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30 NC Install Results and first few days

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by fran35, Feb 6, 2011.

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  1. fran35

    fran35 Member

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    Well, first off-thanks to everyone who gave advice and answered my borderline ridiculously naive questions. The 30 NC was installed three days ago in an unfinshed basement/garage. The basement is set to be finished with insulation/drywall/ceiling fans, etc next week. However, I am not sure if some of you recall my last few months LP bills which were $630 for December and $470 for January so I needed something save me from the poorhouse. Well, the 30 NC is the savior. My LP furnace has not kicked on since the install. And while the house is not as cozy as I'd like, the wood stove is still maintaining three floors of 2400 SQ ft at around 66-68 and much warmer in the basement. I imagine that figure will go up dramatically as I throw some insulation on the walls and take out the aluminum grage door and replace it with an insulated wall. The way I see it, the $600 30 NC I bought at Home Depot will pay for itself in a little over a month. I am happier that I expected to be.

    One final question--as a first time stove owner, I still get that pucker factor when I go to bed or leave the house with the fire going in the box. It seems to go against my natural cautious instincts as far as fire in the house and I imagine crazy scenarios playing out while I sleep. Is this normal for someone new to wood stoves?

    Regardless, many thanks to everyone-particularly BrotherBart with his advice.

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  2. Alan Gage

    Alan Gage Member

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    I slept terrible the first couple nights with the wood stove. It's in the room next to my bedroom so I could hear every click and pop of the chimney expanding/contracting and it would wake me up every time. I'd get up a few times in the night to make sure there wasn't something wrong. After a week or two I didn't think twice about it.

    It's been a few years now but sometimes in bed or away from home I'll still be struck with brief panic when I think, "did I really close down the damper?" After thinking about it for a few seconds you remember that you actually did. It's good not to be too nonchalant.

    Happy to hear how well it's working out for you so far.

    Alan
  3. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    Being a new burner too, I still get a little nervous when I load it and leave. But each week I seem to feel more relaxed and I am sleeping better now. I had a dream yesterday that I came across a couple of cords of real good seasoned oak for free. Am I turning into a wood stove junkie since I am dreaming about wood???? Good luck Fran on the new stove. Post some pics. These people like pics!!!!
  4. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Come on now, you KNOW you're one of "these" people now, right? ;-)
    Fran35, nice to hear the stove is doing well for you. The 30 is probably the one I'll end up with in a couple years.
    I had the same trepidation when first burning, but soon learned that as long as I did things the way they were supposed to be done, shouldn't be a problem.
    Something you could try, and maybe have, is to watch the stove during the day. Load it the way you would for an overnight burn, then just keep an eye on it. That'll give you a much better understanding of what's happening overnight. If it doesn't scare the crap out of you, you're good to go.
    It's something you might want to do anyway (probably already are) to learn the stove.
    If you've not used a woodstove before, check your flue and cap on a regular basis, and maybe use thermometers to give you an idea how the stove is burning.
    Oh yeah, we DO like pics.
  5. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    Pics or it didn't happen!!! I did what Papadave suggested. Load it up and pretend you are leaving for the day. Every so often I would peek in and check it out. It's a real good idea to try that. You will feel more assured when you are gone because you will kind of know what it is doing or you could get one of those dohickey webcams that some people use. I am not that computer savvy. It took me forever to get my avatar pic up, but I figured out how to change the size of it. I make people radioactive for a living and you would think I was more computer savvy.
  6. djblech

    djblech Feeling the Heat

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    I used to worry when I was using the old masonry (brick) chimney that had nooks and crannies where creosote could stick and hide. Since I installed class A chimneys with their smooth SS inside tubes I don't worry anymore. Every time I clean I only get a cup of nice white ash. I also have the stove on a tile over concrete floor, no combustibles there. The last few days it has been 25* to 30* so I haven't fired the Liberty at night. Now that feels weird.
    Doug
  7. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Congrats on the new stove! As others have stated run the stove as you would for an overnight burn to see how it behaves while you're around to observe it and you'll feel comfortable sleeping with it running.. We have had this stove for 23 yrs. and I have no trouble sleeping with it running 24/7 as I know what it does.. They tend to be consistant and you'll adjust just fine once you realize things will be just fine.. I have total confidence in running this stove 24/7 and it has saved me a ton of dough over the yrs. and I know it will in the yr.s to come! Congrats and welcome to the insanity of wood burning!

