I have a Franco belge 10,275 pea coalstove. I bought it 5 years ago used and never had a problem with it before. I in the spring I clean the manifold that carries the hot gas to the flu by snaking a tube into it. This works and is efficient but it means I haven't inspected the stove for a couple of years. Nor do I open. The inspection/clean out doors.
I shut it down as we were out of town for new years eve. Before i fired it up again i decided to give the insides a look and I removed the cover (for the first time in a couple of years). I found the clean out doors on the got gas manifold (it runs along each side and then across the back) barely attached. They were hanging there with gaps visible. It it a testament to the design that the stove would run that way. It also implies there was a lot of air going into the exhaust before the damper.
I inspected more carefully (lesson learned this should be done annually) and found the root cause to be that the manifold for hot gas across the back has warped significantly . I also found crack in the front plate and in the manifold on the side of the stove.
I had been running the thermostat on number 8 of 9 for a month. It was consuming 3.5 to 4 15 pound buckets of coal daily. I have the damper is set as light as possible and it pulls a lot of air. The ash generated is very low. The thermometer on the top of the stove never goes above 350 F.
Does this sound like I overheated it by running it at 8 for that long? Or do stoves just warp over time?
Also does anyone have a good recommendation for a replacement? We like hopper fed parlor style stoves as this is our second heat source.
One addition. I got 5 years out of the The sacrificial back plate, hopper feed and grates that are in there now.