TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:33 pm

Sigh.

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.

-Tony

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.
tony17112acst
 

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: grumpy On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:37 pm

* 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.


Bingo, thats one problem.. you did a no no...better go see the How to start a coal fire thread.
grumpy
 

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: grumpy On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:39 pm

[quote]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.

Cut off the air..
grumpy
 

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Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:44 pm

Was it epic? First thing you did wrong was you opened the ash pan door. You gave the fire all the air it wanted. What you should've done was opened the air up and waited for the tired fire wake up before adding the fresh coal. Second thing is you closed the loading door before seeing blue flames. Should've left it open.

The MPD should he opened all the way in this weather. If you have good draw on the stove you can close it like you had it but it should be open. Now, before sshaking down a low fire, open the air up to wake the fire up, open the MPD, open the glass door a bit to allow over fire air (not sure if your stove has over fire of not; mine does not so it helps me). Once you see flames, shake the stove, load it up leave some red and wait for blue flames. Once you see them turn the air down to your desired setting then close the stove up.

I laughed at this thread because I just loaded mine up from a sleepy fire and had a small explosion myself. But since I leave the glass door open a bit with the MPD open all the way it was more like a small whoosh.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: warminmn On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:45 pm

Put sand, dirt or whatever on top of the fire and get the fire out. Stay outside until its safe. It is not safe in your house until its out and the house is aired out
warminmn
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Surdiac Nestor Martin
Coal Size/Type: nut ant
Other Heating: wood

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:47 pm

grumpy wrote:
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.

Cut off the air..


Close the air. Dump sand (if you have it) or ash on the fire.

Got treed. Damn my slow fingers on the smartphone.
Last edited by I'm On Fire on Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: grumpy On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:47 pm

The idea is to keep a flame going to burn off the gas before it can build up and go boom. Oh, and what he said..
grumpy
 

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:54 pm

Wow, thanks for the quick replies!

grumpy: But how do I cut off the air with the TLC2000? There isn't a way as far as I know.

Im On Fire:
* So Should I never open the ash door to liven the fire? ...only slide the air intake to max?
* What do you mean by "leave some red?"

Thanks!
tony17112acst
 

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: tony17112acst On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:55 pm

So should I leave the glass door open until I see blue flames? I didn't want to let gasses get into the house, so I didn't think it was OK to leave the glass door open. Please confirm this ...thank you again everyone.

-Tony
tony17112acst
 

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: grumpy On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:57 pm

See this thread..

The stove 'backfires'....Is this OK???

Use foil or what ever works to cut off air to the stove, it will then die, I'm not familiar with your stove so I cant help much, sand or dirt on top of the coal will work as well, cut off the air anyway you can.
grumpy
 

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: grumpy On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:59 pm

tony17112acst wrote:So should I leave the glass door open until I see blue flames? I didn't want to let gasses get into the house, so I didn't think it was OK to leave the glass door open. Please confirm this ...thank you again everyone.

-Tony


You have a lot to learn, but you will here and we'll help you along.. see the thread I posted for a start, you will learn much.
grumpy
 

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:00 pm

You can open the ash pan door to liven the fire bit its too easy to forget it's open which leaves room for a run away fire. On my stove I have a bimetallic thermostat that controls the air so that's what I use. Its on a heat sensitive clock spring so when it reaches temp it shits the air off so I can never have a fire that's out of control. So, yes, I would only use the air slide on your ash pan door. It'll gibe the stove just enough air to wake the fire but shouldn't be enough for the stove to run away from you.

By leave some red I mean don't cover the bed completely she loading it. Always make sure you leave some spots of red glowing coals. This way the gasses are able to ignite. Once you have flames you can go ahead and cover the red spots.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: grumpy On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:02 pm

Heres another to read, this will answer many questions.

How to Light a Hand Fired Coal Stove
grumpy
 

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: I'm On Fire On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:04 pm

tony17112acst wrote:So should I leave the glass door open until I see blue flames? I didn't want to let gasses get into the house, so I didn't think it was OK to leave the glass door open. Please confirm this ...thank you again everyone.

-Tony


If your chimney has good draw it'll pull through the front of the stove. Don't leave the door wide open, just open it enough to let a little air in through the front of the stove. I'm not familiar with your stove either, I'm just telling you what works for my DS in hopes that you can apply some of what works for me on your stove.
I'm On Fire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machines DS-1600 Hot Air Circulator

Re: TLC2000 Explosion Blew Apart Stove Pipe, Door Latch Bent Up

PostBy: SMITTY On: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:07 pm

DON'T leave the glass door open. To avoid this in the future is very simple -- if you see no blue flames, THEN you should open the MPD, and CAREFULLY and slowly open the glass door. Usually the crosswind will get the flames to appear, at which time you close ash door FIRST, then glass door, so as to not extinguish them. IF you still don't see flame, I've had luck blowing on the top of the fire - could use a bellows for that - would be a bit safer.

The main thing is to always have flame. If you load too fast, you bury the hot coals - that's the root cause of the problem.

Your problem sounds like you compounded a weaker draft by closing the MPD a bit. It should have been wide open on a warm night.
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

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