Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:58 pm

Hi Jeff,

We’re experiencing the exact same thing. I haven’t been able to get to the back of the fire box either to “stir it up” but it is burning better once I get the ash out of the box. I’m learning that it takes a little effort to make sure that it gets cleaned out. I guess the shake it till a few embers fall is not quite enough to do the job properly.

How nice to hear that the 503 even without the fans was able to keep the house livable. You might want to consider a small portable generator. I purchased a 3 KW gas powered several years ago. It was a purchase during an emergency and now I wish I had just a little more power. Having said that, I must say it has come in very handy on several occasions. You don’t have to run it all the time, if you run it intermittently, 5 gal of gas will last a surprisingly long time.

I had a friend drive up your way last Saturday, Albany. Their son was at school and no electricity. They also said that the damage was evident and a lot of communities were obviously without power.

Looks like we’re going to get our first dose of winter tomorrow... 6 – 12” predicted. Another storm is predicted for Sunday this one could be an ice storm … welcome to winter!!

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:31 pm

tfaath wrote:We’re experiencing the exact same thing. I haven’t been able to get to the back of the fire box either to “stir it up” but it is burning better once I get the ash out of the box. I’m learning that it takes a little effort to make sure that it gets cleaned out. I guess the shake it till a few embers fall is not quite enough to do the job properly.


Yeah. I've always shaken a little more than what the owner's manual calls for, unless you count dice-size glowing chunks of coal as "embers." :D

Stirring up the back corners seems to be helping. At least there's coal on the top where there used to be just very fine ash.

Looks like we’re going to get our first dose of winter tomorrow... 6 – 12” predicted. Another storm is predicted for Sunday this one could be an ice storm … welcome to winter!!


10-16" forecasted for my neck of the woods. Sunday could be worse (mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain). When I was a kid, I loved the snow. Once I was old enough to effectively use a shovel, I started hating it. Bring on the cold, but Mother Nature can keep the snow!
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: bear creek burnout On: Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:22 am

Hi Guys....
Well it's 2* with a wind chill @ -9* here in the great Northeast PA mountains. The 503 is straining to keep up but the kitchen/dining room area where it's located is still @ 64*. The rest of the house is on life support from the oil hog in the basement....but this was expected. It's times like this that I think about a coal boiler then I remember that single digit degree days can be counted on fewer than 10 fingers in a typical winter.
How is everyone else doing? Are you getting the results you expected?
bear creek burnout
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert

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Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:26 am

Hi Bear, Guy’s,

Things have been good. The 503 is doing its job and I must say I’m very happy.

Weather here overnight was in the single digits and I fully expected to have some issues, the good news is that I have had NONE! The heat profile in the house remains the same, about 6* cooler on the 2nd floor then on the main floor. My total oil consumption for the year has been essentially none.

I have learned several new things:

It’s more important then I expected is to occasionally (once a week at least) open the door and move the burning coal bed around a little. The ashes build up in the corners and in the front tend to choke the fire and limit the BTU output. I’ve been running the unit with the ash pan vent open approx 50% the temp on top of the unit averages about 350* and the house temp is stable at 68* - 70*.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to keep the hopper on the 503 100% full. In the past each time I shook the unit, I’d refill the hopper right to the top. Lately since I’m moving the burning coal around to free up the ash in the corners, I’ve let the hopper empty (after the 1st shake down) and allowed the coal to burn down a little below the front bricks. This has allowed me more access to the fire box. What I’ve found is that I can run the stove that way for almost 12 hrs. When I reload the hopper, I fill it to the max. The heat output with the hopper empty seems to be higher.

Finely, the other thing that I’ve learned is to keep some humidity in the house. This must apply to everyone using alternative heating systems. Since I’m using a humidifier that can handle the whole house, and I maintain the humidity at 35% or higher, what I’m finding is that I don’t notice the 1 or 2 deg temperature variations at all. The house is very comfortable and I’m not pushing the stove to heat the house (less coal consumption).

Well, that’s what’s new with me, as Bear asked, how is everyone else doing?

