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craig i need some help with the btu nfor coal cause nothing makes sense

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lime4x4, Dec 29, 2005.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I'm sorry...It was just too choice to leave alone. On a serious note, I do feel for you. A coal stove of this price point ought to be capable of heating you out of the house. Anything close to 85k BTU's is a tremendous amount of heat. For a comparison, an Avalon Olympic pretty much heats the whole showroom at one of the local dealers, and I'm sure that show room is easily 2500 - 3000 sqft with lots of glass. That stove is tremendously hot when within 10ft of it and I've never seen it running full boar. Also, my parents used to use a hand fired mid-size Warm Morning years ago, and that stove was capable of cookin us out of the house, no matter what the outside temp was. For 3 grand, you should not be questioning the stoves heat output. I hope you can get this resolved. I'm sure a fair number of folks are watching.

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  2. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    warren meant it as a joke..lol just forgot the lol..
    That's why i went with a higher btu stove. My house is almost 100 years old.It's not the best insulated yet plus i do have drafts here and there nothing big.
    I wanted the higher btu stove for simple fact of the heat loss that i probably do have in the house
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    No worries...completely taken as a joke as was my poking you. I looked at your links..Dammmmm. There's a couple pics where that house looks SERIOUSLY leaky. ;-) You look like you've done some rather serious renovation.

    The area you live in looks similar to my in-laws...(outside of Scranton). In the heart of Anthricite country. Living there, coal makes total sense for heat. Almost no work, and fairly cheap.

    o.k. 32 bucks!!
  4. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    No way dude... I bid 50, and 50 it is. Lime, PM me your address.

    Lime,
    Reading coal stoves, haven't seen those advertised much. I'll have to take a look.

    -- Mike

    PS - Based upon my completely non-coal educated mind, and everything I have read that you have posted thus far, I will bet the farm that you have either a draft problem, a leaky firebox/door problem, or some combination of both. Stack temperature could be your best measure in terms of attaining success with your (my... come on... 50 bucks man... ;-) ) stove.
  5. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    flue temp reads between 150 to 250 degrees.And i'm still not cing any numbers i like guys...lol
  6. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

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    I stand corrected.

    The Harman Magnum Stoker brochure clearly states that this is a stove that is rated on OUTPUT Btus. It even goes so far as to ask you to be sure you are comparing "apples-to-apples" with other stoves who might use INPUT Btu ratings.

    First of all, Harman does not specifically publish the efficiency rating on this stove. 70% might be the right number, but it would take lab tests to know for sure, and has been said elsewhere, lab test ain't the real world anyway.

    It is only on the website that the maximum feed rate for the Mag is published. Your math is correct that 8.75 pounds per hour is 122,500 Btus. Even using the 70% efficiency, the stove is well above its rating at 87,500 Btus. The "misleading" number is 17 hours of operation at that setting. Decreasing the feed rate to produce exactly 85,000 Btus per hour will add to the 11.43 number, but I agree, it won't get to 17 hours.

    To my way of thinking, the Mag Stoker is giving you more heat than you thought you were buying @ 87,500 Btus per hour at its maximum feed rate. What it is not giving you is 17 hours of continuous burn, more like 12-14 (in theory).

    If you really think that is worth returning the stove, that is your decision. I haven't done much research on stokers in many years, but what I saw then was not built like a Harman and wasn't warrantied like one, either.

    SMK
  7. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    that is why i bought the stove.Well i'm beyond returning the stove first the dealer wanted a 400 restocking fee for a stove that wouldn't work as advertised second the dealer stalled and jerked me around long enough that i have the stove longer then there return policy.So my next course of action is mailing the president of harman and see what that gets me.It's not the time of burn since i've owned this stove i was never able to burn coal at the rated output btu
  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    What's it feel like if you remove that vent pipe on top? what kind of heat output? I guess the real question I have is not the accuracy of the literature, but how does the stove work? Is it doing the job of heating you expected of it?

    I'll really up the ante. a buck/ advertised 1k of BTU.
  9. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Lime,
    This whole thing sounds very "Mo-Esque" ... which is to say that 12 months ago we were having the same conversation, except it focused on a VC Winterwarm Large insert. I don't think a letter to Dane Harman is going to get far, but that's just my opinion. Seriously, how did you pay for this (please tell me credit). Also, feel free to completely ignore their store "policies." They are just nicely worded statements put up on a wall for customers to read... which is to say that they have intimidation value, but nothing more.

