I am new to coal burning, so many will know what I did wrong, but at this point, I do not. I was in the garage when I heard the explosion from my Harman TLC2000, and when I went down to the lower level, the stove pipe to the chimney was laying on the floor in pieces. It had broken apart at both elbows (which swivel), not where any screws were. Sadly, I also discovered that my glass door will not latch. Either the handle itself is bent badly or the metal (part of the coal box) it latches on to is bent.
So what do you do when you have a coal fire burning in your house with no pipe to attach? Not only is there a coal fire, but a fully/freshly huge amount of coal on top?
I opened up all of the doors in the house and luckily had some aluminum super sticky duct tape. I set up the remains of the pipe with the tape knowing the glue will probably melt, but hoping the aluminum would continue to support the makeshift path to the chimney. It was VERY scary doing this knowing it just blew up and could happen again.
I also removed some of the fresh coal on top into an extra ash pan.
HERE WERE THE CONDITIONS:
* It was 60 degrees all day, so the temp of the stove was around 225;
* I had the air intake at almost the lowest setting (since it was 60 degrees outside);
* There were no flames, just a low red glow - all day;
* I have a manual damper but don't know how to use it, so I leave it at 45 degrees full time;
* I didn't add coal for a very long time since it was warm all day;
* The current burning coal was at a fairly low level - about 1/4 full.
HERE'S WHAT I DID:
* I opened the bottom ash door and swapped ash pans (I have two) since it was full;
* I shook the ashes down into the ash pan with the door open;
* I left the bottom ash door opened for 5 minutes to liven the heat up;
* I started loading fresh coal into the front glass door (not the top hopper door);
* As I loaded each shovel full, I closed the glass door (I thought this would help liven the fire);
* I loaded it up full - near the top of the firebrick;
* I left the glass door open for 1-2 minutes hoping to see some red or blue flames, but didn't, so I closed the glass door.
So as a novice, I am terrified of coal now. I will not be terrified for long, as long as I can figure out how to stop this from happening again. Imagine if I were not home; the house would have been completely filled with exhaust gases, and for a very long time at that!
I guess what I need are exact precise directions on how to load coal to avoid puffbacks.
On a side note: I am the first to criticize all of the dumb warnings on everything no-a-days, nevertheless, it is shocking to me that there is nothing in a coal burning stove owner's manual that if you are not an expert at burning coal, you'll have an explosion causing a fire, deadly gasses (from blowing your stovepipe up), and possibly projectile glass.
Thanks for listening and for your replies that will help me understand where I went wrong.
P.S. By the way, how do you put out a coal fire in the stove ...a fire extinguisher? I'd like to put mine out but don't want to put the chemicals into the stove just now.