The mother of all BOOMs!!!! Everything had been working fine with my S260 this heating season. I have burned over 2 ton so far without any problems till I came home from dinner last night. My boiler is in my shop 200 ft from my house.
I opened the door to hear my CO2 detector screaming, the whole 40 x 80 shop filled with the smell of sulfer and smoke!
I just finished the boiler room in my shop this summer and have yet to install the door and see my pieces of my baro in the shop area 25 ft from the boiler room! I hit all the openers for three 12'x12' doors for fresh air and rush to the boiler room to see black cool dust every where the tombstone cover laying on the floor with pieces of my baro flue pipe in shreads on the floor! One T cap was embedded and wrapped around the floor joist!
My staineless chimmney cap is even even destroyed. The force of the explosion blew the rivits ot of my Rc baro and all the weights were 20 ft from the boiler in the shop!! the tombstone cover was 4 ft on the floor .
I could not imagine if my 6 year old daughter or myself would have been in the shop at the time this happened!
I shoveled all coal out of the hopper and the burn pot and shut the boiler down. I was in my shop three hours before this must have happened and the hopper was 3/4 filled and I heard the boiler cycle and no puffs or even burps since startup this year.
This is beyond dangerous and AHS needs to be addressed before someone is killed. Not to mention the damage or expense caused by the explosion! How can you ever even consider such a device in your basement or house? No expense had been spared on the install of the boiler ever. I even spoke to AHS on the flue pipe and the setup. Sorry for the rant!!
Clearly there is a serious issue with the boiler or your installation. An occasional harmless "puff back" is typical, but an explosion-like event is not. You need help in evaluating what's wrong. You say your boiler will ash if the combustion blower is running or not. This is not the typical operation of the AHS boilers I'm familiar with. My is the old timer control, pre-thermo ash, and it will only ash when the combustion blower is running.
Take close look at the schematic diagram in the manual and verify the boiler itself is wired correctly. Look at the flu requirements suggested in the manual and verify you installation meets the specifications and suggestions. Look at the Axeman Anderson installation manual section I posted. It suggest a concentric flue pipe and baro damper installation for a high draft chimney. It's also a much more robust design which directs "puff backs" into the chimney rather than out the barometric damper. Search the forum for my posts on the matter.
To protect yourself I would send a letter to AHS, documenting your problems along with your photographs. Specifically ask for help. Reference past telephone calls, etc. and the fact that they didn't help. Send this registered mail, with signature conformation return receipt required. Address it to the President of the company.
Alternate Heating Systems, LLC
1086 Wayne Avenue
Chambersburg, PA 17201
This should get their attention. You need their help, but you also need to take the steps to protect yourself if there is a liability issue with your boiler.
If they don't help in any serious way, file a complaint with the Greater Chambersburg, Chamber of Commerce. AHS appears to be a member.
Good luck, stay safe and post your experiences here to help others.