Burning but not so hot...

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: McGiever On: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:17 pm

Generally speaking, use pea coal for reduced heat output...like spring and fall, or if there is always an excess of chimney draft.

You are going to need to use nut size. ;)

If you can get it...pick up a little stove size to see how that works...add it on top of a good burning nut fire at reload time. :idea:
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: fastcat On: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:32 pm

I'm going to through my two cents in here, Last night I had a similar problem with my hitzer and found out it was my fault. I haven't heard anyone tell you to shake the hell out of your fire. I was shaking regular and with the cold temps burning a little more coal and not getting the ash amount out of the stove. Shook the living hell out of it and had alot of red in the pan this time and wa-la fire came back to normal and the heat output was back. Shake and poke the heck out of it and let us know how it is burning a half hour later. This is just a guess from reading your first post.
fastcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Nut/Stove Mix

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: Chiefcamper On: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:37 pm

Reading your first post immedeately had me thinking NUT COAL!!!!!!

Although I know nothing of your stove, it sounds a bit more complicated than mine. I can tell you burning pea in my stove is next to impossible, too slow to start, way too slow to respond, and virtually no heat. It just doesn't breathe. Looks to me your chimney seems to clear the roof peak at least as well as mine does.

Unless there are other parts/installation issues, I feel relatively sure that you will have very good results switching to nut. What does the manufacturer call for as far as coal size? Is nut(chestnut) an option?

Joe
Chiefcamper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Heat N Glo
Stove/Furnace Model: Townsend II

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Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:05 am

Hey, your doing good on trouble shooting :D My bet is on the loose clean out plate as the #1 culprit. If that's loose or open, the air will bypass the coal bed and it will act just as you've described. The slid to one side or the other to lock in place. This cold spell can put a serious downer on the new side of the coal-burning-learning curve :|

By all means, you do need to get at least a mag thermometer. I prefer a hand held infrared thermometer as they are more accurate and give instantaneous measurements. You need this tool to assess the impact of your adjustments on the fire.

I agree that Nut is easier to learn on. It responds faster but pea will give you just as hot a fire with a good drafting chimney, just not as quickly as nut. Nut allows for bigger air channels between the coal pieces and therefore combustion will be a little quicker. Don't fuss with the fire too much. Once you get the fire to hold, make only a couple adjustment over a 12 hr period. It will take some time for the fire to adjust and settle in to show the true results of your adjustments.

That's a nice looking brick backing. It might be acting as a heat sink in this weather. I had a similar backing behind my old wood burning Defiant. It took some time - a few days - to warm up and even out. I really did suck up a lot of heat but it eventually returns it all to the room albeit slowly by radiation, not much convection. I found that if I put the back heat shield on the stove, I got more and quicker warm air convection and still had the nice radiant heat from the brick.

I do not use an MPD nor a barometric damper. The stove is well designed by combining the internally dampened (similar to the effect of an MPD) dual side/back pathway and the thermostatically controlled air inlet. Having said that, some owners do just fine with either attached to their Vigilant (older models? - look at Rewinder's avatar). I don't have nor see a need for one on the 2310. Once settled in, my Vigilant hums a long at 700* on the middle of the griddle and the stove pipe skin temp is ~170 at 6' above the stove with the draft measuring -0.1 measure at the secondary air inlet on the left side of the stove. That's seriously good draft and it's not pulling excess heat out of the house (as a baro does) or the stove, attribute that to the design of the stove's internal restricted path and the t-stat air inlet. With this amount of draft, I don't have a problem burning pea. Don't run the stove with the air control open much past half way. I run just past half and cruising at 700*, it's cracked open at ~ 1/16-1/8" with easy 14+ hr burn times on a full load. Sorry if this is redundant, you've probably already read this in the older threads on this stove.

Tell us more about your chimney. Is that triple wall air insulated or double wall rockwool insulated? What is the diameter? I does seem that it is a bit short given the proximity to the roof line and the tall nearby trees.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: Berlin On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:25 am

that cap you have on your stack doesn't look like the proper one for that chimney. You need to remove it and put one that isn't designed for a gas appliance on it - you will pick up some flow if not draft by doing so. Also, as was mentioned, that stack is far too short.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: oliver power On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:22 am

ONEDOLLAR wrote:By no means am I an expert but I don't see a Manual Pipe Damper in the photo. Perhaps it is there and I don't see it. But without one a lot of heat can go right up the ole chimney instead of staying in the stove and more importantly in the house.

