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Eko 40, How do you manage ashes

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by hartkem, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. hartkem

    hartkem Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
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    192
    Loc:
    KC
    Im still in my first season with my eko and I'm still learning. Yesterday I had some trouble keeping the boiler gassifying. I had about 6" of cooled off coals over the nozel and a lot of ash in front and behind the nozel. This morning I cleaned the entire upper chamber, lower chamber, and chimney of ash. Probably got about 3-5 gallons worth out of it. When I removed the lower refractory there was a lot of ash almost blocking the turbulators. Also when I removed the lower inspection cap from the tee off the back of the eko so much as came out that it was almost blocking the exhaust out of the eko. So my question is what are others doing to prevent the ash buildup in the chimney and behind the lower refractory. I usually clean the ashes out of the U shaped part of the refractory every other fire and the lower chamber once a week but don't remove the refractory blocks. I've removed the refractory blocks 3 times to clean behind them since late October. Should i be cleaning the ashes out of the upper chamber? I burned about a half cord of 2 year season pine rounds 3 inches in diameter or less and lately about a half cord mixture of apple/ elm all rounds 3" in diameter or less dried almost three years. After cleaning all is well again.

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  2. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    Aug 22, 2008
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    West Michigan
    Holy smokes...that's a lot of ash. In a normal year I'll fill my ash bucket twice, total. And that thing is not 5 gallons. My first thought - it's the pine. Others will have to comment though since I never burn it. I burn only hardwood.

    Here is what my routine is like in terms of ash. Probably twice a week I'll rake out the lower chamber. I usually get about a dust pan full, maybe a little more. I've noticed burning beech that it will ash up a little more, but not significantly. Maybe two dust pans per cleaning?

    I never clean the upper chamber during the winter. But I also never have "ash" or coals covering the nozzle after a burn. I let my fan run about an hour longer than I know a full load will last to make sure the last of the coals are burned up. No reason to be sweeping charcoal chunks into your ash pan - make 'em burn.

    I only move the refractories once per year at spring clean out. I keep the refractory blocks pushed all the way against the back wall to prevent some of the ash from getting back there.

    And last, I clean my flue cleanout only in the spring as well. I'll probably get 2 gallons from that, total.
  3. Fred61

    Fred61 Minister of Fire

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    Nov 26, 2008
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    1,767
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    Southeastern Vt.
    Wow Stee, you get fewer ashes than I do and I only burn between two and three cord of mixed hardwood a year. Last year I was leaving the ash in the top chamber but I became concerned about the stuff caking up against the front and rear steel vessel and worried that dampness from a newly kindled fire everyday could be trapped causing corrosion. I usually shut down the boiler when there is a small amount of charcoal which makes it easier to light a fire on the following day.
    This year I try to stir out the white ash, paying particular attention to the front and rear walls. This causes some of the charcoal to fall through the nozzle. I then rake all the material from the lower chamber with the hoe I made to the exact shape of the target blocks and all ash from around them. It is all raked into a 1/8' seive over a pan which separates the charcoal from the fines, shovel the charcoal to the top of my prepared fire and light with torch up through the nozzle. When I the the glow reflecting on the target blocks, I mash the "on" button, close the door, activate the bypass and walk away.
  4. taxidermist

    taxidermist Minister of Fire

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    Mar 11, 2008
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    1,032
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    Fowlerville MI
    I run mine just like stee I never clean my upper chamber all season as it forms a V and helps with bridging. No if you burn wood that leaves a lot of coals or cake ash then yes you have to clean it more oftem.

    Rob
  5. mr.fixit

    mr.fixit Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
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    216
    Loc:
    west central wi.
    I try not to let the ash build up to much in the top chamber in front of and behind the nozzle.I think if it accumulates to much,it prevents longer pieces of wood from covering the nozzle,especially when starting a new fire.

    I also get fly ash build up in the flue T,but I think if you have adequate chimney draft,excessive fan speeds can carry more ash up into the T.

    I fill a 5 gallon pail of ashes in a week or week and half.More wood burnt = more ashes.

    Stee,by having the lower blocks slid all the way to the back,aren't you blocking flow to the center HX tubes?
  6. hartkem

    hartkem Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
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    192
    Loc:
    KC
    I too feel that not cleaning the upper chamber causes the longer pieces to stay above the nozel. But the manual sts its not required to clean the upper chamber. I bet since Im burning rounds I have more ash because of all the bark. I only have about a half cord of the rounds left and then I move onto my seasoned splits. Thanks guys

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