How Low Do You Let Your Stove Go?

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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Devil505
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Posts: 7110
Joined: Tue. Jul. 03, 2007 10:44 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000
Location: SE Massachusetts

Post Mon. Oct. 29, 2007 1:08 pm

I just fired up my Harman TLC-2000 for the winter. For the next few months I typicaly just need to keep it idling during the day to keep the house comfortable while saving coal. The stove is a top vented 6" chimney design to which I have afixed a magnetic stove-pipe thermometer about 12" above the stove to moniter the stove temp. I find that (exhausting into my masonry chimney) I can get it down to about 120-140 degrees (with outdoor temps sometimes ranging up into the mid 60's during the day, going down into the 30's at night) & manage to keep it going.
How about you?

related question:
Does anyone know of a stove temp alarm that will alert you if the stove temp falls below a certain setting?
War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.
Winston Churchill
Shaking & Poking The TLC2000 Video

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coaledsweat
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Joined: Fri. Oct. 27, 2006 2:05 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Location: Guilford, Connecticut

Post Mon. Oct. 29, 2007 1:16 pm

Typically you want to service a hand fired about every 12 hours. This keeps the coal bed happy and loaded with fresh fuel. Properly tended, the fire should burn until spring with a good unit. Good luck!

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Devil505
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Posts: 7110
Joined: Tue. Jul. 03, 2007 10:44 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000
Location: SE Massachusetts

Post Mon. Oct. 29, 2007 3:33 pm

coaledsweat wrote:Typically you want to service a hand fired about every 12 hours. This keeps the coal bed happy and loaded with fresh fuel. Properly tended, the fire should burn until spring with a good unit. Good luck!
You are right but I have found that, if I keep the fire real low & add a few shovelfulls of coal carefuly once or twice , I can get by with only shaking the stove down every 24 hours! (Saves coal & creates less the dust!) I admit that doing this puts me right on the edge of losing the fire but I work out of the home so I am around to moniter it.
Takes a bit longer to shake down (carefuly) & refuel after 24 hours but it worked great last winter. (Haven't had the opportunity to try it this year but with temps so mild it wll be more of a challenge since the chimney draw is reduced.)
War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.
Winston Churchill
Shaking & Poking The TLC2000 Video

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CoalHeat
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Posts: 8327
Joined: Sat. Feb. 10, 2007 9:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Baseburners & Antiques: Sears Signal Oak 15 & Andes Kitchen Range
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert
Location: Stillwater, New Jersey

Post Wed. Oct. 31, 2007 12:38 pm

I've been trying to get longer burn times from my Mark I, I came home earlier this week and it was out. I've noticed that since I began banking the coals and adding coal with the shovel instead of pouring it in from the scuttle (filling up the low area in the coal bed-avoids the gas explosion) in conjunction with a little more vigorous shaking (I continue a little bit beyond the point where the first embers fall into the ash pan) I have been able to get longer burn times. My objective is to keep the stove going. With good coal and some charcoal to start with it's not that hard to start it, but why create the extra work (before restarting I empty the stove completely).
Heating a circa 1832 farmhouse with a Harman Magnafire Mark I & a 1959 EFM 350 (heating DHW).
100% Oil Free!
"It's what we learn after we think we know it all that counts."

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EasyRay
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Posts: 468
Joined: Thu. Nov. 16, 2006 8:44 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman TLC 2000
Coal Size/Type: Pea,Nut or Stove
Location: Central Connecticut

Post Wed. Oct. 31, 2007 6:08 pm

Well I have a TLC 2000 and right now my stack temp. is 130. Bottom air open to second notch.

I have always burned nut coal, but I can also burn pea and stove coal in this stove. I decided to try some pea and I think I like it better than nut. The pea requires more air than nut.

Time will tell when the weather gets colder, but so far so good. You just have to be a little careful when shaking pea. If you go to far you could dump your fire.

Two tons of bag pea on hand and about 200 lbs of nut left over from last year so another ton of pea should just about get me to spring.
Regards, Ray

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CoalHeat
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Posts: 8327
Joined: Sat. Feb. 10, 2007 9:48 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Baseburners & Antiques: Sears Signal Oak 15 & Andes Kitchen Range
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert
Location: Stillwater, New Jersey

Post Wed. Oct. 31, 2007 6:17 pm

EasyRay wrote: You just have to be a little careful when shaking pea. If you go to far you could dump your fire.
Exactly. With the Harman shaker system, push the lever a little too far, and it's in the ash pan.

I push/pull the lever about half way through it's travel each way. When I had the bad coal last year I had giant rock hard clinkers that got stuck between the 2 grates. At that point I just had to empty the stove and start over.
Heating a circa 1832 farmhouse with a Harman Magnafire Mark I & a 1959 EFM 350 (heating DHW).
100% Oil Free!
"It's what we learn after we think we know it all that counts."

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Islander
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Posts: 23
Joined: Sun. Aug. 27, 2006 9:42 am
Location: Cape Cod

Post Wed. Oct. 31, 2007 6:19 pm

Devil5052 wrote:
coaledsweat wrote:Typically you want to service a hand fired about every 12 hours. This keeps the coal bed happy and loaded with fresh fuel. Properly tended, the fire should burn until spring with a good unit. Good luck!
You are right but I have found that, if I keep the fire real low & add a few shovelfulls of coal carefuly once or twice , I can get by with only shaking the stove down every 24 hours! (Saves coal & creates less the dust!) I admit that doing this puts me right on the edge of losing the fire but I work out of the home so I am around to moniter it.
Takes a bit longer to shake down (carefuly) & refuel after 24 hours but it worked great last winter. (Haven't had the opportunity to try it this year but with temps so mild it wll be more of a challenge since the chimney draw is reduced.)
Absolutely. You hit the nail square. :)

Then once in a while, you go to shake and fill the stove, and all thats left burning is an area the size of a softball. So you open the ash door, put half a shovel full of coal on the bright spot, and baby sit the fire for an hour until have most of the firebox burning again, and you can finally shake it down and fill'er up. I've often thought that it would be quicker to start the fire anew than go through that rigmarole, but then you wouldn't be able to say that you only needed 1 match for the entire heating season. 8)

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EasyRay
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Posts: 468
Joined: Thu. Nov. 16, 2006 8:44 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman TLC 2000
Coal Size/Type: Pea,Nut or Stove
Location: Central Connecticut

Post Wed. Oct. 31, 2007 6:53 pm

When I was burning nut I could go 24 hrs with no problem if it was warm out.
I don't know if I want to try that with pea just yet. I'm just in the beginning stage with pea. Besides being on a 12 or 14 hour makes everything so quick and easy. I just make sure I do it before bedtime and I'm golden until sometime early or late in the morning.
Regards, Ray

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