Starting Coal Fire in Hitzer Fireplace Insert

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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jkm8122
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Joined: Sun. Jan. 21, 2007 6:15 pm

Post Wed. Jan. 24, 2007 11:02 pm

New to coal burning. Using wood and coal combination according to Hitzer fireplace insert manual. Fire dies down after an hour and after adding any additional coal. Can't get it hot enough to add coal to hopper in top. Fire just goes out. There must be a technique to starting a coal fire.

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LsFarm
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Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
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. 24, 2007 11:22 pm

Welcome to the forum jkm.

You should start with a hot wood fire, get it burning with lots of red coals.. Then add a 1-2" layer of anthracite coal, In those inserts I'm pretty sure you are burning Nut size coal.

Close the front door, and keep the ash door open for lots of air under the fire, once the first layer of Anth. coal is burning well, add another layer , again keeping the front loading door closed, and feed lots of air under the fire.

Once you have several inches of hot anthracite coal burning, close your ash door, and open the air control on the ash door a few turns from closed. Fill the hopper with coal. It will cover the existing fire and look like it may smother it, but soon you will have thin blue-white flames coming up through the coal and soon the whole bed of coal will be red.

Turn down the air control on the ash door to control heat and burn rate. The correct setting for the air control varies with the height and draw of your chimney, how cold it is outside, and how hot you want your fire.

There are several Hitzer insert owners on the forum, I'm sure they will post as well and correct me if any of the above is wrong.

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?

jkm8122
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Joined: Sun. Jan. 21, 2007 6:15 pm

Post Wed. Jan. 24, 2007 11:39 pm

Thanks for the instructions. Will try to modify what I have been doing based on your help and see if I can get her going.

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LsFarm
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Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
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 Fri. Jan. 26, 2007 5:41 pm

jkm, any better luck with getting the stove fired up?

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?

ohiocoalburner
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Joined: Wed. Nov. 01, 2006 10:48 pm

Post Fri. Jan. 26, 2007 10:32 pm

I have a Hitzer insert and start mine with Matchlight charcoal. Lay a bed of charcoal down completely over the bottom and put a small layer of coal on top and light the charcoal. After coal starts to burn add more and keep adding until you have a glowing bed. Forget about filling the hopper until you have a bed of glowing coals that almost reaches the bottom of the hopper itself. This works on mine everytime!

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davemich
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Location: St Joseph, Mi.

Post Sat. Jan. 27, 2007 6:32 am

Ditto on what Ohio said. The only difference in what he does that I do is that I use regular charcoal and add a little lighter fluid to the bed of charcoal and anthracite then I add newspaper and kindling and then light the fire and then add more anthracite as the coal fires up. I too add coal until almost up to the bottom of the hopper and then I fill up the hopper. By that time the fire is intense and rockin' and rollin'!!

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