Question About Downdrafters

Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Kielanders On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:32 am

This may get kicked over to the Bit forum, but I'll start here anyway.

We're seriously considering upgrading our stoves to DS Machines.

We burn sub-bit that has a high volitile/methane content.

Does anyone know if one of their downdrafter models with the oxygen reburn system would be a preferable in our circumstance?

I know the reburn system on the DS was designed for cleaner woodburning, but I also remember talking with William a year or so ago, about the designs of the antique stove bit-burners having secondary burn chambers.

I have talked with the guys at DS, who are very nice and had some thoughts, but say that they have very little experience with bit coal.

Thanks.
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:13 am

Unless it was tested with bit, I'd be hesitant to throw money at it. What is your problem with your current stoves?
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Kielanders On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:47 am

Berlin wrote:Unless it was tested with bit, I'd be hesitant to throw money at it. What is your problem with your current stoves?


The problem with my current stoves are multiple: lack of capacity in our primary stove upstairs, lack of efficiency in the upstairs stove <60%, problems controling the burn due to the stove being too leaky for our coal, and the ash pan/cabnet is nasty dirty.

In fairness, the TLC was never designed for bit coal, but it's what the salesman up here pushed, and we were new, not knowing what to look for.

The basement stove smokes out the door anytime it's open before 3 hours into the burn (6" collar, 6" SS lined 30' stack). The basement stove's ash pan/cabnet is worse to clean than the upstairs. I can shovel up to a 1/3 of a hod of ash that misses the pan every second load. And, no, I don't let ash pans overflow. Both stoves get a full dump with every new load.

But, the basement SF250 is nice and tight, very good at controlling the burn on our coal.

We're going to move to a coal boiler in the basement when I finish getting the radiators installed.

Due to the low BTU output of our coal, the upstairs stove requires 2 50lb loads a day, two ash dumps, two cleanings of the ash that spills into and out of the ash cabnet.

For the upstairs stove, a larger capacity higher efficiency stove will give us the ability to perform only one load a day, with only one ash dump and cleaning of a more tidy ash cabnet.

With the stove we're looking at for upstairs from DS, we'll get about 35% higher capacity in the firebox (that's 35% higher than the TLC's present volume after I built-up it's firebox with an extra row of firebrick), and a hopper that should hold close to another coal hod, which will get us to a 24 hour burn, even if the stove isn't more efficient. From discussions with DS and a few others, it appears their ash management system will be a significant improvement as well.

I'm not a coal expert, and I'm open to hearing anyones thoughts - after all, you guys were here for me when I just started burning 1.5 years ago - but I've been burning 24/7/365 for that time, been through about 24 tons total, and I'm ready risk some changes.
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

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Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:15 am

That sounds unpleasant.

I think a bigger stove might be the ticket, one with a better designed (and larger) ashpan. Hoppers don't work well with bit coal, and I doubt they'll work well with subbit for the same reasons. A coal boiler (stoker if possible) is definitely the way to go. Be sure to use an 8" min. stack on any new coal appliance.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Short Bus On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:25 am

I can't speak from experiance with different stoves, but I have hand fired tons of this Sub-Bituminous coal in Alaska, in a boiler and cook stove. I think if I went back to hand fired I would spend some money, take a risk and have a warm morning shipped up. I like the idea of warm air delivered above the fire by those warm fire brick, to burn those fumes from the coal warming up before combustion.

I wish you luck in your efforts to stay warm, you are certainly dedicated, two stoves at once, with this coal, my hat is off to you.
Short Bus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Kielanders On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:42 am

Berlin wrote:That sounds unpleasant.

I think a bigger stove might be the ticket, one with a better designed (and larger) ashpan. Hoppers don't work well with bit coal, and I doubt they'll work well with subbit for the same reasons. A coal boiler (stoker if possible) is definitely the way to go. Be sure to use an 8" min. stack on any new coal appliance.


DS has a very simplistic gravity hopper on their Circulator 1600 that sits directly over the firebox and gravity feeds as the the coal in the box burns to ash. Some loads of coal I get some very big pieces that I'd have to pull out, but it looks like it could work with most of our stuff. I've got a few more questions for them on that, but it also comes without the hopper.

You think an 8" is the way to go? I have to redo my chimney & liner in the next year or so, so that might be next.

The thing that makes me think it's the stove's problem with the smoke, is that when I had the TLC in the basement, it had no problems - so I thought it was an internal design problem with the SF250.

And anybody reading this, I know a lot of people have TLC 2000s, and love them. I actually love my TLC too - it's just that we got it without knowing anything, from a salesman that probably knew less than us. It's a fine stove, I've just been asking it to do things for us that it was never designed to do. The ash pan issue though, that's been a bit of heartburn that I'd wish they'd redesign.

You mentioned getting a stove that's been tested for bit? Who designs a stove for bit that'd be appropriate for a living room?
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Kielanders On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:44 am

Short Bus wrote:I can't speak from experiance with different stoves, but I have hand fired tons of this Sub-Bituminous coal in Alaska, in a boiler and cook stove. I think if I went back to hand fired I would spend some money, take a risk and have a warm morning shipped up. I like the idea of warm air delivered above the fire by those warm fire brick, to burn those fumes from the coal warming up before combustion.

I wish you luck in your efforts to stay warm, you are certainly dedicated, two stoves at once, with this coal, my hat is off to you.


