Diary of a Surdiac

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: Vermonster On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:39 pm

Mine hasnt been running good today either. Been adjusting alot
Vermonster
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713 Rest in peace! Chubby Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut coal
Other Heating: oil boiler

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:43 pm

NHFarmer wrote:joeq, looks like a very nice install. What are you using for a manometer? We do not have a manual damper as I really didn't think it would add to the burn time or output, now I am rethinking the idea. One other question, I emptied out the ash barrel today and I noticed several smaller pieces of what look like unburned coal. We are using pea coal and I am wondering if some of the smaller pieces are falling through the grate.


Thanx NHF. I've got a Dwyers, recommended by alot on this site. i can't say "yey or nay" on the mpd/baro, but I believe either is beneficial to your/our install. Depending on your chimney, you are probably way over-drafting, but it's hard top say W/O a manometer. And you'll get some odd ball crap in your ash pan sometimes. Unless it's excessive, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:56 am

Hello all, been purposely neglecting this thread, since the previous mods. I was gathering as much info as possible so the evidence I present you with isn't premature, but accurate. I've been very impatient, because since the beginning these mods have been implemented, it's been looking very positive.
If you'll remember, many of the mods listed B4 the baro were minimal in their effect. At least concerning the burn times. Since the initial stove installation (3 winters ago), my burn times, W/O tending, were tolerable the first nite or 2. But after a week or so, it wouldn't go any longer than about 4-5 hrs. I'ld awake to a coal bed, either extremely weak, or flat out dead. With the installation of the MPD last winter, I was able to keep a fire lit to 6-7 hrs, but at that time, the coal bed was mostly grey, heat exchanger temp down to 200* (or less), and required extensive cleaning and air (open ash pan door) to get the few remaining burning embers to re-light the new fallen coals.
Now, with the baro installed, my draft is rock steady at -.04. If you'll remember B4, even with the MPD fully shut, the draft was still a little high at -.06-07. So what is the benefit of having this lower draft? When I put my intake thermostat down low, (#1), my burn rate will maintain a constant lower temp better than it ever did B4. Which has now increased my burn time to "over" 10 hrs! Now I'm not going to blow any smoke and say it's still making tons of heat at this time, but the fire is still very full and bright. All it takes is a little R+R, (raking and riddling), and the temp will come back in minutes. Of course the ash pan will need M/Ting, and the hopper refilled, but I am elated that an 8 hr shut-eye is now possible. (If my bladder will cooperate. ;) )
Unfortunately, this past week, our temps were single digits, and a new problem has arisen. The baro now maintains my heat exchanger temperature to a solid 400*. The amount of heat this little stove throws, won't keep up with my 1500sq/ft, 2 story, 100 yr old, leaky farmhouse. (in these single digit temperatures.) When I would crank up the intake damper thermostat to med. or high, (2-3) it appears the baro won't allow the stove to make anymore heat. I've heard members mention blocking off the baro opening, which I did, and it allowed my draft to increase, and the stove temp would now rise. So with the stove temp at 500*, and some strategically placed fans, the room temp would also rise. Here's a pic of a temporary restriction with a "calibrated" opening to bring back a more aggressive draft of -.06. Someday, I'll make a more suitable sliding door to allow this restriction. Don't really want to keep messing with the weight on the door. It was very sensitive to the draft adjustment.
Image Notice the small opening at the 6 o'clock position.
So given the circumstances, if the rest of the winter follows the same pattern, I'll be pleased. For my installation, and expectations, the stove works well when the outside temps are between 15-20*, up to 40-45. Here in Southern N.E., that's mostly the average of these winters. And it's definitely saving me oil.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

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Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:08 am

Another possible reason for increased burn times, is a little different technique in riddling. On these stoves, above the grates, and below the liners/skirting, the frt, sides, and rear sections are ventilated to allow air to pass into the bottom of the hot coal bed. As this stove acquires a week or so of full burntime, ash will form around these areas. And all the raking from underneath, won't reach there. When riddling, I used to try and scrape the grates in a side to side motion, to try and pull the ashes away from these side and back areas. In reality, I wasn't actually doing this, just allowing them to build. After reviewing a tape about operating this stove, I learned that the riddling tool has enuff length to "push" the ash thru these sides and specifically the back skirting areas. I now use a "pushing" motion, more back and forth, than side to side, and also concentrate on pushing the ash through on the sides, which I believe I was lacking in my previous endeavors. Below is a pic of the vents noted with red arrows.
Image
There's a possibility that the coals are breathing better now, due to more ash being eliminated from these areas. Time will tell. The riddling tool has a shape to it, that when positioned upside down, won't allow full penetration thru the back of the stove. I'm just realizing this now. (DOH!) If you own this tool, take note of this all important fact. If this tool is used upside down, this little "catch" will hit the top of the ash pan door. If you do it with the door open, it's not a problem, with the exception of the draft sucking ash up the stove.
Image
For this weekend, we'll be enjoying a winter thaw, and my stove will be idling smoothly. Take care for now.
Last edited by joeq on Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: warminmn On: Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:27 am

