franco b wrote: If a unit that bills itself as automatic needs the attention of a hand fired stove then it is not automatic.
I don't think the AHS boiler "bills itself as automatic". Granted it is billed as a stoker and the stoking process is automated but that is a far cry from a fully automatic appliance
Just to note some of the obvious differences from a fully automatic appliance:
1. Coal must be regularly added to the hopper;
2. Ash must be regularly removed; and
3. The ashing control, whether timer operated or controlled by a temperature sensor, must be adjusted for the seasonal conditions, and variations in coal quality as well as the specific installation.
I think the defect, to the extent there is one, is that the manufacturer has failed to fully explain the limitations of the controls installed. While the thermograte control has some advantages over the timer control for ashing and to a limited degree adjusts for some cirumstances it is far from a fully automated control. I think AHS can be fairly criticised for not more clearly informing the buyer of the limitations of the thermograte control and for not more clearing educating the buyer/operator of how to appropriately deal with the limitations.