Topping off Harman Mark1

Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: treysgt On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:33 pm

Keep in mind these questions are from a potbelly convert - and still a newbie at that..!

Have had my Harman hooked up since Saturday and my oil furnace has remained stone-cold since then. So overall good news, but I could use a tad more guidance here.

Just wondering if I have the right technique. I am still 'topping off' the firebox with a quarter hod or so every 4 hours - half hod before bed. Keeps it going fine but the 'sales pitch' was that I can burn 12-24 hours on a load. Maybe that means by the time the top layer makes it to the bottom 12-24 has gone by? Still much better than the once per hour that I did with the potbelly but not quite what I had hoped for. I bet once I get the baro in place all will even out - straight piped into the thimble for now and I constantly adjust the lower spin draft to compensate, so I know it will help.. just want to note that so I don't get another baro thread started!! :D

So the question in there is - do you Magnafire guys typically top off a bit here and there? I hear it is better to have a full firebox, so that is why I top off 2-3 times during the day. Otherwise the stove is too cool if I let it go 8 hours or more. Sorry if this is an old topic.
treysgt
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark1

Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:21 pm

I have found that by topping off every so often (keeping the coal bed filled to the top of the firebrick) I am able to get 24 hrs between shakedowns. (I used to shake down every 12 hrs -Obviously, the hotter the fire the more topping off & shakedowns you have to do) If you are around, for the 30 seconds it takes to top off it makes life alot easier than struggling to keep an almost dead fire going that hasn't been touched in 12 hrs & keeps a constant heat supply going. I can't see a down side to it.
Last edited by Devil505 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: dutch On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:28 pm

With my Mark III, I don't really touch it except for every 12 hrs..
in the morning I give it some air, shake it, and load it..
then in the evening same thing, except I also empty my ash tray.

I only adjust my air control dial when outside temps make a drastic
change, like going from daytime temps in the 40's down into the single
digits or below 0*F.. then I adjust to keep house temps comfy.
But I can run for days without touching the dial... and yes, there
is a baro damper, but I never see it move-ever.

I have gone longer stretches, and I have had some fires get
low in 12 hrs, depends on how healthy the fire is.

What size coal are you burning in the Harman?
dutch
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III

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Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: treysgt On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:51 pm

I'm burning nut coal (Blaschak).

Just got back from the stove store - was going to pick up a baro damper from him. It looked like a piece of junk and the owner was talking me away from it himself.. so I did not go for it. I'll keep looking as there is no way I was cutting my current pipe setup for that thing!

He advised that sometimes if it is really windy/cold, all you need on that bottom spin draft is a half-turn from fully closed. (He has used a MarkII for years and has never installed a damper.) That is amazing to me that a half-turn could keep a fire going - I will experiment though.
treysgt
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark1

Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:59 pm

I have been burning coal for many years (on my 3rd stove) & haven't used a baro damper since my first stove....Never felt it did a thing.
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:34 pm

Fill the stove to the top of the firebrick. The firebrick is higher in the back, so you'll end up with a sloped coal bed.
I'm burning pea size in mine, I was not happy with the results with nut coal.
I generally run the draft vent anywhere from 3/4 turn to 2 1/2 if I need lots of heat. With nut size the draft adjustment will be different.
Go for the Field Controls RC damper, it's the best one. Go to their web site and you can find a distributor near you or take a ride up to Sussex County, PM me and I'll take you to the location that sells them.
After you install the damper cover it with foil and build a full, hot fire and see what the draft reads on the manometer. If it's over -.06" WC then you know where your heat and coal is going. :D
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:35 pm

Devil5052 wrote:I have been burning coal for many years (on my 3rd stove) & haven't used a baro damper since my first stove....Never felt it did a thing.


What's your draft running at?
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: rberq On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:50 pm

I tend my Harman Mk I at 6am before I go off to work, then at 5pm when I come home, then I chuck in some more coal before bed because the outdoor temp goes down so much at night. When I say "tend" I mean I shake it down and reload coal. If I tried to go 24 hours between shakings I would overflow the ash pan. When I fill the stove at 6am and before bedtime I cram in all that it will hold, level with the firebrick in the front but above the firebrick in the back. I hope this doesn't burn out the baffle prematurely, but hey, it needs that much coal to keep going between tendings, and if I can't get sufficient heat out of it what good is it?

I set the air inlet based on anticipated temperature and wind-chill (experience). On a 20-degree day the stove is still putting out plenty of heat at tending time. At 40 degrees (and less air) it will go 15 hours before the room starts to cool off and I need to tend it. At 10 degrees or lower (and more air), the heat output drops off significantly after 8 hours, so if I were home I would add coal then.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: jpete On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:22 pm

I'm using pea coal in my Mk I. I have a manual damper which is always closed except to load it. I have tried it without a damper and all my heat went up the chimney and I went through coal like it was soaked in gasoline.

I typically only tend to it twice a day. Once if the outside temps are warm-ish. Say late fall and early spring. If it is going to be single digits for a few days, then up to four times a day but no more.

My tending routine is to shake it down and fill it as suggested above where it is sloped from the back to the front. I like to keep the ash pan clear and try not to let it get much more than half full. I find that makes more difference than almost anything else. Coal likes to breathe and the area under the fire is the lung. How well could you breathe if your lung was half full of solids? If you keep the ash pan clear, you won't be fiddling around with the air adjustment as much. I basically never touch mine unless I want to get some more heat.
jpete
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mk II
Coal Size/Type: Stove, Nut, Pea
Other Heating: Dino juice

Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: coalkirk On: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:43 pm

Devil5052 wrote:I have been burning coal for many years (on my 3rd stove) & haven't used a baro damper since my first stove....Never felt it did a thing.

I ran my boiler essentially without a baro for 3 years. (it never opened) Once I got the manomenter and could check and adjust the draft, it's made a considerable difference. My stack temp above the baro was 317. Once the baro was adjusted (and opening), my stack temp dropped to about 235. That's heat that was going up the flue. Not sure it would be worth it for you though because I saw in a different thread that you have only burned 1 ton so far this year. That's pretty good coal economy.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:55 am

coalkirk wrote:
Devil5052 wrote:I have been burning coal for many years (on my 3rd stove) & haven't used a baro damper since my first stove....Never felt it did a thing.

I ran my boiler essentially without a baro for 3 years. (it never opened) Once I got the manomenter and could check and adjust the draft, it's made a considerable difference. My stack temp above the baro was 317. Once the baro was adjusted (and opening), my stack temp dropped to about 235. That's heat that was going up the flue. Not sure it would be worth it for you though because I saw in a different thread that you have only burned 1 ton so far this year. That's pretty good coal economy.


I would say I have burned a ton of coal at most. Since I added a blower fan to my stove this year I am getting much more heat at lower stoves temps than in previous years so I am a happy man. :D
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Topping off Harman Mark1

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:13 pm

RAN OUT of coal for the Harman. It's amazing how well rice coal burns in a hand fed when it's mixed with the pea scraped up from the bottom of the bin. I picked up exactly 4-40 lb. bags of Reading Nut today at $6.50 each to keep it running 'till Friday. :D
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

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