Warm Morning 521 Tips?

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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mokycoal
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Burnham
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 521

Post Thu. Mar. 02, 2017 10:30 pm

Hi- I just started using a Warm Morning 521 that my father left me when he passed away. I replaced the rusted out sheetmetal housing and re-used the firebrick which was still in decent condition. I've been burning nut sized bituminous coal that a friend gave me. I haven't been able to figure out how to bank enough coal to make it last more than an hour before having to stoke it again. I read in another thread that when stoking it, I need to keep a portion of the coal bed uncovered so the fire won't go out. How then can I bank up enough coal to last several hours if I need to keep a portion of the coal bed exposed at all times? Do I need to make a steep hill of coal from grate level up to one side of the firebox? I could also keep adding to the coal bed as soon as it quits smoking heavy. That would take several hours. Would it work better if I used stove-sized instead of nut-sized bituminous?

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joeq
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Location: Northern CT

Post Thu. Mar. 02, 2017 11:26 pm

Jim, I'm afraid I probably won't be much help, cause I don't know much about the bit coal, and it's characteristics.
But I can tell you what the "theys" say about sizing, and that is basically, the larger the size, the more ( bigger gaps) air flow through the coal bed, and the hotter and faster it'll burn. If you're having a problem with it burning too fast, I can't see how stove size would be beneficial. How is your chimney system? Strong draft? MPD? Manometer? Do you know what your draft is? And lastly, is anthracite available in your area? Maybe you could try some. Hopefully the WM crew will chime in for you.
I got coal in my Christmas stocking. (Yey!)
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McGiever
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Fri. Mar. 03, 2017 8:52 am

Forget everything you ever learned of wood burning, does not apply to the burning of coal.
Sounds like door gaskets may be leaking air. Slowing down the fire takes proper air control, and no uncontrolled leaks. :idea:

Then comes technic...knowing when to allow plenty air in and when to 'throttle' it down to 'cruise'...all while not having a 'puff back'.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

mokycoal
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Burnham
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 521

Post Fri. Mar. 03, 2017 5:11 pm

joeq wrote:Jim, I'm afraid I probably won't be much help, cause I don't know much about the bit coal, and it's characteristics.
But I can tell you what the "theys" say about sizing, and that is basically, the larger the size, the more ( bigger gaps) air flow through the coal bed, and the hotter and faster it'll burn. If you're having a problem with it burning too fast, I can't see how stove size would be beneficial. How is your chimney system? Strong draft? MPD? Manometer? Do you know what your draft is? And lastly, is anthracite available in your area? Maybe you could try some. Hopefully the WM crew will chime in for you.
I seem to have a good strong draft after I get the fire good and hot. I'm using a manual damper in a 6" x 20' stainless steel flu pipe liner mounted in my chimney. I don't have a manometer. I'd like to try some anthracite when I run out of bituminous. There's a place 15 miles away where I can buy it in bulk. Thank you for the advise!
Last edited by mokycoal on Sat. Apr. 01, 2017 12:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Quote box

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mokycoal
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Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Burnham
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 521

Post Fri. Mar. 03, 2017 5:15 pm

McGiever wrote:Forget everything you ever learned of wood burning, does not apply to the burning of coal.
Sounds like door gaskets may be leaking air. Slowing down the fire takes proper air control, and no uncontrolled leaks. :idea:

Then comes technic...knowing when to allow plenty air in and when to 'throttle' it down to 'cruise'...all while not having a 'puff back'.
My 521 is a top loader with no gaskets so I have to control any leaks by adjusting the draft and flu damper. I've done well at preventing puff backs sometimes, other times not so good. I've had a stinking house with the bathroom and kitchen ceiling vents running a couple of times already. I'm still getting to know the old girl. Thank you for the advise!

franco b
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Post Fri. Mar. 03, 2017 5:27 pm

The advice to burn large lumps of bit coal is to slow the release of gas, much in same way that a large wood log does as opposed to small pieces.

