So I came somewhat close to loosing my fire today. I can home from work and the left side had died, the right was burning normally. I had noticed that the left was burning faster than the right over the last day or so, not sure why, the only difference I can think of is when I open the ash door, it hinges on the right and so more air can enter on the left, but I figured once in the ash area the air would even out under the grates.
The ash tray was full, but that does not put it close to the grates, so the left was not choked off from below. The left side was mostly burned up w crumbly pieces, so it burned out rather than starved for air. I had been trying to not shake the ashes as much, because I read in the forum that a rookie mistake was to be over eager to shake down the fire.
The weather last night and today was windy, and I do not have a damper installed yet, so the draft was definitely stronger than usual. I did buy a barometric damper today and plan to install it tomorrow. Even more urgency now.
There was a solid fire on the right, and so I was able to save the fire. I pampered the the fire on the right, shoveled out most of the ashes on the left, and gradually spread the burning coals over the whole fire bed. Temps have recovered from around 230 to a more healthy 300 now, with a full active fire bed.
I am trying some new coal, Reading pea that I am testing out. I seems to burn fine, and should not be related to one side uneven burn.
Interesting lesson, but the root cause escapes me. If I see one side is burning stronger than the other, is there a standard action to take to avoid burning out one side?
Last edited by spiker
on Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.