I know if I leave my MPD open on my little Chubby Jr the heat output is greatly reduced.

Just an idea.
The vigilant has a built in damper, which directs the gasses through passages. I wouldn't recommend a manual pipe damper.
oliver power
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II)
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
Stove/Furnace Make: HITZER / KEYSTOKER
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93 & 30-95 , Kaa-2

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: ONEDOLLAR On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:23 am

Oliver

Thanks for the info. :D Each stove and situation is differant and by no means am I an expert. But I do enjoy staying at a Holiday Inn Express from time to time........... That and a house with temps in the mid 70's fueled by coal! :lol:
ONEDOLLAR
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: 2014 Chubby Prototype
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford #2 Base Heater
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: imaginera On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:15 am

Chiefcamper wrote:Reading your first post immedeately had me thinking NUT COAL!!!!!!

Although I know nothing of your stove, it sounds a bit more complicated than mine. I can tell you burning pea in my stove is next to impossible, too slow to start, way too slow to respond, and virtually no heat. It just doesn't breathe. Looks to me your chimney seems to clear the roof peak at least as well as mine does.

Unless there are other parts/installation issues, I feel relatively sure that you will have very good results switching to nut. What does the manufacturer call for as far as coal size? Is nut(chestnut) an option?

Joe


Thank you, this gives me hope! The stove manual does say either pea or nut will work. Our supplier only sells bags of coal on Saturdays (isn't that odd?), so I guess I'm going to have to patiently wait!! Luckily, they do have the nut size. I'm in an area where coal is scarce! However, I'm driving to Scranton, PA (coal country) tomorrow to visit my kids, so perhaps I can find another brand I can compare in case things still don't go well with the local nut.
imaginera
 
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Other Heating: Oil
Stove/Furnace Make: Vigilant II
Stove/Furnace Model: 2310

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: imaginera On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:17 am

Berlin wrote:that cap you have on your stack doesn't look like the proper one for that chimney. You need to remove it and put one that isn't designed for a gas appliance on it - you will pick up some flow if not draft by doing so. Also, as was mentioned, that stack is far too short.


Thank you very much - we had no idea about the cap!
imaginera
 
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Other Heating: Oil
Stove/Furnace Make: Vigilant II
Stove/Furnace Model: 2310

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: imaginera On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:43 am

VigIIPeaBurner, Thank you for your thoughtful help. I've heard you're the Vigilant man, so was happy to see your post this morning!

VigIIPeaBurner wrote:Hey, your doing good on trouble shooting :D My bet is on the loose clean out plate as the #1 culprit. If that's loose or open, the air will bypass the coal bed and it will act just as you've described. The slid to one side or the other to lock in place. This cold spell can put a serious downer on the new side of the coal-burning-learning curve :|
Thank you - my husband didn't want to let the fire go out to replace it, so I was hoping for a firm response on what to do about that! I think I'll let the fire burn out today so we can start fresh tomorrow.

By all means, you do need to get at least a mag thermometer. I prefer a hand held infrared thermometer as they are more accurate and give instantaneous measurements. You need this tool to assess the impact of your adjustments on the fire.
I would love to get the thermometer, but darn it, we can't find anyplace that carries one. I could have ordered online and had it by now, but I was in a hurry for it to order it. Hoping to find one in my travels tomorrow.

I agree that Nut is easier to learn on. It responds faster but pea will give you just as hot a fire with a good drafting chimney, just not as quickly as nut. Nut allows for bigger air channels between the coal pieces and therefore combustion will be a little quicker. Don't fuss with the fire too much. Once you get the fire to hold, make only a couple adjustment over a 12 hr period. It will take some time for the fire to adjust and settle in to show the true results of your adjustments.
Oh gosh, we've been fussing way too much then! Seems like the coal goes down very quickly so thought we had to keep reloading. I'll stop that!

That's a nice looking brick backing. It might be acting as a heat sink in this weather. I had a similar backing behind my old wood burning Defiant. It took some time - a few days - to warm up and even out. I really did suck up a lot of heat but it eventually returns it all to the room albeit slowly by radiation, not much convection. I found that if I put the back heat shield on the stove, I got more and quicker warm air convection and still had the nice radiant heat from the brick.
This brick wall is a little bit deceiving. It's just thin brick face over a some backing board and an air gap. Still, it's warm to the touch, so I can see how it would be soaking up some of our precious heat

I do not use an MPD nor a barometric damper...
Thanks, I saw so many conflicting opinions on that so wondered.

