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3 weeks burning with Quad 5700

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by botemout, Dec 13, 2009.

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  1. botemout

    botemout Member

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    howdy

    So I've now been burning with my new Quad for about 3 weeks. I have some observations and some questions.

    1) After starting the original fire, I've only had to restart once from scratch. There are ALWAYS coals in this thing. As some people have indicated on this board, this is probably an indication that my wood is not properly seasoned (it's not). What I mean is not just that there are coals at the end of a burn but that the logs seem to turn to charcoal pretty quickly (they are dark and still have lots of heat value left in them). (To be fair, though, this mostly happens when burning low at night to extend the heat output over the course of the night). However, perhaps because I don't have experience burning in a stove like this with dry wood, having lots of coals doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world. I can have a 4-5" layer of them which will burn at 300F for a couple of hours.

    2) I'm not sure what kind of burn times I'm getting but they are certainly not, say, 10-12 hours. Counting time with coals putting out good heat and having stocked it well, I'm probably getting 5-8 hours. I'm sure that I could do better with good wood.

    3) Despite the wet(ish) wood, I appear to be using quite a bit less wood than last year. Of course, it's not gotten real cold yet. It's supposed to get to 10F tonight; has been in the teens some days; lots of days in the 20s. But, eventually we'll be <0F for, probably extended periods.

    4) My glass stays mostly clean. Only one time did it get dirty and then it cleaned itself later.

    5) I try to keep my burn temperature at about 300-350F. This is measured from a magnetic thermometer stuck on the pipe about 2.5' above the top of the stove. It says that 300F is the low end of what it calls "efficient burn." When I look at the chimney outside I rarely see smoke when at anything above 300F. I think the coal burning period is also smoke free.

    I know that many other people talk about burning at temperatures substantially above 300-350F. Is there a downside (given no smoke, etc...) to my burning lower? I haven't checked my chimney yet but I suspect that it's going to be dirtier than with my old smoke dragon (since so much of the heat went up the chimney with it, burning off any build up).

    6) 2nd stage burn: It definitely starts happening after the newly loaded wood gets going above 300-350, but it doesn't seem to last too long (probably no more than an hour per load). Is this normal? Wet wood again?

    Anyway, all in all, I'm pretty happy with the QF 5700. It, compared to my Wonderwood, is night and day ;-)

    JR

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  2. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    Is the thermo on single wall or double wall stove pipe?
  3. botemout

    botemout Member

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    Single wall.
  4. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    Id say with that secondary burn unit you should be running it a little higher, especially if your wood is not that seasoned or ideal.
    Some Quad owners should be bumping in here by the AM. Congrats on the new stove and thumbs up on getting into the wood burning details. Enjoy!
  5. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    I'm thinking your wood might be better than you suspect. While your home today and available to tend the stove try raking the coals forward and just throwing a split or 2 on at a time and burn wide open. Also most quad owners have the thermostat positioned on the top of the stove centered over the door. We burn 500°+ for useful heat.

    Pay no attention to those 10-12 hrs burn times it's useful heat your family expects from a stove. With well seasoned wood on a 20° day you might get 4hrs of useful heat...useful heat is a little different than loading the stove before work dampening down correctly, returning 9 hrs later to hot coals which will very quickly make a good working fire. See the difference between useful heat and burn times?

    Yup these newer stoves burn way less wood and that's a real nice stove you have...wish I had that one.

    Your chimney should be cleaner because there's way less smoke coming out of it. with the old stove the chimney smoked all the time. With the 5700 it's only smokes for about 5min or less after a reload...sure there will be a little creosote.

    When you say wet wood do you mean 'unseasoned' or seasoned firewood that's wet with rain or snow. Rain wet wood you can park on the hearth or under the stove for a few hours to dry.
  6. cmcramer

    cmcramer Member

    Joined:
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    I've had my Quad 4300 for about 10 days....

    ....yep, always lots of coals, even with my 18 month seasoned hardwood. I'm experimenting with running with the rear air control open one notch - the coals seem to be piled up in the rear. But I'm worried about overfiring....although my dealer says not to be. I believe I have read here that deep coal beds are an indication of lack of air

    ....can keep a low fire overnight - bed of hot coals in the morning - 8 hours easily - enough to start some kindling

    ....my single wall pipe temp ranges more than I would have thought, depending on where in the burn cycle the stove is at. As a re-load becomes fully burning, pipe temp reaches 400-450. My dealer said not to exceed 550. Stovetop temp, lower level mid-point, reaches 800. Still trying to develop a burn cycle pattern whereby I get the most heat, safely, from my wood and this stove set up

    ...middle burn tube regularly glows: all I read here says stainless tubes are designed to glow!

