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Cooling a hot stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by firecracker_77, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I got the stove a little too warm today and I could smell fumes coming off the pipe. I made the mistake of putting several smaller splits on a very hot coal bed. I put a large log in to slow the secondaries some and it appears to have worked. The only advantage to this is that there is less creosote build-up if any in my pipe than there was before. It always makes me a little nervous when I get fires this hot. I guess I forgot what I learned from past mistakes. Those splits were vaporized in less than an hour at which time I added a 2nd large log. There were plenty of coals to handle a larger log. I really need to install a damper on the pipe. My stack is 24 feet which drafts pretty well and can help things runaway on me when I'm careless. :eek:

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  2. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    First time of the year the fire "got away"? I am certain that will happen to me soon enough. Small splits = nearly a nuclear reaction in a hot stove....DId you happen to have a flu thermometer?

    A
  3. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Just had all my alarms going off here :) not that I had the stove going nuclear - just the new stove and pipe burning in and the first time I had it anywhere near 500 degrees on the stove top. No scare but it sure make the dog unhappy. I pulled all the alarms I could not shut doors to and kept her burning. Trying to get this thing broken is "so to speak" so I can crank it up without the smell. I am guessing a couple more cool morings and it will stop stinking up the joint and subesequently setting off the alarms. I will really get it going today and just open windows with a fan and see if I can speed the process up. I am really in love with the new stove but know part of my learning curve will likely include an incident like yours sooner or later.

    Had a few last year with the old school stove so it's coming. Although I am doing my best to not let it happen.

    Be safe - Bob Urban
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The first hot fire will burn off dust that has accumulated over the summer. That might have been the smell. Is there a thermometer on the stove or on the flue pipe? How hot did it get?
  5. barn burner

    barn burner Member

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    Last year (my first year burning) I started out with good wood, I mean really good wood! Black locust at around 16% and kiln dried pine from my shed manufacturing business. So I've seen my stove "going nuclear" plenty of times during my learning curve. What I found that cools my stove down fairly quick is to find the secondary air inlets and stuff them with aluminum foil, or place a large magnet over them.
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I really feel this is beneficial with the Heritage. I'm thinking of installing one with the 30 as a safety measure against my stupidity. I like how it helps you calm things down more quickly.

    And, with the Heritage, I believe it helps you keep more heat in the firebox. Or, at least, helps minimize the amount of heat going up the pipe.
  7. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the advice guys. All of it has been noted...I need to look into that damper. I actually don't own a thermometer, but will be fixing that soon enough. Woodstock sells them for a good price, and they have a soapstone griddle / trivet dealy that I want for cooking. I need thermometers on the pipe and center stone.

    I just so happen to have an extra Heritage with the heat shield off sitting in my lobby not installed. Looks the secondary air intake is at the rear bottom and is a roundish opening about 4 fingers across. I should be able to find a magnet of sorts that can take some heat and at least partially close that opening off in need be.

    My flame show was gorgeous, but it was a little unnerving at the same time. I don't think the smell was dust as I've had several warmer fires already. It was the smell of paint. My pipe is already discolored a little and has never gotten any worse since that happened 2 years ago.
  8. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    The first fire this fall i had that dust smell. The second fire was hard to control cause i threw in three small splits of birch burned really good.
  9. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Small splits are great at start-up. I prefer the larger chunks after that. Otherwise, nuclear meltdown
  10. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah about had one of those moments.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I've never thought it a good idea to add fuel to a stove that is already too hot...
  12. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I see your point, but I was thinking a large difficult to burn log would slow things down a bit. It appeared to work. I'm going to look at getting something to block off my rear air intake. I don't want to drill into the stove to mount a metal plate that could be opened or closed. It's not worth modifications, and I don't know how easy cast iron is to drill into anyway. Others have recommended a magnet. Sounds good to me.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Magnet sounds like an easy fix to a possible problem. Don't forget that many times the stove will cool just by giving it more air. You did that when you opened the firebox door to put the log in.
  14. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Not that is is an option but cast drills really easy. Easier than hard wood with a good bit.

