Entirely different ball park

Entirely different ball park

PostBy: thepamperedlady On: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:43 pm

Boy, did I learn a BIG lesson today. I'm burning coal with my Leisure Line stoker. Soooo easy to light; "magic bag" on grate, covering air holes, big scoop of rice coal on top, light her up, wait for blue flame, another big scoop of coal, DONE.

Now...Dad's stove is in. Hitzer, gravity fed, hand fired. Holy cow. Took us HOURS to light this freakin thing. We probably could have been done by about 6pm, starting around 5-5:30, but we were waiting for it to kind of work like my stove. NOT. We did not realize that when you fill that hopper, it fills the stove!!!! My stove has a small grate with lots of flame. His apparently will NEVER have flame once the hopper is filled. We didn't realize that when we got a nice layer of red hot lump coal, the stove was ready to be filled. Geeze. We kept waiting for the stove to be ready handle lots of coal and still have a flame. Oye.

Just left their house. Am exhausted. Will find out in the morning if the stove took, but I think we are all set. Right before I left, we could finally smell sulfur when we opened the hopper lid and could hear the coal crackling.

I will never give advice on starting a coal stove again unless it is my exact model stove because they are all apparently WAY different from one another!!!

Experiences, experiences.
thepamperedlady
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Yes
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:47 pm

It is not that hard to light a handfired stove...
If you know the tricks!
You have a coal mouse and fan...
I have lump charcoal and a propane torch!
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: thepamperedlady On: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:49 pm

I told my dad to use a propane torch but mom just about had a cow. If she wouldn't have been home, we would have done that, but she wouldn't go away :D

Can't really blame her; she's never used coal and didn't know what to expect. She didn't want her house burnt down.
thepamperedlady
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Yes
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:54 am

Propane won't light coal. It will light the charcoal he mentioned.

Sorry you had such a tough time. The learning curve can be steep, but once mastered for that stove, will seem easy.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: thepamperedlady On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:26 am

Hi Freddy

I went through almost a half a bag of lump charcoal. Can you believe it??? If I would have just hit it with the torch...

We also used about 2 fire starter bricks, 1/2 gallon freezer bag of rice coal (kept falling through the grate), and lots of small kindling. Unbelievable :o

If we only would have realized that the stove was ready to go about 4 hours prior, ha ha ha ha :?
thepamperedlady
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Yes
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: thepamperedlady On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 am

Dad came over this a.m. Stove stayed lit and is good to go :lol: :lol: :lol:

He slept in the finished basement to make sure it was okay. Mom woke him up this a.m. because she could feel the heat bounding up the stairs and she was concerned cause the coals were all glowing (she didn't know what to expect). Dad was very happy to see it.

While he was sleeping he had the back dial turn to 0 and the front air slider 1/2 way and he went through a stoves worth. This seems like a lot to me.

Question: Would he be better off with the front slider 1/2 open and the back dial set maybe to 5? Reminder: Hitzer, gravity fed hopper, 30-95. I'm thinking he allowed much more air in the front because the vent runs across the entire front of the stove versus the back inlet is only a small square on one side???

Thanks for the input!! We are trying to get this figured out because in a month or so he has the Hitzer 503 (fireplace insert, gravity fed hopper) coming in upstairs. They work very similarly and he wants to run them both in idle mode to keep all three floors heated, but not too hot.
thepamperedlady
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Yes
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: BigBarney On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:58 am

thepamperedlady:

Isn't this stove a hand feed and needs pea or nut coal?

Rice coal is too small for a hand fed stove.

BigBarney
BigBarney
 

Re: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: Rob R. On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:18 pm

The Hitzer 30-95 has an automatic draft control, you should close the sliding air vent on the ash pan door completely and just use the "dial" on the back to control the stove's output. Even though the rear draft inlet is offset to one side, it is designed to provide air across the entire bed of coal. My Hitzer stove has the same type of draft control, I normally run it between #8-12.