    - -Mike
  10. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    yes i paid for it on a interest free credit card. I guess i could call the credit card company and c what they could do about it.Lately it's been heating pretty good but then again the temps are in the high 40's right now.My problem with the stove only happens when it gets to the low teens and colder when i really need the btu's.Also have the stove located on my first floor no longer using the vent option.Well in my letter i'm also planning on throwing in words like consumer advocate groups and local tv news shows that deal with misleading the public.
  11. roac

    roac New Member

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    Lime,

    Looking through your pictures first let me say, wow lots of good renovating going on there. People have probably asked but in the pictures you had bare rafter walls. Are they still that way or have you insulated them? Still some old windows or have you replaced them? Have you sheetrocked all of the outside walls?
  12. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    yes the walls that were ripped apart have been insulated and a combinnation of drywall and wood installed also windows have been replaced with insulated ones
  13. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

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    In order to "prove" that the advertising claim of 17 hours of 85,000 operation, all Harman would have to do is prove that it can be done ONE TIME and that ends the argument. Actually, it is the owner's manual that says that on p. 4. Neither the literature nor the website make this claim.

    Since we have been doing a lot of spreadsheet calculations, here is another one.

    As lime4x4 has previously calculated, a max feed rate of 8.75 pounds per hour yields 122,500 Btus of INPUT Btus with 14,000 Btu Anthracite coal. For agruement's sake (and there is a lot of that going on) let's find the absolute highest Btu Anthracite we possibly can.

    In 1938, Harold J. Rose, Senior Industrial Fellow--Anthracite Fellowship at the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, published a paper titled Inherent Characteristics Of Anthracite. On page 30 of that paper, he shows Anthracite from the Southern (Lykens) Field to have the highest Btu content of the 8 fields he listed. That value was 15,237 Btu/lb.

    As I said in a previous post, Harman does not publish the efficiency of the Magnum's heat exchanger, which I suspect is better than the 70% that has been used in this thread. I am going to use the 122,500 number but I am only going to use 85,000 Btus, since that is the stated OUTPUT of the Mag Stoker.

    Target Hours is 17
    Btu per hour 85,000
    85k times 17 is 1,445,000 which is the number of Btus needed for 17 hours of operation
    Best possible coal is 15,237 Btus per pound
    Divide 1,445,000 by 15,237 to determine the number of pounds needed for 17 hours
    The answer is: 94.83 pounds of coal.

    Do I think that is realistic on a real world basis? Of course not. Have I suggested that Harman omit that statement from future editions of the owners manual? Of course.

    Honestly, the old statement that "figures can lie and liars can figure" is true. If every industry marketing or advertising statement were challanged, the vast majority are exaggerations at best and outright lies at worst. Most people know that and deal with it. There are literally thousands of Mag Stokers out there working at this moment that owners would say they "are them some" stoves: they did everything the owners thought they would do, "and then some."

    SMK
  14. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    So, back to my question. If you were to ignore the literature, do you feel that the stove is doing it's job of heating your home, motors all working, and doing so, with no mechanical problems? If so, then is seems you have a beef with Harmon's marketing department, and not the engineering department. You'd be right to dispute the claims of the advertising and marketing.

    Do you really want to return a stove that works well? (assuming it does of course)

    I guess it's a little like looking at computer disk drives. Let's assume the manufacturer claims a 40gig capacity, but we all know that Windows writes out files in 32k chunks, not 1byte increments, so there's a lot of wasted space on a hard drive. You then count up all the "real" bytes somehow, then go after the drive manufacturer for not being realistic about the amount of stuff you can stick out there.

    Another example: My van claims it can tow a trailer that weighs 5500 lbs. But that number is part of the Gross Vehicle Weight rating. The van would have to be driving itself, If I weigh 200lbs, the trailer can only weigh 5300lbs. By the time I'm done with family, bikes etc... The trailer can only weigh something like 2400lbs by itself. Now, did GMC lie? Well, they certainly stretched the truth a lot. It's similar creative math that you've uncovered in the Harmon literature.

    Lime, please don't take my point as antagonistic...it's not meant to be at all. I'd really hate to see you return a good stove because of over zealous marketing claims.

    Of course if it's not heating well...then that's a whole different story.
  15. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    warren that's just it the stove isn't heating well.Right now with temps in the high 40 during the day it does a good job of heating but when the temps get into the low teens and lower that's when i have problems.
    The last time it was in the single digits and my first floor was 40 degrees.The thermostat is about 12 feet away from the stove the air from the blower actually blows towards it.The stove it's self was running around 400 to 500 degrees but 12 feet away the thermostat was only reading 40 degrees and that was with the stove burning non stop all night long.My main grip with the stove is this.1 feed rate dot = low burn 2 dots = med burn 3 dots=high burn.I've only been able to run this stove a t a max feed rate of 2 dots anything more it pushes hot coal off the grates.If i try the 3 dot feed rate the stove temp goes up to 700 to 750 with a termedios amount of heat coming off the stove but it's pushing hot burning coals off the grates which isn't good and a waste of coal.When i complained to the dealer about this they called harman and then a tech from harman called me.I was told point blank the stove hits 400 degrees so there is nothing wrong with the stove but yet it can't produce a high burn properly.I had a 30K pellet stove that heated the first floor when it was sub zero outside with no problem.Was told that was just a perception..I said no it's not.I never saw my breathe when on the first floor this coal stoker i saw my breathe 3 times this year standing 12 feet from the stove.i would care less if it would hit the max btu as long as it heated the house but when it's bitterly cold outside that doesn't happen.i bought a stove that was overkill to help with the heat loss issues i'm sure that i have.My house is half of a double so only 3 walls actually are outside walls so that drasticly reduces the btu needed for heating this house atleast that was what i was told anyway. All i want is for this 2500 square foot house heater is to heat a 15 to 1800 square foot house when it gets really cold outside.Other people on other forums with the mag stoker tell me when there burning on a high burn rate there cing temps of 700+ with 1 to 2 inches of coal ash before the end of the grates.I can get those temps but only at a termedious waste of coal and what harman considers overfiring.
  16. zogboy

    zogboy New Member

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    How old is this stove?

