Sudden Stove Problem

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captain const
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Stove/Furnace Make: hitzer
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 10:05 am

Hello, I just want to start off saying that I have been reading this site all winter long and it has been great.
Question is I purchased a hitzer stove last October and the stove has performed flawlessly and never shut down since then. A few days ago it started being sluggish and not being able to burn more than a few hours. I can not keep the stove running through the night. It seems that once I reach optimal temperature , it cools down and will never recover even if I leave the ash door wide open for hours. I have run this stove the same way all winter without any problems up to this point. I have inspected the entire chimmey and is clean with a good draft. One other symptom it has there is a lot of dust around the coal inside the fire box when it is losing heat. I have received a new load of coal a few weeks ago which I have began feeding off of. Last night I tried mixing some coal from a friends pile but the results are the same. Any input would be greatly appreciated & Thanks for any help.

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Devil505
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 10:13 am

I'm guessing that you have lost some firebox "Real Estate" to ash buildup & maybe clinkers. Try to fish them out with a poker or you may just be more comfortable shutting down/cleaning out & restarting.
Try this thread Clinker-Ectemy!

CapeCoaler
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 11:01 am

When you say dust, is that grey ash on the new load of black coal you just loaded after a shakedown?
Sounds like a heavy duty shake down is needed or since it will be warm this weekend let it go out and see if you have a buildup of clinkers and ash that has not been removed by your previous shakedowns.
AKA a learning moment.
Dissect the pile like an archeologist and see what is happening.
Your new coal could have more ash.
Has the color changed grey, pink and red?

captain const
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 11:17 am

Yes the ash layer is all over the new coal just loaded. The stove has gone out and I have cleaned it out completely. I have relight it and it will go up to temp. just to fall back down a few hours later with the ash door left open the entire time.

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Devil505
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 11:24 am

captain const wrote:Yes the ash layer is all over the new coal just loaded. The stove has gone out and I have cleaned it out completely. I have relight it and it will go up to temp. just to fall back down a few hours later with the ash door left open the entire time.
1. Are you filling the stove completely with coal? (to the top of the firebrick)
2. Does it do that with with both the old & new coal?
3. Only the ash door is open when this happens? (not the load door?)
4. Is it getting enough combustion air? (try keeping a window open in the room)
5. Does you chimney have a clean out door? (inside or outside the house) Is it closed?

If your draft is good.....and you have a window open in the stove room ....and you are filling your stove up completely, The only thing it could be is bad coal??? (but I never heard of coal THAT bad)..Try different coal.

Unless anyone else has any ideas, I would say that if you are somewhere on planet Earth & leave just your ash door open, you will have a roaring coal fire, if all those conditions have been met. :lol:
Last edited by Devil505 on Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CapeCoaler
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 11:59 am

Yes the ash layer is all over the new coal just loaded.
After you cleaned out the dead stove or before?

Did your air settings get bumped by the 'Coal Gremlin'?
Check all your ports and inside stove baffles for ash buildup.
Get a few bags of Blaschak Coal, plastic Santa bag, and test it with that known coal.
Once at temperature close the ash door with air at normal settings does it die?
Outside temps been warmer when this started?
Yellow or blue flames?

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Devil505
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 12:04 pm

I can't imagine what the problem could be Cape?????

ANY problem can only be due to problems with:

Poor Draft
Not enough combustion air
Fuel (coal)

The problem HAS to be one of those things.

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Rob R.
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 1:57 pm

Sounds like a draft problem. If your stove has been burning since October you should remove the flue pipe and clean out the fly ash buildup; it tends to collect at elbows and horizontal runs and will reduce the draft. I cleaned mine in January and got 1/3 of a 5 gallon pail worth of fly ash out of the entire pipe, it was about 30% blocked at the thimble.

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CapeCoaler
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Location: Cape Cod, MA

Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 2:22 pm

Ash on coal could be coming from baffles above or the stove pipe. Check those that will kill the draft.
Warm temp will kill a draft in a marginal chimney.
Coal is new batch. So this is a variable that needs to be eliminated, hence the Blaschak mention.
Coal Gremlin they are active in spring and fall. They siesta during the summer and hibernate, for the most part, during the winter.
There is a winter hardy Northern Coal Gremlin that sometimes siestas in the states from the northern latitudes!

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PC 12-47E
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 2:30 pm

Hi Captain const, Like markviii said... It sounds like a draft problem. Check to see if your cleanout door on the chimney is closed with no air leaks. Also check any other thimble caps for air leaks.

RS

Dann757
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 2:58 pm

Check your draft with a manometer? My hand-fired is really sluggish now, I have a very short chimney and it's 50* right now. I have to throw the ash door wide open for quite a while these days. I just don't have the draft that I had in the 30's and below.

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grizzly2
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 6:08 pm

The Hitzer 30-95 has no internal baffels. Mine idles great in these warmer temps. Sounds like a draft problem due to warmer weather and a marginal chimney. A manometer is SO HELPFUL in monitoring chimney and baro. functions. :gee:

Pete69
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Post Fri. Mar. 06, 2009 7:18 pm

If you lost the loading door seal integrity and air was leaking into the stove through the loading door, you would lose draft from below the fire. At the same time you would be introducing combustion air above the coal bed causing the top layer of coal to develop a ash layer.

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