Basics of a Hand Fired Coal Stove

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.
gina
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Weso Ceramic Radiant Heat Wood and Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: nut
Location: Chittenden, VT

Post Thu. Feb. 02, 2017 7:49 pm

Okay, but what should I aim for with the temp gauge on the front of the stove?

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Rich W.
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Vigilant Multi-Fuel (coal for me); Vermont Castings Vigilant 2310 in the shop
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: System 2000 Oil Burner; VC Resolute Woodstove (sold) Jotul 8 Woodstove (sold)
Location: Newport County, Rhode Island

Post Thu. Feb. 02, 2017 7:53 pm

Gina,
Keep in mind that changes in temp and fire are a lot slower with coal than with wood. Make minor adjustments to the air flow, and walk away from the stove, but WITH A TIMER to remind you to go back to see how it's doing. I use my phone's count down timer for the purpose, usually set to 10 or 15 minutes. Doing that you will avoid seeing 900 again! I'm not familiar with your stove, but mine is a multi fuel too (just coal for me), and I can run it steadily at any temp between 250 and 550 with great results. I suspect your's will do the same. Congrats on finding the best coal stove accessory you can have...this forum!
Rich in RI

rberq
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300 with hopper
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators (fuel oil); propane
Location: Central Maine

Post Thu. Feb. 02, 2017 7:57 pm

gina wrote:Okay, but what should I aim for with the temp gauge on the front of the stove?
Whatever makes your house warm enough. But as Franco said, 6 to seven hundred max.
There's no magic number that is just right. I adjust my stove to anywhere from 150 to 600 depending how much heat I need.
Simple answers for simple minds.

gina
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Joined: Mon. Aug. 29, 2016 12:20 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Weso Ceramic Radiant Heat Wood and Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: nut
Location: Chittenden, VT

Post Thu. Feb. 02, 2017 8:03 pm

Thank you!

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lowfog01
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Mark II & Mark I
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea
Location: Springfield, VA

Post Thu. Feb. 02, 2017 8:26 pm

Lightning wrote:Yeah, 900 is too hot. Hopefully the temp gauge wasn't accurate lol.
Yes, 900 is too hot - did anyone mention the fastest way to cool down a coal fire is to add more coal. It sounds counter intuitive but it's true. You may want to keep a bag of baking soda near the stove, too, just in case you need to put the fire out quickly. Take care, Lisa
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Rich W.
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Posts: 208
Joined: Tue. Nov. 26, 2013 10:29 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Vigilant Multi-Fuel (coal for me); Vermont Castings Vigilant 2310 in the shop
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Other Heating: System 2000 Oil Burner; VC Resolute Woodstove (sold) Jotul 8 Woodstove (sold)
Location: Newport County, Rhode Island

Post Thu. Feb. 02, 2017 9:08 pm

Gina...not sure if it's been mentioned, but worth mentioning again. CO detector or two to keep you and yours safe!
Rich in RI

gina
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Joined: Mon. Aug. 29, 2016 12:20 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Weso Ceramic Radiant Heat Wood and Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: nut
Location: Chittenden, VT

Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2017 11:10 am

Thanks, again, everyone. I have two CO2 detectors, so I'm good on that -- and lots of baking soda! The fire went all night, so I think I'm getting the hang of it and figuring out how to get the temp I want. It's cold enough here that I need it to be around 500. It was down to 300 this morning though and my backup furnace went on. Turned that off when I got up and tried to get the coals going again. I think I shook things too much though as it just fizzled out. We'll see how it goes today. . .

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Seagrave1963
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman TLC2000
Coal Size/Type: nut
Other Heating: electric heat pumps, propane fireplace
Location: Eastern Shore of Maryland

Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2017 11:52 am

gina wrote:Thanks, again, everyone. I have two CO2 detectors, so I'm good on that -- and lots of baking soda! The fire went all night, so I think I'm getting the hang of it and figuring out how to get the temp I want. It's cold enough here that I need it to be around 500. It was down to 300 this morning though and my backup furnace went on. Turned that off when I got up and tried to get the coals going again. I think I shook things too much though as it just fizzled out. We'll see how it goes today. . .
Glad you're getting the hang of it. Coal stoves can be a bit frustrating to get them working consistently, but, in the end, the warmth and low cost is well worth it!

