I have a Franco Belge coal stove, and it is cooking as I type. It runs great, but there a few things that you need to learn about it. First, what type of installation do you have? Is it going into a fireplace chimney, or something else. Do you have a barometric damper on it? There should be one. It regulates the draft to the stove by opening if there is too much draft in the chimney. The stove likes to operate at 0.03" of water column draft. The barametric damper should start to open if this value is exceeded. This prevents over firing of the stove. It admits room air to the pipe above the stove to keep the draft constant in the stove, and keep it firing evenly. The very first thing you need to do is look at your installation and make sure all your pipes are in good shape. The second thing is to pull the stove out and clean it. Use a shop vac to vacuum out the heat exchanger in the back of the stove. I adapt the hose on the vac to a smaller one, and stick it in the back to the left and to the right. Quite a bit of fly ash can accumulate in there in a year. Then open the glass door, and do the same to the left and right discharge points. Stick the tubing right in there and suck out all of the fly ash. If you really want to get thorough, take the metal over off of the back, and you will see two removable covers on the sides of the heat exchanger (left and right) near the corners. These can be taken off and you can vacuum the heat exhanger out there. I don't usually do that, as there are gaskets there, and if you destroy them, you will have to replace them. You can clean it very well without taking them off. If you do take them off, put antisieze high temperature on the studs, so you can always be able to get them off. (you can get this at an auto store).
I light my stove using charcoal bricquets, and add about two or three coal shovels into the middle of the empty stove. I add coal around it (both sides) then start the charcoal using lighter fluid. Close the front door, and open the ash door slightly. This will give unlimited draft and get the charcoal going in 10 min. Then, close the ash door, open the lid slowly on the top of the stove and add a shovel of coal. Put the lid back on, and open the ash door again. When the coal you added is going well, repeat and add another shovel. The third time, add two shovels of coal, and in about an hour you can dump in a whole bucket. The output of the stove is controlled by the dial on the right side of the stove. I usually set mine on #6, but it can vary with the stove. Between the fire glass door and the ash door are two little tabs sticking out about an inch with a hole in each one. These are for shaking the ashes down. There is a cast iron handle with a hook on it which goes into the hole. You then shake the tab left and right to shake ashes down into the ash pan. This has to be done about two to four times per day, or the fire will go out.
When you open the ash door, there should be a large pan in there with a handle on it, and a tab on the front. The cast iron handle iits into the tab, and is used for pulling the pan out until you can grab the large handle. The ashes must be emptied once per day. I put a metal ashbarrel outside of my front door, and empty the ashes into it.
Good luck with your stove. Once you learn how to use it, you will like it. By the way, don't use anything but pea coal in it. If you have any questions drop me a line at [email protected]