I saw there was a forum post on the subject of coal ranges a few years back on this site so thought it might be worth a shot asking for a bit of help here.
Our family has a Bach in the back country so no power, water etc. We have an old Centennial Orion coal range that is primarily used for cooking and heating. Seeing as we only recently took the bach over from a couple of family members who were hogging the place we haven't really had much of a go at using the coal range and whenever we do use it it's a bit of a nightmare.
We start up a fire in the fire box but it smokes the whole inside out, smoke will be coming out of the chimney but for some reason smoke is also filling up the room and we can't seem to figure out why! It's near impossible to have going as it's just so smokey!
It could be because it needs a really good clean (but we've already given it a clean, maybe we are missing something there?) or because we are missing a trick in starting it up but I wondered if anyone else has some experience in coal ranges and may be able to lend some advise.
The range is green in colour and similar to the Shacklock Orion model which I assume are of the same type of brand/manufacturer.
Any advise about how to get this range running smoke free is much appreciated and just any advise about this coal range model in general is very much welcomed!
Thanks in advance
Sounds like it needs a good clean. First clean the chimney. Then remove all the top plates and surrounds and sweep out top of oven AND down the sides. Observe where the dampers are, there should be one that can only be accessed by lifting the plates as well as the ones on the front. Underneath the oven is a small removable piece, remove and scrape out under the oven. If no purpose built scraper is there you might have to get inventive. Make sure Ash box and grate is clear. Put oven back together leaving internal damper open. You won't need to do this every time just as required.
To light the range you need all the dampers open. Create a hot fire with kindling do not add coal yet. Let the oven warm a bit before adding the coal. Some people take off the ring directly above the firebox until the fire is caught. Only after it's going well and you've added coal, shut the dampers down. Depending on wind direction, heat required, type of wood etc they may need to be partly open. It takes practice but will be a quick process eventually.
When you leave the Bach, shut all the dampers down to avoid dead birds or rain getting in. Assuming this is your typical back country Bach where such things happen;)
the most important thing with stoves is the chimney "draw". This is when the air in the chimney rises up and causes a draught in the firebox. If the chimney is very short or has leaks, the fire won't draw properly. Check chimney for anywhere air can be drawn in, especially where it joins the firebox. You may need some fire cement or special sealer for this.
As already said, when you light the fire, open all air inlets, especially the baffle that lets the fire go directly up the chimney, but don't forget to close it or you may cause a chimney fire.
Invest in a set of chimney brushes (Bunnings) and give the chimney a good clean out.
If someone has sealed all the draughts in the room it can restrict the flow of fresh air enough to affect the fire, especially if the room volume isn't large. Not likely in the type of construction in many old baches, but worth checking.