Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:32 pm

The Temp down here in central CT was cool last evening but not enough to warrant lighting the 503. Temp only got down to the upper 40’s and the house never got below 68 deg. I still have some time before the heating season begins.


Yeah. We just happen to be in a cool zone at the moment--cold air is being pulled down from Canada and keeping us cooler than many parts of the country. Plus we're at 2,200 feet, so it gets a little colder up here than in the valleys. We're expected to get back into the low 60s for highs by next Wednesday, although the nights will still be in the low-to-mid 30s. Hmmmm....

I was initially planning on letting the fire die out around Monday or Tuesday of next week. Still, with nighttime temps in the 30s, I might consider throttling it down during the day and cranking it back up at night. I wasn't looking forward to another cleanout drill next week. Not really a big pain, but messy and fairly time consuming (considering I'm just removing the partially-burned coal and vacuuming). I want to make sure things are totally cold before I do that, so it takes a while to go from cranking fire to dead cold. I can certainly see why folks start them and let them burn all season long.

Devil505 has been experimenting with loading his Harman TLC2000 1/3 full. That way he can let it burn down/out if he wants more easily than if he packs it full. If I do decide to let the 503 go out, I might do what I did for the first burn (not fill the hopper) and also not fill the firebox as full (i.e., not to the top of the firebrick under the door). That way, it's easier/quicker to let it go out and less to clean out. And if it gets cold for good, I can always just top it off by hand and load up the hopper. The down side to that method is the coal bed is not as deep and becomes more tempermental, requiring more attention/care. These things were designed to have a nice, deep bed of coal and are happiest when they have that.

Decisions, decisions....
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:24 pm

Hi Rick,

With a user name like Blackrock, you must live near Bridgeport.

I got my stove in Naugatuck, name of the shop is the Prospect Country Store. Here’s the link: their located just off Rt 8 on Rt 68. The shop really didn’t do much for me; I had all my research done and knew exactly what I wanted to buy. Actually they wanted to know why I was so interested in coal as most of their customers buy pellet or wood stove.

As far as coal supply is concerned, I also did a lot of looking, very hard to find a reliable source. I bought 3 tons of nut coal from Beacon Pellet and Coal. They are located in Beacon Falls, also just off Rt. 8. The phone number is 203 723 4388. Speak with Jeff. He’s not the lease expensive but his advice, and service was outstanding. My coal cost me $295 / ton. You can do better at Burn time, their price was $275/ton however they never answered their phone and never responded to e-mails …. Good price lousy service.

Are you planning to install the insert yourself or have it installed by the shop?

Tom
Last edited by Richard S. on Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: <removed dead link>
tfaath
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: Blackrocks On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:28 pm

tfaath wrote:With a user name like Blackrock, you must live near Bridgeport.

I can understand your confusion on the name but I actually live on the shoreline in Clinton
I haven't tried your coal dealer but i will give them a call tomorrow. I have been mainly talking to Rich from Rich's Stoves
in meriden.A friend of mine bought 4 tons nut from him but he ran out before I got up to see him now he keeps telling me he'll have more next week but when I call he says no not till the next week Yesterday he said next tuesday----I'm getting frustrated.I have tried Agway in North Branford also and they tell me thiers hasent even been ordered yet.Clinton Grain has always carried Blaschack but they are going out of business ( Clinton Grain ) Bob put me on a list and said he would call if he ended up getting coal this year but that does'nt look promising. I'm starting to worry that i'll finally get this great insert and have nothing to burn. Hopefully I'll have better luck with your guy.Thanks for the information Tom


Rick
Almost forgot yes I'm installing it myself or rather supervising my three boys doing the job with the stove ( I have some hierniated disks so heavy work is out ) But i'll be installing the SS chimney liner myself :)
Blackrocks
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 insert
Coal Size/Type: Nut --- bagged

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Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:54 am

Hi Rick,

The Coal supplier has only been in business 1 year … he has some nice equipment, and a rail siding to get product delivered. It took me some time to get my coal also. I ordered it in August before as Greg mentioned the season started, I guess I was pushing the envelop a little. The reason was that the coal breaker Centralia, (I’m sure I’m spelling this incorrectly) had plenty of supply but the coal bagger was running behind. Greg ( I think I gave you the wrong name in my previous post), put me on the list and when the delivery came in, called and delivered to my schedule. I’ll send you some pics later.

I understand your frustration; to have the stove and nothing to burn would be a shame. If you get the stove installed, and still have a problem, let me know, perhaps I can lend you a couple of bags.

I’m sure you’ll find the fuel for your stove, there’s something like a 500 year supply in PA. How many tons are you looking to buy?

Tom

PS… Installing it yourself can be a challenge, getting the pipe around the fireplace flue and connected to the stove … is an issue. Make sure you get the stove pipe that is oval at the bottom so that you can get it past the fireplace damper.
tfaath
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: chadpilkington On: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:09 pm

Cord on the left side of the stove.

I just installed this stove and had the situation where the plug is on the right side of the stove and it ships with the plug on the left side.

