New to Coal Burning

New to coal burning

PostBy: Anne On: Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:22 pm

This is the first winter I've attempted to burn coal. I have a Franco Belge stove and I've been sucessful in starting and maintaining the stove but am not getting the heat output. If it's below 30 outside I can't get the house temperature above 63 unless the sun is shining. If I raise the thermostat above 4 the coal is overfired.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Anne

PostBy: davemich On: Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:31 am

How big of a room are you trying to heat? Do you have a pic of the stove? Are there blowers on the stove? What are the stove temps when you are overfiring? Get a thermometer if you don't have one. You can buy them at any hardware/fireplace shop.

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:58 pm

Evey Franco Belge I have seen doesn't have the BTU output to heat a whole house. It will keep a large basement warm or 2 or 3 rooms warm. It's for supplementary heat only unless you're in a very small house.

BTW, I'm assuming you have the same one my brother had as I have not seen a different one. If it has the hopper that is right in the stove be careful not to overfire it. There's the potenial for getting the coal going behind the plate inside the stove, if that happens it will destroy the plate in the midlle of the stove. the parts for them are getting harder and harder to find.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: Anne On: Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:05 pm

I'm not sure if the reply is being posted correctly... The primary room size is 30X20. There is a sunroom/atrium off to the side (I am using a ceiling fan to recirculate the air; started recently but no big change) The folks that I purchased the home from said they used the coal stove solely to heat the house and it was fine. There is the hopper on top of the stove, I'm told it could hold 24 hrs worth of coal but I'm usually filling it for 12 hrs, So hopefully, the plate will not get damaged.

The stove pipe thermometer is staying at 100 degress F. The stove thermostat is set at about 6 (range is 1-8) What is the desired stovepipe setting? I've heard anywhere from 200-5-- for the stove.

I'll see if I can figure out how to post a picture.

Thanks. Anne

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:23 pm

If it's only a few rooms then it should be sufficient. I've known a few people that have had them and all have had trouble with them as far as overfiring and ruining the plate that seperates the coal and fire.

The ones I have seen have a vertical plate going from one side to the other on the inside. Behind the plate is where you put the coal and feeds by gravitity onto the grates.

I'm just giving you fair warning because I've already seen a few of them get ruined.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

franco belge stoves

PostBy: mjb On: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:28 am

I am new to the forum. Found it by accident surfing for coal BTU info. Been burning coal for 20 years. Owned Franco Belge and Surdiac. Got tired of manually shaking stove so purchased Harman Magnum Stoker. Been running it for 3 weeks now. The Franco Belge could never heat my house on it's own unless it was in the 40's or above. Anything colder and the oil burner would have to kick on to bring the room temp. up to 70.

Franco Belge, Surdiac

PostBy: coochy77 On: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:43 pm

Just reading your post about the older European hand operated stoves. and was wondering how your new Harman compares to these old units. My experience with my Surdiac has been very positive and I can actually say that I enjoy tending to the fire and all that goes with it. Are you happy with your Harman purchase? Is it no fuss no muss or do you miss the good old days?
Just interested in hearing your comments

old stlye stoves

PostBy: mjb On: Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:51 pm

very different. don't miss the shaking of the coal at all. The Surdiac has a very archaic shaker system at best. you had to kneel in front of the stove an insert ametal rod and by using a knife lide action, make the ash fall thru the grates. at least the franco belge had a grate system that would move and shake down the ash. I started out 20 years ago with a godin batch burner then went thru 2 franco belges and finally the surdiac. I had the sudiac for two years and that was two too many. never had to buy any of them as I was able to pick them up uesed at no cost. the heat from the radiant's is muck different then the convection magnum. the radiants heated the room it was in nicely but not the two adjacent rooms on each side too well. it heated the upstairs room nicely also. the magnum heats the downstairs room excellently but not the upstairs as much as the radiants. the heat is not comming on upstairs but it's only 70 degrees as opposed to 73-74 before. depending on the outside temp and rate of burn the magnum heats the three daownstairs rooms to 73-75 easily. do I miss the old style....... a little bit.

PostBy: AL-53 On: Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:05 pm

mjb...put in a couple of floor with a duct booster fan on a variable speed switch...the other could be a cold air works...put one where the heat pockets the most and use the booster there....or just use a 12-15 inch fan to blow hot air upstairs. I found with coal..the heat is even....just have to move the air....this is like the fan I use

**Broken Link(s) Removed**

got it a lot cheaper...but works great..moves the air...not over powering...or a hurricane breeze...

Holmes makes one just like it also....get at wal mart...20.00..but none home depot also...or lowes....

using it is like night and day...