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Anyone else remove/modify stove with reburn tubes?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by yardatwork, Sep 28, 2010.

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  1. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Oh boy :lol: It's really sad you've had this experience with an EPA stove. Second year in my stove pretty much runs itself. Damn the EPA for wanting me to burn seasoned wood!

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  2. cottonwoodsteve

    cottonwoodsteve Member

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    Responding to what Percard said;
    I burned wood not coal in the potbelly stove.
    To do gas welding and brazing I put one layer, 1 inch thick, fire brick on an outside wood table. I bought the firebrick at the wood stove store. If I do some small area welding the center top surface of the brick will momentairly turn red hot. Yet it won't burn the wood below. After this I can pick up the brick by the edges with my bare fingers. I couldn't do this if I used 1/4 inch steel like a stove has. Also the heat would burn the wood table below very quickly. So I stand by my statement that the firebricks prevent the heat from coming out to the stove sides. Yes if you heat them long enough and hot enough the heat will eventually come through. If you read the stove instructions, and advertising etc., they clearly state the firebricks reflect the heat back into the fire to help the burn efficiency. If they are reflecting the heat back then obviously it is not coming out to the side metal.
    Also EPA stoves have to be operated perfectly. If a high wind blow the tarp off of the wood or blows the rain into the carport where some of the wood is, the surface may get wet. In a normal stove this surface moisture is not a problem. In an EPA stove the whole process crashes. I do not always have perfect wood, I do not always load things "just right". If I put that much trouble into making a fire in a non-EPA stove would be smoke free too, but get twice the heat.
    For an insert the code requires that the liner be insulated, at least the lower part so the hot liner doesn't crack the chimney tiles. These are the same chimney tiles that worked with the old fireplace just fine. The fact is when your EPA stove chimney liner gets so hot it can damage the inside of your chimney, maybe you are loosing a lot of heat up the chimney?
    I highly recommend you try my experiment of removing one brick along a long sidewall and see how much hotter that area is. Scan it with an IR temp probe and see the difference.
    Nowhere re in the manuals or advertising did it say "these things are very finicky, if you don't do everything perfectly, you will be sorry". That page was missing from everything I read. I think most people here are stove hobbyist that enjoy caring for and feeding their stove. I just wanted to throw in some wood and get some heat just like the older stoves were capable of. I did not want to to make a hobby of it. I have other things to do.
  3. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I have no interest in babysitting my stove. I load it three times a day and it takes me about a half hour each load to get it dialed in how I want it.

    I do agree with the EPA stoves wanting seasoned wood. I now have three years + put up so I won't have to deal with terrible burning wood anymore. If it gets wet or snowed on I bring the next load into the house so the surface moisture will be gone before I load the stove again. All and all a pretty simple process.
  4. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    rdust, it's generally fruitless to argue with someone who has a "stupid if I want to" mentality about something.
  5. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    At the risk of dragging this thread back to the original topic (And this coming from me, one of the biggest transgressors.) let me say to YardAtWork: I salute you! :coolsmile:

    Good for you for listening to reason and changing your mind--two admirable qualities.

    As I read this thread I was thinking "Oh Lordie, he's doomed. His chimney is inadequate, but he's too stubborn to realize it." I was even working on a stinging reply, but thought "Ah, better wait and see how this turns out." I'm glad I did.

    I've seen BrotherBart give that advice over and over, and it fix people's problems over and over. EPA stoves need a stronger draft, and some folks are just unlucky in having a flue that, for whatever reason doesn't make the grade.

    If you fix your chimney and stick with it, I guarantee that the folks here will have you burning like a champ, even if you have to fix a couple of things.

    Again, congrats for being willing to listen. But I guess you don't need my congratulations--your stove is going to reward you soon enough.

    Merry Christmas!
  6. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    Understanding that we both mean well, I will respectfully say that your words make it clear that you do not understand EPA stoves yet. It's not my job to convince you or teach you, but I do hope to plant the seed of that thought in your mind, in case it helps you later.

    Once you understand stoves, you'll realize that EPA stoves are in fact more efficient than non, precisely because they burn the smoke. The downside is they need strong-drafting chimneys, dry wood, and a little finesse to run.

    Again, I'm not going to convince you, but if you're inclined, click around the Wiki and faqs and see for yourself.

    HTH, and Merry Christmas!
  7. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    Agreed, and Merry Christmas!

    Someone is being a little bit naughty, and playing with his stove. :)

    That seems to be the irony of an EPA non cat--you need a good draft to run them *and* they don't let you turn the air all the way down.

    Personally, what you're doing sounds to me like good clean fun, as long as you keep an eye it and your wits about you, lol. It sounds to me like the tweekie sort of control that is great for some, but would hopelessly confuse others. But I'm no expert, and others are welcome to correct me.

