Alaska Kodiak Hand Fired Stove Guidance Needed

Alaska Kodiak Hand Fired Stove Guidance Needed

PostBy: joedapro On: Thu. Nov. 22, 2012 3:37 pm

i think i'm doing something wrong, but i'm having trouble identifying the problem. I have a hopper fed Alaskan Kodiak hand fired stove. I bought it 3 years ago brand new, but didn't install it right away. last year I bought 3 tons of Blaschek bagged nut coal. this past summer I had a masonry chimney installed and connected the stove to it.

my house is a small ranch, 1300 sq feet. located in Smithtown, long island, New York. it has a full, unfinished, cinder block walled basement; this is where the stove is installed. the basement is open and rectangular shaped; the stove is on the short wall opposite the staircase to the main floor. the staircase is against the other short wall. the 7' ceiling is unfinished and not insulated. There is an exterior door to the outside near the interior stairway wall and 3 basement windows. the house was built in the 1930's. it is un-insulated and somewhat drafty.

stove installation
the stove pipe leaves the back of the stove via a clean out tee, then up into the barometric damper, then about an 18" section of straight pipe to a 90 degree pipe into the block wall (about 5' up from the floor) via brown clay pipe. it travels through the wall and up the insulated brick chimney and terminates 3'6" above the roof line. the clay pipe inside the chimney is 6" pipe.

wood - Several weeks back a couple of wood fires were lit using hard wood cutoffs (kiln dried oak maple and mahogany)from a mill-work shop. this was done to cure the paint. side note - if I ever buy a new stove this will be done outside as it smelled really bad. the fire burned really well and fast, but it did soot up the glass. I had to clean it with oven cleaner.

coal - Let me start with "the manometer is on its way". so is a laser thermometer; they were ordered, but not yet delivered. last saturday night the outside temp was 38 degrees. inside temp was 58 degrees. the wife said lets start the stove. I built a small wood fire using a 5 gallon bucket of cutoffs, as the flames died I shook down the ash and added some coal. after it lit I filled the hopper. the air flow was adjusted so so the air intake was open about 3/8's of an inch. not knowing how to set the barometric damper, the weight was left in the middle. every 12 hours the grates get a good shake, the ash gets dumped and the hopper gets filled. no sign of the fire going out. it burns like all the pictures on this forum, nice orange glow with blue flames about 3-5"s long.

now for the problem. I get no heat unless I sit within inches of the stove. I have a thermometer 14' above the stove and 14" behind the stove (it hangs just off the wall behind the stove). it reads 80 degrees no matter what changes I make. after the first day I opened the airflow to a 1/2" the setting, and moved the weight so that the barometric damper held itself wide open, no change.

the next night the air was opened wide, the only noted change was the stove consumed more fuel. tuesday I reversed the damper weight. the stove pipe was really hot I could no longer touch it with my bare hand for any length of time. you could hear the air whooshing and whistling through the pipe. it consumed 40 pounds of coal in 12 hours but generated no more heat. last night I put the damper weight in the middle and left the air supply wide open. it consumed 1/2 bag of coal in 12 hours. the best temp on the thermometer above the stove was 85 degrees. the highest temp on the main floor was 63 degrees.

since I started the stove the night temps have consistently been in the high 30's and the daytime temps have gone up to the low 50's.

am I expecting too much from this stove, or, am I screwing up? I was told this stove would easily heat my whole house and that I would have to open my windows in the winter. I feel like I was sold an old bridge from brooklyn. my small propane single burner buddy heater heats the basement better than this coal stove.

any suggestions?

oh by the way, Happy Thanksgiving.

Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: kodiak

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Re: Alaska Kodiak Hand Fired Stove Guidance Needed

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu. Nov. 22, 2012 3:59 pm

Hello Joe, welcome to the forum. You really need a manometer to check and set the draft. The baro really can't be set withou out one.. Maybe somebody nearby could come over with their Manometer and set for you..
Personally , I'd just buy a manometer,, they are about $30, They are a good tool for trouble-shooting.

OK, part of the problem is you are heating 2600sqft, not 1300. Heating the uninsulated concrete wals of the basement will absorb a huge amount of heat.

Go to the venting, Chimneys forum here and look for some threads about this subject.. thare are many.

You probably will have to create some form of ductwork to move the hot air out of the basement to the upstars.

Once everyone gets a belly-full of Thanksgiving dinner, I'm sure you will ahve lots of replies and suggenstiions.

