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Jennifer McM

Talking Dirty!

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Yesterday, after the height of summer, I saw the first NB chimney smoking away. So thoughts are now in mind of cosy evenings with the stove fire blazing.

 

The only downer though is the dust. Images of shiny rooms with white carpets and curtains, with a stove blazing away is clearly only a pipedream. 

 

When our stove was lit, we emptied the ash once or twice a day into a galvanised bucket (with a lid) in the cratch, or if it's convenient the bucket is placed outside on the towpath. There's no way I can get out of the boat with a hot ashpan to empty it, without spilling ash, or having a breeze puff up a cloud of ash.

 

My question is, are there any wrinkles to reduce the cloud of dust that flairs up? I'm thinking of getting one of those tippy boxes - but I'm not sure if it will help.

 

charnwood_ash_carrier.jpg.c2e76f99d3c94afa94a1dcaf3b297831.jpg

 

Did have a major fail experiment where I made an ash bag out of an old fire blanket, that turned out to be a disaster!

 

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind clearing up dust caused... but if there's a better way, I'm all ears ?

 

 

Edited by Jennifer McM

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Never keep hot ash under your cratch, it will give of CO which could well drift through the vents into the accommodation 

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1 minute ago, ditchcrawler said:

Never keep hot ash under your cratch, it will give of CO which could well drift through the vents into the accommodation 

Now that's so flaming obvious.... why didn't I think of that! ? Thank you 

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Also when topping up the stove with fuel open the door very very slowly, open it quickly and the vacuum, suction will draw out smoke and dust.

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We have a tippy box which is fairly good at containing the dust, but I wouldn’t contemplate using it inside the boat. Which still leaves the difficulty of getting the ash pan outside without it blowing around in the wind.

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I must confess that we have a tippy box and keep in inside the boat right next to the stove. We have a digital readout CO meter and have never seen the slightest trace of CO. I am obviously not suggesting that others follow this bad example but suspect that type of coal, type of stove, and the way that its used are probably big factors. I do note that when we empty the ash pan that it contains just ash, I suspect its the still burning fragments of fuel that are the real danger.

 

No matter what you do, if you have a solid fuel stove in a boat its going to make some muck and dust.

 

..............Dave

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Have 2 ash pans, take one outside whilst you use the other. Emptying an ash pan in or near the boat causes loads of dust. And those 3 sided ash pans like shovels are awful for spilling.

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Beyond the precautions above, which might minimise the spillage, I'd suggest you also think about the fuel you're burning. Some produce much more ash than others, some are very low ash producers - I'd suggest you're using a high ash fuel if you're emptying your pan twice a day. Less frequent emptying can only help your cause.

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We inherited one of those tippy boxes with the boat and I wouldn't want to be without it.

 

I must confess that, like dmr, I do leave it inside the boat during the day but try to put it out in the (open-air) cratch before bed. If I remember. We have two CO alarms and have never had any trace of anything on the readout.

 

I find that the best way to use it is to just use it for small amounts of ash, letting this cool before transferring it later to a lidded bucket outside the boat, preferably on the towpath.

 

I don't empty the ash pan too soon after riddling the stove, I leave it a while first as this allows it to cool a bit rather than be full of small glowing pieces. I then open the tippy and hold it almost horizontally before carefully placing the ash pan inside it. I then remove the ash pan handle, close the lid and tip it vertically and then leave it a moment for the dust to settle. I then open it, re-attach the handle and gently remove the ash pan to try and avoid disturbing the dust too much. Immediately after doing this I riddle the stove so the next lot of ash can be settling and cooling (a bit) in the ash pan.

 

The ash is then left in the tippy to cool and a couple of hours later it is transferred to a lidded plastic container (an old 50 fatball container works fine) stored outside. The tippy is then empty ready for next time.

 

We still suffer from dust but there is definitely less when the tippy is used in this way than it you just tip the ash into it time after time with the lid open while you do it. Which is now I used to do it.

