Another Newbie Question-- Wow, Too Much 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.
Kent
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Stove/Furnace Make: "Home Heater"
Stove/Furnace Model: hand fired coal/wood circa1980
Location: Beacon Falls, Connecticut

Post Fri. Dec. 21, 2007 9:56 am

Dallas,
I took your advice and used some matchlite-- no problem getting the furnace going this time. Thank you! Carefully added coal and burned off the volatile gases, and loaded it to about 2/3 of the top of the firebricks, then I set the coal/wood thermostat upstairs to 70 degrees (I think all that one does is control the automatic damper control in the ash door at the bottom of the furnace), then I closed the top damper to a crack, closed the stack damper most of the way, and went to bed. Woke up this morning to a house that was 75 degrees! For years burning oil, I had it set to 60 degrees at night-- what a change! But my new wife, who just moved back from living years in Florida to escape the heat, is not too happy with the results. Are there some techniques I can employ which will back off the heat? Besides opening a window? I opened the stack damper a little bit before I left for work. The coal was still burning good when I left-- I bet it will still be alive when I return from work tonight. (Will then have to learn to "shake down" the ashes and reload.) Thanks folks. -Kent

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Kent
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Posts: 9
Joined: Wed. Dec. 19, 2007 12:26 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: "Home Heater"
Stove/Furnace Model: hand fired coal/wood circa1980
Location: Beacon Falls, Connecticut

Post Fri. Dec. 21, 2007 9:58 am

I forgot to mention. My wife suggested building a smaller fire next time, but I do not think that will be the answer-- will make me work more often and still provide a similar amount of heat. Which of us is correct? -Kent

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Richard S.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
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Post Fri. Dec. 21, 2007 10:57 am

You need less air going through the coal, you can drop the draft down to almost nothing once you get it going.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

Kent
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Posts: 9
Joined: Wed. Dec. 19, 2007 12:26 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: "Home Heater"
Stove/Furnace Model: hand fired coal/wood circa1980
Location: Beacon Falls, Connecticut

Post Fri. Dec. 21, 2007 11:34 am

Richard,
It is safe to close the damper on top and on the flue pipe? There is an automated device controlling the damper at the bottom on the ash door. -Kent

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coaledsweat
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Post Fri. Dec. 21, 2007 2:24 pm

Kent wrote:I forgot to mention. My wife suggested building a smaller fire next time, but I do not think that will be the answer-- will make me work more often and still provide a similar amount of heat. Which of us is correct? -Kent
No matter how little heat you are looking for, you should always build the fire to the maximum the firebox holds. Trying to run a small fire will be frustrating a won't save you anything. You are much better off filling the firebox to the top of the firebrick, the coal will be happier and so will you. The heat output is controlled by the draft settings, it will only burn as much coal as the draft's airflow allows. The warmer it is the less you'll have to tend with it, a small fire will bite you sooner or later.

Any details on the automated draft damper? Electric or bi-metal control? Name on it?
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

Kent
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Posts: 9
Joined: Wed. Dec. 19, 2007 12:26 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: "Home Heater"
Stove/Furnace Model: hand fired coal/wood circa1980
Location: Beacon Falls, Connecticut

Post Fri. Dec. 21, 2007 2:37 pm

Coaled Sweat,
Thanks for your assistance. I will check it when I get home and get back to you. As you can probably tell, this is my first 24 hours of using this furnace. Another question, Is there a good place to purchase tools, like a special shovel for taking out ash and not get burned by hot coals? BTW, if you want a good version of "In a Cold Sweat", try the funky blues version done by the Bone Shakers in "Book of Spells" 1997. http://www.amazon.com/Book-Spells-Boneshakers/dp/ ... 692&sr=8-1
-Kent

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av8r
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Location: Near Owego, NY

Post Fri. Dec. 21, 2007 4:00 pm

I bought a small fireplace shovel at Lowes in the seasonal isle for $1.58 Bought a big coal bucket (black) with a lid there also for $15.38 and a 3 quart feed scoop at the feed store for $4. Feed scoops work great for filling buckets, hoppers, etc.
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oliver power
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Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
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Post Fri. Dec. 21, 2007 8:27 pm

Try turning the thermastat down some. Instead of 70* , try going 60* , etc.. As others have said , the air flow is what you want to slow down. I'd be carefull of closing any stove pipe damper in any coal stove. One thing you can do is shake the grates less. Or sprinkle some ashes over the top of the coal. The more you understand your coal stove , and how it burns , the more you will be able to dictate the heat output.

