Dutchwest Ash Problem

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
Wanna Bee
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 6:14 pm

I'm having issues with ash building up in my stove. Longest burn I can get without it smothering itself is 6/7 days.

I understand that my stove may not be the best design/efficient but 6 days is ridiculous. I have tried all different ways of shaking them down with no luck. Tried shaking often, vigorous, poking from below,etc. I've even tried to let the bed burn down so there is very little coal left in the stove, open the ash door until it's burning well then shaking it like it owes me money. Nothing... It still burns for a week then slowly goes out. What am I doing wrong?

When I open it up to clean out the crumbs it is full with ash. Not a little but full.

I'm in the coal club for four years now and enjoy the savings and the tinkering but damn. Clean-out and relight every week kind sucks.

Could it be as simple as a bad batch of coal? DiRenzo last year (Stove coal)

I'm not 100% sure of the model,
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LDPosse
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 7:07 pm

I wonder if you might have gotten a bad batch of coal. As you stated, the dutchwest is not the best coal burner out there, but I ran mine for almost 3 months without shutting down.

Do you have the extra parts for coal burning in place?

If you do a search on my user name and the word dutchwest, you may find some useful info and pics.
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Dennis
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 7:16 pm

I don't know your stove and I've heard that DiRenzo coal was good.Have you tried nut size coal,maybe the stove size is burning too fast.And yes some stoves need a little more tending to and extra scraping along the sides or where the angled slopes are.Someone with your stove will give better advice and welcome

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LDPosse
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 7:21 pm

Dennis wrote:I don't know your stove and I've heard that DiRenzo coal was good.Have you tried nut size coal,maybe the stove size is burning too fast.And yes some stoves need a little more tending to and extra scraping along the sides or where the angled slopes are.Someone with your stove will give better advice and welcome
Considering the small size of the firebox on these stoves, the owners manual suprisingly recommends stove coal, and nut coal if stove is unavailable.
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dcrane
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 8:01 pm

Consolidated Dutchwest.... ohhh lord this brings back nightmares :cry: most of the folks in the coal stove industry swear this thing was made to stop the progression of Coal burning in our country LOL

OK.... nuff jokes... #1 take out the stupid cat and throw that thing in the garbage (if you have the equally stupid baffle they give as a replacement for coal burning take that out too and again....throw it in the garbage) #2 use anthracite nut coal (i don't care what the stupid manual says it was written by some Hindu person in Baghdad). #3 make sure you empty the ash door as well as your shaking it down (in other words this stove needs every inch of that lower ash area for air) #4 These units were made with so many different baffles and so called secondary burn chambers its hard to know what you have without pics (some pretty much interfered with draft to such a degree that one day it would burn, maybe 5 days it would burn.... but then you get one warmer day and BOOOM WONT BURN!) check the baffle system before you start pulling your hair out blaming your chimney!

hope this helps... if not, rip the baffles out, add your own manual damper, drill additional holes through the grate and call then you can call it a "WannaBeBeauty" instead of a Consolidated Dutchwest ;)

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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 8:19 pm

Hmmm,
Yes coal conversion parts are installed in the stove. I also have the coal strainer installed.
The probe in the cook top usually stays at 500* when it starts to drop below this I know it's choking out.

I didn't think draft had anything to do with the build up of ash. Does it?

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LDPosse
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 8:33 pm

Not to be disagreeable, but I found that my dutchwest performed noticibly better with the strainer installed. I would imagine that may not be the case in an installation with a marginal draft.

That stove looks like an FA224CCL.

The shaker grates have covers for wood burning that need to be removed for coal. Do you by chance still have those in place? Each one is held in by a single bolt.
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Wanna Bee
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 8:46 pm

No covers on the shaker grates.
Like I said I cannot confirm the actual model. I have the owners manual but... It lists every stove they ever made.

I'm also running low on last years coal supply so I can always give nut a try. I don't see how this will benefit ash removal though.

BTW, thanks for the input.
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2001Sierra
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 8:54 pm

I would recommend nut and white ash if you can find it.

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LDPosse
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 9:01 pm

Did you have this problem last year as well?

x2 on the white ash. I had some issues with clinkers using red ash (UAE) in the dutchwest. The coal from Superior Coal between Good Spring and Hegins burned wonderfully in the dutchwest.

