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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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    3rd year burner only....but what i gathered was:

    1. Allow a hot coal bed to cool before putting splits on and if you do...make sure they are larger ones
    2. If that doesn't work, try choking off your air or opening the door wide open to make it operate more like a traditional fireplace and pull more heat out of the stove up the chimney and into the room

    My stove doesn't get really hot until the primary air control is choked back. That doesn't mean it won't get hot with the air open and the side door cracked, but my highest stove top temps have been achieved fully sealed with primary air control closed with a hot coal bed and active secondaries.

    I can't speak for others or their equipment. I have limited experience
    Huntindog1 likes this.

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  2. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    No. You have two options, or various degrees of each, but once you open the door, all other means to control air supply stop working.

    1) Starve the fire of oxygen. Not completely possible with an EPA stove unless you cannot physically block the secondary air intake This stops the stove generating more heat, but does not cool the stove any faster than it normally convects heat. If you cannot block the secondary air, the stove will continue to burn hot.

    2) Open the door. The increased oxygen is compensated by drawing cool air through the stove up the chimney. This doesn't cool the fire, but will cool the stove. Problem is, what do you do then? Now you have an even hotter bed of embers. If you close the door, it will all start again, so you may need to leave the door open until the fuel burns down.

    Yes, but that is not the primary way that opening the door cools the stove. Opening the door brings much more heat up the chimney than it sends into the room. Radiant heat is deceptive, a 200W halogen lamp pointing at you will feel oppressively hot, but doesn't do much to heat a room.

    TE

    edit for spelling mistakes, sorry OCD
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  3. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    What you are describing is what happens up your chimney when you crack the door, or with your average everyday stove thermodynamics. When I have (more that just the once <>) killed my draft by opening the door and had the stove temp drop 200 degrees and the room temp increase 8 degrees in fifteen minutes, I'm not just feeling radiant heat. So no, you don't have to wait for embers because at that point the stove temp is reasonable.
    Huntindog1 likes this.
  4. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I am grateful to know about the open the door trick. My initial thought was that will feed the fire and cause it to get worse. Makes sense now.
  5. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Each situation will be different, so it's good to have a few options. It's even more important to understand why and how each one works, stoves are not very complicated, but there are a few counter-intuitive aspects to getting the best out of them.

    TE
  6. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    These are the secondary air intakes on my Heritages. I think a foil ball would go a long way here to choke off the air.

    IMG_0493.JPG IMG_0492.JPG
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  7. Jclout

    Jclout Member

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    I have a Quad 3100 and the secondary inlet is covered by a cover that is used to channel outside air into the stove. I can adjust the secondary air but not close it all the way, I guess I would need to take the cover off. This would negate the outside air however, do you think this would affect the operation of the stove? I just read something about outside air feeds not being what they are cracked up to be. Do most stoves have a secondary adjustment or is the air input always the same?
  8. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I never heard about a secondary air adjustment. I think OAKs are great if you have a sealed house or are drawing really cold air in from somewhere unintended. After giving it some thought, cooling is not a great consideration as long as you don't do dumb things with a stove...easier said than done i know!! :)
  9. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    It is a design requirement for modern stoves that the user cannot completely shut down the air supply to the stove. Political views may cause some to say that this infringes on your freedom to waste wood, burn your house down and poison your neighbors, but it certainly does prevent you from shutting down the fire completely if you need to cool it down fast. Some designs make it easy to block the air intake, e.g with a ball of foil, others are impossible to block.

    Not sure what you mean about secondary adjustment, I believe most stoves have a single air adjustment, which splits to primary air (to the bottom of the firebox) and secondary air (to the top tubes), as you reduce the overall air supply, an increased proportion goes to the secondary air.

    OAKs are great in theory, and usually work well in practice too, but can cause problems depending how and where they get that outside air.

    TE
  10. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I'm confused about this, too. Do some stoves have separate intakes for secondaries with apparently no control, or are most as described above with one intake that goes to the damper which then proportions the air to primary and secondaries? ( I'd especially like to know how my PE Super 27 works).

    Good thread, BTW
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes. And different stoves have different designs. The mid-sized PE stoves have a unique setup that helps them burn longer. The secondary port has an air control that is proportionately linked to the main air control. As the primary air is reduced, the secondary air is also partially closed off. It's an effective system that works quite well.
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  12. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    If only all stove's had that design it would be nice......
  13. Billybonfire

    Billybonfire Feeling the Heat

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    Our stove, a Yeoman Devon has 3 air controls, 2 spinner type controls on the front for primary air (closed off except for lighting when burning wood).
    A slider type control above the door for the airwash (main air control with wood), and a push in/out control underneath for the secondary air (afterburners).
    A bit of a balancing act between the air feeds but gives great control when you get used to it. :)

    Each stove is different and takes a bit of trial and error to learn how to get the best out of them.
  14. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    What's the advantage of two inlets if air is still controlled from one place, not individually adjustable? Personally, I'd love to have separate controls, but that's me, I drive a stick-shift for the same reason.

    TE
  15. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Complicated, but nice!

    TE
  16. Billybonfire

    Billybonfire Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, another advantage I have found is, sometimes the fire will catch on one side and not the other, then I can open the spinner up on the other side to give it extra air until that side gets going then close it off again.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  18. Billybonfire

    Billybonfire Feeling the Heat

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    That sounds like a good idea Begreen, might be fun when the stove is at full temp when secondaries have been roaring, especially it the inlet is at the back, or worse still underneath !!
    Worth experimenting though, I have made a few modifications, I put a couple of firebricks at the back, there were only firebricks at the sides, this seems to keep the firebox temp up better. I also cut a couple of quarry tiles to fit in the front below the log guard, this helps stop ash falling out and I can keep a deeper ash bed too.
  19. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    That's what I was wondering.
    Thanks. So does the Super use the main intake port for both primary and secondary air? It would be easy to close off the main supply under the pedestal, but does that also get the secondary supply?
  20. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    I put a damper immediately on the outlet of the stove...is that ok???
  21. Jclout

    Jclout Member

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    Ok my mistake... My secondary air is fed through a rectangular box in which there is a hole or 2 in the bottom that could be covered by a magnet if needed but I would have to keep the large side cover off that channels the outside air to the stove which probably would be ok. The control I was incorrectly thinking of as the secondary control is called the Burn Rate Air Control and supplies the air to the top front which is the glass airwash and primary air I believe. It's been a while since Ive had the side cover off but I just went over the manual and some pictures I had taken[​IMG] of the air controls. There is also a Rear Air Channel control that can feed air to the back of the stove. Does anyone know why it's there and how to make the best use of it?
  22. tim1

    tim1 Member

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    I made a a slider for closing the secondaries on my Summit for this exact reason. Haven't tried it yet though. Tim

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  23. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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  24. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    I think Begreen that some of us newbies...thinking...open vent more fire...open door...MORE fire. Is this the first and foremost thing to do with a hot stove? Messed up one above.
  25. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    OK. Didn't read every post in the thread but here it is. If it takes off and goes to the moon open the door wide open. Gotta have good hearth protection if something pops out. But the in rush of cold air will cool the stove and the flue. It takes guts to do it because that sucker is rocking. But it will bring it back down. I have had to do it twice with the 30. It ain't fun but it works.

    It breaks the vacuum from the flue that is pulling in primary and secondary air and floods the firebox with cool air. And turns the thing into a fireplace.

    Wear gloves. Have a drink and change your underwear afterward.

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