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Kent
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Posts: 9
Joined: Wed. Dec. 19, 2007 12:26 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: "Home Heater"
Stove/Furnace Model: hand fired coal/wood circa1980
Location: Beacon Falls, Connecticut

Post Fri. Dec. 21, 2007 8:41 pm

Coaled Sweat,
Thanks for your suggestion. The automatic thermostat control damper says on it, "Erie Motortrol 6.5 watt". I tried to poke and shake out some ashes and reloaded the coal tonight. It''s now 72 degrees in here. Oliver Power, I turned down the thermostat to 65 degrees. Thanks. Maybe it will help. -Kent

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Richard S.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Fri. Dec. 21, 2007 9:07 pm

Kent wrote:Richard,
It is safe to close the damper on top and on the flue pipe? There is an automated device controlling the damper at the bottom on the ash door. -Kent
Ideally you want to control it without a manual damper, less air equals less heat and if you can achieve that by other methods then that's what to do. spreading ash over the top as suggested above works well. Additionally if you are using nut coal try some pea coal instead. It's much easier to control than nut because less air...
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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coalstoves
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Location: Mt.Carmel Pa. Located on The Western Middle Anthracite Field

Post Sat. Dec. 22, 2007 2:12 am

Richard S. wrote:
Ideally you want to control it without a manual damper

I disagree, a Manual Damper is an integral part of regulating a hand fired coal stove .
"No Fuel Like An Old Fuel"

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Richard S.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
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Post Sat. Dec. 22, 2007 2:34 am

coalstoves wrote:
I disagree, a Manual Damper is an integral part of regulating a hand fired coal stove .
Tell that to my aunt who's been burning coal for 50 years and doesn't use one a Franco Belge, apprently she doesn't know what she's doing. Why does she not use one? Because it doesn't need it. Fact is people use hand fired stoves all the time without them. Sometimes you need it, sometimes you don't . Does this situation need it? I really don't know and neither do you. ;)
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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coalstoves
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Post Sat. Dec. 22, 2007 2:52 am

Richard S. wrote:
coalstoves wrote:
I disagree, a Manual Damper is an integral part of regulating a hand fired coal stove .
Tell that to my aunt who's been burning coal for 50 years and doesn't use one a Franco Belge, apprently she doesn't know what she's doing. Why does she not use one? Because it doesn't need it. Fact is people use hand fired stoves all the time without them. Sometimes you need it, sometimes you don't . Does this situation need it? I really don't know and neither do you. ;)
You should try and install one you might be pleased at the results, I bet that chimneys soooo Hot you can barely touch it
"No Fuel Like An Old Fuel"

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Richard S.
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Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Sat. Dec. 22, 2007 4:23 am

coalstoves wrote: I bet that chimneys soooo Hot you can barely touch it
Incorrect it doesn't need it, period. The old Pittston stove she has in the basement does though, completely different situation with that stove. What works for you or in a particular situation may not be necessary or needed by someone else and I don't understand why some of you can't comprehend that.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

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JerseyCoal
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Franco Belge model 10.1475
Location: Delaware, formerly Basking Ridge, NJ

Post Sat. Dec. 22, 2007 1:56 pm

Hi Guys:

I have never had a manual damper on my hand fired coal stoves and, in my ignorance, can't imagine a situation in which I would want to have one.

Assuming a constant draft, the burn rate is regulated by the amount of underfire air flow. I accomplish that with the bi-metal thernostat which controls the flap on the air intake.

If weather or wind conditions distort the draft in the chimney, my barometric damper will prevent an increase of the desired burn rate.

Can anyone tell me under what circumstances a manual damper would be of any use??

John C.

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