joeq wrote: Unfortunately, this past week, our temps were single digits, and a new problem has arisen. The baro now maintains my heat exchanger temperature to a solid 400*. The amount of heat this little stove throws, won't keep up with my 1500sq/ft, 2 story, 100 yr old, leaky farmhouse. (in these single digit temperatures.) When I would crank up the intake damper thermostat to med. or high, (2-3) it appears the baro won't allow the stove to make anymore heat. I've heard members mention blocking off the baro opening, which I did, and it allowed my draft to increase, and the stove temp would now rise. So with the stove temp at 500*, and some strategically placed fans, the room temp would also rise. Here's a pic of a temporary restriction with a "calibrated" opening to bring back a more aggressive draft of -.06. Someday, I'll make a more suitable sliding door to allow this restriction. Don't really want to keep messing with the weight on the door. It was very sensitive to the draft adjustment.
Image Notice the small opening at the 6 o'clock position.
So given the circumstances, if the rest of the winter follows the same pattern, I'll be pleased. For my installation, and expectations, the stove works well when the outside temps are between 15-20*, up to 40-45. Here in Southern N.E., that's mostly the average of these winters. And it's definitely saving me oil.


That is pretty much why I quit using a baro on my stove. I couldnt stay warm when I used it. Granted, it is much colder where I live. My draft is quite a bit more than .06 most of the time. I hit .2 for a while during the cold, windy snap last week even with my MPD closed, but that isnt common. It really didnt matter as I just closed the intake air which leaves a small gap, closed the mpd and got as much heat as I could from the coal. I was sick all last week so didnt mind the heat. I might have wasted a couple pounds of coal but I was warm.

After all your work, I can see how it will probably help you in the temps you have outside getting a longer burn time. Now if your bladder will cooperate, lol
warminmn
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Surdiac Nestor Martin
Coal Size/Type: nut ant
Other Heating: wood

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:52 am

Warmin, you've had a draft of .2?! My stove would melt if it experienced that. Plus my burntimes would drop to 1/2 an hr. But everyone's installation is different, and only experimenting will determine what works for yours. Congrats to you, if your performance is where you want it to be.
Last edited by joeq on Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:00 pm

Congrats on dialing it in so well. It sounds like you are getting about as much out of that stove as you can given its comparably small size.

Also kudos for documenting it so well as others will benefit greatly from reading through your efforts. :clap:
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: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: warminmn On: Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:14 pm

I was home sick so it wasnt a problem. I had to scrape more often as I was going thru more coal but I needed the heat anyway. My other stove was helping out too. I think I used 68 pounds the worst day, (not scientifically measured but going by pails) about 20 in the chubby and the rest in my other stove. I dont know why it works for me but it does. I could have a leak somewhere overfire for all I know, but it works.
warminmn
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Surdiac Nestor Martin
Coal Size/Type: nut ant
Other Heating: wood

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: dcrane On: Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:15 pm

joeq wrote:Warmin, you've had a draft of .2?! My stove would melt if if experienced that. Plus my burntimes would drop to 1/2 an hr. But everyone's installation is different, and only experimenting will determine what works for yours. Congrats to you, if your performance is where you want it to be.


