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open or closed dampner for a coal stove?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lime4x4, Nov 20, 2005.

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  1. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    My brother inlaw was talking to a guy who installs coal stoves and he said u should never close the dampner in the stove pipe it should always remain open. To me that's odd cause of the heat your wasting going up the stack. Is this true?

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  2. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Even 100% closed, a stovepipe damper still lets something like 30% of the flow through. (I'm not sure that's the correct number)

    You can run it closed, but it'll probably slow the draft down too much and seriously decrease the heat output. The best spot is somewhere in the middle, I've found. That is, slowing the flow gases enough so that all the heat isn't being sucked right out the top of the stove, but letting them move fast enough to keep the fire burning briskly.

    You might want to try a barometric damper, since it seems, in your case, your draft is too strong and is pulling the heat right up the stack.

    I was wondering too, does your stove have a bypass gate? Or a way of directing the flue gases through heating chambers in your stove? I was wondering if you weren't closing them properly and that was the reason of the low heat output. I'm not really familiar with your stove though, so I could be WAY out in left field.
  3. Dozerjim

    Dozerjim New Member

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    A stovepipe damper of some sort barometric or manual is necessary in my opinion when burning coal to control the draft. too much draft too hot a fire, Not enough fire will go out.
  4. lime4x4

    lime4x4 Member

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    Well i've been playing with different settings.My stove only has 2 dampners one in the stove to control the air intake then one in the 6 stove pipe that's it.With the dampner closed the surface temp of the stove is around 700 degrees and the flue gases are at 300 degrees just before it goes into the ss liner. If i open the dampner wide open the stove operates between 700 to 800 degrees surface temp but the flue gas temp drops to 200 degrees for some reason and it eats coal like there is no tomorrow. By the way i'm using chestnut coal.My brother inlaw says that running the dampner closed will over fire the stove.My stove is solid cast iron the stove pipe or the stove has never glowed red with coal. I once started a fire with wood and forgot and left the exhaust dampner wide open and the stove pipe at the back of the stove was glowing red..I was taught that if the exhaust pipe starts to glow your overfiring it. but like i sid i never had the pipe glowing with coal.Just trying to figure out where everything should be set for max heat output without burning down the house..I did install a homesaver ultra pro ss 316 ti alloy liner 40 feet which was rated at 2100 degrees. Plus i installed 2 co detectors in every floor of my house..2 in the basment where the coal stove is.2 on the first floor and 2 on the 2nd floor plus a crap load of fire detectors so i think i have everything covered as far as safety is concerned..also this stove is a air tight model.I totally rebuilt prior to firing it up.By rebuilt i mine i replaced all the factory furnace cement and all new door gaskets as well
  5. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Hi There:

    I have a Harman TLC2000 wood/coal stove in my basement. The Pro installer said it needs no damper, just regulate the air intake. This is what I do. Now in its third heating season, I have no problems with overheating or backdrafting simply by regulating the amount of incoming air to the fuel load.

    Sometimes, simpler is better.

    Aye,
    Marty
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    It depends somewhat on the stove and the chimney, but a stack damper can be an asset in a hand-fired coal stove.
    As mentioned by others, they usually do not close all the way, even when in closed position.

    It's important to open the stack damper before loading, as that will make certain gases do not flow out the door.

    Experiment like you are doing. In general, keeping it somewhat closed might result in longer and hotter burns. Excess air through a stove is a cause of lowered efficiency.
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