Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:41 pm

tfaath wrote:I also agree with Jeff in that I think we all need to experiment to determine the best ratio of damper and inlet air position to max output of heat. I’m not convinced that having the “dancing ladies” is the most efficient way to maximize the heat output of the insert.


I should have been more specific about the blue ladies. When doing the ash pan door trick, I look for the blue ladies to start going good. That's what tells me it's time to shut the ash pan door. As for their heating ability, I don't think they do much in the way of generating heat. They're just volatiles burning off. The trick is to get air to the fire to feed it. Coal fires need air, and lots of it (from below, of course) to get hot. When you see the blue ladies, you know it's burning, not just idling. At least that's what I've seen happening.

Greg (LsFarm) had a good notion in a PM he sent to me. It could very well be that one of the reasons our 503s aren't pumping out heat periodically is that they are surrounded by a whole lot of masonry, which could be soaking up the heat. That might also explain the three-hour lag from startup to a really hot stove. I think he's onto something.

Jeff if I recall correctly your chimney is tall, 2 floors and you ran a liner in it. If that’s the case, you should have plenty of draft. I only have one floor and when the vents are open, you can hear the air rushing in.


Nope, mine is just 15 feet of flex pipe from stove to chimney top. I can hear air rushing into the air wash damper under the loading door, but not so much into the ash pan dampers. I think my restrictor settings tell the story--my draft is okay but not super, hence the need for me to run with the restrictor 1/2 open or more. I close it off more when it's windy, but if it's calm and I shut it more than 1/2 way, temps drop enough that my back bedroom gets much cooler. Well, not that much cooler. It goes from 68* to 64* or so. But that's too much for me. I like it about 66-68* if possible. :D

I'm interested to see if Van experiments a bit with the restrictor and, if he does, what his results are.
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:07 am

hey guys

many thanks for suggestions and details of your own stoves - very good info and much appreciated. I think I shook it too much and when I put coal on last night after getting it burning I ended with what Tom had i.e. a fire only in the center. I was keen to get it going well before testing the damper on top. I left the ash pan door open for a good period of time 30 mins or more and the damper on top to get max draught but only the center of the fire came back. this demonstrates to me that a coal fire won't spread sideways you need hot coals uniformly spread underneath just like when you start up. With that in mind therefore I am going to restart the fire tonight with some matchlight to ensure I get back to evenly distributed fire and I'm going to shake it in future less so. Initially I had only being rattling the grates and so I suspect I was over keen on this time round causing the fire to loose too much pace. The intermittent blower didn't come on at all last night so I know for sure it is beyond recovering even with ashpan and damper fully open for 30 mins this morning it is only looking healthy in the center.

JD - your point is a very good one - the 503 model sold for some time before they added that restrictor so it must be capable of performing without it being shut and necessary therefore only for chimneys with very strong draught.

"Gentlemen - we can rebuild him" - will provide update on Saturday once rebuilt and running for 12 hrs. Hopefully the damper on top will save the day. Was bummed to have to burn some oil this morning but hopefully I can get it back to where I was earlier in the week.

Tom is your damper on top fully closed or fully open - I wasn't' clear on that from what you wrote - unless I missed it ? I think you have the best draught of all of us so far !

thanks again guys - much appreciated

Van
VanBuren
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:20 am

Hi Van, actually a coal fire will burn sideways, it will even burn from top down!! The fire follows the air. Example: in an EFM firepot, the coal is fed from the bottom, the air comes in from the sides about 3/4 of the way to the bottom of the firepot,, and you start the fire near the top of the firepot, and the fire soon reaches the lower extreems of the air source..
Same thing in a flat bed stoker: if air leaks through the hopper the fire will travel up the grate into the hopper.


So: I suspect that your fire didn't rejuvenate around the perimeter because of accumulated ash on the grates. I'd make up a poker from 3/16" or 1/4" steel rod or wire.. I've used the wire frame from the large political signs for the steel.. wait till next wednesday, there will be plenty of 'raw materials' available to make pokers from..

