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Another PH shoulder season fire...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rideau, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    It will be interesting to see how long these PH cats last with these kind of loading techniques. Maybe the steel cat can take the thermo shock but I'd only do it with super dry wood otherwise I'd bypass for 5-15 minutes. Just seems to me over time the wash coat would get covered up or masked with creosote with all that cool smoke passing through the cells before it heats up?

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    It's interesting that Woodstock is telling them to operate the stove like this. I only suggested it as an experiment to see how the stove would operate under a full load, not taking into account of what could happen to the cat. It seems Woodstock is actually recommending that the stove should be run this way.
  3. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    It also doesn't hurt to bypass the cat for at least a few minutes to heat the chimney back up to maintain a good draft.
  4. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    It may be that they are only recommending it in certain circumstances, like set ups with very good draft. It may not be a blanket recommendation. I keep hoping to get the updated version of the PH Manual as I'd like to see if their SOP has changed for the new stove.
  5. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    For the record, this is how I burn. I might try Rideau's method for fun once, but I'm really not trying to change the way the stove burns for me. I'm happy the way it is.
  6. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    A little newspaper, some kindling, a few small splits and one small log this morning.

    2012-09-28 06.16.56.jpg 2012-09-28 06.16.31.jpg 2012-09-28 06.24.07.jpg
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  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    When clicking on this thread directly, there seems to be a lot of posts, some worthwhile, missing from this thread all of a sudden.

    Edit: I apologize. I was clearly lost and typically stupid.
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  8. Dairyman

    Dairyman Feeling the Heat

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    You got the PH'rs so worked up theres 2 threads going now.
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  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Yes. I was quite wrong about the missing posts. The thread titles got me.
  10. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I think the trick to getting minimal secondaries may be loading the stove with massive splits, even rounds. That way there is minimal surface area to outgas. The trick is to keep the firebox temps down so the secondaries don't kick in. My splits up till now are on the thin side.
  11. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    So what qualifies as 'massive' - i.e. what diameter can be loaded? Your theory seems sound though. I also wonder what the true maximum length is - 22" is recommended max, but I'm guessing there is a bit of wiggle room on either end there...
  12. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I think the only way for the PH to get those BK type burns your going to have to tinker with the combustion air from the dog house or baffle. My BK has only one source of combustion air and it all comes down the air wash plate. Less air in means longer burns.
  13. Buck1200

    Buck1200 Member

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    I had pretty consistent 24hr load cycles during the month of March last year. This had a lot to do with more moderate outside temperatures during the day, yet still being able to put in a big load of wood without worrying about overheating the house. Here I was generally firing in the evening after the house had cooled some and the outside temperature was dropping. The overall point was that I was having adequate coals to relight after 24 hours. This was with 16in maple, beech, ash, and birch.

    Later on in the spring (I installed on Christmas day), I was not able to do this without overheating the house with a large wood load, and so had to light a small load from scratch on a daily basis. I'm lighting a fresh fire every evening so far this fall.

    During regular winter operation I was firing twice a day and holding rock solid house temperature- a tremendous difference over the previous, overwhelmed Heritage, which I generally loaded 3-4 times per day. It was a warm winter, but I burned about 20% less wood than normal. Aside from cyclic efficiency gains from less feeding, the Heritage generally sat at 800F on the flue thermometer for the first hour or so, settling in at 600 for the duration of primary burn. The PH almost never exceeds 400F. With a half load, it's generally 300-350F. This is flue and not surface.

    The stove has very even output through the burn cycle while also being capable of bigger output than a straight cat stove. That said, I think we overestimate how much firepower is required at any given time, rather than consistent, lower output over a 24 hr cycle. I wish the low end was more controllable in the way BK's are described to be, so that I could get those super long, slow burns when it's warmish out. Firing once a day in the shoulder season, and twice a day during the winter is acceptable to me, however, particularly compared with the old Hearthstone.
  14. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Well, my goal / reason for changing to PH from FV isn't to increase burn times - although an increase won't be a bad thing. A driving factor for me is to be able to get more heat out during the times I need it. I simply can't feed the FV enough wood and burn it fast enough to heat my house (over 2400 sqft) enough to keep the wife happy when it stays cold outside. True, I could burn oil to make up the difference but...

    Anyway, my point here is that I'm not looking for the larger firebox to make this into a "Fireview with a larger gas tank" rather I'm looking forward to being able to blast out some serious heat when I want it and still have the ability to burn lower at times. This isn't a BK - although I have on several occasions given serious consideration to a BK as it is an awesome stove, I also like the appearance and other characteristics of the PH.