    Do you have the domestic water coil in this stove?

    How much will you take for the stove?
  17. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    If it's 40 degrees in your house and it's reasonably insulated etc. then I would say you have a legitimate complaint. It seems like there's something going on with heat transfer if the stove is reaching 500 degrees. Most literature does have a disclaimer sentance saying they can't control installation, chimney conditions and fuels burned so BTU output may vary signifigantly etc.
  18. stovemanken

    stovemanken New Member

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    I'm with zogboy. I don't think lime will EVER be happy with this stove, its just not right for his application. I'm not sure this thread will ever end, either.

    SMK
  19. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Ahhh, now I see!!! And you've tried different chimney's also I notice. (actually moved the stove!) This is where it get's sooo tough if the stove, especially a complex one like a stoker isn't working right. It's almost like you need to take another stove that is working right, install it in your house (at your time, expense, inconvenience) just to prove them wrong. Seems to me that the fact of the raw coal being pushed off the end of the grates would be fact enough to suggest something is not right. If for some reason, your draft still isn't right (which you seem to have dug into more than most folks would) then I'd say that the stove is too intolerant of variations in draft parameters. Certainly cause for them to take it back..but a 400 restocking fee? NFW!!!
  20. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    First off i wanted the sf250 from harman.Went to the dealer told them the exact layout of my house and condition.Was told the sf250 would be way over kill.Saleman actually wanted to sell me the harman dvc 500 direct vent model said that would be more then enough but harman isn't making them till march again.So i got the mag stoker on his advice.When i first started having issues with this stove the dealer said it was setup issues.When we had a cold snap i called the dealer and said it's not right barely heating one floor.Told them to atleast stop by so that they could see what i was after wasn't expecting them to drop everything and fix it right then and there.Just wanted them to expereince it.Well they sent someone out a week later and it just happened to be almost 50 degrees that day.the tech looked at me like i was nuts.Then i said i wanted the stove setup as per harmans instructions the tech looked at me again.He didn't have a clue what to do.he read the manual atleast 10 times.Set the stove up to obtain a .04 draft and left.Called the dealer an hour later and told them the stove was working much worse now.With it setup to harmans specs the stove could only burn 1 feed rate dot and that was it.told the dealer this and the dealer told me what do u want me to do it's setup to harmans specs.Yeah after looking how the tech did the setup he did it totaly wrong.First he took the draft reading 30 inches past the barometric dampner and the stove was running.the manual clearly states the draft reading is to be taken 6 inches before the dampner and with the stove in pilot mode.Called the dealer to inform them of this and was told that if i know how to setup the stove then i should just do it.Well that set me off..These guys get paid from harman to setup these stoves there suppose to be trained.the stove should be able to produce a high burn and this stove currently can't do that so i have to pay restocking fee for a stove that doesn't work properly.I'm sorry but with a good draft 10+ on the techs gauge and the air intake fully open it should'nt have any trouble burning on high.this stove is brand new but yet it's stamped march of 2004 as the build date.Sorry after spending 3K for a stove the damn thing better work as desrcibed.Esp since the dealer said it would heat my house with no problem.
  21. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    well there is hope..the dealer called and asked if the stove was running any better told them still can't burn more then 2 dots or i get overfiring the dealer agreed something isn't right.Even with the restrictor plate fully open it should have no trouble burning at 3 dots and then some..
  22. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    He called you eh.... Hmm, bet someone at Harmon saw this forum (or NEPA) and told him to "fix it" is my guess..
  23. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    well if anyone still cares yet.Harman has determined all my problems are do to TOO strong of a draft.They wanted me to install 2 barometric dampners to help control the draft.Dealer is now looking into how long it will take harman to build me a direct vent model the dvc-500.According to the dealer that is the proper way to fix this problem
  24. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    It is matters to you lime...I do care, I've been following your posts on NEPA and I was just sitting down to prompt you to tell these folks what the "final" solution appears to be. I wish you luck with this. PLEASE keep us up on how the DVC-500 ends up performing.
  25. zogboy

    zogboy New Member

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    Do you still pay the $400 restock fee?
    I hope not and if they try, you should write your States Attorney General for assistance.
    Its not just poor business practice , it was a matter of your famlies health and safety.
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