Bend a 90* 'L' on the end of a 24" piece of steel rod, make the 'L' about 3"-4", what ever is needed to reach the bottom of the fire from underneath, through the ashpan area.. when you poke between the grate's fingers into the dark areas, you will get a shower of ash, that was blocking the airflow to the fire.. once the airflow is restored, the fire will travel sideways and soon cover the whole firebox..

On some stove designs, you have to poke from above,, the ergonomics of getting through to the fire from below won't work.. but below is better if you can.

Learning the tricks of each stove is required.. some stoves are easier than others.. and there are also differences depending on what coal you are using.. some coal stays whole and needs crushing to go through the grate, other coal burns to a fine powder.

hope this helps.. 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: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:21 pm

Hi Van,

Regarding the position of the damper, I’ve kept mine all the way closed (pushed in). I only open it when I’m shaking the fire or refueling.

Also as far as the draft is concerned, I’m surprised that Jeff is not having more luck with his situation. My chimney is only one story .. I have a 6 in SS liner. I don’t think I have any more draft then you guy’s. Remember, coal is slow, every time I make a change, I wait at least 15 min before I decide if it was enough or needs additional adjustments.

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Last evening, we had a rather cold night, temps got down to 28* I had the ash pan vent open to approx 75%. I had the ladies dancing on some of the coal .. and the unit was definitely putting out more heat then I experienced the other day. I’m more convinced then ever that the sides of the fire had gone out and I was only burning in the center. That situation seems to have corrected itself. This morning, I wanted to see just how hot I could get the stove, so I ran it full out (100% open) for approx 2 hrs .. and despite the cooler temperatures outside, I was able to increase the temp in the house 69* to 70*.

The weather here is warming up today, they say it will get into the 60’s. I’ve already throttled back to the point of an idle. If I have the same problem when I decide to throttle back up, I’ll take Greg’s suggestion and bend up a 90 deg poker and try to move things around. I’ll bet he’s right and the ash accumulated around the corners …. Below is a picture of the unit thottled back, if you zoom in, you can see how I have it set up.

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This week I’m keeping track of my coal consumption and so far I’ve used 100 lbs.

Tom
tfaath
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:08 pm

I meant to include this in the above 'poking' post, but I'll add it here.. if you poke the fire from the top just POKE it.. dont' STIR the coals..

What you want to do is move the poker around touching the grate, till you find a gap between the grates fingers, then push down and open up the gap.. Yo will soon find the row of fingers and be able to open up the air passageways.

You want to distrub the coal as little as possible.. poking is ok,, stirring is not ok.

Sorry if I'm sounding like I'm preaching,, but stirring a cold fire is a sure recipe for the fire to go out... a poke or two will usually wake it up.. I don't want anyone mad at me 'cause they disturbed their fire so much that it went out..

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: Blackdiamonddoug On: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:17 pm

better to pay a few more dollars now and start saving on heat right away.
Looks great BDD
Blackdiamonddoug
 
Stove/Furnace Make: axemen 260 rebuilt by Matt
Stove/Furnace Model: stoker AA 260

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:49 pm

Greg

many thanks for both posts - some very good info in there. An amusing but excellent use for the election posters ! - will wait till after the election to grab one so I don't end up on TV as other have for stealing signs !!

Will make a 90 degree poker and give it a go. Hopefully this will work well and I can avoid the need to restart the fire from scratch. Thanks for clarification also on coal catching on sideways good to know the facts vs my speculation.

No worries on being lectured - it comes across as good quality advice and nothing else so keep it coming - quite a few of us on this thread will and have benefited greatly from this site.

I did rake my coals yesterday before adding coal and I think that may not have been so great an idea.

Tonight I'll give it a few hours to recover once I get home and as plan B start over.

many thanks again !

