beginner has many questions regarding setup of old stove

beginner has many questions regarding setup of old stove

PostBy: frostybob123 On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:29 am

At the risk of becoming the posterboy for improper coal stove operation I have these question to ask...I have an old laundry style / pot belly stove. I am trying to get long slow steady heat out of it. I also have a lot, about 18 ft of secured galvanized pipe with 4 - 90 degree bends in it going up thru my ceiling into the 2nd floor and out an unlined chimney. Does this distance and these bends screw up the drafts. Is it safe to use an unlined chimney? Would a shorter galvn. pipe route with less bends be advisable, I think I know the answer... The other night I got the stove going really good and I filled it up as I read one should. This stove is unlined - no firebrick. Maybe I got it going too good, a few hours after filling the stove up it was throwing heat out nicely. But when I turned out the lights the stove was glowing red around the bottom collar just over the grate area ,the interior coal color was bright yellowVery nice and warm but a bit scary, could this be considered normal for old stoves or am I in for a meltdown. Should I not fill it up, but just keep adding as necessary?. I have a manual damper on it. Should I put in a barometric damper on this type of stove? The stove has a pit door with a 3 opening slider. This pit door does not completely press up flat to the stove body, its not warped but just an old imprecise casting, so some air gets in when everthing is closed.Not the best I'm sure. Could this cause serious over firing? Would getting casket material on the pit door be advisable. How can this stove be properly banked? How and how often should a batch stove like this be filled? This seems to be getting a bit risky perhaps BUT people must have lived with these kind of stoves in the past, how did they do it? Should I just move to Florida? any comments or suggestions are welcome thanks
frostybob123
 
Stove/Furnace Make: sheffield stove mfg
Stove/Furnace Model: fatso pot belly

Re: beginner has many questions regarding setup of old stove

PostBy: coalkirk On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:10 pm

Frostybob,

I have a concern you might become the poster boy for "I burned my house down." Single wall pipe should only be used to connect a stove to a chimney. It should never pass through a wall or ceiling. Also, galvanized pipe gives off a poisonous vapor when it gets really hot. Better to use black smoke pipe. Next, the unlined brick chimney MAY or MAY NOT be ok. A chimney old enough to be unlined likely has deteriorating mortar also which makes voids and pasagges for smoke, flue gas or fire to escape and cause lots of bad things to happen. Better to have it inspected or just install a flexible stainless steel liner than have a fire. Finally, trying to get long slow burns with an old pot belly stove is probably not practical. They generally don't seal very well, causing uncontrolled air to get to the fire and turn the stove cherry red. (Looks neat though with the light off) Sorry to be such a wet blanket but I would hate to see any of our forum friends have a tragedy.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: beginner has many questions regarding setup of old stove

PostBy: frostybob123 On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:50 pm

thanks very much for the response will take you information to heart.
frostybob123
 
Stove/Furnace Make: sheffield stove mfg
Stove/Furnace Model: fatso pot belly

Visit Hitzer Stoves

Re: beginner has many questions regarding setup of old stove

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:53 pm

Hello Frosty, I agree 100% with coalkirks comments.. safety first..

ON a slightly more positive note, if the long chimney flue with the 4 90* ells is well away from combustible surfaces,, that is at least 12-18" away, you may be OK,, but i'd want a heat shield for any areas where it is less than 18"..

These old stoves often ran red,, it is a problem because it means the iron is nearing a point where it is getting soft... so I certainly wouldn't want to turn my back on a red-hot stove and go off to bed... BUT if you can shut off the air to the fire, [the sliding air vents] and cool the fire down to the point that the stove body is not red, then you may be able to burn it safely.. the only way is to try it.

You need to load it full, that's the way anthracite coal burns best,, and control the heat with the air control.. but since your air control sounds a bit ... uncontrolable... you need to try to modify it... can you grind any bumps or imperfections in the door castings so that it will fit tighter?? Usually there is too much of a gap for proper sealing, but not enough to add a gasket.. but you may find a very thin gasket that will help.. Also check all the gaps between the sections of the stove,, and seal these with furnace cement [high-temperature putty-like stuff]. You want ideally to be able to shut off the air to the stove and cause the fire to just about die from lack of combustion air..

Don't worry about a baro damper untill you find out if you can control the air and safely use the flue pipes and chimney,, THEN if you notice that you have too much draft and uncontrollable heat when it is cold and windy,, you may consider a baro.. .

Hope this helps.. Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: beginner has many questions regarding setup of old stove

PostBy: frostybob123 On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:21 pm

thanks for your response, I am using the stove right now, the pipes are well away from wood, I cut way back on air and will take you advice on filling the joint around the belly of the beast although I dont see any fire light leaks and also try to get the ash door to fit better by grinding as you suggest. Right now I am using a sheet of alum foil as a gasket folded over and placed between the ash door /air control and the stove body.Same for the loading door.... I slid the slider open and punched small holes in the foil seems to be working like a charm... temporary for sure. Thanks for you positive spin on my dilema and the good advice I think I will put in the baro soon cause I live on a real high windy spot.any advice for setting that from anyone would be helpful....right now the stove is almost full damped down with almost no air and showing nice blue flame how would I bank this kind of stove to keep it going over night or have I already done that by cutting the air way back,,,,there must be more to it than that right? thanks, what a great site..........frosty
frostybob123
 
Stove/Furnace Make: sheffield stove mfg
Stove/Furnace Model: fatso pot belly

Re: beginner has many questions regarding setup of old stove

PostBy: LsFarm On: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:42 pm

You have already banked it down as much as you can,, just load fresh coal on top, and keep the air to a minimum, that will prolong the fire as long as you can..

You do have CO and smoke detectors I hope??

A type M barometric damper from field controls is what you want.. do a search on this site, or a google search for their site. there are several threads about the baro dampers.. they will limit your draft to a maximum amount. This will protect your fire and stove from a major weather change after you have gone to bed or left for work, a high wind and resulting high draft will not cause your stove to overfire if the draft is limited. If it is unlimited, you could have a meltdown..

Hope this helps..

Greg L
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Visit Hitzer Stoves

cron