Operation of a
Multi fuel fired stove|
After selecting and installing a Traditional cast iron stove or cooker you will be anxious to get it going. Learn to operate and maintain the stove so it can provide warmth and comfort in a safe and efficient manner.
This guide provides general information on the operation and maintenance of a multi fuel fired stove OPERATION Once a Traditional cast iron stove or cooker has been selected and installed correctly, (as per local authorities building regulations and relevant by laws) many of the problems that arise with a correctly installed stove are the direct result of incomplete combustion.
Combustion Combustion consists of a complex chemical reaction between the fuel and oxygen. The combustion of the fuel in a stove results in heat, water vapors, carbon dioxide and other products such as gases and ash. To aquire satisfactory and safe operation, ensure complete combustion by supplying air and maintaining a sufficient heat level. Incomplete combustion results from an insufficient air supply, misapplied air or insufficient heat.
Wood combustion There are three basic stages to wood combustion:
1. Water is removed by evaporation and vaporization. This heat does not warm the stove or room.
2.At 500 degrees F, the wood starts to break down chemically, and volatile gases are formed. These vapors contain from 50 to 60 percent of the heat value of wood. At approximately 1,100 degrees F, these gases, when mixed with the proper amount of air, break into flames and burn. To ensure complete combustion, maintain this temperature and a sufficient air supply
. 3.After the release of gases, the remaining material (charcoal) burns at a temperature in excess of 1,100 degrees F. When charcoal is completely burned, a small amount of ash remains.
STARTING A FIRE Since moisture must be evaporated and expelled before wood will burn, the wood should be cut and seasoned. Use well-seasoned wood with a low moisture content to reduce the likelihood of creosote buildup. 1.Open the damper completely.
2.Place paper and/or kindling over the entire bottom of the fire box to achieve an evenly burning fire. Never use flammable liquids such as petrol, lighting fluid or kerosene to start a fire, an explosion may result.
3.To achieve a better chimney draught, hold a lighted roll of paper near the flue opening inside the stove to warm the flue and start it pulling.
4.Light the wood and paper in the grate. When the kindling is burning, add additional seasoned wood to build up a hotter fire. Be careful at first when adding wood to avoid smothering the fire.
5.With the fire door closed, use the draught regulator to maintain the desired heat. The proper heat can only be obtained by trial and error because conditions of the fuel (moisture content, hard or soft wood), space being heated, individual preference, outside temperature and wind conditions. After some experience with your stove, you should learn the best setting for your needs
New stoves with cast-iron parts should be "seasoned to avoid cracking". Do this by building only small fires for the first two or three times. The entire system must be properly maintained to operate safely and efficiently. The chimney connectors, joints and flues must be clean and in proper working order. CONTROL CREOSOTE BUILDUP When wood is burning rather slowly, the smoke usually contains a substance called creosote that collects in the relatively cool chimney flue. The main causes of creosote buildup are: wet or unseasoned wood
incomplete combustion or cool surfaces The best way to control creosote is to prevent its buildup by maintaining a briskly burning fire with dry, well-seasoned wood. Maintain a flue temperature exceeding 250 degrees F to prevent creosote condensation. CHIMNEY FIRES With the increased accumulation of creosote in the flue comes the increased possibility of a chimney fire. The combustion of these creosote deposits is most likely to occur during a very hot fire in your stove. Burning creosote deposits cause a very intense fire, a roaring noise, and flames and sparks shooting from the top of the chimney. Any chimney, metal or masonry, can be weakened or deformed by a chimney fire. The complete chimney should be inspected after a fire, and any repair should be made or parts replaced before-starting the stove. CHIMNEY INSPECTIONS AND CLEANING Stovepipes and chimney flues should be inspected each year before you use your stove. Look for cracked flue liners, broken or missing bricks, heavy creosote deposits, bird nests and other foreign material. Thoroughly clean the flue and stovepipe of any soot and other residues. Repair the chimney or replace the fluepipe to avoid any problem later in the season. The flue pipe and chimney should be inspected frequently during the heating season for creosote buildup. If you use an air-tight stove, check the stovepipe at least once a month. Your chimney cleaning schedule will depend on how frequently your stove is used and how it is operated. Should your chimney have an excessive buildup, a stiff wire chimney cleaning brush like the ones used by professional chimney sweeps are available at a reasonable cost. SPECIAL SAFETY POINTS Because of high temperatures when the stove is operating, locate the heater out of traffic and away from furniture and draperies. Tell children about the high surface temperatures and keep them away from the stove so they avoid getting burned or igniting their clothes. Carefully supervise young children when they are in the same room with the heater, preferably using an approved fireguard Do not place clothing or other flammable material on or near the heater. Have a qualified person install and service the stove or cooker and inspect it before use and at least annually. Keep combustible materials away from heaters to avoid the possibility of igniting such materials. These include combustible walls, ceilings, furniture, rugs, draperies and logs.