 

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38 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

Beyond the precautions above, which might minimise the spillage, I'd suggest you also think about the fuel you're burning. Some produce much more ash than others, some are very low ash producers - I'd suggest you're using a high ash fuel if you're emptying your pan twice a day. Less frequent emptying can only help your cause.

We aim to burn Excel, though the last time we asked a fuel boat (March/April time), he said he had some but it was on order to regular customers. We also burn a couple of logs in the evening (logs bought from fuel boats or marinas). Burning cheaper fuels on the odd occasion where we had too, had a big effect on the dust. The ash was very fine like cement powder, and a lot of it.

 

Thanks all for chipping in, think we'll try and get a 4 sided ash pan (tho' that probably will not work with a tippy box), remember to open the door slowly, get a tippy box, and keep good batteries in the smoke/CO alarms (now's a good time to remind all to check their alarms). Every little helps as the adverts say

Edited by Jennifer McM

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If you're getting a 4-sided ash pan, can you get a lid for it as well? All you need is an offcut of galvanised steel sheet from you local tin basher -- the sort of thing they chuck into the skip very day.

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1 minute ago, Machpoint005 said:

If you're getting a 4-sided ash pan, can you get a lid for it as well? All you need is an offcut of galvanised steel sheet from you local tin basher -- the sort of thing they chuck into the skip very day.

Great idea! 

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Tippy ash cans are the mutts, we have them on the boat and in the cottage, ash out of the stove into the can in front of the stove. House one gets placed in the porch, boat one in the cratch until cold/full then emptied. Both stoves are emptied morning and night and run on low heat all the time. Not had any of our CO alarms trigger because of ash  in 12 years.

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Also make sure your fuel is thoroughly dry, coal and wood, because unless it is the moisture will mix with the smoke and soot and really clog up the flue pipe like cement. Not so much though if you have your stove burning at a high heat rate, but ticking over yes, like at night. If your multi fuel eggs look jet black they're probably wet or damp, I have made a large Meccano trivet for the top of my stove to pre dry my eggs before feeding them on the fire as my stove just ticks over all the time, I don't like it hot in the boat.

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5 minutes ago, bizzard said:

Also make sure your fuel is thoroughly dry, coal and wood, because unless it is the moisture will mix with the smoke and soot and really clog up the flue pipe like cement. Not so much though if you have your stove burning at a high heat rate, but ticking over yes, like at night. If your multi fuel eggs look jet black they're probably wet or damp, I have made a large Meccano trivet for the top of my stove to pre dry my eggs before feeding them on the fire as my stove just ticks over all the time, I don't like it hot in the boat.

Yes, we had a problem with wet coal last year, it was just after we had the heavy snow. It looked like the coal that was covered in snow was bagged. Think we had about 5 bags of it ?

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Just now, Jennifer McM said:

Yes, we had a problem with wet coal last year, it was just after we had the heavy snow. It looked like the coal that was covered in snow was bagged. Think we had about 5 bags of it ?

Virtually all coal merchants store their coals outside in open to the weather staithes, on purpose perhaps, it makes the coals heavier when they bag it.  Multifuels should really look a light black or dark grey colour if nice and dry, not jet black.  When your using the oven to bake a meal put a few shovel fulls on the bottom shelf. to make sure its dry.

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After having has coal burning stoves on boats for 20 odd years, I now have a boat with a Kabola Old Dutch oil drip stove. It creates zero ash and responds quickly to being turned up, down and off.

Edited by cuthound
Spillung
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I have a Pifco hot ash vacuum

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NSKJWGW/ref=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item

 

I've had it 2 years and it's significantly cut out the ash/dust problem. I vacuum it straight out of the pan. I never do so immediately after raking the fire but it does cope with hot ash even if there are some glowing embers. It fits snugly on my hearth and even in mid winter I only have to empty it every 5 days or so.

