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Any issue with hot/cold/hot/cold, etc usage on a stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by metalsped, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

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    Say if someone only burned when they got home, and through the night, and relit the stove when the returned from work? I know certain materials are much more forgiving when it comes to thermal extremes than others. Obviously this would be a poor setup for a stone stove... but how about the other two popular builds?

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  2. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    More likey to get creosote formation doing that.
    Waste more wood maybe because of heating the stove up to temp way more often.
    But whatever works for you.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  3. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

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    Just asking theoretically.
  4. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    It's a good question no doubt.
    I choose a cat stove so I could burn 24/7 even in the shoulder..it works for me.
    I don't like lighting fires every day.
  5. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

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    Sole source of heat for you (either choice or otherwise)?
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Cast iron doesn't care Ask your car engine. Steel doesn't care. Ask its exhaust system.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    It won't be the material that fails, it would be things like gaskets or bolts. Seen many exhaust manifolds with leaky gaskets and broken bolts.

    That said, most people in the world let their stove cool each day. Don't be afraid to cycle it.
    Backwoods Savage and pen like this.
  8. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

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    That is what I meant to ask... thanks for clarifying the jumble in my head.
  9. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    We crank the car every day then turn it off it heats and cools daily.
  10. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    I dont think it really matters, why would one get more creosote lighting up when they get home vs burning 24/7? If they use good habits and wood it shouldnt matter.
  11. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    In a cold stove the pipes are cold also so yes you do get more creosote.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  12. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    Agreed, The daily cold starts then the overnight burn will probably create more creosote than a 24 hr burner.
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  13. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    I see the point now, your not really giving the stove time to keep things heated up to keep things clean, learn something new everyday!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  14. GrampaDennis

    GrampaDennis New Member

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    If you start a fire from a cold stove when you get home one day, refill it before you go to bed at night (stay up long enough to make sure the stove is OK before you turn in), then refill when you get up in the morning (again, make sure the stove is OK before you leave for work), you should still have coals when you get home again from work.

    I'm not sure what your concern is about cycles of heating and cooling. if you follow the cycle I listed above, your stove will never get very cold. If the house gets too warm, following the above cycle, you may have to feed the stove twice a day, instead of 3 times. Then it would get a bit cooler, but I doubt that you would hurt the stove any, or create enough creosote to worry about (assuming you are burning dry wood).

    When you get your stove, and start to gain experience with it, I'm sure you will develop a cycle that works for you.
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    November thru December and then March and April my stoves cool down during the day and get restarted at sundown. They have never split down the middle, steel or cast iron, and the pipe doesn't get crapped up. Odd question anyway since no matter what the stove is made of the pipe is gonna be steel.
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  16. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I must admit I am the slow one here, but can you explain the obvious to me as I don't understand why your proposition would be a poor setup for stone stove in particular?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Yep, I don't see a problem with a stone stove going through a typical heating cycle that any other stove would be accustomed to. With a stone stove, I may be apt to let the first fire of the year be a small one (as it probably would be anyway) just to dry out any moisture. But otherwise, if this was an issue of concern, they wouldn't be making them IMO.

    At the end of the day, no matter what the stove is, just don't smolder it. If you don't need a lot of heat, use a small amount of wood.

    With a proper chimney, I see no reason to be concerned about excessive creosote in this situation either.

    pen
  18. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I ma not sure on the contention that a cycled stove creates more creosote. I think its far to simplistic to make a blanket statement. If the stove is pre EPA, the normal method of extending the burn was one of two methods both which had creosote issues. Method one, damper the air to the fire, starving the air for fire does extend the burn but the combustion is incomplete leading to higher air emissions and potential creosote. The other method is a variation where the firebox is loaded with wood and the air damper closed, this is even the worse case as the large mass of wood along with minimal air leads to incomplete combustion. Most creosote condenses in the stack, if the stack is warm it condenses up high, it is cold it condenses down low but for most stoves if it exists it condenser somewhere and if it doesnt condense in the stack than it condenses at the chimney cap and runs down the side of the chimney.

    The alternative to continuous burn is the OP's method, start a good hot fire, heat the house up and then let it go out. As long as the stove is operated with the air damper open with the fuel load being the control, the burn is going to be clean once the stove heats up initially. There may be initial creosote formation during warm up but that can be minimized by not loading up the stove with too much wood initially.

    There will be more thermal cycling of the chimney with the on/off approach but that is dependent on the thermal mass. You dont hear the term Russian Fireplace/masonary heater very often these days, but these were the ultimate on/off stoves and were generally regarded as highly efficient. They were typically only fired every few days with the masonry acting as thermal mass.

    Ultimately, I think the creosote production is far more related to wood dryness and the stove operator. I have had my house since 1988 and have cleaned my chimney once due to general principle. I inspect it every year and empty the cleanout but that is about it and to date it really doesnt need annual cleaning. What creosote that does form over the winter, tends to flake off during the summer and end up in my cleanout. The chimney is about three stories high and sits at the center of the house and comes out next to the ridge pole so its going to work different then a short stack on the exterior of the house. I have used a Fischer a vermont castings and now my boiler over the years and despite their significant differences, the one thing that stays the same is that I run them wide open with the fuel load being the control.
  19. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Wow.
  20. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    The instructions for my Shelburne (cast iron with an enamel finish) state that some "crazing" of the finish is normal. My guess is that it is exacerbated by frequent hot/cold cycles. Mine is three years old so far and I haven't noticed any. I'm careful to always do a slow, cool fire with just kindling when I'm starting it from frigid temps. After it's warm, I try to keep it warm, rather than letting it go out, get cold, then restart.

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