What Stove to Buy

PostBy: WNY On: Thu Nov 10, 2005 4:35 pm

Just purchased Keystoker 90 and started it yesterday. installed on First Floor. It is maintaining the temp in the house around 65 deg on the lowest setting so far. Still getting everything adjusted for best heat.

Coal around here is $155-$225/ton. Raw or Bagged. 3-4 dealers within 20 mile drive!!
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

PostBy: Guest On: Sat Nov 19, 2005 5:48 pm

What kind of coal are you buying? Will the Harman work properly with bituminous (higher grade), nut size or just with anthracite?

Keystoker KA-6 coal Boiler

PostBy: crmoores On: Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:28 pm

Keystoker is on the way, figuring the easiest way to get it down through the Bilco doorway is by threading a plug / T handle into the 1 1/4 fitting on top and get a hoist truck and put it on pipes to roll it.
Plumbing should be done but cannot get specs, etc. Will need to run it when the unit arrives.
Building a coal bin for feeding from outdoors, direct venting as well. Any concerns about the direct vent going only a few feet above ground?

PostBy: Chris On: Tue Dec 06, 2005 5:09 pm

I am looking at 2 different stoves. Reading Lehigh and Alaska Channing III. Both are under $2300 and coal is currently $180/ton in my area.

Has anyone looked at the Reading Lehigh? The brocure says it has an optional blower but I called the factory and they said no. :? A blower is a must for me.

Re: What stove to buy

PostBy: Oil Region On: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:40 pm

Oil Region wrote:I own the Harman DVC 500 (http://www.harmanstoves.com) and really like it. It is fully automatic, except that you have to light it yourself at the beginning of the season. Fill the hopper and empty the ashes once per day. My kids can do it. There is a thermostat to regulate the temperature. It uses Rice Coal.

One extra comment about the DVC 500. It is "plug and play" for coal stoves. By this I mean that once installed there are no flue rheostats to mess with or motor speeds to adjust, etc. etc. Some of the stoves that users have had problems with (i.e. the Harman Magnum Stoker) sound like such a pain to run and adjust. I installed this one myself. The hardest part was making two 45 degree turns in the power vent pipe to get the exhaust through a closet. The pipe is square and bolts together at four corners of each section. The sections come in specific lengths, so it was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle to line up the angles. A straight install would be very simple.

The controls are three knobs on the top of the stove. One is the room temperature setting (shown in degrees). One is the fan speed. I keep it on high most of the time to get the hot air further into the room. The last knob is the "ash out" dial, which is used to keep combustion gases from entering the room when you pull the ash pan out.

My dealer came to look over the installation when I was done and to make sure that the power vent was working properly. He said everything checked out just fine and was safe.
Oil Region
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman DVC-500

Hey Oil Region

PostBy: Mike Wilson On: Sun Jan 01, 2006 11:28 pm

Hey Oil Region

I keep looking at the DVC 500 and the Magnum Stoker. I like the plug n play aspect of the 500, but wish it could be hooked up to a 6" duct, like the Magnum Stoker. Any idea if its possible? My plan is to put a coal stove in the basement, and feed a duct up to the first floor. I know I can do this with the Stoker, but with all the problems I am reading about, I'm thinking of getting a 500 and jury rigging something.
How do you have yours arranged?
Mike Wilson
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 90 DV
Stove/Furnace Model: Jøtul Kennebec Wood Insert

Re: Hey Oil Region

PostBy: Oil Region On: Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:18 am

Mike Wilson wrote:... hooked up to a 6" duct, like the Magnum Stoker. Any idea if its possible?

There is no chance of hooking up a duct, unless you have a blow torch or a welder. The hot air blows out through vents at the front to the stove - about an inch high by 30 inches wide. Perhaps if one was creative they could build something around the stove, or around the vent to funnel the air into ductwork, but I think that would be quite difficult. You should consider some of the 'forced air' coal burners. Harman has one called the SF-1500 in three different sizes (**Broken Link(s) Removed**) that burns coal, wood, or oil. They also have a boiler version for your basement as well.

