Coal Stove Operation

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
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Joined: Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 7:49 am

Post Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 7:55 am

I'm considering purchasing a coal stove to heat my 1800 sq ft. house. I'm wondering if you can leave a coal stove unattended for long periods of time. My job keeps me on the road 13 hours a day?

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Posts: 7385
Joined: Sun. Nov. 20, 2005 8:02 pm
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland
Location: Michigan

Post Wed. Jul. 02, 2008 8:09 am

Hello Michael2yK, welcome to the forum.. read up on the different types of stoves, and coal burning appliances. And take a look at the various manufacturer's sites for cut-away drawings of the various stoves, boilers, furnaces.. this will help a lot.

The answer to your question is: it depends. If you have a stoker stove, it has a coal hopper, a feeder mechanism, a burning grate, and an ashpan to catch and hold the ashes... The whole reason for the list of items is to allow much longer burning times.. if the hopper is not allowed to get empty, and the ashpan is emptied every day or two, the stove can run all winter without the fire going out.. The duration of burn time without tending will depend on the hopper size, and the amount of heat the stove is being asked to produce.. Stoker stoves can be run manually or use a thermostat to run the stoker to maintain room temperature.. a digital thermostat/stoker controller called the Coal Trol is a popular control for stoker stoves.

With a hand feed stove, you are limited to the amount of coal you can shovel or pour into the stove, onto the burning coal bed. Most hand feed stoves have no way to store unburnt coal. {Hitzer's and Alaska's Hopper feed stoves are the exception]. So a hand feed stove is usually limited to 12-14 hours burn time before the fuel is nearly exhausted, and it often will need a fresh fire built... Again, this depends on the stove, the amount of fuel in the stove, and the amount of heat it is set to produce.. Hand feeds are all manual, you set the intake are controls to control heat output.. some handfeed boilers or furnaces have thermostatic controls to run a combustion air blower.

That's the long answer... Greg L.
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
Farming, Fixing, Fabricating and Flying: 'spare time' what's that?

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