Kimberly wrote:Oliver, this sounds very plausible except I had the fan OFF. I don't run the fan, don't need to, this stove heats my house without it. And the flapper door was open, wide open. The fire was out and the flapper was open. Which means what? Either the stove never got hot enough to close the flapper yet still burned all the coal up or there's something wrong with the thermostat. Or as the stove cooled off the flapper opened up??
Or my husband turned the fan on and I don't remember turning it off when I found the fire out. Which would make your scenario 100% correct.
Stove was purchased 11-2012 I wonder if the stat is still under warranty.
OK, lets back up here Kimberly. There is no doubt your stove WAY over fired The burnt up coal bed still holding it's shape tells me that. The extreme heat coming off your stove would have EASILY closed the back flapper door, long before the coal was burnt up. That tells me the flapper door stuck open. The fan being on would multiply the cooling of the stove much quicker, if the coal bed was smothered at tending time. Not having your fan on is a good thing, as the stoves mass cools slower. And would normally allow the coal bed time to re-establish itself, and bring the stove body back up to temp. However, due to the smothered weak bed of coals, the mass of the stove still cooled, opening the flapper door way up, and it stuck open. The fan doesn't have to be on for this scenario to happen. The fan only compounds the scenario. The stove cooled way down at tending time. The new batch smothered the weak bed of coals. Before the coal bed can re-establish itself, the stove cooled enough to open the flapper door way up. More than likely, the flapper shifted a little, then hung up. I've had it happen on both my Hitzers. The extreme heat pushed your spring to the max, and POP! You say the flapper was all the way open when you got home. And it was open BECAUSE the stove was out. Maybe, Maybe not....... Question: Why was the stove out to begin with? Answer: The fire had way too much air, which caused an "Over Fire", burning all the energy out of the coal. When the stove cooled, the chain caught up with the stuck open flapper door. I still say the flapper door stuck open, and the extreme heat caused the spring to pop. Your fire must have been really low/smothered in order for this scenario to happen with the fan off. Should your fire be that low, then smothered, you may want to turn your back dial to low as well. Better yet, get the fire established before running out the door. Any book on coal heat will tell you to leave a hot spot at tending time. If you don't have a good established fire, the hot spot will speed things up.