-Robert
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: thepamperedlady On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:44 pm

Big Barney - we only used the rice coal on top of the lump coal to get the fire started; the nut coal was too big and not recommended to use by Hitzer until the fire was going.

Robert - Thanks for the input. My dad is here with me now and I told him what you said. I had gone over early and found that he thought the dial was set to zero, he went the wrong way and had it set to 15. I set it to 5 and left the ash pan grate set to 1/2 way open. That helped bring the heat down about 2-3 degrees in an hour or so. It was roughly 90 in the basement, 76 first level, 72 on third. Yikes.
thepamperedlady
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Yes
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer LE Top Vent

Re: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:17 pm

Hi PamperedLady.. here is a whole thread on the subject of starting a hand fired fire: How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove

That thread will help you if you have to start a fire in the Hitzer again. No need to use rice coal.. a bed of hot coals, wood or cowboy coal, will start nut or pea size coal..

Take care,, have a SAFE and happy New Year !

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: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: grizzly2 On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 5:28 pm

Last year the Hitzer installation and startup manual did not mention a barometric damper. They did not recommend opening the ash door vents except when starting a fire. This year Hitzer's on-line manual recommends using a baro. damper and using the ash door slots and the thermostat draft controls both. I have re-read their explanation of the use of both drafts and quite frankly don't understand what they mean. I have a baro. damper and monitor the stove pipe draft with a manometer. I maintain a .04 draft with nut coal (I have also used pea coal, but for reasons discussed in other threads, much prefer nut coal).

To start up the stove in the fall, open the ash door air slotts all the way, and set the thermostat at 10. I start with newspaper and thin split hard or soft wood. Once the small splits are burning I add several - say 4 or 5 pieces of medium size hardwood splits. As soon as the medium hardwood catches I start sprinkling pea or nut coal by hand(I have found that pea and nut catch fire equally well) onto the fire. I don't wait for the wood to burn down to embers because I want the coal exposed to the burning wood as long as the wood will burn. Slowly add more coal until the burning wood is about 1/2 covered with coal. Once the coal can be seen to turn red in spots, and probably a few blue flames will be visable, add more coal so that areas where the coal is burning are now 2 or 3 coals deep. Now you will probably need to wait about 15 minutes untill it is obvious the coal is burning well and the fire is spreading. From this point on, add full layers of coal about 2 to 3 inches deep on top of the fire until the fire climbs up to the top of the last layer of coal you laid, then repeat until you have filled the fire box up to the top of the bricks. So far, all the coal you have added will be through the big glass door. You should keep the glass door closed whenever you are not feeding the fire. Now it is time to fill the hopper to just below the little holes near the top back of the hopper. With nut coal you can fill to the top, because nut will not plug up the holes.

Now that your coal fire is fully established it is time to adjust your intake draft. I open the slots in the ash door until the openings form round holes. Look at the slots as you slide the brass knob and you will see what I mean. That will give you enough draft to maintain an idling fire. I don't like the idea of having the thermostat cut off all the intake air when the rear intake air draft door is closed. I find I get a steadier fire when I have at least enough air going to the fire all times to maintain an idle level. Then turn the thermostat to about 7. Adjust up and down as required to maintain the desired room temperature.


Check to make sure the little magnet fastened to the lower lip of the rear intake air hole is adjusted correctly. Mine was not. It should be adjusted so that it just barely contacts, or does not quite contact the little tin door when the door is closed. You want the magnetic attraction to keep the tin door from fluttering in the breaze ( and the accompanying clanging sound), but not so much holding power as to make it hard for the thrermostat to open the door back up when more air is called for.

Good luck and know that the Hitzer is a well designed and forgiving stove. You don't have to do everyting perfectly with it, the stove will take care of itself if you are doing things reasonbly correctly. :)
grizzly2
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 - 95
Coal Size/Type: pea and nut/ anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #3 wood stove in garage. Oil backup in house. Electric backup in house.

Re: Entirely different ball park

PostBy: Freddy On: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:42 pm

And make sure you have a CO detector. Or two.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Visit Lehigh Anthracite