We just put money down on a Hitzer 30-95 on Saturday 2/7 at the Preston Trading Post here in CT, the Hitzer will replace a Colebrookdale Severn that we had for 15 years, we need a little more capacity.
We asked the folks a Preston the same Ash Pan question, why the open back? They told us that it is a common question asked about the Hitzer. Hitzer's theory is on almost every coal stove ashes and pieces of coal build up behind a four sided ash pan and eventually the operator has to use a long handeled shovel to dig the ash out to let the pan sit in it's normal location. With the 3 sided pan as the pan is placed back after emptying it scoops up the material that normally hides in the back. This is quite true with our present Severn, about every 2 days I have to clean out the back to get the pan in enought to close the doors. Our stove is in the living room, in order to control the ash we made a second ash pan and a box with hindged top slightly larger than the pan, it is open on one end. When it is time to empty ashes take the full pan out and slide into box close cover, take the empty ash pan that hides behind the stove and put in place and close the doors. Take the ash pan caddy outside and empty ashes into covered metal can, and bring caddy and empty pan back in for the next cycle.
We will be getting the Hitzer on Wednesday will post some photos and opinion once it is up and running. All the positive comments on the board pointed us to the Hitzer