How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:27 pm

Here's what works for me:

As far as starting up the coal fire, what I do is just get a good wood fire established (just burning well, way b4 it turns to embers) & then I carefully add a few shovels of coal across the whole fire , making sure flames are still coming up between the coal. (No need to wait for the wood fire to turn to embers...just make sure you don't smother the fire by adding to much coal at a time & make sure you don't overfire your stove by giving it to much air)I play with the ash door to make sure the fire keeps going well & wait a few minutes for each coal layer to ignite b4 I add more coal. When the entire fire is covered with coal (still making sure flames are coming up) I carefully add another layer of coal & watch the stove thermometer. Temp will drop a bit when you add a new layer but as soon as the temp starts to rise again, I add more coal. In very short order you will fill your stove with coal. (to the top of the firebricks) Once filled & at a temp you want....you're done! (I have found that a new fire wants more air than one that has been burning a while so plan on leaving the air inlet open a little more than usual) You'll get the feel for it in no time
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: coalstoves On: Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:31 pm

.
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How I Start a Hopper Stove

I have a fire in about 30mins in an hour its filled to the top with coal and on its way.

I only lite it once a year maybe twice if I do a late season clean out to insure good draft as the weather gets warmer.

Open the hand damper all the way, one sheet of heavy duty foil over the glass and gaskets folded over at the edges of the door with a hole for the door latch, ashdoor open.

Pile of matchlite charcoal in the middle of the firebox about 10 - 15 pieces just cause I'm pushy I put a quick squirt of Zippo lighter fluid over the charcoal . (not soaking them just wettin them)

Now I put the match to it and close and latch the door heres the hard part leave it alone for 15mins (I go smoke a cigarette) open the door and peek in to see if the coals are completely lit like your supposed to due when you cook with it, if so put about 2-3 coal shovel scoops of coal over the embers but don't smother them now again the hard part, remove the foil cover, close the door and leave it alone for 15 more min peek inside and the anthracite should be showing some sign of burning add 4 - 5 more scoops and give it about 20 mins or so, peek if it looks like a fire fill'er up and don't worry go do something else for awhile (remember the ashdoor's open) and when you get back the miracle of anthracites preference for privacy when getting burning will amaze and delight you.
coalstoves
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman and Liberty
Stove/Furnace Model: Magnum and Victory 700

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: Cyber36 On: Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:49 pm

Are you suppose to leave a corner or side uncovered with glowing embers just reloading the FIRST time, or everytime you add a layer establishing the fire?? I think I understand the banking, refreshing the fire the inital first time & thereafter. Also, when can you tell when you need to add - by loss of heat, or a visual on the coals?? It's pretty dark in my firebox so it's hard to tell the difference between the black & the grey...........
Cyber36
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Marathon/Logwood

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Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:20 pm

Cyber36 wrote:Are you suppose to leave a corner or side uncovered with glowing embers just reloading the FIRST time, or everytime you add a layer establishing the fire?? I think I understand the banking, refreshing the fire the inital first time & thereafter. Also, when can you tell when you need to add - by loss of heat, or a visual on the coals?? It's pretty dark in my firebox so it's hard to tell the difference between the black & the grey...........


I bank all the time, the firebox design really determines whether or not it needs it. If it needs it, you need to do it all time. It is easier to read the fires health with a thermometer on the stack. Try to stick to a schedule when you service it. Before you service it, open the draft door and run the temp up about 100* and see how long it takes. Shake down, empty the ash and reload, bank if needed. Always fill it up completely. When the fire takes much longer to react when you run it up prior to service, you will know that your grates are getting clogged up or your ash layer is getting to big. It will also be a better visual read when the door is open because the fire has been livened up. You'll see the dead zones much easier.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: endinmaine On: Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:57 pm

Just keep in mind when loading up to the top of the fire brick ,, as has been mentioned here many times, leave room on the fire bed uncovered so they ignite the new coal gases. Once they are glowing you can now cover that area as well. I resently was way too eager to load up and covered the entire glowing fire bed and noticed 20 mins later no blue flames. I was afraid to open the top door to my Harman Mark III so I opened the bottom ash door and poked a bent metal rod up through the bottom to "help" in getting those blue flames going ,,, bad-bad-bad decision ,,, boom ! I looked like an ash covered snowman. My wife came running in and LHAO. I spent the next hour airing the house out and vacuuming up the mess. Now I follow the advise the experts post here.

Eric
endinmaine
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Margin Gem Cook Stove and Harman Mark III
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman and Margin Gem
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark III and CookStove

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: Devil505 On: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:03 pm

Cyber36 wrote:Are you suppose to leave a corner or side uncovered with glowing embers just reloading the FIRST time, or everytime you add a layer establishing the fire?? I think I understand the banking, refreshing the fire the inital first time & thereafter. Also, when can you tell when you need to add - by loss of heat, or a visual on the coals?? It's pretty dark in my firebox so it's hard to tell the difference between the black & the grey...........



