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Posts: 106
Joined: Fri. Dec. 08, 2006 9:04 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer 82FA
Location: Rochester New York

Post Sun. Dec. 10, 2006 5:46 am

I have a US Stove 1557 in apears to be the same as Vogelzang Norseman 2500 wood/coal. The manufacture has told be that I can burn anthracite, but I'm having a heck of a time. I'm new to the coal burning but have been in the HVAC field for 25 years. I have a good understanding of drafts, primary air, secondary air, ect. I am burning nut coal and just can't seem to get any temp out of it. I have a draft of about .4 to .5 inches of WC. I have a manual and barametic damper.
I know burning coal takes time to get used to, but a staring point would be great. Help.


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Post Sun. Dec. 10, 2006 10:22 am

I had the same thing, you don't want any air from above. If you have the forced air draft on the rear, just keep it cracked open a little, close the damper on the door and use the ash pan door damper for your coal. You want the air to go under the fire. How much coal are you loading in there? Start with a small layer over a good hot bed of coals, crack open your ash door to achieve this. Once that layer is hot and burning add another layer. Once thats going, fill it up to the top of the firebrick. This will take close to 80 to 90 pounds of coal. Then open up your spin damper on the bottom, and shut your doors, You don't want to peek at the fire, for it will look like something from backdraft, which I have done. Within 1/2 hour to 45 minutes you should have blue flames dancing over the coals. Sounds like you didn't have enough coal in the furnace. Also what are your limits set at on your control? My on is set at 135 to 140. My off set at 80 to 85. This will make a difference. As long as you have the draft, you shouldn't have a problem. Try opening up your bottom damper more. It will just take a little patience. Hope this helps. Like I said don't open the doors after a fresh load of coal, and make sure you keep the dampers open till its going. Good Luck! As far as the manual damper, I find it does no good for these furnaces if you have the right draft settings. By the way, My furnace is the Hotblast 1500 Usstove, wood/coal furnace.

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Post Sun. Dec. 10, 2006 10:33 am

Welcome to the forum. Sit down with a beverage of choice and read through the threads, you will find a wealth of experience about your's and similar stoves.

Here is what usually is the problem with your type of stove, AND mine by the way, I have avery similar type of firebox.

You need to pile on the coal; at least 6" deep. First make a hot wood fire, cover all the grate with fire, and add several inches of coal, keep the ash pan draft open, and the secondary air in the loading door closed. Let the first layer of coal get hot, you should see clear/blue/white flames several inches above the coal.

Then load on several more inches of coal. Don't worry about smothering the fire, it will steam a little, it will snap/crackle/pop like rice-crispies. close the loading door, keep the lower draft open, top closed. Give it 30-40 minutes then check the fire, you will see a bed of red with black spots. With dancing blue/white flames. This fire is about 900-1400*.

The most common 'error' is leaving some of the grate open, uncovered, you can't allow ANY place for air to get around the bed of coals. All combustion air must go through the bed of coals.

For an experiment I had a good hot coal fire going, and I raked an opening down to the grate, a slot about 1"x7". Within an hour the 20"x20" bed of coals was black, it had gone almost completely out. I was able to recover the fire, but just barely in time. I covered the slot in the grate backup, and turned on the combustion blower on HI. It took a long time to get the few remaining hot coals to re-lite the firebed.

I have a long 48" firebox, good for a big wood fire, but very bad for a coal fire. So I covered the back half of the grates with a plate of steel to COMPLETELY block any air getting through the grate. At the front end of the steel plate I made a steel framework to hold firebrick, and I made a new back wall of firebrick. See the attached photo.. in the photo I don't have the 45* sloped firebrick installed.

Just inside my loading door I put a stack of firebrick on edge, to create a removable front wall. Utilizing the new shorter and deeper firebox, I have been able to burn coal quite effectively. The biggest issue I have is the ash from the fire tends to get 'stuck' on the sloped firebrick on each side of the grate. A true coal firebox willhave the firebrick either vertical or near viertical.

I have a 4' long steel poker with a 4" 'L' bent on the end, I use this to 'rake' the sides of the firebox over the sloped firebrick to get the ash to get down to the grate. A bit of a pain, but the only way to keep the firebox from clogging up with ash.

I hope this helps. Greg L

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