Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:11 pm

'Bout time there, Van! Glad to see you fired it up. Keep in mind that mine has been burning steady for well over a week now, and outside temps weren't as low when I started burning as they are now. Remember, you're heating up everything in your house (i.e., structural materials and objects) as well as the air. It takes some time for room temps to rise (and fall). I'm still coming down from my 82* living room this morning. It's been six hours with the 503 idling (restrictor fully in/ash pan damper at 1/8 open), and the living room is still a balmy 79*. Give it time. It'll get warm in the house. I've also officially renamed my house to "Ceiling Fan Central." We have ceiling fans in the three bedrooms that we sleep in, the living room where the stove is, and two 24-inchers in the hallway. Add to that a large pedistal fan and two smaller fans blowing warm air from the living room towards the colder end of the house, and there's enough air blowing around this place to qualify it as a wind tunnel! :D

I seem to be averaging 30 lbs. of coal a day overall. We'll see how that average holds up when it gets super-cold. I just called my Coal Guy to reserve another skid (just in case). The price went up since I bought in August. It was $337 a skid (1.2 tons) then; it went up $13 to $350 a skid now. I'll probably pick it up myself this time, although he said he might have a delivery near my house soon and might be able to drop off my skid for "a couple of dollars." I'm thinking more than a couple, but if it's less than I'd spend in gas picking it up myself, I'm all for it. And even if I don't use it all, it's that much less I have to buy next year (and will have bought it at a lower price to boot).

Good luck, Van. Keep us posted on your progress!
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:20 pm

thanks everyone for comments - I know I was the slacker in the class !

two more photos as promised - these were taken this morning when the sun was rising and given this was my first burn it proves the point anyone can do it with this model.

Centa good to see you online pal - am checking ebay daily to see when you're going to sell that pellet stove and join team Anthracite ! Doesn't that word sound almost aristocratic when compared with the word "pellet" !

JD, hope that coal guy helps you out with an affordable delivery. 337 for 1.2 tons is a decent price - mine was 295 for 1 ton. That's a serious number of fans you have but as you say the air flow must be great ! nice job.

just about the 24 hr mark for me so will be loading up shortly !

"My name is Van, and I, ... am a Coal-Aholic"

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:30 pm

Hey Van,

Good to see you’re up to speed and in no way are you the slacker..

Just to bring everyone up to speed on and interesting experiment I did over the weekend. I had an opportunity to go away for the weekend and was faced with a problem.. what do I do with the fire??? Well I decided to load the unit up … right to the top, and throttle it back as much as I dare (approx 1/16 – 1/8 in open on the air inlet) I left the fans in automatic mode and the flue damper all the way in. I did this on Friday morning 7:00AM. I’ve been gone all weekend long returning today (Sunday) at 3:00 PM.

I’m very pleased to report that the fire is still up and running and healthy. The weather here (central CT) was relatively warm .. cool evenings and 60* – 70* during the day. Temp in the house when I returned was 70* I opened the ash pan door and shortly had the blue ladies dancing on top of the coal. I emptied 2 trays of ash before I was able to get some burning embers to fall through. To reload the unit to the top again required only approx 25 ~ 30 lbs of coal. It may have even made it an additional day … but that will have to wait for another test.

This week I’m going to keep an accurate record of exactly how much coal I use, I’ll keep you posted.

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

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Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: Centa On: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:57 am

That look really good. Almost to hot. :twisted:

So Van, give us the specs ….burned pounds pre day, room temp vs outside temp. You know the drill.
Centa
 

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: bear creek burnout On: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:56 am

Just to bring everyone up to speed on and interesting experiment

Tom....thanks for the update and experiment...it's great to know that you can load up....walk away....and return after a day or 2 to a recoverable fire in the stove.....and some heat in the house too. I once had a big old hand fired stove in the basement of my old home that I could bank with coal and get similar results. The difference now is the efficiency of the newer units seems to be so much better.
bear creek burnout
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:48 am

Tom

thanks for that update - an impressive run for sure !

got a little cooler was 40 degrees this morning (feels colder with the wind) and house remained at 69 (upstairs and ground )without the blower so there is definitely warmth being retained in the bones of the house now that I've been running it a few days as JafaDog was talking about.