The 2 circulator fans are interchangeable. I simply pulled the plug, unscrewed the fans, disconnected the wires running through the tube from one fan to the other and unscrewed the thermostat for automatic fan control. I put the left side fan on the right side along with the thermostat. There are pre-drilled holes for the thermostat to mount on the right side just like it was on the left side so I screwed it back in. I fished the wires from the left side to the right side through the pipe in the stove. Sam place they were running before just going the opposite direction. I then twisted the wires back together and and put the marrets back on screwed the fans back in. It took 10 minutes and required 2 screw drivers to complete.


Bad news. After looking at it again the fans now point in the wrong direction so the air has to move around far to many corners. I am not getting the air movement that I should. Hizter apparently has the panels for switching the power and cord to the other side. I will have to order them.
Last edited by chadpilkington on Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
chadpilkington
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:47 pm

I put the left side fan on the right side along with the thermostat.


Kudos to both Hitzer's attention to detail for thinking of this in the design and to your taking advantage of it!
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:13 pm

Well, I thought I’d bring everyone up to speed on the 2nd firing of my 503 …


First of all I must say that as someone who is new to coal burning and has no experience, I am absolutely amazed (so far) at the amount of heat I get out of this unit.

For the last couple of evening here in central CT, the temps have been in the low 30’s. I fired up the unit last Monday morning. I used Match Light, coating the bottom of the grate with a layer of Match Light one layer thick. I added hard coal on top making sure I covered the Match Light with a 1.5 ~ 2 in layer. Found the corner of a briquette to light and within 15 min had a nice fire going. From that point on I just added coal through the hopper opening until the unit was filled to capacity. I closed the flue damper completely but opened the air vents on the ash door to max. Within a relative short period of time, I had blue flames dancing on top of the coal and the fans kicked on. I was off and running.

The house was at 68 deg and it took a couple … and only a couple of hrs for it to come up to 70 deg. I have to learn to anticipate the temp change, after I reduced the air in let to just 25%, the house continued to heat up and eventually got up to 72 deg (I’m finding that coal does not work like a thermostat).

What a pleasure it is to wake up in the morning with the outside temp at 34 deg and the inside temp of 70 deg (the oil burner never came on). How nice it is ….

During the warmer days, I have the air inlet closed completely with the fans shut off … and had a hard time keeping the temp below 72 deg .. much too warm for me, I like it between 68 - 70 deg.

Coal consumption … I’m not sure yet, I loaded close to 70 lbs in for the initial burn but after 24 hrs added only 20 ~ 25 lbs. I'm sure once it get good and cool outside this will increase.

If this thing continues to run as well as it did this week, I think I’m in for a very warm and inexpensive winter. So far the experience has been a good one. Thanks again to everyone who posted ideas and helpful tips on this site.

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:54 am

Thanks for the info, Tom. I'm getting similar results for my extended burn, which is hopefully going to end today or tomorrow. I've gone eight nights in row on about 4.5 bags of coal, so I've been averaging about 20 lbs. a day, give or take. Unless extended colder weather drastically changes the way the stove consumes coal, I should be on track for averaging a bag a day (or less) over the season. Perhaps I'll get away with 3/4 to 1 bag a day overall. We'll see.

One thing I did learn was that if you're going to re-burn partially-burned coal saved from a previous burn, you should sift out the leftover ash first and mix it maybe 25-75 old coal to fresh coal. I had saved about 2/3 of a bag of partially-burned coal from my first burn, but I never sifted out the ash. During my current extended burn I mixed the old stuff 50-50 with fresh coal (Is that an oxymoron? Can something that's been under the ground as long as anthracite be called "fresh?") and dumped it in the hopper.

It took about two nights for it to drop down the hopper to the burn layer. Unfortunately for me, that was our first really cold night (31*), and I was at work overnight. My wife was complaining that it was cool in the house, so with me directing her over the phone, we tried different settings with the restrictor (flue damper) and ash pan dampers. Nothing was bringing the stove temps up. We had the restrictor and ash pan dampers wide open for hours with no change. Normally, with the restrictor fully in and ash pan dampers at 1/4 open, operating temps for me would be in the 130-150* range on the side-mounted magnetic thermometer. Living room (where the stove is) temps of 74-76* and back bedroom (farthest from the stove) temps of 69-70* are normal at those settings. That just wasn't happening. The stove would get to 110*, the blowers would kick on, the stove would fall to 90*, and the blowers would turn off. Repeat, repeat. Living room temps were about 69-70*, and back bedroom temps were about 66-67*.

Finally my wife suggested that perhaps it was the old coal that was causing the problem. I think she was right. I played with it some more the next day, and things finally got better, but I think now that it was not because of my playing but more because the old coal finally worked its way through the burn layer and I was burning all fresh coal at that point. I believe that all the ash was choking the fire (not letting enough air up from below), and that the partially-burned coal had less volatiles left to produce heat. That's my theory, anyway.

