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BIS Ultima in new house,blower ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by kartracer, Jan 5, 2009.

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  1. kartracer

    kartracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
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    Loc:
    Vale NC
    I've been reading this forum for several months while building a new home.I had a bis ultima installed-wasn't thrilled with the installer and changed the oak myself and I'm waiting on some extra wall braces for the chimney.The chimney is the packed insulated version.I also had the optional blower installed and was wondeing what would be the best way to control the speed of the blower,as it is either wide open or off.I would like to put a control switch on the wall,replacing the on/off switch if this feasible.

    The unit itself has performed quite well and seems to have a very good draft.I just wanted a unit for recreational burning that would be somewhat effecient.My house is 2000 sq feet on the main level and with it running,the great room/kitchen area will be 73-74 and the back bedroom 69/70.Thanks for the great forum. Joe

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  2. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    2,395
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    C'mon hunting season!
    Most blowers need the full start or it reduces the life if I remember right. Go to an electrical supply house and get the right dimmer. There are also dimmers available at some on line hearth stores.
  3. PeteD

    PeteD New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    184
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA
    Just to add a little to what burntime said, make sure you get a fan control switch, not a "dimmer" which is really listed only for lights, typically 300 or 600W. I have a Lennox Brentwood with the UZY5 dual blower. Since my factory fan blower control has not come in over the last 5 months, I am going to try one of these combination dimmer and fan controls:

    http://www.passandseymour.com/literature/pdf/35974-dimmer_retail_SellSheet.pdf

    I have an existing light on a dimmer above the fireplace and put this switch in its place if it works (I need a larger single gang to not exceed the box fill calculation - number of conductors for the existing box). I should get it this week for testing.

    Pete
  4. mranum

    mranum New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Welcome to the BIS family! Not too many of us here but a few. I too had an Ultima put in this past summer and am very pleased with it overall. When they installed mine they put the variable speed fan controller down behind the bottom louvers. I have it set to run about 65% most of the time, its just real loud running wide open.
  5. kartracer

    kartracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    Vale NC
    Thanks for the welcome and the ideas.I'll take a picture soon and post,as I am,as my wife says-a pyro.There's just nothing like a wood fire.Luckily, the builder I was working with understood,as a lot of builders here don't won't to fool with wood burners.
  6. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    842
    Loc:
    East of the Rockies West of the Rest, North of 49
    I too will add my welcome to the BIS Family, I think the official membership now stands at 5. Be sure to get a blower motor control, anything less will have that fan done for in about 1 year (you will know when it starts to rattle). Not sure what they are worth in the States but up here the last one cost me about $ 200.00.

    Lot's to learn here...


    p.s.

    If there is a BIS member 6, please feel free to speak (type) up.
  7. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    My brother has one as well so I guess you guys have an inlaw. Don't worry you only have to see him durring the holidays :p
  8. Islander08

    Islander08 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Northern Vermont
    I'm also a new BIS owner. I have the new BIS Nova. Seems OK so far. I like the simple, no frills design. All the curvy sheetmetal cutouts and louvers in most other fireplaces seem silly to me...the Nova just has a top and bottom slot for air flow, and the rest of the face is designed to be covered (with cement board/tile in my case). Plus at around $2000 complete, the price was right.

    I'm interested in the design of these fireplaces, specifically how they seem to direct so much heat out the front glass/door. Its also plenty hot inside the enclosure, but somehow the design allows most of the heat to either radiate out the front or get moved by the blower. The outside of the enclosure is literally cold on top except for right around the chimney connection (2"+ insulation on top). The sides (~1" insulation on the upper half of the sides) are also relatively cool, just warm at the bottom where there isn't any insulation. Other than up the chimney, this unit seems to not loose much heat into the chase, which I was really worried about.

    Actually I'm also in the market for a variable speed control for the blower. On the BIS Nova, it comes included, and is mounted in the back of the enclosure, so its a little quieter.

    Anyone have a favorite brand speed controller they prefer?

