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Avalon Pendleton Insert Pics (Questions)

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by trackhead, Dec 25, 2005.

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  1. trackhead

    trackhead New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
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    First off, hello, and great forum. A wealth of knowledge amongst these pages.

    I just installed this small Avalon Pendleton into an existing hearth in my home for supplementary heat. Over the past 7 years living in two different homes, I have heated exclusively with wood with great success. These past stoves were free standing, not inserts. They put out more heat than one could ever want, and worked with flawless perfection. This insert is another story, no doubt in part to my installation skills.

    After installation, I was only able to have the stove be slightly better than flush with the hearth. I made a sheet metal block off plate that fits tightly inside the hearth, above the stove about 5 inches. Then sealed it with fireproof insulation to prevent draft. I used stainless steel 6" liner that goes approximately 2ft up into the existing 8" liner. This is all what the instruction manual states.

    Issues:
    1. This stove takes significant preheating to prevent downdraft and smoking during start up. I have been using a benzomatic torch (what the dealer suggested upon purchasing), to preheat the flu.
    2. Even when the fire is hot, with a nice bed of coals, it still smokes quite a bit when opening the door. Even if opening the door slowly to promote draft.
    3. Because I installed it with minimum clearance and nearly flush with the hearth, there is some amount of apparent heat trapping in the hearth. I have used the 'search' function for more info on blowers for inserts, and it seems that this would be invaluable for this installation.

    Any tips on preventing the excessive smoking, improving the draft, or overall installation tips to make using this little beast more pleasant?

    Thanks.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
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    12,340
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    OK, first of all. happy christmas and/or hanukah to you!

    As I'm certain you understand, we could subsitute the word "chimney" for the word stove in your talking points. It is the CHIMNEY that requires preheating, etc.

    That said....

    1. Carefully check the baffle and make certain that the rock wool blanket on top has a small weight on it (angle iron) and that it is not fluffed up and being sucked into the chimney! We had the report here of one of these stoves having done that!

    2. Blower: You can get a blower from Avalon that fits under the ash ledge of the stove....also, a lot of the heat that goes into the hearth brick will be released slowly both when the stove is running and after it dies out. Lastly on this subject. any sort of small fan set on the hearth at the side of the unit and blowing INTO the fireplace will help pump heat back out (the other side of the fireplace).....a small desk fan or muffin fan should be fine as long as you keep it the required distance from the stove.

    3. Draft: You have a typical situation - a chimney with flow reversal. There is not too much you can do about it.....even lining the chimney to the top and/or insulating it might not help. This is because flow reversal is related to a number of things including what is called the "stack effect" in the house. This means air in your house rises up and then pulls air down the chimney!

    In most cases for me, the best method is to stuff a piece of lightly balled newspaper up above the baffle and light it. The key is to already have the stove set up with kindling and firestarter so that you can light those as soon as the newspaper reverses the draft.....

    In a worse case situation, I suppose you could have a trap door in your metal plate that you could open and stuff a small piece of newspaper up there! There would be plenty of room around your direct connection for that to work.

    As far as draft once your stove is going, I can offer two hints in addition to the baffle and wool thing:
    1. Make certain the plate and pipe are well sealed! Use silicone where plate hits fireplace walls and furnace cement around the pipe...or stove gasket. From the looks of your pics, might be tough to get in there....

    2. For increase draft after all other avenues have been explored, you must:
    A. Line chimney...insulate if possible and especially if you are in cold climate.
    B. Extend Chimney - see http://www.extendaflue.com or use masonry etc.
    C. Make certain there is enough combustion air for stove. crack window or door near stove and see if that changes the operation. If so, there are a number of ways you can rig outside air to near the stove, etc.

    Good Luck and to all a good night!
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    You're making me think hard of new inventions.....

    Hmmm......chimney reversers....we have a little machine at top of chimney full of some sort of little "grenades" and when you hit a remote control button inside, it lights one and drops it down from the top....

    flame on!

    In all seriousness, if someone came up with a simple and inexpensive chimney preheater, it would definitely sell!

    Gotta watch frank today...he's fasting...

    My son was over and saw your avatar! He was like "dad, so you have young guys on your site!".....
  4. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
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    Hmmm......chimney reversers....we have a little machine at top of chimney full of some sort of little "grenades" and when you hit a remote control button inside, it lights one and drops it down from the top....

    flame on!


    Fire in the hole!
  5. Extendaboo

    Extendaboo Guest

    Yes. it does remind one of those vietnam movies where they are flushing the guys out of the rat holes!
    There must be an even simple way to do this than I mentioned, but we'd have to ponder it. The though thing is that access to a chimney is difficult...usually only the bottom and the top! Any other access and we have to drill!

    And liners make it even harder....

    OK, here's another shot....large plate that could be trimmed that might be made of something firm and backed with that magetic vinyl - with a hari-dryer like warm air blower attached. You open the door of said insert, place this over (it sticks cause of magnets) and then blow away.....now at least you've somewhat forced the air up the chimney......

    Ideally, you could create a two function system, ash vac and hot air blower, that way people would pay more for it.

    Am I getting closer?
  6. trackhead

    trackhead New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
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    That was the ticket. I flattened that out, and now the draft is incredible, no smoking when the door is open. It pulls like a champion with no more of that nonsense torch action needed. It is burning the way I imagined when I bought the little beast.

    Thanks for the tips.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Aha, glad to be of help.

    This proves the first law of general mechanics.....

    The simplest solution is the one that should be suspected and attempted before ALL others.
  8. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    The Avalon Has a 5 sided convection chamber.
    Adding the Front blower will force air on all five sides on the stove and move all the heat into the room.
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