I Did This. You Shouldn't . It Is VERY Dumb!!!

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Gary in Pennsylvania
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Post Mon. Jan. 22, 2007 11:28 am

I did this with disastrous results – don’t repeat my mistake!

So….I’ve said before that my twice a day routine is to shake my hand-fired insert really well, scoop out the ash & such, sit in front of her with the ash door open to get the coal bed really cookin', and then throw a bucket of fresh coal on top. My nighttime routine also involves washing out/refilling the cats/dogs ceramic water bowl that is next to the Harman.
Well this past weekend I had a VERY UNPLESANT experience!!

Here’s what happened. This past Saturday morning, I shook and fed the fire about 6am and got ready for the days chores/activities. My daughter was feeling awfully sick and my wife wanted me to take her to the doctors. I went to the pediatrician and then the pharmacy. My daughter was feeling pretty bummed out so she lazed around the house while I played with the kids the rest of the afternoon.
That night, after the four youngins’ were tucked into bed, my wife sprang the idea on me that she wanted to, at that very moment, take the Christmas tree down.
I go pick up a pizza & beer for us to enjoy and we get going on the project.
Once done, it’s wash up and bed.
I woke up at 2:30am cuz my daughter was crying (strep throat, it was). I gave her Motrin and then it dawned on me….I never set the fire for the night or fed the animals.
I go downstairs.
Weeeeellllllllll……I didn’t put a huge load of coal on at the 6am session and by the time I went down to shake again this time, the fire was getting weary. I shook it hard and a heck of a lot of fire coals fell through the grates into the ash pan. Since there was a lot of ash, I figured I’d shovel it out. I don’t remove the tray itself, I just use an ash shovel and scoop the ash into one of my three metal coal buckets. There was a heck of a lot of yellow hot fire coal in the pan! I was scooping these and ash into the bucket and as the bucket got full, I noticed that the hot fire coals were heating the side of the bucket (naturally!) to the point where the bucket was smoking. Whatever coating/deposits/whatever is on the side of the bare metal starts to smoke and it has a very unpleasant smell. It happens sometimes, but this time it was very bad.

That’s when I got the dumb idea. Hell…..if it’s the hot fire coals are what’s causing the problems, I should just eliminate the hot fire coals. I figured I’d just grab the ceramic water bowl (10”x4”??) and give the bucket a good dose of cold water.

I’m telling you now…..NEVER do this! :shocked!:

Holy Cow! It was as if the coal bucket exploded! I was immediately engulfed in a huge puff of ash, steam, nuclear byproduct, and whatever else came flying outta the damn bucket! :onfire:
I was able to duck down and left from my ottoman perch that I always sit on and open the back deck sliding glass door. I then went to the stairs and opened the front door of our split level to get some cross draft.
Whoa! What a mess! I manage to get the 9v battery out of the detector before it surely would have gone off.

Lessons learned:
- Water and hot coals don’t mix!
- Cats can fly horizontally a good 7-8 feet off the back of a couch when startled pretty good!
- It takes a good 40min to dust/clean evidence from every surface area of our downstairs.
- Opening two large doors on either end of a room does not clear dust/smoke from the air very well.
- Opening two large doors on either end of a room does make dusty air cold awfully quickly.
- The smell that results from water mixing with hot coals is MUCH worse that the original ‘hot bucket’ smell.
- Exploding ash buckets will get you in trouble if your wife likes to hang/drape laundry around the downstairs to dry……you know - the clothes items that are in the secret “Items that can never never never ever go into the dryer cuz it’ll shrink” book that only women know about. :roll:

Anyone else ever experience this?

ktm rider
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Post Mon. Jan. 22, 2007 12:39 pm

I usually put the ashes from my boiler into a wheel barrow. ( The boiler is in my garage) Well, a while back I shoveled out quite a few red hot coals and I am a worry wart when it comes to fires, so I decided to hose down the red hot ashes.. NOT A GOOD IDEA !! :shock: I found out the hard way, the same as you.... What a mess.

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Post Mon. Jan. 22, 2007 1:38 pm

Thanks for the heads-up!

sounds like a big mess, and quite

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Post Mon. Jan. 22, 2007 2:42 pm

Well, at least you didnt put the hot ashes in a cardboard box on your front porch (one of my dad's friends wives did this) and burn your house down!
Those coals are HOT too...even when they look 'dead'.
I know all about the laundry thing........I want to put up a real clothes line in my basement next to my stove and forget about the drying racks!

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Post Mon. Jan. 22, 2007 8:37 pm

Thanks for the story Gary- I'm still LOL!!!

P.S. glad your OK too :oops3:


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Post Tue. Jan. 23, 2007 8:35 am

same here, someone burn their house down (old victorian) when putting the ashes in a carboard box on their back porch!!

barley master
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Post Tue. Jan. 23, 2007 9:21 pm

i take the ash pan right outside and spead them in the driveway. I also take great care not to disturb the pan while unrout to the dump site.

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