Miss Muppet wanted to open the window in the bedrrom which is just crazy talk I agree but we can assume that I lost that battle !

It's an old house - insulation is ok in parts but definate areas for improvment. I can feel a little warmth upstairs on the wall where the chimney passes by.

Hard to say how much I am consuming but I skipped a fill up last night and suspect it will take 1 bag tonight. so far I am sticking to a 24 hr shake down but am so tempted to shake the coals in the mornings aswell. If anyone else is doing the twice daily grate shake with better results than 24 please advise.

hoo ha

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:01 pm

Hi Van,

Sounds like you well on the road to a warm house. I have to laugh, our TV is in the same room as the insert, so last evening, the wife and I are watching a show. The temp in the room is 73*, I’m in a T-shirt sweating, the wife, has a blanket pulled over her legs .. go figure?

With the warmer temps this week (so far) I’ve had my stove at a complete idle. I have the ash pan vent and the damper shut completely. The only air that is getting to the fire must be coming through the window air wash vents. Temp in the house remains at a comfortable (for me) 70*. I have left the blowers on automatic, they cycle on for a couple of min ever 15 ~ 20 min. They are forecasting cooler temps and a lot of wind later today. Consumption so far this week has been only 20 lbs … this thing is incredible!!

Like you, I’m now shaking it down and refilling only once a day. I try hard to keep my hands off the fire. I’m concerned that with it idling if I play too much, I’ll put it out.

Let’s stay in touch.

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:24 pm

Tom

73 and she had a blanket - that's funny stuff ! Can't win but it's still worth trying.

last night was a little different for me - I shook it down @ 8pm I did not rake the coals and I think for my unit/setup that may be important. I loaded it up but the unit didn't get that hot over night - I left it on intermittent fan and like yours it came on every 15 mins approx but this morning temperature in hall was only 66. This morning therefore I had no choice but to shake the grate again (i.e. within 12 hrs) and get it blazing - house (in hallway near the stove room) apparently is now at 70 so that's good. I can add another 2~ degrees for room where stove is. Miss Muppet doesn't like getting calls from me during the day to ask her what the temperature is in the house - seems it is not that interesting despite my apparent enthusiasm ! Need to get a wireless thermometer me thinks !

Reading back over various other posts it seems others have recommended raking the coals to make sure even distribution and lively fire before adding coal i.e. not just shaking the grate. I filled up the hopper to the very top also and in doing so I believe the unit cooled down quite a bit because the ahspan was not hot to the touch and it has been in the past. For the moment I am leaving the main damper closed to see what control I can actually have with the ashpan vent. I think I'm going to drive myself nuts with the stove thermometer when it arrives. The draught seems good though.

for sure though, without heat from the last week, the house would now be in the 50's so not burning oil thus far is indeed a great thing !

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: topper On: Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:16 pm

A quick post from here in northern Maine. With able bodied family I installed my Hitzer 503 this past Saturday. Within a few hours it was putting out some nice heat. It finally cooled off a bit here today so I am beginning to get an idea on how warm it will be this winter. Three bedroom ranch - about 1600 sq ft - open floor layout except for the bedrooms at the further end of the house. Windy day today - current temp about 38. Temp in living room is 76 and adjoining drafty sunroom is 71. Back bedroom is 70 degrees Not pushing the stove at all. Burning about 25 lbs max per day as best I can tell early into this "experience". Based upon what I have for a draft (which is good) and the burn rate I have seen thus far I suspect I will burn about 40 lbs per day mid-winter. But that obviously remains to be seen...

The hopper feed is great. In comparison to wood (which I burned for 30+ years) very low management. I am shaking it down in the early in the am and again in the evening. At the moment I load it once a day in the am. Less ash than I had anticipated - that too easy to manage every other day. So, I am very happy with this stove and its ease of use.

