I'm new, good descision?

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: traderfjp On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:36 am

Obviously there is more then one way to skin a cat. However, if the only reason you are considering a basement install is because of the mess you can rest assured that a modern day stoker is not messy at all. The stove sits on a hearth. The only mess I get is a little ash on the hearth and that is taken care of with a small dust buster. If you pour the coal slowly into the hopper there is minimal dust and there is zero smell. If you do go the direct vent route be sure to get a bottom vent and not a top vent. Bottom vents are more efficient at keeping the heat in the stove longer.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: pclfal On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:00 am

Once again I really do appreciate all the advice. That is why I joined to get all the positive and negatives I can get. I believe it will become sort of a hobby. I done a bunch of research but the more info I have the better. I was told the Direct vent stoker will blow more than 60% of it s hot air to the first floor from the basement. I still have plenty of descisions to make, the stove is not coming for 8 weeks. I live in East PA.

What I have noticed is that through out all these postings, nobody has really anything negative to say about coal and using a stoker. I think I'm headed in the right direction.
pclfal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Stoker 105K BTU

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:19 am

The only negative about burning coal is that it is a chore,, not a bad chore, but one that needs doing every day or two..ONce you get used to it, it does become a hobby.... you must take out the ashes, and you must fill up the hopper... more work that just flicking a switch and turning up the thermostat... and signing the check to the oil company each month!! But signing that check,,, that's a really NASTY chore!! :lol: :mad: :D

I would recommend getting an extra ash pan for your stove,, this makes the the ashpan job just a quick 'swap the pan'... then empty it later if you want.. You don't wnat to be in a hurry carrying the ashpan through the house... Also cut a piece of sheet steel to fit into the ashpan, over the top of the ashes.. this cover will keep any really fine ashes from leaving the pan as you carry it through the house..

Greg L..
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

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Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: pclfal On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:28 pm

The Keystoker comes with an extra ash pan and C0 dectector.
pclfal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Stoker 105K BTU

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: gambler On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:57 pm

pclfal wrote:What I have noticed is that through out all these postings, nobody has really anything negative to say about coal and using a stoker. I think I'm headed in the right direction.


The only negative is it will require some extra work on your part but if you are willing to put forth the effort you will be rewarded with a warm house and a fatter wallet.

By the way my coal stove requires a lot less work than my corn/pellet stove and my wood burner did.
gambler
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: traderfjp On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:03 pm

Unless you have access to free firewood I can't see a better alternative to the high prices of fossil fuels.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: pclfal On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:17 pm

We were going to burn wood originally, we have 10+ acres. I figure we have about two seasons worth of wood (Not cut or split yet). Then it would be cutting trees, hauling, splitting, stacking etc etc. We didn't want to cut to many of our trees down. ANd we can still use our fire place to burn wood.
pclfal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Stoker 105K BTU

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: traderfjp On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:40 pm

hmmm. I had a wood stove for a while and it was very messy. I had a hard time getting a good draft and the house always smelled like smoke. I had to paint my ceiling from the smoke and only ran the stove for one season. Also, it was very hard to control the temp of the fire - it was either too hot or not hot enough. Coal is a nice even heat for the most part. In the beginning you'll jack up the feed rate and have to open the windows but eventually you'll get the hang of it. One thing I can do with my stove that is hard to do with a stove with a thermostat is that when I leave in the morning for work I lower the stove to about 2. When I get home I want the house to warm up quickly. I'll turn the feed rate up all the way up for about 1 minute or so. This moves a lot of coal onto the grate. I then move it back to about 3 and the stove heats the house quickly. With the thermostat there is a high and low setting. The two setting can't be too far apart of you get an over and under fire. Long story short it'll take much more time to get the heat to ramp up with a thermostat then with the manual feed. That said if you want the house to stay at one temp and don't want to fart around with the feed rate then a Coaltrol is a great device. It'll keep your house at a constant temp. My goal when burning coal is to use the lowest feed rate possible and still stay comfortable in the house. The more the stove works the more you'll be filling the hopper and emptying the ash pan.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: gambler On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:47 pm

When I get home I want the house to warm up quickly. I'll turn the feed rate up all the way up for about 1 minute or so. This moves a lot of coal onto the grate


The coal-trol has this option. You push a button and the stove will feed at max rate for the users selected amount of time up to 10 min.
gambler
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: traderfjp On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:05 pm

I wonder if that is new because when I had a coaltrol the only way to get a max feed was to re-set the max feed rate and have the thermostat call for heat. Can u tell me where this button is and what it's marked. This was one of the things I didn't like about the Coaltrol. You would set a high and low settings and sometimes it would take two hours to get up to temperature and then it would over fire. It did a great job of keeping the house at a steady temp.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: gambler On: Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:49 pm

If you push and hold the "menu" button for 5 seconds the word "feed" appears on the screen. Then press the "down" button and a "10" will appear on the screen. press the down button again and a "9" will appear. ok you've got the idea. I just leave mine start counting down from "10" and in a couple of minutes I hit the down or up button and the "feed" stops and the t-stat goes back to normal operation. While in the "feed" mode the numbers that appear on the screen are minutes of feed.
gambler
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: pclfal On: Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:31 pm

I have heard about coal-trol but I do not know enough about them yet. Right now my Stoker will be coming with a thermostat. I was told a coal-trol is about $300.00. Is it really worth it. Do you have a lot more control with one of these? can they be installed at a later date?
pclfal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Stoker 105K BTU

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: gambler On: Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:06 pm

The coal-trol can be added at a later date. I bought my stove used and it had nothing but manual controls which work fine but it is too hard to guess what the weather will be that day before I leave for work. Plus I go out of town for several days at a time and the coal-trol takes care of the temp adjustment so all that the family has to do is fill the hopper and empty the ashes.
gambler
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:06 pm

Try the thermostat you have first and see how it works. There are high and low settings for the Coaltrol that has to be tweaked depending on the weather too.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: I'm new, good descision?

PostBy: rberq On: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:34 am

I would lean toward a first floor install rather than cellar. You describe the first floor as being one big open room, so you should get good heat circulation. Most 200 year old cellars I have seen are rock-walled dirt-floored holes that are impassible in mud season and would soak up (i.e. waste) a lot of heat. So unless yours has been upgraded, it is not a place that I would want to visit every day to tend a stove. I did have one problem with locating my stove on the first floor: the oil burner ran so little (just for domestic hot water) that the cellar got too cold and threatened to freeze the pipes. So I wound up installing a zone on the oil boiler just to keep the North end of the cellar at 40 degrees.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

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