Am I Filling to High?

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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MidnightMadman
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Post Sat. Jan. 03, 2009 5:20 pm

I am wondering if I am filling my stove up with TOO much coal? I fill it all the way up to the top of the firebricks where the retainer bar is. I don't have the banking plate in because its warped. So I have a slop that comes forward. At the front I seem to get a lot of coal that looks unburnt.
I also am wondering if I am not clearing enough of the old stuff out when I shake? Just how much should I be removing?
I am asking these questions becuase three times I have lost a fire, but its always about 5 days into it. Seems like its getting overloaded or bogged down the longer its running.

I have another new burn going and it seems so clean and healthy right now... a much different burn then what it looks like in a couple days.
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Devil505
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Post Sat. Jan. 03, 2009 5:26 pm

It's not too much coal! I'll bet it's the problem I just posted about. More of a Mid-Winter Cleanout Than A Shake Down

Too much ash would be my guess! (I'll bet your stove is crammed full of ash with very little coal left to burn well!)
Make sure you open your ash door & let the fie liven up well b4 you touch it or shake down.
Last edited by Devil505 on Sat. Jan. 03, 2009 5:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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SuperBeetle
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Post Sat. Jan. 03, 2009 5:34 pm

I think it is "loading up with ash". Shake until you see orange coals falling into the ash pan. Fill it as full as you can each time you put coal in. Coal likes a deep bed.
" A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" -- 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution....
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MidnightMadman
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Post Sat. Jan. 03, 2009 5:35 pm

SuperBeetle wrote:I think it is "loading up with ash". Shake until you see orange coals falling into the ash pan. Fill it as full as you can each time you put coal in. Coal likes a deep bed.
Should I add fresh coal before I shake or after?
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Devil505
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Post Sat. Jan. 03, 2009 5:37 pm

MidnightMadman wrote:Should I add fresh coal before I shake or after?
I would:

Open ash door & let the fire brighten/liven up
Add a shovel full (or 2) of fresh coal to the good section (don't smother the flames though)
Wait 5 minutes to let that catch well

THEN shake & follow my earlier post.
War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.
Winston Churchill
Shaking & Poking The TLC2000 Video

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SuperBeetle
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark II
Coal Size/Type: Pea, Nut, & Stove Anthracite
Location: Gettysburg, PA

Post Sat. Jan. 03, 2009 6:03 pm

MidnightMadman wrote:
SuperBeetle wrote:
Should I add fresh coal before I shake or after?
I open the ash door, let it get burning pretty hot, shake it, and then add coal. Devil's suggestion works too. I just prefer the way I do it. After adding fresh coal I leave the ash door open for 5 minutes or so. There are some variables to this and you will learn your particular setup and personal preferences.
" A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" -- 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution....
IT AIN'T ABOUT HUNTING Two to the chest............one to the head. The Mozambique Drill :rambo3:

- John

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Millworker
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Post Sun. Jan. 04, 2009 1:06 am

I had the same problem for a while. I was struggling to keep the stove going for 10 - 12 hours while I was at work. I had no problem the first few days, then the burn time would shorten as the percentage of ash and clinkers in the firebox increased. The previous replies are right on the money. try to get as much ash out as possible. I open the vents full, add coal and let it catch hard, then shake down until a healthy amount of red embers fall through. Once I feel I have a pure bed of red hot coals I will poke about 3 holes in it to promote air flow, then load the stove full with fresh coal. Finally, it is important to keep your stove temps under control. Burning too hot will cause ash and dead coals to fuse, which are really difficult to pass through your grates and they will build up over time. By not overfiring you will produce a finer ash that will pass more efficiently through the grate.
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MidnightMadman
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Stove/Furnace Make: GIBRALTAR
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Location: Hudson Valley, NY

Post Sun. Jan. 04, 2009 8:34 am

"I had the same problem for a while. I was struggling to keep the stove going for 10 - 12 hours while I was at work. I had no problem the first few days, then the burn time would shorten as the percentage of ash and clinkers in the firebox increased. The previous replies are right on the money. try to get as much ash out as possible. I open the vents full, add coal and let it catch hard, then shake down until a healthy amount of red embers fall through. Once I feel I have a pure bed of red hot coals I will poke about 3 holes in it to promote air flow, then load the stove full with fresh coal. Finally, it is important to keep your stove temps under control. Burning too hot will cause ash and dead coals to fuse, which are really difficult to pass through your grates and they will build up over time. By not overfiring you will produce a finer ash that will pass more efficiently through the grate."

Awesome. I was wondering about that type of ash I was getting. I thought the hotter it burned the easier the ash was to remove. I thought it would burn it down into more of a power...I was wrong
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Gary L
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Post Sun. Jan. 04, 2009 10:48 am

I have very similar conditions but I don't loose the fire. I do watch the temp go down on the burn indicator after about 5 days of burn with just normal shake downs.

My fire box is square and my shaker grate is round and ashes tend to clog the corners and pack in rather tight.

I made a special poker I can get into the corners with to dislodge the ashes and about once per week I get the coals excited and do a complete mix up making sure I get into the corners and then a complete shake down. I come very close to loosing the fire so I have to spend a little time at this proceedure. I usually have to empty 2 ash pans full at this time and one of them has allot of reds.

Once I get the offending ashes out of the corners my burn indicator goes right up to the normal temp and my fire is breathing fine for another 4-5 days.

Ash bound is the term I use and fixing it is a small price to pay but with my stove it does the trick.

Hope this helps with yours.

Gary

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