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Do you use your ash drawer?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by MaryAnn, Jan 16, 2006.

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  1. MaryAnn

    MaryAnn New Member

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    Installer ( who has a wood stove without ash drawer) laughed at ash drawer on Napoleon wood stove. He said its more work to shake the ashes into drawer than to just scoop them out. I'm going to clean out ashes tomorrow (before inspector comes Tuesday). Which way makes less of a mess and is quicker?

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  2. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

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    Nov 28, 2005
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    I have an ash pan/drawer and it is extremely easy to clean out. The only hassle is when you pull the ash drawer out of mine some ashes from the firebox fall down into the area where the ash drawer was. I only have to scrape the ashes into the clean ash pan when I return from dumping it. No big deal.
  3. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I have heard the ash pan drawers can cause problems, some people like theirs. They can cause air leaks, or they find it more troublesome to use. The technique I love would probably make one pointless to me. When I go to reload, I scoop out all the ashes in the very front near the glass, it's almost always fine ash powder (since it's the hottest from the air wash system) and my glowing embers and unburned coals are in the back. So, I scoop out the powder in the front, move everything else (embers, ash, coals, etc) afterward to the front, then load my wood on top of it. Keeps the unit clean and in tip top shape, I burn all the wood, have to dump my ash bucket less, and piling all the embers in one location focuses the heat so I get nearly instant ignition. I recommend you do that technique, if you load your wood side/side instead of pushing everything in the back up front and making one continous pile up there, better to have two seperate ones so air flow can go under the wood, between the piles and blow flames into the middle of your stove. If you load front/back, no need to make two seperate piles, the spacing between the wood and its orientation does that.

    By the way, the inspector is supposed to come BEFORE you light a fire. Had you, or your installers done something wrong with the installation and your house burned down before the installation was approved by your inspector, your insurance won't cover you. The inspectors job is to make sure it's safe, and installed as stated, and is verification to your insurance company it is a safe install and not a risk. Anyway just a warning, no more fires until the inspector comes as you are currently NOT covered by your insurance if your house burns down by it. After it's approved, inform your insurance company they'll have a form you fill out. Then, you can light your (supposedly first) fires. Your inspector may be a little annoyed when he goes in there and see's it's been used already, or may not as I'm sure you're not the first.

    Congrats on your stove!
  4. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    New Jersey
    Nokoni Is correct.
    Also, I find that the few seconds the ash door is open makes for an instant ignition of the new load. Good luck.
  5. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I look at it this way: The permit has been pulled, I know everbody wants to try their new toy. If the install was done right,
    I have no problem seeing a few ashes. Problems arise if it does not pass inspections and they keep using it.
  6. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    Ash pan on mine is great. I use th shovel to sift the ashes. I scoop the ashes then pull the shovel back and forth over the grate. The ashes fall thru, and the coal/chareed wood stays above. I scoop up the coals and put them in the back corner. then do it again. keep doing it till I have nothing but coals and th eashes are down iin the pan. Give the pan a jiggle to make the ash pile even out, pull the drawer and take it out to the burn barrell. works like a charm.
  7. MaryAnn

    MaryAnn New Member

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    Nov 30, 2005
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    I did not want to try stove out before inspection. Installer (who is a friend of ours) and husband did while I was working. Boys and toys thing. Also, installer wanted to be sure it burned properly I guess. One good thing, it poured rain that night, no leaks. Of course when the inspector comes, I will be the only one here. I'll just say "they did it". LOL. Believe me, I stayed up almost all night checking that stove. Was scared to death to be homeless. Another thing that really surprised me is when we had a good fire going, wall behind stove was barely warm. Amazing for it only being 7 inches from stove. Guess the rear heat shield really works on these.
  8. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Nov 21, 2005
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    Well, I understand your husband and his friend the urge is almost unbearable!