 

It's not cheap, and has gone up in price since I bought mine. It also has mixed reviews as some appear to have had problems with theirs over heating but I suspect that's down to misuse. The suction hose pipe does get hot but is still okay to hold. 

 

Expensive but well worth the money in my opinion.

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44 minutes ago, Grassman said:

I have a Pifco hot ash vacuum

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NSKJWGW/ref=pe_385721_37986871_TE_item

 

I've had it 2 years and it's significantly cut out the ash/dust problem. I vacuum it straight out of the pan. I never do so immediately after raking the fire but it does cope with hot ash even if there are some glowing embers. It fits snugly on my hearth and even in mid winter I only have to empty it every 5 days or so.

 

It's not cheap, and has gone up in price since I bought mine. It also has mixed reviews as some appear to have had problems with theirs over heating but I suspect that's down to misuse. The suction hose pipe does get hot but is still okay to hold. 

 

Expensive but well worth the money in my opinion.

Thanks for the tip! I didn't know this product existed till yesterday when I was looking for eco fans. 

 

So am I right in thinking the machine 'sucks up' the ash so you don't have to carry/empty ash pans?

 

Like the idea the filter is washable.

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44 minutes ago, Jennifer McM said:

Thanks for the tip! I didn't know this product existed till yesterday when I was looking for eco fans. 

 

So am I right in thinking the machine 'sucks up' the ash so you don't have to carry/empty ash pans?

 

Like the idea the filter is washable.

We've got something like this (the can part looks identical) but it works by sticking your vacuum hose in a hole in the top.  Must have been a bunch cheaper (came with the boat).  We use it as a simple ash can.

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On 28/08/2018 at 09:05, Jennifer McM said:

Thanks for the tip! I didn't know this product existed till yesterday when I was looking for eco fans. 

 

So am I right in thinking the machine 'sucks up' the ash so you don't have to carry/empty ash pans?

 

Like the idea the filter is washable.

Yes. I just point the end of the hose directly into the ash pan of the stove, turn on the power and suck the ash out. I have a strange stove, it's a tall top loading stove called a Godin, but I think the ash pan at the bottom is pretty much like all the other stoves.  I'm sure those few negative reviews are from folk who have misused it. I always wait until at least 30 minutes after I've raked the fire before using it, or first thing in the morning before raking it when the ash isn't as hot. But even though the ash has a few glowing embers and the hose gets quite hot and the plastic coating feels and smells a bit hot, it still copes with it and hasn't damaged mine in the two winters I've had it.

 

I've never washed the filter. After emptying the contents I just give it a good banging against the side of our pontoon and the residue ash falls off.

 

I wouldn't be without mine now. It's so easy to use and the reduction in dirt/dust on the walls and curtains has massively reduced.

  • Greenie 1

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I loved our hot stove burner on the yacht. We lit it in the autumn and didn't put it out until the spring. The downfall was the dust which unfortunately we never remedied. 

When we lived in the French Alps we had a very modern pellet burner. It was a self feeder, burnt very efficiently, was environmentally friendly and created very little ash and so we had no problem with dust. We haven't got a stove burner on our new boat because, although its a lovely thing, I didn't want the dust but if we do decide to instal one, I'd go for a pellet burner.

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6 minutes ago, Allthatjaz said:

I loved our hot stove burner on the yacht. We lit it in the autumn and didn't put it out until the spring. The downfall was the dust which unfortunately we never remedied. 

When we lived in the French Alps we had a very modern pellet burner. It was a self feeder, burnt very efficiently, was environmentally friendly and created very little ash and so we had no problem with dust. We haven't got a stove burner on our new boat because, although its a lovely thing, I didn't want the dust but if we do decide to instal one, I'd go for a pellet burner.

Where would you mount the hopper

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32 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Where would you mount the hopper

The one we had in the French Alps was small in comparison to the ones you buy over here and would of been a perfect size for a boat. The hopper was on top and needed to be filled once a day. 

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