chrisbuick wrote:Thanks William - I agree completely about the potential of these Crawfords and I know you have a lot of experience with them.
I do have a question, which I should have asked Emery, but forgot in all the rush to stay dry Saturday:
The pull lever/ check damper below the back pipe - is that just a check damper, or does it have an additional function? My understanding is that when you flip the lever at the top of the back pipe to indirect draft, that puts the stove in base heater mode.
Am I correct?
Also - how often do the passages and lower base need to be cleaned during daily use? I know allot of these base heaters were NEVER cleaned properly in the old days. Both of my Crawfords were packed with soot, especially in the lower base under the lift out plate.
Thanks for everyone's help and comments - Chris
I'm telling you: by March of next year you will never think of ever parting with them. I won't say anymore, because you will be excited to tell us all about them.
The damper at the top exhaust is the base heating valve. You close it to put the stove in base burner mode. After you learn how to operate the stove you will rarely ever have it running in direct draft except to start a new fire or refuel.
You are correct the sliding damper under the back pipe is the check damper. You will soon learn when and how to use it. Remember that the check damper must be closed when starting the fire or reloading.
The check damper is also very handy at keeping dust out of the house. By opening the check damper when you shake or mess with fire having that open will pull all of the dust up the stack instead of in the house. With a little practice your routine maintenance will be extremely neat with this feature.
I clean out the base heating chambers in both stoves in June when they are finally shut down. It isn't necessary to clean them more often unless you keep throwing coal over the top of the fire pot into the base heating chamber.
I inspect them maybe once or twice during the heating season to make sure they are not getting clogged up. Just don't forget about it.