Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: elleninpa On: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:50 am

monday morning coalstoving!

you can get fireproof glass from your local glass works company instead of ordering from the company, much less expensive and just as sturdy, for us we had to as (once again) the replacement part was not the right size so we just gave the local glass company our dimensions and told them what it was for and they gave us the right tempered glass cut to size.

clean the glass with vinegar and water and don't scratch it with abrasive things for that will weaken the glass as we found out

about the temp readings, we put a thermometer on the back panel, the back panel has an air baffle in which fine ash collects, so it runs around 500 to 550F, our hopper has not warped but we don't have a gotha so maybe that is why? our hopper is internal and sits just above the coal bed, when we poke out the ash, new black coal falls down onto the bed
elleninpa
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac but looking
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac but looking

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: Gene Tansey On: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:30 pm

Hi I have been burning a surdiac stove since the mid 80's, it was not easy at first but once I had a system I rarely fail to get it lit and get any where from 10 to 14 hour burns depending on atmospheric conditions. First make an aluminum foil temp door (double layer) to keep the glass clean, this is placed as soon as I light my wood fire. I find that if I can get my stove to 300* with my wood fire success is at hand. Adding coal 1 or 2 small shovels at this time and waiting several minutes between the next shovels allows the initial coal to start burning, slowly keep adding coal until you can look down and see blue flames coming from the coal below the bottom edge of the hopper. Don't be in a rush to take off the foil let all the wood burn, the wood is what leaves soot on the glass. once the coal is going good fill the hopper. These stoves are very efficient once going they need very little air to keep going in fact to much air is bad. I try to keep my top temp when only burning coal between 300* - 400* any hotter and the grates will over heat and warp and or burn through. On my stove the draft control is only open (when viewed from the Back) about an 1/8 of an inch. Make sure after shaking that the shaker port doors are fully closed to prevent over firing.

Gene
Gene Tansey
 
Stove/Furnace Make: surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: surdiac

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: elleninpa On: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:52 pm

Gene, I like the idea of that aluminum foil protection for the glass, I will try that. Our experience is the same on the back draft door. We also check for the back draft door being stuck open because once a piece of coal got poked down through the grate and somehow made its way to the back draft and got lodged there. We were home and able to catch the overfiring it caused before damage was done due to the door being more open than it wanted to be.

I can't remember if I ever posted how we get a fire started. I used to do wood and sometimes still do. Other times I will use a cardboard egg carton and put hot coals from the woodburner or from dinner's leftover outdoor prep on the charcoal grill. But still the same thing follows once the initial fire is going--we handshovel our coal on bit by bit like you said.

Our burn time is the same as what you said, Gene, anywhere from 10 to 14 hours depending on weather conditions.
elleninpa
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac but looking
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac but looking

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Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: bgbraker On: Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:32 pm

I got a surdiac this year and have struggled with it :mad: . Here is my experience and what I have learned.
I had a 6" liner installed in the chimney and had to adapt it to the 5" stove pipe on the back of the stove.
I did this in case I wanted to remove the coal stove and replace it with
a wood stove insert into the fireplace where I installed it. I also installed a butterfly
room draft :?: on the pipe leading to the liner. I couldnt keep the thing going through
the night and the coal would be heaped up on the grates partially burned in the morning :x . When I closed
the room damper it solved the problem. I also have a manual damper on the same pipe.
I'm not sure if this proper, but the stove is working very well now.
Also, I turned the grates upside down because pieces of coal would get caught in the "V" grooves.
:idea: Flat side up "/\" seems to make the front-end shake down easier to do :!: . I'm guessing that
when the stove was new in the 70's or 80's the coal may have come in bigger chunks.
I have the instruction booklet that came with the stove. It has the specs on the stove, but it took
hands-on practice, and patience to get this thing chugging along properly :) .
Concerning the hopper, mine gets a red hot glow when the stove is burning well. No upward burning
or even smoldering seems to happen. I assume as long as there is no air to burn in the hopper then
the coal won't burn in it?
bgbraker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: surdiac

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: elleninpa On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:36 am

bgbraker, what model of surdiac did you get? was it new or used? I wonder if there are any surdiac new stoves left in the usa? I tried to look at the surdiac site online but I think it said they are only European anymore. I like the old time styling on our surdiac.

