Burning but Not So Hot...

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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dcrane
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404
Location: Duxbury, MA./Hanson MA./Brockton, MA

Post Sun. Jan. 27, 2013 6:38 am

lol Fred... always keeping us on our toes :funny:
Here is the Coal Burners Almanac which give some very basic insight into coal burning in general as well as Baro's/Mano's
I cant fit the whole thing in a pdf but this is the main part and its easy reading/easy understanding.
Crane Model 404 manual.pdf
(4.46 MiB) Downloaded 69 times

Rigar
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Posts: 857
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace
Location: central new york (syracuse area)

Post Sun. Jan. 27, 2013 6:57 am

Im with Freddy...

....if you DONT KNOW what your draft is...you could be spinning your wheels adjusting the stove and trying different coal sizes...swapping out caps and adding pipe !!
And I have to ask... Was the chimney THUROGHLY cleaned/swept after you switched to coal ?
I ask because I understand you were previously burning WOOD ..?
....'Rigar

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VigIIPeaBurner
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Joined: Fri. Jan. 11, 2008 10:49 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace
Location: Pequest River Valley, Warren Co NJ

Post Sun. Jan. 27, 2013 11:13 am

Look again and you'll see a manometer was recommended a few posts up from the bottom of pg 2 8-)

Rant warning ... 8-)

Folks talk of one type of damper or another but truth is, not everyone that's talking this knows this stove. It is different than the older Vigilant versions were some operators find befits from adding dampers. Version II of the 2310 is designed differently than most of the smooth welded box stoves where you might need a damper to slow the exhaust to aid heat transfer. It has an INTERNAL damper designed for this stove - it's basically as close to a modern 'base' burner as you can get on the 'new stove' market. No need for any damper and the manual makes that clear by recommending against using one. Take a minute and look at the parts blow up (pg 24) and you'll see it's a stove (firebox; 14, 20 & 11) within a stove. The twin exhaust ports on the sides (14 & 20) of the firebox are reduced in size so that when the directional damper (9) is closed, exhaust must pass thru the two smaller ports. This design reduces the flow and 'flame' path-length yielding much the same effect as an MPD.
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Rigar
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Posts: 857
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace
Location: central new york (syracuse area)

Post Sun. Jan. 27, 2013 11:24 am

VigIIPeaBurner wrote:Look again and you'll see a manometer was recommended a few posts up from the bottom of pg 2 8-)
Rant warning ... 8-)
Folks talk of one type of damper or another but truth is, not everyone that's talking this knows this stove. It is different than the older Vigilant versions were some operators find befits from adding dampers. Version II of the 2310 is designed differently than most of the smooth welded box stoves where you might need a damper to slow the exhaust to aid heat transfer. It has an INTERNAL damper designed for this stove - it's basically as close to a modern 'base' burner as you can get on the 'new stove' market. No need for any damper and the manual makes that clear by recommending against using one. Take a minute and look at the parts blow up (pg 24) and you'll see it's a stove (firebox; 14, 20 & 11) within a stove. The twin exhaust ports on the sides (14 & 20) of the firebox are reduced in size so that when the directional damper (9) is closed, exhaust must pass thru the two smaller ports. This design reduces the flow and 'flame' path-length yielding much the same effect as an MPD.
...so does all of this mean the chimney is clean/unobstructed?
Does this stove have a way of measuring the draft present?
...and to your credit I did see that you mentioned possibly installing a mano...
What I was getting at (and agreeing to) was that the AMOUNT of DRAFT has not been determined...and probably should be...if not first.
....'Rigar

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VigIIPeaBurner
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace
Location: Pequest River Valley, Warren Co NJ

Post Sun. Jan. 27, 2013 11:54 am

Rigar wrote: ...so does all of this mean the chimney is clean/unobstructed?
Does this stove have a way of measuring the draft present?
...and to your credit I did see that you mentioned possibly installing a mano...
What I was getting at (and agreeing to) was that the AMOUNT of DRAFT has not been determined...and probably should be...if not first.
No, it doesn't. Your other points are relevant and mentioned in earlier posts on this thread. My post dealt only with clarifying the relevance of using an external damper with a Vigilant II model 2310.

Certainly not looking for credit of any kind. The OP stated the chimney was used for another stove, albeit a wood burner, and no performance issues were stated. The OP will need to be certain of its performance as the weather warms because of the different chimney performance of wood vs coal. That's when the manometer reading is most important on a marginal chimney. By all means, multiple CO detectors are required and a manometer is helpful tool.
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

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Chiefcamper
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Stove/Furnace Make: Heat N Glo
Stove/Furnace Model: Townsend II
Location: Lackawanna County, Pa.