    ...100% satisfied at this point!
  7. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    ^ huh...I'm gonna have to start looking more closely at our tubes...haven't done that since we first got the stove.
  8. rustynut

    rustynut Feeling the Heat

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    Botemout,
    Congrats on the Quad. Second year on mine. 5700 steptop. Mine is a second story install vertical stack. 8 foot class A on top that is boxed in all but the very top foot or so to keep the stack warm for draft. Total pipe is about 14 foot. Running outside air. Last stove did not have o/s air. Had lots of problems lighting the last one. Seems that there are lots of opinions on OAK but I beleive that this allows for equal pressure system instead of having to draw from the house pressure environment.........anyhow it works well with this Quad.
    Seems that these stove manufacturers sure like to overrate these burn times. Hope you
    understood that when you bought. Mine was purchased with this in mind and works well for me yielding a decent overnite burn some where in the 5-8 range that you speak of with lots of coals remaining for a restart. EAB has provided lots of ash wood for burning and we used about 4 1/2 full cord last season providing a full 33.9 oz coffee can of creasote from the seasonscleaning. We usually run the temp about 350 with the "Homesaver" round magnetic thermometer on the vertical face of the step top. Glass for the most part stays pretty clean. Seems that the air wash system does a pretty good job. I'm hearing that it may help to use shorter logs and back them off the glass a bit. I've cleaned my glass a few times but it just doesnt get bad enough to bother me that often. My second stage burn is about what you are seeing. This has always been a one match light and only smoked back one time ?
    Very pleased with this stove. Last was VCCD lg cat stove and you had to watch what you put in it......
    Hope this bit of history helps you understand where you are with yours
    Beating those " Propane Blue's "
    Happy Holidays
    Rustynut
  9. botemout

    botemout Member

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    Another property of this stove is that it (the chimney) doesn't draft very well. If there is not a strong heat source (flames or a large bed of coals) then opening the door will allow gases/smoke to escape. For this reason, scooping out ashes is something I don't do as often as I, probably, should. So, I suspect another reason for my coal build up is that the air has a harder time circulating around the wood pile. As soon as I have a good time to get the ashes out I'll test this.
  10. botemout

    botemout Member

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    I have a moisture meter; I'll find it later and get a reading. But here are two reasons why I'm sure the wood is not seasoned:

    1) it was only split in September of this year (though the wood had been sitting around for over a year as logs)
    2) I have another pile of much more seasoned wood; when I burn it I get better performance.

    But, I'll get back to you with a reading.

    I guess the distinction you're making between "burn time" and "useful heat" goes like this:
    - "burn time" is the total length of time between starting wood burning and still having enough coals to easily make another fire
    - the period of "useful heat" is a subset of the above during which you are getting, say, > 300F out of the stove.

    Something like that?

    When I say wet wood I mean unseasoned (though it's also snow covered when I bring it in - I need to get ahead of the game and have a of extra loads by the stove drying off but I never seem to do that ...
  11. botemout

    botemout Member

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    Should have said too, SavageActor7, that yeah I see the difference. I'll have to do this test day; I could see have "useful heat" for 4 hours, even with my wood; perhaps you're right and the wood is dryer than I think ...
  12. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    The smoke back is a result of your lower stack temps, which can be a result of not dry enough wood. A lot of the fires energy goes into bioling water and then you get moist cooler flue gases which makes for a worse draft.
  13. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Well botemout if that smoke that backs up is pungent and almost astringent, like cheap vodka compared to regular OK smelling wood smoke then... yeah the wood could be unseasoned.

    btw. Try just cracking the door, count to 10 slowly before opening it up all the way. Maybe that slight delay will help establish a good draft. The smoke in that stove exits right above the door.
  14. fullbore

    fullbore New Member

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    You need two thermometers, one for the pipe 12-18" and one for the front face. The 300* on the pipe is OK but that's not telling the stoves temp. 500* to 600* on the front door area would be a ballpark.
  15. fullbore

    fullbore New Member

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    Also keep in mind that the pipe will fluctuate. I'll hit around 550* and then back off the air after a full load of wood chars and watch the door thermometer climb to 500-600* while the pipe drops to around 250-300*. I can honestly say that Quad is not exagerating burn times of 13+ hours. Last night was 14 hours(meaningful heat) with white oak and a temperature of just under 300* when I opened the door to clean the coals. There were plenty of hot coals to spread out as well.
  16. botemout

    botemout Member

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    Good to know. And you mean, 12-18" from the top of the stove, I assume? I'll get another thermometer for the door.

