How to Use a Coal Stoker

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A coal stoker is a coal-burning stove with automatic stoking and ash removal capabilities. These stoves are in many ways an improvement over old-fashioned, manual coal stoves that require more time and attention to operate effectively than their updated counterparts. Learning how to operate a coal stoker is not hard.

Things You'll Need

  • Stoker stove
  • Coal
  • Fire starter
  • Install the coal stoker according to manufacturer's instructions. For ventilation, a chimney or stovepipe is quite necessary (the smoke has to go somewhere!) Ensure that the coal stoker is resting on a firesafe hearth of adequate size (check manufacturer's recommendations and local building codes).

  • Fill the coal hopper with coal of the appropriate size. Most coal stoker stoves require small coal -- of the "rice" "pea" or "pebble" classification.

  • Start a fire in the firebox with approved fire starter material. This may be gelled alcohol or another type of fire starter.

  • Turn on the coal stoker to begin feeding coal into the firebox. You can set the stove to feed coal at various speeds, depending on how large and hot a fire you want.

  • Empty the ash bin when it is full. The coal stoker shakes the ashes out of the firebox into the ash area below. Check it periodically and remove when full to ensure a continuously burning fire.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice fire safety and make sure fire alarms and fire extinguisher are present and working.
  • Contact manufacturers for directions if you buy a used stove.

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