Spoiled and can't go back to wood

Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: mudnut On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:18 pm

Came home to a cold bed of coals last night, all but a handful were still glowing and by the time I got all of the clinkers and ash out I was down to nothing. Since it takes awhile to get that big firebox full of hot coals I decided to pull the stove pipe and drill it for an MPD... Saw that I had warped my grates so added that to the "gotta do" list for next summer, that might explain why I'm not getting nearly enough ash when I just shake without also poking from the below the grate. When I was done I cranked up the stove with a load of wood in it, got it good and hot, set the damper at about a 45 degree angle and went to bed.

Woke up this morning to a cold house BUT still had a pretty good bed of coals left over from the wood. That just doesn't happen in that stove, or at least it didn't before I put the damper in. I've been running through about 2 bags of coal a day which is getting a little expensive so I'm anxious to see how much longer it will burn now that I have the damper in place.

Is 45 degrees a good angle for an MPD or can I try to run it a little closer to closed? This one doesn't have big holes in the middle of it but it does sit to one side of the stove pipe so there's a good amount of clearance around it and through the gaps in the middle where the pin threads through.

I love the speed at which wood gets up to temp but hate the rate at which it burns. I think I need a coal insert for my fireplace now :D
mudnut
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: Brunco 150

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: titleist1 On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:42 pm

repeat after me.....

my name is _____________ and i am a coal junkie..........but I am soooooooooo warm and I am sooooooooo not broke heating my house!!!
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: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: joeq On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:02 pm

Mr. Mud
let me start off by saying, your title is confusing me, cause by your post, it appears you've gone back to wood. 2nd, my opinions here are coming from less than a yrs worth of burning coal, so don't go mortgaging the house on what i say. However this site has provided me with not only entertainment, but helpful advice.
I too just installed an mpd to my 6" black pipe behind my stove in an attempt to try and slow down the burn in my Surdiac, which may allow me to burn "longer" before my grates clog up with ash. I've been experimenting with angles and openings of the intake damper, (a round "flapper" valve, much like a toilet tank), and the mpd. My mpd is also "cocked" to one side of the 6" pipe, and does have holes in the middle. After my stove has been fired, and the mpd which starts wide open, the 1st time I closed my mpd to approx. 45*, it appeared the draft became accelerated and the coals burned hotter. Wasn't sure if this was the case, but in time i've learned that by closing it to this setting "and" turning down my intake damper, the stove will slow down. (as it is doing right now.) I've tried a lesser position, (approx 15-20*), but don't think it's that sensitive. As for closing the mpd more than 45, for me, don't think it'll be beneficial. think it would be too drastic.(But who knows? might try it some time) I'm also trying to get through the nite without losing the burn, and with my stove and set-up is difficult. The past 2 nites, I've put my damper to a 15* angle, and have woken approx 5-6 hrs later with the stove "relatively" warm, and have been able to refire the coals. I'm afraid to choke it off to 45* at nite, fearing it'll be too slow, and I'll be worse off in the AM. However, I am going to try this in a few days, when our outside temps will be warming up, and i want it to go out. That being said, good luck with yours.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

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Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: mudnut On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:51 pm

my name is Kevin and i am a coal junkie..........but I am soooooooooo warm and I am sooooooooo not broke heating my house!!!

I guess the first step is admitting that you have a problem, right? LOL

Joeq I only want back to wood for last night as I would have been up much longer than I would have liked if I had stated the coal back up, loaded the box with wood again this morning but will have a nice hot bed of coals (real coal) by tonight. No worries, I haven't gone back to the wood side, it was just faster heat last night.

I run a Brunco 150 and aside from the above the fire spinner on the load door (which I leave unless I'm burning wood) my draft is controlled by the slide flap on the draft blower in the front. I've got it a little past half closed and I think between that, the fact that I will have a digital thermostat and the newly installed damper I should hopefully be using much less coal. 80 pounds a day is about twice that of what I want to burn.

When my grates warped they sagged in the middle and the range of motion is now limited by my firebricks. I saw this when I had all of the ash and clinkers out last night so I may hit the bottom edge of some of the bricks with an angle grinder just to regain the clearance or I won't be able to get much ash out when I shake.

Still learning but I love this stuff, sure hope the EPA doesn't screw it up for us. This is way better than wood IMHO, less tending, less (no) smoke and no creosote.
mudnut
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: Brunco 150

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: joeq On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:39 pm

I guess everything has it's trade-offs. As you mentioned, wood lights sooo much easier than coal, and when fresh, provides an entertaining picture to watch, if you've got a viewing window to admire it through. But as you know, wood has it's negatives too. If you've got a forest around your house, and the energy to chop, stack, and store, more power to you. Compared to my forced hot air, oil fired furnace, coal is quite a bit of work too. But I'm looking at it this way. If by burning coal will keep my house MUCH warmer, with a 30% reduction in fuel costs (which I'm striving for), compared to oil, and the interesting esthetics the stove provides, then I will try and tolerate it for a while.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: echos67 On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:12 pm

Keep working with it Mudnut you will get it dialed in. My stove although different from yours I am able to pretty much shut the damper all the way closed and let it just cruise for long burn times. The biggest thing is make sure the stove is air tight and not letting in any more air then you allow.

