Hi - not sure if this thread is still going, but I saw this post, and the pictures of the Stratford stove
and felt a little less alone in owning an old English model coal stove. Mine came with the house and I knew nothing about it initially, and there didn't seem to be a wealth of knowledge out there on this specific stove. This is my second season using it and I have learned enough about operating it to pretty much heat our 2500 sq ft. 1850 home burning nut anthracite. But, based on some of the things I have read on this site, I am uncertain that I am operating my stove at peak efficiency. Like the claim by charlesmumford that his stove runs 26 hours on 1 load. There is just no way my stove will burn that long. Take a look at some of the details and I would appreciate any comments on what looks normal, or not so normal.
At most, a full load will burn for 12 hours, 8 hours is much more realistic. Burn time is longer the first 3 days after a fresh start, then gets shorter and shorter until eventually it goes out while I am at work. The longest I have been able to keep a coal fire burning continuously is about a week, using wood to rekindle dying coals.
I load the stove in the morning before work at 8AM, after work (if it is still burning) at 6PM, top off before bed at 11PM, top off again if I wake up during the night. I shake when needed, maybe 2 or 3 times a day, and poke holes in the coal bed. I would say the stove holds between 75 - 100lb of coal.
I run my stove between 300 and 600* - normally the temp sits right in the middle of that range. Thermometer is mounted right on stove top. I maintain the draft control in the ashpan door at 1 - 2 slots open at each inlet hole.
I generate at the very least a full 20 gallon trash can with burned coal a week. Probably more like 1 1/2 cans full. Spent coal is a mix of ash and chunks of gray coal. Not a fine dust, pretty chunky, and very heavy to haul out to the curb for trash pickup.
If clinkers are those things that look like coral, then I have a lot of those in my stove. Either they aren't getting ground up by the alligator grate, the stove is getting too hot, or the coal I am using is poor quality?
Does anything here seem abnormal?