    Ray
  8. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Perfectly normal . . . in fact I would be more concerned with a newbie who said they were burning and didn't have any concerns or worries . . . that would be what would worry me . . . it's perfectly normal to be concerned with the fact that you have a device in your home capable of burning down your home while you sleep . . . which is why many of us spend the first week or so camped out in front of the woodstove, sleeping on the couch and waking up every 2-3 hours to check things out.

    Eventually, after several days and weekends of running the stove you will get used to the way it runs while you are awake and realize that it will run the same way when the sun goes down and you go to sleep . . . providing you do the same things and operate the stove in the same way.

    Around this time you will also sleep better as you realize that you had the stove installed per specs and didn't take any short cuts (i.e. you did not opt to install the stoe closer to the wall to make it look better or put in a hearth that looks good but may or may not have the correct R value) . . . you will also realize you have working smoke detectors and CO detectors in the house to give you an early warning in case of trouble (you have tested the detectors, right?) . . . and you will have by now really learned how to use your stove and run it safely and efficiency by watching the temps (assuming you have thermometers for the stove top to avoid overfiring and a thermometer for the stove pipe). Finally, you will know how important it is to check and clean the chimney when needed and know how to properly dispose of the ash.

    Taken together you will realize that this knowledge and the safety checklist that you mentally go through before you go to sleep or leave the house for the day (i.e. air control has been shut, temps are good, etc.) will insure your house is not featured on the 6 o'clock news . . . unlike the neighbor who installed his woodstove in the way he did because he thought it looked good and figured he has enough protection, never has really learned how to run his stove correctly as he usually leaves the air control open all the way or chokes it back too much at night because that's the way he learned to run a stove back in the 1980s and thinks nothing of dumping his ashes into a plastic bucket and leaving them in the attached garage to dump in a few days . . . of course this is the same guy who figures chimney fires are a normal part of burning and he thinks he should clean his chimney, but just never seems to get around to doing it.
  9. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I had (and kinda still do have) an uneasy feeling sometimes when I have a big overnight load. Perfectly normal and shows you have the right amount of respect for what you are dealing with (fire).

    This is not my idea so I can't take credit for it (don't remember who...but a fellow member came up with it), but it has helped me sleep a little easier. Take a sheet of aluminum foil and fold it over 5 or 6 times into a thick, narrow strip. Then fold the strip at about a 45* angle into a "V". Place the "V" on the hot side of your stove thermometer. As the temp goes up, the needle will push the V...and when it cools down the V stays put. This will indicate how hot the stove got in the middle of the night when you were sleeping. This will give you some piece of mind that things aren't raging out of control...you'll wake up the next morning and see that things were all good....or you've got something you need to correct.

    Works for me anyway...
  10. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Not to throw a damper (so to speak) on the reassuring posts so far, but today, for the first time,. I had a fire get away from me, and I still can't be certain why it did so. We have the same stove, so it has some bearing on your question.

    After nearly two years, I thought I knew the little details of how my stove works, yet a fast "ticking" and strange smell coming from my stove today brought me closer to take a look, and the flue collar surface was 400F and the sides of the stove were passing 725F, and that's WITH the blower running at a good speed.

    So though many folks with more experience than me are reassuring, my vote would be to never reload and then just go to bed or leave, or even to do so in the first hour after a reload. I still check the temp here and there, and once stable after an at least an hour, then can leave or go to bed.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yep. I never go to bed after a night load until an hour or so after loading the stove and it has settled down. It isn't unusual at all, especially if you load N/S and use large splits, for one of them to take a while to get hot enough for the back end of it to start off gassing and take off.

    In fact while I was typing the paragraph above one did it.
  12. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    That happens in the PE, BB, too. It's one of the few consistent things that I've noticed between the 2. Well, that, and the after burn :)


    I always wait at least 1 hour before going to bed, and the Dixette does as well. Once things are settled, I have no problem going to sleep, and it's usually in the den, where the PE is.


    I was, how ever super nervous the first few times I left the house with the insert running. But that's what the oil burner did when I wasn't home. It did it when I was home, too. Exploded big fire, often , in my basement. At least the PE is on the first floor ;-P
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    If I don't have at least 45 min to monitor a new load - I don't load it.
  14. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    If you know you stove and its habits real well then reload and leave time might be shorter. My old stove was very dialed in. One full turn of both draft knobs would equal no more than 500 degrees. Plain and simple it didn't have enough air to overtemp. The new EPA stove I have has an unregulated air path to the secondaries, so I need to baby sit it before I leave to see where it settles down at. Several times I've had to stuff a pop can in the secondary inlet to slow it down before I left the house even thought the primary was fully shut.
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