Trouble getting stove to heat up

Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: mwood On: Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:30 am

I picked up an old citation stove and had it installed over the weekend. Stoked it up and have been having trouble getting it to heat up I'm not an expert with coal but we used to have an old russo insert so I'm familiar enough to get it stoked.

The guy who installed it was supposed to install Metalbestos but I ended up with Duravent. Basically, looks like I got screwed. The stove is pretty difficult to get going. When lighting it takes a couple hours to get any heat from the stove and the stack temp hovers around 100. It's not till the stack temp rises to about 180 that the stove starts to put out some heat. The same thing happens again when I shake it down and recharge. The air intake setting doesn't seem to help any. I suspect it might have something to do with the density of chimney pipe. The duravent is a tripple wall air cooled pipe which does not hold much heat as apposed to the Metalbestos which has some density to it. I tried installing a draft control but it makes no difference other than to have improved the burn rate.

So, I'm wondering if the lack of density could be the cause.

I'm up in Maine, the temperature has been below freezing, the draft is set at about .03"

Thanks
mwood
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Salco Machinery

Re: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: WNY On: Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:23 pm

Are you opening the air up from Under the Coal (like in the ash door, etc...). Coal need air from under it. Also, what size coal are you using?
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:26 pm

The air cooled pipe may chill the pipe more than an insulated pipe at very low temps.
I have always used Metalbestos pipe.
Try increasing the draft by covering the baro with foil.
If that helps change the baro settings.
Run the fire hotter to maintain the draft.
Leaks in the stove over the fire are bad also.
is the coal known to burn good in other stoves.
Try going up one size in coal.
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

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Re: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: mwood On: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:38 pm

I'm using nut coal, I keep the ash door open to get the fire going. Till I have some nice red coal on the bottom and blue flames dancing about the top. The fire itself seems to be doing really well, but still no heat. I had the same problem prior to installing the baro damper. I've tried using the ash door and air control to get it hotter the fire stokes up just fine, but the stack temp stays the same and still no heat. After a couple hours it just heats up on it's own.

There doesn't seem to be any leaks in the top. I'll take a closer look tonight. The stove (Salvo Citation C45) is in good shape, plate steel and cast with a blower that pushes air over the top plate. Come to think of it, there is a control on top that seems to be dummied up. I suspect it is for looks or possible for a bypass damper for the catalytic wood variant of the stove (W45). I wonder if I shouldn't take it apart to make sure it's not a problem. Also, I forgot, but there are brackets on the top as though there might be baffle plate missing (I got it second hand and don't have an up to date manual). There's just an exhaust directly out the back. Could that be a problem? As for the coal, I have a friend at work that uses this Kimmel coal with good results. So I don't suspect the coal. I will try to pickup some stove coal and try that.

I tried to post a reply earlier, but i must have screwed it up. So please forgive me if two replies show up
Thanks for all the great info
mwood
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Salco Machinery

Re: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: the snowman On: Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:01 pm

.03 draft seems low for a hand fired. I run my hand fired Jotul 507 at a draft of .06. Most people I know who run other hand fired stoves usually have a draft of .05. It sounds like your going through the process of elimination which is good. Once your done if your still not getting the heat try increasing your draft to at least .05. Do you have a manometer to measure your draft? Don't rely on your numbers on your baro because they usually are not spot on. The only way to be sure is to measure it with a manometer. This forum has a loaner program for the manometer if you do not have one. Post some pics, we like pics.

the snowman.
the snowman
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Jotul 507
Coal Size/Type: Nut, Stove coal, Egg coal

Re: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: grizzly2 On: Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:47 pm

You mention a woodburning variant of your stove. Makes me wonder if your stove is a compromise in design. How deep is the firebox from the bottom of the feeder door opening to the grates :?: Any air intake vents above the coal bed level are to be open for woodburning only. About how many pounds of coal does it hold :?: Do the grates take up the whole bottom of the firebox :?: How long have you been able to maintain a continuous fire :?: Is there burning coal throughout the entire bed, or are there dead spots :?: Answers to these questions may give us the clues we need to solve the mystery of the "Cold Fire" :!:
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: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: mwood On: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:32 pm

Well sounds like you guys are looking for some data:

- I used a draftrite pocket gauge to measure draft - no manometer
- The firebox measures 14" across 12" front to back and 4 1/2" deep
- It takes a bucket of coal about 25 lbs
- The fire bricks cover the edges so the grates take up the whole bottom
- Turns out the chimney is Duratech with a ceramic refractory 7 inch- is likely ok
- The interior pipe is double wall Selkirk dsp 6 inch
- I drilled a hole under the baro for the draft gauge - it's kept plugged with a bolt
- I have a magnetic flue thermometer under the baro as well

I light it with 2 Duraflame Quick Start Firestarter Wedges: four pieces of rolled news paper, and 6 crisscrossed hard wood kindling sticks 3/4inch thick, and a few handfuls of coal. When the coals are red I gently add a layer of coal then add the rest of the bucket. Sometimes tossing a few extra kindling as needed.

I ran it twice so far:

The first time was without baro, the coals seemed to even out after lighting 1/2 hour tops: ran a stack temp of 100deg for 2 1/2 hours before I got any heat out of it. Then the stack went to 180deg and it was fine (really nice). It burned for a total of about 8 hours and went out. I let it go out to install the Baro

The second time was with Baro set at .03", lit uneven but evened out a bit more than 1/2 hour: ran a stack temp of 125deg for 2 plus hours before I got heat. Then the stack went to 180deg and it ran nice - 11 hours all total. I had to catch a train in the morning so we shook it down and recharged it early - without waiting for the stack temp to fall. It took about an hour and a half to climb to 140 then fell to 110 for maybe 6 hours and died.

