Old stove, new user

manooti Posted By manooti, Dec 21, 2015 at 12:13 AM

  1. manooti

    manooti
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    Dec 20, 2015
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    Hey guys. I'm definitely new here and to wood burning.

    I bought a stove a while back and just finished putting it in. Just have to do some minor cosmetic stuff.
    On the inside it had no bricks and nothing on the ceiling. Not sure if that is what is called the "Baffle"? It doesnt have tubes except for rectangular tubes that have front vents.

    As you can tell I'm a definite noob. This thing is very old and my local supplier had no idea what it was either and had to call corporate. Its a Salvo Machinery. No one still knows which model. Two doors on the front and a grate for the coals. So its a wood/coal stove.

    It also has a spot for the blower attachment, but it doesnt have it.

    So far I changed the gaskets, both doors, both windows and the ash door, installed fire bricks and overlapped some so I didnt have to cut anything. Installed the pipe shield and will be doing the thermal barrier on the wall with the spacers.

    But, I'm not sure if anything is needed on the ceiling because it does get kinda hot and trying to play it safe here. Does it need the ceramic blanket and the blower? Also, what can I do about the handles? I added pics. basically its just a hex with nothing there.
     

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  2. begreen

    begreen
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    Welcome. It's hard to tell from the close up shots. Is there a a UL tag on the back of the stove with some more info? Can you show a shot of the whole firebox and also one of the whole stove?
     
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  3. manooti

    manooti
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    Thank you.
    I'll try to get some pictures when I can. Need to clean up the area a bit. But pretty much it looks like a Citation with 2 doors instead of 1. The back makes no sense. It lists 4 different models. 1,2 and W and W2 or something close. My inspector was lost too lol. I asked before pulling the permits and also asked local supplier. Thats why I added the stack shield and putting the wall barrier for safety.
     

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  4. begreen

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    Looks like an older Citation. If so it's mostly a coal burner. The folks over at the coal forum may be able to help you out with a manual.
    www.nepacrossroads.com
     
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  5. manooti

    manooti
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    Thank you for your help. Hopefully they might have something. If not, am i screwed?
     
  6. begreen

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    It was a popular enough stove, there should be someone running it. Tell us more about the ceiling question. How tall is it and how far is it from the stove top to the ceiling?
     
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  7. manooti

    manooti
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    I have a cathedral ceiling and its about 20 feet from the stove lol. The issue was the inside of the stove. Im not sure if it needs a catalyst, a blanket or some other type of material. I tried to shove some firebrick inside of it but it seems like its about half an inch to 3/4. Im not sure what to do. Ive been doing test runs and it seems fine. It overfired like crazy before I had the gaskets done. Now its controllable. Not sure if it needs the missing blower, a blanket on the firebox ceiling or something.
     
  8. begreen

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    I doubt it had either if it was a coal/wood stove.
     
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  9. manooti

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    Thats weird. It has the 2 vent square tubes from back to front and under those are 2 L brackets. Maybe thermal mass or a reflective material at least?
     
  10. begreen

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    Looks like maybe baffle bricks slid in there?
     
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  11. coaly

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  12. manooti

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    Wow.. now you lost me. What does the catalyst mount to? There is only an angle bracket on each venting pipe and on the link it appears nothing will fit. I put in a 1/4 inch steel baffle. It has about a (max) 1 inch space available. I dont think it would fit a catalyst. Maybe I dont have the Citation? Its weird because the rear plate says its one of the 4 listed.
     
  13. coaly

    coaly
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    Every combustor supplier calls for the same one, uncanned. That means no metal wrap around the ceramic called "canning". They usually set into a recess with optional gasket.
    If using coal like you should be, you do not use a CAT.
    You "can" burn wood in any coal stove, but it's going to burn fast and the firebox can only be built correctly for either. Not both, and coal kits don't work as well as the design for coal only.
    Here's a video from an eBay sale that shows there IS a manual ! Blower is shown, shaking grates, banking plate across front and no combustor shows it is set up for coal.
     
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  14. coaly

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    When shaking, you don't always move it as much as shown in video. The smaller rod than hole in grate and ring allows a "knock" by a quick rattle back and forth. When burned down with lots of ash to dump, movement is farther and ash drops quickly. Stop as soon as you see glowing coals drop. If you shake too much, fresh coal will get stuck between grates. With a little ash, you don't want a smooth motion. You use a short stroke so the wasted motion is more like a tap back and forth. This goes for any coal grate and is the reason for handles to fit loosely on grate. Play in linkage is normal to create the shock needed like a vibration to knock ash loose with little movement.
     
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  15. manooti

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    I see. How do I figure out the size I need?
     
  16. coaly

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  17. manooti

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    I'm not sure how to use that. Would a catalyst come with any brackets? That wouldn't fit inside my firebox with the brackets already there. Unless I fabricate something for it.

    Wouldn't a catalyst need a bypass though? There is nothing like that now. No valves or control or bypass except for the air intake on ash door.
     