I was reading through the previous posts and on the quality of the coal...I overheard my dh talking with the guys New Year's Eve, I think he said that coal suppliers have to guarantee a certain burn ratio? something like that, and that sometimes suppliers will mix great coal in with not so great coal, cutting the mix so to speak, so they can maintain the right burn spec...maybe that is why the one year, when we got more coal at the mid to end of the season that it wasn't as great a quality and burned a whole lot more slowly and with more clinkers and ash, we must have got the bottom of the coal barrel that time...does this sound familiar to anyone else? Maybe it wouldn't matter in a automatic hopper fed stove but I really notice the coal quality in our hand fed internal hopper stove.
elleninpa
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac but looking
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac but looking

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: bgbraker On: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:01 am

The previous owner said he had it for 30-35 years.
bgbraker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: surdiac

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: Gene Tansey On: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:45 am

Hi out there,
bgbraker, you did the right thing flipping your grates they were in upside down. The flat side should always be up. As far as your draft controls, I only use a field control which is the same as on an oil furnace or boiler. This allows the draft to be constant when the wind pics up. you should then be able to set the rear draft and not touch it again till it goes out for the season. My hopper never gets red and my cone of burning coal will burn up into the bottom of the hopper after all of the coal has burned in the bottom. Air should down draft through the coal in the hopper. Have you taken a brush and brushed out all the ash in the heat exchanger and vacuumed out, if not this can really cut down on the draft through the stove as a whole.

elleninpa, Your observation about coal quality is spot on. I purchased coal from the Kimmel mine in PA this year and found that my burn times are down to about 8 hours between shakes. Last year I bought coal that had no label and it regularly goes 10 or more hours, hence I've been hording it for later. I notice when looking at the two coals that the longer burning coal is much shinier and the short burning coal has a duller appearance.

It has been a comfort these last 2 weeks of cold to have the coal stove going.
best wishes to all you coal burners out there,
Gene Tansey
Gene Tansey
 
Stove/Furnace Make: surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: surdiac

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: wlape3 On: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:48 pm

I used to have a Surdiac myself. It was very dependable and was great to have when the power went out because it was completely manual.

The coal I used was hard anthracite from FM Browns in Reading, PA. This seemed to burn longer with less clinkers. Even in the coldest months I could heat thewhole house with the Surdiac with the electric baseboard heating supplying the trim. I would shake it once in the morning, once in the afternoon, again in the evening and sometimes just before bedtime. Ceiling fans in the house helped move the hot air around. The house was a two story, 2200 sqft home with the stove in the living room at one end and a fireplace in the family room at the other end.

The only thing I didn't like about it was the time it took to start it. I had it down to 2 hours using charcoal briquettes. Never tried the mice on that one.
wlape3
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: 140 auger, forced hot air

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: elleninpa On: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:47 am

wlape3 - Mice?! what do you mean, what did I miss when reading the posts...well, we survived the chill blast of last weekend and our sturdy little surdiac keeps on pumping out the heat. We don't get the whole house much above 65F but then we've got some 3200 square feet to heat, so we use electric blankets in the bedrooms, I know they aren't very frugal or environmental, but with loads of blankets and a preheat with the electric, we are toasty warm.

We have been supplementing with our woodburner, but using poplar and willow for those are the trees we cut down this past fall. Not as many BTUs as the red oak gives us.

I too like that our burners are completely manual and not dependent on the power grid.