By heating with wood you do not contribute to the greenhouse effect as you would by heating with one of the fossil fuels like oil or gas. When oil or gas are burned, carbon that has been buried within the earth for thousands of years is released in the form of carbon dioxide, a by-product of combustion. The result is an increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the cause of the greenhouse effect. Although carbon makes up about half the weight of firewood, and is released as carbon dioxide when the wood is burned, it is part of a natural cycle. A tree absorbs carbon dioxide from the air as it grows and uses this carbon to build its structure. When the tree falls and decays in the forest, or is processed into firewood and burned, the carbon is released again into the atmosphere. This cycle can be repeated forever without increasing atmospheric carbon. Therefore heating with wood does not contribute to the greenhouse effect. And there is more good news; when the use of wood for energy displaces the use of fossil fuels, the result is a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Wood contains only a negligible amount of sulphur, an element that leads to acid rain. In this age of environmental awareness a big advantage of wood over the fossil fuels, is that its main environmental impact occurs at the point of use and is visible for all to see. In contrast, the real environmental impacts of oil and gas are hidden from view because they occur during extraction, refining and transportation of the fuels to market.
Coal a hard, solid, opaque, black or blackish carbon mineral of organic origin: an important fossil fuel. Coal is formed by the effect of pressure, temperature, and chemical processes on vegetable matter deposited millions of years ago.
It consists mainly of carbonized plant tissue that originally accumulated in swamps where there was little oxygen. Peat represents the first stage in the formation of coal.
The quality of a coal depends on its carbon content, and the term 'rank' is used to designate this. Coals with a high carbon content are thus referred to as of high rank. Subsequent heating and the pressure of overlying deposits increase the carbon content.
The rank determines the amount of heat obtained when the coals are burnt. Anthracite is the highest grade coal, with a carbon content of over 90 per cent and a high-temperature, smokeless flame.
However, its relative scarcity limits it to mainly domestic use. Bituminous coal, dark shining coal containing 80-90 per cent carbon, is the most common type, used in a variety of applications.
It has been used for domestic heating and where high temperatures were required--for instance, by lime-burners, blacksmiths, and brick makers. From the Industrial Revolution onwards, however, coal overtook wood as the principal domestic and industrial fuel. It was used in the manufacture of iron (instead of charcoal); for the generation of steam for engines; in the production of coal-gas; and later as a source of chemicals. Throughout this period, the UK was the largest producer of coal,
Coal fires are not as easy to start as wood fires and the ease of burning will vary with different model of stove
STARTING A COAL FIRE
1. Use paper and dry kindling to start the fire.
2. When fire (wood kindling) is burning hot. Keep the draft control fully open till a hot fire is established.
3. When a decent bed of red wood embers is built up, start adding coal--small amounts at a time. Keep the draft control open!!
4. Continue adding small amounts of coal until there is a 1" to 2" bed of burning coal. Don't add too much coal at one time and allow sufficient time between each small loading for the coal in the stove to thoroughly ignite.
5. It is important at this point to fill the stove to the highest level possible. A deep bed of coal is critical for the proper function of all coal stoves. Since coal can be regulated better than wood, a deep bed does not mean that you can only run the stove hot - rather you can control the stove by setting the air control on your stove.
6. After all the coal has been ignited and is burning with a blue flame, then the draft control can be turned down. Serious damage can result if the stove is run with the spin wheels wide open for extended periods of time
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