I am a bi-vocational pastor that when called will do service work on coal stoves. It's a nice way to meet people and get an opportunity to talk to them about the inevitable.
I have a few people that call me to clean and check their stoves at start-up time. This year no one called so I called them. One person said that they were going to wait, a second said they weren't going to do it this year as money is tight. It's an old couple on fixed income with bad health. I offered to do it for parts only which was gaskets and sealant but they still said no they would call me after the first of the year. The third is a firehouse bar with a Keystoker 90 that said they were going to do it themselves this year. They had called me last year because so many hands had been at the settings that they couldn't get it to burn. I had to break the whole stove down to parade rest, clean it and seal it and I installed a coaltrol with a locking cage around it.
Last week I got a call from a member who said he pulled the grates and vacuumed out the fines and everything else looked good. He said he saw where I had sealed the top of the grate with some sort of cement. They never did that before on their old stove and he wasn't going to do that because it would keep the coal from sliding down very easy. I said that he needed to be sure that he sealed the grate at the top and sides. He wasn't going to make another trip to get a can of furnace cement and they would close it up and run it. I cautioned against doing that.
I got a voice mail yesterday afternoon. You guessed it. He didn't seal the grate at the sides or the top. They had a hopper fire, scorched the paint at the base of the hopper and melted the nylon drive cam. He said they came in and blue smoke was all through the bar and restaurant area.
Now it's an emergency breakdown call to pull the drive unit, get the melted cam off, clean everything up, pull the grates and reseal them properly instead of an inexpensive routine service and cleaning.
Remember the old oil commercial? Pay me now, or pay me later. Sometimes when you break the rules you slide by. Other times depending on what rule you break you will always get bit. There are consequences to every action. Some good, some bad.