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rberq
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Joined: Mon. Apr. 16, 2007 9:34 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300 with hopper
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Nut
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators (fuel oil); propane
Location: Central Maine

Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2017 12:38 pm

From the look of your grates (in the other thread) your biggest aggravation will be having them plugged up with ash. When that happens the stove temperature drops off like you are seeing. Review Franco's advice in your previous thread about keeping them clear. Glad to hear you are making progress.

By the way, it is CO detectors you have (I hope), not CO2. Carbon monoxide vs. carbon dioxide. CO2 can kill you, just not as efficiently or as dead as CO. :o
Simple answers for simple minds.

gina
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Posts: 20
Joined: Mon. Aug. 29, 2016 12:20 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Weso Ceramic Radiant Heat Wood and Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: nut
Location: Chittenden, VT

Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2017 1:14 pm

Yes, my mistake on the CO. You are correct.

franco b
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Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2017 2:37 pm

If you need 500 degrees in the very cold, you might have to go to more frequent tending times.

The aim should be to still have close to one half of burning coal still available to ignite the new coal load quickly.

If a stove holds 40 pounds, then loading 20 pounds at each tending would be best for a 12 hour burn and still have enough left burnibg to ignite the new coal. Being left with a small amount of burning coal can take a long time to get the new coal burning, or even lose the fire.

How much coal does the stove hold, loaded to near the top of the loading door? A typical scuttle holds about 20 pounds.

Please examine that bottom ash door and understand what the two apparent dampers do. I think one possibly may be thermostatically controlled.

gina
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Posts: 20
Joined: Mon. Aug. 29, 2016 12:20 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Weso Ceramic Radiant Heat Wood and Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: nut
Location: Chittenden, VT

Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2017 3:54 pm

Yes, the two controls on the bottom door are related. One's a thermostat of some sort and it's connected to a self-regulating damper. That thermostat only has settings, 0-1-2-3. It doesn't show actual temps. My problem now is that the stove seems to be running too hot. I have to keep the upper glass door open to keep it under 600. I suspect that the stove is getting air in elsewhere, but I don't know where. My scuttle might hold 20 lbs. Maybe a bit less.

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Lightning
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Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Overmodified/Bored out Clayton 1537
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite/Awesome Size
Location: Olean, NY

Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2017 4:15 pm

gina wrote:Yes, the two controls on the bottom door are related. One's a thermostat of some sort and it's connected to a self-regulating damper. That thermostat only has settings, 0-1-2-3. It doesn't show actual temps. My problem now is that the stove seems to be running too hot. I have to keep the upper glass door open to keep it under 600. I suspect that the stove is getting air in elsewhere, but I don't know where. My scuttle might hold 20 lbs. Maybe a bit less.
Could we get pictures of the controls you mentioned, and the "upper glass door" please, or are they already posted somewhere? The temperature of the stove is controlled by "primary combustion air" which is air that comes in under the grates and then goes up thru and feeds the coal bed. Primary air is controlled manually or automatically, sometimes a little of both.

If you have to allow over fire air to bring down the temperature of your stove then much of your heat is going out the chimney. We need to fix that...

gina
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Posts: 20
Joined: Mon. Aug. 29, 2016 12:20 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Weso Ceramic Radiant Heat Wood and Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: nut
Location: Chittenden, VT

Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2017 4:19 pm

Here's a pic. It is mirrored since I took it with my computer.
Photo on 8-29-16 at 2.17 PM.jpg

gina
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Posts: 20
Joined: Mon. Aug. 29, 2016 12:20 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Weso Ceramic Radiant Heat Wood and Coal Stove
Coal Size/Type: nut
Location: Chittenden, VT

Post Fri. Feb. 03, 2017 4:23 pm

I wonder if I didn't have enough of an ash bed down when I started the fire and so that's why it was burning so hot? It's slowed down now, with all doors closed and the round damper closed, I'm at about 350-370 on the stove.

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