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Progress Hybrid Ash Pan question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by ClanCameron, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron Member

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    Now that the room's ready, I have a ship-date on my woodstock PH, but didn't order the ash pan.

    I thought that occasionally emptying "fine ash", (probably with an ash vacuum not a shovel so the dust won't fly), wouldn't have to be done that often. Now wondering about that - I'd like to hear from those that do and don't have the pan - your thoughts - much appreciated. Hey - there's nothing like starting to burn wood in March!

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  2. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I don't have the ash pan but my dad does. The ash pan is a great design and very functional. It is huge and holds a lot of ash. I didn't order one because I am frugal and don't mind shoveling ash. Also an ash pan is one more place something can go wrong. I find I shovel ash once a week most of the year but as much as every 4 days when it's really cold. Its no big deal for me.

    Oh, I should add that the ash pan latch is a little quirky and takes some getting used to.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We ordered without the ash pan. The fireview is the first stove we've had without an ash pan. I do not wish to go backwards. We have no problem with the ashes. I also think the Progress looks much nicer without the ash pan.
  4. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    I have the ash pan and love it. Empty every 4 - 6 days when really cold.
    Cross Cut Saw likes this.
  5. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    The PH is my third stove. My first stove (Encore NC) had an ash pan and while I thought I liked it at the time, I now know it was far too small and really not well designed. It was too small (frequent emptying) and the lid system while seeming nice in theory really wasn't practical as the handle was on the lid and could drop the pan if not attached correctly, and you had to remove the lid to dump and that made it's own mess outside.

    My second stove the FV had none (not an option) and while I expected to miss having one, I found that I liked it better as I didn't have to deal with ashes every day or two and shoveling really wasn't THAT big a deal. Based on advice here I quickly learned to shovel with warm stove and 'slide' the ashes off in the bottom of the ash bucket. Worked quite well.

    So - then came the PH. I didn't think I'd want the pan until I saw it in person and realized it was really designed for serious use. It is much larger than what I had before (I go 3-4 days when burning hardest, much longer clearly when not burning as much). The lid slides onto the pan while the pan is still in the stove. When emptying the pan you can open the lid 2-4 inches and then it allows pouring them out more than dumping all at once - less mess. I ended up getting two of the pans so that I can swap them out - makes it MUCH faster than shoveling and that is something I appreciate - I can be careful or I can be fast but I have a hard time doing both at once sometimes.

    So bottom line - I highly recommend the ash pan on the PH, but am not sure I can endorse ash pans in general.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I don't have an ashpan.

    Prefer the way the stove looks without one.

    I don't find emptying the ash through the door via shovel any problem.

    I am one of the few with a very tall chimney/strong draft and a cat clogging problem. Three of the four of us do NOT have ash pans. The one who does have an ash pan just posted a picture of his cat after two weeks, and, although it does have build up, it is nothing like mine, which can be completely clogged by then. So perhaps an ashpan can alleviate the problem of an cold weather induced excessive draft in tall chimney scenario pulling light ash up the flue.

    So, if you have a very tall chimney in a cold climate and an exposed location, the above might suggest trying an ashpan.

    But I don't like the way they look.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron Member

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    Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm going to go without for now, get some burning under my belt and wait and see. I suspect I can do a mod and add it in a future season. I'm so happy to be burning wood again, I'm looking forward to the maintenance on the stove too.
  8. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Yes, you can add it any time you want. No problem at all.

    You're going to love your handsome stove!

    What color did you choose?

    If you have a top vent, get an extra can of paint in your stove color and paint the pipe. Mine is light grey, and it looks great painted to match.
  9. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron Member

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    metallic brown, looks like champagne, and should go well with the amendoim wood floor, grey slate and surround windows contrasting outside greenery (in Minnesota that's one month out of the year :oops: yoking). Will have top vent, getting the pipe from Woodstock and they paint it to match the stove free-of-charge, and piping is at a 10% discount. The price tag hurts right now, but I'll spend it once and forget the pain after I light the first match.