Greg L
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hand Fired Stove Guidance Needed

PostBy: Cap On: Thu. Nov. 22, 2012 5:31 pm

Try using a box fan to move air across basement floor. A better option would be an open floor grate above the stove if possible. Most of the heat is being soaked up by the block. Are you sure you are firing the stove hot enough?
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hand Fired Stove Guidance Needed

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Thu. Nov. 22, 2012 7:32 pm

ok so from burning the exact same stove with the exact same coal with the exact same chimney height....

theres mucho heat available.... id be willin to bet lots of your heat is going up the pipe and more of it is being sucked down and into the floor, then the rest into the blocks...

also the first year I put a box fan behind it on low to "wash off" the heat toward the living space ...worked ok

the factory twin squirrel cage set up with the factory speed control is by far the way to go for heat extraction

i can suggest you lift and slip a 3x5 sheet or two of heat stop board (ie dura-rock, hardie, ect) under it to slow the heat drop to the floor. then hilti or tapcon or nail some furring strips to your block and tack or glue on some pink tounge and grove 1" styrafoam insulation on the walls..

best place for thermometer is on top right area of stove. 3" from top load door's back right corner toward back right corner of stove...thats the hottest place. then a few inches out of the outlet on the pipe. see the difference between the two
. big question??? how do you have the inside rear hanging steel baffle ? hanging straight down? or angled sloping back so as the bottom of the plate hits the stove back?

so right now I have 450 top 100 pipe draft is .06 heat is ...LOTS 8-)
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hand Fired Stove Guidance Needed

PostBy: joedapro On: Sat. Nov. 24, 2012 1:03 am

thanks for the replies. I am still waiting for manometer to be delivered then I will have to install it. until then...

a status update. I was reading through older posts on this site as recommended above and trying figure out what I was doing wrong when I noticed two patterns.

first, many here fill their stoves to the top of the fire bricks in the combustion chamber. I was adding coal to my stove by filling the hopper. by doing this the hopper was only filling the combustion chamber to a level about a 1/4 way up the bricks. so this morning I used the poker to spread the coal around as it fell from the hopper and filled the combustion chamber 3/4 of the way up the top of the bricks.


second, as I did this I noticed that when just shaking the grates. I hadn't cleared all the ash out of the combustion chamber. there was a lot of ash mixed in with the burning coal. so I poked around the hot coals for a few minutes attempting to get the ash to the bottom and shook the grates again. this poking also helped spread the hopper fed coal all around he combustion chamber.

tonight when I came home the basement was 95 degrees and the main floor was 70 degrees. my infrared thermometer came in the mail today, so tonight I was measuring everything. the stove pipe temp above the barometric damper was 180 degrees. the stove temp was 450 degrees. during the day today it was 55 degrees outside and right now it is 42 degrees.

new questions

is it safe to assume am I supposed to be poking through the coals freeing ash even though I shake the grates pretty aggressively?

with the hopper fed stove am I supposed to use the poker to spread the coal around so it fills the chamber up to the top of the bricks or just rely on the hopper to feed the stove at the lower levels?

now that I can provide accurate temperature readings, are my temperature readings in line with what I should be seeing. what should the temperature ratio between the stove and the pipe be?

Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: kodiak

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hand Fired Stove Guidance Needed

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Sat. Nov. 24, 2012 8:37 am

Hey Joe. looks like your getting a feel for it. you should poke the ash out of the four corners every other day mabe third...
once you get a hot bed going theres no need to do that spreading thing.. just fill the hopper to the top and open the ash pan door and give it a good full swing shake back and forth till you see the red glow reflecting off the ash

I don't let the ash touch the bottom of the grate.. I found opening the slide access for the shaking is not enough to clear the dead ash out. now in warmer weather and spring time that shaking slot is good cause we tend to use some ash-blocking to keep it tamed.

i found when loading the back corners with coal from a poker it really clogs up the corners 8-)
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hand Fired Stove Guidance Needed

PostBy: SteveZee On: Sat. Nov. 24, 2012 8:06 pm


Absolutely fill that firepot all the way up and get it going and then fill the hopper. Hand fed stoves always perform best with a full load no matter the heat you need. It just lasts longer when turned low on warmer days.

Secondly, untill you can set that baro I would foil it over so it's closed completely and your getting max draft. Don't know if you use a MPD or not until you can set that correcty, keep it closed.

Once going well with a full at the temp you desire, it may take a day or two to stabilize and heat soak everything before you are seeing it's true potential. That other guys that have the stove in the basement all have good idead tyo maximize that.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Modern Oak 116 & Glenwood 208 C Range

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