Awoke today to another "grey" elephant. That's what I call my coal bed when it's "almost" dead. Usually there's a hint of orange burning in the ash pile, that I can get to relite, W/O much trouble.
This morning, there wasn't anything glowing anywhere visible. None. Nada. And for the next couple days we're talking frigid temps. Not a good time for a dead stove.
So before I condemn the stove to the archives, I decided to do a little riddling. Wouldn't you know it? As I continue riddling, and ashes drop into the pan, and the stuff in the hopper drops down, I can see..."IT'S ALIVE!" Yes! There they were. All warm and comfortable, just waiting for a breath of fresh air, to turn them from a mediocre tepid clump of coal, to an inferno to melt the paint off my walls. So I blocked off my baro, (temporarily), kept my ash pan door open, and in less than 10 mins, the grey elephant turned into a screaming tiger.
I'm not sure how many of you hopper guys have stoves that seem to die out after extended burn times, but is this a common occurrence? It amazes me how quickly 30lbs of grey ash will re-ignite in such a short time. I would like to say this is a tribute to the hopper design, in that the lower coals in the hopper are "insulated" from the cool air, along with the benefit of the gravity feed system.