Joe B wrote:I was advised to get a manometer, but can't afford one, and know no one with one. Would a barometric damper without using a manometer help or not?
Secondly, why do I get intact coals in the firepot. As the fire was dying this morning I am left with burnt coals in pot. Is this normal?
If you have to much draft, yes it will help manometer or not. They will perform fairly well just from the factory markings out of the box, the gauge just fine tunes the setpoint. There is a sticky thread with a manometer loaner program run by Forum members. Another option would be post where you are and a member may bring his over and check it out for you.
Coal is not like wood where you can just throw more on a dying fire and off you go. It is a continuous process that needs to be kept in a mature state. Once it gets beyond that, it is pretty much a goner and you need to start over. You may want to stick to a 5-6 hour reloading until you get a handle on it. Also, smaller size coal will slow the burn rate. Try spreading some pea coal over the nut or blend it in with the nut when reloading.
Are you still having trouble in the center of the pot?