Banking is best suited to long or large horizontal fireboxes. You might try poking a hole, or several, down through a fresh load of coal with a poker, to reach the red hot burning area close to the grate. That provides a path for very hot gas and air to ignite the gas in the fresh load. Works well for anthracite as well.

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McGiever
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
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Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post Fri. Mar. 03, 2017 9:48 pm

From prior posts on banking etc...

Having Trouble Keeping Consistent Temperatures...
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

gregnel
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning and Home Comfort Cook Stove
Coal Size/Type: Hard coal nut and rice. Soft stoker size. North Dakota lignite
Location: Minneapolis Minnesota

Post Sun. Mar. 19, 2017 9:50 pm

I've been running a Warm Morning 520 on salvaged stoker size high volatile Illinois soft coal for a couple years now. Everyone says this is a great stove and I agree.

But it is a bit tricky to get it to run the way it was designed. Those channels in the firebrick are there so that it will side/down draft, and thus burn all or at least most of the smoke and volatiles. Once you get it drafting through the channels, and not up through the fresh coal, most problems with smoke or run away high temperatures will disappear.

I start the stove like everyone else on wood, and start adding shovel fulls of coal as soon as it gets going good. I throw it against the back wall. I keep adding coal every 5 minutes or so, being careful to keep the front hot and with a decent flame. It does take time. Over the course of an hour or so I might load it up with 30 to 40 pounds. But it is always controllable using the MPD and primary air.

All this gets us a fairly deep bed of burning coal, but it's still drafting up through the top, not the sides. At this point I fill up the stove with another 50 pounds of coal or so. This in effect closes off the top and forces the stove to now draft through the firebrick channels. This creates that wonderful 3 zone effect of the coal on top being coked with the gases being drawn over the hot coals and burned.

With the coal I use, when I get it wrong, it becomes a smoking mess. I've had neighbors a quarter mile away complain. When done right you can't tell that I'm burning anything.

Great stove. I have burned a lot of junk coal and it just keeps going.

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gregnel
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Channing III
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning and Home Comfort Cook Stove
Coal Size/Type: Hard coal nut and rice. Soft stoker size. North Dakota lignite
Location: Minneapolis Minnesota

Post Mon. Mar. 20, 2017 8:13 am

More to the point of the original poster's questions...

For me it is instructive to think of running the stove in two ways. One; when first doing a cold start, and two; keeping it going after it's been burning awhile.

A cold start is the more challenging. Yes, add the coal to one side building up a ramp from grate up the side so there is always at least a spot of burning coal visible and there is always a vigorous open flame. Once the bed of burning coal has reached at least the level of the bottom firebrick channel openings you can now add all the coal you can to fill it up forcing it to draft through those channels. You're done and can starting running the stove like normal.

The mistake I made when first learning to start this stove was to rush it. When it's 30 below it's hard not to. You need a decent bed of burning coal and that takes time to build, for me about an hour of fairly constant tending with the coal I use. The object of all this is to get the smoke, gases and volatiles burnt before they exit the stove and to do that you need a deep bed established so it will side draft.

After this it's drafting through the channels and it's the normal 12 to 18 hour shake and fill, like any other stove. Once in a while if I let it burn too low I've got to build the bed back up before I dump in the 50 to 70 pounds needed to fill it. Otherwise we're back to the stinky smoky mess out the chimney.

As an aside, I've also burned a couple tons of North Dakota lignite. Runs about the same with just the expected reduced burning times.

Also, it handles fines just great. I used to be concerned about the quality of coal but the stove doesn't seem to care what I throw in there.

Once started it's a very forgiving stove.

franco b
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: V ermont Castings 2310, Franco Belge 262
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Coal Size/Type: nut and pea
Location: Kent CT

Post Mon. Mar. 20, 2017 5:32 pm

Makes a lot of sense to me. Best post yet in the understanding of the Warm Morning stoves and how to get that center area to act as a magazine as intended by the manufacturer.

jsplott
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Location: Western NC

Post Tue. Aug. 01, 2017 2:28 pm

The best advice given to me was to install a barometric damper so thats what i will pass on to you. The baro made my wm617 a lot easier to use.

Shannon

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