Please Help! I Just Moved Into a New Place W/ Coal...

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lcplbenee
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Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac Gotha 713D
Stove/Furnace Model: Surdiac Gotha 713D

Post Wed. Nov. 26, 2008 4:23 pm

Hi,

So I just moved into a new place this summer, and there is a coal stove here that I’ve been waiting to use. It’s a European made Surdiac brand, model Gotha 713D, manufactured in 1981. It runs on anthracite pea coal and is loaded from a gravity fed hopper (tapered). I’ve been doing TONS of internet research, reading TONS of forums, etc...but I still have a few unanswered questions:

1) Can the furnace be lit and fired up when the hopper is full, or does it have to be completely emptied? In the process of figuring out this thing, I got a fire going with newspaper and wood, and I slowly added coal until I had a good coal fire going. Then I filled the hopper with coal. Well, I managed to choke out that fire, and now I have the hopper full. Do I have to empty it and try again? I heard via word of mouth that you can light coal with a blow torch. Is this true? I have a torch that uses propane & MAPP, and I tried both gases on the coals. It makes the coals red, and then they don’t seem to catch. I hold it there for many minutes, and then when I take the torch flame away it doesn’t take. Does acetalyne or some other gas work; or is this method completely bogus? Am I truly stuck draining that entire hopper and starting over from scratch?

2) In the process of learning this thing, I’ve broken some of the many glass panes in the front. I looked up on woodmans parts plus that they sell the individual panes, and also they can make custom panes for stoves
surdiac gotha 713d.jpg
Surdiac 713D
. Their custom panes are 3/16” thick and these small panes I have are 1/8” thick. I want to order one of their custom panes that is one large piece covering the front instead of the many small pieces that are there now. Will that extra 1/16” of thickness make a huge difference?

3) I have found the only crappy manual online that is available for this thing , and as all other posts indicate-it’s not very detailed. I’m having a problem with the thermostat and dial. The wire from the thermostat sensor on the rear of unit is not connected to the cable that goes to the dial and the air intake door (the dial is connected to the door however so I can “manually” open and close it). How do I hook that up, and is there a lot of calibration invovled? I’m guessing I may have to calibrate the positions on the dial too....is this something I should dig into my pockets and pay a tech for?

thanks for your help!

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grizzly2
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Posts: 842
Joined: Tue. Feb. 12, 2008 7:18 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 - 95
Coal Size/Type: pea and nut/ anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #3 wood stove in garage. Oil backup in house. Electric backup in house.
Location: Whippleville, NY

Post Wed. Nov. 26, 2008 4:46 pm

I have a gravity fed hopper model of a Hitzer stove. You started out right with a wood fire, then sprinkling coal on the wood fire. However, once the coal catches, you add a thin layer of coal over that. When that layer burning red up to the top, add about 2" of coal a layer at a time, waiting for each layer to burn to the top. Keep adding 2" layers of coal until you reach the top of the firebricks or door opening whichever comes first. Now that you have a nice deep bed of burning coal, you can fill the hopper. You may need to leave your draft vents open or the ash door open while lighting the coal and building up the bed. So, in answer to your question "do I have to empty the hopper and firebox in order to light the fire?" the answer is yes for the hopper, and probably for the firebox. I would empty the firebox because it is a surrer way to get your fire going. I read a post by someone on this site who had a method of starting a fire with a full firebox, but it sounded like more work than just starting over. I cannot help you with your other two questions, but someone else here probably will. Good luck, you will learn to love coal heat if you are patient with your learning curve. :taz:

franco b
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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 Wed. Nov. 26, 2008 6:51 pm

I would stick with the glass intended for the stove which Woodsmans lists, and buy new gasket as well. Any thicker glass is sure to cause trouble in fitting.One large piece also is more sensitive to any misalignment or unequal tension leading to cracking. The individual panes also allow a bit of secondary air through to burn off gasses which makes a great show after shaking down.

Empty the hopper to relight.

I can't help with the thermostat as I use a Franco Belge which is similar in basic design. I would be more concerned as to why it was dis-connected. Perhaps it is faulty.

Richard

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Freddy
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Joined: Fri. Apr. 11, 2008 2:54 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined
Location: Orrington, Maine

Post Wed. Nov. 26, 2008 8:42 pm

Propane won't light coal. Mapp gas will IF it also has enough air (draft). I use gas on my Axeman, but that's a boiler and has a giant fan that draws air. With a natural draft perhaps Mapp gas isn't quite enough.

