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Couple of coal questions...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by pelican, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. pelican

    pelican New Member

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    Hey guys, as I'm reading from others, I too am getting a full load of coals by end of day which prevents me from loading up the an overnight burn. I'm trying to figure out on how to minimize this throughout the day so I won't have such a problem come nighttime.

    I know it's not my wood, it happens from any wood I burn, even the bundled bone dry wood you get at the grocery store. Which leads me to believe it's my way of operating that's to cause.

    Here are a few questions in no particular order...

    Does raking the coals forward help? I saw some pics from Huntindog1, and while I have raked my coals forward in the past, not to the extreme like in his pics where there's barely a bed left in the back. Will this help with the coaling?

    Another question, am I closing my air control too much? I have a Regency i2400 and the manual says it must stay open at least 1/2" (or maybe a 1/4, I don't remember). I usually close it down as much as I can to get a longer burn once I get a good fire going. Should I keep it open more?

    Thanks for helping, if you know of anything else that could help I would appreciate it!

    MP

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If the fuel is good, then the problem is you are closing the air down too far and hoping to reload too soon. Or else the stove isn't large enough for your needs and you are trying to run more fuel through it than is reasonable for a given time period / weather conditions.

    If you are around the unit, I would suggest raking the coals forward and opening the air control up wide open about an hour before you are hoping to reload.

    pen
    corey21 likes this.
  3. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Also, when you have a big bed of coals but feel the urge to reload;

    Place just one or two small splits in, and use much more air than usual,or
    (and this is the preferable method (IMHO)
    Put some dry pine in instead of hardwood.

    Either way, burn down the coals significantly before refilling again with hardwood.
    corey21 likes this.
  4. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Those coals throw a lot of heat. My harman does a nice job on coals alone, 400+ stovetop.Plus the stove is deep. I can put new wood in even if there is a foot deep of coals. Probably put out 50000 BTUs on coals. 75000 on a full load of oak.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I like pulling the coals forward, burning them down a bit with more air, then reload. Not leaving a bed of coals in the back helps extend the burn. The stove burns down the load from front to back that way.

    There are too many variables in flues, flue location, chimneys, wood, and operation to have hard set rules. Regency has provided a guideline that's all. If your stove burns well with the air control fully closed, then that is fine. Ours does too with some wood, but not with very hard wood like locust. You can open the air up quite a bit again to burn down the coal bed at the end of the cycle.
    corey21 likes this.
  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Either wet wood, not burning hot enough, or impatiently reloading too soon.
    I have been guilty of all three, but mostly wet wood my first year, and impatiently reloading in more recent years.
    Last year I have gone from loading 3x per day every 8 hours, to 2x per day, every 12 hours. I resist the urge to add more wood just by merely looking in the stove and seeing how much the coals are still built up and how much they are glowing. Can almost tell by the glow, or lack of, when it is time to reload, and the thermo also. So for me, patience is the key. Might have to let the temp swing in the house go down about 3 degrees, sometimes 5, but I can live with that no problem. Once in a while, on single digit nights or colder, I will add a few splits of pine or other soft wood in between loads for a quick short heat up to bridge one load to the other.
    Wet or wait, usually one of those issues.
    pen likes this.
  7. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    That's a good point, if draft isn't where it should be with a chimney that is too short, too large in diameter, or contains too many bends, that will definitely lead to coaling problems as well.
  8. pelican

    pelican New Member

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    Thanks for the tips everyone. I think my problem is most likely a combo of reloading too soon and closing the air too much. I guess I want to extend the burn as long as possible by closing the air as much as possible but that doesn't even help, I seem to be reloading every 2-3 hours. Which would play into my loading too soon problem as well...

    Here's another question, I hear people talking about loading wood East to West. Does that help with burn times? I usually just sort of criss cross some pieces to fit etc, so it lights up quicker.

    MP

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