Surdiac coal usage

Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: joeq On: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:12 pm

Afternoon all
Am ending my week and a 1/2 vacation, (since Thanksgiving), and have gotten to experience coal burning for 5 days straight W/O letting my stove go out.I have a diary of all my actions, adjustments, and findings, and have come to this conclusion. I've spent probably more time than needed tending to this stove, but as mentioned B4, I'm still in the experimenting stages, for what's best for me.
My house has never been so warm in the winter, and the temps outside were in the 20s to mid 30s daytime high. With the combination of the intake adjustment knob, and the MPD, I find I do have some control of the burn rate. With this stove, (taking air from below the grates), the most dominant way of "heating up" the coals when they start to cool down, is by cleaning the grates. Which tends to need it roughly every 2-3 hrs. It will burn approx 7-8 hrs before becoming "extinct", or un-lightable, (I imagine), but if caught with-in 5-6 hrs, the coal bed can be saved. the longest burn I've been able to acquire, (so far), using pea coal, has been done with my MPD closed between 45-60*, (doesn't appear to be "too" sensitive), and my intake knob set approx. a little less than 1.(Altho the reference dial may be out of adjustment). The amount of coal burned for these almost 5 complete days is about 7 bags or a little less than 300LBs. At a little less than $50, my cost here, compared to the cost of a gallon of oil, I'm sure that would equate to more than a 40% savings, in my application.
It has been a bit labor intensive, and still learning how to keep the ash dust to a minimum when cleaning the grates and tray, and would like to be able to see a tad more than 5-6 hr sleep nite, but all in all, I think the benefits will outweigh the negatives. (At least for now). Once again, I appreciate everyones help while I transform my "greenness", to something a little less annoying. Thanx. :)
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:26 pm

You need the larger Surdiac or Franco Belge. Both can often be bought very cheap on craigslist. I have even seen free.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:47 pm

You should be getting a longer burn time between cleaning out the grates on the Surdiac. I had one, and while your model may be drastically different then mine, I was able to achieve 14 hours between cleaning out the grates without the fire going out, using coal only.

I am not saying this as an afront to you at all, but do encourage you to keep tweaking things as the learning curve on the Surdiac was quite long. I say this in the nicest of ways; I think you can get some longer burn times if you keep trying things. I think the way I achieved longer burn times was by using larger coal. It said it required pea coal but found it actually burned nut coal much better even though that stove had a hopper.

I have such a fond memory of the Surdiac that I used to own, but no longer have, that I would LOVE to have one now and even went so far as to look them up on ebay. I saw one in MA that was being sold for a mere $150 bucks. The one I got was free from a neighbor.
NoSmoke
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vogelzang Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler (Back-up)

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Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: joeq On: Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:53 pm

My Surdiac is the 513, which I was under the impression was the larger model. It was also recommended to me to "mix" the nut coal with the pea, and when I tried this last season, the nut coal clogged my hopper, and wouldn't allow it to feed. I've seen some hoppers horribly distorted due to the heat, but as of yet mine is still in OK shape. I've done quite a bit of tweaking this past week, and don't see how the stove will ever burn more than 6-8 hrs tops, without grate cleanings.So far my intent is to let it run as cool as possible, and don't think running it hotter will be advantageous. However, I welcome any opinions, and thank you for your in-put.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:09 pm

The 713 is the larger stove.
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franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: joeq On: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:40 pm

Wow! Would you look at that? Do you have an address where I could purchase that brochure FB? That's more info I've seen in one place, in the 15 yrs I've owned this stove. And altho I needed to use binoculars to read the print it appears the 513 is more than capable of heating my 1500 sq/ft home. It says that the 713 and the 513 both have burn times of 6 hrs to 24 hrs. So it appears I'm operating on the min. Now if I could just figure out how to get the max. (or even 1/2 that), I'ld be ecstatic. Thanx a ton, for posting that flyer. Joe
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:45 pm

To read it maximize the window after clicking on it, then hit the plus sign on the cursor.

To keep it, right click and click save image to keep on your computer.

Notice that the grate area is only about 100 sq. inches. If that were an antique stove with a round fire pot it would be a bit over 11 inches but only about 4.5 inches deep.

These stoves get their efficiency by burning a smaller amount of coal in a shallow bed but burning it hot and providing plenty of heat exchange surface. When you do that it burns up faster than a larger amount of coal set at a lower burning rate.

The only way to get longer burn times is to burn slower with less air or by somehow getting more coal on the grate, deeper bed.
franco b
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: joeq On: Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:59 pm

Right click and hit + on the cursor. It's amazing the little things you guys teach me every day. Now it's saved. Thanx FB. I'm sure I'll have plenty of time this winter to play some more. This week the temps are going into the 50s, so I'll have a break for a while. (Unless my girls and wife start complaining 65* at nite is too cold....spoiled).
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: joeq On: Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:49 pm

Bringing back this old thread just for an update, to you (us) hopper fed weenies, (as I was called a while back :) ...from some-one on this site) Because the cold front is now upon us, and my stoves been down for a couple weeks, I fired it up last nite after a thorough cleaning last week. No downdraft, so I didn't smoke the house out starting it, but it still took a solid 3 hrs to get it running enuff to fill the hopper. Poked and stoked it before bed and filled the hopper. Awoke 6 hrs later to a nice and toasty hallway, and the coal bed was still fully lit. (Altho the grates were clogged.) The longest run so far without fussing with the grates. The Mrs. asks..."What'ld you different? And my reponse was.... :?: " (Nada.) Still seems to be burning a touch over a bag a day. 80* upstairs hallway, and 73* downstairs. :)
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: joeq On: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:39 am