Once I get into the midst of one of our cold winters up here I will post with my information re outside/indoor temps, burn rate and the such. Hitzer 503 & coal - SWEET!!
topper
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:34 pm

Hi Topper,

Welcome to the 503 family, and congrats on your installation. Sounds like you’re already off to a good start. I think the best part about burning coal is not hearing the burner come on at all.

Please keep us posted on your progress and experience. Being from up north, you’ll be pushing your 503 sooner then the rest of us.

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:13 am

Way to go, Topper! Glad to hear you're chugging along. We had 12+ inches of snow here I live thanks to that nice October storm. It got down to about 25* the last two nights, and I had the 503 ca-rankin'. It took a few hours, but it got up to 80 in the living room and 68 in the back bedroom. I had the restrictor at about 1/2 and the damper at about 3/4. The photo says it all--glowing coal all the way up to the hopper.

During the storm we lost power for about four hours. Not having the blowers made a difference, of course, but the living room never got below 72*. My brother-in-law lost power for over eight hours, and his new Alaska stoker was, needless to say, useless. Long live gravity-feed!
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:35 am

Hey Jeff,

Nice update, I’m sure that the loss of power would make a difference but how nice to know that you can still keep a portion of the house warm. We had the same storm down here in CT. We didn’t get the snow or the temps in the 20’s but we did get the wind and the temp did hover around 30*.

I had my 503 cranked up a little more then previously. Damper closed all the way but the ash pan air open approx 50%. Temp on the first floor hovered around 68 ~ 69, 2nd floor no temp reading, it was cooler but comfortable for sleeping. Coal consumption is up a little, so far this week I’ve used about 75 lbs (since Sunday evening).

I do think that when the real cold weather hits (Jan & Feb) I’m going to have a heat distribution problem and I am concerned that I may also have a heating capacity issue to deal with. I’m not sure the 503 will be able to keep up with the load on the house. I must say that I also think it’s still way to early to make a firm statement about capacity. My house is approx 2,100 – 2,300 sq ft.

How sweet it is to not here that confounded oil thing in the basement

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: VanBuren On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:04 am

Topper

welcome and thanks for posting look forward to your findings.

JafaD' - thanks for photo and update - nice fire - wow 80 degrees !! man that's hot - nice job and good to know you can still stay warm during a power outage.

Tom your experience is closer to mine I think - we too had low 30's here and house dropped to 67 over night in the hallway so 69 in the stove room I estimate. I am concerned though that the stove is not performing at max capacity. One thing I notice is the door for the ashpan is not hot but I recall last week when I started burning it was. Can you guys please comment on whether or not this is same for you i.e. ashpan door hot or not hot ?

last night I shook it down and raked the coals so it was even and glowing - I added coal and it was at 70 in the hallway when I went to bed so I am unsure why it would have cooled down if it was cranking. I had restrictor fully closed and the ash pan vent fully open. The draft seems good. I did leave the blower on intermittent setting with the logic if the stove is hot enough it will blow and if not it won't - am I better leaving it on constant blower ?

all told it is doing a good job of keeping the house far warmer than it would be with nothing but I think I'll have to burn some dreaded oil to supplement unless I can figure out why I am not getting the extreme heat others are describing. Once I get the thermometer I can report stove temperatures - we'll need to agree on a similar location to place it best comparisons.

many thanks for any suggestions !

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

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: JafaDog On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:54 pm

VanBuren wrote:I had restrictor fully closed and the ash pan vent fully open. The draft seems good. I did leave the blower on intermittent setting with the logic if the stove is hot enough it will blow and if not it won't - am I better leaving it on constant blower ?


Perhaps you should try adjusting the restrictor. I also thought I had a great draft (I no longer think I do), but without a manometer, it's hard to tell for sure. Remember that these stoves were originally designed and used without the restrictor. The flue was wide open. The first "fixed" restrictor was offered for people with excessive draft who were losing too much heat up the chimney. Good does not necessarily equate with excessive. It was good that Hitzer added the adjustable retrictor, since everyone's setup is different.

