Not Getting Enough Heat

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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c0alburn6
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Posts: 3
Joined: Thu. Dec. 06, 2007 10:21 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 983
Location: Bath, PA

Post Fri. Dec. 07, 2007 11:30 am

Hello all,

First let me say I am new to this forum and absolutely love it. I have a Hitzer 983 single door insert in lower level of my home. I have been burning nut coal for a few weeks, keeping my drafty 1700 sq. ft bi-level home at a toasty 75 degrees in upper level and 85 in lower lever. Well, this week the temp outside dropped and so did the heat inside. The Hitzer is not pumping out as much heat as it did the past few weeks. I have the heat pump keeping the upper level at 60 because the insert is not generating enough heat. I have the ash door closed, the damper on it fully open, and the draft on top is about 3 inches open. I have a magnet thermometer on top of the insert which reads ~100 and have seen it jump to 150. In the previous weeks it was reading ~200. I have been emptying ash and reloading 2 times a day. I see the "dancing" blue flames on the coal, and the fan goes on every 10 minutes (have it set to auto) for about 2 minutes. Not sure what I am doing wrong. Anyone got any advice on how I can get more heat from the insert?

Thanks in advance,

JJLL
Member
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon. Oct. 15, 2007 12:16 pm
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Harman SF-360 Boiler

Post Fri. Dec. 07, 2007 11:47 am

Heat distribution.

I'm having the same problem. When the temperature outside was in the 40/50's I could heat my 2800 sq ft. house in the 65/70 degree range. Now that its gotten colder, I'm pushing 60 degrees all the time and my stove is in the 500 degree range.

My problem is that my stove is in a basement. The basement is made of stone and double walled brick and the heat is being absorbed like a sponge!

I have hot water heat in the house and I plan on putting a few water coils in the stove and tap into the boiler.

Basically, what it comes down to is that you may need to push/distribute the heat more effectively.
With guns, we are 'citizens'. Without them, we are 'subjects'.

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e.alleg
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Posts: 1285
Joined: Fri. Feb. 16, 2007 10:31 am
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520
Location: western ny

Post Fri. Dec. 07, 2007 12:02 pm

I think your house is losing heat faster than the stove can replace it. Can you crank up a bigger fire to get more BTU's of heat into the house?
Burning coal is definitely worth the extra work involved.
"Good enough" is not good enough.

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gambler
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Posts: 1594
Joined: Mon. Jan. 29, 2007 12:02 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer
Location: western Pa

Post Fri. Dec. 07, 2007 12:23 pm

Maybe with the colder weather the chimney is working better and pulling your heat from the stove. Could you have too much draft?
Take Care and God Bless
Rick

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c0alburn6
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu. Dec. 06, 2007 10:21 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 983
Location: Bath, PA

Post Fri. Dec. 07, 2007 12:45 pm

Thanks for the quick replies! I have closed the draft a bit so that it is open only about 1 inch. I opened the ash pan door for a few minutes and the fire roared up a bit to where the magnetic thermometer reads ~200 now (I closed the ash pan door again so it would not overfire). I will give it some time to see if the house gets any warmer. Hopefully it will since it is starting to flury here. I have masonry wall where the insert is (along with a masonry chimney). The remainder of the walls are the usual plywood, drywall, fiberglass insulation etc... Not sure if they would suck up so much heat as JJLL mentioned, but will keep it in mind.

Let me know if there are any more suggestions. I will keep everyone posted.

Thanks again,

Mike Van
New Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue. Nov. 27, 2007 8:21 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman dual fuel add on boiler
Stove/Furnace Model: SF 260

Post Sat. Dec. 08, 2007 6:38 am

Can you insulate your basement walls? I did mine some 15 years ago, concrete made it easier than your stone, but what a difference it made. On the north side, I used to see the frost crystals on the cement. I powernailed 1 x 4's to the cement, then roofing nails to put up 1" thick hard pink insulation. You wouldn't believe the cold air coming in between the sill & cement either - The Great Stuff foam works good for that. Any insulation [even the stuff I used] has to be covered per code - They want sheetrock, solid paneling, etc. I used a fire retardant paint, about 50.00 for the gallon, but it was approved.

bill4117
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Posts: 35
Joined: Wed. Dec. 05, 2007 2:08 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: martin industries
Stove/Furnace Model: king-o-heat

Post Sat. Dec. 08, 2007 10:36 am

ive experienced the same problem and I think gambler has it right. I have a manual damper on my stovepipe ( can't fit a baro right now) and I kept thinking the colder it was out the more I had to open it to get the coal hotter. WRONG!!!!!!!!! I may have been responsible for a 5 degree increase in the temperature in my neighborhood. and my house was still cold. the colder it gets ,the stronger the chimney pulls, the more you can close the damper, the more heat radiates from the insert into the home.

shortcut
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Posts: 24
Joined: Thu. Nov. 22, 2007 2:38 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Brunco
Location: Lake Township,OH

Post Sun. Dec. 09, 2007 4:57 pm

I am new to the coal insert family (just installed one) but previosly had basement fireplace. to get more heat I generally closed the chimney flue a little and more heat would go into the basement. I also use an oil furnace for primary heat. on cold days I manually turn on the blower to the furnace and take the cover off the cold air return before the filter. the furnace then draws the hot air from the basement into the cold air return and pumps it to the rest of the house. just make sure that you turn off the thermostat to the furnace so it won't try to light with the fan on or your house will smell like oil.

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bigchunk
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Posts: 131
Joined: Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 10:39 am
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: sf250 magnafire
Location: upstate n.y.

Post Thu. Dec. 13, 2007 9:22 am

hi are you sure you have a 983 insert? I went to the hitzer web site and the stove that is the 983 heats up to 3000 sf and has 2 doors the 503 has one door. I would double check to see if you have the 983 cause if I had a exsisting fire place I would buy the hitzer 983 cause it has the two doors and the 3000 sf capacity.

bksaun
Member
Posts: 966
Joined: Sat. Oct. 28, 2006 9:24 am
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 Thu. Dec. 13, 2007 11:19 am

The Hitzer 983 can be ordered with a single door or double doors.

BK
"Corn Stoves", It is morally wrong to burn something you can make into Whiskey!

BK

bigchunk
Member
Posts: 131
Joined: Mon. Feb. 05, 2007 10:39 am
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: sf250 magnafire
Location: upstate n.y.

Post Thu. Dec. 13, 2007 11:20 am

ok, I stand corrected

c0alburn6
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu. Dec. 06, 2007 10:21 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 983
Location: Bath, PA

Post Thu. Dec. 20, 2007 9:46 pm

The basement walls are insulated, but I have a patio door that leaks a lot of air. Looking to get it replaced next year if possible. Seems the issue is draft control. I have been experimenting for a few weeks, and found out that I can get more heat by controlling the damper as bill4117 mentioned. Been keeping the main floor at ~72F. I have been trying to control the manual damper, but am a little confused by the 2 manual baffles on the sides of the damper. Anyone know what these baffles are for? Obviously there is a learning curve here for me to overcome.

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