New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: Coal-Chub-E On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:30 pm

Hello all,
I was hooked on burning coal the moment my uncle-in-law showed me his coal burning furnace in the basement of his 110 year old farmhouse in Candor, NY. I always loved how warm his house was when we were up there for Thanksgiving or xmas. I live in Annapolis MD and have electric heat (from and HVAC), which by the way sucks!! It sucks $300 a month from my wallet in the winter months and only heats my split foyer to about 68 degrees if I’m lucky, and it runs 24/7 during the coldest months of winter.

I always thought about getting a coal stove but never thought it was practical. Then I found this site. I want to thank you all for the great conversation and advice gathered from the various threads. After doing some reading, I settled on a Coal Chubby. I found one on the Philadelphia craigslist for $400. It was in great shape, or so I thought. During my first coal fire, the chubby turned completely white and stunk the house up with a terrible plastic smell. Turns out the previous owner did not use stove paint and merely painted over all the rust. The paint turned white because it turned to ash. So, I sanded down the entire stove with a wire drill bit attachment and re-painted with high temp black paint. Now she looks great!!!

Since I re-painted, the second burn went much better, the smell was pretty much gone. And the next few nights I continued to have nice hot fires. As mention earlier, my house is a split-foyer, about 1800 sq. feet. Downstairs the Chubby heats it into the 80’s and upstairs it gets to 74 degrees with temps in the 20’s at night!!! So it’s really performing the way I want it to temp-wise.

However, I still could not get the temp below 500 degrees, no matter how much I closed the air vents and I couldn’t get an overnight burn. So, I replaced the loading and ash door gaskets with ½ inch gasket rope. I did not replace the top gasket.

So, that’s where I am now with the stove. With the loading/ash door gaskets replaced, I now can get an overnight burn but the fire is too weak to add more coal in the morning, it will just smother it. The stove does have the newer firepot.

Also, even with the new seals I still can’t seem to get the temperature to drop much less than 500 degrees. I love the coal stove concept, but don’t want to have to tend to it every six hours to keep it going, especially in the mornings. I don’t have time to rebuild a fire before work. Ideally, I’d like to keep enough fire overnight that I can simply add more coal in the morning to keep it going. According to the Chubby website, you are supposed to go 12 hrs between re-loading. I’m getting maybe 8 hrs on a full load (which is why the fire is going out at night).

So basically this is where I’m at right now. Any suggestions/advice for this coal newbie?

Again, thanks in advance for all your assistance. BTW – the wife and kids LOVE the heat!!
Eric
Coal-Chub-E
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Coal Chubby
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Coal Stove

Re: New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: titleist1 On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:41 pm

Coal-Chub-E wrote: I’m getting maybe 8 hrs on a full load (which is why the fire is going out at night).

So basically this is where I’m at right now. Any suggestions/advice for this coal newbie?

Again, thanks in advance for all your assistance. BTW – the wife and kids LOVE the heat!!
Eric


Obviously you are getting way too much sleep, didn't they tell you coal burners only average 6 hours of sleep a night!!! :lol: Just kidding - that's wood burners!!

Welcome to the forum and congrats on making an intelligent choice for heating your home! Although I don't have one myself, there is a chubby cult here that I am sure will have suggestions to get your stove temps under control very soon.
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: New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: Rob R. On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:42 pm

Welcome to the forum.

Do you have a manual pipe damper and/or barometric damper installed in the stovepipe?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/buck
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

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Re: New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:46 pm

Eric

Do you have a MPD and or Baro installed?

You should have no problems getting an easy 12 hours out of a Large Chubby. I am getting an easy 12 out of my Chubby Jr and it is about 1/2 the size of your unit.

Tell us how you shake down the stove. What size coal are you burning as well? Do you give the coal bed a poke from the bottom after you shake down? How tall is your chimney? When the fire goes out what does the unburnt coal look like? Masonry or SS chimney? Sorry to hammer you with questions but these will help pin down the issue a bit.

If it makes you feel better I just had a couple bags of coal that burned really hot and very fast. Sometimes the coal itself can be the cause.

Also.. How do you start your fire? Have you seen the Chubby video that Larry Trainer made on how to start your Chubby?
Last edited by ONEDOLLAR on Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: Coal-Chub-E On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:50 pm

Rob R. wrote:Welcome to the forum.

Do you have a manual pipe damper and/or barometric damper installed in the stovepipe?


