Any Routine Changes W/Cold Weather?

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.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Wed. Jan. 17, 2007 10:32 am

Does anybody change their routine when the temperature drops? I usually run a 12 hour schedule untill it drops below 30F. Then I switch to a 8 hour schedule. This does two things, it keeps the unit's output curve flatter and gives me a increased by 4 hour window to load the unit if "something" comes up. Also when it's warm, I shake only until I see small coals 1/8' - 1/4" in size, this gives me a thicker ash bed to control the burn. When it gets cold I shake until I see coals abot 3/8" -1/2", thinning the ash bed and giving the fire more air. I also run the water temperature setting up 10 or 15 degrees on the Aquastat, this makes my drafty house a little better at keeping up. :wink:

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Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea
Location: Sykesville, Maryland

Post Wed. Jan. 17, 2007 10:47 am

In warm weather I look at my boiler every 3-4 days. In cold weather I look at it every 2-3 days. If the weather forcast is for temperatures near zero I would raise the aquastat set temperature.


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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman TLC 2000
Coal Size/Type: Pea,Nut or Stove
Location: Central Connecticut

Post Wed. Jan. 17, 2007 11:02 am

I usually keep around the same twice a day schedule, give or take an hour or so. When it gets cold, I usually just add a little to top it off around 7pm, so when I shake and fill around 11pm, it goes a little a little quicker so I can get right to my beauty sleep.

Regards, Ray

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Stoker Coal Boiler: 1981 EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: anthracite/rice coal
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Post Wed. Jan. 17, 2007 11:20 am

Yanche wrote:In warm weather I look at my boiler every 3-4 days. In cold weather I look at it every 2-3 days. If the weather forcast is for temperatures near zero I would raise the aquastat set temperature.

Ditto here! I keep it at 140 unless it gets really cold, then I'll set it up to 150 maybe. I'll adjust the mixing valve on my water to air heat exchanger up also. I normally have about 90 degree water flowing through it. When it gets cold, like last night, I'll bump it up to 100-110.

I look at it most every day, but as it is a stoker also, that's all I have to do is look. When I read the posts from the guys with hand fired stoves and boilers who are having problems keeping it burning right or getting too hot in milder weather, I feel smart (lucky) to have decided on a stoker.

I know I sound like a broken record with this advice, but anyone browsing this forum and considering switching to coal should strongly consider a coal stoker boiler, instead of a stove, regardless of what type of heat they now have. (elecrtric baseboard ecluded)

Warm, even, controllable heat, with free domestic hot water as a bonus.

Visit Hitzer Stoves

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Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Wed. Jan. 17, 2007 12:24 pm

The difference in proceedure during really cold weather?? I RUN to the boiler-outbuilding instead of walk!! :) :lol: :? Sorry, couldn't help myself.

Seriously though, I add several more inches of coal to the firebox. I will add another row of firebrick to the front just inside the loading door, so I can make a 16" deep bed in front and over 20" deep in the center and back. With the higher BTU demand, my combustion fan will run more often and this increases the burn rate, so the extra deep coal bed still will burn 12 hours when it's cold.

Even with 0* weather and wind, I can maintain 140-145* water, and usually this is enough to keep the house warm. If it drops below 0*, then I will raise the water to 150-155*.

You should see how fast I can load a wheelbarrow with coal from the ouside-in-the-wind coal bin when the wind chill is -20*, I'm QUICK! :lol: :)

Greg L
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid, Gentleman Janitor GJ-6RSU/ EFM 700
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Coal Size/Type: Pea Stoker/Bit, Pea or Nut Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer/ EFM-Gentleman Janitor
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert/ 700/GJ-62
Location: Hustonville, Ky

Post Wed. Jan. 17, 2007 12:41 pm

Yes,I turn the feed dial from 2 to 3 and load coal and empty ashes twice a day instead of once a day.

Running an Alaska Channing stoker.


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Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark3
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Post Wed. Jan. 17, 2007 1:13 pm

We have gotten our cold winter weather this week,minus 20 this morning with wind chill,i shake alittle more than usual...fill,then top off right before bed a couple hours later,plus close my hand damper alittle more,but putting in a baro and a manometer this weekend to help take the guess work out of it. :shock:

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