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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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titleist1
Member
Posts: 4404
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. Dec. 16, 2013 11:45 am

you are correct....leaving the ash door open for more than a few minutes will usually cause a runaway fire!! its highly recommended to carry a timer if you leave the ash door open as a reminder.

but....he mentioned barely having a fire on one side of the grates. probably what happened is a lot of the air was bypassing the coals that were lit going through the dead part of the coal bed.
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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skobydog
Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon. Jun. 10, 2013 9:53 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite
Location: Greenfield MA

Post Mon. Dec. 16, 2013 11:59 am

The two times my fire was going out I believe it was the ash build up around the sides (I have the 50-93 also).

When I tried to give air from below the flue temps shot up (over 600 degrees), the flue was making a roaring sound, but the actual bed of coals didn't catch (stove didn't get over 350 degrees). It wasn't until I shook the heck out of the grates that the fire revived itself (maybe could have been solved if I poked the edges a bit prior to shaking).

Both times I lost a fair amount of coal through the grates before the fire picked up but that's what it took.

For me all the air I was giving it didn't help. In fact, I shut down all the air to stop the flue temp from rising as it was feeling unsafe.

This is just my limited experience under my conditions with this particular stove. I'm still new at all of this myself.
Hitzer 50-93
Open Floor Plan
Stove is located on the first floor/living room
Heating appr 2,200 sq ft
House built 1976
Moderate Insulation

Scottaw
Member
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue. Dec. 03, 2013 3:51 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93
Location: Spruce Creek, PA

Post Mon. Dec. 16, 2013 12:17 pm

Yea, I was following the manual and it wasn't quite aggressive enough.

I had the ash door open to rekindle the fire, and it wasn't left more than 10 min unattended.

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skobydog
Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon. Jun. 10, 2013 9:53 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite
Location: Greenfield MA

Post Mon. Dec. 16, 2013 12:27 pm

Scottaw wrote:Yea, I was following the manual and it wasn't quite aggressive enough.

I had the ash door open to rekindle the fire, and it wasn't left more than 10 min unattended.
I'm still learning myself. Like I already mentioned, I "think" I need to pay a little more attention to the ash build up along the sides. Other than that the stove pretty much runs itself. :D
Hitzer 50-93
Open Floor Plan
Stove is located on the first floor/living room
Heating appr 2,200 sq ft
House built 1976
Moderate Insulation

Scottaw
Member
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue. Dec. 03, 2013 3:51 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93
Location: Spruce Creek, PA

Post Mon. Dec. 16, 2013 10:43 pm

And we're back. Stove is happily running in the low 400's. I was afraid I was gonna have to shovel out all that coal and start over. Shaking the hell out of it seems to be doing the trick.

Scottaw
Member
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue. Dec. 03, 2013 3:51 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93
Location: Spruce Creek, PA

Post Sat. Jan. 18, 2014 10:53 am

image.jpg
The new install, with heat shield behind.
Ok, so a few weeks in and a few more questions.

I realized the Baro was out of level and basically open all the time.

Among some other issues I had with my install, the company came back and redid all my piping, moved and leveled the Baro.

So now I have a magnetic thermometer in the top right front of the stove, and on setting 13, that is staying around 400. 425-450 as the door closes from a burn cycle. Seems to be putting out pretty good heat, keeping the basement around 78-80, and lots of heat rolling up the stairs. Compared to others here that run hitzers on 9-10 I think my chain is just adjusted differently, but in burning about 50-60lb per day when it's 15 degrees overnight. Does this seem normal?

My other observation is that when the air door is open, the flue sounds like a jet engine, the Baro is partially open, and I can see flames shooting past it. The Baro is mounted right above the elbow off the back of the stove, and when the air door closes, the Baro stays closed with no flames shooting past.

I've also noticed at times some flames that seem to be going around the door gasket, usually after a fresh fill up. The stove was refurbished when I bought it, do I need a new gasket already?

