Hello, brand new to this forum so thanks in advance for any advice/help.
I just got a used Mark III and about a ton of pea coal to try. I bought it with the intentions of replacing my old wood stove and continuing to burn wood, however, after some serious convincing my buddy, who ha sa Mark I) has now talked me into trying some coal. I have always burned wood so this coal thing is all new to me. I was told by another buddy that I should "bank" the coal in the stove to prevent gasses from building up (which could potentially blow the door off of my stove - yikes), and this would also decrease the risk of coal gasses escaping in general. Is this true or is this stove designed to just fill up deep with coal and "let-r-go"? I want to be safe and all but also want to be aware of any risks with regard to improper loading. Are there any other risks with coal gas that I need to worry about with this stove? One of the reasons that I have never messed with coal is because of the CO2 and coal gas dangers. I have installed a couple if CO2 detectors. Anything else I need to be careful of or know about? Have 3 small kids and a lovely wife, I want to make everything safe.
Also, I have a flue damper on the pipe a foot or so above the stove. Should I be using this at all or no?
Also a question on draft setting. I have only fired the stove once to try it out and it seemed to work well, especially given that I am a newbie to coal. Got it up and running nicely with very little trouble. I wondered if anyone else that is using this, or a similar unit, would share some info on setting the draft on the ash door? I had it one and one quarter turn open and this seemed to work well but I couldn't help but wonder if this was too much. My chimney is a 6' SS insulated chimney about 25 - 30' tall. I realize that everyone will probably use a different setting but just was interested in other's input.
Thanks again! Any input is appreciated.