Newbie Looking to Install Coal Stove in Basement.

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.
coalnewbie
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Post Mon. Jul. 08, 2013 6:08 pm

If you are happy with the output then go the insert route. A good coal unit will run rings around what you have.
Posted by an unreasonable adult.

orrsmills
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Post Tue. Jul. 09, 2013 3:37 pm

I do not share the optimism that an insert is going to cut it - period. Post and beam and leaky, it can get damned cold and windy up there and you are going to put 150-200# through an insert to keep up - never going to happen.
Hey newbie,

I reresd your post, you think I'm going to be feeding 150 to 200 lbs of coal to get the heat of my wood stove?

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freetown fred
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Post Tue. Jul. 09, 2013 4:08 pm

om, it strikes me that you're doing more comparing then researching. If you're going to continue to expect the same results from coal that you get from wood---ain't happening-- the biggest part of burning coal is to be an informed operator no matter what your choice of burning units may be--most importantly from the git go would be to lose the wood burning mentality. This is a whole different ball game. Once you get the hang of it, coal is a consistent, low maintenance heating process. You either love it or hate it--once again, 98% of it is on the operator once you've an idea size wise on the stove & God knows you've had some real good suggestions in this topic. I've got a 200 yr old farm house at 2200 sq that I heat with a Hitzer 50-93 & wouldn't trade it for the world--burned wood as an only heat source for 40 yrs
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

franco b
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Post Tue. Jul. 09, 2013 4:31 pm

If when burning that wheelbarrow load of wood which I would estimate between 75 and 100 pounds you are satisfied with the heat produced, then you would need to burn about 40 to 50 pounds of coal for the same result.

The assumptions I have made are the weight of the wood and that it is good dried hardwood and also that the present stove is an EPA approved type with about 70 percent efficiency. I also assumed 80 percent efficiency for the coal stove with twice the BTU content per pound of the coal as opposed to wood and of course that the wood stove was satisfactory at that rate of burning.

If any of those assumptions are incorrect then so are the conclusions. Actually weighing a wheelbarrow full of wood would give the best estimate of how much coal you would need, again assuming that the amount of wood gave satisfactory heat.

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Pacowy
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Post Tue. Jul. 09, 2013 6:36 pm

I haven't reread all 10 pages but to me it doesn't seem like a coal insert really does much for the original stated objectives. The wood insert had put a big dent in the OP's oil consumption and produced aesthetic benefits while heating the great room, but wasn't the main idea behind the "coal stove in basement" concept to get the heavy industry out of the great room? Coal will reduce somewhat the overall physical quantity of fuel and ash that needs to be handled, but that assumes comparable BTU's are generated. If you put in a higher-rated coal insert and use it to generate more btu's, the physical quantity of fuel and ash may not be reduced much, if at all, relative to the current levels.

Unless the objective has changed, it seems like the focus should be on a stove or small furnace that (maybe?) could make use of the AC ductwork, or on a boiler. Those would be the options that would shift the heavy work to the basement, and would appear to offer the most effective means of distributing the coal-fired heat to minimize the need for FO consumption.

Mike

orrsmills
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Post Tue. Jul. 09, 2013 8:44 pm

Unless the objective has changed, it seems like the focus should be on a stove or small furnace that (maybe?) could make use of the AC ductwork, or on a boiler. Those would be the options that would shift the heavy work to the basement, and would appear to offer the most effective means of distributing the coal-fired heat to minimize the need for FO consumption.

Mike
True, but from some of the feedback I received the basement stove would not cut it in terms of producing heat upstairs. I don't want to go the boiler route at this time.

Pacowy
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Post Tue. Jul. 09, 2013 9:21 pm

I agree that without good distribution a coal stove in the basement isn't likely to be overly effective. Even without considering a boiler, that still would seem to leave open the possibility of a stove or small furnace that would distribute heat via the AC ductwork, though that form of distribution would be somewhat improvised. It seems like spending $ on either a coal insert or stove/furnace would either not get what you asked for or run a risk of not performing particularly well. Either approach might be better than nothing in the short term, but adds to the ultimate cost of getting into a boiler if you see that as a long-term plan.