Post Sun. Jan. 27, 2013 12:26 pm

Yes, the CO detector(s) would be a must.

The end of last winter the temps were getting pretty high. I set my stove and left for work. My son was the first to get home and the CO alarm was going off. He called me from outside and I had him open up garage doors and windows, also turned out on the draft knob. The detector was reading 50PPM, but the memory showed 275 if I remeber correctly.

I suppose my marginal chimney along with rising temps coupled up to lose draft and the fire started to die.

Everything worked out ok but it's not something I'll accept as safe or normal and don't want it to happen again. Now I make sure what the weather will be like. It's gonna hit around 50 this week so I'm burning it all up and out today. Maybe use wood if I need it. I'll start it up again with coal when it gets cold out. Also installing a baro next weekend. My bud is bringing his manometer over to set the baro, and I will be installing my own permanent one soon.

Joe
Have You Hugged Your Coal Stove Lately?

Rigar
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Posts: 857
Joined: Tue. Dec. 04, 2012 6:30 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace
Location: central new york (syracuse area)

Post Sun. Jan. 27, 2013 1:01 pm

VigIIPeaburner wrote

"No, it doesn't. Your other points are relevant and mentioned in earlier posts on this thread. My post dealt only with clarifying the relevance of using an external damper with a Vigilant II model 2310.

Certainly not looking for credit of any kind. The OP stated the chimney was used for another stove, albeit a wood burner, and no performance issues were stated. The OP will need to be certain of its performance as the weather warms because of the different chimney performance of wood vs coal. That's when the manometer reading is most important on a marginal chimney. By all means, multiple CO detectors are required and a manometer is helpful tool.[/quote]"

...ok...i guess (if I were the OP) I wouldnt wait til warmer weather to assure the chimney isnt obstructed /creasote etc.
....'Rigar

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VigIIPeaBurner
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Posts: 2293
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace
Location: Pequest River Valley, Warren Co NJ

Post Sun. Jan. 27, 2013 5:08 pm

Rigar wrote: ...ok...i guess (if I were the OP) I wouldnt wait til warmer weather to assure the chimney isnt obstructed /creasote etc.
Right! Rigar, you make a good point regarding creosote in that they should keep and eye out for possible future problems caused by glass creosote deposits breaking loose, falling and obstructing the chimney. Any chimney that was used for wood and then converted to coal could have this issue. This is even more of a reason to install that manometer that many are suggesting. The manometer will let you know when there is a change in draft, not only for weather conditions but also unexpected plugs.

Knowing this stove and that they stated a clean out plate (located below the grates) was off makes me lean to that as the main cause. if one of the plates is not installed properly, much of the draft will bypass the coal bed. I had this exact problem with my stove when it was newly installed and it took me a few days to figure it out. Sure wish this forum was in existence back then.
Attachments
Vigilant II BelowGrates.JPG
Vigilant II 2310 with the front grill, firebrick and grate system removed. Annotated to show the clean out plates and air inlet.
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

Rigar
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Posts: 857
Joined: Tue. Dec. 04, 2012 6:30 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace
Location: central new york (syracuse area)

Post Sun. Jan. 27, 2013 5:19 pm

VigIIPeaBurner
thankyou for clarifying my point...ive said before sometimes I have trouble articulating what my brain is thinkin ! :D

..And you certainly know alot about these stoves...
In fact I wish I was half as knowledgable of mine as you are of yours...! :cheers:
...keep the info flowing brother...!
....'Rigar

imaginera
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Posts: 9
Joined: Tue. Jan. 22, 2013 11:48 pm
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Other Heating: Oil
Stove/Furnace Make: Vigilant II
Stove/Furnace Model: 2310
Location: New York

Post Mon. Jan. 28, 2013 12:17 pm

Even though I was traveling to Scranton Saturday and planned to buy some nut coal to try out, we got impatient on Friday night and drove to the nearest (which isn't so near) Agway and bought some expensive $10/bag nut coal. We were just dying to find out if that would help our situation. First though, we knew from Vigilpeaburner that we had to get that cleanout cover back in somehow (for the second time). Luckily, the fire was "almost" out Friday afternoon, so my crazy husband futzed and fiddled at the bottom of the stove, and somehow got that thing in. It still seemed loose, like it would slide around and fall out with the next rigorous shake, so he wedged a nail in next to it. He then went to work and put some wood on top and some charcoal, then our new Agway nut coal. Well, I can't tell you the surface temp, but the temp was 90degrees on the thermometer we keep a few feet away. That was a first, so we were very encouraged! I finally came home with the Scranton nut coal, and it was quite large in comparison, and took a LONG time to catch (had to use more charcoal), but again, it burned quite well.