    In any case, Happy Holidaze!
  8. EL DRIFTO

    EL DRIFTO New Member

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    :lol:

    i would not recommend it to anyone, amateurs are best off letting the full volume of air go through there, so no matter what it comes out pure oxygen

    yeah, a little too tight & the stove doesn't burn clean, i opened it up to 40% & everything is staying clean now

    when right, everything should stay clean & secondary burn should seem robust & slower, not like a breeze in the ceiling

    after a month or two of burning, i'll schedule a chimney banging load with the air open & stand by, if it bangs @ all...

    friend with the stove bricks, think of it this way, only the bottom half of the stove is lined with bricks, i can touch the lower half of the stove some of the time, but the top half gets hot fast, like off paper alone & i'd venture to say all the btu convection must be & would have to be coming from there, the top of the stove is way hotter than the floor on any of them i'd imagine...

    when the epa stove is on, it's like a solid box of fire :thumbsup:
  9. EL DRIFTO

    EL DRIFTO New Member

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    After a look around here, it seems relevant to mention my chimney is 18' outside, excluding the cap, 90 & piece going through the wall. I just put it in to code. It's starting to make sense...

    I'm probably not going to put in a flue damper cause the stove is working fine. But to not mislead, I think the "air tubes" are limited flow by the outlets, the secondary ~1"x2" inlet doesn't start to change the flow until ~50% restriction.

    I'm glad I got to learn on this pita...

    If you split the wood thinner, it burns, if you put more in the stove, it burns hotter
    I've learned to run the stove hot on the coldest days & I can keep my NG furnace off, otherwise I can't really burn hot/clean enough.
    It seems like everybody is getting loads of creosote out of their chimneys, I wonder if that's keeping more pollutants in the chimney & out of the air ?

    I've been able to run the stove this season without any additional splitting, I rented a log splitter & split it all ~7 montre ago. They're about 1 - 4" thick splits.

    The wood aint gray & still smells green, now that I'm into the middle of the pile, but it can be loaded to 700 flue temps & is working fine as I've never put wood into the thing that wasn't alive the same year

    Happy New Year :)
  10. yardatwork

    yardatwork New Member

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    Well...I'm back with an update. I've stuck by this EPA stove for far too long. I have had no luck, I have added additional chimney length, I have used dry wood, and I have had ZERO luck. It just isn't producing any heat. Today I removed the fiber board, added a damper, added a baffle...went back to the days of the old school wood burner. Left the burn tubes in because...well...they won't come out. The welds from factory were off and I can't slide them out. SO...burn tubes still in, modified, and fire going like mad right now...and...holy crap...FINALLY...heat, heat, heat. Sorry guys...I tried to follow what you all said. But...now the flames are hitting the metal and the metal is heating up and producing. I truely believe the fiber board is the whole problem...it prevents any heat from getting to the top of the stove. It acts more like a shield than anything. There have been times when that fiber board were glowing bright orange...and...I could still put my hand, almost touch, on top of the stove. With the mods the burn tubes are working like they never have before. I've never seen them blowing like they are. I bought the wood burner to heat my home. If my modification is the only way for it to heat my home...well...then I'm fine with that. I've looked outside at the chimney and there isn't any yellowish smoke billowing out...like the old non-epa stove I had. So even with my mod...this thing still seems to burn cleaner.
  11. cottonwoodsteve

    cottonwoodsteve Member

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    I agree with you that the whole EPA thing is a joke.
    My opinion is people think they are great because they never opperated an old style correctly.
    If all of this baffles, bricks and afterburners are so great why don't pellet stoves have them?
    An old fashion stove can burn without smoke.
    What is the purpose of the secondary burn tubes? They burn the smoke from the air starved fire.
    Pellet stoves put more air on the bottom of the fire, burn it correctly and don't have any smoke or need for secondaries.

    Experiments you should try.
    Try putting an air inlet from ash dump cover area. About 3/4 inch pipe with 1/4 inch holes going along bottom of bricks.
    Turn side bricks sideways and angle them in slightly. This will move things toward the hot center and expose more metal for heat transfer.

    In the future people will look back and recall the catalytic converters and secondary burn tube designs as crude and backwards.
    Hopefully future wood stove design 3.0 will be better.

    Now I have to take shelter because the pro EPA people are now at the door with torches and pitchforks.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The vast majority of folks are doing just fine with their EPA stoves. Personally, having both, I wince now when I burn the non-EPA stove. In spite of having dry wood, it smokes a whole lot more than the EPA stove until the wood has mostly outgassed. Our EPA stove is one of the easiest starting, most satisfying burners I've had in over 30 years of burning. No complaints here, well except for a funky ash pan design.
  13. snowtime

