Reading Mahantongo Coal Stove

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
Posts: 5014
Joined: Mon. Apr. 16, 2007 9:34 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300 with hopper
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators (fuel oil); propane
Location: Central Maine

Post Sun. Apr. 12, 2009 9:40 am

Did you buy direct from Reading, or through a dealer? Any chance you can return it, even if you don't get back 100 per cent of your cost? Since you are an experienced coal burner, it's hard for them to say this is your fault. Might your state attorney general or consumer protection agency be of any help, if the dealer won't cooperate?
Simple answers for simple minds.

Posts: 516
Joined: Wed. Feb. 13, 2008 8:29 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: buderus
Stove/Furnace Model: logana
Location: Sussex County N.J.

Post Sun. Apr. 12, 2009 10:09 am

Good morning, I think Lene8276 had the same trouble you are having, when he could get a good fire going he could'nt get any heat out of it. Some of his problems where with the Reading rocks he was trying to burn. He has picked up coal from me that he was mixing and could get a good burn. He did change something on the stove but I don't remember what it was. If you take a look at his posts you mite find the end of your trouble. Bob
Owner of American Coal LLC. Sussex County N.J. (Bagged only)

franco b
Site Moderator
Posts: 8437
Joined: Wed. Nov. 05, 2008 5:11 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea
Location: Kent CT

Post Sun. Apr. 12, 2009 6:34 pm

Mahantongo wrote:I assure you all that the packaging very clearly stated "Manufactured in China". I switched back to pea coal after blocking some of secondary air - I actually got some heat out of it - I'm only trying to take 500 square feet from 55 degrees to a comfortable 70 degress - it was working last night, I went to bed at 11 and got up at 6 and it was cold again - after a shakedown - there were some coals up in the hopper that were still light - 40 minutes later after a shakedown - the coals are burning again. I've never burned such a tempermental stove -it either burns very quickly with a moderate amount of heat - or goes out. I suspect there's TONS of heat going up the chimney so since it still gives very little heat (it puts out no heat at all if on anything buy high) and I still have the barometric damper attached - I guess at this point I should try a new barometric damper and get a manometer to set it - I'm hoping this is not a waste of money and time. I still don't think I should pay the money I did for this stove and then have to modify it to keep it burning - and by the way - between noon on Saturday and 6am on Sunday - it burned about 75 pounds of pea coal - which is more than I burned with my last stove on the coldest of days. Does anyone know what Reading will cover under their warranty? Is this considered defective? I just feel like if the draft is set correctly - as advertised in the owners manual - the stove will NOT stay lit. If I reduce the bypass air - it does stay lit but burns a ton of coal with minimal heat. And I've sent 2 e-mails to Reading and left 2 voicemails (they're not answering their phone) and no reply. Is there anyone out there - that can help me modify this stove more if necessary since I really couldn't even afford buying this stove - but the other one is warn out and needs too many replacement parts - some of which are no longer available.

Don't give up! Block all the secondary air and make sure there is no air coming around the combustion chamber from behind the fire brick.

75 pounds of coal is way too much and indicates that too much air is going through the coal. With an established fire the air control should be almost closed. Barely open. That 75 pounds should have had the stove glowing. Also it is beyond the capacity of the stove to burn at that rate and maintain a long burn.

What you describe will occur if the chimney is drafting poorly. With a low fire the draft dies and the fire goes out. To maintain enough heat in the chimney to draft properly you open the air control and stack temps go up and the chimney draws, but because of the excess air the stove cannot absorb the heat. The chimney is requiring too much heat to draw properly. All that air is taking the heat with it.

Please describe your chimney, whether outside or inside, size and height, or if it is a fireplace. The weather is much warmer now so many chimneys will behave badly. The barometric damper limits excess draft. I think your problem is too little draft except when firing at a high rate. A manometer, and magnetic thermometer on the stack would really help to pin down where the problem lies. If poor draft is the answer there are some simple things you can try to improve things.

It still is much too early to condemn the stove. I would bet that if we had that stove on a power vent to test, where we could fine tune the draft regardless of outside temperature, it would work great.

Around 1986 when stoves were going begging, a friend bought a brand new Franco Belge from a local hardware store for $100. He made the mistake of putting up an 8 inch Metalbestos chimney; he thought bigger was better. and of course it would only draw if the stove was fired high. Replacing the 8 inch with 6 inch made all the difference, and that was with insulated pipe.


Visit Hitzer Stoves

User avatar
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue. Sep. 23, 2008 9:26 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby
Coal Size/Type: nut
Location: Uxbridge, MA

Post Mon. Apr. 13, 2009 1:20 pm

Do you think this is a good stove and is this a good price - or am I asking for more trouble by purchasing an older stove:
**Broken Link(s) Removed**Thanks!


Joe in NH
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu. Sep. 28, 2006 7:57 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Trident SF 260 Boiler
Location: New Hampshire

Post Mon. Apr. 13, 2009 3:57 pm

Mike - the Godin is a good, little coal stove but I have seen them for quite a bit less money on both Craig's List and e-Bay. It looks like you have experience burning an Efel Montana. As a point of comparison, I believe your Efel would be larger than the Godin. Unless there is some immediate need to purchase a coal stove, give yourself some time over the summer to learn about the various coal stoves and with a little luck, you might just get a great deal. I have made my best used stove purchase using Craig's List during the summer. It just happened to be an older Efel. Review the recent posts about the Chubby, another good stove. Purchasing a used coal stove can be a lot of fun. Joe
Warmest Regards from the White Mountains.

User avatar
Posts: 842
Joined: Tue. Feb. 12, 2008 7:18 pm
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.
Location: Whippleville, NY

Post Mon. Apr. 13, 2009 6:51 pm

If your Mahantongo is just like the Amity CS - 45, Have you tried blocking off all of the air intake air from above the glass door, and using the outside air manifold shown on the back for your only air intake? That air routing would be much more conventional. If all else fails call your state Attourney General's office. With a defective heating appliance and no response from the stove company. In NYS I have found their office to be very responsive and helpful. I would not take the loss of about $1000. laying down. Good luck. :mad:
The only redeeming value of winter is that I can have a fire in my stove.

Visit Hitzer Stoves

New Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu. Apr. 09, 2009 8:03 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Mahantongo

Post Fri. May. 08, 2009 6:10 pm

I just got my money back from Reading stove - bought myself a godin stove, and even though it's rated for less BTU's - this stove cranks! I've been burning the Godin for around 1 month - not much need for it now here in Massachusetts, but it's the easiest stove I've ever had.

User avatar
Posts: 5104
Joined: Fri. Jan. 30, 2009 10:02 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice
Location: Warrenton, NC

Post Fri. May. 08, 2009 7:13 pm

Mahantongo wrote:I just got my money back from Reading stove - bought myself a godin stove, and even though it's rated for less BTU's - this stove cranks! I've been burning the Godin for around 1 month - not much need for it now here in Massachusetts, but it's the easiest stove I've ever had.
Mike, Wow! I bet you regret picking that user name, huh? :D Glad you got your money back.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Posts: 345
Joined: Tue. Feb. 03, 2009 1:41 pm

Post Sat. May. 09, 2009 1:10 pm


Good for YOU!!

Happy to hear the good news and it was good of you to share this update with us.
Did Reading offer any reason for the performance of their Mahantonga or their claim
the their stoves are made in the US?


Post Reply

Return to “Hand Fired Coal Stoves & Furnaces Using Anthracite”