Tell us more about your chimney. Is that triple wall air insulated or double wall rockwool insulated? What is the diameter? I does seem that it is a bit short given the proximity to the roof line and the tall nearby trees
I am sorry, I have no idea what is up there. Temps are in single digits here right now, so once it warms up a tad, my husband plans to go up there and check things out a little better. We assumed since it had been working with the wood stove that it would be okay as-is, but apparently that may not be the case. Someone mentioned that the cap is the wrong type. So, we'll likely add another section of pipe and a new cap. Unfortunately, it's very hard to find anyone around here with professional knowledge on coal stove installation. Our dealer was pitiful..

Thank you!
g
imaginera
 
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Other Heating: Oil
Stove/Furnace Make: Vigilant II
Stove/Furnace Model: 2310

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: CoaLen On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:59 am

Unfortunately, it's very hard to find anyone around here with professional knowledge on coal stove installation. Our dealer was pitiful..


That's common. It's also one reason why this forum is so valuable! :up:
CoaLen
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Coal Size/Type: rice

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:34 pm

I am sorry, I have no idea what is up there. Temps are in single digits here right now, so once it warms up a tad, my husband plans to go up there and check things out a little better. We assumed since it had been working with the wood stove that it would be okay as-is, but apparently that may not be the case. Someone mentioned that the cap is the wrong type. So, we'll likely add another section of pipe and a new cap. Unfortunately, it's very hard to find anyone around here with professional knowledge on coal stove installation. Our dealer was pitiful..


Chimney temps run hotter when burning wood, at least 100+*F then when burning coal. That differential can be a factor if a chimney is marginal. Although yours is a bit short and has a restrictive cap, I think your main problem is the unsecured clean out plate. I had the same problems as you are experiencing when my Vigilant II was newly installed, just like you've explained early in your thread.

Judging from the smoke stain on the side of the chimney pipe below the cap, it appears that the nearby tall trees might occasionally cause a downdraft on the chimney.
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A downdraft on a cool chimney, usually during warmer weather than we're having now, could cause a back draft. I had a similar setup and downdrafts at my old house with my woodburning VC Defiant. With wood as a fuel, smoke enters the house vs coal were it is dangerous Carbon Monoxide. You should be aware of this later in the season, not likely now during such cold temperatures, so you have time to read up on the topic. This risk can be lessened by making the chimney taller, installing a better cap, monitoring stove and stove pipe temperatures during warm spells and/or installing a manometer to measure you real draft.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: Chuck_Steak On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:36 pm

I'd lose that cap.
Just my simple opinion. ;)

Dan
Chuck_Steak
 
Coal Size/Type: mostly nut, sometimes stove, Santa brand
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark III

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: Chiefcamper On: Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:32 pm

Aww Geez I got Here Too Late!!!! :)

I'm only a few miles out of Scranton and wanted to tell you that Johny's Service station on Main st in Dickson City sells rice, pea, nut, maybe one more size but not stove. It's AGEL coal. 7.75 a bag. They are open and sell 7 days a week. It's been working well for me. It's only a few miles (2 or 3) off the main st Dickson City exit of 81.

Joe
Chiefcamper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Heat N Glo
Stove/Furnace Model: Townsend II

Re: Burning but not so hot...

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:11 am

Gosh, golly.... how did this post get so long and no one has mentioned the ONE thing that's absolutely necessary, but missing? A manometer! A coal fire is very picky about draft. Almost everyone has talked damper, no damper, taller chimney, better cap, but no one has mentioned the one thing that every coal set up NEEDS..... you need to KNOW the draft. You can not guess. The only way to is use a manometer (draft gauge). You can borrow one if you want, but most people buy one and have it permanently installed. The cheapest, best one is a Dwyer #25 (not a 27!) Here's a link to get one directly from the manufacturer. For some odd reason they are usually more expensive on eBay. Until you know what your draft is you can not begin to correct it.



Also, a barometric damper might go a long way to making this bad boy pump out the heat. A manual damper may have it's place but a barometric damp is the correct way to regulate draft on a coal stove.

http://www.fieldcontrols.com/m_mg1.php
Last edited by Richard S. on Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: <removed dead link>
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

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