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grizzly2
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Posts: 842
Joined: Tue. Feb. 12, 2008 7:18 pm
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 30 - 95
Coal Size/Type: pea and nut/ anthracite
Other Heating: Jotul #3 wood stove in garage. Oil backup in house. Electric backup in house.
Location: Whippleville, NY

Post Thu. Nov. 27, 2008 11:21 pm

Since no one else has answered your third question I will do the best I can. Your set up sounds simmilar but not identical to my Hitzer thermostat. I don't know how your chain hooks to your cable, but if you can find a good solution for that, I would move the dial to midrange and open the draft door about 1/2 way and make the hookup. Make sure the door will then close all the way by turning the knob in the direction of "cooler". The exact number (if any) the knob points to doesn't matter, as long as you get the full range of motion from the thermostat. The numbers on my stove go from 1 to 15 and don't have a given temperature correlation. I find that my stove set at about 7 gives me about 72* in about 32* outside temps. You will just need to learn where to set your dial for the heat output you need. Keep in touch with the gang here if you have other questions. Read as many posts as you can get time for in the Hand Fired and Ventilation sections of this great forum. It will realy speed up your learning time. :dancing:

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lcplbenee
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Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac Gotha 713D
Stove/Furnace Model: Surdiac Gotha 713D

Post Fri. Nov. 28, 2008 12:37 am

thanks everyone for your answers so far....these have been very helpful!

Ross
Member
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri. Oct. 24, 2008 7:43 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: Gotha 713
Location: Plainville, CT

Post Fri. Nov. 28, 2008 9:33 am

Hi, I bought a house in July and have the same stove. I've had it running for about a month with no trouble but there was definitely a learning curve! If you have any other questions feel free to ask. I'm not an expert but I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I made. Also, happy to send you pictures of how my thermostat wire connects, will see if I can take some tonight.

Couple notes:
I lit mine empty, I think lighting it with the hopper full would be very hard.
Don't overfill the firebox. At first I was poking the coal down from the hopper until the whole box was full. Now I just let it fall and poke it lightly so it's more a mound shape. I get the same temp's but use a lot less coal.
I have a magnetic thermometer on the screen over the glass. I keep it going between 200f and 250f

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lcplbenee
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Posts: 4
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Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac Gotha 713D
Stove/Furnace Model: Surdiac Gotha 713D

Post Fri. Nov. 28, 2008 6:06 pm

hey Ross,

That would be awesome if you could forward some pics of the thermostat connection to the air intake hatch.

Thanks!!

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Ross
Member
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri. Oct. 24, 2008 7:43 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: Gotha 713
Location: Plainville, CT

Post Fri. Nov. 28, 2008 9:41 pm

Here is how mine is set up. The cable from the thermostat (numbered 0 to 8) doesn't go directly to the air intake. Instead it goes into a device that appears to regulate the air intake based on heat. There is another smaller cable attached to this device that bolts to the back of the stove, I'll call it a Temp Sensor (thermometer??). When the stove gets really hot this device closes the air intake and vice versa. It's a very slow process, not something you can see happening. Not even sure if mine works.
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below is a close up from the bottom. You can see the cable from the thermostat going into this device that opens/closes the air intake.
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I have shots from other angles but I have to adjust the size to get them to upload. I can e-mail them to you if you want them, just send me an pm with your e-mail.
Last edited by Ross on Sat. Apr. 01, 2017 1:12 am, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: <removed dead image link>

Ross
Member
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri. Oct. 24, 2008 7:43 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: Gotha 713
Location: Plainville, CT

Post Fri. Nov. 28, 2008 9:48 pm

Here is a shot of the firebox. As you can see the hopper is badly worn in the front, but it seems to work fine.
<removed dead image link>
Last edited by Ross on Sat. Apr. 01, 2017 1:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: <removed dead image link>

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lcplbenee
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Posts: 4
Joined: Wed. Nov. 26, 2008 4:17 pm
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac Gotha 713D
Stove/Furnace Model: Surdiac Gotha 713D

Post Sat. Nov. 29, 2008 2:18 pm

Wow! Cool...thanks for the awesome pics!!! So how exactly is the thin wiring from the thermostat connected to that other cable? It looks like it just wraps around it somehow...

Should I just wrap it around it, or does it attach by a screw or something that I'm not seeing clearly in the pic?

Thanks again!

~Ben

Ross
Member
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri. Oct. 24, 2008 7:43 am
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Surdiac Gotha 713
Coal Size/Type: Pea
Stove/Furnace Make: Surdiac
Stove/Furnace Model: Gotha 713
Location: Plainville, CT

Post Sun. Nov. 30, 2008 11:06 am

The two wires don't connect, I think the temp sensor wire is just wrapped loosely around the thermostat cable because it's so long. They each have a place to screw into the box that regulates the air flow flap. If you go to http://www.woodmanspartsplus.com/ you can search for our stove and they have a schematic that shows all the parts.

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