Vermont Castings Vigilant 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.
maine2005
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Posts: 8
Joined: Wed. Jun. 11, 2008 10:27 am

Post Sat. Feb. 21, 2009 8:29 am

When I got up at 8, the stove top temp was 500, the room was 74, and the hallway was 70. I added coal, shook down the ash, and opened the back flap full. The only thing I did differently last night was keep the back flap virtually closed. It was probably only 1/4", if that. This is the first time the stove has gone all night untended, with a decent fire in the morning. We really didn't think the back flap "did anything," but as you said, VigIIPeaburner, it's key to keeping the burn even. Time will tell. It went down to 400 after I added a layer of coal. Hey, it's now back to 450, so I put the damper handle down. And we have 1/2 a bag of coal left. We have a pan of ash that's about 3/4 full, but not overflowing. That's quite a change. Just wanted you to know your advice seems to have made a huge difference. The tall blue "dancers" are proof. Thanks again!

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VigIIPeaBurner
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Casting Vigilant II 2310
Other Heating: #2 Oil Furnace
Location: Pequest River Valley, Warren Co NJ

Post Sat. Feb. 21, 2009 11:44 am

maine2005 wrote:When I got up at 8, the stove top temp was 500, the room was 74, and the hallway was 70. I added coal, shook down the ash, and opened the back flap full. The only thing I did differently last night was keep the back flap virtually closed. It was probably only 1/4", if that. This is the first time the stove has gone all night untended, with a decent fire in the morning. We really didn't think the back flap "did anything," but as you said, VigIIPeaburner, it's key to keeping the burn even. Time will tell. It went down to 400 after I added a layer of coal. Hey, it's now back to 450, so I put the damper handle down. And we have 1/2 a bag of coal left. We have a pan of ash that's about 3/4 full, but not overflowing. That's quite a change. Just wanted you to know your advice seems to have made a huge difference. The tall blue "dancers" are proof. Thanks again!
I'm glad to hear that you are experiencing some success. You soon have a better idea of how it behaves with your coal/chimney combination. After you get use to fully loading it you'll learn what color red and how much of the coal load is at that color hue corresponds to the stove top temperature. Loading it up won't make it burn hotter like a wood stove will when fully loaded. Regulating how much air the burning load receives controls the temperature output. The magic of the back flap responding to the stove temperature! The entire load will not burn red unless it's getting enough air to support that high rate of burn.

It seems that you should have a good draft with 16' of 8"chimney in winter weather/temperatures. The Vigilant II manual calls for a 6" inside diameter chimney. An 8" inside diameter chimney might be harder to keep warm in spring weather so watch your stove top temperature. Be sure your CO detectors are in good working order or not too old either. When I reduce the firebox like you saw in the video, I do not close the internal damper. This keeps the chimney warm to support a good draft.
3 Videos: Chavez can shov(el) it . . . & he's @ it full time now!

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