Coal or wood burning stove installed by Paul Galow (C) Daniel Friedman Coal Stove Installation & Operation
Coal stove controls & draft

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Coal Stove choices, installation, operation, & safety:

This article discusses the isntallation and operation of coal stoves used as heating appliances in buildings. We include details about heat output control and draft regulation.

The article links to additional details providing coal stove fire cleareances, chimney safety and coal stove sources, repairs, fuel costs, & related research.

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Coal stove dampers & draft control

Coal fueled heaters use manual dampers in the coal stove flue or for larger and automatically-fed coal fired boilers or furnaces the system may incorporate a thermostatically-operated automatic flue damper to control both draft and thus the system's heat output.

Coal stove installation by Daniel Friedman(C) Daniel Friedman Coal or wood burning stove installed by Paul Galow (C) Daniel Friedman

The coal stove shown at above left was installed by the author (DF) in the 1970's. A slider along the stove bottom permitted the user to adjust the air intake rate - a necessary combustion and heat control since the installation of this stove in front of a small fireplace gave no access room for a flue damper control.

The second fireplace-inserted heater at above right is a coal stove that was designed to also burn wood. This wood/coal heater, installed by Paul Galow in New York in the 1970's, also had a sliding air intake control and no accessible flue damper.

The vertical lines you see in the glass front of each of these coal burners allowed the installation of glass that would not fracture due to thermal expansion, allowing the occupants to enjoy watching the fire. Yes ultimately these get broken by a careless occupant or user, putting the stove out of use until the glass could be replaced.

Watch out: if the incoming combustion air cannot be shut down because of leaky coal stove gaskets or other damage like the broken glass in the coalstove door, the coal stove is unsafe as its burn-rate cannot be regulated.



Reader Question: can I put to barometric dampers on the same flue along with a manual one on my Alaska Channing III Coal Stove?

Alaska Channing III Coal Stove, USA Tel 570 387 0260 - permission use requested 2/1/15(Dec 14, 2014) Bill said:

I have a Alaska channing 111. My barometric damper is 6 in then [the flue vent connector goes to 8 in to connect ] to massonary chimney.

It seems I need two dampers. I installed a manual damper to help

My question is can I put 2 baro dampers in the same flue to control proper draft

Thanks, Bill



The Alaska Channing III is a coal stove (shown at left) designed to burn rice coal and with a BTUh output of 5,000 to 85,000 BTUh. That heat output capacity is controlled in part by controlling the fire rate by controllinb combustion air.

Heat control for this coal stove is provided either by a manual control to adjust heat output (basically you're adjusting the input air flow rate), or by a wall-mounted thermostat system that operates in two heat output ranges (low fire and high fire).

As long as the single barometric damper is properly adjusted and capable of opening to permit enough air intake to keep the draft at the desired level it would be fine. If the damper were not capable, such as in an area of very high winds creating unusual drafts over a chimney top, the solution would probably include

Watch out: I infer from your question that you are getting too much heat or that the coal stove seems to be overheating. This condition can be unsafe and in fact in extreme cases (such as leaving the coal stove door ajar with a fire burning) you can warp and ruin the stove or even cause a house fire.

It should not be necessary to install two barometric dampers on a heating appliance unless you are facing very unusual draft control problems. Nothing I read about this coal stove suggests that it would suffer from excessive draft. In fact the company notes that power vents can be used with their equipment (creating a still-stronger draft) and that some models including the Channing III rear vent can be direct-vented (with no chimney).

Installing 2 dampers is not something I'd recommend as adjusting them would probably be difficult, adding complexity that should not be necessary. It's like adding complexity to try to solve a problem rather than understanding the problem first.

If your coal stove is overheating check these details

To obtain an installation & operation manual for your Alaska Channing III coal stove, contact the

Watch out: if the flue damper rusts or becomes damage it may be impossible to slow the chimney draft, resulting in an over-heating stove and possibly a chimney or house fire. Though questionable fire clearances and accumulated creosote may have been factors, just such a runaway wood stove fire and its disastrous results are illustrated


Continue reading at FIRE CLEARANCES, WOOD & COAL STOVE FLUES or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

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