Instead of disconnecting our barrel at the base and vacuuming out the riser and manifold, I just put a shop vac into the fire box as a blower and air-blasted out all the ash. It really helped to have an exterior, horizontal clean out. Make sure any interior cleanups or connections are gaskets so the positive e pressure doesn't blow ash inside. So fast and easy.
We did it on a super rainy day so the ash just washed away into the lanescape like a mild volcanic eruption deposit. You could add a pipe elbow and blow into a filtered bag if your scene doesnt support a dusting of ash.
I tried to search out if someone has already posted about this but didnt find anything.
If this idea is redundant, my bad....
Lucio, Sounds like a good way to keep things operational but imho its always still a good idea to occasionally lift the barrel or open cleanouts to not only clean all those spots that may collect ash in the eddies or the harder black crusty soot that needs a mechanical nudge to remove but also to inspect the 'innards' for cracks/damage or other problems that can lead to bigger issues if not addressed.
I too have also used a blower to clean my mass. However only needed to do it one time in 6 years. That year I had a poorly designed core and was producing way more ash than normal... January thaw that year found me doing a core rebuild . So much ash, over half of my horizontal was filled. I had no choice , I sucked out all I could and then used a leaf blower to blast my horizontal pipes. I have a vertical chimney.. REALLY looked like a volcano !
Every other year when we were done burning I only needed to open the ash pit in my transition area , scoop out most of the ash (horizontal has maybe 1/2" ) suck out any that's left and seal it up for another season. I generally retrieve about 1/2 of a 5 gallon bucket. My barrel has a removable top , I use it to inspect the riser, never have to clean inside there as it all goes down into the ash pit.
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