Shaking Coal Christmas Eve Question

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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Vermonster
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Posts: 101
Joined: Sun. Dec. 15, 2013 5:26 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713 Rest in peace! Chubby Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut coal
Other Heating: oil boiler
Location: Bellows Falls, VT

Post Tue. Dec. 24, 2013 5:49 pm

I have yet another rookie coal question. How do you guys tell when you have shaked your coal enough? I have a surdiac gotha 713 and I stick the poker in and go in a stabbing motion in all directions. On the front of this stove there are 3 slots to do this. I usually shake them until I see a few hot coals falling down. It just seems I have to do this to often on this stove to keep it running and making heat. So I guess the question is how do I know I have shaked enough? I have been asking so many questions I am thinking of changing my name to "The Rookie". I am four days into this and all I have for advice is you guys. In my part of Vermont hardly anyone burns coal. Lets put is this way, my dad is 70 years old and came over yesterday to check out my stove, he has never seen a coal fire in his life. Thank's again for all the help, I sincerely appreciate this. Oh yeah, Merry Christmas everyone! Vermonster
"Give me liberty or give me death!" Patrick Henry 1775

franco b
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Posts: 8426
Joined: Wed. Nov. 05, 2008 5:11 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea
Location: Kent CT

Post Tue. Dec. 24, 2013 6:09 pm

The hotter you burn the stove the more frequently you have to clear the ash.

You are looking for a good red glow in the ash pan reflected from the grates.

Vermonster
Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun. Dec. 15, 2013 5:26 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713 Rest in peace! Chubby Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut coal
Other Heating: oil boiler
Location: Bellows Falls, VT

Post Tue. Dec. 24, 2013 6:26 pm

That is how I do it. I shake until I can see a reflection from the grates. I will turn the nob back on the control so the round damper is just cracked. The stove is in my basement and piped to a old brick chimney. My house is 100 years old and that chimney sticks out of the roof 3 feet. The house is also 2 stories with a big attic that you can walk in and use for storage. This chimney pulls some serious draft. When I installed it I did put in a manual draft in the stovepipe. Do you think I am getting too much draft? Would it help if I use my manual damper to cut down on the draft also? Thanks again everyone.
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franco b
Site Moderator
Posts: 8426
Joined: Wed. Nov. 05, 2008 5:11 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
Baseburners & Antiques: Glenwood Modern Oak 114
Coal Size/Type: nut and pea
Location: Kent CT

Post Tue. Dec. 24, 2013 7:00 pm

I suspect you need a larger stove. Burning and heating the basement in an old house makes it very hard to get enough heat upstairs. The stove puts out about 35,000 BTU maximum. Which would take about 75 pounds of coal per day at that output. Putting it upstairs would make a big difference.

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michaelanthony
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Posts: 3982
Joined: Sat. Nov. 22, 2008 10:42 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box stove, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Baseburners & Antiques: Home Sparkle 12
Coal Size/Type: Coal Contractor's stove, a little Kimmels 'nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace
Location: millinocket,me.
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Post Tue. Dec. 24, 2013 7:17 pm

Franco makes a good point. The stove in my living room is rated at 50k BTU and keeps this 1048' sq. ft. ranch 72* -78*. I also have a stove in the basement when it gets really cold! You are trying to heat (my guess) 1800-2400 sq. ft. from the basement which is difficult at best. Can you move the stove to the first floor or get another stove for the first floor? I was in you shoes 3 yrs ago and I didn't even want to leave for work trying to get a stove to do something it couldn't. I applaud your vigor and desire to keep warm and you are on the right path and doing a great job with what you have. Pictures of your set up and basement would help us help you. Do you have any duct work you can tie into? There are many many options based on affordability and time. Keep up the good work! And a very Merry Christmas. Mike.
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Vermonster
Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun. Dec. 15, 2013 5:26 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713 Rest in peace! Chubby Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: anthracite nut coal
Other Heating: oil boiler
Location: Bellows Falls, VT

Post Tue. Dec. 24, 2013 7:39 pm

Thanks guys. It makes sense to get a bigger stove. This spring I am going to buy a bigger stove. Its not in the cards right now. If I can heat my basement and some of the first floor it would help me alot on my oil bill.
"Give me liberty or give me death!" Patrick Henry 1775

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sperry
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Posts: 59
Joined: Fri. Nov. 05, 2010 10:55 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: efm/alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: 520/fireplace insert
Location: SWVT

Post Tue. Dec. 24, 2013 8:19 pm

I used a Surdiac to heat a area bigger than it was designed for a few years back. I found doing that you can easily warp the cast hopper. It warps the hopper throat to a much smaller opening for coal to drop. It's probably a good idea to start looking for your next years stove.
Good luck with the hunt!

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lowfog01
Member
Posts: 3895
Joined: Sat. Dec. 20, 2008 8:33 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea
Location: Springfield, VA

Post Tue. Dec. 24, 2013 8:54 pm

Do you spend a lot of time in the basement? If not, you may want to think about tapping into the chimney on the first floor and moving the stove up. That's relatively easy and from that location the stove you have may be able to do the job. You could put an end cap on the new opening if you did get a bigger stove for the basement come spring. Just a thought, Lisa
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