This is what happens if you use the Ash Door to stoke a fire

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Shrewboy

Member
Oct 15, 2020
92
Eastern Pennsylvania
Attached are a few images of a wood stove that I used for years, the grate had been replaced once already and I destroyed this replacement by using the ash pan to get a fire going that is stubborn and doesn't want to light.

The easiest way to avoid using the ash pan door, is to always light your fires using the "top down" method, and have enough seasoned correct sized pieces of wood to get the fire setup.

On some wood stoves you can cause even worse damage than just a warped bottom grate - the whole bottom frame of the stove could crack by using the ash door!

IMG_20221124_155556.jpg IMG_20221124_155500.jpg IMG_20221124_155513.jpg
 

KBCraig

Member
Feb 26, 2015
14
Lancaster NH
Just getting the fire started should not produce that kind of damage. That's major over-firing.
 
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Shrewboy

Member
Oct 15, 2020
92
Eastern Pennsylvania
Just getting the fire started should not produce that kind of damage. That's major over-firing.
that definitely happened a few times when I left the ash door open and walked, then forgot about it for 20mins LOL!

This stove is not in use anymore though, theres a few other issues with it (single wall pipe within 8 inches of plywood) its my parents stove
 

BillBurns

New Member
Nov 11, 2022
92
PA
I still use the old Boy Scout Teepee method. It works for me everytime. Its more work I guess, but I can have a fire going, flue warmed up in the amount of time it takes to build the top down method. Thats just my 2 cents.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,240
central pa
Just getting the fire started should not produce that kind of damage. That's major over-firing.
Just getting the fire started by using the ash pan can and does cause that ammout of damage or worse. I have seen many stoves destroyed that way
 

KBCraig

Member
Feb 26, 2015
14
Lancaster NH
Just getting the fire started by using the ash pan can and does cause that ammout of damage or worse. I have seen many stoves destroyed that way
Obviously experience varies, but I grew up with an Ashley-style stove. The way to start a fire was to make a small load of small splits with kindling underneath, light it, and then open the ash pan door and close the feed door to let the draft start.

After no more than five minute or so, close the ash pan door, and then use the thermostatic intake draft to control the air supply.

More than 20 years after I was grown and out of the home, my parents finally removed that stove in favor of gas, and the grates were in perfect order.

The only similar stoves I ever saw with ruined grates, were those where the ash pan wasn't emptied so that air could flow freely. Those grates would get hot enough to melt.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,240
central pa
Obviously experience varies, but I grew up with an Ashley-style stove. The way to start a fire was to make a small load of small splits with kindling underneath, light it, and then open the ash pan door and close the feed door to let the draft start.

After no more than five minute or so, close the ash pan door, and then use the thermostatic intake draft to control the air supply.

More than 20 years after I was grown and out of the home, my parents finally removed that stove in favor of gas, and the grates were in perfect order.

The only similar stoves I ever saw with ruined grates, were those where the ash pan wasn't emptied so that air could flow freely. Those grates would get hot enough to melt.
Those circulators were wood coal combo units so there were designed to have air fed from under the grates. Very different from doing it with a woodstove.

But what do I know I only work on a few hundred stoves a year
 
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