Were probably just doing something wrong
I'll post some pictures when I get home.

Thanks for all the help
mwood
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Salco Machinery

Re: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: grizzly2 On: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:07 pm

Well sounds like you guys are looking for some data:

- I used a draftrite pocket gauge to measure draft - no manometer
- The firebox measures 14" across 12" front to back and 4 1/2" deep
- It takes a bucket of coal about 25 lbs
- The fire bricks cover the edges so the grates take up the whole bottom
- Turns out the chimney is Duratech with a ceramic refractory 7 inch- is likely ok
- The interior pipe is double wall Selkirk dsp 6 inch
- I drilled a hole under the baro for the draft gauge - it's kept plugged with a bolt
- I have a magnetic flue thermometer under the baro as well

mwood,
It sounds to me like you are doing everything correctly. Your fire is progressing as should be expected when you first light and fill. As I suspected, your firebox is small and shallow ( my Hitzer 30-95 firebox is 9" from the grates to the top of the firebricks). That seems to be a common drawback to stoves that are designed for wood or coal. It takes me an hour to get a coal fire lit and the coal burning to the top of the pile. Coal burns hot, but by no means gives off instant heat. This slow warm up and time consuming start up are two reasons most of the guys and gals on this forum attempt to keep thier fires burning for the entire heating season. Sometime when you can be home for 2 or 3 days, try keeping a fire going with the stove body temps about 400* and the stove pipe temp will probably be arround the 200* you have had. I think you will find that your stove will be reaching about all the output it has in it without pushing the operating temps beyond what you may want to do on a continuous basis. The real answer is that to heat a house, even a small one, and not have to stoke the fire every few hours, you will need a larger stove.

There are a few things you can do to extend the burn time of your fire. 1) Try pea size coal. 2) Fill the firebox to the bottom of the load door, then, if the firebricks are higher than that on the sides and back, "bank" the fire by adding additional coal up to the top of the bricks in the back, sloping down to the load door level at the front. If the bricks are not higher than the load door bottom you may try adding another course of bricks laid on their sides allong the back and sides of the firebox. If these suggestions for greater coal capacity are not practical for you, at least mound the coal up in the middle as much as you can.

Perhaps others will have additional ideas that will help you get the performance out of your stove that you would like. Best of luck.

:) Grizz
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: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: mwood On: Tue Feb 03, 2009 9:53 pm

Here are some pics of the stove

stove 166.jpg
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The stove
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stove 167.jpg
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The firebox
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stove 168.jpg
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Top rear of firebox exhaust and brackets
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mwood
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Salco Machinery

Re: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:20 pm

You have to get the coal deep 4.5" is not going to do it.
Your problem is up front the retainer is too short to give you the good depth 6"-8" at a minimum for burning coal.
Bricks across the front would do it but they need to be retained in some manner.
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: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: grizzly2 On: Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:21 pm

Very good pics. I would put a piece of 1/4" or 3/8" plate steel accross the front high as it can go and be reasonably easy to still stoke the fire. Put it right behind the low cast plate with the "C". If it is getting in the way of the grates just replace the "C" plate with the taller steel plate. Scrap metal yards will generally have plate steel arround for half or less as much money as buying new plate. Have your dimentions with you and they can probably cut it to size for a very few bucks. Please let us know how you make out. Nice looking stove. I would put the effort into trying to get it to put out some real heat. Very nice looking hearth too. :up:
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: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: mwood On: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:45 am

Good news!

I fashioned a riser for the cast iron retainer Wednesday night which raises it 2”. It is a piece of ¼ inch thick steel bent to clear the door latch with two ‘U’ shape brackets that allow the riser to rest right on top of the cast iron retainer. It leaves just barely enough room so I can get my hand over the riser when lighting and I picked up a scuttle bucket so we can pour the coal over the riser. I also added a ¼” thick baffle plate above the firebox. The riser is fashioned as not to distract from the look, with the two brackets forming a nice vertical line up the cast iron plate and riser.

I lit the stove Wednesday night and raised the draft to .04”, it’s been going continuously since. It takes an hour and a half to 2 hours heat up when lighting and a half hour when shaking and re-charging. I’m getting well over 12 hours per charge, maybe 20lbs per. I added a thermometer on the stove (top of left flute) and have been keeping track of temps and air settings with a note book.

We found the blower is two much, it over heats the house, appears to rob the firebox of heat forcing a wide open air setting. The stove seems to work best with the blower off and air fully choked, flue at 200 stove 300 room 76 by day, flue 180 stove 250 room 70 by night.

I expect in a couple days we will have it running like clock work with an efficient burn rate and maybe two 15 minute tending’s per day.

Heck we never got the old Russo working this good!
Thanks for all the help – you people are the best!
mwood
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Salco Machinery

Re: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: grizzly2 On: Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:43 pm

mwood,

Hooray :!: Perceverance pays off once again. Now you have yourself a real good set-up. That is a stove worth the effort. My coal stove is steel plate, but I still like the looks of the cast iron designs. All three of my woodstoves over the years have been cast. I have been burning coal for just one year now and still learn new things constantly. Once you get past the frustration stage, learning new tricks is fun. :cheers:
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: Trouble getting stove to heat up

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:49 pm

Some Pictures of the re-worked front please!
Glad to hear you got it working properly!
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Visit Hitzer Stoves