Which Stove is the right stove

Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: jbirish On: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:12 am

I am currently a wood pellet user and becuase of health concerns and being cold during cold days, I have decided to switch to coal. I have to install a fireplace insert, so I am trying to decide between the Hitzer 503 E-Z flow and the 983 insert. My house is 1800 sq/ft ranch with poor to average insulation and faces NW over the a lake on Long Island, ie lots of wind. I currently burn 6 tons of pellets each year in my 45,000 BTU pellet stove insert. The oil boiler has to work when the temps drop below 20. In addition, I work in the City and am gone on average 14 hrs per day. My wife home schools my son and will not touch the unit so the coal stove will have to burn well for the time that I am away. We looked at a stoker but I want to have heat when the power goes off which it often does during a Noreaster. I like the 983 becuase it has the ability to burn wood during our long swing season, but with no hopper I am concerned about the burn time. If install the 503 with the hopper I cannot burn wood. I have to make a decision very soon so any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
jbirish
 

Re: Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: Gian4 On: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:58 am

Hi
I've owned a Hitzer 503 for 5 years and love it. I never burned coal before owning this stove. There is a bit of a learning curve but with the help of this board and a little common sense it is easy. Customer support from Hitzer is great. I bought this when heating oil was in the $4.00 a gal. range and hoped it would cut my oil consumption by half. I live in a 2300 sq. ft. two story 1860s era farm house in upstate NY with adequate (at best) insulation and new windows. Well... it far exceeded my expectations. I only had to run the furnace to get a little heat in the basement when we had multiple sub 0 days just to protect my pipes. My home layout allows for distribution of heat through out the house upstairs and down. You need to consider that in your plans. According to the Hitzer site the 503 and the 983 are very close in BTU output. How accurate that is I'm not sure. I think the hopper makes this stove more user friendly. It makes refills easier and cleaner in my opinion. I think in sub 20 degree weather its best to tend it every 12 hours but it could go longer. You can burn wood in the 503 if you remove the hopper. This is held in by one bolt and easy to do. It takes less the 2 minutes. If you call Hitzer and describe your needs they will give you good advice on which stove would be best. As a practical matter I would recommend that your wife at least learn how to give a quick shake down of the stove to recharge the fire from the hopper on very cold days or if your delayed at work. This is not a physical chore and easy to do. The inserts have blower fans to help push heat off the stove. I find that in really cold weather it is necessary to use them. Because these are inserts, there is decreased exposed surface area to allow for efficient radiation. I have a rheostat on mine to vary fan speed. I believe Hitzer sells these. Hopefully a 983 owner will give you his views.

Hope this helps
Gian4
Gian4
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: Hitzer503

Re: Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: Rob R. On: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:30 am

If you want long burn times, get the 503. The hopper will make all the difference in getting the burn times you desire.

Do you have a generator to use during power outages? If you do, don't overlook a stoker boiler...it will heat your entire house and produce domestic hot water (and only need attention once per day in the coldest part of the winter).
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/buck
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

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Re: Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:47 pm

jbirish wrote:I am currently a wood pellet user and becuase of health concerns and being cold during cold days, I have decided to switch to coal. I have to install a fireplace insert, so I am trying to decide between the Hitzer 503 E-Z flow and the 983 insert. My house is 1800 sq/ft ranch with poor to average insulation and faces NW over the a lake on Long Island, ie lots of wind..


I have a 503 and a 2400 sq ft house...no problemo [Hitzer claims 3,000 ..maybe in some parts). Consider Harman Magnafire? I almost got that model but went with the Hitzer 503 'cause of the hopper...its sweet (mine got ate up for some reason - you can search my posts-they replaced it free :) ) A positive aspect with Hitzer is customer service .. but never heard complaints about the Magnafire...
davidmcbeth3
 
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: jbirish On: Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:35 pm

Pulled the trigger and bought the 503. It will be installed next week. Can't wait to start being warm. Any suggestions on best use of the stove would be great. Thanks
jbirish
 

Re: Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: Dennis On: Sun Sep 23, 2012 2:21 pm

welcome to the forum,the hitzer user will help you and in your spare time use the search button in top right corner for"hitzer 503" and you can read up on your new stove
Dennis
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: AHS/WOC55-multi-fuel/wood,oil,coal
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/stove size

Re: Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:08 pm

You have an outstanding heating season to look foward to and made a real smart move going with the hopper.
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: mason coal burner On: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:24 pm

You bought a good stove . I love my hitzer . Haven't bought any oil in four years now . Welcome to the forum
mason coal burner
 
Stove/Furnace Make: hitzer/glenwood
Stove/Furnace Model: 82/111

Re: Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: jbirish On: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:39 am

Tried to light the stove over the weekend with the temps in the mid 50's with rain and had a terrible time. I think I made many mistakes.
(1) I tried to use only 30lbs of coal to fire the stove and made a 3" base the stove fired ok with the bottom door cracked open or with the vents open and the chimney damper half open. However, overnight the stove would go out each night.
(2) Should I fill the stove completely with coal in order to fire it properly?
(3) Why were my stove temps sooooo low? They were no more than 250 degrees.
(4) What is the proper way to throttle the stove for shoulder months?
I hope I am asking the correct questions. I am just a little worried that the stove will not work for 6 hours unattended, when I have to leave it for 14 hours most days. Thanks for the responses.
JB
jbirish
 

Re: Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:17 am

jbirish wrote:(1) I tried to use only 30lbs of coal to fire the stove and made a 3" base the stove fired ok with the bottom door cracked open or with the vents open and the chimney damper half open. However, overnight the stove would go out each night.


Not enough coal.

jbirish wrote:(2) Should I fill the stove completely with coal in order to fire it properly?


Yes.

jbirish wrote:(3) Why were my stove temps sooooo low? They were no more than 250 degrees.


Not enough coal, lazy chimney draft due to warm weather.

jbirish wrote:(4) What is the proper way to throttle the stove for shoulder months?


The stove must be full of coal, and you will have to experiment to see how low you can run it without having the fire go out. Basically you keep reducing the inlet air until you get the stove (or room) temperature you are looking for. You may have to fire the stove a little hotter than you want to keep a reliable fire in the fall & spring...cracking a window often helps also.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/buck
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Which Stove is the right stove

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:59 am

What Rob R. said ;)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

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