    Make sure you get a carbon monoxide detector, please. Monoxide is a heavy gas it likes to stay near the floor so a good place for the detector is maybe on the second shelf of a table in or near the room with the stove (but not too close). Also, any room people sleep in. If you paint, bag the monoxide detectors temporarily in an air tight container as the fumes can mess them up. I recommend several of them and a fire extinguisher at a midpoint between the stove, and your bedrooms. You don't want it right next to the stove, if there's a fire the area will be engulfed in flames and a fire extinguisher is very dangerous if heated to 200 degrees (or maybe it was 150). By the time you realize there's a fire near your stove you don't want to go charging into the flames to get the extinguisher, risk it exploding, nor want it too hot to use. So, the best place is between the stove, and the bedrooms, if only to try to hold off the flames for a few moments so you or other family members can escape. Someone mentioned that's the best place, made sense to me, wish I could give them credit but can't remember who.
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Rhone is right about getting Co Detectors and that the best locations are not the ceilings. I have a few here One should be in the room with the appliance. But not on top of it. One could use a plug in type Second one in the hall on the wall outside your sleeping area. No more than 5'6" off the floor If you have a first floor bedroom area then another one should be located in that area Finally in the basement locate one near you smoke detector I know it higher than others but that is the natural passage of air and it still protects the floor above. Extinguishers are also a great recomendation. Should have a couple handy. I heard it said it is not a bad idea to have one in your bedroom just in case things get too hot
  10. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Maryann,

    Call your installer an idiot

    I have burnt for over twenty years, with stoves without an ashpan, and some with.

    I would NEVER recomend a stove to anybody that did not (Regency) have a grate at the bottom of stove that collected ash into a pan.

    Those two Regency's I had needed to be shoveled every day, and it was a smokey, ashy mess.

    The VC Resolutes and Woodstock soapstone have a pan that you just dump every morning. All without disturbing the firebox. You may need to stir it up to get the ash to drop into to pan.

    I am not familiar with your stove, but your installer is jellous, or more likely ignorant.
  11. Homefire

    Homefire New Member

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    C/O rises, that is why people die from bad burners in their basements.
    Please do whatever you can to keep yourself safe from harm.
    Get your unit inspected by someone in real life . Not from the advise on these boards.
    As for fire extinguisers keep them in passageways near doors , just like you see in office buildings
  12. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Hmm... where were to cover my back when I was told that on this forum back in November. Anyway, I wish I could recall who said it incase they have theirs low they should know. Wasn't Elkimmeg, I can't remember regardless I want to thank you homefire, I'll be setting my unit at eye level.

    Doing some quick research Carbon monoxide is about the same density as air and air movement should mix it (it's 3% lighter to be exact). The problem happens when accompanied with Carbon Dioxide. Carbon dioxide a heavier gas will collect on the floor building up and possibly preventing carbon monoxide from ever reaching the alarm if located at a floor outlet. That is why it is recommended that CO alarms be placed high around eye level where the higher concentrations would be concentrated. Probably the one who told me Monoxide is heavier probably got confused with Dioxide but very happy you popped in homefire.
  13. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Homefire I do inspections in real life. The ones to make sure I do not have to do the followup ones when disaster occures
  14. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    East-Central Wisconsin
    We recently placed a piece of sheet metal over the ash slots of our stove
    and it significantly improved the performance of our stove.
    Longer burns, more complete burns, fires easier to re-start, "spot cleaning" of ashes
    instead of drawer full of mess, longer between cleanings - who could want more!!
    And contrary to what you may believe, it is not any messier.
    Actually, I got the idea from a person who owns the same model stove and shared
    the same misgivings as I did, but found a way to improve.

    Rob
  15. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I would say your stove has issues. What is it?

    Shoveling smoking ashes out of a smouldering firebox, trying to seperate the coals from the ash, into a container, in the middle of my living room, at 4:30 in the morning was NOT-Good.

    I like: take out ash tray, go outside and dump in closed ash container, re-insert pan. Load up and be happy.
  16. MaryAnn

    MaryAnn New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
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    Would love to try my ash drawer, but it is stuck in locked position. I think its just a spring attachment that operates it. No wonder installer put down the ash drawer. I don't think he has the spring on right, or broke it. I'll wait until warmer weather (don't want to stop burning yet) and
    take out drawer and check it out. It least its stuck with ashwell in closed position. Until then, I guess I'll have to clean ashes the old way.
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