Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: types_with_fist On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:55 am

Hey all, I am using an Alaska Kodiak ( hand fired ). When I purchased the stave the dealer mentioned that a hopper was available but advised against using it. The manual does not mention a hopper and says for the most even burn to fill the stove almost to the load door ( top loader for those not familiar with this model ) with and not to open the draft control to far - going from memory here.

I have two issues. First, when adding coal directly to the fire the stove temp drops considerably. Second, when we have a good fire going it burns high up into the stove and I am concerned about the screen burning out.

I noticed several posts mentioning hoppers being used with these stoves. Any thoughts? Should I be using the hopper?

Thanks in advance

jlt
Last edited by types_with_fist on Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
types_with_fist
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: kodiak/hand fired

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: Paperboy On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:37 am

In November, I installed a Kodiak with a hopper, and I don't have any problems. I didn't get the screen with mine. I was under the impression that the screen was to put in if you wanted to burn wood with the door open- fireplace style. Did the dealer tell you to put it in with coal? Basically, the hopper allows you to add more coal for a longer burn time. I don't always fill mine all the way up, because I'm usually back home to tend the fire often enough. But I have filled it on occasion, and had no problems. You still need to shake down the ashes every 12-14 hours, or the fire will start smothering itself, or at least mine does. I use nut size coal. Is that what you have?
The bottom edge of the hopper is actually a couple inches below the top of the bricks, and tends to keep the coal bed deeper in the center. Without the hopper, you should be able to fill it to the top of the bricks, and taper it down slightly in front, to keep it below the door and glass. ( I assume you are referring to the front door when you said you fill it to the "load "door. If you are filling it up to the top loader door, that's way too much! ) Don't fill it above the bricks without the hopper to contain the coal. Again, I'm no expert, but I don't think the screen should be in there when burning coal. Maybe someone else can elaborate ?
Maybe you have too much draft? What size & height is your chimney? Do you have a barometric damper to regulate the draft?
Paperboy
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska Kodiak; Atlanta Homesteader
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska; Atlanta
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak; Homesteader

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:50 am

Paperboy wrote:I didn't get the screen with mine. I was under the impression that the screen was to put in if you wanted to burn wood with the door open- fireplace style.


I agree. If you are talking about a screen like a fireplace screen, it is just needed for wood fires, (burned with an open door) to catch wood embers & should be removed for coal burning. (you'll have your door closed for coal burning anyway, so no worries about embers flying out of the stove)

types_with_fist wrote:when adding coal directly to the fire the stove temp drops considerably.


That is totally normal, but the fire will heat up fast again once the new coal catches. Many of us leave our ash doors open to speed things up & only close the ash door when the stove is back up to the temp you want. Don't leave your stove unattended with the ash door open!
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

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Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: bono1979 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:13 pm

I have been using the screen in mine for 2 seasons now and I fill the stove to the top loading door . The screen hold the coal off the glass and I haven't burn thru the screen . I have had the stove cranking some heat out too .
bono1979
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: kodiak

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: braindead On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:33 pm

I've got the hopper in mine. The dealer I got it from orders them all that way. He said they burn so nice that way. I don't really understand the advantages either way. It would certainly hold more coal without the hopper in there. But having it makes it easy to open the door to poke/drag the ashes out of the corners.

Anybody using nut in a Kodiak? I've been burning pea. Coal supplier told me I may get too many chunks of ash that won't fit through the grates with nut.
braindead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: Paperboy On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:35 pm

I just re-read the manual that came with my stove. I can see why there might be some confusion. In the exploded view drawing of all the parts of the stove they call the front door a "view door" and the top door a "Load door".

But in the written text directions for starting a fire, they say " Open the top door and load door." so in this case, they are calling the front door a "load door".

Further down in the instructions, it says "To obtain maximum heat fill stove to just above front firebrick." (which would be almost to the bottom of the front door opening)

The next sentence says "to obtain longest burn - fill stove to load door (be sure door is able to close). Do not push coal, allow it to find its own level. Stove will hold about 120 lbs. of coal."

