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Clydesdale Insert Not Happy with its performance Please help !!!!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by pjv911, Jan 1, 2009.

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  1. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    Hello guys, this is my 1st post but Ive been reading here for 3 years now. I'm having trouble finding answers to a few question's about my Clydesdale insert. Maybe someone can offer some advice. Let me first describe my system and the area intended to be heated.

    I purchased the Clydesdale unit new from a local dealer
    It was installed by the dealer
    Original fireplace is a huge brick open pit unit (106 years old). My faceplate has only 3" overlap to cover this huge pit.
    The insert is installed with the 5" of finished fascia pulled out and the sides are blocked off with the iron faceplate.
    Chimney is 40' and has excellent wind exposure.
    The chimney has full brick exposure through to the second floor.
    My Chimney also has another chimney channel built into it for a second floor coal stove (not used and a cover is over the 6" lateral hole)
    I have a 40' x 6" stainless steel single wall pipe running from the insert all the way up to the top off the chimneys cover/cage.
    There is no insulation used anywhere.
    My faceplate is designed by the manufacturer (Hearthstone) to let plenty of air escape right up the chimney due to a 5/16" gap cast into the design.
    Also the faceplate leaves 1" of gap open on both sides between the insert and the faceplate.
    My air deflector plates/channels on the insert had large gaps at all seems. I sealed all of them off with steel duct tape (still holding strong after 3 years).
    My rope seal for the glass door no longer exists (it disappeared).
    My blower seems weak and is one speed. I read a few guys with the Clydesdale mention they run it on high speed. not sure what that means.
    My dealer gave me a thermostat to use. it plugs into the wall and the blower plugs into it. But I don't use it.
    My area to heat is about 3000 sq ft including an open stairwell to 4 bedrooms.

    O.k. I do realize my unit is not made to heat such a large area. However it does not supply heat past 10' away from the unit. I have the whole air setting ajustment/sweetspot thing figured out and I run it consistently at over 400 deg when reading from the top off the unit in front of the faceplate. I burn Oak and Maple mostly and currently barely use it now because it doesn't help heat the house at all.

    Example: 35 deg outside temp. I can heat the house to 72 deg with the oil burner while the Clydesdale is running full tilt at the same time. If I shut the oil burner off the very room the insert is in (living room) as well as the rest of the house will drop 10 deg in less than 2 hours.

    I will take a few pictures and post them. I'm hoping someone can take the time to help me. I have $5k invested here and its useless. I really want to stop using foreign oil. I can afford to use my oil heat but the whole point was to do my share, plus my boys love using the fireplace.

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  2. SteveT

    SteveT Feeling the Heat

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    Better info will come from the experts. But to start things rolling......

    1. It sounds like you are losing a lot of heat up the chimney area. A block off plate and insulation will help.

    2. A 400 degree temperature on the top of the insert is not much. On cold days (like today) I am getting 475 to 525 measured with an IR thermometer. I THINK it would be fine to go even higher but I haven't pushed it beyond 550 or so and have not found the need to go beyond that.

    3. The unit that your dealer gave you (that you elected not to use) is probably a rheostat - not a thermostat. It is used to vary fan speed.

    4. If you are very hot within 10 feet of the insert and cold elsewhere in the house the issue is heat distribution not the total amount of heat produced. That is fixed by fans.
  3. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    Mt Sinai Long Island NY
    A few pictures. I pulled the faceplate back to show behind it. Also took a picture showing it is flush when pushed back. Note discolored bricks above insert are from when it was an open pit, not from current use. Also note the prehistoric heat transfer ports (4) do not supply heat in spite of having no insulation around the insert. And yes the blower intake grill is due for a routine cleaning. Also showing the floor layout and stairway.

    Kurt Williams

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  4. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    A few more.

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  5. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    The area to heat.

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  6. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    and more

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  7. bokehman

    bokehman Feeling the Heat

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  8. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    Is this discoloration ok? This is the 6" pipe that is coming out of the top of the insert and going up the chimney. I reached my hand up in there to take this picture.

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  9. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    note the door seal is gone. I never noticed it hanging down but maybe one of my boys did and pulled it off not knowing what it was.

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  10. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    The door seal is the majority of your issue. You need a tight seal on an airtight stove to get the slow hot burns. You are basically operating the stove like a fireplace right now.
  11. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    Despite having no seal I can still nearly kill the fire by closing the slide lever so thats not the answer. That is a new problem. I have had this performance issue since new. I wish it would be that easy. I think the problem is my heat simply going up the chimney. Im waiting for someone with experience in that area to chime in.

    Kurt
  12. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    How can we see if your door gasket is gone if you havent shown us a picture of inside your door. Thats a picture of your stove where the door will seal with the gasket being mounted on your door. Hence being called a door gasket. :cheese:
  13. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    So I suppose I should have called it the door to body seal? The rope seal around the glass (inside the door frame) is fine.