  18. coaly

    coaly
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    You have everything to use it as a coal stove as is.
    You need a manual, parts and combustor for wood. Why bother when it's a better coal stove than wood stove?

    Post #15 " How do I figure out the size I need? "

    I wasn't sure if you were asking size of coal for coal burning or size of combustor for wood burning.
    So I answered both. Chestnut for coal , Amazon link for combustor.
     
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  19. manooti

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    I gotcha. I tried to use some coal. Have both nut and pea. With hot wood coals on bed and ash door open I still couldnt get the coal to light. Im definitely new to coal, but always been around wood.
     
  20. coaly

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    You won't start it with coals. It takes a flame ripping up through the coal like a torch. Not much wood, just small kindling.

    Coal takes lots of air moving up through it. If you have open spots on the grate, air will rush up through the opening doing nothing but rushing up the chimney cooling it. You need to place coal with a shovel over the holes to force the incoming air through the fire. Wood will burn getting air from any direction, coal has to have it come up through the pile.

    Start with crumpled paper and cardboard strips. Place small kindling on top with plenty of room for air to get between it. Sprinkle some coal over top, larger pieces, not pea. You want air space between coal pieces for oxygen to get to the coal. Light it, and try to keep flames ripping up through a little coal. In a few minutes add more, like you're putting rocks on the fire to put it out. A good drafting chimney will have coal burning in 15 to 20 minutes. It will glow and burn with a blue flame. That is the coal gas igniting as fresh coal expels it. Keep adding slowly until the fire is covered. It takes time to spread across the grate. Usually a couple hours. You can tell where it's burning by looking under grate by the glow. With ash door open, so much air will go through you won't get secondary ignition of coal gas on top. Close door with shutter wide open as soon as possible and you should get blue flames on top. This adds to heating the chimney creating more draft to ignite more coal. As you add more coal, fill to top of banking plate across front. Then you will start getting heat from the stove. Never poke a coal fire from the top !

    A "hole" in the fire bed allows air up through it and the burning coal doesn't get air. When established, keep the top even or high in the center.

    You will learn when you shake, it may have deeper ash in spots. Open ash door a while after shaking, a half hour or so, and dead spots will be dark. Poke them with bent poker from bottom up to clean. Always stop shaking or poking when glowing coals drop. A clean fire will glow evenly across entire bottom lasting 8 to 10 hours before shaking again. Usually shaking morning and night is enough, adding a bucket a day. Adding coal is called stoking a hand fed fire.

    You will get the same BTU per pound from any size coal, it just burns faster with larger pieces getting more oxygen between them. So on warm days learn to use smaller pieces called the "fines" from bottom of bin. This will burn slower when you don't need the heat. Use larger pieces at night or when colder.
    People who claim coal is dirty are usually doing something wrong. Shake a little in the morning (ash packs under it stopping air flow) and open air to get the fire kicked up and chimney hot. Then remove ash and dump into a metal container outside. Any fine fly ash will go into ash door since the chimney is a good vacuum cleaner when hot. It is very fine, you don't want to dump it cold getting it airborne in the house.
     
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  21. coaly

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    Once established, with little air, you'll find you only have a glowing mass under coal. That's all I'm heating with so far this year. As you give it more air, you should get blue flame flicker here and there. The more air, the more flame until it is all the way to the top. You normally don't need that kind of heat. Give it time to react ! It's different than wood, but not difficult when you get the hang of it. And sooo much easier.
    All coal stoves have a way of getting secondary air above the fire. Oxygen is used up going through the burning bed, so yours has metered air leaks around grate to allow enough air above fire without a secondary air adjustment found on some stoves.
    Make sure you wipe the glass every morning with a damp rag when at it's coolest. You don't want fly ash sticking to the glass, it will etch into it.
     
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  22. manooti

    manooti
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    Thank you for the advice. I tried today with what you said. It lit up and gave out massive heat. Almost reached 600 degrees half way full of coal. I lowered the air and left to do some errands. When I came back they were out. Have to relight it. Being new and preventing an overfire has a steep learning curve especially without a barometer.

    I tried looking up some other info regarding creosote. Would creosote built up and then fired with coal melt away or burn off? And should I use the stove top magnetic thermometer on the stove pipe above the damper for wood and on the stove for coal? Neighbor said he put his above the damper for his wood stove to help him better balance the pipe heat with damper, air intake and avoid creosote.
     
  23. coaly

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    When the coal is lit, look under the grate to be able to tell how much is actually burning on the grate. It probably wasn't much. It probably needed about half air at that point. It could have more to do with your chimney than what you're doing with the stove too.
    Chimney temperature is what makes both the wood and coal burn. You will only get about 100* f. pipe temperature before chimney with coal. Burning hard can be closer to 150*. The flue should be the same size as stove outlet and insulated all the way up. I don't know what kind of damper you have, but for coal it should be barometric for precise air flow through coal bed. When you left, if you closed a manual damper like you would for wood, it would kill it. It takes 6 hours or more to stabilize a coal fire with a hot mass that won't go out. If it drops below the critical mass temp, you can't get it back. Once established, after neglecting for 12 hours or more you only have a little glowing spot that should glow and flame up with ash door open to save the fire. Again, the chimney plays a big part of how the stove reacts.
    With wood, you need to keep temperature above 250* all the way up to prevent water vapor form condensing in the flue allowing smoke particles to stick, forming creosote. Pipe surface is the easiest measurement, but keep in mind the actual flue gas temp can be 30 to 50% or more above surface temp. So depending on chimney flue size and insulation, the chimney is what determines the temperature to run.

