1st coal fire tonight

1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: Bobbi On: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:50 pm

Have a Hitzer 983 insert that i have been burning wood in for 2 yrs. Tonight i have ventured into the realm of unfamiliar Blashak nut anthracite. A few questions.... i used #60 for a starter bed, it is not anywhere near the top of the firebrick , but it is to the top of the door opening. Is this enough?? and....after i shake ashes down, do i poke the coal bed and stir it up or do i just shovel coal on ?? Should there be blue flame all the time? or only after i put new coal on ?? Thank You
Bobbi
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 983 insert
Coal Size/Type: blashak nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 983
Stove/Furnace Model: 983 insert

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: freetown fred On: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:56 pm

You're good at the door opening level--shake--maybe a couple times a week you should poke--I only get blue flames right after topping off & I'm good--how often ya shaking--12 hrs???
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: Bobbi On: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:11 pm

HaHa Haven't shook yet !!!! Just startin filling it at 2pm !!! Is blue flame now too much ashpan air ? I opened it a little cause it was only runnin at 175 degrees, what should it be at ?? What are the hi/lo limits??
Bobbi
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 983 insert
Coal Size/Type: blashak nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 983
Stove/Furnace Model: 983 insert

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Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: nortcan On: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:13 pm

Hi Hitzer guys. Not exactly on the subject but just wanted to say it.
Last week, while in a custommer's house, I asked to the guy what was his heating fuel. He said anthracite, I made as if that was a new word for me and let him tell about that for a while then told him that I was burning anth. for a few years. He love anth and I asked if I could see his stove , it was a 50 93 and he was on the second burning year. Never saw a guy so happy, well in Qc :)
nortcan
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Stuart,Peterson/ Grander
Stove/Furnace Model: Sunnyside/ Golden Bride

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: LDPosse On: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:20 pm

Bobbi wrote:Have a Hitzer 983 insert that i have been burning wood in for 2 yrs. Tonight i have ventured into the realm of unfamiliar Blashak nut anthracite.


Once you get the hang of coal, you won't look back. Get ready to be warm and spend alot less time tending the stove! :D

Bobbi wrote:....i used #60 for a starter bed, it is not anywhere near the top of the firebrick , but it is to the top of the door opening. Is this enough??


This is part of the reason most folks keep a coal fire going all season. It takes much more coal to start a fire, than to maintain a fire.
LDPosse
 
Stove/Furnace Make: DS Machine, Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: DS1500, WM 400-A, 523

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: titleist1 On: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:24 pm

you should fill to the top of the firebrick and control the amount of heat by the amount of air you allow under the fire. the hitzer guys can tell you more about the air flow control.
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: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: Bobbi On: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:32 pm

It IS a new word for me !!!!! I'll figure it out....... eventually! I love my 983, didnt wanna spend ALL my hard earned money on $3.25/gal oil that isnt warm anyway. My 983 heats my whole house.
Bobbi
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 983 insert
Coal Size/Type: blashak nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 983
Stove/Furnace Model: 983 insert

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: Ashcat On: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:59 pm

Whether or not you see blue flames at this point has to do with how much air the fire's getting. 175* is pretty low. How far open are your ashpan vent holes? For comparison, mine are right now about 10% open, there are no visible flames, and the stove temp is 300*.

My typical temp range is 300-550* depending on weather conditions/need. Your coal bed is about 5 inches thick, which, in this stove I'd consider to be a minimum depth of a healthy coal bed.

Just starting a new fire as you've done today, if you shake down the ash tomorrow AM, there won't be alot there, and the coal bed prob won't drop very far. That would be a good time to load it on for more coal bed depth, like maybe 8 inches--which equates to about one inch below the metal, U-shaped piece that rests on top of the firebricks. The new coal shouldn't be touching any metal or glass. Just add coal to the back of the firebox and slope downward near the front of the firebox so no coal is able to roll onto the front glass.

Since you'll probably be fooled by the first shakedown after starting a new fire (when there will be relatively little ash), one challenge will be to shake enough ashes, on the second and later shakedowns, so as not to choke the fire with too much ash. I shake vigourously but with fairly small strokes, until I see more than a few embers drop into the ashpan, and a distinct orange glow in the ashpan, under each of the three grates, from the fire above. In my opinion, if you don't see at least a little orange glow, you probably haven't shaken down enough ashes and could be in danger of choking the fire with ash. You shouldn't have to do any poking down of the ashes--just shake well and reload. The exception to that is the ash tends to get hung up, every few days of burning, in the corners and at the front of the stove. When it's become built up, at shakedown I just use a poker in the problem areas to get that ash to "drop" down a bit, then reshake lightly to get as much as possible into the ashpan.