Good to see promising results! You can see why the age old Baro/MPD thread is, has and always will be a major issue because its never the same for any two people. obviously a baro takes the heat the stove works so hard to produce and sends it flying right up and out the chimney (and in most cases folks have their baro mounted above OR near the top of the stove as well as close by it)... this translates in the baro pulling the hottest air right outside for you :funny: (which does not help the stove produce heat so much but rather force longer burn times by keeping the draft from pulling through the coal bed)... ITS FINE LINE WE ALL MUST WALK... ITS DIFFERENT FOR EACH OF US... THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG... THERE IS ONLY HAPPINESS WHEN WE HEAR SOMEONE HAS FOUND WHATS WORKING FOR THEM BEST :clap: GG joeq!
dcrane
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:34 pm

Thanx guys. This is only one week of operation, but is the most optimistic results ever. The coal bed is staying remarkably clean, (free of ash), compared to anytime in the past.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:20 am

Update. It's been almost a month since the baro install, and I'm starting to get a feel for it. I did just shut down the stove for the 1st time since adding it,only because the OATs went up to 50* for a few days. Figured it'ld be a good time to clean the stove of collected ash. W/O the baro, I'ld need to do this after only 1 week. I wanted to see if I could get extended burn times with a super clean stove "and" the baro. When I 1st installed it, I was still learning how to adjust the stove for proper burning. There were days the stove would go almost 10 hrs unattended, and others where it seemed it wouldn't go longer than 7-8. Haven't figured out why yet. All these unattended intervals are based on night time schedules. (Bed time).
So last weekend, after a thorough cleaning, and a great "fire-up" (less than an hr to full temp), the stove looked like a different beast. Mainly cause I also repainted the outside. If you may remember my burning sweatshirt thread, it left some scars on the outer surfaces of the shielding, so I decided to freshen her up a bit. Here's a before and after pic.
Image
Image
It may look a little "cheap", cause I painted the medallions silver, mainly cause it was the paint I had. I have another set of them in good shape from a spare (parts) stove, original plating, and will probably put them on after the heating season ends.
As for performance, burn times haven't changed. On low heat, (1 or less) on the thermostat, burn times will range from 7-10 hrs unattended, which is better than no baro which was maybe 5-7 at best. And for heating power, I've learned I don't need to block off the baro, to bring up the draft. I now just leave it at -.04. It will go to 500+ by just turning up the thermostat to 2 or 3, and to me, that's hot enuff. I don't want to push this little thing to 600*. I may have mentioned before, when the OATs are above 15-20*, the stove warms the house perfectly. But with single digits, the floors, and perimeter rooms do cool down, and the oil furnace will come on in the middle of the nite, when the stove cools down. Fortunately, this doesn't happen often here in Southern N.E. And the coal consumption is less than 40lbs a day when on low. It goes up some when turned higher, but have never needed to put more than 50-60lbs in it.
So there it is. Seems it is, what it is, and I can't complain. It's a good "break in to coal burning" stove, and I'll use it for a few seasons. I will keep my eyes open for a nicer looking antique style stove, but for now, this little thing, (under powered as it is) is still saving me on my oil bill. My oil tank is still over 1/2 full, and usually I would've needed to fill it weeks ago. Just need to get through a few more weeks of winter.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:54 pm

Not sure how many members have a complaint similar to mine, but when tending to my stove, any amount of "pushing" or "movement" will set off this audible and annoying "squeak", and usually comes in series or sets depending on the task involved. Opening the top lid causes a few consistent squeaks. While riddling back and forth these squeaks just keep going on and on, and fairly loud. I've put up with it since I've had the stove, but today I had the time, and was bugged enuff, I had to chase it down. And it did take a good 15 minutes of troubleshooting. Finally, this is what it turned out to be.
Because this stove has lots of shielding around it, there were many possibilities. The chafing that was occurring was between the funnel shaped tin above the hopper feed door and against the top housing lip. Because it's so difficult to explain, I've enclosed a pic, for anyone who cares.
I put a hacksaw blade between the 2 surfaces, and colored the blade with chalk so it's more visible in the photo. I'll probably end up screwing them together in the future, but for now it's like a new Cadillac to me.
Image
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: joeq On: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:24 am

:alone:
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: Lightning On: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:59 am

Hey Joe! Did you try some graphite lube where the two parts are making contact?
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Diary of a Surdiac

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:13 am

joep I want to say you have officially become an expert with this model Surdiac Coal stove. I speak from observation and respect as others will read your thread and come looking for answers. As you stated, an antique stove would fit your location real nice and I can think of a couple others as well, just ask and I will add my $.02. You are centrally located in the heart of New England and much closer to PA. than many so have fun shopping. The antique market seems to have ticked up a couple notches over the last year but spring and summer is always a good time to pick up a diamond in the rough. I am glad you found your squeek, sometimes the little things bug the crap out of me. Your family must be proud of the work you put in this winter, we are!
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

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