Cleaning Question

Cleaning question

PostBy: Grinder On: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:24 pm

How often do you clean the fly ash out of your stove and how do you do it? After a week of running our stove at around 40-50%, there seems to be quite a bit of fly ash on on the top and sides of the fire chamber. I hate the thought of shutting down the stove every week or two, to vacuum it out and don't want to burn up my shop vac, cleaning out a hot stove. Suggestions?

Thanks, Grinder
Stove/Furnace Make: KeyStoker
Stove/Furnace Model: 90

Visit Leisure Line

Re: Cleaning question

PostBy: ginski On: Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:12 am

i shut my stoker down every month till it's cool and turn on the portable kerosene heater until i'm done to keep the house warm. a small bed of wood pellets & a propane torch and it's going again---it's not a major project, and it's the perfect time to give the glass a thorough cleaning while it's cool.

i don't even use a shop hoover cannister vac works better with the attachments and all the ash is trapped by the bag - no dust escaping...that I can see? (haha). the shop vac is too clumsy & it's filtration is not as fine as the cannister bag & I noticed some exhaust dust using it for that purpose.

don't forget to vacuum the inlets to your smoke & CO detector inlets also!

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

Re: Cleaning question

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:18 am

I wouldn't be concerned about what's in the stove unless it's going to block the the gases from escaping, that is going to accumulate no matter what you do. You do need to be concerned with the pathways for the exhaust to escape especially on horizontal surfaces nad/or if you have a very small diameter flue pipe going from the stoker with horizontal surfaces.

This fly ash if left unchecked will eventually block the pipe, how fast really depends on the make/model, coal, flue pipe diameter and configuration etc. Ours for example is huge at about 1.5 feet, it could probably be left for 2 or 3 years with no maintenance but we do it once a year. It's actually permanently mounted but we have a clean out on the one end and and just run a vacuum hose up it. The other end has a T with baro damper which goes into the chimney which is also removed for a yearly chimney inspection.
Richard S.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Cleaning question

PostBy: Dutchman On: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:52 am

When I need to open up for cleaning, etc. I just shut the power off to the stove (outlet on a switch, same as unplugging). And let her die for a good 20-30 minutes while I do other things. By then it's cool enough to open but still warm to the touch, get in with a stiff-bristle brush, something to sweep the fly ash loose and down into the pan. I made a long handle so i'm not actually sticking my hands over the fire, which is smoldering but still warm.

Leave the ashpan door closed and just brush the ash from the top down. Then I'll tap the stovepipe to knock the loose stuff down, do the heat exchanger, and lastly clean out around the ashpan base and sweep up around the outside. Tried the vacuum, but a brushdown works just as good in my case.

Till I do that, the glass is almost always cool enough to clean, then close her up and flip the power on. Takes longer to let her cool down than it does to do the work now that I have the routine, and the fire comes right back when done.
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Magnum
Coal Size/Type: rice/anthracite

Visit Leisure Line