Harman SF-250 draft problems w/Bitum. coal

Harman SF-250 draft problems w/Bitum. coal

PostBy: helpmeharman On: Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:32 pm

Can anyone offer any advice? PLEASE! My husband and I just added on to our home and installed a Magnafire SF250 which by the way has the potential to be an awesome stove! We are having a draft problem though, our chimney is the 16' (18' actually) and no matter what we try we cannot get it to draft properly.... This has been so frustrating, the only advise that we can seem to get is to purchase a chimney fan ($1000 added to the pretty penny that we paid for the stove) and I worry that there has to be something else that we should do instead. Today there is a very high wind and we can't even get wood to "roar" properly! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
helpmeharman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman magnafire
Stove/Furnace Model: SF-250

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: Ashcat On: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:16 pm

no matter what we try we cannot get it to draft properly


What happened with the wood? Did you try coal, or stop when you couldn't get wood going to your satisfaction? I'm a newbie myself and not familiar with your stove, but the specs indicate a blower. Was that on when you tried to fire it? Were all air intakes (including ashpan door) and damper(s) wide open when you started to fire it? Have you read this thread: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove
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Ashcat
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 983
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Blaschak

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: rockwood On: Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:36 pm

Tell us more about the chimney; size of it (diameter); masonry or metal; interior(running up through the house)or exterior(running up the outside of the house). Is the chimney taller than the entire house and are there any dampers?

I know it's a lot of questions but it will help us help you figure out what's going on.
rockwood
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Stokermatic coal furnace
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Rockwood Stoveworks Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: Malleable/Monarch Range
Coal Size/Type: Soft coal: Lump and stoker (slack coal)


Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: helpmeharman On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:52 am

Oh thank you for your interest! The chimney is masonry and it is on the outside of the house. Its not as tall as the entire roof (if it were it would be over 30' and too much of it would be standing alone for it to be stable) but we have an 8/12 pitch and it is well within the 2' taller than the 10' point rule (18'). Before we added on we had a coal/wood burning stove that we picked up used for $300 and NEVER had a draft problem! This such an awesome (in looks and theory) stove that I am kinda bummed that it hasn't worked well. We live in the boonies and our alternative heat is 2 propane furnaces that cost an arm and a leg to use! We have actually ran out of propane several times because we just don't burn as much as most people do and the distributor doesn't check on us that often! Back to the subject at hand, the flue tile is 8"x8" ID we do have an exterior cleanout door at the base of the chimney it is insulated if that makes a difference. No damper (I'm guessing you mean in the chimney itself) that I know of.
helpmeharman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman magnafire
Stove/Furnace Model: SF-250

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:04 am

You Chimney is probably 12"x6" right? Or is it 12" round or 12"x12" square? Regardless, Your Harmon should have a 6" pipe. The reason the wood stove drafted well was because it had a very high flue temperature. My theory is your 250 has much lower stack temp. than your wood stove did, therefore is cannot heat up your chimney enough to draft well. You may need to install a 6" liner.
cArNaGe
 

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: helpmeharman On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:08 am

Sorry I went out and measured a left over tile and it is 8x8, would that be small enough to work properly?
helpmeharman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman magnafire
Stove/Furnace Model: SF-250

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: cArNaGe On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:16 am

I would think that would be acceptable. Do you have a barometric damper installed? If so try placing some tin foil over it to help draft.
cArNaGe
 

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: helpmeharman On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:16 am

I also checked the installation instructions and the 8x8 is what harman recomends. The old stove that we had was 12x12 and we burned coal and wood in it very well. We have had this thing up and running for not even a month and we (who am I kidding, my husband!) has shut it down several times to try different things to get it working and has had to clean out the 6" black pipe going from the stove to the wall because it was nearly full of soot! I'm just afraid that there is something that we are missing here!
helpmeharman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman magnafire
Stove/Furnace Model: SF-250

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: helpmeharman On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:19 am

cArNaGe wrote:I would think that would be acceptable. Do you have a barometric damper installed? If so try placing some tin foil over it to help draft.