I would occasionally use my poker for wood burning and kind of scrape around the perimeter of the firebox, that helped to keep the ash from building up.
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dcrane
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 9:11 pm

"I didn't think draft had anything to do with the build up of ash. Does it?"

Your trying to find out why your coalbed is being choked out and draft can play a part in that... many things can cause draft problems such as ash build up, chimney, baffles, etc.
On this particular stove "choking out" is caused by drafting problems in my experience (Not that I have as much experience with your unit as Crane's, but ive installed and/or removed and/or tested 30 or 40 of em' at least) :lol:

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LDPosse
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Post Thu. Jan. 17, 2013 10:47 pm

dcrane wrote:"I didn't think draft had anything to do with the build up of ash. Does it?"

Your trying to find out why your coalbed is being choked out and draft can play a part in that... many things can cause draft problems such as ash build up, chimney, baffles, etc.
On this particular stove "choking out" is caused by drafting problems in my experience (Not that I have as much experience with your unit as Crane's, but ive installed and/or removed and/or tested 30 or 40 of em' at least) :lol:
Upon some reflection, I wouldn't be surprised if you have issues related to draft.... I believe the Dutchwest worked well in my installation due to having a *very* strong drafting chimney. The stove originally belonged to my parents, and back when I was a kid, I remember the thing never did run right with the bypass gate closed unless you had a roarin' fire going. After the first season or two, we always ran it in direct draft mode.

The Dutchwest was better than the "Schrader Fireplace" woodstove it replaced, it was significantly more efficient, but it isn't even close to the wood and coal stoves that are available today.
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dcrane
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2013 5:18 am

LDPosse wrote:
dcrane wrote:"I didn't think draft had anything to do with the build up of ash. Does it?"

Your trying to find out why your coalbed is being choked out and draft can play a part in that... many things can cause draft problems such as ash build up, chimney, baffles, etc.
On this particular stove "choking out" is caused by drafting problems in my experience (Not that I have as much experience with your unit as Crane's, but ive installed and/or removed and/or tested 30 or 40 of em' at least) :lol:
Upon some reflection, I wouldn't be surprised if you have issues related to draft.... I believe the Dutchwest worked well in my installation due to having a *very* strong drafting chimney. The stove originally belonged to my parents, and back when I was a kid, I remember the thing never did run right with the bypass gate closed unless you had a roarin' fire going. After the first season or two, we always ran it in direct draft mode.

The Dutchwest was better than the "Schrader Fireplace" woodstove it replaced, it was significantly more efficient, but it isn't even close to the wood and coal stoves that are available today.
Ya, I guess some people are lucky enough to actually need to take measures against draft because they have a turbine wind tunnel going on LOL ive never been that fortunate, but I do remember some homes I couldn't even keep a match lite to start a newspaper because of the "whooooosh" of the draft toothy

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Lightning
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2013 6:51 am

Hmmmm... This reminds me the same problem I had with my furnace when I started burning coal.. Same exact symptoms. It would burn awesome for about a week, then it would just slowly choke to death and I would have to clean it out.. I discovered air passages between the coal bed liner and the fire box. As ash would accumulate in the coal bed, combustion air would find the path of least resistance and bypass the grates causing the fire to starve. My solution was to plug these air passages with fiberglass insulation. I've since kept the same fire for three months :) My advice to you would be to hunt for any places that your combustion air could be bypassing the grates. Below are pics of the fiberglass getting sandwiched between the fire box and liner in the back. I did the same in the front..

Sorry the pics are sideways...
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LDPosse
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Post Fri. Jan. 18, 2013 8:57 am

Lightning wrote:...combustion air would find the path of least resistance and bypass the grates causing the fire to starve...
Along these lines... might be worth checking out the seals on your doors. The 'ole "dollar bill test" on side side and front doors would probably be a good idea. After the first month of burning coal, I replaced the original 25 year old gasket material on the doors. In my case, the frames around the front door glass were a little warped from years of overfiring on wood, so I put in the cast iron plates.

NIGHT and DAY difference in how the stove burns. Much less primary air was needed to maintain a good burn, most of the time I ran 1/2 - 3/4 turn open. The stove also seemed to use less coal.
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