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1st woodstove, last night was first night. first post!

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by CHeath, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. CHeath

    CHeath Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
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    Loc:
    Northwest NorthCarolina Mtns
    Hey guys, New guy here. It was 15 here last night in NC and thats pretty chilly. Im tired of the $250 heat bills so I purchased a englander 25-3800. After 3 hours of initial startup, I noticed some cresote leaking off the elbow of the exhaust pipe. The flue temp was rather low though around 200*.

    Ive run the hot air pipe into my supply side of my furnace, see pic below. The stove fan keeps it warm but to get it really good on a night like last night, I cut on the 1600cfm unit fan with the stove fan and man, she goes straight to 80*.

    My house is 2000sf with a 2000sf unfinished basement. Im getting some smells but I guess that goes with the territory. My home is 30 years old but the chimney has never been used, ever. Its the terracota lining?

    Is there any advice or tips you guys can help with? Im burning some pine and oak. All I could get on such quick notice.

    some of my questions are, should I trash the flex and go with real hot air 8 inch venting?

    Is the exhaust pipe ok? Its the 6 inch, 24 guage from lowes hardware? I didnt use any high temp silicone but I did use sheet metal screws and ring clamps just for my worrysome head.

    Thanks alot!

    [​IMG]

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  2. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    $250 a month to heat your house is cheap. I have about the same size house as you built in 1987. It is insulated pretty good and we spent $400 for heating oil the first 3 weeks we were in the house in 2011. I about had a heart attack.

    Did you put a flexible liner in the terracota chimney. We did that with my parents' insert. Tends to keep the chimney an even temp and it is a lot easier to clean.

    How quickly does the stove's temp drop when you turn on its fan and the furnace fan?

    What is the stove resting on?

    Pretty soon, you will learn all about seasoning wood and how you get a lot less creosote by burning properly seasoned wood that is 20% or less in moisture content. You just need to look around this board a little more for all the right advice.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum CHeath.

    Interesting setup. That chimney probably does need a liner for sure. But what your big problem is right now is the fuel. If you bought some poor fuel at the gas station you would be ticked because your car or truck wouldn't run worth a hoot. But that is what you have now with the stove.

    First you must realize that wood needs to dry. Some call it seasoning but that is a misleading term. Also, wood will not dry in log form. It has to be split (split it small if you need to dry it fast), then stacked out in the wind. Wind is your friend when it comes to drying wood. Stack the wood off the ground (we just cut some saplings to stack the wood on) and stack in single rows. Don't try to stack over 4' high and stack it rather loosely. What you are trying to get is air circulation.

    In addition, most wood needs a year of drying to burn right. However, that oak you mention will need 2-3 years! In our area we give it 3 years minimum to dry. In your area you might get by with 2 years. Oak is indeed one of the best firewood there are but it gives up its moisture very, very slow.

    Good luck.
    Ralphie Boy, PapaDave and raybonz like this.
  4. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

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    Two fitty a month is more than I'll ever pay to heat any house I'll ever live in,that 2 fitty is better spent on fine wine and food then giving it to the greedy unscrupulous power companies. JMHO,only.
    ScotO and PapaDave like this.
  5. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum CHeath! Where in NC are you? I have a sister in the Asheville area and a good friend in Greensboro so I try to make it down every now and then. I live in Virginia by the way and we have had a cold spell lately too.

    On the chimney liner, I had a terra cotta liner, and upon inspection there were some cracks in it, which inevitably will happen over time. At the very least I would get it inspected. I opted to have a stainless steel liner put in, and it was just inserted with the clay liner still in. If the chimney has never been used, the clay liner will be okay for awhile, but I would definitely get inspected.

    I think your stove pipe will be okay, I use sheet metal screws to hold mine together and have never had a problem.

    As for the wood, I'm sure others will chime in, and I see Dennis already has, but I'm surprised you see creosote on the stove pipe already. And that 200 degree stove temp is pretty low. Both are due to wood that has not been properly dried. Luckily, we don't have much time left burning here. But try to get some wood split and stacked for next year if you can, and you will notice the stove gets hotter easier and faster. Do you cut your own wood? If so, wood that is already dead will dry faster, so try that first. When I cut dead or downed oak, it can be ready in a year or two. If you have space to store wood to get ahead that would be great also. Hope this helps, and again, welcome!
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Welcome.
    Saving money is one of the best things about burning wood.
    That & having the house warmer than you would if you had to pay the high heat bills :)
  7. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    Try $900 for 3.5 weeks of oil, thermo set at 58-60, 3 times in a row. 2000 sf antique cape, mild winter in ct. sent me scurrying to this forum to learn about wood, pellets and insulation. House is still not warm as I'd like but hearing does not cost a mortgage payment either.

