FYI - Dean @ hitzer advised me last month that the restrictor should be fully closed pretty much all the time - he has a unit in his house and says he never changes it.
Good to know! I thought perhaps as much. I ran mine with it wide open during startup for max draft and then closed it to about 1/3 open (probably about 1/2 of the flue open). Right now it's all the way in (which is probably about 1/3 of the flue open). It's hard to judge how much you're opening the flue up since it's all the way open when pulled all the way out but probably only 1/3 open when pushed in all the way. Some markings on the rod would have been nice. I might actually use a ruler and a pencil to divide the rod up into quarters between fully out and fully in and figure out exactly how much flue each mark corresponds to. Then again, if Dean says run it closed most of the time, why bother?
Excellent info gents on how to get the best out of the 503 - Hitzer would do well to collate all the info on this thread and related ones for inclusion in their sparse user manual. Then again there would be no fun in figuring it out via the generous contributions on this forum.
Yeah, the Hitzer manual isn't the greatest. There are typos (minor), and it doesn't cover certain things. And the diagrams (sketches? drawings?) are serviceable but certainly not the prettiest things. I've seen worse, though. A friend of mine just bought a Leisure Line Pioneer (are you reading this, Jerry?) and no where
in the manual does it say what size coal to burn--at least not that I was able to find. My friend was convinced that the installer had told him it burns pea. He was actually planning on buying three tons of pea this week! I had to literally show him on the Leisure Line forum on this site that it's supposed to burn rice. Now we all know that most stokers burn rice, but the manual doesn't actually state that. But almost every page has dire warnings about carbon monoxide dangers, etc. Granted, that's important. But knowing what size coal it's supposed to burn is important too, especially for newbies.
84 degrees inside JafaDog ! now that's some serious warmth !
Too much warmth! It's 46* outside right now, and it's a toasty 78* in the living room where the stove is and still 70-72* in the bedrooms on the far end of the house (farthest from the stove). It's just idling at this point. The blowers have been off since 5:30 this morning, the restrictor is all the way in, and the ash pan damper is about 1/8 open. If this continues, it'll probably last 4-5 days on the two bags of coal I used to fire/load it up. Well, maybe not that long. But I doubt I'll use much of a third bag. The hard part will be knowing when to stop loading so that it won't burn into the warmer weather forecasted for next week. Last time I didn't use the hopper, and it took over 24 hours for it to stop burning.
I also have maybe 1/4 of a bag of partially burned coal from my last burn that I wanted to try and mix in this time around. I was planning on mixing it in 50/50 with fresh coal. I might not get the chance, though. I think it will get warmer outside before I can use it. What will probably end up happening is that I'll have another batch of partially burned coal sitting around. Oh well. I'm sure I'll have an opportunity to use it soon enough.