Rob, yes and yes. Once the stove has a good coal fire going. I fill up the firepot to the top and then wait about ten minutes, then close air to about 1/8 open and shut the MPD. Again, thanks for the quick replies.

ONEDOLLAR - My chimney is a tile lined brick masonry fireplace that is about 23 feet tall from hearth to cap. Inside that I ran 15 feet of flexible 6" stainless steel liner from the stove up into the chimney. There is NO insulation on the liner. The liner extends almost all the way up the chimney. I do have a poker that I periodically poke up thru the bottom grate so that light comes thru. I really have not had the chance to shake the stove since the fire goes out before the Chubby site says you should normally shake. But when I do shake in preparation for a new fire, the level drops to almost a third full. My top layer of ash is semi-burnt coal. My baro-damper is somewhat confusing to me, it may not be set right. It was a cheap one.

I'm burning white ash anthracite nut. I start file with hardwood kindling, get that going nice and hot (embers) and then add layers of coal, just like in the chubby video.
Coal-Chub-E
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Coal Chubby
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Coal Stove

Re: New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:35 pm

Erik,

WELCOME to the forum and the Chubby Cult!

You could have a draft issue. Like too much. Once you get your baro dialed in that should be a big help. I don't know too much about baro's as I don't use one. There is always the option you could try the stove without the baro and see what happens. There are some great people on this board who know the ins and outs of baro's and I am sure that they can and will help you. There are also some great people on this board who know a hell of lot more about coal than I do as well! : :)

To me, others may disagree but you should only poke after you shake down and add coal. When you shake, shake to the point of of having red coal fall to the ashpan. Then give a few pokes. You say when you shake the level falls to 1/3 full. How much wood are you using to start the coal? I wonder if you are have more wood in the stove than needed to ignite the coal. As a result you aren't getting enough coal in the firepot to sustain a 12 hours burn? Possible? If you think this may be the case once you lite the stove after an a couple of hours shake out the wood ash and add coal at that time? See if that helps. Just an idea.

Since you replaced the gaskets on the fill door and ash door you might want to consider replacing the top gasket as well. Can't hurt. Also don't be shy about emailing Larry Trainer as well. His email is ltra@gis.net Larry is the Grand and Supreme Maharaji of the Cult of Chubby and he is happy to help. You can also call him if you want. If you need his number drop me a PM.
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: DOUG On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:46 pm

It sounds to me you still have a strong draft through the stove. If possible, I would use a draft gauge or manometer to see what kind of draft or suction your chimney is pulling. A .05 inches of water reading I found to perform the best for me. If you can't use one of these tools, you could get the wood fire going good and try adjusting the barometric damper weight so the stove temperature drops to your desired temperature with the ash door draft setting. I would try doing this with a good wood fire before adding anthracite so the fire will respond faster to the barometric draft weight adjustment setting, then fine tune it with a coal fire. Another suggestion with a hot fire is to try tamping down on the anthracite in order to get it to pack tighter together and heap the coal, making it more difficult for the air to pass through the coal.
DOUG
 
Stove/Furnace Make: CHUBBY, D.S.MACHINE BOILER
Stove/Furnace Model: CLAYTON 1600

Re: New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: franco b On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:40 pm

Close the air intake damper completely and see what happens. Open 1/8 inch can be a lot. Also check to see how closely that slide fits the door. Might need tightening.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: Coal-Chub-E On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:01 pm

Ok guys. I took frank's advice and focused on the ash door air vent. To my surprise the metal plate that slides back and forth to shut off air was bent away from the door on one side. It was not sealing. Almost a 1/8 gap all around one side. It wasnt visible looking at it straight on. I was able to bang it flush with a hammer. Hopefully this will solve my problem. We have a warming trend begining tommorow so i wont be foring up the stove again till next week. Ill let you know if it worked next time i light up. My wife just said its cold downstairs and want coal heat!! So it looks like I'll find sooner than later ifthat was the issue.

Again, thanks for all your assistance.

Eric
Coal-Chub-E
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Coal Chubby
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Coal Stove

Re: New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: Coal-Chub-E On: Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:43 am

Ok- Update. Its going on 13 hrs now and the stove is still at 375. So it appears the bent air vent plate was the issue. The stove is also much more responsive now as well and it is burning more than half less the amount of coal as before. Thanks guys!
Coal-Chub-E
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Coal Chubby
Stove/Furnace Make: Chubby Coal Stove

Re: New to Coal - Using Coal Chubby

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:01 am

Erik

Glad to hear Franco's suggestion panned out!
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

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