If you are filling a stove with no hopper up to the top door, you are putting way more than 120 lbs. of coal in. Coal could also fall around the baffle and partially block the exhaust outlet.
I think you are risking over firing and damage/warpage to your stove if you are filling it up to the top door without a hopper in there.
With the hopper, the air flow goes up through the grate, and through the burning coal at the bottom, and around the outside of the hopper into the exhaust piping. The coal up in the hopper sleeve has very little air flow through it, so it doesn't burn. But with no hopper sleeve in there, any coal above the bricks will have the air flow through it and nothing to stop it from burning and over heating the stove.
Paperboy
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska Kodiak; Atlanta Homesteader
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska; Atlanta
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak; Homesteader

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: grizzly2 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:54 pm

Take the screen out. Put a hopper in. Fill to top of hopper. DO NOT fill to top load door if you are not using a hopper. Use a barometric damper. :wacko:
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: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: bono1979 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:40 pm

When I bought my stove I went down to the factory and talked with a guy from alaska , he said that the one with the hopper in the stove it would hold about 90 pounds of coal and one without the hopper about 120 pounds of coal so i didn't get the hopper . He said to fill the stove to the top , but dont push it all to the sides so it has a mound in the center , I burned mine like this all last year with out any problems with draft or overfiring . I called this year about how hot the side of the stove should be and he said 600 to 700 is fine . i never run mine over 650 . when i filled the stove for the first time this year it took about 3 and 1/5 five gallon buckets to get to the top loading door .
bono1979
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: kodiak

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: braindead On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:23 pm

Yeah, I'd say mine with hopper holds between 80 and 90 lbs of pea coal. I'm guessing that if you let the coal find its own level, it probably reaches the top of the fire brick? I'm thinking that the hopper serves to maintain the the coal bed at what the manual calls the level "to obtain maximum heat", while still achieving a longer burn.
Joe
braindead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: types_with_fist On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:32 pm

bono- that is how we have been running it, keeping it a2/3-3/4 full. Having fire above the bricks and occassionally against the screen was something I was concerned about. I guess it is ok.

braindead - Burning nut without any apparent issues

paperboy - 2 50lb bags just about filled it, so I think the 120lbs full to the top is right

grizzly2 - Using a barometric damper. Need to get a thermometer.

Does using the hopper allow a more consistent burn from the stove? I am not having any trouble keeping it burning, but when it is in single digits and the wind is blowing it would be nice if the stove didn't cool down so much when adding coal. Thank you everyone for your help. If there is anything else I should know please tell me.

jlt
types_with_fist
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: kodiak/hand fired

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: bono1979 On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:56 pm

when u add coal how much do u add and how long do u leave the ash door open for . try adding the coal in two steps half the load first and the second 15 minutes later then leave the ash door open about another 10 to 15 minutes
bono1979
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: kodiak

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: types_with_fist On: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:06 pm

About 30lbs, but it is damp, sometimes wet. Playing with the damper adjustment seems to have helped. I will try leaving the ash door open for the amount of time you recomend, I have been opening it up but haven't kept track of how long it was open for.
types_with_fist
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: kodiak/hand fired

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: types_with_fist On: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:38 am

Increasing the draft through the damper and keeping the ash door opened helped quite a bit. I even used a hod full of wet dirty coal as a test. We will see when it gets colder.

Intuitively using a hopper would seem to be the way to go, but I am going to run without and see what happens. If we get a warm spell I may shut down the stove install the hopper and compare.
types_with_fist
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: kodiak/hand fired

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: braindead On: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:24 am

Does your stove have the four studs welded to the inside of the top to mount a hopper? I don't think mine has anything to attach a screen above the door (at least not that I can see without burning my hair off). So I'm not sure if its so easy to change from one way to the other. I guess you could always drill holes and use bolts.

Uh, never mind. I see it is held in by four bolts right through the top.
braindead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Kodiak

Re: Alaska Kodiak Hopper?

PostBy: types_with_fist On: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:57 am

It hangs from 2 hooks that are welded to the inside above thdoor, and the bottom sits in a groove in the metal bar on top of the fire brick.
types_with_fist
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: kodiak/hand fired

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