    Just now I moved the thermometer to the front door (there isn't much room, except in the upper corners). When my stove pipe says 300F, the doors says 400F. Of course, that's wood that's been burning for about 2 hours already.
  17. fullbore

    fullbore New Member

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    Exactly, I'm at 300* 18" up on the stove pipe and 450* on the front area just above the door on the right. I have three medium sized splits of oak burning nicely...
  18. botemout

    botemout Member

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    So just to understand you:
    - At some point you load up your 5700. How much wood did you put in? Enough to fill the entire fire box? I assume to have such a long burn with "meaningful heat" that it'd have to have been pretty packed.

    - You opened the secondary air intake (don't recall exactly what they call it - it's the one on the lower right that you push in when starting a fire and pull out to turn off after the fire has gotten going)? How long did you leave it open? I usually leave it open until the stove pipe temp gets to around 450F

    - After the temp was 500-600F at the door what did you do with the main air adjustment (center right below the door)? I'd think that to get a long burn you'd have to have it mostly pulled out (off).

    - 14 hours later, you went to clean coals and at that time door temp was still 300F?

    How cold was it last night and how well insulated (and how large) is your house? It got down to about 10F up here (southern border of the Adirondacks) last night. You were probably a low of 15F or so; still pretty chilly. I'm going to assume that your house is very well insulated with fairly low ceilings and <1800 sq. ft.
    (Just guesses, of course ;-)

    Of course, you might have a drafty house of 3000sq ft and the most BTU dense Oak in the world ;-)

    Thanks for your feedback.
  19. botemout

    botemout Member

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    I'd imagine that "split" doesn't have a precise definition but would a "medium" size split be, say, a 1/4 of a 12" log? Or is more like a 1/6?
  20. RonB

    RonB Feeling the Heat

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    That second thermometer will help a great deal. I prefer to place the gauge on the top, about 6" back from the front edge. Here it is in direct contact with the firebox and not over the insulation. Next time you have your door open and cool you can look at the top of the firebox where your gauge is getting its' reading from. I like 500 degrees or more on this gauge (to activate the secondary burn) and 250-350 on the gauge on the stovepipe (about 24 inches above stovetop). Don't give up on those 10-12 burns yet. I see them with a packed full firebox. You are still getting used to the stove and your wood will get better. My splits are about 18" long and of course loaded N/S. When it is really cold I also load shorter splits E/W in the space between the N/S splits and the door.

    Try to edit and add a pic of what I was talking of therm placement on the Quad:

    Attached Files:

  21. fullbore

    fullbore New Member

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    The temp of 450* on the face would probably translate to 600* on the stovetop with three 4" splits. I only wanted a small fire since it was relatively mild, about 30 degrees outside. The stove is in the basement, 1000 sqft. recently finished and insulated, but heats the remaining 2000 sqft new construction colonial. Last year the quad kept up relatively well except for the coldest nights but the basement was unfinished and I was burning cherry. I've only been burning for two weeks this year but the finished basement and insulation as well as the two year seasoned oak have kept the basement at 85 to 90 degrees without overworking the Quad. The first floor is about 75 degrees and 65 in the second floor bedrooms.

    To get the 14 hour burn, I will load the stove with 24" splits. The box is mostly full with about 8 of them. Both air controls are open for about 20 minutes and then I shut the start-up air lever(right side). The stove pipe thermometer will read about 550*. The main air supply will gradually make its way to 90% closed over a time span of about an hour. Generally, I like to see at least 500*(front door area) before I cut the main air back so that the secondaries are firing nicely. From there the fire burns almost like a coal burner.

    My first year I learned what not to do. The second year I was able understand and fine tune the stove. This year I have good seasoned wood sized perfectly, so hopefully I'll see a nice improvement and not be a slave to the stove. LOL.
  22. fullbore

    fullbore New Member

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    And yes, 300* is after 14 hours. The $100, magical, heat activated fan is still spinning in the morning when I reload...
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