Mike

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Lightning
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Post Wed. Jul. 10, 2013 9:54 am

orrsmills wrote:Hi,

New here, currently have wood insert (quadra fire) on the main floor. Happy with it but starting to get tired of cutting and dealing with wood after almost 10 years. My house is not well insulated and I have a cathedral ceiling that’s 23 feet high. I have a post and beam house, Yankee Barn built in 1978. I’m starting to investigate putting a coal stove in my unfinished basement. Want to keep the wood insert and will continue to use it from time to time.
Lets start at the beginning and break this down into a mathematical theorem for simplicity sake :lol:
These are my perspectives (opinions) on your circumstances..

IF your primary objective is to not deal with wood AND you want to keep the current insert AND you don't want to go the coal boiler route THEN I don't see a "good" solution.. Coal stove in the basement would be my last choice.

IF your primary objective is to not deal with wood AND you can give up the current insert AND you don't want to go the coal boiler route THEN A coal insert is perfect 8-) ..

IF your primary objective is to not deal with wood AND you want to keep the current insert AND you could go the coal boiler route THEN I see this being the best solution :D ....

I guess its a matter of picking the option that best suits you.
Whatever your choice, yer gonna save huge on labor over wood and save huge on dollars over oil...

Hauling coal and ashes to and from an insert in your main room could be a deal breaker. Coal ashes are dusty but can be kept in check with some handling finesse.. Personally, I'm happy to have that confined to the basement..

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Koko
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Post Mon. Mar. 03, 2014 5:22 pm

Orrsmills,
Did you ever install that Keystoker HF 70/90 insert into your fireplace ? If so, I was just wondering if you are satisfied with it ? Looking to purchase one myself, I have a small cast iron Morso stove sitting in my small fireplace opening - 30,000 BTUs, and was looking for more heat for those colder days.
Thanks Kevin.

orrsmills
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Post Tue. Mar. 04, 2014 8:03 am

Koko wrote:Orrsmills,
Did you ever install that Keystoker HF 70/90 insert into your fireplace ? If so, I was just wondering if you are satisfied with it ? Looking to purchase one myself, I have a small cast iron Morso stove sitting in my small fireplace opening - 30,000 BTUs, and was looking for more heat for those colder days.
Thanks Kevin.
Hi Kevin,

No, did not make the switch yet. when I do I think I'm going to install a Hitzer. Good luck!

Koko
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Post Tue. Mar. 04, 2014 9:39 am

Orrsmills,
I am just up the road from your house, Salisbury Mills. Have dealt with Steve at Cornwall Coal for years. I gave up coal several years ago and then when oil prices spiked again I was back burning again. I had started burning wood back in the 70's, then when to coal and never looked back.
Once you get the hang of it and how your stove burns you will love it. On the coldest of days you will tend it ever 12 hours, and once the temps are above 30 degrees you will tend it even less. I plan on getting the Keystoker HF 90 insert for my fireplace which will cut down on oil consumption. I will make the change before the next heating season, I'll let you know how it goes. Kevin.

orrsmills
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Post Tue. Mar. 04, 2014 9:46 am

Koko wrote:Orrsmills,
I am just up the road from your house, Salisbury Mills. Have dealt with Steve at Cornwall Coal for years. I gave up coal several years ago and then when oil prices spiked again I was back burning again. I had started burning wood back in the 70's, then when to coal and never looked back.
Once you get the hang of it and how your stove burns you will love it. On the coldest of days you will tend it ever 12 hours, and once the temps are above 30 degrees you will tend it even less. I plan on getting the Keystoker HF 90 insert for my fireplace which will cut down on oil consumption. I will make the change before the next heating season, I'll let you know how it goes. Kevin.
No kidding neighbor. Stop by anytime. I live in the A-frame, long driveway about 1 mile west from Steve. Big field is to the left of my house.

Koko
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Morso
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Post Tue. Mar. 04, 2014 10:03 am

Orrsmills,
Yes, I know the house. Your neighbor has done a lot of renovations on his house over the last several years - pretty sure that where you are located. Anyway, I will be off line for a few days so I'll send you a PM on Thursday with my cell and we can talk coal and stoves. Kevin.

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