4th burn... Is this what I'm after?

kipp438 Posted By kipp438, Dec 2, 2012 at 12:08 AM

  1. kipp438


    Aug 30, 2012
    Hello, back with another question. So between yesterday and today I had three break in fires in my Drolet Escape 1800. Started small and gradually made them bigger. So I'm on my fourth burn. I had a nice bed of coals from the last burn and i load 4 nice size splits of misc dry hardwood, nothin crazy big. I leave the door open 10 minutes or so. Fire is taking off nicely. I close the door leaving air wide open. When there is a large amount of flames in the firebox I start backing it down gradually. I notice a slight glow from the middle secondary tube. I backed it to about 10%, which drolet states in the manual is a good goal. Flames go down, good amount of lazy flames and secondaries. I start back laying some flooring in the same room. About 20 minutes later I peek at the stove and the secondaries are going pretty crazy. I turned the air to closed. Didn't have much effect. Kept rocking for about 45 minutes. Stove was hot. I don't think too hot, nothing was glowing and didn't really make me too nervous. Now about an hour later, with air still closed, the flames are dying down. Is this normal? Is this what im after here or is that little bit of "taking off" a concern? Yes I should have a thermometer, but I don't yet. I ordered one, won't be here til tuesday. I've been enjoying the heck out of learning this stove, and thought I was directly seeing desired results with air control, but this kind of surprised me that it rolled along with air fully closed. Which brings me to another related question, why did Drolet make a hole in the intake so that it is impossible to fully close it? It isnt a mistake, it's a big ol 1/2" or bigger hole. Is that normal for stoves or is this a Drolet thing? Thanks guys!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  2. MnDave


  3. kipp438


    Aug 30, 2012
    Greetings from across the river MnDave, and thanks for the reply. Are you ready for the big border battle tomorrow? :)

    I have a 16ft chimney, straight up, except for two 15 degree bends that were necessary to get around my ceiling joists. It seems to draft well, no outside air intake. I have some new windows in the basement that were just put in, not sealed yet. House is a tad drafty, not terrible. I'm not sure what to expect on burn times. Overnight would be nice but I'm not counting on it. With the four pieces I put in over hot coals, and after the little "take off" (if that's what it was), four hours later I was looking at big log sized coals, holding steady. I take that as a good sign. I'm interested to try oak. I think this was elm and maple.

    (Go Pack!)
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 14, 2007
    Kipp, they have to make the new stoves so that you can not shut the draft completely so don't be concerned about that hole.

    Sounds like you did just fine. That is pretty much the idea of turning the draft down until the stove is not getting too much and that is when you get the most heat from a stove. Not like some who seem to think they need to keep that draft open full until the stove reaches the hot temperature they want. Better to start closing sooner rather than sending all that hot air up the chimney. No need to try to heat the outdoors.
    corey21 and etiger2007 like this.
  5. MnDave


    I hope your team does well.

    Your chimney should not draft too hard so maybe you do not need a damper. I am 100% sure that I needed one, especially if I want to get at least a 10 hr burn on a 0 degree night.

    Good that you are getting a gauge. That "take off" may not be an "overfire" but you would never know without that gauge. An IR handheld temp gauge is a pretty cool thing to have for lots of reasons.

    Dry red elm burns fast and hot. My favorite wood to burn but not to split.

  6. etiger2007

    Minister of Fire

    Feb 8, 2012
    Clio Michigan
    Kipp, to me it sounds like you waited too long to shut the air down / make your final air adjustment. I have a stove made by the same manufacture and I learned something over the past week. If you shut the air down right you should have lazy flames and secondaries throughout the burn and no glowing tubes. When you get your thermometer this will be a big help on when to start shutting it down. My routine:

    1. I rake the coals forward and load the biggest split in the back of the firebox on to the brick, if I can fit it maybe I'll throw another one on top of that. Then two more splits in front of that on coals and then one smaller split in front of those on the coals to get things going.

    2. When the stove top hits about 350 I shut the air intake down to 3/4 open. Let the fire adjust

    3. When the stove hits 400 with good flames I push the air in another quarter so now its half open. Let the fire adjust

    4. Stove hits 450 I push the air in another quarter so now shes 1/4 open and thats where I leave it.

    My stove will continue to climb to about 550 or 600 stove top temp and thats where I like it, anymore and your wasting wood. Lazy flames and secondaries and no smoke coming from the chimney.

    Secondaries go crazy when the wood is off gassing to fast.
    Backwoods Savage and MnDave like this.
  7. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 26, 2009
    Central PA
    When you load wood onto a hot bed of coals the wood will quickly give off wood gases, causing a strong secondary burn. I think it is the heat of the coals, not the primary air rate supply that controls the off gassing, so the primary air supply doesn't have much influence on the secondary burn. That is why you couldn't control the burn rate by shutting down the air. Eventually a reduction in air supply will cool off the hot coals and slow down the burn, but that doesn't happen immediately, in contrast to the effect a reduced air supply will have on a typical fire in which the primary air is supporting combustion of the wood.

    When I reload I usually wait until the coals are burnt down fairly well or I pull all the coals to the front of the stove so that not all of the wood is sitting on hot coals. This helps make the restart a little more gradual.
    MnDave likes this.
  8. corey21

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 28, 2010
    Soutwest VA

    But i make the mistake of waiting to long to start adjusting the air sometimes.
    etiger2007 likes this.

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