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Hitzer coal stoves, very impressive!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by webby3650, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    All 4 of these flues are running a Hitzer coal stove. There was never any smell or smoke. The inside of the caps weren't even discolored! They have been running for 2 days straight at this point. I think anyone that has kicked around the idea of a coal stove should definetly give Hitzer a good look!

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  2. Truckinmedic88

    Truckinmedic88 Member

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    I have been using a Hitzer 983 coal fireplace insert for around five years. I was hoping to compare experiences with other users. It puts out great heat, but I have concerns about some things. Mainly-shaking down the ashes. For some reason the cranks are designed to fit loosely on the grate. This results in excessive side to side motion. Within two years, I discovered that the crank actually had significant wear. Got a new crank. Now the trapezoid shaped design of the grates have each worn to the point that the crank goes way over 90 degrees from side to side without shaking the grate. Very frustrating. Three days ago the entire trapezoid stud-a thick casting-broke off the end of a grate. I also think the grate support frame has worn, as the grates have a lot of side movement and allow coal chunks to fall through. Anyone else? I would suppose that a crank should be designed to fit snugly onto the grate.
  3. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    This is an old thread. You probably won't get the answers you are looking for buried in here.
    Start a new thread with a new title, I hope someone here has some experience with that unit.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  5. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    You actually want a loose fit. There are many ways to "shake". I fired locomotives and was a steam mechanic, heated with coal for years and have a Hitzer EZ Flo........
    When you have a lot of ash to clear in the morning, or after a long burn, a longer smooth stroke dumps the most through. It won't make any noise, and dumps a lot quickly. As coal chunks get closer to the grate, you make the strokes shorter and more violent. Two completely different motions. Maybe 3 or 4 "knocks" to get down to coal. The slop in the handle and linkage allows a vibration to "knock" the grates like a hammer. So you work it back and forth not really moving the grates much. Too much movement when unburned coal is on the grate allows the coal to become lodged in the grate and they get stuck. Then you can only burn hard enough to burn the offending piece out. Sometimes you can poke it up from the bottom with a bent poker if you can find it. Not always. There is a knack to learning any kind of grate and linkage. Many are designed to move so far they can dump the fire. You don't want to move or rock the handle anywhere near that much.

    You want short violent strokes and stop as soon as you see some glowing coals drop. Look up from the bottom in a few minutes to see how much is burning (glowing) across the grate. You want it even all the way across. If some areas are bright red, and others dark, you have accumulation that didn't drop in some areas. Poke them from the bottom. NEVER poke a coal fire from the top. Once you get an even fire, next time yuo shake, rock it until the glowies fall evenly, and check later how even you are able to keep it.
    A tight fitting handle or linkage on larger boilers like farm equipment and locomotives is difficult to impossible to operate. The weight of the grates is so much, the slight rocking you can do isn't enough. The smaller the guy, the looser the handle you want to knock them around. The handle is over 3 feet long and fits over a piece about 3 X 1 inch rectangular. long strokes dump the fire tilting the grates making larger spaces between them. You need to shale violently with short fast strokes to jiggle grates. Keep that in mind when rocking smaller grates until you get the feel of it.
  6. coaly

    coaly Fisher Moderator Staff Member

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    I should mention the coal has a lot to do with it too. Blaschak seems to have much more ash and be more acidic to me, Old Company Lehi has historically been the best. And yes, you should never see any discoloration at the stack or have any accumulation of anything to clean. The white dust in a metal chimney becomes acidic during summer with moisture laden air dropping down the stack at night causing the fly ash to become acidic in the pipe. So you should brush at the end of each year. Also wipe the glass with a damp rag daily if it looks like it needs it or not. The fly ash that sticks to the glass etches into the glass making "craze" marks even in Robax. Always try to shake after kicking it up in the morning to allow the draft pushing into the stove to push the fly ash into the stove, never making a cloud in the house.

    For worn handles, you can drill a hole and tap with 1/4 -20 for a bolt on one side of recess in handle hole. Nut it on top to secure bolt in the position for correct fit like a set screw. Worn linkage holes can be closed with weld a little to make snugger, but most people prefer more wear.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
    begreen likes this.

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