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: jjfcars On: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:55 pm

well last nite was the first nite that i put the 503 to a test temp outside was 15* got up this morning house was 64* my fault i just didnt have it cranking like should have im still learning. i have it opened up rite now pumping out some real heat. going to get down to about 10* tonite im going to leave it opened up and see how it is in the morning. stove temp rite now is at 300 rite now on top what temps do you guys get. i have everything else figured out just trying to get her figured out for these real cold days. no i didnt figure it out you guys done it for me
thanks
randy :D
jjfcars
 

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:19 am

jjfcars wrote:stove temp rite now is at 300 rite now on top what temps do you guys get.


It varies somewhat, but my stovetop temps generally run between 250* and 300* most of the time when it's in the 20s or lower outside. I generally have the restrictor open 1/2 to 2/3 of the way and the ash pan damper at 1/3 to 1/2 to get those temps. Single digits generally call for a bit more air, so I might go to 2/3 on the ash pan damper if it gets really cold. That's with the blowers on. During our recent ice storm/power outage, I was running it at the same settings and getting 350*+ stovetop temps without the blowers running. Without the blowers, the stovetop will get hotter than with them on.

For me, the wind seems to make a big difference as well. If it's windy, I'll go about 1/2 open or less on the restrictor (depending on how hard the wind is blowing) or else I burn too hot/fast. If it's calmer, I go with 2/3 open on the restrictor (or fully open if it's dead calm). When idling, I generally have the restrictor fully in (about 1/3 open) and the ash pan damper at about 1/8.

The highest stovetop temp I've recorded thus far was 380*. That was during the power outage with the restrictor at 2/3 open and the ash pan damper at 1/2 open and the fans off. The wind must have picked up when I wasn't home to close the restrictor to 1/2, so the stove got pretty hot.

Believe it or not, I have an Excel spreadsheet that I record a bunch of data on every time I shake/load. I record the date, time, stovetop temp, living room temp, back bedroom temp, outside temp, damper setting, restrictor setting, fan setting (on/off), and check off if I shake, load, empty the ash pan, and vacuum. I also have a "notes" field where I record how much coal I loaded and other stuff like if I changed the restrictor or ash pan damper settings. It's overkill, I know, but it's nice to be able to look back and see what settings I used to get what temps inside, etc. I'm sure after the first year I probably won't need it since I'll pretty much know how the stove will behave under what conditions/settings. But for now, it's been useful.
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:12 pm

Hi All,

It’s been some time since any of us contributed and our favorite meeting spot was beginning to fade to back of the list. I thought I’d freshen it up a little and let you know how things are going.

Over the holidays, I took a quick trip to visit family in Florida, (it’s very difficult to come back north this time of the year)

Well, I had to let the 503 burn itself out on Christmas day, and relied on the very expensive oil to keep the house above freezing during the trip (only used 20 gal for 9 days).

I returned yesterday, and re-fired the 503 this morning. Yes experience means a lot. I was able to get the unit up and running in short order. Match light has to be the greatest discovery ever. I put a layer of match light on the entire bottom of the bed, then covered that with coal to the top of fire brick by the window. One match and I was off and running in about 1 - 1 ½ hrs. It was nice to shut off the oil burner and realize that for the most part, what I had in the tank will be there in the summer.

Hope everyone had a great holiday

Stay warm, Tom
tfaath
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:00 pm

Hey Tom. Glad to hear you're doing well and survived the holidays.

I've been chugging along with the 503 heating the whole house. It's been pretty cold here the last week or more. I've been running with the restrictor at 2/3 open and the ash pan damper at 1/3 open most of the time. That keeps things toasty. Once in a while it gets too hot in the living room, so I close the restrictor to 1/2 and the ash pan damper to 1/4 to let things cool down a bit.

tfaath wrote:Match light has to be the greatest discovery ever. I put a layer of match light on the entire bottom of the bed, then covered that with coal to the top of fire brick by the window. One match and I was off and running in about 1 - 1 ½ hrs. It was nice to shut off the oil burner and realize that for the most part, what I had in the tank will be there in the summer.


I've lit mine a total of three times using Match Light each time. Although each successive light was better than the previous one, it still took a good three hours to get up to temp. Glad to hear you've got it down to less than two hours.