Thanks for your thoughts. I've heard of Warm Morning's - are they antique burners?
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: wsherrick On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:15 am

I read your message, but; my reply couldn't be sent. Check to see if you are set up to receive private messages.
wsherrick
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Glenwood Base Heater, Crawford Base Heater
Baseburners & Antiques: Crawford Base Heater, Glenwood, Stanley Argand
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut, Stove Size

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Kielanders On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:48 am

wsherrick wrote:I read your message, but; my reply couldn't be sent. Check to see if you are set up to receive private messages.


Thanks for letting me know, I just changed the setting. Look forward to hearing from you, and hope you are well.
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:02 am

I think the DS stoves are excellent. They're large, well built, clean, and many people on this forum and locally have had success burning bit with the secondary air option on the door.

couple things though. Hoppers don't work with bit coal not because of the size, but because the ignition temp is too low; the coal begins to off-gas in the hopper and coke which not only creates a volatile mess, but impedes flow of the coal through the hopper and overheats it. I know one individual locally who insisted on trying to fire KY bit with his hitzer hopper stove, it was not only a failure, but he destroyed the hopper in the process. The DS machine's are excellent stoves, but the bi-metal thermostat isn't great- esp. for firing bit coal; it doesn't react quickly enough and can be a pain. Definitely use an 8" stack w/ bit coal, not only does it draft better under all conditions, it stays clean longer. If you can find a stoker for a boiler - that would be the ticket.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Kielanders On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:17 am

Berlin wrote:I think the DS stoves are excellent. They're large, well built, clean, and many people on this forum and locally have had success burning bit with the secondary air option on the door.

couple things though. Hoppers don't work with bit coal not because of the size, but because the ignition temp is too low; the coal begins to off-gas in the hopper and coke which not only creates a volatile mess, but impedes flow of the coal through the hopper and overheats it. I know one individual locally who insisted on trying to fire KY bit with his hitzer hopper stove, it was not only a failure, but he destroyed the hopper in the process. The DS machine's are excellent stoves, but the bi-metal thermostat isn't great- esp. for firing bit coal; it doesn't react quickly enough and can be a pain. Definitely use an 8" stack w/ bit coal, not only does it draft better under all conditions, it stays clean longer. If you can find a stoker for a boiler - that would be the ticket.


Thank you so much for bringing-up the out-gassing issue of the load in the hopper once the stove is up to heat. That would have been a huge issue that I should have thought of. I absolutely don't want to play with my coal. That is why I am so religious about completely burning, and loading clean each time. I don't even do hot loads at all any more, it's just too touchy.

I pack it full in a particular manner, and light it how I know it will go, and let the load burn through completely - it's the safest and most predictable way I've found to handle it. Doing anything else; well, it's just a gamble how it will go.

Thank you again for mentioning that, it was such an obvious concern, I could kick myself for not thinking of it.

I'd read where some people have been having problems with that thermostat as well, so that will probably have to go - and I'd definitely want a secondary damper on the door.
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Berlin On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:38 am

Do they currently (ds machine) make anything top loading, or anyone else? That would be what you want if you're going to stay w/ hand-firing. My stove that I built, I made it top-loading and it's a dream. Fired high vol bit coal in it for years 24/7 in the winter and just dumped a bucket in and shook down. All the dust and mess from the coal loading operation was sucked into the stove from the draft. No bi-metal stat, no baro or manual damper, just a TIGHT stove tight gaskets and primary/secondary air controls - never had a problem with it "getting away from me" etc.
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Kielanders On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:12 am

Berlin wrote:Do they currently (ds machine) make anything top loading, or anyone else? That would be what you want if you're going to stay w/ hand-firing. My stove that I built, I made it top-loading and it's a dream. Fired high vol bit coal in it for years 24/7 in the winter and just dumped a bucket in and shook down. All the dust and mess from the coal loading operation was sucked into the stove from the draft. No bi-metal stat, no baro or manual damper, just a TIGHT stove tight gaskets and primary/secondary air controls - never had a problem with it "getting away from me" etc.


Here's the model we're looking at, the 1600 model with circulator tubes: http://www.wilsoncoal.com/stoves/ds_sto ... lator.html

The hopper is optional - we'll probably keep our Magic Heat reclaimer hooked-up if we get the stove, just to see how it performs.

Doing hotloads with our coal is a real gamble for me. Without the perfect mix of sizes (which I don't have right now, got a lot of 'dirt' this last truck) and condition, anything more than a 20oz scoop can kill a well burning fire - a misplaced scoop, cold coal, any moisture on the coal, to many fines to chunks ratio.

I just found it to not be worth the risk. It's extra work to do clean loads, but the piece of mind with no puff-backs is enough to justify it for me. I've done a lot of experimenting, it's the safest routine I've been able to find so far.

DS makes this version with the smoke reburn system that we're thinking about: http://www.wilsoncoal.com/stoves/ds_sto ... eburn.html

With what William had told me about the antique base bit-burners doing a secondary burn on the gasses - it seemed like it might give a more efficient, hotter, and cleaner burn.
Kielanders
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman & Warm Morning
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000, SF-250, WM843

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: Short Bus On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:49 am

Yes the Warm Moring is not available new.
Stokers would be a real chalange where you are, due to no stoker sized coal available, within 150 miles.
Short Bus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Kewanee boiler with Anchor stoker
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut / Sub-bituminous C
Other Heating: Propane wall furnace back up only

Re: Question About Downdrafters

PostBy: rockwood On: Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:23 am

I agree that a warm morning stove would work well but it seems that these older coal stoves aren't common in AK so I don't know if you could ever find one locally....I don't know if this is the case or not but it seems to be.
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)

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