    Jeff
  9. gpep

    gpep New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
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    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    I just installed a Lennox Brentwood (new construction) and mine came with an on/off switch for the blower mounted on an adjacent wall. I'm very happy with the heat output, but the blower is loud. I went to Lowe's and picked up a 600 W variable speed fan controller. It's the type used for ceiling fans not a light dimmer. Works great!

    Jerry
  10. 86turbodsl

    86turbodsl New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    22
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Guess I should pipe in here also. I am just finishing a new house and installed a BIS ultima myself.
    Used the stainless packed chimney. My chimney run is like 35' (two story) so it makes a heck of a draft.

    Just getting started with it, so we'll see how it does...
  11. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    842
    Loc:
    East of the Rockies West of the Rest, North of 49
    Welcome to the BIS club !! Please post your thoughts and questions. We may be approaching double digits here for BIS members, wow what a day!!
  12. 86turbodsl

    86turbodsl New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    22
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Thanks, got her cranked up right now. I noted that the book said to make several small fires before really cranking it up. Should I let it cool completely between each fire, or can I let it drop down to coals and then right back into it? It's supposed to be -1F tonight and the extra heat would sure be nice.
  13. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,327
    Loc:
    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    So am I the founding member of the club? I'm working on my third year heating full-time with the Ultima (now assisted by the Napoleon).
  14. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    842
    Loc:
    East of the Rockies West of the Rest, North of 49
    I would think so. I have had mine for 5 years, but really didn't understand how to make it "cook" until i found this group. You had answered many of my BIS questions when I joined in. Now I just make up my own answers and BS what I don't know :zip: So thank you member # 1.
  15. wldm09

    wldm09 New Member

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    151
    Loc:
    Northwoods, WI
    I am in on the BIS family! We installed a BIS Tradition (I think I am the only one with a Tradition) in the summer of 2008. Love it. Truly.
  16. JEEPSTER 401

    JEEPSTER 401 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Rockford, MI
    What square footage are you guys comfortably heating with the Ultima? What is the outside temp and inside temp you are seeing? There aren't very many Bis owners on hear so it is good to pick some brains of those who own one. Bis definitely makes some nice units.
  17. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    I was heating 2000 sqft with it, but we added 250 sqft and I knew it couldn't handle the new layout, so I added the Napoleon. But before that I could maintain 40-50 degrees above outside fairly easily, and 60 if I really worked at it.
  18. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    580
    Loc:
    Shokan, NY
    Security does supply a speed control that will work with your cabinet blower. It is sold as part of the heat duct kit but can be purchased seperately. It's pricey though, about $80. I have tried a few times to use a control purchased from a local electrical supply house. So far I have not been successful using anything other than the one supplied by Security/Lennox. They always go bad after awhile and I end up replacing with the Security part. I'd be glad to know what brand and specification of control has been successful for others.

    The BIS has always been a good unit for us. All of our BIS owners are happy. They make a good fireplace.

    Sean
  19. duwed1250

    duwed1250 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    central wi
    Installed the bis tradition mid way through Jan.09. works great keeps the house very cozy,used about 2.5 full cords so far burning 24/7
    2300 sq. We have a 20ft. ceiling in great room w/ an open loft area and open stair case. the unit has to work to keep it at 70 degrees at -15
  20. PeteD

    PeteD New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northeastern MA
    Here is the actual controller that Security/Lennox buys in and sells for a pretty nice markup:
    http://www.kb-controls.com/product....8CD3.qscstrfrnt04?categoryId=23&productId=106

    Actually, this was $12 when I first looked it up, but at $19, still cheaper than the the $68 I paid for the VRUW for the exact same thing.

    I am disappointed with the hum at low speeds. I think I will try an anti-hum model at some point (like one from Pass and Seymour as I originally planned) to see if it works better. The design of this does cycle the fans past full before reducing speed, but what good will that do when you leave it on a low speed for startup when it reaches temperature?

    It is nice to know that any fan speed control for shaded pole or PSC are to spec for the fans.

    Pete
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