    Loved the charcoal and silver metals too.... just hadda make a choice.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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  11. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I have the pan. Although I have nothing to compare it to (first stove), I can't imagine not having it!! Huh? "Shoveling ashes"? Forget that,doesn't sound appetizing to me. I just slide it out and dump it outside. It is very big, and very functional. Lastly, the looks probably depend on your colors, particularly around the stove (aka tile...). You can't really notice my black pan against the dark slate tiles. Lighter colors prolly show it more, but I would not go without it, now that I have it.

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  12. chipsoflyin

    chipsoflyin Member

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    I would never go back to shoveling ashes after using the PH ashpan.
  13. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    One more thing, I have recently found that I get better and longer burns with very little ash in the stove. I know that goes against what everyone around here suggests, but that is what I'm seeing. I rake almost all the ashes thru the grate before each reload now.


    And, with the ash pan, there is no need for having/storing/dealing with an ash bucket in the house. I just dump my ashes outside one every week or two, and slide it back in. Done.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Have to admit that I too wondered before we got a stove with no ash pan. Now that we have it, I have no used for an ash pan and when we ordered our Progress, it was with no ash pan. But as you know, we had to cancel that order because after our remodel and adding lots and lots of insulation the Progress would have really baked us. So we still are in love with the Fireview and no ash pan.
  15. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    I have used a few stoves with ash pans, been around others, they were all worthless. I have shoveled ash for many, many years and never could master the "slide off the shovel with no dust" technique. The ash pan on my Keystone works great for three reasons-
    - The small slits in the firebox floor won't allow coals bigger than a pea to fall through, no waste.
    -The ash will build up ash deep in the firebox as deep as you like (doesn't fall through unless you agitate it, allowing for long lasting coal beds).
    -The ash pan will not over fill because the foot print of the slits in the firebox floor, is about an inch smaller on all sides than the ash pan. The ash mounds up in the middle of the ash pan, but not around the edges (when the ash pan is full and there is a bed of ash in the firebox, when you pull the pan out it seems that some ash would fall into the ash pan floor and need cleaned out, but that hasn't yet happened to me in my first year with the Keystone).

    I have two ash pans. When one gets full, I swap in the empty one (10 seconds-zero dust), take the full one outside and put the lid on it.
  16. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron Member

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    Thanks, all. The PH is due here on Tuesday the 12th, without an ashpan. The stove won't get much of a workout with it being March already, so we'll give it a go for now and next season and see from there.

    What I am having more fun with tonight is reading up on the hauling, uncrate and install... I'm off to look at some of your posts... I'm changing threads here, but quickly, we going to get it delivered into the driveway about 125' from the entry door. We're going to get it lifted and transported with a friends bobcat and forks, which'll have to traverse a longer way around than the direct-by-foot route, probably 400' to back side of the property back up to the house, since it is more level out there. I'll figure out getting it through the 36" doorway. The hearth is just left of the entry door, so won't be much once it's in the door. Looks like some forks don't match the pallet size, and may be an issue? But that's for another thread.==c
  17. Flamestead

    Flamestead Feeling the Heat

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    I've used a number of stoves with and without ash pans, and am very happy I chose to get one with my PH.

    But I'm really writing to respond about the forks. Many forks are adjustable for width (hand truck style is more limited). If not, the worst case would be to put a pallet on the forks, and then put the PH's pallet onto that. Forks made very quick and simple work of moving my stove from truck to front door - nice that you have access to some.
  18. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron Member

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    Thanks for that - I've got about a dozen nice pallets of different sizing. Sounds like one will work if needed. We've got a lot of melting snow, so what was deep is now sagging mush about 12" deep. The ground is still frozen, so other than surface mud, a bobcat with standard wheels, and the PH stove on the cat's forks should be just fine, making its way down a small slope, through the woods, and then back up another slope to the house and door (the right-most side of my avatar picture, that is unseen). I'll post in a week once it's in and sitting pretty.
  19. doug60

    doug60 Member

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    I find the ash pan to be very effective. I empty about once a week. Not only that but this is my 5 th stove & the ash pan will help with resale.
  20. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Easy to add an ashpan if he needs it...
    ClanCameron likes this.
  21. melissa71

    melissa71 New Member

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    I have the PH, and opted not to get the ash pan. I just like the look of it without it. If I'm careful, the ashes don't get all over, and I don't have to empty it all that often. It's my 1st stove, though, so I have nothing else to compare it to.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  22. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron Member

