Rob R. wrote:Did you read "The Coal Burner's Almanac" yet?
No I haven't. Where can I get it?
Alfred wrote:SMITTY wrote:I have an unlined chimney .. with 2 substantial jogs in it in 2 different directions ... with crumbling mortar that can be scooped out with a fingernail ... and I've been burning coal in it for 9 seasons now. Even burned wood in it several times last year, and this fall. I have 3 appliances that share the flue, 2 at a time.
If you have no wide open gaps in the chimney, your good to go. One way to test for gaps is to toss a small inner tube in a wood fire. Seriously - If you have leaks, you will know after that! Rubber makes LOTS of thick, black smoke ... and it WILL come out of ANY little opening ... and it REEKS.
Just another one of my unorthodox suggestions. I'm the poster child for how NOT to do things around here.
I'm not even sure how many flues I have. But one thing for sure is that my chimney top is falling apart. I have an oil burner and my recent Crane 44 purchase in the basement. I installed the 44 yesterday and have since burned coal. The oil burner and the Crane are tied together. The flue at that point jogs up at an angle, and is about 8"X18" in size and is unparged brick. The mortar is sound. I'm planning on getting a Crane 404 in the very near future for the fireplace opening above on the first floor. I removed the damper from the fireplace and looked up the flue with a good halogen light yesterday. The flue looks great. It looks like it has been completely parged with mortar. Though I'm still confused about the flue in the basement and where it resides overall in the chimney. I don't see any signs of that flue opening when looking up through the fireplace opening. I can see old ceramic thimbles where openings were once there, but no signs of the "jogged" flue opening. Maybe there is another flue running up the side of the main flue?? I'm going to have someone come over and take a look at it. The 44 seems to have ran pretty good though, I think. Although my draft was pretty low at .1. In any event your post seems to confirm my gut feeling that I wasn't doing anything too risky (even though I wasn't meeting code). For example with coal there is NO creosote, and with a CO detector, what could possibly go wrong. I now feel ok about all of this. Now its about learning how to use coal and the stove(s) properly so I can get good heat. I think I learned my first lesson this morning. I checked the 44 this morning after waking and noticed a nice bed of coals. I thought wow this great, all I have to do is shake and fill with new coal. WRONG! After filling the stove with coal to the top of the fire brick, the fire eventually went out. What I think I should have done is slowly added coal making sure that what I had added actually started burning. Anyway I'm looking forward to having a warmer house this winter and much lowered oil consumption.
Rob R. wrote:Alfred, if you are running that 44 real hard, the fire might be burned down pretty low by morning. In that case you will need to do as dcrane described above and the give the fire a "snack" and a chance to wake up before you shake it down.
Manual pipe dampers are very inexpensive and simple to install, I would go ahead and put one in. You can seal the pipe up with furnace cement if you want, but I wouldn't bother on tight fitting connections.
When you are running the 44 at a steady temperature is the baro on the oil unit open?