I have my stove on the first floor of my two story, 4000 sq. ft. home - centrally located near a stairway. The front vent works great for pushing the hot air into the room. I use a fan to push the air further. The warm air moves freely upstairs. It is the kitchen on the first floor that I have the hardest time getting heat to.

I considered putting a stove in the basement, but I have a Natural Gas boiler and didn't want to mess with all of the plumbing hook ups. Plus, I didn't want to heat the basement - just the living areas.

Last edited by Oil Region on Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Oil Region
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman DVC-500

PostBy: lime4x4 On: Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:01 pm

mike u also got to remember if make any modifications to the dvc500 you will more then likely void the warrenty..My magnum stoker was giving me all kinds of issues alot were due to the dealer not setting it up properly.i've tried alot of different things with my stoker and I think I have all the kinks worked out. Just waiting for it to get bitter cold again

PostBy: Mike Wilson On: Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:32 pm

True enough. The probable solution is a Magnum Stoker with a power vent, so that I do not need another flue. That's why I liked the 500 so much, no extra flue. Then run the 6" duct upstairs.
Another idea is the direct vent Keystoker, but I went on their web page, and it stinks. No information, just a few photos and not much else. Too bad, I hear good things about them, but their advertising needs a boost.

Just threw 4 more splits in the Jotul... warm here!

-- Mike
Mike Wilson
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker 90 DV
Stove/Furnace Model: Jøtul Kennebec Wood Insert

PostBy: lime4x4 On: Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:58 pm

to my knowledge u can't power vent the magnum stoker.Not setup for it and plus you'll also have to find a way to add the control box to shut the stove off in cause the power vent fails..I looked into that as well..My brother inlaw has a power vent for his reading stoker I think it sucks alot of heat out of the stove

Harmon Stoves and coal bins

PostBy: Terry On: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:20 am

Hi folks, just signed into this site and thought I'd share some thoughts.
First, to those considering a Harman stove, you should feel very confident that you will get a quality product. I have been using a Harman coal fireplace insert for 10 years and it has never let me down, and is looking good as new even after ten long central New York winters. It is not a stoker, but I tend it trice a day only on the coldest days, so it is not a hard job to keep the house warm.
Secondly, in regards to coal bins. I advise that you DO build one, it makes life SO much easier. Do not let your coal get covered with snow. Water doesn't seem to bother, but snow is a pain. I built a 2 ton capacity bin using five sheets of 4x8 1/2 inch plywood, and a frame of 2x4 lumber. Took a half day including top and paint. I built a dood that slides up and allows a shovel to get in there at the coal, and the top is removeable, so it can be filled, it just rotates out of the way.
I planted flowers and shrubs around it and it does not look too bad in spring summer and fall, and it looks downright beautiful on the super cold February days we get around here.
In closing, finally, I hope to get lots of good info here, already have in fact, so thanks

PostBy: Berlin On: Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:17 pm

It would be almost impossible for anthracite to reach 400/ton, for a few reasons.
1. there is plenty of coal in the ground and in culm piles, it only needs to be extracted and the costs for this are fairly known and stable even though much of the equiptment runs on petrol and electricity.
2. the demand can only increase so fast... there are only a certain amount of coal stoves in existance and being sold, everyone does not simply have the ability to switch from nat. gas/oil to coal, (even if the price of oil hit 10/gallon), you must already have a coal stove/furnace/boiler to do this.

the only thing that could get costly would be transportation, however, to lower that cost, buy a few years supply at a time, such as a 20 ton truckload should you have the space.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

PostBy: crmoores On: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:05 pm

Using a Keystoker K6 this year, the short time I had it running last winter I love it! I can't imagine not having a stoker unless power loss is a major concern. Even then I would consider a back-up generator before going hand-feed...
I have a few questions posted on this site still, hope to get more knowledgeable as I use the unit. But with the BTU's this baby puts out we will enjoy the heat and the hot water.

Jimmy, I thought you had posted a picture of your coal bin with the chute in the bottom (nice idea). Or was that someone else? I lugged 3 tons of bagged coal into my basement yesterday.:roll:

I'll be building something similar to that if I find I'm not able to feed the hopper directly from the outdoor bin.