If interested, here is a video I made of tending my 983: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTsY5eGQD34

Good luck and happy heating!
Ashcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Blaschak

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: Bobbi On: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:11 am

Thank u all for your tips. i need them !! one more question.... Do you push the middle damper in the whole way ??? A dealer by my house who burns a freestanding 983 told me that it was still open 1/2 - 1 " with it the whole way in??? THANKS AGAIN
Bobbi
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 983 insert
Coal Size/Type: blashak nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 983
Stove/Furnace Model: 983 insert

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: oliver power On: Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:55 am

Ashcat wrote:Whether or not you see blue flames at this point has to do with how much air the fire's getting. 175* is pretty low. How far open are your ashpan vent holes? For comparison, mine are right now about 10% open, there are no visible flames, and the stove temp is 300*.

My typical temp range is 300-550* depending on weather conditions/need. Your coal bed is about 5 inches thick, which, in this stove I'd consider to be a minimum depth of a healthy coal bed.

Just starting a new fire as you've done today, if you shake down the ash tomorrow AM, there won't be alot there, and the coal bed prob won't drop very far. That would be a good time to load it on for more coal bed depth, like maybe 8 inches--which equates to about one inch below the metal, U-shaped piece that rests on top of the firebricks. The new coal shouldn't be touching any metal or glass. Just add coal to the back of the firebox and slope downward near the front of the firebox so no coal is able to roll onto the front glass.

Since you'll probably be fooled by the first shakedown after starting a new fire (when there will be relatively little ash), one challenge will be to shake enough ashes, on the second and later shakedowns, so as not to choke the fire with too much ash. I shake vigourously but with fairly small strokes, until I see more than a few embers drop into the ashpan, and a distinct orange glow in the ashpan, under each of the three grates, from the fire above. In my opinion, if you don't see at least a little orange glow, you probably haven't shaken down enough ashes and could be in danger of choking the fire with ash. You shouldn't have to do any poking down of the ashes--just shake well and reload. The exception to that is the ash tends to get hung up, every few days of burning, in the corners and at the front of the stove. When it's become built up, at shakedown I just use a poker in the problem areas to get that ash to "drop" down a bit, then reshake lightly to get as much as possible into the ashpan.

If interested, here is a video I made of tending my 983: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTsY5eGQD34

Good luck and happy heating!
Very thorough! Nice video! One thing some of us do different is that we empty the ash pan from the previous 12 hour tending time. This would give everything in the ash pan 12 hours to cool. Fly ash will not be traveling on hot therms. And no hot coals to handle. Ash pan will be much cooler in general. In other words, come tending time, the very first thing you do is empty the ash pan. Then shake / poke if needed / top off coal. Again, leave the ashes till next tending time. The only exception to this is; You don't want the ashes up "tight" against the bottom of the grates, blocking air flow through the grates. 12 hour tendings, you should be ok. For some reason you have to go 15 - 18 hours between a tendings, you'll have that much additional ash. As long as you have about 3/4" or so gap between the ash in the pan, and the grates, you'll be fine. You don't need much of a gap, you just need to have one. If no gap, you can warp grates. Air flow cools the grates, and gives oxygen to fire.
Last edited by oliver power on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: Lightning On: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:52 am

Bobbi wrote:and....after i shake ashes down, do i poke the coal bed and stir it up or do i just shovel coal on ??


Welcome partner, coal is awesome! Second year for me :D ... Some more advise on the shake down... Coal doesn't like to be stirred or mixed, if you were to try that with a fire that burnt down too far it would likely put it out. Some poking is ok, I do some poking up thru the bottom to clear holes in the grates to make it easier for combustion air to go up into the coal bed. As recommended by the others, shake till you get alot of orange embers falling thru the grates and there is a nice glow radiating downward into the ash pan. Also, keep your ash pan dumped, don't let ash accumulate till its up to the grates. This condition could warp grates since the cool combustion air coming in underneath keeps the grates at a safe temperature.

Good Luck and enjoy the heat 8-)
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:58 am

Bobbi wrote:Have a Hitzer 983 insert that i have been burning wood in for 2 yrs. Tonight i have ventured into the realm of unfamiliar Blashak nut anthracite. A few questions.... i used #60 for a starter bed, it is not anywhere near the top of the firebrick , but it is to the top of the door opening. Is this enough?? and....after i shake ashes down, do i poke the coal bed and stir it up or do i just shovel coal on ?? Should there be blue flame all the time? or only after i put new coal on ?? Thank You

