#1 What kind of coal are you using? Redding anthracite pea although the look of the coal and burn changes when I get more later in the season from his newly refilled bins. It's definitely different coal but suits the season plus it's cheaper. I don't care what corporate name it is, just so the quality is there and it's close to home.
#2 How tall is your stack? 7' double wall SS plus 14' metal insulated. All 6" round for a total pipe length of 21'
#3 How hot does your stove burn with the thermostat wide open? I'd be afraid to let it go that far, seriously. I'd bet it would clear 900. See #6
#4 How hot does your stove burn with the thermostat wide open , and the damper closed? See #3 as I'd say the same.
#5 Do you ever run the stove with the air control (left side of the stove) open? No. The little "fry pan" - it's a vestige from the wood burning days and I burn anthracite. Might be worth trying on a really hot burn if there's a lot of volatiles in your fuel (bit?). It allows fresh air/O2 into the secondary burn chamber to allow adequately heated gasses to auto ignite for a more complete burn. For me, it just cuts off the draft thru the coal bed.
#6 Is your restriction plate removed? Yes
#7How often do you shake? Only as often as I must. I'll use the knife to loosen the edges of the fire before to keep the bed as large as possible. I also have a 1/4 SS rod on a file handle that I use to poke along th grates accessing the fire with the double doors open. That's how I chase any clinkers thru the grate and clear the grill of ash. -And only when the fire is lively,
#8 Do you have any dampers aside from the one built into the stove? No
#9 On average where do you set the thermostat lever? To either side of middle for 80% of the burning season.
#10 How often do you empty your ash pan? Once to twice a day. When it's very cold out, maybe three.
#11 Do you generally run your stove with the damper open or closed? Closed except for reduced firebox size burns in early fall/late spring. See about4018.html
#12 What do you do during the season to maintain your stove? Occasionally wipe glass clean of fly ash with vinegar. When a warm spell hits mid January, I'll let the fire go out and vac the fly ash out from behind the three plates.
#13 What do you do post season to maintain your stove? See #12. Brush all pipes out. Wrap my pole with old towels to form loose fitting swab and swab all pipes. Take the same swab and dampen with baking soda water and swab. Vac out the smoke shelf and behind as far as the close crevice tool can reach and same w/ash pan compartment.
#14 What are the cons to owning this stove? Could be a bit larger. Front grill can warp after time and many hot fires. Porcelain multi use handle chipped the first time I dropped it which was the first time I lite it! I'd like to have a stoker in the basement hooked to the duct work in addition to the Vigilant.
#15 What are the pros to owning this stove? Top loader. Cast iron. Hand fed and keeps the e-bill down. Can burn bit and wood although it's not sold for wood. Can open doors and use as a fireplace for effect or shaking off a little chill. Yes, you can buy the screen for the front. The Federal appearance fits nicely with our room furniture. Wife loves it and she dislikes the welded/bent steel flat look especially with bolted on brass. "Too industrial!" It's just her preference I guess (and I don't argue
#16 What temperature does your stove idle at, and do you idle with the damper open or closed? 600-700 or more with damper closed. I don't usually run with it open and if I do, the firebox volume is reduced and then temp is ~ 250