    snowtime Minister of Fire

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    Well cottonwoodsteve you mention we do not know how to operate an old style pre epa stove. I will take that to mean you do not know how to operate an epa stove.
    I am one example of hundreds of burners who have operated pre epa stoves. We are snowed in every year and wood is our only source of heat and cooking. I currently have a T6[epa] and a non epa cookstove [pioneermaid] a non epa fisher in greenhouse and an old non epa cookstove in outside kitchen.
    With many decades of experience I took a chance on a new epa and guess what I found I had to learn how to operate a stove all over again. Once someone relies on the overwhelming examples of success on this site one learns its the operator not the stove. If you have been doing something a certain way for years then it takes some effort to realize your old ways do not work any more. It's not only us old dogs that have a hard time learning new tricks but my sons have taught me that it's not exclusive to age.
    I have reduced the wood necessary to heat my home and I live in cold country not like you. Right now it's March 3 and -30 outside. Guess who needs to know how to use their stove .
    Every once and a while someone comes along and says that this stove or that will not work even though many here have that stove. These people never learn to operate their stoves properly and usually sell them. I can remember one who thought my T6 would not get hot and they could not heat their home. Needless to say we try to convince newcomers to spend the effort to get it right for the rewards are very satisfying.
    One last thought there are hundreds of different EPA stoves. They do not all work the same and to lump them all together also shows ignorance.
  14. SmokingAndPoking

    SmokingAndPoking Member

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    If you can't figure out how to get the burn tubes out, I'm pretty sure you shouldn't be trying any other unauthorized modifications Scooter.
  15. yardatwork

    yardatwork New Member

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    I know how to get the burn tubes out. If you'd re-read my message, the spacing/welding is off and there isn't enough distance to slide them out. There's one screw and a simple slide and twist and they should come out. Mine don't.
  16. Install fire 1

    Install fire 1 Member

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    I hope you have a certified clearance with all those modifications.

    If something happens, god forbid, good luck getting coverage if you are running the stove without the proper pieces.


    The stove will get damaged as you will overheat and stress the metals with out the baffle installed.
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Good lord...
  18. greythorn3

    greythorn3 Minister of Fire

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    i just wanna watch the secondary burn! i still love my old tech blazeking, but these 2ndairy burn facinate me! i avoid cats like the black plague tho! as i know thats just a money making scam.
  19. Install fire 1

    Install fire 1 Member

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    Good lord is right! It's always fun trying to find new ways to ruin a perfectly good stove. Not to mention how to burn your house down.

    It's amazing how narrow sighted people can be. I have burned both as well, and hands down would take an EPA over an old dragon.

    The clearances are much better now, they are proven cleaner, and use less wood to produce more heat since there is so much energy in the gases and smoke.

    8 out of 10 old pre-epa stoves i pull out, are full of cracks and have been brutally over fired. See it everyday.

    Maybe the world should just get rid of the internet as well, technology sucks!LOL!

    Good Greif.
  20. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and hope that was just a joke.
    There are monumental amounts of stupidity flowing from this whole thread!

    *I should have read your sig and seen that you have a BK Sorry about that :red:
  21. KTLM

    KTLM Member

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    Yes,stupidity,but entertaining. A soap opera/ comedy special. Is this how it all ends or does it continue next week. Wait, I'll be back. I just need to go get my cutting torch and modify my stove some more.
  22. yardatwork

    yardatwork New Member

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    I will give ANYONE the chance to come to my house and get this stove to work and I will watch you all eat crow. This stove is crap and doesn't work the way it should. I bought a stove to heat me house...the stove DOES NOT do that. The burn tubes and stove were manufactured where the tubes DO NOT come out (but yes they should according to the manual). I did not buy this stove to sit by it for an hour or two or three and adjusting the air by 1/32 or 1/16 or 1/8 or 1/4 difference. I did not buy this stove to babysit it. Just because these EPA stoves burn cleaner and doesn't mean they produce more heat. Burning cleaner air DOES NOT equal a better heating device. If these are to burn the smoke and blah, blah, blah...then why not recommend putting a damper on the stove pipe and choke off all the smoke. Let's just keep recycling all the smoke. Not everyone has the time or space to have cords of woods stacked up for two years so that it's totally dry. Some people might have to buy a cord here or there and if there is a single percent of moisture these stoves won't work properly...to me...that's NOT a better design or more efficient...it's MORE HASSLE. I'm by no means a professional burner like many of you are. I'm just the average Joe, like I bet so many others are who own these new stoves. I have a full time job and running this stove isn't it. I modified my stove to fit my life and to do what it was purchased to do...HEAT!
  23. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    I missed this thread the first time around. The gods must be smiling on this one to have survived so long. Maybe it's the entertainment value, but the mods have pulled the plug on much more informative threads than this one recently. Time to put a bullet in this thread's ear, I say.

    BTW my sympathies to the OP. He had a problem, he asked for help here, he got ridiculous advice from all quarters, he gratefully took the advice at his expense (it didn't work), and now is getting blasted for modifying his stove so that it produces the heat he needs. We all need these things to produce heat, not to be stands to put the potted ivy and pics of the kids on.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    In all the years I have been on the forum this is the first time I remember this question being asked. Now, the question has been asked and answered. Reverting the stove is not a normal course of action. Usually folks fix the source of the problem and not a symptom.
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