I have two friends running older 130's right now and they have for many years. (One is an original Eshland from Ben Witmers Hardware store). I have a pair of 260's also along with the AA 130's and 260's so I see both sides, and still support the efforts by each company to keep folks safe and content. We have not had any puff-backs on any unit. No, I don't use 'miracle coal' or have any NASA equipment on them. Secondary air at the observation door is essential. If you adjust the door to be tight, you are not paying attention, it needs to hang loose and provide air over the fire to quickly remove the volatile gases. AA has a 1/2 hole with a removable chrome cap......like the situation at Keystoker when they added a small motor to provide air to keep the fire burning at an acceptable level. Most of you know a Hand-Fed stove will blow the door back HARD if you get too much fresh coal dumped upon the sleepy fire. Same is true for AHS and AA. I know they tell you to start up a new or empty boiler with a 5 gal can of ash. Well, when you are 150 miles from home or just plain forgot, I have started a hundred or more pots with ALL fresh coal, and there is no issue. I use a LARGE propane plumbers torch, and there is nothing lazy about the heating and igniting of the coal. 5 minutes and we are at full fire. I do, however remove the twisted belt on AA's to stop the auger and ashing, and on AHS models, I disable, temporarily the ashing motor circuit. The most critical part of the puff back is lots of fresh coal and lots of ashing that removes the ash bed and provides too much air to a fresh fire. Once again, I will say to everyone, change only one parameter at a time AND record the change. DO NOT play with the damned fire. Unlike wood, coal HATES for idiots to keep opening doors, access ports and feed rates all the time. I have done this for a long time and the biggest enemy of the boiler or radiant unit, or hand fed is the idiot who won't/can't relax and let the process function. If you think you are smarter than the guys who envisioned, built and support these fine products, then step right up to the Bar, and spew your knowledge. .........and Larry, NO PM's; no questions, no posts.....just f****ing relax and burn as you learn. I don't want to offend anyone, but PLEASE be proactive, because if you are not part of the solution, then you are damned well part of the problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why do I have dozens of these things running and have no Baro's rocketing into space? Supple air, exhaust piping, chimney construction, height of the fire in the chamber....... 'habits' of the homeowner. Start here, and we will be able to make this long post a non-issue. PS Freetown Fred meant no disrespect, he is merely trying to help out the good folks who read the forum. Some folks 'rub' you' the wrong way, but he is a Vietnam Era Marine Medic, and I can tell you, he is used to making decision that impact peoples lives, and he would walk to hell and back....well, at least to Cortland...to help anyone out. "Hell' would be down below Yanche in the District of Columbia, and that long wall has too many friend's names on it for him.........and me, too!