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Remove hot ashes cleanly???_Driving me nuts!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by kieth4548, Jan 17, 2008.

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  1. kieth4548

    kieth4548 New Member

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    Ok have looked and looked and havn't found a straight answer. I am trying to find a way to empty my hot ashes from my stove without making a mess. I have been burning my wood stove furnace addon for about 4 weeks now in my basement and have noticed ash dust on everything. My pool table is covered. Every time I place the ashes in my metal can I get a puff of ash dust before I can put my lid on. Then when I go to open it again for the second dump more ash dust. It doesn't matter if I try to drop them in very slowly. All the ash dust is starting to drive me nuts. I really don't want to pay $200 for an ash vac when a shop vac costs $50 but I know that I can use that. Does anyone have any recomendation on how to do this with out all the dust?

    Thanks
    Kieth

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    What I used to do was to use a drywall filter on my shop vac and run the vacuum when doing the ashes. The best way is to have someone holding the hose and sucking up the errant dust while you work, but you can also build a stand of some sort that puts the hose nozzle just over the ash bucket, for example.

    Or, if you have a removable ash drawer with that furnace (or if it's an option), you can carry it outside and do your dumping there. A big shovel works pretty well for that, too.

    There are also ways to use a shovel and the lid from your ash can to minimize the amount of ash that escapes while cleaning, i.e., slide the ashes off the shovel in the can, and then quickly pop the lid on it.
  3. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I do it cold, which seems to help a bit. I'm tempted to cobble together an ash vac that vents outside - sort of a central vac for ashes perhaps with a cyclonic separator.
  4. kieth4548

    kieth4548 New Member

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    I am running my stove 24/7 now and I can't wait for the ashes to cool down or my house will get cold. I thought you can't use a shop vac on hot ashes?
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'm saying hold the vacuum hose nozzle above the ash can to suck up all the dust in the air. You don't want it near the coals, that's for sure!
  6. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    One forced air combustion appliance is plenty!
  7. kieth4548

    kieth4548 New Member

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    I see what you are saying now... I was trying to figure that out..
  8. kieth4548

    kieth4548 New Member

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    I tried to explan to my wife why I couldn't use a shop vac the other day and I finally used the word "jet engine" that's what I would have if the coal caught on fire..LOL
  9. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    I think you need to accept that there is going to be some level of fly ash around.
  10. kieth4548

    kieth4548 New Member

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    Has anyone used the ash vacs? How are they different than a shop vac other than a metal container. Are they pretty clean?

    Thanks
  11. kieth4548

    kieth4548 New Member

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    Ok.. I just talked to the manufacture of the ash vacs and they are telling me that they are basically the same as a shop vac but it does not exaust dust into the air. They say they are a double fileter system. They were also telling me that the whole unit is built per fire specs. Basically everything in it is fire proof. Just infomation that I found and thought I would pass on.
  12. pbvermont

    pbvermont Member

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    You guys making recommendations should be careful. Vacuum cleaners and ashes DO NOT GO TOGETHER! Unless it is a certified ash vacuum--which is made of metal and is AIRTIGHT.
    How do you know FOR SURE when you are using an ordinary vacuum cleaner (or shop vac) on the hearth or in the woodstove/ woodfurnace that there ARE NO LIVE COALS there??! Go ahead... vacuum the hearth. Put the vacuum cleaner away in the corner, go to work. Live coal in vacuum cleaner COMBUSTS! End of story.
  13. atlarge54

    atlarge54 New Member

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    Why not have another ash pan made? While you're at it have one cover made. Remove ash pan and cover, allow to cool and dump outside later. Probably cost less than a fancy vac or new home.
  14. wsurfer49

    wsurfer49 Member

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    That is why I love to read all the different threads here. You get a bunch of people looking at a problem from all different angles and many solutions offered. The last one seems to me to be the best yet. I wish I could apply it to my stove but alas, no ash pan and I want to move the whole process out of the house with a much more efficient furnace anyway. Rob
  15. kieth4548

    kieth4548 New Member

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    I have already though of this. Actually I have a firend that is going to make a cover for mine that way I can pull it out and take it straight outside. I can make a lot of ash pans and covers for $200
  16. kieth4548

    kieth4548 New Member

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    I will agree with you. That is also why I like this forum. Some one can throw out an Idea and it's hit from all different ways.
  17. atlarge54

    atlarge54 New Member

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    Wow $200 for an ash pan, is that chrome plated? Did you try taking it to a welding shop and ask for a price to duplicate? That must be a dealers price. What part of the country you live in? Most shops around here could probably hack up a piece of scrap and send you on your way for under $50. Don't wear a suit and drive a Mercedes when you go and wear your dirty duds too.
  18. Bartman

    Bartman Member

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    Just use a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of liquid soap added in. When dumping the ashes, spray over the can and the mist will keep the dust down. This method is used by me when I drill or cut through asbestos shingles, the dust never flies. This method was taught to me 15 yrs ago in asbestos abatement class.
  19. wsurfer49

    wsurfer49 Member

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    Thanks Bartman, I am going to use that hint tomorrow. Why didn't I think of that? :grrr: That is why I am in this forum, I just hope I can contribute something like that to help someone else. Rob
  20. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I second that. Thanks Bartman.
  21. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    My stove doesn't have an ashpan, but it has strong draft. That draft can work like a nice vacuum around the door.

    By dumb luck, one of the Pilgrim ash pans happens to line up very nearly with the lip around the door, so I line it up under that to empty it. If I do this when the stove is hot, and just crack the lid right in front of the door to load the ashes, any stray ashes are sucked up the chimney.

    If you can find an ashpan that lines up nicely with your door and use the lid as a baffle to help block stray ash, your stove draft can be a big help and it will avoid the need for using a vacuum.

    Still, I'm sure an ash vac would be the best solution of all...

    -Colin
  22. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    If I read your picture in your signature right, you have a Englander furnace? I just bought one even though its the summer heat through Lowes and when I saw how much Englander wanted for a ash pan I about s---. $170 for it and with that kind of money I can get one made and have enough for dinner at McDonald's. %-P

    Shipper
  23. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

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    A plant mister works great for me. I have one of those you pump pressure into and has a nose and nozzle with a dispenser lever. Holds about a gallon.

    I wouldn't recommend spraying on hot stove surfaces, however.

    hr
  24. kieth4548

    kieth4548 New Member

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    I know I fellow over to when I found the prices. There nothing more than a shop vac with fire rated filters inside. I called the manufacture and the also make just plane shop vacs. After talking to them I still couldn't understand the large price difference between it and a shop vac. This is why I am trying to find another way.
  25. kieth4548

    kieth4548 New Member

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    Thanks I think that will work. I will give that a try. I have to go and buy a bottle. I will let you know how it turns out. I know it's a lot cheaper that $200.00
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