I've been considering a mid-season shut down and clean out if/when we get some mild weather in the upcoming month(s). I still seem to get a lot of ash buildup the the rear corners. Poking around and stirring things up back there helps, but it hasn't totally solved the issue. Maybe nothing will. It doesn't seem to affect the burn rate any....

Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday. Odds are we were all warm!
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:36 am

hey guys

happy new year - sorry I haven't posted for a while but I frequent the forum as all of us do every day - always something great to read/learn.

so we are two months into the winter season and the hitzer is doing very well. I have burned very little oil but occasionally have to turn it on. We had visitors over the holidays and that upsets the routine of the shake down etc. as you want to make it toasty warm for them so you burn a little more on some days and then it can be awkward to start a noisy shakedown if people are chatting or sleeping - I suspect everyone encounters this in some shape or form. the worst part is having to explain the whole "coal is not dirty, it does not pollute the atmosphere anymore than other fuels etc" - you feel like a salesperson and a broken record. Some of the visitors were form Quebec and they heat their house & water with electricity for 2k for the entire year !

I've recovered my fire from near death a couple of times but usually when I've been away or let it burn down too low. At this stage I think I may get away with 4 tons - if March is a little milder then I should be all set but even an extra ton won't be bad.

one sound I have come to love is the roar of the fire when you crank it up and the noise of the air being sucked through the ashpan vent - it's like no other !

I have my stove thermometer on the top to the left of the hopper and run it usually 200 to 250 and typically not over 300. 99% of the time I have the restrictor on top fully closed - I seem to get enough draft without opening it apart from fill up time.

That's all I got for the moment

hoo ha

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:51 pm

Hi all,

I think I’m beginning to have an issue with my ash pan door. Lately I’ve been noticing that it binds a little when I open and close the handle. Upon closer examination, I notice that the door paint behind the washers on the handle has been wiped away and the metal is scratched. My first reaction is … well I should lubricate that area to prevent the binding and abrasion to the metal parts … then it occurred to me … what do I lubricate it with???

Anyway, are any of you having a similar issue? What if anything have you done about it?

Hey Van, good to hear from you, how have you made out with the humidifier? Has it worked as good for you as it did for me? I can’t believe that you can hear the air rushing into the vents on the ash pan. I’ve only had that happen to me when I close to the unit on a very cold evening when I had the unit cranking.

Boy getting back to work after the long holiday has been a little more difficult that I expected. I think I’m still in 1st gear.

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:48 pm

CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: bear creek burnout On: Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:30 pm

Tom....I've had the same issue with the ash pan door for a few weeks....just thought it was supposed to be that tight but I will try graphite...thanks for the tip Cape...
good to hear from all of you...
bear creek burnout
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:44 pm

Cape – thanks for the tip, I’ll have the graphite on the unit by this evening.

Bear, good to hear from you.

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: Fire375 On: Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:16 pm

The slide should be somewhat tight. If you find that it is too tight, you can loosen the nut behind the spring handle. You want to be careful though, not to loosen it to much or it will allow air in even though the slide might be all the way closed. This would cause you to not be able to throttle the stove down because there would always be air leakage. Hope that makes sense.
Fire375
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer Stoker
Stove/Furnace Model: 710

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:04 pm

Fire375 wrote:The slide should be somewhat tight. If you find that it is too tight, you can loosen the nut behind the spring handle. You want to be careful though, not to loosen it to much or it will allow air in even though the slide might be all the way closed. This would cause you to not be able to throttle the stove down because there would always be air leakage. Hope that makes sense.


I think they are talking about the handle on the right side of the ash pan door that keeps the door shut tight, not the sliding damper plate. I also noticed that mine (the handle, not the damper) can be hard to close all the way to the stop at times. A little graphite, as CapeCoaler suggested, would probably be just the thing to fix that. After all, coal is carbon and graphite is carbon, right?

From Wikipedia:

Amorphous graphite occurs as fine particles and is the result of thermal metamorphism of coal, the last stage of coalification, and is sometimes called meta-anthracite. Very fine flake graphite is sometimes called amorphous in the trade....
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

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