So I started my extended burn last Wednesday evening (10/1), and right now (Thursday morning 10/9) the coal bed is maybe 1/2" to 1" below the top of the firebricks under the door. I'm guessing it will go out today or tonight. Then it's cool down and cleanout time. We're expected to have warmer weather here (at least during the days) until around 10/21 or 10/22, so I'll probably just let the oil burner take the chill off at night until then. But after that, I'll probably fire the 503 up for the rest of the season.
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: wfd.lt On: Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:16 am

Wow, all familiar stuff on the installation. I'd almost say that was my buddy and me on the roof... I don't get coal until 10/30 so I can't get into burning until then. One thing I had to do was get a heat shield made, I only had 23" of clearance above to the mantle, the plate on the stove calls for 25". So went went to a local shop and got a nice light piece of aluminum and mounted it with a few screws about an inch below the mantle. They put a nice bend at the end for me, made it look really nice. When I get home tonight, I'll try and post a picture.
wfd.lt
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:56 pm

tfaath wrote: I closed the flue damper completely but opened the air vents on the ash door to max.


Tom - great summary thanks for posting. Likewise JafaDog - all these dry runs will make it very easy for the rest of us. Am getting 4 tons delivered next Friday so I hope to try a dry run also.

Question on the door vent - did you leave that closed fully or slighlty open i.e. the one that keeps the glass clean ?

many thanks

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:32 pm

VanBuren wrote:Question on the door vent - did you leave that closed fully or slighlty open i.e. the one that keeps the glass clean ?


I've been leaving it fully open. It does a good job of keeping ash, etc. off of the inside of the glass unless the coal bed gets way, way down and there's lots and lots of ash near the top (like mine is at the moment because I'm letting it burn out). As long as the hopper had coal in it, I found that the glass stayed pretty clean. I couldn't tell if there was much of a difference in the draft when the air wash damper was open or closed. When it's open, I can hear the air whooshing into the air wash damper, but I don't know if it's adversely affecting the main draft much, if at all. As far as I can tell, it doesn't seem to....
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:04 pm

Hi Vanburen,

Regarding your question about the door vent, I left my 100% open. I still have not had the opportunity to push my 503 very hard. The heat produced from my unit is sufficient so that I’ve had to throttle it down. I have noticed that the glass fogs over quite a bit. Again, I’m not running it hard .. perhaps once the real cool weather arrives and I can let the thing run I’ll have better performance out of the window air vent.

How did you make out with your 4 tons of coal? Did you have it delivered in bags?

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:59 am

thanks guys for clarification on the door vent - much appreciated.

in answer to the coal delivery - I finally got the dealer 30 miles away to deliver on Friday next. It was like extracting teeth. Am getting 4 tons of Blaschak bagged Nut - $295 per ton and delivery will be $150. Usually it's 80 bucks delivery but I am outside the 'zone' so a surcharge applies. Assuming everything goes according to plan I hope to be all set for the winter and ready for burn # 1 soon after ! I am looking forward to similar results to you guys.
VanBuren
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:17 pm

Well, with the forecast calling for daytime temps in the low 50s and night time temps in the mid-20s to mid-30s for at least the next two weeks, I decided to settle in for the Long Burn. I loaded up the 503 this afternoon (around 3:30 PM). I did four actual loadings this time. First was Match Light pyramids in the middle of the grates surrounded by coal up to the top of the pyramids. Once that caught, I went up to the firebrick near the door. The third layer went up father, almost to the hopper, and the fourth loading was filling the hopper. I left the ash pan door open the whole time and left the restrictor fully open.

I thought that by leaving the ash pan door open the whole time and leaving the restrictor fully open it would crank faster this time around, but no. It still took a good three hours for the magnetic thermometer on the side of the stove to get up to 150*. After I loaded the hopper I closed the ash pan door and left the damper slots open fully and the restrictor still wide open. The fire was going good, of course, but the stove was not pumping out any real heat until about 6:30 PM. Of course now (9:00 PM), it's cranking at 205* with the ash pan damper at 1/4 open and the restrictor fully in. Living room is about 80*, and bedrooms are 70-72*. I guess I need to get used to the fact that coal doesn't respond all that fast (but respond it does!). I'm going to have to learn to tell the future a little better, or at least be able to anticipate what stove temps I'm going to need on a day-to-day basis and change my settings accordingly well in advance. But there is plenty of Winter ahead to fiddle with things.

So unless we have some kind of heat wave, I plan to burn through the season at this point. We'll see how things go!
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:13 pm

Hi Jeff,

Sounds good to me. I was thinking the same thing, but I’m going away for the weekend .. if the temps do drop this weekend I my be lighting my up on Sunday. The Temps here in central CT are forecast to drop into the 30’s over night but into the 60’s during the day.

Last week I loaded my 503 up right to the top of the hopper. Problem was that I was a little to anxious to see how it would do. After 3 days with the unit throttled back, I decided to let the fire go out … took me 3 more days before it did. Had all the air shut off but the thing just wouldn’t die. I lit it on Monday and with a full load and very little attention it burnt thru Saturday. When I cleaned out the fire box, I must have taken 20 – 25 lbs of coal left.

I haven’t really pushed this thing at all. My coal consumption has been surprisingly low to this point. Yet the temp in the house has been comfortable.

Keep us posted on your progress. I’d like to hear how you do.

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

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