Nope, would one help? And what are the benefits of a "baro" (I've been reading up on the stove slang!) We're simple folk! haha
helpmeharman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman magnafire
Stove/Furnace Model: SF-250

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:18 am

You said you found the 6" black pipe full of soot.. What type of coal are you burning? is it Hard coal [anthracite] or Soft coal, [bituminous] ?? Anthracite coal does not leave heavy deposits of soot.. Wood will leave creosote. but coal will only leave some light dust called fly ash.

What specific issues are you having with the draft?? Is the fire not burning well at all? or does it burn only for a day or so?

Please describe your technique for starting the fire, where the air controls are set, etc..

We need some more information so we can help.

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: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: helpmeharman On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:58 am

we burn lump coal (anthracite) the fires are started with wood and then coal is added after it gets going. We can keep a fire going but every time that it needs to be tended huge clouds of black smoke escape the door. Also, a few times black smoke comes out of the glass when the door is closed the poor stove is gasping for air and we can't understand why. We have had coal stoves as long as I can remember and have never had an issue like this before. It acts like the entire chimney is plugged off and believe me we have checked every inlet and outlet, there is nothing blocking the chimney. The fly ash is left when the coal is burned at the proper temp. right? If the fire cannot draft and in turn burn hot enough is that what would be left behind?
helpmeharman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman magnafire
Stove/Furnace Model: SF-250

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: helpmeharman On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:02 am

This stove is supposed to put out 3000 btu, we can't hardly get it to burn hot enough to heat our home and even the few times that we have been able to get a good fire going we still have the draft problem and enormous black clouds of smoke covering my new walls! It has even set of the smoke detectors a few times!
helpmeharman
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman magnafire
Stove/Furnace Model: SF-250

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: JB Sparks On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:42 am

Hi Folks,

Sorry your having trouble with your stove. I have a Harman SF160, so i went to Harman site to see what, if any, differance there is between your stove and mine. i found there isn't enough to make any differance, your stove should heat 3000 sqft. with no problems. So that leads me to wondering about your flue pipe hook-up, do you have any horizontal runs? if so How long and are they maybe sloped the wrong way? Also i'm wondering about your coal that your using. I've only heard the term "lump coal" used with bit coal. are you sure it is anthracite? Your stove is designed to run on pea,nut, and stove sized anthracite coal.
An outside chimney is going to be hard to get a draft going as it is colder and harder to get warmed up to start a draft. If all else fails you might think about insulating the chimney around the outside of it.

The experts on this forum will stay with until you find your problem so hang in there. we will get to the bottom of your problem.

JB
JB Sparks
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman - Chubby
Stove/Furnace Model: Harman: SF160 - Chubby Sr.

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: jimbo On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:10 am

I was not able to get a good fire going until I added a draft inducer. I think it cost me around $150 with shipping. I got it from Volko draft inducers here is the link if you are interested.
http://www.draftinducers.com/ad1.htm
jimbo
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Fire Chief 700
Coal Size/Type: Stove or nut
Stove/Furnace Make: fire chief
Stove/Furnace Model: fc700

Re: Harman SF-250 draft problems

PostBy: Devil505 On: Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:11 am

helpmeharman wrote:we burn lump coal (anthracite) the fires are started with wood and then coal is added after it gets going. We can keep a fire going but every time that it needs to be tended huge clouds of black smoke escape the door.


Where is the coal you are using from? (store or dealer?) Does it have a name on the bags or if bulk, can you find out what coal it is? (I've been burning anthracite coal for almost 30 years & never have black smoke coming from it????)
Is there any smoke coming from your chimney when you are burning coal? (Either way a good draft should stop your problem)
Are you letting the fire heat up before you open any door to tend the stove?
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000