    Kurt
  14. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Do you have a block off plate at the fireplace damper area? That will help keep the heat in. You also have a very tall chimney, could be an excessive draft problem?
  15. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    The only gaskets I've seen have both been on the doors. Glass and door seal. Yours may have been different. :red:
  16. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    No I have nothing stopping air from going up the chimney. Actually I think heat from my house is constantly going through the faceplate and up the chimney. You can see in the picture where my liner goes up. I didnt remove anything aside from pulling back the faceplate to get the camera in there. There is nothing at all stopping the warm air from rising up.

    Kurt
  17. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Interior or exterior chimney?

    And where did you get those heatalator grates from? I've been looking for something likethat!
  18. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

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    Is there a wind blowing from the room, past the insert, and up the chimney? If the top of the chimney is sealed, airtight, heat loss shouldn't be so much of an issue that it cripples the heat production of the insert. Sitting in front of one right now, in a 35 foot tall chimney. No block off plate, sealed at the top of the flu. While it's not driving me out, like it can do, it's maintaining my apartment and the stairwell leading to the upstairs apartments from the front doors, at 78 to 85 degrees, and I am waiting to load it until it's burned down to coals, because I don't want to be driven out. I also don't wish to "hold it back" by choking it, so I let it burn during the day. Might go through 6 armloads of wood in 24 hours.

    Chimney cleaned? Tremendous traffic on sealing damper spaces and heat loss up the chimney. I've not experienced this myself. Seems to usually boil down to, air supply and draft, and wood quality. I put wood quality last, because I've had hot fires with poor wood too. It'll pollute your chimney and mess up the glass, but it will burn hot once you get it going. I'll melt an insert with a good draft and air supply, damper seal or no. As long as the top of the chimney is sealed so there isn't a huge draft pulling around the thing and up the chimney to the outside.

    Mine will burn at 650 degrees, on the door with a magnetic thermometer. At a point in the development of the fire, adding more air will not make it hotter but cool it off. I usually get it roaring, then back it off a little and allow the self-adjusting air supply do its thing. I was skeptical of the bimetallic springs when I first saw the insert. Gotta say, I like them. And if I goof and close it too fast, they rattle a little instead of blowing the glass out of the insert...

    I cannot conceive of how you could numb the fire to any degree without a door gasket. Even a relatively minor leak in mine will cause an uneven fire and more fire than I want, leading to excessive wood consumption and too much heat.
  19. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

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    400 degrees on the top sounds cold... really. My glass becomes seriously polluted at less the 475/500, and self-cleans slowly over time at >500 degrees... at 600 degrees the creosote melts off like frost on a windshield when you turn the defroster on.
  20. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    You shouldn't have any problem heating that whole open area that's in the picture. No problem at all. Some ideas would be like everyone else... definitely put a block off plate in. It's a very easy thing to do and you can do a 2 piece if you don't want to take off the chimney to slide it up. Do a search here and you'll see lots of ideas and I think there is a how to in the faq or somewhere here. With a big fireplace I would think it would be best to block off nearest to the insert and not way up in the damper area. Mine is about 4" above my opening. It takes a little more sheet metal, but the price will probably be the same either way. Make sure you seal it up with some high temp silicone real good. After that I would find a way to seal those draft makers on both sides that has the decorative rod iron over the holes. It looks nice, but I'd take off the grate and stick something in the hole that couldn't be seen to stop any drafts coming off it. Then I would check my wood to see make doubly sure I'm using dry wood. If you're unsure then you could always spend $9 and get 2 bags of the kiln dried stuff at the grocery to see. Lots has been said for wet wood and it's the #1 problem here by far. Check it out, you may be surprised. Use the blower when it gets hot and keep it on as long as it's 250* or higher on the top. Check out the part the dealer gave you to see exactly what it is... include a picture if possible. Make sure those double windows are sealed good and the doors too. No reason it shouldn't be heating to a decent amount. Keep at it, and you'll be happy soon.
  21. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    My cap does appear to have a block off plate which would allow only the 6" pipe to be accessible to the outside. However its way to high for my chicken a$$ to climb up and look. When the stove is off/cold I can put a lit ciggerette near the faceplate and the smoke will draw in. I dont however feal any air moving into the faceplate. Its not that bad.
  22. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Hey, pjv911,

    <>The insert is installed with the 5" of finished fascia pulled out and the sides are blocked off with the iron faceplate.<>

    What does THAT mean? Fascia?

    <>Chimney is 40' and has excellent wind exposure. <>

    40 FEET?!?!?!? Your chimney is probably sucking ALL the heat out of your insert. Most chimneys over 20 - 22 feet need an in-line damper...Unfortunately you don't have that option...

    <>I have a 40' x 6" stainless steel single wall pipe running from the insert all the way up to the top off the chimneys cover/cage.
    There is no insulation used anywhere.<>

    While others here may argue with me, we use unfaced fibreglass R-19 packed in around the SS liners - TOP & BOTTOM - in ALL of our liner installs - Unless the chimney flue is so deteriorated that Thermix is required...
    The only time we completely wrap the liners is when we install a liner in a ZC chimney system...

    <>My faceplate is designed by the manufacturer (Hearthstone) to let plenty of air escape right up the chimney due to a 5/16" gap cast into the design.<>

    You sure about that? That cast gap is probably to let air convect back into the room from around the insert...You want ZERO - NADA - NONE going up your chimney (around the liner)...