    I have a ball of tin foil at the ready to stuff into the intake for just this purpose and like the magnet idea - I will look into that but the hole is rather large on the NC-30 so I am not sure where to get one to cover it.
  15. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    Opening the door wide will drop the temp quickly. Just babysit the stove to watch for embers.
    n3pro likes this.
  16. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    You should locate your secondary air inlets. Mine are underneath the stove in the rear corners, one on both sides. Then there is one underneath in the front of stove.

    You can find something to plug those off, in case of the stove getting too hot.

    I found that the metal aluminum tape used for Duct work is very sticky and pieces can cover the holes.

    Or take some aluminum foil and shape plugs to keep by the stove.

    My holes in the back are square holes about 1" size. The one hole in front is like a 3/8 round hole.

    I have had a situation that the damper didnt even slow it down but the covering of the secondary air inlet holes did do the job with the damper completely closed.

    I also tried the opening the door to flush heat up the flue but it didnt seem to work for me. It may work for other stoves.
  17. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    Just make sure you burn down your coals more, not that I ever loaded on top of a hot coals in our woodstove. :eek:
    zap
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  18. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    My secondary air inlet is in the back also behind the primary inlet.
  19. barn burner

    barn burner Member

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    Same here. Air shut down as far as it would go, key damper closed and still a raging inferno. Tin foil covering the secondary air calmed it right down.
    firecracker_77 likes this.
  20. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Nice idea. I can put a little wad of foil in that round opening to choke it back if she ever gets carried away again. I have my plan now.
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    If you get as strong a draft as you're indicating you may just be able to stick an oversized sheet of aluminum foil near the opening and the suction of the draft will hold it in place.

    Just be aware that by doing this you are starving the fire from oxygen . . . and for a really cool experiment (and I am being facetious here, based on personal experiences) move the foil a bit so that it partially restricts the air intake -- I had some very lovely violet and indigo blue secondaries coming off the stove when I did that -- along with a spike in temp.

    Nowadays I am better at controlling the temp by closing down the air earlier rather than later . . . being aware of the size of the splits . . . and being aware of how soon I am reloading the stove. I still have the foil as a back up, but also have opened the air control to "divert" the heat from the stove to the chimney . . . although oftentimes I keep going back and forth by closing the air as I don't want the chimney to get too hot . . . typically I have also directed a fan or two at the stove or chimney as well to help dissipate the heat . . . and of course I have had to stay awake to "babysit" the stove . . . as I said, I try my darndest to not get into this situation . . . but it can, and does happen sometimes.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A fan blowing across the stove top will also help cool it down. Most importantly, learn to distinguish a runaway (fairly rare) from a robust burn. If the stove is steel or cast and peaks at 700-750::Fit may be a little exciting, but it's not time to panic.
    PapaDave likes this.
  23. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Would 800 be a good time to start to panic?
  24. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Turn the lights off see if its starting to glow.

    But really you know how hot of coal bed you had and you know if you loaded it with high btu fuel and you know if you packed it full, you know if you left it wide open for too long.

    So if all of those are true then you might have an over fire issue if its getting really hot really fast.

    When you burn for a while you have a feel for how things should go. You know when things are not right.

    When you pack a stove really full and if you block the exit for the gases to flow up and out the stove like when you load it high in the front it will heat up quick and hot. Its like making your own little burn chamber up in the top of the stove to burn smoke gases with very little out let for heat to flush up the chimney.

    Thats why some say open the door and let the heat flush up the chimney. Cool air rushing in and letting the very hot air flush up the chimney.
  25. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Bump for the suggestions to open the air inlets, or even open the door, or best of all, gradually doing both. Shutting air down is the first option, but even if it was possible to shut all air down, the stove would only cool at it's 'normal' rate, and there's the possibility of backpuffing. Opening the door will cool the stove much faster.

    TE

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