Tis a puzzlement...

WRE
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Post By: WRE » Tue. Sep. 25, 2018 1:05 am

Hi all,
I just signed up for this forum because I saw there are friendly people here who seem to know what they're talking about (a rare commodity these days.)
I recently acquired a Harman stoker where-on the plate says "Magnum Stoker" manufactured in June, 2006 but the control box says "Verti-Flow."
Questions:
1-Is that name difference of any consequence?
2-When I plugged it in to test it, to see if everything was functional prior to actually loading coal and firing it up, I noted the following:
--The main power light is on.
--The distribution power light is on and the fan runs continuously.
--The combustion and feed motor power lights are off.
--The feed motor switch has no effect (According to my meter, the switch is good.)
--All the motors/fans work when plugged in separately.
What I'm wondering (hoping, since I can't find a replacement) ... are there steps I'm missing that are required by the control box or, is the control box (as I'm guessing) faulty?
Any takers on this??
Thanks for any thoughts you may have.
Last edited by WRE on Tue. Sep. 25, 2018 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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joeq
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Post By: joeq » Tue. Sep. 25, 2018 6:26 am

Welcome aboard WRE. Sorry I won't be much help, but will say you've picked up a popular brand stove. Even tho it's a tad early in the forum season, you should have an answer soon. I could "speculate" on some of your questions, but don't want to be misleading. The experts here will be along soon. Good luck with it. :)

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freetown fred
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Post By: freetown fred » Tue. Sep. 25, 2018 7:10 am

W, some pix of the unit will be real helpful.

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titleist1
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker - one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite
Location: Cecil County, MD

Post By: titleist1 » Tue. Sep. 25, 2018 8:22 am

Welcome to the forum! Please post a pic if you are able of the control box. My initial guess is what you saw happening could be normal based on the timer settings on the control box.

One timer controls the length of time the stoker motor and combustion fan run. Another timer controls how long it is until the next time they run. The third timer controls how long the distribution fan runs after the stoker motor and combustion fan shut off.

The adjustments are tiny screws in that are very hard to see. It might be a good starting point to just leave it plugged in for a good 30 minutes and sit there with a stop watch and time the activity to see where they are set and compare it to the screw slots position on the timer dial.

To give you an idea on the settings, mine is set to run for about 2 minutes, stay off for about 13 minutes and the distribution fan runs for about 11 minutes after the stoker/combustion fan go off. (these times are approx) This keeps the fire lit between thermostat calls for heat and also washes most of the heat off the stove via the extended distribution fan run time. You may find a different set of stoker/combustion fan times works best for you, but I think it should be close to that.

Here is a manual in case you need it.
Magnum_Coal_Stoker-Manual.pdf
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titleist1
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker - one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite
Location: Cecil County, MD

Post By: titleist1 » Tue. Sep. 25, 2018 8:34 am

Forgot to add a note about the switch. It is for the feed motor and shuts it off if the timer has it set to come on. I use it when lighting up the stoker and I want the combustion fan on so the coal on the grates catch and burn well before feeding more coal. Its easier flipping that switch than unplugging the motor cord from its outlet on the control box.

I hope its the timer settings that just need to be figured out and not a burned out control box.

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McGiever
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Post By: McGiever » Tue. Sep. 25, 2018 10:41 am

Great information given above.

For some portions of testing the Verti-Flow controls without a thermostat connected, a jumper wire could be used temporarily between T terminals on the VertiFlow control.
Either way, that calls/signals the VertiFlow control for steady non-stop running while jumpered or while the thermostat remains closed/on. Then without jumper and as described above, the VF must resume to run the 'repeat cycle' to hold a idle fire up until whenever the next 'heat call' occures.

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Post By: WRE » Tue. Sep. 25, 2018 11:28 pm

Thanks guys...
New developments...
I plugged it in to take pictures of the controller lights and a few minutes later the distro fan shut off and all but the power light went out.
I went upstairs to work on posting pictures here (can't seem to crack the code but it looks exactly like the pictures in the manual that Titleist posted the link to...except for all the prettyness on the front page.) and when I went back down the blower was on again. I threw the feed switch and the fan went off which may have been totally coincidental.
So... I decided to experiment with the thermostat wire (the thermostat is missing) to see if McGiever's suggestion made a difference.
When I went back to the stove all the power lights were on and everything (!) was moving. Then as I watched in happy amazement the feeder bar and combustion blower shut off and a few minutes later the distro shut off. It has now repeated that cycle several times and I have adjusted the timers to recommended numbers.
I guess I was just too impatient and had to slow down and pay attention to what the lady wanted. 8-)
Now, a question...
Do I have to have a thermostat and if so, is it something special or will a standard stat, of proper electrical parameters, work?
Thanks again everyone...all your input broke me out of my "WTF mental box" and now it's on to studying all the nuances that make the lady happy. :D