Leave a section of the fire uncovered every time you add coal. After I have livened the fire up (by giving it plenty of air) I usually place a very thin layer of fresh coal on top. I'll let that catch well (just a few minutes) & then (with a lively fire going) I'll shake it down. (just till the first red embers fall into the ash pan) At this point I'll leave the hottest section uncovered & dump alot of coal on the darker sections of the coal bed. After about 10 minutes or so (depends on your draft, etc) You'll see flames start to come up from under the areas you heavily buried with new coal. At this point (with these new flames showing) it is safe to add coal to the area you left alone before.
The reason for leaving some flames/red coal showing is to burn off any gases(from the fresh coal) & thus prevent these gases from building up & causing a "Puff Back"....minor explosion! If you don't see any flames & have put in too much new coal you can scrape off & expose some red coals &/or open the load door every few minutes to help burn off volatils & prevent puff backs.
To be safe, you should plan on doing this every 12 hours, normaly.
Sounds harder than it is
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:28 pm

Devil5052 wrote:"Puff Back"....minor explosion!


After witnessing one very good one, it is clear why they want three screws in every connection of stovepipe.

After shaking, I just use a hoe to pull some from the rear to the top of the firebox in the front. Then fill the depression in the rear with fresh coal, and I'm done. This leaves about 30% of the top of the fire to be active glowing coals. When you get to less than 10-15% you may get booms depending on the firebox design.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: jpete On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:22 am

It's funny finding out how everyone does things. I'm not trying to start a fight, or say anyone's process is better or worse but I don't do ANY of these things and I never have a problem. I think ONCE in my first year of using coal I had it pop back at me when I opened the door. I had just added a fresh load of coal and shut the door. A couple of pieces had fallen on the floor so I opened the door to throw them in. I guess the blast of fresh air just set things off.

But I had never heard of leaving one area exposed. When I dump new coal in, I have blue flames almost immediately. With the small firebox on the Mark I, leaving an area open would just make more work for me. When I load it, I PACK it. Probably more than I should but it seems to be working.

Again, not trying to get into a fight, just find it interesting how different everyone's situation is.
jpete
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mk II
Coal Size/Type: Stove, Nut, Pea
Other Heating: Dino juice

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:31 am

jpete wrote:When I load it, I PACK it. .


Most of the people that I know that burn hand-fired coal stoves do the same, shake it, put as much coal on it as they can. The key is having sufficient coal left from the previous load.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:12 am

Richard S. wrote:
jpete wrote:When I load it, I PACK it. .


Most of the people that I know that burn hand-fired coal stoves do the same, shake it, put as much coal on it as they can. The key is having sufficient coal left from the previous load.


Interesting. These last 2 posts are something that I have never tried for fear of:
1. Smothering the fire with so much new coal that I would stop the draft
or
2. Build up so much gas (volatils) that I would blow my house down!

So what you guys are saying is that, as long as you have a lively coal bed to add to, you can just dump as much coal as you can fit in there & not have to worry about smothering or puff-backs?
(I've had 3 stoves over the years & had puff-backs in all 3 if I didn't follow my system)
Just goes to show that trial & error is the best way to come up with what works for you....Maybe someday (when I'm planning to shut down anyway,.... & I have the guts) I'll give your method a chance.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:19 am

The only "puff-backs" that I'm personally aware of happened to my brother, he had manual damper. Never opened it or the draft prior to opening the large stove door. BOOM! :lol: Guess he just forgot or learned a lesson. You shouldn't have that as long as you have vacated the gases prior to opening the large door. Some of those stoves have a draft on the top, I believe its specifically for that purpose.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:39 am

I don't have any damper now but I did have a baro damper on my first stove, a Better'N Bens. I got rid of it because it never seemed to do much except steal some stove heated room air & send it up the chimney & cut down the draft.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: Duengeon master On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:46 am

Gentlemen you are going about this all wrong!! :( :o :eek2: :no1: First you need a six pack then a wood fire then some coal in that order!! It almost and I repeat almost sounds like a chore the way you described it. try it my way :lol: It's much better! :cheers:
Duengeon master
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harmon Mark III
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite pea and nut mix. Bituminous lump

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: Cyber36 On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:16 pm

If you use a stack thermometer to monitor fire "health", my understanding is you need to refresh your coal when the temp. dips under 200deg.?? I think I heard/read that preimium operating temp. is between 200 - 300 deg(external temp on pipe). Correct?? Internal temps usually run 400 - 500deg. correct??
Cyber36
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Marathon/Logwood

Re: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:19 pm

Cyber36 wrote:If you use a stack thermometer to monitor fire "health", my understanding is you need to refresh your coal when the temp. dips under 200deg.?? I think I heard/read that preimium operating temp. is between 200 - 300 deg(external temp on pipe). Correct?? Internal temps usually run 400 - 500deg. correct??


Books are fine & you can learn alot...but......I, & many others here, routinely operate our stoves at under 200* when it's warm out, or we just want to conserve coal. I have had plenty of fires (with freshly filled coal) that I operate under 200*. Stove temp has more to do with the amount of air it's getting & draft then it does with the amount or freshness of coal. (unless the coal is almost burnt out) You have to gain some experience with your particular setup (ie stove/chimney combo) & find what works best for you.

Check out this thread Lowest Warm Weather Stove Temps?
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

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