    A huge factor with coal is outside temperature. It should be below 40*f. for a 24 hour period. Draft is caused by the differential temperature between inside and outside of flue. The colder outside, the stronger the draft, so the more air rushes into stove filling the low pressure area created by the chimney. Some chimney and stove combinations won't work at all when warm out. I use a Hitzer hopper fed stove with insulated 6 inch chimney that burns at any temp, even during summer. Other stoves with a larger masonry chimney won't have enough differential pressure at the top of flue when warm outside for enough air through the fire. When a coal stove is set up, it's good to set the barometric damper to manufacturer specification for W.C. (Water Column) of pressure at the stove collar. That is the lowest pressure area, and barometric dampers have gradients on the adjustment weight to set pressure for the correct flow through coal bed. I know you don't have that, but a coal stove will operate at draft levels of -.015 to -.05 WC. If lower, increase chimney height. If higher, use barometric damper to lower it. Ideal draft operating range is setting damper to -.03 to -.04 WC. The damper automatically keeps it there for changing conditions of fire and atmospheric pressure. With a wood stove, it's not that critical and you learn when you can close damper more or less with fire and weather conditions.

    We have been burning wood in a Kitchen Queen for 5 years in NE PA and this summer we were working on a rental home and didn't do much wood. (I had about a cord of standing dead only) So last weekend I started the coal stove. Normally it's cold enough here the first of November for a coal fire that burns until we let it go out in spring. 60* days would drive us out, so I waited. I loaned a Gibraltar coal stove to a tenant of ours that had only burned wood. They heated all last year with 2 tons and keep it toasty. I was there to show them the stove and they learned it overnight. Once you get the hang of it, you'll realize you have to do something wrong to lose a coal fire.
     
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  24. manooti

    manooti
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    I had the damper wide open and was even considering removing it completely.

    The chimney is a triple stack duraplus 6 inch. 18 ft tall on exterior. Nothing near it within ten feet except ridge and it passes it by at least 2 feet.
    Inside has 2 black elbows and total of 4 ft horizontal run through thimble.

    I noticed with steel baffle in place I had to heat it up to get draft. Without stove pipe connected I held a piece of tissue over thimble and it almost sucked it out of my hand at 60 degree outside temp. I can also see heat rising out of chimney cap when it's not running because we have oil heat as well. House is also air tight. Built in 2005 so needs window open to feed fire.

    I might need a manometer. If I can figure this out it'll be our main heat source and oil as secondary.

    Draft is unique to each install but maybe that helps.
     
  25. coaly

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    You need a barometric damper on that insulated chimney. The flapper will stay closed (open damper) most of the time, but when cold out and cranking it up, it should open partially. If you get one without setting marks, just set the weight so it's starting to open when flaming. I have 6 feet of 6 inch Dura-plus above 8 feet of vertical single wall pipe. At 39* outside now I have to have air inlet on ash door wide open to get high steady flames. That is where you want the baro flapper to be partially open. Close the air a little to go down to just a glow and the flapper stays closed. Again, it takes time to respond unlike wood. My stove has a b-imetal thermostat door that opens on the back, so the ash door air adjustment becomes an idle setting. I set bottom intake to warm the entire house just right instead of allowing the thermostat to let tons of air in. Then it flames up to the top with blue and damper opens wide trying to slow draft, and using fuel. Sometimes you need that to kick it up. (like opening ash door, but stay with it, that is bad practice)
    Store your coal out of sunlight and wind. That is the only thing that will rob it of BTU's.
    I didn't mention coal suppliers either. Some like Blaschak, others not so much. Old Company Lehi was always the best. It can vary greatly from breaker to breaker, and as suppliers get it in, you can tell when the glassy looking really hard nice stuff is there. Some will smell like more sulfer when burned, create more ash (what I get with Blaschak) and even have what appears to be rocks or shale in it. Just like with wood, when you find what works best, stick with it. I was involved with firebox design for cook stoves converted from wood to coal and one of the manufactures in Canada was trying Blaschak during testing and was having problems, since testing was being done in warmer weather when production was down. Tried everything before suspecting the coal. That was it.
    Don't try soft coal. It smokes and burns with a yellow flame and is completely different.

    The other thing I didn't mention is ash dumping. Dump ash everyday keeping it well below grates. Air coming in is the only thing that cools grates. They will warp and not shake correctly and is the #1 stove killer since grates are not cheap.
     
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