    <>My air deflector plates/channels on the insert had large gaps at all seems. I sealed all of them off with steel duct tape (still holding strong after 3 years).<>

    Not sure what you mean by that statement either?!??!

    <>My rope seal for the glass door no longer exists (it disappeared).<>

    Replace it! It's there for a reason...

    <>My blower seems weak and is one speed. I read a few guys with the Clydesdale mention they run it on high speed. not sure what that means.<>

    Should be a HI/LO switch on the blower...Maybe check the voltage at the outlet?

    <>My dealer gave me a thermostat to use. it plugs into the wall and the blower plugs into it. But I don't use it.<>

    Your blower should have a heat-sensing snap disk in-line to actuate it when the insert reaches a specified temp... Never heard of anyone using a t-stat on a blower...

    <>My area to heat is about 3000 sq ft including an open stairwell to 4 bedrooms.<>

    That much area requires WAY more BTUs than a Clydesdale can put out (60K)...Did your dealer tell you it would?
    Your Clydesdale could heat maybe 1/2 of your home - depending on the insulation & if you can get the heat to move sideways...

    <>O.k. I do realize my unit is not made to heat such a large area. However it does not supply heat past 10' away from the unit. I have the whole air setting thing down and run it consistently at over 400 deg when reading from the top off the unit in front of the faceplate. I burn Oak and Maple mostly and currently barely use it now because it doesn't help heat the house at all.
    Example: 35 deg outside temp. I can heat the house to 72 deg with the oil burner while the Clydesdale is running full tilt at the same time. If I shut the oil burner off the very room (living room) as well as the rest of the house will drop 10 deg in less than 2 hours. <>

    Sounds like you need to insulate your ENTIRE house! The soapstone in the Clydesdale should radiate enuff heat to keep temps from dropping THAT much...

    <>I will take a few pictures and post them. I'm hoping someone can take the time to help me. I have $5k invested here and its useless. I really want to stop using foreign oil. I can afford to use my oil heat but the whole point was to do my share, plus my boys love using the fireplace.<>

    See if you can find the number for Hearthstone in Morrisville, VT. If you can reach them, ask for Jim Cassavant. He knows ALL the woodburning products Hearthstone offers...If you can get his e-mail addy, you can send hime everything you posted here, including the pix...He can brainstorm your issues & give you possible answers/options/solutions...
  23. Ithaca

    Ithaca New Member

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    My first attempt at a block-off plate was a mess but I left it in wanting to complete the install.

    Along comes burning season and I can feel the air being sucked up the chimney through the unsealed portions of the block-off plate.

    So I pulled out the stove and did the block-off right and noticed a large difference in how the stove heats the house.

    I haven't used a drop of oil yet. I suggest you pull that insert out and do the same.
  24. LeonMSPT

    LeonMSPT Minister of Fire

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    Just looked at the installation and operation manual on your unit. WOW! What a nice insert, it's tough to believe you can't get more heat out of it.

    For consideration...

    EPA compliant stoves and inserts are designed within some pretty close tolerances to work like they do. Your insert has secondary air supply to the area beneath the ceramic baffle in the top. I see air tubes in the top of the present I&O;manual. If yours' is designed this way...

    Primary combustion is accomplished using primary air controls, that you can manipulate. You open and close the slide lever to control the amount of fire in the insert. The secondary air controls are not user controlled. They are set up and designed to burn nasties over the fire once they've been generated by the primary fire.

    No door gasket? You may well be able to knock the fire down, but it's not reaching a high enough temperature during the burn to allow the secondaries to truly burn the gasses and junk and get the heat you want.

    Why? Could be that the door gasket leaking, or not being there, is allowing the "draft" to be pulled around the door instead of through the secondary air supply?

    It's not a big job, and you'll be out maybe 20 bucks if it doesn't work. But try getting some gasket material, cement, and a dremel tool or other device to clean the channel where the gasket goes. Use a q-tip or popsicle stick and apply a light coat of cement to the cleaned gasket groove, then push the new gasket into place, trim where the ends meet, and fire the stove... bring it right up to temperature... and let it burn awhile to cure the cement.

    I suspect you'll not be disappointed with the results. If you are, the advice was free.
  25. pjv911

    pjv911 New Member

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    Those vents are original to the fireplace from 1902 and I have no idea where those could be bought. They are actually a pretty cool design because the original firebox/pit is steel lined. The bottom 2 vents draw air around the hot steel walls and the rising air came out hot from the top 2 vents. All 4 are sealed off from the pit or flu so no air from the house is escaping there. They are useless now but do get warm if the insert has been going for over 12 hours.
    I will certainly be looking into a block off plate. I was reading about insulation as well. Which is better? Both?

    The wood I burn is stored inside a large enclosed shed and seasoned at least one year. It should be pretty dried out.

    I will also try stacking the wood long ways front to back. There is a guy on this forum that said it heats the sides off the box better that way. Problem is my splits/cuts are usually to long for that. I can see about getting shorter cuts next season.
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