    I'll be thrilled honestly if during the cold part of the winter I can load 2x a day and be done with it (approx 12hr cycle) - I expect that given the family wants it warmer now than ever (yes you folks did warn me about this a couple years ago), I may well have to go for more loads to keep the heat flowing. I know I'll be burning more wood - marginal efficiency gain over the FV won't be THAT much better eh? I'm budgeting 15-30% increase and hoping for the best. FV limited me somewhat in that front - can only pack so much into the stove and burn it down so fast.
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  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I can relate to stove size making things easier. That's where I was at with the Heritage. It did the job, but the stove cycles were too short for my needs. The Defiant is not a Blaze King, but 10-14 hour burn cycles are pretty sweet when compared to what I was dealing with.

    Would I love to have BK burn cycles? Yes. Can I afford it? No.
  16. Buck1200

    Buck1200 Member

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    I used the word 'acceptable' to describe how the stove is behaving for me. At the risk of diminishing the value of my input with gushing, the stove really made life a lot easier for us. It's way easier to use, keeps the house much warmer with what looks like somewhat less wood, and requires much less attention than the Heritage did. I laughed out loud the first morning I came down to 72 in the living room and chunks of wood still smouldering away on a big coal bed. I don't have to load the stove before leaving for work anymore!

    The largest BK would probably do this for me as well, but the PH is made down the road from me, and I prefer the way it looks.
  17. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    At the risk of getting flamed :p, I think the BK long, long burn times might be a tad over rated. The Princess is about the exact size of the Progress, but unless you live in a tiny house or in a warm climate, you simply will not be enjoying 20+ hour burns for most of the winter. The Princess is probably ideal for the pacific NW and the south, but really it just wouldn't do me much good for 7/8 of my burning season. I need more heat! A lot of people write like those crazy long, very low output burn times are the be all end all, but they're not for me. Like everything, the product should fit the application.

    On a related note, for the last week we've had a low around 40 at night and highs around 65+ and sunny. I'm having one small fire at night and it's working perfect. If I had a big old load of wood smoldering away all day, we'd roast and waste wood to boot!

    I find the PH to be perfect for a 12 hour burn cycle. Need a little heat, load it half full. Need a ton of heat. load it 80% full. Either way, in the cold of winter, I'm loading twice a day with no kindling or paper and am as cozy as can be.

    I'm also curious. How/when do people load their stoves after 20 hour burn cycles? Aren't you sleeping or at work?
  18. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I like large spilts in the PH. In the dead of winter, I'm using maybe three 8 to 9 inchers and filling in from there. This does help control the secondaries.

    The firebox measures 22" inches at it's longest, which is in front of the door. Outside of the door area, you loose maybe an inch. Since getting the PH, I've been cutting all my wood to 19" using the eyeball method. I don't want to have the occasional "whoops I cut it too long and now it won't fit". And, 22" long splits are darn heavy, especially those big puppies I like using. I have some 18 inchers to try this winter, but it won't be until next winter that I will consistently be using the longer stuff.
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  19. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    You're right, when it's cold here in Michigan I'm freezing in my tiny 2000 sq' house since my stove is ideal for the pacific NW and the south. ;lol When it's cold(teens/20's) it burns anywhere from 12-18 hours. It does have an air control that allows me to adjust it for more heat output when it's cold.

    I'm not sure how it wouldn't do you much good for 7/8 of your burning season to own the stove, sure it wouldn't burn 20+ hours in the teens and keep your house warm. It would burn similar to how you say the PH performs for you in the cold. So are you saying the PH doesn't do you much good? ;)
  20. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Been that way most of my life BB.;lol
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  21. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    A man that doesn't admit his stupidity isn't someone to be trusted.
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  22. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    Um, that's not what I meant at all. I meant 20+ hour burn times wouldn't do me any good for 7/8 of my burning season. Thanks for validating my opinion! This is my whole point. Some people want to judge the PH based exclusively on the low burn times of the Princess. I'm just saying the one benefit of the Princess (very long, super low burns) would not be particularly beneficial for me in my situation. Sounds like you get about the same burn times as the PH in the cold of winter.

    Of course, we could talk about the advantages of the PH over the Princess, but then I'd be accused of flag waiving or something.;)
  23. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    You will find stoves of similar firebox size will perform in a similar fashion when a higher heat demand is needed. Only so many BTUs in a stick of wood.

    I do think low burn times are important, the shoulder season type weather makes up months of the burning season.(October, November, March and April) Last winter I could almost consider the whole season a shoulder season!
  24. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    And then there are people like me that are looking to oversize and have a low burn for oct, nov, dec, march, and April. While only needing higher burns for parts of jan/feb.

    I do admit I'm a rather small market of potential buyers.
  25. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    Last winter was a weird one for sure. Not sure where you are in Michigan, but I figured about one month of super long burns would be useful out of 8 months of burning (7/8). As I posted, I've been having a small fire a night but even if I had the ability to burn for 20+ hours, I wouldn't. There is no need and it would be wasting wood. Part of early October and part of late March, early April I could see.

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