I'll have to ask the dh where our supplier got his coal. One year it was a fabulous vein of hard anthracite from Reading, but that vein is shut down as of last year, don't know if it is reopen this year.
elleninpa
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac but looking
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac but looking

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: Cheetah On: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:06 am

Hi all,

Bought my Surdiac Gotha 511 used along with 3 ton of coal to supliment my oil burner. It's rated 30,000 to 44,000 Btu/hr so I didn't figure it could handle heating the house by itself. The house is about 2,200 sq ft built in 1941 without much insulation. It has turned out that we have used very little oil since starting the stove the end of Nov. Even during this cold snap the oil burner hardly came on. Of course letting the temp drop to 58 F helped a bit too ;)

My stove looks just like the one at this link

http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.ph ... r_fed_coal

The grate is only about 18" wide by 6" across and the hopper is about 4" above it, so it really doesn't have much of a fire box. It looks bigger than it is because of the duct work around it. It has been a challenge to keep it going overnight at times. When I go down in the morning all the coal in the box will have burnt and the fire will be working its way up into the hopper. It can only go a couple of inches up in before it runs out of air.

The first night after starting it it will burn for 9 hours no problem, but after that it's more like 7 hours. Where it is being pushed hard it forms clinkers that get in the way of fresh coal coming down. It doesn't help that the coal that came with it is junk. It has a high mineral content or something so the ash doesn't break up easy, and it doesn't have as much heat per pound as it could. After a couple weeks of fighting with it I went to Agway and bought a 50# bag of Kimmels low ash pea coal. As it burnt the ashes crumbled and made room for coal to come down from the hopper. Also got a longer burn with more heat. But it cost 9.25 for a 50# bag ($370 per ton) so I figured I'd try to make the junk I had work.

So long as I dig out any big clinkers and shake it down well before going to bed it makes it through the night ok. I shake it down and load the hopper before going to work. My wife gives it a quick shake a couple of times during the ten hours I'm away.

Bruce
Cheetah
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: Gotha 713

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: bperowski On: Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:02 am

hello all,

Since I have been using this stove (3 yrs) There has only been a few problems. ash build=up was the worst! The coal I get creates a high fly ash content, so I have to clean a little more. As far as your hopper lighting up, the next time you shut down or clean, seal it good with a little cement and it should stop that problem. Place your hopper on the highest setting (get the deepest bed you can) and re-seal Your loading door. My Surdiac burns for 10-11 hours without tending.

Hope this helps you a little,
Bruce
bperowski
 
Stove/Furnace Make: surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: 513D

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: elleninpa On: Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:42 am

Resealing the hopper gasket is pretty much what the dh and I were talking about this morning. Time to get some more gasket then. It should help us with a longer burn time and less burning up into the hopper.

We have cleaned out our rear ash panels etc and that helped too.

Surdiac sure makes a nice looking stove, that Gotha has some fancy work on the side panels, very attractive.
elleninpa
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac but looking
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac but looking

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: woodsman1601 On: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:49 am

I have the manual for the surdiac 515/715 in my hand right now it says to use the 15 inch flat bar to push in and out of the slot using a stabbing motion moving left to rightand back and front of the firegrate, do not employ a side to side swaying motion as this will result in coal and ash build up along the edges of the fire box. continue poking till you see small pieces of glowing coal raining through to the pan. check the length of tthe poker every year as it will get shorter with rxtended use
woodsman1601
 
Stove/Furnace Model: coal chubby

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: elleninpa On: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:58 am

woodsman - If I gave you an email and/or a PO box number, would you be willing to scan or copy the manual and send it along to me? We could sure use one for parts. Our stove only has 3 window panels and they are just in the metal, the glass is one piece. Does this sound like a model that fits the 515/715 description? I'll have to look up again what my grates have molded onto them, thought it was 515/715 but I may be wrong, just a sec...
elleninpa
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac but looking
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac but looking

Re: Surdiac hopper fed coal stove

PostBy: hankonli On: Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:22 pm

Elleninpa:
Not sure what model Surdiac you have but you can download manual for some models at
http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/File:surdiac_manual_oldcoal.pdf/
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.

I have just started up my 30 year old Gotha 713 after several years being idle - you mentioned cleaning out the back heat exchanger thru the two doors in back; also clean out thru the center exhaust and if it's the same as my Gotha, the two side heat exchangers accessed when hopper is removed.
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hankonli
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: Gotha 713

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