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Everyday, before you load your outdoor stove, you will want to pull the ash and coal pile to the front of your firebox. Make it into a heaping pile, then load your organic fuel on and behind that pile. The fire will burn through the coal pile and into the fresh organic fuel, turning coal to ash much better.
Another benefit of raking ashes forward each day is that it will make it easier when you need to empty the ashes, every 4-6 weeks, or as needed. The ashes will already be in the front, and more of the firebox is available for heat transfer to the water jacket. This will make your outdoor stove work more efficiently and burn less fuel! If you allow your outside furnace firebox to fill halfway up with ashes, you will minimize the heat transfer area and will leave less room for fresh fuel.
Ashes should be placed in a metal container with a tight fitting lid. The closed container of ashes should be placed on a non-combustible floor or on the ground. All combustible materials should be disposed of by burial in the soil, or otherwise dispersed. They should be retained in the closed container until all cinders have thoroughly cooled.
At least once a week, you should check the solenoid to make sure that the shaft is lubricated and operating smoothly. It only takes a few seconds and a small dab of fresh grease each week to maintain it.
Greasing the solenoid
Proper operation of the solenoid is the key to maintaining the right temperature in your stove. It opens and closes the damper, thus regulating the burn rate of your fuel.
Make sure to keep the firebox door closed tightly after fueling your stove. Check the door gasket periodically. Check the water level in the sight gauge every day. An unusual drop in the water level may be a sign that the stove is running too hot. Overheating can often be traced to a leaking door gasket or a malfunctioning solenoid, both of which are easy fixes.