V
VanBuren
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:05 pm

Tom

some nice photos - thanks for posting. It appears from photo 1 that your chimney is fully surrounded by the building. That adds some nice insulation I expect. Mine is like that only on the first floor - on the second floor it is exposed. Your draught is probably benefiting from that extra warmth even though it's not that cold thus far.

got down to 30 with us also last night and like a spring day in manhattan today

Van
Last edited by VanBuren on Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
VanBuren
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: bear creek burnout On: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:05 pm

Greg....just like Bond, James Bond....shaken not stirrded.....
bear creek burnout
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:35 pm

Two quick points:

1. Greg's poking method does indeed work well to get a dark spot glowing. I've tried it, and he's right on the money. With the 503, you'll need to poke from above since there is not enough clearance get the recommended size poker in there and poke from below. You might want to have some blue flames going somewhere in the stove before you try this; if not, volatiles coming up from your newly-made air path could collect and suddenly ignite and cause a puff-back/blow-back. If there are flames, it shouldn't be a problem.

2. Another little trick I found is to clean out the ash that accumulates on top of the front end of the grates right above where the shaker handle attaches. There's a nice little pocket there which, if open, gives some air to the firebox right at grate-level in the front. This pocket gets clogged with ash after a while. If you take Greg's poker (or a regular fireplace poker) and clean that area out so that you can see into the firebox above where the shaker handle attaches, more air will get from the ash pan damper openings to the bottom of the fire in the front of the stove. I've found that if I don't clean these two areas out, my fire gets very sluggish in the front after a while. YMMV. If anyone doesn't understand where these two spots are, let me know and I'll take a photo of them (or maybe two--one clogged and one cleaned out).
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:58 am

hey guys

I cleaned out the stove just now and there is a ton of ash - too much. This is what must have been choking my fire and caused the poor performance in comparison to the initial heat I got about 10 days ago when I started the fire. I am wondering if I either shook too much or not enough - hard to tell. I made a little poker with 90 degree bend as Greg suggested and will use that once I light it up - 60 degrees here today so too warm to light - maybe later today. I did manage to bend the other end also and get it under the grates but it is a very tight fit and at one point got jammed so drilling holes from the top is much easier

JD - that's an excellent tip on the pocket at front of fire - will try that also once lit - thanks.

Hopefully I won't need to keep stopping the fire and clearning during the winter. If anyone else has any additional suggestions to deal with excess ash please advise.

VB
VanBuren
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:31 pm

ONce you start burning hot, all the time, the ash may burn more to a powder, making it easier to shake down.. time will tell.. You can also try a few bags of a different brand of coal,, it may burn differently in your stove..

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:47 pm

VanBuren wrote:If anyone else has any additional suggestions to deal with excess ash please advise.


I never intentionally shut down my stove to clean it out. What I do is, every few day when I'm doing a normal shake down I'll:
(Keep the ash pan door open for this whole procedure!)

1. Open the ash door & let the fire get even hotter than usual (more draft)
2. Shake down normal until I see red embers fall
3. Add a thin layer of fresh coal & let it catch well
4. Poke aggressively from the top with my poker into the entire coal bed ( while twisting the poker to break up any clumps/clinkers) & dig out the sides.
5. add another thin layer of coal & let it catch well
6. lightly shake again until I get embers falling from the whole coal bed
7. Fill the stove normally & close the ash door only with a rising temp.

If you do this it only adds a few minutes to a normal shake down but keeps the stove relatively ash free all winter, w/o the need to shut down for cleaning out.


The key is only do this with a very lively fire!
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:57 pm

Devil'

thanks for that list of steps - much appreciated. Will give that a go once I start it up for round two end of week - supposed to be 50's to 60's all week here. Can you advise what you do on the other days - do you just give it air and load up hopper all at once i.e. nothing else ?

On another note - I cam across this set of three youtube videos posted last month on starting a hitzer that are very well put done and worth a look. It's not the 503 actually a 30-95 but interesting in any case.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4TLvEEMl_Y

Van'
VanBuren
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: Freddy On: Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:22 am

Someone mentioned they did more or less what Devil does but they do one side one day, the other side the next day. While the stove is open, and before you open it, Always make sure you have fire at the top someplace so you don't accidently make volatile gasses that can puff back. I'm no expert! This info is just from reading.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

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