Joeq, I bet you can decrease your old oil bill by a lot more then 30%. Around 3 years ago (maybe 4 now) I was at $2800 for oil heat, the next year I went with 6 tons of pellets at $1500, then last year I used 2 tons of coal at $500.
echos67
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Glenwood No. 6.

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: joeq On: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:02 pm

Joeq, I bet you can decrease your old oil bill by a lot more then 30%. Around 3 years ago (maybe 4 now) I was at $2800 for oil heat, the next year I went with 6 tons of pellets at $1500, then last year I used 2 tons of coal at $500.[/quote]

Keith, I like your optimism. If I burned 3 tons this winter, it would cost me almost 1K, by our local prices. ($6+ a bag). And my oil bill in the past has been almost 3 grand. I don't think my Surdiac will perform like your Glenwood. And by the way. i love the looks and style of yours. Some-day, I'ld like to own one.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: mudnut On: Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:29 am

Well I have access to wood, we've got a 10 acre lot across the road from us but ran out of time this last summer and never got a splitter and real saw so I bought some wood. Got 4 truckloads from a guy that the guy we bought the house from buys his wood from but it's still pretty green, it's stacked in the basement with a fan on it and a dehumidifier running most of the day but I think it will be until next season before it's ready. We have a fireplace insert that I plan on using on really cold days so I'll get a truck load of seasoned wood to use in that.

I really want to get a coal insert for the fireplace, I love a wood fire in there, nice to look at, tons of heat but it just doesn't burn long enough. Besides I can still burn some wood in a coal insert, much harder burning coal in the wood insert. Just have to see if it's in the budget.

Got a nice deep hot bed of coals sitting in the furnace now and it's warming the house up just like I like it. Have the damper at about a 60 degree angle, when I came upstairs my flue temp was around 200, the stove face was around 100 but I'd had the loading door cracked until it was going good. I'm anxious to see what kind of a difference the damper will make.

My wife is starting to see the benefits of burning coal, not that she was against it at all before. Next season will bring a coal bin in the basement and no more picking up 10 bags at a time from my supplier. 400 pounds is enough in the back of the van and I think I'd have a teenage mutiny if I brought any more than that home at one time LOL.
mudnut
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: Brunco 150

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: joeq On: Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:14 pm

Is 45 degrees a good angle for an MPD or can I try to run it a little closer to closed? This one doesn't have big holes in the middle of it but it does sit to one side of the stove pipe so there's a good amount of clearance around it and through the gaps in the middle where the pin threads through.

Mr Mud, today was the 1st time I've attempted to close off my MPD more than 45*. After the morning clean-out and refill of the hopper, it wasn't long for the stove was roaring away and looking healthy. Seeing I wasn't wanting the house to become 85* again, I decided a radical adjustment from my norm. i reduced the MPD to almost 6o*, and ckoked down my intake slightly, and the stove has been running for hrs without generating the normal heat exchanger temp of 400+*. It was maintaining approx 300, which was telling me that 60* closed MPD was helping to keep the stove cooler, or if nothing else, wasn't drastically choking it to the point of going out. (Just my 2 cents).
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: echos67 On: Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:29 pm

Great thing isn't it :D

Just be cautious on warmer days that you don't close it too far since the draft is usually reduced when temps climb. When it was hitting 50 plus degrees in the days when my stove was running last year I would keep it in direct draft and keep the damper opened a little extra just to be safe.
echos67
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Glenwood No. 6.

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: joeq On: Sat Dec 01, 2012 5:46 pm

Good tip, Keith, thanx. Fortunately(unfortunately(?), the temps here haven't hit 30 all day, and isn't suppose to climb for a few. I'll keep that in mind if it warms up. But the house has been a pleasant 72* most of the time these past couple days. My girls will be spoiled when the temps go back up to daytime highs of 45-50, and I let the stove go out, and the furnace will come on at 65*. :(
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: eelhc On: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:00 pm

mudnut wrote:Came home to a cold bed of coals last night, all but a handful were still glowing and by the time I got all of the clinkers and ash out I was down to nothing. Since it takes awhile to get that big firebox full of hot coals I decided to pull the stove pipe and drill it for an MPD...


Cheat... Get a bag of pellet fuel and throw a couple of scoops on the coals to revive the blue ladies quickly. A couple of bags will last all season.
eelhc
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Magnum Stoker

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: joeq On: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:33 pm

Cool! Another good tip. How bout using those for an initial start-up, compared to cutting/finding scraps of timbers, or lumber?
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: echos67 On: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:24 pm

joeq wrote:Cool! Another good tip. How bout using those for an initial start-up, compared to cutting/finding scraps of timbers, or lumber?


Cowboy or Lump charcoal and a shot or two of Kerosene, for the stove of course :D , your shots may vary to taste !
echos67
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Glenwood No. 6.

Re: Spoiled and can't go back to wood

PostBy: joeq On: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:49 pm

Yummm.Nothing like a cold glass of milk to wash down those "antique" twinkies. ( Buddy Ebson in Barnaby Jones) :)
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

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