Congratulations Scott, for being that successful. You say your 5" pipe off the back of your stove only heads up the chimney a few feet with a baro damper installed in it? And it'll burn 8-10 hrs without
poking or scraping? Sounds pretty exhilarating to me. I've been told by a previous owner of a different Surdiac than mine that the installer said it was "imperative" that he had a baro-damper with his stove, and the owner said he remembers long burn times, but couldn't elaborate on #'s.
I still don't see the damper being my problem, cause the fire runs fine, (as long as the grates are kept clean). I like your comment about "crappy" coal, cause if mine didn't make so much ash, (or so dense?), then maybe it wouldn't "choke" it down so much. The most popular brand in my area is Blaschak anthracite, at $6 a bag. Not sure of other options. I'll have to investigate
Even tho we've had to work keeping this stove running, it has kept my house warmer at a cheaper price than current oil. The winter here in lower New England has been mild so far, but we did run the stove for a few weeks around the holidays,(when it was colder) and because of that, my oil tank level has barely moved.Now the daytime highs are almost 50, I let the stove go out a week or 2 ago, and have heated with oil. My gauge is now beginning to drop.