At least in my setup, I've found that unless I have the restrictor open at least 1/2 way, I can't get the stove to get really hot. Fully-open is even better for me. With the restrictor in more than 1/2-way, I can't get a good glowing bed of coals like in that photo, regardless of the ash pan damper setting. It's certainly possible (even probable) that I'm losing more heat up the chimney than if I had the restrictor in all the way. But if the stove never gets hot enough to heat the house where I want it, what's the point in keeping it closed? If I open it, the stove gets hot and the house warms up. If I close it, the stove and house cool down. I may be losing heat up the chimney, but I'm apparently generating enough with the restrictor open that it doesn't matter. The house is warm--that's my goal.

Another trick I've learned to get the fire going good is to open the restrictor all the way (if it isn't already) and open the ash pan door for a bit. I'm talking 5-15 minutes max here, depending on how lively the fire is when you start. The fire will inevitably liven up, blue ladies will appear, and if done correctly, the stove temps will eventually increase (that might take more time). If you decide to try this, make sure you don't leave the room, and set a timer (watch, etc.) for five minutes in case you get distracted. It's easy enough to over-fire the stove if you forget that the ash pan door is open.

As for the blowers, if the house is not as warm as you want it, I'd say leave them in the "always on" position. Otherwise you're only getting radiated heat (which, as my recent power outage showed, is good but not like having the blowers on). If the blowers are set to "auto" and are kicking on and off, it would stand to reason that the stove is not cranking (blowers are supposed to kick on at 110* and off at 90*). Therefore, you have two choices: 1. leave the stove alone and turn the blowers on "always on" to at least get more heat out of it (the stove temp will most likely always be warmer than the room temp); or 2. adjust the stove settings to make it burn hotter (where the fans will stay on even when set to "auto").

all told it is doing a good job of keeping the house far warmer than it would be with nothing but I think I'll have to burn some dreaded oil to supplement unless I can figure out why I am not getting the extreme heat others are describing.


Try the restrictor adjustment and/or ash pan door trick. See if they help. Remember that results are not immediate. And if it does work, and you're not used to seeing your stove like the photo I posted, it may scare you (or in my case the wife) at first. Just make sure the hopper lid has a good seal, and the burning layer shouldn't make it up into the hopper.

Also remember that if you're burning your stove harder, you'll have to shake more often (as well as load and empty the ash pan more often). And yes, you will use more coal. I've gone from using 10-20 lbs. a day to using 30-40 lbs. a day. That's the price of producing more heat....

Also look into your circulation. I have enough fans going in my house to lift it off the ground if I pointed them all up. And now I think I still might need a cold air return (floor register) in the back bedroom or bathroom to give the cold air there somewhere to go.

It's a lot of experimentation for all of us new coal burners. Unless the water pipes freeze and burst, it's all good! :D
JafaDog
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503 Insert

Re: Hitzer 503 Installation Photos

PostBy: tfaath On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:00 pm

Van, Jeff Hi,

Well Jeff I think you said it correctly when you said “It's a lot of experimentation for all of us new coal burners. Unless the water pipes freeze and burst, it's all good!” I had what I considered my first .. well disappointment with the 503. I thought I was pushing it hard but I just wasn’t getting the heat out of it that I expected. Here’s what I think was going on.

Over the weekend I had “banked” the fire because I had gone away. I closed the ash pan vents to a minimum .. less then 1/16th of and in. open. When I returned home on Sunday and opened the ash pan vents 100%, I notice that the fire was hot .. in the center of the fire box but not on the sides. I suspect that the coal had gone out around the edges. Even though I had the “blue ladies” dancing on the top of the coal, I don’t thing the coal was burning around the edges. One of the symptoms was that I had was that I had the fans in the automatic position and they were running intermittently. The temp in the house was not rising and I had to put the fans in the always on position. Even with this action, the heat output was disappointing.

Today, I’m back to what I think is normal, I have the vents open appox 25% the fans are on automatic and only shutting off intermittently. The house temp has recovered and the heat coming out of the fan ducts seems a lot hotter then the other day ..

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.

Van, let me know what you think.

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.

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

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