    Welcome OP and enjoy the heat sand savings!
    albert1029 likes this.
  8. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    Thanks so much for the great Replies. I am up near wytheville VA. I've now had it going non stop for 2 days. It's doing we'll but I do run into wet or damp wood down into my stack. My dad gets the wood. It's free so I can't really be picky but I can tell when the wood is damp. Steam in the viewing window and sometimes I see a piece dripping from time to time. Both yesterday and this morn, my stove just had so e hot coals. I scratched around, and got I started again but it's just not lasting all night. Looks like 5 hours. Don't get me wrong it's warmer than its ever Been in my house and the heat pump and fan is off. I don't have to use the unit fan unless its in the 20's. I found some "seasoned" wood on Craigslist but I can't justify that. I have a friend with a huge 50 foot pine down offered to me and its been down a long time. Barks gone. I do have a splitter and saw. May start lookin around for good wood. I have to get up to date on dry wood and the right wood. Thanks guys!
  9. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I would definitely skip the "seasoned" wood on Craigslist. It is likely no better than what you have. Go for that dead pine and mix it in with what you have. You're just not going to have great results this winter with wet wood. But, that's ok! Start getting as much wood as you can now. Get it split and stacked like Dennis says. Next year will be much better and the year after will be great! Try to stack the oak separate from the other wood and don't plan on using it for at least two years.

    Check your chimney! You will accumulate lots of creosote burning that wood and you will be amazed at how fast your chimney will junk up. Get some of the creosote removal logs or powder and use them. They do not remove creosote but they help make the creosote brush more easily from your flue. I would check your chimney and pipe after 2 weeks then adjust your checking based on what you find. Try to keep your flue temps up, which might mean using the fan pretty sparingly.

    Good luck!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Actually, you can.
    It just takes some time. You'll be amazed at the difference dry wood makes.
    Burning wet wood will get you a nice big load of creosote in the flue, so make sure that gets checked before too long.
    Backwoods Savage, AKA Dennis, is like the Godfather of dry wood.
    Heed that advice and you'll be a happy burner.
    ETA: Waulie types faster than me, but great advice.
  11. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    Wolcott, CT
    That is what brought me here. First winter in my new 2600 sq ft house and the first oil bill was $1000 :mad:. Started looking into wood burning immediately. That was when the oil was $2.20 a gallon. It is currently ~ $4 in my area.
    ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  12. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum. If you are going to burn wood from now on you will
    have to start working for the future wood supply. I know it is hard to look
    at 3 or 4 stacks of oak and say see you in 3 years but... Thats what
    gives you that feeling of accomplishment when you have that wood ready
    and you're still burning wood from a previous year. You'll get there just
    be patient.;)
    ScotO likes this.
  13. ChrisNJ

    ChrisNJ Feeling the Heat

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    Well I have the same stove and like everyone else said it is the wood, stack it for next year and get lots more stacked now for next couple years, and stuffing mine with Black Locust and Oak I only have ever gotten a couple hours of burn time in my furnace, however I go through 1/2 the wood I did my first year, well seasoned wood is a must for the real heat.
    ScotO likes this.
  14. whiskeypete

    whiskeypete New Member

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    North Central CT
    How much clearance do you need from that flue pipe? It looks like there is a shelf with a pair of hedge clippers hanging that looks like it may be a little close.
  15. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    This photo was before the first initial startup. All the items on that rack have been removed. The rack is still there but Ive kept a good eye on it and its never even gotten warm. One of my other questions were, I dont currently have a person or persons I can get wood from nor do I know anyone. I guess just putting the word out that I need some.

    To the others questions above from you guys.....

    My stove sets on the factory angle iron but rests on the cement floor. Its so freakin hard to keep the flue temps over 200 and I know its the moisture in the wood. Ill work on this!
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Take it easy Mary! Reading that post gave me the shivers. ;)
    mfglickman likes this.
  17. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    Where do you live? Maybe you got lucky and live down the street from Dennis or Scotty. :)

    Edit: Nevermind, saw you said NC
    ScotO likes this.
  18. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    Yep actually I'm in Mayberry RFD. Yes that one. Lol
  19. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    So do you plan on buying wood or scrounging yourself?
  20. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    My dad is in the car business. He also burns wood. Somtimes when people owe him money, he trades out things. Sometimes labor sometimes guns sometimes wood. So I've got a few loads coming next week. I also have a friend with land that says I can cut a few trees down. I've got about a half a cord of oak and the days and nights here will be getting warmer soon so the oak will have some Time to cure out a bit.
  21. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Check early and check often for creosote, my gut tells me you may already have some.

    A chimney fire is no fun.

    And remove the wood shelf, it's combustible, and my bet is that it's proximity to that stove pipe is not up to code.
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  22. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    Welcome!! I will leave the stove setup to those that are more expert than I . I will say that I do not think it is creosote you saw...after just a burn I do not think it is possible to drip creosote.....(real experts please correct me if I am wrong) Also I will say that if you have a snag pine that has been dead for a couple years then it will register at under 20% water and while that is marginal it will burn fine...go for it
  23. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    You know, I bet you are right. That was steam from that wet log.
  24. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    I so sympathize with you...I am learning too. Watch that the wood is not rotted in the middle. That punky wood will not burn worth crap. But sometimes you can cut out the rot and use what is good around it. If you can go cut some wood look for dead standing pine...that may be good to go now.
  25. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    So the 50 foot pine that's Down with no bark is ok?

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