Now you can say, "I WAS a wood burner." If you paid for wood there is no turning back you will love your new hobby, task, addiction, etc. Hand fed stoves can be a rewarding endeavor and at times frustrating, usually at the beginning of the learning curve. From what I have read, folks with your type of stove are very happy burning coal, it took me a winter to get my tending down to 15-20 minutes per 12 hours. I did a clean out yesterday and it took approx. 50 lbs. to load, my stove is a little smaller than yours, and reloads will be approx. 20 lbs. each every 12 hrs.
I use a mix of stove and nut' size and noticed my blue's don't last as long with the stove size, but they are almost always there when I top off with nut. I poke the corners and front every 2-3 days when I feel the stove is bogged down. This is something that you will know if not now, when your scratching your head wondering why it looks fine but it's not putting out the heat as normal. Best of luck and feel free to post pic's of the beast.....freetownfred loves seeing centerfolds of hitzers all day!....me too :D
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: Ashcat On: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:21 am

oliver power wrote:Very thorough! Nice video! One thing some of us do different is that we empty the ash pan from the previous 12 hour tending time. This would give everything in the ash pan 12 hours to cool. Fly ash will not be traveling on hot therms. And no hot coals to handle. Ash pan will be much cooler in general. In other words, come tending time, the very first thing you do is empty the ash pan.


Thanks! There are times when the shaken down ash is very close to the grates in my stove, which is why I tend to want to remove the ash immediately. To each his own.

Bobbi wrote:one more question.... Do you push the middle damper in the whole way ??? A dealer by my house who burns a freestanding 983 told me that it was still open 1/2 - 1 " with it the whole way in???


The manual pipe damper in the stove restricts the size of the exhaust flue by about 75% in terms of area. In other words, even if the MPD is pushed all the way in, there is still an opening for exhaust that is about 25% of full open.

There is a great deal of controversy here about MPD's. Since we have fireplace insert stoves, this would make it very difficult to use a barometric damper. In this situation, the MPD is very useful. Whether or not you open or close depends upon what you're doing at the time. You should open it when you want to maximize airflow through the coalbed/stove, and close it when you want to minimize that flow.

Here is how I use it.

1) I open the MPD (and open the ash pan door) completely when I am trying to liven the fire before shakedown, or if I'm trying to get new coal to catch fire. I also keep it entirely opened when I am shaking the grates, when I want as much airflow through the stove as possible to suck fly ash up the chimney.

2) I close the MPD after new coal has caught fire well, and leave it closed until I'm ready to shakedown again 12 or so hours later. Closing the MPD tends to minimize airflow through the stove and retain heat in the stove, rather than going up the chimney. If, during an established burn, I need to increase airflow through the coalbed/stove, I do so only by increasing the size of the ash pan vent holes, not through any adjustment of the MPD.

Some people leave the MPD closed throughout the whole process. But one other reason I leave it completely open until new coal catches fire is to reduce the amount of potentially explosive gases retained in the stove. If that gas is not burning yet, I would rather it be drawn up the chimney than retained in the stove, serving as a potential fuel source for an explosion, or "puff back”. Of course, during reload, leaving an area of active fire uncovered from fresh coal until the new coal catches fire will greatly lessen the chances of an explosion, probably even if you leave the MPD closed. Once the fresh coal catches, one scoopful will fill in that area.
Ashcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Blaschak

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: Bobbi On: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:56 am

Bought another co detector tonight, so im a little less apprehensive,especially since its just "stuck" in my fireplace with a outside wall brick/tile chimney with the damper open and a little fiberglass stuffed around the bottom and surround.... i'll need to work on that come warmer weather.I would at least feel better if i had some stovepipe coming from my damper hole to give it some direction. Still a little leary on the "gas" part of the new coal and am wondering how long to burn it off -i let it all open 15 min after i added new coal.im probably not puttin enough coal on and lettin it burn too much ,but i'll get it fine tuned. Every thing seems to be going fine SO FAR. Thanks for all the tips that took alot of time for u all to learn, esp. about the manual damper. its burnin @ about 350 now and looks great. I work 12 hr shifts w/ another hr. drive and was tired of havin to build a fire after work every day i worked. Missed the 2nd shakedown ,but gave exact and stressful instruction to my son over the phone. I'll post pics once i'm at the "proud" stage.haha THANKS AGAIN
Bobbi
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 983 insert
Coal Size/Type: blashak nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 983
Stove/Furnace Model: 983 insert

Re: 1st coal fire tonight

PostBy: Bobbi On: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:23 am

Sure is different than when i was little....use to watch the guy in the beat up truck put a chute in the coal window and dump it in. then i'd have to go down in the scary basement, open the "coal room" door ,try to scoop up enough coal on that huge shovel, carry it to the monstrosity of a furnace,shake the long shaker on the side back and forth, open the bottom door ,then the top door, swing the shovel with all my might to get it to set on the top door opening, then try to empty the shovel as much as i could by lifting the handle till i could shovel the rest in. Then i would close everything up, pull on the chain to open the little damper flap and hurry and run upstairs ! Everything was dirty and sooty, not like my friends who had "GAS" furnaces. i guess it built character! This coal fire is a breeze compared to that !!
Bobbi
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 983 insert
Coal Size/Type: blashak nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 983
Stove/Furnace Model: 983 insert

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