Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: captcaper On: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:48 pm

I'd like to get a Stoker and I see they can idle down to 5k btu's. What is that like? I worry about it keeping my basement too warm. I work at the other end and feed hot air off a MKIII now to upstairs. The MKIII is jerry rigged to catch the air at the outlets but it works. I can idle down the MKIII pretty low with Pea. Not sure if the Super Mag would do this o.k.
I guess I can kill the fire and restart more often on those warm days but cold nights here in the mountains.
captcaper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Super Magnum
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum Stoker

Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:10 am

captcaper wrote:I'd like to get a Stoker and I see they can idle down to 5k btu's. What is that like? I worry about it keeping my basement too warm. I work at the other end and feed hot air off a MKIII now to upstairs. The MKIII is jerry rigged to catch the air at the outlets but it works. I can idle down the MKIII pretty low with Pea. Not sure if the Super Mag would do this o.k.
I guess I can kill the fire and restart more often on those warm days but cold nights here in the mountains.



Very little fire and almost no heat output at least with the coal trol because the convection fan is not running most heat will just go out the stack. Now if you have a marginal or poor chimney you may not be able to idle that low.
Flyer5
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Pioneer

Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: xackley On: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:58 pm

My Pocono gets cool enough to touch when idling. The inaccurate wood stove thermometer reads just a little over 100*
Draft doesn't seem to matter.
As long a you push enough coal to keep a small fire on the grate, it will stay lit.
I shut mine off when the outside temps are consistently above 60*, usually middle to late may.
xackley
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono

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Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: 2001Sierra On: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:01 pm

My Keystoker 90 with a Coal-trol goes so low the blue flames are less than an inch tall. I will try to post a photo.
2001Sierra
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90 Chimney vent
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Buderus Oil Boiler 3115-34
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 90 Chimney Vent

Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: captcaper On: Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:44 am

I've got a good chimney. Very good for drafts actually. My MKIII now idles like you guys posted were I can touch it. This is acceptable. I can always build a partition for the fall and spring and force the heat up the stair well that is centered in the basement and runs up to the large open area of the kitchen and living room.
Can these stokers be adjusted for such spring temps in the feed rate etc. ? And when winter set's in good set it back or for the harse Northern NH winters?
Like I said our nights are down in the 20's or less and days with strong sun and temps up around the 50's. Like I mentioned I'll have it in the basement. Were the cold likes to come in on me. So running or idleing may work out I have drafty doors too due to moving work in an out and working with glues,paint I like to keep some air moving in for ventilation.
captcaper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Super Magnum
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum Stoker

Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: titleist1 On: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:58 am

Regarding feed rate adjustment....
On my stokers I just have the Harman timer control box and I don't adjust anything on the timer controls any time of year, The timers are set for the feed motor to come on for four minutes and stay off for 12 minutes if the thermostat does not call for heat.

I have both my combustion blower and distribution blower running all the time. This burns up the coal completely before it gets pushed off the grates and keeps the heat coming off the stove into the living space. Since the stoker is in the basement I am not concerned with the fan noise, if it was upstairs I would probably do something different to make it quieter.

The coaltrol users have more control than the timer setup I have so they may have a 'shoulder month' setting they go to.
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: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: captcaper On: Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:06 am

So you are saying the Coal Trol users can idle down even more? Your timer box has has the room sensor that extends 25 ft and is upstairs? Kind of confusing but I'm learning. Feed rates,etc. all Greek to me. Once I get the stove in and up and running I'll learn fast. Sink or swim. ;)
captcaper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Super Magnum
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum Stoker

Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: Rigar On: Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:03 am

captcaper
...for what its worth

We purchased a new Keystoker A 150 this season....and i was concerned about "too much " heat during the shoulder seasons....and requested a coaltrol for it but Keystone would not warranty the motors...so that was not an option.
Anyways...its rated at a minimum of 20,000 btu per hour...but im confident i am "idling" at much less than that on warm days....based on coal consumption.
We set the t stat to 60 now when we leave in the morning...and it idles fine...with stack temps ( measured below the baro) reaching only 85 degrees. Plenum stays cool and i still maitain a good draft even when outside temps approach 70.
I fortunately have a good chimney...and that may be a huge facter when idling.
I dont think 5000 btu would be problematic for you.(if you can maintain draft)
We mostly burn rice....but when its very cold out...i burn buck...for more heat with less clinkers
Rigar
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace

Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:04 am

captcaper wrote:So you are saying the Coal Trol users can idle down even more? Your timer box has has the room sensor that extends 25 ft and is upstairs? Kind of confusing but I'm learning. Feed rates,etc. all Greek to me. Once I get the stove in and up and running I'll learn fast. Sink or swim. ;)


Where my timer control box only has an off / on for the fans and feed motor, I believe the coaltrol has some ramp up/down speed capabilities in their settings. I have not used one myself so you would have to read through their threads to be sure. It seems this would provide more accurate feed / temp control than the simple on/off my timer box has. Somebody here put a coaltrol on their harman stoker and was very happy with the performance compared to the timer box - can't remember who it was offhand.

