Help with harman sf250

Help with harman sf250

PostBy: IH Cub On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:19 pm

Hello. I was hoping someone could help me with the back of my fire going out on my harman. Last night, the entire firebox was burning great. This morning, the back 4" or so of the fire looks to be out. There is unburnt coal on the back of the fire. I shake it every 12 hours until coal drop from the whole fire. Thus morning, I lost some of my fire because I shook it so much to get done coals to drop from the back of the fire.

This is the third time in the last month this has happened. My strive dealer (Deleurs back to basics) said to be sure I shake the fire enough. If I shake it any more, I won't have a fire. I have a barometric damper that is always a little open this time of year. My chimney is drafting great (no Mano), but the Baro has been pulling a little open since I restarted it last week.

I plan to let the fire burn until the rest burns out over the next day or so. I will just shake it twice a day but add no coal. I really don't want to start the stove back up again until I have an idea as to the problem. I am planning on contacting harman because it is still under warranty. Maybe the back grate isn't shaking properly? I just don't know.

Paul
IH Cub
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF-250
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut
Other Heating: Propane baseboard hot water
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF250

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:27 pm

It sure seems like that back grate is not being cleared of ash. When the stove is out you can check if the grate is moving when you shake. It might be the linkage to that grate is not connected.

If it were my stove I would shorten the fire box. I think that is what member Cap did. Maybe he will check in.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: IH Cub On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:43 pm

Before I started it, I moved the shaker handle and all the grates moved back and forth. Maybe the rear one wasn't moving as much as the other? I really am at a loss here. Pretty frustrated with the stove.
IH Cub
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF-250
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut
Other Heating: Propane baseboard hot water
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF250

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Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:00 pm

Is your ash pan full or empty, I empty my ash pan before adding the "big load to start the day" then one good shake at night , top off and empty again the next day. Do you have a poker?, or better yet a poker with a 90* bend near the end with a 4 or 5 inch tip to clear out under the grates. Have you changed coal suppliers? Could be getting big clinkers, and what size coal are you burning? Fill out your profile and maybe someone close by can help you out! Good luck and welcome to the forum.
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: SuperBeetle On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:09 pm

Have you been filling the firebox full of coal? It does seem like it is "loading up" with ash. I use my L shaped poker to rake along the top edges of the stove from time to time. I just know when this needs to be done by the way the stove acts. I also poke from the bottom when needed. Hang in there you'll get through this.
SuperBeetle
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark II
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut, & Stove Anthracite

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: IH Cub On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:21 pm

I empty the ash pan each time I shake the stove. I do have a small poker with a bend to it from an outdoor fire pit. Do you poke from underneath through the grates? How do you know when to do this? I lit the stove Thursday night and have been shaking it twice a day. It has been burning great until this morning. It has been producing orange coals when shaking from the whole stove up until this morning.

Am I at any risk of carbon monoxide running the rest of the fire until it burns out? I wouldn't think so as long as the rest of the fire is hot and creating draft up the chimney. I just don't want to shovel a stove worth of coals into a container to carry outside. I'd rather shake the fire over the next few days without adding coal to let it all go out that way. I have 4 CO detectors in my house (1 in basement has a digital readout). I have a newborn baby and am a bit apprehensive of the stove (this is the 3rd time the stove has partially gone out on me.)

I'm really thankful for the advice. I'll fill out my profile now too.
IH Cub
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF-250
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut
Other Heating: Propane baseboard hot water
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF250

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: IH Cub On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:23 pm

I burn chestnut coal. I have been getting it from the same supplier since I bought the stove 4 years ago (Phillips Fuel in Plymouth, PA)
IH Cub
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF-250
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut
Other Heating: Propane baseboard hot water
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF250

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: Cap On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:37 pm

You are forming clinkers in the rear of the firebox. When you shake, the clinkers are rising high and staying above the shaker. Two things to do
1. Only shake when you have a really "live" fire preferably 5 mins after you toss a shovel full of fresh coal on top
2. After this shake, look for shadows under the grates reflecting against the pan.
Gently poke these areas. One poke each area is sufficient. Shake gently after the pokes.
Build your stack temps back up before setting damper and walking away. I like to get my stack back up above 200f before walking away. Or I may just make sure the stack temps is rising , not dropping.

Note. With the SF 250, you can expect the front 4"-6" of coal bed to die prior to the balance of the firebox. This is due to the low front wall.
Cap
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: Lightning On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:55 pm

I don't have a Harman. But I do use an L shaped poking tool to work out ash in places where the the glow looks dim underneath after shaking. I go in thru the ash pan door with it and jab up thru the grates. I also use a slicing tool under the grates to slice along the length between the grates and grate frame.

As for CO while it burns down, keep an excessive amount of secondary air going in and/or primary air while it's using up the last bit of coal. I highly recommend everyone with a coal burning appliance to install a permanent manometer so you can see if the draft is trending towards failure.
Good job with the CO detectors, there is no such thing as too safe.
Good luck keep us posted :D
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: IH Cub On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:58 pm

So I should add some coal, then shake? Then add more coal up to the firebricks once that first shovelful has caught?

Cap, what do you mean by the last sentence you wrote? I don't understand. Thank you, Cap, for the advice and for responding to the message I sent you a few months back. Using this stove had been so easy until this year. I have never had the back of the firebox go out before kept alone 3 tines in one month. I wonder if I got a bad batch of coal (not too much I can do about it, I have 4 tons of it now).
IH Cub
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF-250
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut
Other Heating: Propane baseboard hot water
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF250

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: IH Cub On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:59 pm

Lightning, I'll keep the ordinary air up higher than I normally would today and tonight to keep everything drafting.
IH Cub
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF-250
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut
Other Heating: Propane baseboard hot water
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF250

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: IH Cub On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:00 pm

Primary air, not ordinary
IH Cub
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF-250
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut
Other Heating: Propane baseboard hot water
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF250

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: Cap On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:10 pm

Never good idea to shake an old or tired coal fire.
So I usually add new coal allowing it to get crackling before shaking.
After shaking and confirming rising temps, I top off. Helps to contain fly ash too.

Below the front door, sort of low. Can't build the coal bed very high. Thus it typically will burn dead before the balance of the fire bed.
Cap
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF 250, domestic hot water loop, heat accumulator

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: IH Cub On: Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:46 pm

I see what you're saying cap. I guess the only explanation for the back going out is clinkers. There's no way the back of the fire could pull more draft right? That might make it burn faster than the rest of the stove.
IH Cub
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF-250
Coal Size/Type: Chestnut
Other Heating: Propane baseboard hot water
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: SF250

Re: Help with harman sf250

PostBy: snuffy On: Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:00 am

I get this to from time to time. I don't know why it occurs except that it's a build up of fine ash - could be the coal. The best solution is to find good long and strong steel rod and have it bent 90* having a length of about 4-5 inches. Then periodically scratch the back area to the grate. It works for me (BTY I have a SF250).
Snuffy
snuffy
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman SF250 & Mark III backup
Other Heating: Oil Hot Water

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