I have noticed since the reinstall that I'm making less ash, and it's finer. I'm assuming that's good news on efficiency.

Scottaw
Member
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue. Dec. 03, 2013 3:51 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93
Location: Spruce Creek, PA

Post Sat. Jan. 18, 2014 11:42 am

Another observation that seems odd to me, but maybe is normal, the sides of my stove are
Much hotter than the top. According to my infrared, I average about 100 degrees hotter on the sides.

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mmcoal
Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat. Feb. 18, 2012 11:21 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: nut
Location: Northern NJ

Post Sat. Jan. 18, 2014 12:18 pm

Based on what I was told and what I am experiencing, 50-60 pounds sounds good at those settings. I too get some flames around the glass gasket when there is enough gases in the stove and the back flap closes. The flames around the glass were usually so lite and short lived I didn't think much of it since my stove is still practically new. I have been experimenting with my ash pan door vents right now and by keeping the vents open to a perfect circle or less seems to have calmed the stove down a lot after a shake down. For a couple of days I was actually idling the stove around 200-250 with just the ash pan door vents and leaving back flap shut down and I really liked how the stove operated. Sorry I wasn't much help, but that's just my experience so far.

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User avatar
skobydog
Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon. Jun. 10, 2013 9:53 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite
Location: Greenfield MA

Post Sat. Jan. 18, 2014 4:20 pm

Scottaw wrote:
image.jpg
So now I have a magnetic thermometer in the top right front of the stove, and on setting 13, that is staying around 400. 425-450 as the door closes from a burn cycle. Seems to be putting out pretty good heat, keeping the basement around 78-80, and lots of heat rolling up the stairs.

Compared to others here that run hitzers on 9-10 I think my chain is just adjusted differently, but in burning about 50-60lb per day when it's 15 degrees overnight. Does this seem normal?
My chain is adjusted differently also. I think my stove is on setting 11 for 400 degrees but I only eyeballed it and now I'm used to where it is.

50-60lbs of coal sounds good to me. I probably go through a bit more.
Scottaw wrote:My other observation is that when the air door is open, the flue sounds like a jet engine, the Baro is partially open, and I can see flames shooting past it. The Baro is mounted right above the elbow off the back of the stove, and when the air door closes, the Baro stays closed with no flames shooting past.
I've noticed that will happen at times when I'm running 400 and over. Under 400 it doesn't usually happen.

I think it may happen when too much new coal covers the entire bed. If I'm running the stove hotter and home I'll sometimes give an extra shake down during the day; just enough to get rid of some ash and get new some new coal down but not enough to cover the entire ash bed.

I'm not entirely sure if it helps at all but it's easy enough to do; still experimenting with this.
Scottaw wrote:I've also noticed at times some flames that seem to be going around the door gasket, usually after a fresh fill up. The stove was refurbished when I bought it, do I need a new gasket already?
That happens to mine also. I posted a video and people said not worry.
Hitzer 50-93
Open Floor Plan
Stove is located on the first floor/living room
Heating appr 2,200 sq ft
House built 1976
Moderate Insulation

User avatar
skobydog
Member
Posts: 238
Joined: Mon. Jun. 10, 2013 9:53 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite
Location: Greenfield MA

Post Sat. Jan. 18, 2014 4:21 pm

Scottaw wrote:Another observation that seems odd to me, but maybe is normal, the sides of my stove are
Much hotter than the top. According to my infrared, I average about 100 degrees hotter on the sides.
Top is not as hot because of an air space (not sure if that's the correct terminology).
Hitzer 50-93
Open Floor Plan
Stove is located on the first floor/living room
Heating appr 2,200 sq ft
House built 1976
Moderate Insulation

Scottaw
Member
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue. Dec. 03, 2013 3:51 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93
Location: Spruce Creek, PA

Post Sat. Jan. 18, 2014 5:47 pm

Sounds pretty good then. Think I might have it figured out.