I have my thermostat upstairs and the wires run down to the timer box on the stoker. There was some trial and error on the thermostat setting and timer settings when I first put it in to get to where I am now happy with it and leave it alone. I wasn't far off with the initial settings, but played with the thermostat setting and air circulation issues to get it so the room where the basement steps are located doesn't get to 75 while the rest of the house is 65. The timers were tweaked until I was getting the coal burned up before pushing off the grate but wasn't burning back into the hopper and wasn't firing too often.

Similar to your situation...the guy I get my coal from switched over to a used harman stoker from his hand fed harman about a month ago. He had tried it earlier in the winter but couldn't get it to put out any heat (side temps about 300) and wasn't familiar enough with it to know what to tweak. The guy he bought it from insisted it burned at those low temps for him from the day he bought it new (he never adjusted anything after it was installed for him), but he had it in his living room so maybe he didn't need much heat output. We discussed it when I was picking up some coal and he eventually got around to trying it again. I think the main thing he did was adjust the feed rate rod about 6 turns to feed more coal which is quite an adjustment. It heats up normally now and he is real happy he switched and wonders why he didn't do it years ago. This is a guy who sells coal for a living and in the middle of his frustration with the stoker was starting to wonder why he was selling so much rice coal if these stinkin' stokers couldn't put out the heat. :lol: I guess my point is to expect to do some experimenting to get it dialed in and working for you per your house layout and chimney draft.
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: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: captcaper On: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:44 am

Good info guys...I have talked to a few dealers for Harman and none I mean none of them have a clue on how the Mag Stoker works...They only sell wood pellets,etc. mostly...I'll never go that route. :) Been burning coal now since 1984.
captcaper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Super Magnum
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum Stoker

Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:01 am

To me one of the many advantages of the stoker with a coaltrol and especially a powervent is during the shoulder seasons. Whenever everybody is groaning about lack of control, I'm cruisin' along without the issues of heat output and/or poor draught. That is the time when you are waaayyy more efficient and saving a ton of coal. In the L Hudson Valley that is Sept to Nov and Mar to May and that my friend is a big part of the heating season. This is when people shut down when their house is in only the 50s or change to burning wood - screw that. So this morning 38F - Tuesday 77F - Thursday close to freezing again - all with a hand held - fordetaboutit. Also forget Harman - sorry.
Last edited by coalnewbie on Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93,
Baseburners & Antiques: Invader 2 Wings Best, Glenwood #8 + Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:10 am

coalnewbie wrote:Also forget Harman - sorry.


Yes, I should have mentioned right up front that if I was looking for a stoker with what I know now I'd be buying a Leisure Line. The Harman dealers that know anything about the coal burning stoves are few and far between. The customer service at Harman stinks. Compare that to LL and it is no contest.
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: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:15 am

Yes, I should have mentioned right up front that if I was looking for a stoker with what I know now I'd be buying a Leisure Line. The Harman dealers that know anything about the coal burning stoves are few and far between. The customer service at Harman stinks. Compare that to LL and it is no contest.


I agree but hate to sound like a broken record or a shill for LL.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93,
Baseburners & Antiques: Invader 2 Wings Best, Glenwood #8 + Herald 116x
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut
Other Heating: Heating Oil CH, Toyotomi OM 22

Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: captcaper On: Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:33 pm

No Leisure line dealers around me for 100's of miles..so I found a good Harman Super Mag Stoker...We'll see. The MK III has been the Cat's Meow with me. Such a solid well built stove. I can fix most things anyway and no reason not to fix this stoker as well if needed.
captcaper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman Super Magnum
Stove/Furnace Model: Super Magnum Stoker

Re: Stokers that idle down to 5000 btu's? What's that like?

PostBy: btrowe1 On: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:26 pm

My alaskan idles at just barely a flame on the grate maybe 1" acrossed , only comes on when needed,Then goes to about 4" burn dropped my tstat back to 60 durning the day and fires up at 4:30am to 65,so we're a bit warm when we go to work, burning nothing for coal useage lately. trying to make what I have last till its gone.

Just the way i would assume most stokers work. It"s that time of the year...
btrowe1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska stoker 140 Coal
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska stove

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