Fly ash all around: Hand fired v. Stoker

Fly ash all around: Hand fired v. Stoker

PostBy: italia899 On: Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:31 pm

Calling all you stoker owners with prior/current hand-fired experience,

I may be in the market for a stoker in the near future, despite the fact I really enjoy my hand fired stove--even the shaking part. However, I tend to get ash on pretty much everything around the stove. I have followed the tips on how to prevent excess fly ash on furnishings, but I still get ash on my TV, windows, dining room table, etc. My stove is in my living room.

The question I have is with a stoker, primarily because there is no shaking involved, has anyone noticed less fly ash on your furnishings compared to their hadn-fired unit?

Thanks in advance for your responses.
Stove/Furnace Make: Brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearthglow

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PostBy: Gary in Pennsylvania On: Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:04 pm

Yeah! I get that too.

My house would be an AWFUL choice for a criminal wishing to conduct a crime!
Gary in Pennsylvania

PostBy: bksaun On: Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:12 pm

My new Alaska Channing is very clean, I get a little fly ash around the barometric damper on top of the horizontal chimney pipe.

I have lids made for my ash pans so they are covered when I take them out.

No complaints here at all.

Stoker Coal Boiler: Hybrid, Gentleman Janitor GJ-6RSU/ EFM 700
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 503
Coal Size/Type: Pea Stoker/Bit, Pea or Nut Anthracite
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer/ EFM-Gentleman Janitor
Stove/Furnace Model: 503 Insert/ 700/GJ-62

PostBy: WNY On: Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:13 pm

You do get some, I think it is mostly from emptying the ash pan and filling the hopper. I know I can see a fine layer every now and then on the top of the stove.....not sure if ash or coal dust...probably both.

Ours is a direct vent, so no baro damper or anything for the ash to back feed into the house. I do have to clean the pipe/blower out at least once a month.

There always a bit of buildup on the doors when you open them and depending on how careful you are pulling the ash pan out as not to knock against the side and it all falls out when the door is open....
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Stoker is cleaner

PostBy: Highlander On: Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:17 pm

I burned a hand fired VC Resolute for over 20 years, Most of the dust I had came from shoveling out the ash before adding more coal. It wasn't so much the shaking or slicing, but shoveling out the ash into a container, the ash pan was so small it wasn't much use.

My Harman stoker has a very large ash container, and we have two of them so its just a matter of pulling the full one out and putting the empty one back in. I transfer the ashes in the basement instead of the living room now so that helps a lot.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000 Sold
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vermont Castings Resolute
Coal Size/Type: Nut
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: VF3000 Stoker Boiler

PostBy: italia899 On: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:20 am


I agree and believe shoveling or scraping the ashes into the pan (post-shake) is part of the problem. The pan I have is too small. Maybe I'll contact the manufacturer of my stove to see if the ash pan for this model got bigger over the years.
Stove/Furnace Make: Brunco
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearthglow

PostBy: ginski On: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:00 am

i owned a hand fired unit 15 years ago and shaking and feeding it twice a day wasn't enjoyable, especially when i got home from work at 1 am. i use a mag stoker now, and only feed it (1) 5 gal. bucket a day as compared to twice that much with my old federal hand fired stove.

the federal hand fired would be difficult to keep going when it approached 50 degrees outside, but with the combustion blowers on many stokers they've alleviated that problem and you can control the feed/burn rate of the coal when it's not that cold outside also.

using coal brings ash/coal dust into the area no matter how diligent you are, but i enjoy the stoker much more, especially with it being controlled with a thermostat rather than the draft in the chimney or the dials on the doors.

you won't get away from the ash pan problem much in either case, but you'll be in front of the stove half as much (with half as much clean-up) with with a stoker you finally decide on.

Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: magnum stoker

PostBy: davemich On: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:51 am

I have a Hitzer insert and never have a problem with fly ash or dust. The only mess I have is the occassional loose chip and chunk from pouring into the hopper. Believe me, if there was a lot of dust, the wife would have let me know! I do have a hand vacuum that I keep near the stove and clean up what little does happen to fall on the floor every time I load the stove which is only once a day.

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PostBy: Gary in Pennsylvania On: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:58 am

WNY wrote:You do get some, I think it is mostly from emptying the ash pan ......

Yup. That's where all mine comes from. I don't physically remove the pan, I scoop out the ashes into an ash bucket one scoop at a time. I'm using a cheesy imitation brass hand scoop/shovel thingie. After a good long burn, I may remove 15-20 scoops of fine ash (3/4 bucket full). The most damage actually occurs upon transfer from the shovel scoop to the bucket. No matter how gentle I do that....I get mini-poofs. Dust.
I shake it with top door I don’t get any dust from that.
Gary in Pennsylvania

PostBy: dutch On: Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:50 am

with my Mark III, I notice some dust coming out my air
control vent when I shake down. I guess I could close
that while I shake, but I'm too lazy. the stove is in
the basement, and it isn't really bothering anybody.
It is better that I shake with that ash door closed though,
last winter I shook with the ash door open, and that
led to more dust.

there's always some fly when I pull out the ash pan,
and take my scoop and clean out the botttom of the stove,
and dump into the ash pan. I guess I don't need to
clean out every time, but I do.

last weekend, I took the pan out to dump into my barrel, and it
was very windy.. and I got covered in ash. a big wind came by as
I was dumping and it just covered me. :cry:
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Alaska Channing III