My diaries continue. 2nd morning awoke with still some coals burning. not as cleanly as the 1st nite, but better than others. Outside temps dropped more today, and the stove kept up. Same routine at bedtime, woke this morning to a house with a running furnace. Good in one respect, but evidence of a waning stove. Poked stoked and supercharged the coal bed and 15 mins later, got a nice toasty fire burning again, as I went off to work. 4 hrs later the wife came home at lunch to tend to the stove. i arrived home after an 8 hr day, and to my surprise, a cold stove. :mad3: wife says she tried everything at lunch to "revive it",(after only 4 hrs since I had it roaring and clean) but failed. She still hasn't got the knack for restarting a 90% "dead" coal bed.
So there I was, spending my early evening, cleaning out the stove, and starting from scratch. Fortunately was able to have it fully fired in less than an hr and a 1/2. Be interesting to see how a clean stove survives the nite. House has been 72* tonite,Heat-exchanger 500*, while the outside temps are single digits. Sleep well all.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: blrman07 On: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:40 am

I had a Franco Belge and I had exactly the same problem. I fought and fought to revive a dying coal bed with no success. Until......I read on here to throw some split hardwood on the fire and get it going again with wood and then refill with coal on top of the wood embers. That was the only way I could get a 90% dead fire back.

IMHO the Surdiac and the FB are great stoves if you accept their limitations on burn times. They will burn almost anything with BTU's and put out some steady heat. You can't make them do something they were not designed to do.

Rev. Larry
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Baseburners & Antiques: rebuilding a 1906 March Brownback Double Heater, reblacking a UMCO 1920's Pot Belly
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: joeq On: Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:14 pm

You hit the nail on the head Reverend. Accepting their limitations. I don't have much $ invested in my entire stove system, (less than 1K, stove and SS pipe, all used). Overhauled and installed myself. In my local, the temps aren't as obnoxiously low as some of our Northerner states, and because I don't seem to have as many yrs left (as I used to), to recupe an initial investment, it doesn't behoove me to do anything elaborate at this stage of the game. Just trying to knock the "sting" out of some previous oil bills. My Surdiac is suppose to be "supplemental" at this point, but this site has opened my eyes on some beautiful pieces of funtional, yet decorative means of heating. As I "mature", the "old ways" are becoming more impressive, (and desirable), so maybe at a later stage I may bite the bullet and put in a system that'll make me less independent on "big oil". Plus an antique stove would be the caveat to my old 1500 sq/ft farmhouse.Just need to convince the boss, (and myself), that it would be beneficial.
Anyway, Rev. Larry, thanx for your response, and keep the faith during this cold spell.Hope that Leisure line is holding its own. (Sorry to ramble on) :)
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: blrman07 On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:49 am

I do appreciate that little Econo1 chugging away in the dining room. This new to us house is a 1895 vintage built to be heated by a coal stove right where we have ours sitting. I was a bit concerned about it being able to keep up with the zero temps the last two nights but it has held it's own. I have it running almost at max with red coals about and inch from the end of the grate. Any more and they would be jumping into the ash pan. 74 in the living room and 68 upstairs in the bedroom.

Life is good when you burn black rocks. :D

Rev. Larry
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant Casting 2310
Baseburners & Antiques: rebuilding a 1906 March Brownback Double Heater, reblacking a UMCO 1920's Pot Belly
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Wood in the VC and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: NoSmoke On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:47 am

One thing I found out with my Surdiac stove was, I never really learned how to burn coal in it until I needed it one year. We had the Ice Storm of 1998 and were without power for 14 consecutive days and suddenly my back-up stove was my main heating source. During that time period necessity made me learn how to get long burn times and heat output.

One thing I did, and one thing you can try is to load your hopper about halfway with coal, then what I did was put in small pieces of kindling wood about the size of the pea coal I was using...a good handful or so...and then fill the hopper the rest of the way up; all assuming of course that your Surdiac was similar in design to my model. What would happen was, the wood would funnel down into the hopper, and then halfway through it would get air down by the grates and light off. With coal being on top, it would land on those hot coals and take off again. That really extends your burn times.

I had an old duffer tell this to me a long time ago, long before Al Gore invented coal burner forums ( :-) ) and it worked. I suppose if I was to do this today I would just place a few cups of wood pellets in with the coal at the halfway point, then fill the hopper the rest of the way up. It might work for you???
NoSmoke
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: New Yoker WC90
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vogelzang Pot Bellied Stove
Coal Size/Type: Stove/Nut/Pea Anthracite
Other Heating: Munchkin LP Boiler (Back-up)

Re: Surdiac coal usage

PostBy: joeq On: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:00 pm

Wow! That sounds like a great idea Smokeless. I'll have to try that tonite, and post tomorrow. Thanx.
joeq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 513
Stove/Furnace Make: Oil fired
Stove/Furnace Model: Thermopride

Visit Hitzer Stoves