Since I've had the stove I've kept my mini split heat pumps running at 68, and they haven't seemed to be running much. today since I would be home all day I shut them off, and the coal alone on a 20 degree day is keeping up just fine. Good to know I can handle a power outage just fine, it's one of the main reasons I got the stove.

I've been picking up coal by filling bags and loading them in my car, and I think I've made enough trips to get me to the end of the winter. Next project, building the bin.

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jjs777_fzr
Member
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed. Jan. 07, 2009 8:17 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Penn Coal Stove & Chubby
Other Heating: CFM Wood Stove & Englander 25-PDVC Pellet Stove
Location: Northshore Massachusetts
Contact:

Post Thu. Jan. 23, 2014 3:01 am

Have you tried shutting off the heat pumps during sub 20° days ?
What is the temp of your main floor with no heat pumps and just the coal stove ?

With your stove in the basement - and the basement is just one enormous heat sink - what are the walls made out of ?
Have you considered insulating the walls ?
Closed cell spray foam works incredibly well on stone/concrete/masonry walls.
The temp difference is huge.
And that would increase your overall efficiency.

I did a short video of the applied foam and temps -


Scottaw
Member
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue. Dec. 03, 2013 3:51 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93
Location: Spruce Creek, PA

Post Fri. Jan. 24, 2014 1:00 pm

When I had the heat pumps off the main floor stayed around 66 over a 48 hr period. Basement was 77, and stove around 500. My house has a very weird layout that doesn't lend itself to a radiant stove heating the whole place.

At one point I considered insulating the basement, but it's a 200+ year old farmhouse with 2' thick stone walls. I have to keep the stone warm to avoid frost heave destroying the foundation. It's lasted this long, I don't wanna be the one to mess it up. But, summer plans involve replacing the basement door and windows and insulating the sill plates.

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oliver power
Member
Posts: 2266
Joined: Sun. Apr. 16, 2006 9:28 am
Stoker Coal Boiler: KEYSTOKER Kaa-2
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93 & 30-95, Vigilant (pre-Vigilant-II), D.S. 1600 Circulator
Baseburners & Antiques: MANY (Mostly when burning wood)
Location: Near Dansville, NY

Post Sat. Jan. 25, 2014 7:06 pm

mmcoal wrote:Based on what I was told and what I am experiencing, 50-60 pounds sounds good at those settings. I too get some flames around the glass gasket when there is enough gases in the stove and the back flap closes. The flames around the glass were usually so lite and short lived I didn't think much of it since my stove is still practically new. I have been experimenting with my ash pan door vents right now and by keeping the vents open to a perfect circle or less seems to have calmed the stove down a lot after a shake down. For a couple of days I was actually idling the stove around 200-250 with just the ash pan door vents and leaving back flap shut down and I really liked how the stove operated. Sorry I wasn't much help, but that's just my experience so far.
Sounds like you have the ash pan vents figured out. Half moon to round is where you want to be. Any more than round, too much heat goes up the chimney. Especially when the wind is blowing. The ash pan vents keep your fire ALIVE, and ready to respond the moment the back flapper pops open. To close the ash pan door vents is like putting the fire down for a nap. When the back flapper door pops open, the fire has to be awaken, and is slower to respond to the demand for heat. Now use the back dial for adjusting room temperature. Kind of like a tractor engine. The ash pan vents = throttle setting. Back flapper door = governor. Too much throttle, your wasting energy. Not enough throttle the engine stalls. Governor regulates the power needed to do the job.

Scottaw
Member
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue. Dec. 03, 2013 3:51 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 50-93
Location: Spruce Creek, PA

Post Sat. Jan. 25, 2014 7:58 pm

I'll have to play around with the ash door, I've just been keeping them closed and letting the thermostat do all the work. It seems to be working fine as is, but I'm interested to see how it works with the ash vents. Is there a fear of over fire? I assumed with them closed, the back flap would control any chance of a runaway fire.

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