Spoiled and Can't Go Back to Wood

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Posts: 46
Joined: Thu. Nov. 08, 2012 5:41 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: Brunco 150
Location: McKean County, PA

Post Sat. Dec. 01, 2012 11:14 pm

Great tip with the pellet stove fuel, will have to pick up a bag in the next day or two...

Ok, this might be a better new thread than a post but let's see what ideas I get here first.

My fire box is pretty big, I can easily put 3 bags of nut anth in and still add a couple of scoops from a 4th if I want to pile it up in the middle.

I'm running the draft adjuster on the front mounted draft fan at about half and have the MPD just cracked. Thermostat is set to 68 (controls the draft fan not the main heat blower). I'm burning right about 2 bags of coal a day and the temps haven't gotten much below 28 here yet.

I love heating with coal but can't afford a newer more efficient burner yet. I'm toying with the idea of a coal/oil boiler fitted to burn nat gas once we get gas up here if that's an option.

At the rate I'm going through coal I may have to switch back to wood before the season is out. I hate the thought of that but at $360 a month I don't know if I can justify the black diamonds until I can find something that burns less. I really hate the thought of starting 2 fires a day (4 with the fireplace)

Thinking maybe if I made my firebox smaller it would hold less coal but since it would be just as deep it should burn just as long. I thought about adding another layer of firebricks in front of the existing row but that will interfere with my grate as the existing layer of bricks sit in a pocket right above the pivot points of the shaker and a layer in front of those bricks would keep the grates from moving.

This thing is in the basement and hooked up to our forced air ducts so a smaller radiant style stove won't work for us...

Any ideas?

Posts: 34
Joined: Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 9:04 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Harmon
Stove/Furnace Model: Mk III
Location: Central PA

Post Sun. Dec. 02, 2012 1:14 am

Mud, what you need to do is get a manometer (Google it, they are cheap) and drill the hole between the stove and the MPD. I try to maintain about .05" of draft at that point. I also have a barometric damper in the stovepipe, I have a triple wall metallic chimney and it is a vacuum cleaner once warmed up! Excessive draft will throw all of your heat up the chimney, and I suspect that is your problem. Don't be afraid to close the MPD all the way.. Close it, give the stove a minute or three to stabilize, then slowly crack the loading door, if it sucks air in, you have enough draft to send the combustion gases up the chimney. It may be too much, or it may vary depending on chimney temp, wind, etc. Get a draft guage and do it right, it will save you a lot of coal and will keep you safe as well.

Ops (retired burner mechanic, plumber and AC man)

ETA: nice scoot..

Visit Hitzer Stoves

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Posts: 46
Joined: Thu. Nov. 08, 2012 5:41 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: Brunco 150
Location: McKean County, PA

Post Sun. Dec. 02, 2012 10:53 am

Thanks Ops, wasn't sure if a manometer would be needed without a baro (still plan on burning some wood early and late in the season when I'm not worried about LONG burn times).

I'll pick on e up and put one on the flue pipe. My chimney is 12x12 and used to be an incinerator, I had one of the vents in one of the bottom doors of the chimney, from the old incinerator days, open a little bit thinking that it would lessen the pull from the stove. I closed that last night when I banked the stove and only needed half a bag of coal this morning so that extra draft may have actually been pulling more from the stove instead of less.

Thanks for the bike comment by the way, don't get nearly enough time on it but had I known what I was missing I would have gotten one years ago (probably better that I didn't as I've finally figured out that I'm not indestructible LOL)

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Posts: 7384
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 Sun. Dec. 02, 2012 9:05 pm

Just a note: get a manometer, having a fan-forced combution with a mechanical 'plug' or restriction in the flue pipe can result in a positive
pressure in the firebox/stove . And that can cause Carbon monoxide to get into the house, and potentially kill you or your family or pets.

Make sure you have a good draft WITH the combustion fan running for whatever setting you have the MPD at.

Also, purcahse and maintain at least two good CO detectors in you house, one somewhere around the stove or room the stove is in,, and
a second one near your bedrooms.

About your warped grates: Grates almost NEVER warp due to anything but a full ashpan.. if the ash in the pan reaches the bottom of the grates,
it blocks the cooling effect of the combustion air entering under the grates, in effect the ash insulates the grates from the cool air, the reslut is
a sagged grate.

Greg L

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