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titleist1
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker - one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite
Location: Cecil County, MD

Post By: titleist1 » Wed. Sep. 26, 2018 7:01 am

Great news that your controller is working! That would be a $$$ part to replace. The Mag Stoker is a nice unit and will throw a lot of heat! :yes:

Since it is a used unit, for a good starting point, make sure to clean all the grate holes out using a drill bit (by hand) so you get good airflow throughout the entire coal bed. When seating the grates, I seal the side and middle seams with a small amount of furnace cement so all air is forced through the holes. Smooth the cement real well, you don't want clumps impeding the coal flow across the grates. Clean all the fines from the pusher block area. Clean both fans blades on the squirrel cage real well for max airflow and a drop of oil on their shafts. Check the fork on the stoker feed mechanism to make sure it hasn't been spread, the distance between the forks should be 1.75" (i will double check that measurement later...going by memory which is dangerous!). There are capped oil ports on the stoker pillow blocks you can a few drops of oil. As a starting point set the stoker travel distance on the side gauge to two dots and adjust from there once you fire up the unit. When running full out (after about 30 minutes) the fire should be within 1" of the end of the grates....lessen or increase the pusher travel to get to that measurement.

I recommend using a thermostat, I use a simple digital one that was the cheapest that the local big box had at the time at about $25. Mine is on a wall upstairs and the stoker is in the basement so the temp is controlled where I spend my time. The stoker fires up when the 'stat calls for heat and if the 'stat is satisfied then the timers on the control box keep the fire going. Some mag owners will plug in the combustion fan to a wall receptacle so it runs constantly, they feel it burns up the coal more completely.

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WRE
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Post By: WRE » Fri. Sep. 28, 2018 2:02 am

Great info, Titleist...but...
I've seen several references to the "fork" but what I see when I look at the mechanism is a bar and the "packing list" page of the owner's manual shows a picture of what is labeled "pusher block."
Is there a fork somewhere else or is it just a matter of different models?

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McGiever
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: BUCKET A DAY water heater
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 414A
Coal Size/Type: RICE,PEA,NUT,STOVE /ANTHRACITE and EGG / BIT
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump and some Solar
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post By: McGiever » Fri. Sep. 28, 2018 9:21 am

A few early made ones had a closed 'oval' rather than a open 'fork'.

The fork is located where the gearhead motor's eliptical shaft rotates between to pivot.

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titleist1
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Joined: Wed. Nov. 14, 2007 4:06 pm
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker - one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite
Location: Cecil County, MD

Post By: titleist1 » Fri. Sep. 28, 2018 10:37 am

Attached is a parts diagram, the fork can be seen on 9.17.

McG...is the 1.75" correct? I forgot to measure and am away until late tonight.


Magnum-Stoker.pdf
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McGiever
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Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 414A
Coal Size/Type: RICE,PEA,NUT,STOVE /ANTHRACITE and EGG / BIT
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump and some Solar
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post By: McGiever » Fri. Sep. 28, 2018 8:33 pm

titleist1 wrote:
Fri. Sep. 28, 2018 10:37 am
Attached is a parts diagram, the fork can be seen on 9.17.

McG...is the 1.75" correct? I forgot to measure and am away until late tonight.



Magnum-Stoker.pdf
Yes, it's 1.75" on the Mag Stoker

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Post By: WRE » Wed. Oct. 03, 2018 2:14 am

AHA!! I had seen references to a "weldment" but had no clue what it was!! Now I know what to take apart to find the "fork." I'll let you know what I find.
Thanks guys...

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Post By: coaledsweat » Wed. Oct. 03, 2018 6:49 am

A weldment is just pieces of steel welded together. Like a stove or boiler.

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McGiever
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Joined: Sun. May. 02, 2010 11:26 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: BUCKET A DAY water heater
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Warm Morning 414A
Coal Size/Type: RICE,PEA,NUT,STOVE /ANTHRACITE and EGG / BIT
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump and some Solar
Location: Junction of PA-OH-WV

Post By: McGiever » Wed. Oct. 03, 2018 8:48 am

That 'fork' is like a electrical fuse,,,it will bend to spread open if 'pusher' doesn't move freely... think 'weakest link', this saves destroying a very expensive gear head motor (~$355.00) and additionaly save the expensive control board also (another~$355.00)
Don't be too upset if it spreads open. ;)

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