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Sapphal

Ash disposal

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As the animal (squirrels, swifts et al) burning season creeps in; what do boaters do with the ash produced?  Is it okay to dump it in the cut, wind direction allowing?  Will it help reduce lock leakage?

 

Thoughts, facetious or otherwise, appreciated.

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My guess is that wood ash is pretty harmless in the bottom of a hedge, ash from coal is probably acidic and nasty, I used to try to fill hollows in the towpath but that is far from perfect, maybe the reason that boats corrode is all the ash in the cut, it must be like sulphuric acid in some places.

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Don't put it in the cut.  It will almost never get dredged out again.   Best to cool it, bag it and bin it.  Or if coal ash put it in a hole in the towpath.

N

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If you do dump ash in a hedge row two things please.

First, make sure all the embers are out and secondly please spread it along the ground and not dump it in a heap as it takes longer to biodegrade when in a pile

Thank you.

Edited by Ray T
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When our moorings were emptied so the pound could be drained for lock gate replacement you could tell exactly who dumped their ash in the cut. A big mound of ash on the canal bed below the boat. It just sinks straight down without dispersing and forms a pile. Fortunately, round here it is five or six feet deep, but in shallow canals the bottom is too near the top already.

As I didn't know tippy's existed back then, I made my own version out of aluminium in to which ash is tipped and allowed to cool for 24hrs outside. It then goes in the waste bin. Don't let ash cool in the cabin. Any glowing ember surrounded by ash will be giving off lots of Carbon Monoxide. Fortunately I had a CO detector on board and working when I discovered that.

 

Jen

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10 minutes ago, Sapphal said:

Jen, at those prices, I see why you made your own tippy.

It is the usual trade off between money and your own time, plus I didn't know about them till later, so ended up reinventing the Tippy. Here it is. Made from aluminium sheet, riveted to aluminium angle, with some brass handles and hinges. A couple of bits of aluminium angle stand it off from the ground so the heat from the ash doesn't transmit through to the paint, wood, or whatever it is standing on. I really must give it a clean!

Jen

IMG_20180913_113453.jpg

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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Think of all those poor,cold little fishes in the water. Tip it in the canal. Keep them nice and warm.

 

 

 

Actuall we use the hedgerow method. Spread it around and a couple of pints of water to instantly cool the embers.

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1 hour ago, Ray T said:

If you do dump ash in a hedge row two things please.

First, make sure all the embers are out and secondly please spread it along the ground and not dump it in a heap as it takes longer to biodegrade when in a pile

Thank you.

This, gets on me wick to see piles of ash about the place. Inconsiderate - won't chuck it in the cut because that impacts them, but will just pile it up at their nearest convenience. Chunter

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Not long ago there was a thread on here saying that the ash was very good for the hedge and that was where it should go. And now it isn't and it shouldn't. 

It's just lucky you can always rely on the Internet for good advice... 

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37 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

Not long ago there was a thread on here saying that the ash was very good for the hedge and that was where it should go. And now it isn't and it shouldn't. 

It's just lucky you can always rely on the Internet for good advice... 

Selective memory Arthur.

 

Wood ash is excellent for plants including hedgerows.

Coal ash or mixed wood and coal ash is bad for plants including hedgerows.

Hot embers are very bad because they set fire to the hedgerow!

 

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4 hours ago, sirweste said:

This, gets on me wick to see piles of ash about the place. Inconsiderate - won't chuck it in the cut because that impacts them, but will just pile it up at their nearest convenience. Chunter

 

I must say ash in a hedgerow bottom comes very low in a list including bags of rubbish or dogs**t.

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16 minutes ago, Mac of Cygnet said:

 

I must say ash in a hedgerow bottom comes very low in a list including bags of rubbish or dogs**t.

Whilst I'd agree that wood ash is very low on a list of undesirables in the bottom of a hedgerow (if it even makes any appearance on the list since it has fertilizer qualities) coal ash however is a completely different question. Since it can contain arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and selenium along with traces of dioxin and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, it is certainly higher up the list of undesireables than dog sh*t which will naturally decompose (preferably neither should be found in hedgerows).

 

It's not that difficult to dispose of ash, coal comes in a bag, when emptying the ash, put it in empty coal bags and put the bag in the waste bin for landfill, job done. In five years of liveaboard I've never had any reason to just dump ash at the canalside (and certainly not in the cut). Bearing in mind that some of the canals are used for drinking water (Llangollen, Gloucester and Sharpness) is it really a good idea to put arsenic,lead, mercury and cadmium in people's drinking water?:sick:

 

 

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4 hours ago, TheBiscuits said:

Selective memory Arthur.

 

Wood ash is excellent for plants including hedgerows.

Coal ash or mixed wood and coal ash is bad for plants including hedgerows.

Hot embers are very bad because they set fire to the hedgerow!

 

I don't think it was differentiated in the original thread, which means I've been poisoning hedges for the last six months instead of binning the stuff.  I am now not only old and forgetful, but also wracked with guilt.

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2 hours ago, Arthur Marshall said:

I don't think it was differentiated in the original thread, which means I've been poisoning hedges for the last six months instead of binning the stuff.  I am now not only old and forgetful, but also wracked with guilt.

I have to admit that the hedgerow next to your boat was looking quite sickly earlier this year.  Only a few very sparse trunks at regular intervals, and very thin twisty metal strands between them.  Looked almost exactly like a fence. :D

 

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40 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

I have to admit that the hedgerow next to your boat was looking quite sickly earlier this year.  Only a few very sparse trunks at regular intervals, and very thin twisty metal strands between them.  Looked almost exactly like a fence. :D

 

Electric too.  That's what you get with polluted soil.  Dangerous stuff, this coal ash.

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22 hours ago, Sapphal said:

As the animal (squirrels, swifts et al) burning season creeps in; what do boaters do with the ash produced?  Is it okay to dump it in the cut, wind direction allowing?  Will it help reduce lock leakage?

 

Thoughts, facetious or otherwise, appreciated.

Gate racking is a bit of a black art to get max reduction in leakage for min amount of ash you have to aim to get it as near to the leak as possible to allow water flow to draw it into the gap In commercial days  locks had a small heap of ash usually on the off side to enable racking if required the ash was also used in icey conditions on the gate tops to reduce slipping  boat men would keep the supply topped up

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3 hours ago, X Alan W said:

Gate racking is a bit of a black art to get max reduction in leakage for min amount of ash you have to aim to get it as near to the leak as possible to allow water flow to draw it into the gap In commercial days  locks had a small heap of ash usually on the off side to enable racking if required the ash was also used in icey conditions on the gate tops to reduce slipping  boat men would keep the supply topped up

Locations that regularly ash the gates often use a keb to lift previous ash from the bottom rather than continually add fresh ash from the top.

 

George

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4 hours ago, X Alan W said:

Gate racking is a bit of a black art to get max reduction in leakage for min amount of ash you have to aim to get it as near to the leak as possible to allow water flow to draw it into the gap In commercial days  locks had a small heap of ash usually on the off side to enable racking if required the ash was also used in icey conditions on the gate tops to reduce slipping  boat men would keep the supply topped up

I thought you had to use wood ash rather than coal ash for this?

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1 hour ago, Mike55 said:

I thought you had to use wood ash rather than coal ash for this?

I was told by CaRT chaps ashing prior to a quick repair to a lock that the best ash for this purpose comes from a local steam railway - a result of the type of coal that they use, I believe.

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