What's the Longest You've Ever Lasted???

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What's the you've you've ever lasted?????

Less than a month
1-2 months
Greater than 3 months
Total votes: 23

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Gary in Pennsylvania
Posts: 208
Joined: Sun. Mar. 12, 2006 2:59 pm

Post Mon. Oct. 30, 2006 7:35 am

So.....I fired it up (finally!) on Friday! Woo Hoo! I love coal heat!

Anyways......When we first bought our home in 2003, I struggle trying to learn the nuances of the coal burner ( a Harman fireplace insert model. It looks identical to the insert model on their website now ). I world frequently starve the fire or let it blaze up to 500+degrees according to the outside magnetic box thermometer.
I got better by winter 2004 and by winter 2005, I was a pro!
I high-five myself because I fired up for the 2005 season in late-ish October and I kept that stove going continuously till mid March. She never went out once.

Now I'm just beginning to learn the coal lingo here.....but I believe my insert qualifies as a 'hand-fired' unit? No auto-hopper thing at all. A bucket-and-a-half in the morning and one to one-and-half buckets in the evening to hold over till morning. Empty the ashes once a day.

So.....with that....Is that burn stretch normal? I fired up this past Friday and I'm gonna see how well I can do this season!

How about you?

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Richard S.
Posts: 12712
Joined: Fri. Oct. 01, 2004 8:35 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite
Location: NEPA

Post Mon. Oct. 30, 2006 7:50 am

The one in our house has been running constantly almost 25 years except for all but a few days for maintenance . :shock: It's a large stoker boiler with a large hot water jacket so it's definitely feasible. We only go through about a ton in the summer months so it's probably cheaper to run it than turn it off. Additionally with large units like that it's recommended to keep them running constantly, it will extend the life of it considerably and keep maintenance costs low.
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

Posts: 135
Joined: Wed. Jan. 25, 2006 4:05 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Alaska Kodiak Stokerstove 1
Location: NE PA

Post Mon. Oct. 30, 2006 5:55 pm

Normally go from Oct. thru April without shutting her down. Last year we had a warm spell in Jan. and I shut it down to clean some fly ash out. Hate to shut it down but the ash really builds up after 3 - 4 months.

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Posts: 11915
Joined: Sun. Dec. 11, 2005 12:43 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - (custom built by Jim Dorsey, Taunton MA - RIP 4/18/13)
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (SOLD!)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler
Location: West-Central Mass

Post Thu. Nov. 02, 2006 9:29 pm

My Harman manual (for Mark I) says to clean accumulated fly-ash from the unit after burning 2 tons.

I burned just shy of 3 tons last year, & there was about 2" of fly ash built up in the stove's exhaust!! I can see why they recommend the cleaning.... Probably would have plugged up with a poor draft!

Posts: 130
Joined: Wed. Nov. 16, 2005 9:41 pm
Location: Palmerton Pa

Post Thu. Nov. 02, 2006 11:29 pm

early oct till the middle of may.I'll let her burn down to around 100 to 150 then clean out the fly ash with a old shop vac and she's good to go again.There is times when the mag will run at 500 for long periods of time.So when ever I can cool her down a bit i'll clean her out

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Posts: 5849
Joined: Mon. Nov. 14, 2005 8:40 am
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY

Post Fri. Nov. 03, 2006 7:08 am

Keystoker 90
We ran it Nov - May also (Last Year)

This year we fired it up Oct 1 !!
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer

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Posts: 71
Joined: Tue. Nov. 22, 2005 2:21 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Us Stove
Stove/Furnace Model: 1600G
Location: Warren, OH

Post Wed. May. 30, 2007 2:16 am

I usually run cont. from nov to late feb. I will build small fires in oct and march depending on the weather. The coal I get doesn't take that much work to get going. As far as fly ash goes I only end up with about an half of an inch in the bottom of my stove pipe by the end of the season.

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