fire dies after 3 days

fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: duramax On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:04 pm

I have a vermont castings vigilant. I saw another thread with all the mods nortcan made that looks sweet. I do need a new grate for mine but I might get a factory one to save time. . I got the stove cheap at a stove shop used, first owner never could get it to work. I discovered that it was never converted to anthracite so I took the plate out. I had all my trial and errors but now I can get a hot fire start up no problem. next day I open it and add some coal and leave the ash door open until it is burning nicely. My next move is to shake it down for ash, that slows it down but it gets back to running 500* again. Later on or the next day it is full of burnt coal that does not shake down well and it kills the fire. I have skipped the shake down and added wood and a small pile of coal with the ash door open, it just shutters at 300* or less and dies. I tried shaking it down more often as well but by day 3 it's dead. When I start a fire I add coal to a hot fire and add more when it is burning well until it is full, is that a problem? I burn nut coal because pea just died out sooner. I leave the damper open half way most of the time. Yesterday I did the big clean out and got all the ash and stray coal chunks out.
duramax
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: vermont castings Vigilant 2
Coal Size/Type: nut anthracite

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:13 pm

I can save some typing by saying, watch Vigilpeaburner's videos and you will be well on your way, my stove runs it's self!
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: ShawninNY On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:02 pm

Shake down and reload evry 12 hrs
ShawninNY
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Waterford/penn royal in garage
Stove/Furnace Model: 1994 Erin

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Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:13 pm

Sounds like you could also use some advice from Sierra2001. :up:
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: franco b On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:47 pm

You have to do a good job with the slicer going down below the bottom of the front grill. This will help to clear out the ash.

To do a more thorough job you can open the doors and remove the front plate and slice the grate from there. This gets messy though and should not be necessary.
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: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:58 pm

Sorry for the short response earlier, I was making cookies with my 6 yr old. Do you have the knifing tool that is sold with a new stove, if not a thin steel rod to run between the grates will help clean out large pieces of ash and a lot of powder ash that can clog the grates. The thin knife fits in the slot in the grate cover and makes it easy to clean. After I "knife" the grates I replace the grate cover, close the rear air vent and the ash pan and give the stove a good shake until I see red coals across the ash pan. I then open the rear air vent and crack the ash pan until the remaining coals heat up. I then load 5 - 8 lbs of fresh coal and wait 5 minutes or so until the blues dance across and repeat this until the stove is full and the fresh coal pile gets higher towards the rear plate of the stove. When the blues have filled the coal bed and the stove is 450* on the griddle I then close the ash pan and put the damper in indirect and set the rear air vent open approx an inch and in 30 minutes I check temps and adjust the air according to the temp I want, usually 600* keeps my place 72*- 76* :) Hope this helps.
Mike.
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Coal Size/Type: Pea, and a little nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:02 pm

We always dig for an answer to help you! Employ some of this fine advice and get back to us ! :up:
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: 2001Sierra On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:18 pm

I always shook my Buderus before adding new coal. If after shaking it looks like you are about to loose a fire add a little wood to help the new coal along. My Buderus was a hopper fed, with a shaker grate not a rocker. A shaker grate is not as violent and is not forgiving getting ash out at times. White ash coal is your friend. I looked at VC stoves but that was 32 years ago. At that time American stove companies where scrambling to fill the need. some did it well, and most others failed miserably with coal, or stoves that burned both wood or coal. Is your grate a rocker or a shaker? Do you feed through the front door or a hopper above the fire? I dealt with that hand fed for 28 years. Another thought it what is the rated BTU's? If it was around 50,000 BTU's realize there are limits with a stove that size. I am unable to bring up the manual to see the details of that conversion. Also knifing that fire with the door open for access tends to send fly ash up the passageways which over time creates another issue. Keep asking questions, frustration is normal, respect of the fire you have is paramount or it will Kick your a$$.
2001Sierra
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90 Chimney vent
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Buderus Oil Boiler 3115-34
Stove/Furnace Model: Keystoker 90 Chimney Vent

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:11 pm

You always gave Great Advice ! Why I thought you're on the Vig Crew I'll never know! Thanx for the help,Mate! :doh:
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: VigIIPeaBurner On: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:46 pm

duramax wrote:...8<...I leave the damper open half way most of the time.


If you are referring to the rod at the top left of the stove the controls the flap via the poppet bead chain, leaving it set halfway (straight up) is a good start. However, if you are referring to the flap at the bottom left of the stove, it is not good to adjusted so that it's always halfway open. When opened that far for too long the fire will run hot. So hot that most of the heat is going up the chimney and not staying in the stove long enough to radiate heat into the room. When the fire is going good and you've loaded the coal up to nearly the top of the firebricks, within out inch of the top, the fire should run easily 12 hours and most likely longer.
VigIIPeaBurner
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: ShawninNY On: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:29 pm

Duramax are you getting longer burns? Keep us posted
ShawninNY
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Waterford/penn royal in garage
Stove/Furnace Model: 1994 Erin

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: Rich W. On: Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:19 pm

Vigilant II is just humming along!!!
I'm new to coal, but by reading Vigilant II is just humming along I learned all I needed to be a very happy camper. From your description and my brief experience, I would suggest the following:
1) make sure secondary air inlet is closed.
2) make sure all gaskets seal well (door latch is adjustable)
3) slice/shake, but not more than twice per 24 hrs
4) make sure draft is good; check with smoke/flame source at slightly open griddle or secondary inlet
5) make sure ash pan isn't over full, blocking air flow under coal
All above to assure all air is through the coal bed, not over it.
Read above thread again (humming...), and you should be good.
Don't give up! It's fantastic once you get it sorted out!
Rich W.
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Vigilant Multi-Fuel
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: System 2000 Oil Burner

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: duramax On: Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:48 pm

Sorry to be so late getting back, new job working over 12 hours and a 2 hour per day commute. I had sealed one side of the stove for air gaps and started a new fire. 1st off I think I was shaking it down to hard and the next was I was using the slicer way to hard. I just gently shook it down to get a few hot coals and stopped. I then sliced the front and side as recommended. I had a fire for 5 days with no issues.. I was really only tending it once in 24 hours but by then some wood would help it and I can shake and reload it. The only reason it died was I let it go. I am thinking of lighting it now to see but its 50* and raining, we will see. Thanks for all the advice. I also got a new shaker handle vs. using vice grips and it is fun to run it now.
duramax
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: vermont castings Vigilant 2
Coal Size/Type: nut anthracite

Re: fire dies after 3 days

PostBy: Davian On: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:03 pm

Basic things that killed me the first year:

1. shaking down when it was already cooling (I changed this by opening my vents completely for 15 min before I would shake it down in the morning...never had an issue again...my stove would heat back up to the 450 range and it'd be nice and bright and then I could shake).

2. Not breaking apart ash pockets that would form even with shaking down...get a good coal rake or make one (in my case, I just broke off the top of a wood stove rake and use that to push through the coal to break apart those ash formations that tend to form.)

3. Never ever let the stove go too long without shaking and adding fresh coal (self evident)

4. Make sure the vents are wide open for 15-30 min after adding cold coal so the pile can reach critical mass again...at least with my stove.


Since then, I've never had any issues and I have to remind myself to let it go out every couple weeks so I can clear it out completely, clean it and restart it. (just basic maintenance really).

Also, make sure there are no gaps in your firebricks or elsewhere...you need to keep the coal at critical mass or it wont keep burning.

Cheers.
Davian
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Morso
Stove/Furnace Model: 1410 Squirrel

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