Stove/Furnace Model: 13.190

Re: Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:33 am

If it turns to mush, it isn't asbestos. If you can buy a new one, it isn't asbestos.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:54 am

coaledsweat wrote:If it turns to mush, it isn't asbestos. If you can buy a new one, it isn't asbestos.


Could be, there's still box labeled asbestos in my grandmothers cellar. They used it to seal the flue pipe where it enters the chimney. You wet it and form it. Turns to a solid once it dries but once you get it wet again it turns to mush, let it dry and back to being hard. Cardboard actually sounds about right for the type of consistency/weight once it dries. Might be something else or something with asbestos in it but that is what the box says and its not a factory box.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:00 pm

If for any reson you think you have asbestos,
http://www.epa.gov/Region4/air/asbestos/awet.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: JimS On: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:30 pm

We also have a Franco Belge coal stove. When we first got it the previous owner had us burning paper next to the side vents (until the stack reached 100 degrees) followed by wood with coal on top till it caught. This proved very smokey. We have now found that we can light it faster and more efficiently by using about 8 pieces of matchlight charcoal. These get placed just under the coals and burn hot enough and long enough to light the coal. No smoke, very fast heat which in turn heats up the stack for proper draft ( we have a thermometer on the stack aobut 2.5 feet above the top of the stove). I would not advise this unless your house is drafty or you can open a window for a short while due to the vapors from the charcoal but we have done it this way for about 3 years now with no ill affects. It is also a great way to revive a dying fire. WHen one side goes out you can make a "hole" in the coal on that side and stick in a few chunks of charcoal. Light them and your stove is good to go again.
We also have to vacumn out the side channels a few times. I let the fire go out and cool down, drag out the shopvac and start it up. To get to the back I use a section of flexible aquarium tubing about 1/2 inch in diameter. This material can bend around the corners and still have enough of an opening for the ash to get sucked through. We have also found that you can indeed remove those small plates from the back corners if you are very careful. I simply use a soft brush to sweep away the ash that sticks to them and replace them. The worse thing about cleaning it is when the air inlet gets blocked with ashes. Thats the small opening just behind and above the ash pan. Even my small fingers have a rough time cleaning that out.

The only other thing I have trouble with is when you are shaking it down and the grate gets stuck. We have gone up to 2 days not being able to shake it down because of it sticking. IF it does not clear up in that time we let it go out and empty it usually to find a piece of slate has gotten in. During that time I use a poker to knock the ashes down.

It has its problems but I love the heat it throws off and my kids like to stand in front of it on a cold day to "toast" their clothes before putting them on. My 4 year old often will come to us with her clothes and say "toast this please?"
JimS
 
Stove/Furnace Make: FrancoBelge
Stove/Furnace Model: 13.190

Re: Franco Belge: Can't get coal lit/draft problems

PostBy: yermanjf On: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:25 pm

I used to have a Victory 700 (Franco Belge knock off) and I have a suggestion for cleaning the ash out of the exaust ports. I use a 18" long washing machine hose. It has prefitted metal connections on both ends that really help.

One end I hold against my shopvac hose (metal end is just the right size).

The other end I jam into the exaust port. Since it is a hose it easily goes around the corners and since it has a metal end it knocks the ash off the bottom, sides and top of the exaust port.

Knocking the ash off is important as can build up in a layer all over the inside of the port. When the layer comes off it actually is stiff and maintains it's shape well enough to pick a piece up. That's why it can clog so well, the port is not full but a layer of ash can fall across it.

I follow this process from the front into the ports (left and right) and from the back into the flue opening (again left and right. This avoids opening the inspection ports (a pain in the a-- with the Victory as I had to tear the sheet metal shell off).
yermanjf
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Franco belge
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Other Heating: Oil hot water
Stove/Furnace Make: Franco Belge
Stove/Furnace Model: not sure

Visit Hitzer Stoves