BTW, Chiefcamper - the Agel coal prices were even better than you thought. It was $6.50/bag if cash and $6.75 if credit card. That was an interesting operation there, once I found it (GPS had me at someone's house)!

THE VERDICT...

Even though the fire is burning quite well now (MANY THANKS TO YOU ALL!), the heat just isn't overwhelming as I remember it being when we had the old Surdiac stove years ago. We keep the Vigilant II 2310 thermostat flapper wide open - is that the right thing to do to get it hotter?

So, once the snow clears a bit, we'll go ahead and get the chimney cleaned (no, that had NOT been done this year - although it was done last winter), and corrected (height/cap). In the meanwhile, we do have 3 CO detectors in the house. One in the bedroom hallway upstairs, one in basement, and a digital one directly across from the coal stove (a little paranoid I am!).

I still need to buy the magnetic thermometer. Using Google, I found one in a store and just need to find some time to get way over there. I have no idea how one installs the manometer. I looked them up on Google, and that only served to convince me that I'll need professional help for that - maybe the chimney guys...

Things are so much better now that the fire actually burns brightly, but with the other suggestions you all made, we may get toasty yet this winter. Thanks everyone! I really appreciated all your help.
g

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hcarlow
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL 110
Location: Northern Maine (Houlton area)

Post Mon. Jan. 28, 2013 12:34 pm

Glad you got some heat , the manometer is quite simple , once you get one the directions will help alot and if you have any other questions people on here will help with that also . I got the dwyer mark 2 off amazon and it works very well .

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titleist1
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Joined: Wed. Nov. 14, 2007 4:06 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite
Location: Cecil County, MD

Post Mon. Jan. 28, 2013 12:36 pm

The manometer is pretty easy to install. You can do the manometer yourself if you can get some copper tubing (i used an old water line kit for a refrigerator) or high temp brake line tubing, drill a small hole in your flue pipe to insert tubing, high temp silicon caulk around tubing or get a threaded fitting to screw into the flue pipe that tubing fastens to, carefully pour liquid into manometer (don't overfill) and mount the manometer display level. There are many pics on here of what people have done for their install in the flue pipe, link below to a thread with many pics. A Dwyer Mark II works well because the scale is low enough to view the changes. Others have used gauges that also have a low enough scale.

Manometer Install

I also have a CO detector about 10' from the stove as well as up the steps in the DR. I am in the habit of looking at them often as I walk by and once a day hitting the button to see what the recorded high was since the last time I looked. All 0's is a good thing. nothing paranoid about safety.
I drive a VW TDI, heat my home & workshop with two coal stokers and have two vintage JD diesel tractors....
The EPA just loves me!!

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VigIIPeaBurner
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace
Location: Pequest River Valley, Warren Co NJ

Post Mon. Jan. 28, 2013 9:33 pm

We keep the Vigilant II 2310 thermostat flapper wide open - is that the right thing to do to get it hotter?
No, that will over fire the stove and allow the heat to rush up the chimney. You will be heating the outside ;) the idea is to keep the hot exhaust inside the stove so it has a chance to transfer/radiate from the stove to the room.

Once there are blue flames on top of new coal for ~5 minutes (?), damp the stove down - put the handle on the left side of the stove so that the fat end points to the floor, not the back of the stove. For starters, set the thermostat controller rod located on the top left of the stove so that it is straight up. This is about in the middle of its left-right travel. Leave it there for at least three hours. See how the heat feels after three hours. The blue flames will diminish and the load of coal will glow red. If you need more heat, move the thermostat to your left (facing the front of the stove) no more than an 1/8" more. At this setting, my stove with my chimney runs 650-700F when the damper is closed. When my stove is settled in to these settings, the air flap is only open 1/16-1/8".

Really, without a thermometer you are just guessing. If you can, order 2 mag thermometers and place one about 2-3feet up on the stove pipe and the other smack in the middle of the top loading door. Better yet, get an infrared thermometer 8-)
Attachments
image.jpg
25lb of nut after one hour set as described above. I'll add another 15-20 lbs ant time now and be good for 14 hrs easy.
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

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vmi1983
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Posts: 233
Joined: Mon. Mar. 28, 2011 1:55 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Godin Large Round/ La Belle Epoque
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Anthracite
Location: Wadhams, NY

Post Wed. Jan. 30, 2013 12:04 am

I run the same stove... you should check out the videos... that's how I learned the basics... worked well for me. VigIIpeaburner taught me.

The model you own is probably the safest and easiest stove to operate for first time coal burner... I've kept up a thread/log
to provide info for those who are interested in the Vigilant... I highly recommend you learn from the vids and read the Vigilant II posts
on NEPA....

Good Luck!
'St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.'

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