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    Old post, I may be the only one reading... but a quick update - the Progress performance is a hit whether it is 35 degrees out or around 5 (just getting to those temps now). I burned for a month without the ash pan, and needed to empty it every 5-7 days. Dust was a problem even though I mastered the slide-it-off the shovel. I was sending coals to the outdoor heap too. So we got the pan. Absolutely fantastic! My fire burns stronger and longer when there is little ash but hot coals, and it is even easier than easy to bring back to temp after a die-down and reload (Machria experienced the same). Ash gets emptied every 10-14 days now. Very impressed that the health of the fire is better - I burn soft to hard woods (linden to ash/oak), so my ash output with the softer woods can add up.

    Come spring I'll post the finished addition in my avatar with wrap-around deck which is almost done.
    Tenn Dave likes this.
  23. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the information.

    I haven't an ashpan, because I prefer the appearance without one. However, always in the back of my mind are questions about how the stove performs with one versus without. So it is very helpful to see a post like this.

    I have asked Woodstock if the can test the stove both ways, but when I asked their test equipment was pretty busy....

    I suspect the presence or absence of the ashpan may have an impact on the surface clogging of the cats in high draft situations.

    Will look forward to your further posts. Also, can you give details re the "longer and stronger" burns. How much longer? Higher temps, lower, or what??
  24. ClanCameron

    ClanCameron Member

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    Since I often had a lot of hot coals mixed in with the ash, I would leave the entire bed in place and put new wood on top for most of the week. I'd get some ash/only emptied out, but I left a lot in so I didn't lose the coals. I'd get around to emptying the ash near weekends, but then increased to twice a week when I noticed the fire was burning better without the deep ash bed. Also, although I could get ash out without coals, it was less dusty to just shovel out a mix of both. Of course I was losing the benefit of the coals to ignite the new fire. During the week, I'm out of the house for 11 hours and it often took a couple hours to have the fire steady at 350-375 so the house was back up to temp 70-72.

    Basically, I believe my fire was experiencing smothering from a lack of air circulation - as I got into the week, circulation on the lowest air setting seemed sluggish as the ash/coal bed grew deeper, and the only way to counter it was to either turn the air up or empty the bed. Of course the size if the firebox was shrinking from the rising bed!

    Now that I can get the ash in the pan regularly and am losing no coals, the firebox is staying up in the 350-400 range. If I fill the firebox in the morning, I have been coming home to temps 325-350 and a nice rubble of coals. It's much better than before where the soft ash thickly covered the coals and the box temp was 250-300. It's only been a little more than a week since I've had the pan, and I'll note things a little more closely and get back with you. Our temps here are trending lower too, we'll be in single digits later this week for a spell.

    BTW, Woodstock sent a can of 'champagne' color stove paint for me to match the ash pan to the stove trim. It looks great, integrates nicely into the entire stove, and doesn't 'stick out' visually when enjoying the hearth.
  25. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Once again, helpful information. Thanks. Curious...when you were burning without an ashpan, did you make sure the air hole in the front center bottom was free of ash when the ash bed was deep? I realized sometime last year that it was frequently covered. Once I made a point of raking the coals and ash away, sharply, to keep the area open with a decent open space around, even when I had all the coals raked forward, I did find the stove burned better. SO, Fundamentally I am wondering if having the air hole open now that you have an ashpan at least significantly contributing to your better burns, or if you ascertained that the air supply was available from that source before you got the ashpan?

    Thoughtful of Woodstock to send the paint. I'm sure it looks a lot better the same color as the stove. The pipe surely does. "Champagne" -- a custom color? Bet it looks very nice.

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