Friday, January 30, 2009

The Ash Bin

I took a good picture of my ash bin. This is what I see when I get down on my hands and knees and peek up into the ash bin door. The top of the picture are the grates. The bottom of the picture is the ash. For you Hardy owners, this is about as high as you want your ash to get. I keep the ash at this level when the temperature is warmer and there is a longer time between burns. This will help keep your fire from going out in warmer spring/fall weather. When the outside temperature is much colder...32 degrees and below, you would most likely want your ash lower than this...about 2 to 3 inches lower. This will keep the extra heat off your grates and prevent them from failing. Please see my earlier post on Hardy Ash Maintenance where I go into more detail on this most important topic. If you look close at this picture you can see the center grate sitting a little lower than the other two. I have noticed the fire in a Hardy firebox seems to concentrate on the center grate and all the heat and weight of the logs can make the center grate sag over time. What I did to combat this was simply flip the center grate over...just like rotating your tires. Each time I go out to my Hardy to add wood, I also open the ash bin and shove a stick inside to knock down the ash and move it away from the grates. Keeping the ash down also helps the blower maintain the firebox's draft. The blower inlet is in the back-right of this picture...although it is just out of site in this photo just below the ash-horizon.

Below is what the ash bin looked like when I first opened the door this morning. You can see how the coals are sitting real close to the grates. This can be bad if you don't do anything about it...but usually what you get after a long 12 hour burn. All I do to fix this is I shove in a long stick and mash the ashes down. The first photo is what my ashes look like after I use the long stick. When the bin gets too full, I shovel out about a bucket full.

I hope this helps. Pictures are worth a thousand words.


  1. Looking at your photo reminds me to advise you to maintain an occasional inspection of that rear blower /forced draft port at the rear right hand corner.
    Ash can back up in there and block the air flow. Also we just had a mess with creosote actually blocking that area.
    The small door at the rear of the furnace is a good place to check the airflow and if the area is clean.
    My wife lifted the door to find a full blockage of creosote....

  2. Excellent point. I have also noticed one time that I had a "crumb" stuck to the underside of the lid once and it made the furnace overheat. Thanks for your suggestion and visiting the blog!
    Ohio woodburner


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