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Country Flame BBF experiences(Season 3, pg. 3)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Chargerman, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    369
    Loc:
    SW Wisconsin
    Hello,

    I have been visiting the site as a guest for a while now and my County Flame BBF fireplace insert is now up and running. Thanks to all that take the time post their experiences and knowledge. There is a wealth of info here and it has been very helpful to me.

    The BBF is not mentioned much so maybe I can post some results over the coming winter months to give others some feedback. It is the largest model made by Country Flame and is a catalytic stove. I bought it locally used out of a shopper for a very good price. It was barely used by the previous owner and is in really nice shape. I did have to replace the combustor which is quite pricey compared to other stoves. It is a well built and heavy unit(600lbs.) that I installed myself.

    I will be heating a 2300 sq ft ranch home that has a fairly open concept design. Hopefully, it will be enough to heat our house through the cold Wisconsin winters.(if not I have a line on a free Yukon Jack add on furnace to use for back up) So far we have had several nights in the mid 20's and days in the low 40's and the house stayed above 70 on three small to medium loads of elm with the blower on medium. I do know for sure it has not consumed nearly as much wood as the Yukon Big Jack in my old house(which I loved) but it is not an apples to apples comparison yet either. The true test will come when the needle dips below freezing and don't come back up for a good long time.

    Hoping for the best.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Hit us with some pictures of that good looking big bad boy. They are a bunch of wood stove.
  3. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    369
    Loc:
    SW Wisconsin
    Here is a picture of the BBF and all my wife's lighthouse do dads on the mantle. I used some leftover glass tile from a bathroom remodel and some salvage Marble for a surround. I also installed 18" tile in front along the length of the fireplace.

    I have yet to fire it up real hot when I am not home as I am still testing the waters. At these outside temps(40's) the cat is idling away at 600 degrees down from 800 at noon today off a cold start with no visible smoke coming out the chimney. I had the 600cfm fan on high to bring the house temp up quicker and in 4 hours it dropped 200 degrees on 2 small splits and a 4" round of elm. The combustion was set about a 1" open on each side once it was up to temp. I probably should have opened it up some more though. The door glass hasn't been cleaned for a few days and it showing some black.

    Attached Files:

  4. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    A little update and on a somewhat good note the heat distribution through the house seems to be pretty good. At this point I only have 2 small fans that are moving the heat fairly well. From the room where insert is to the farthest bedroom it is a 4 degree drop and to the living room on the other end of the house it drops about 2-3 degrees.

    Burned a slightly larger load today with a little more combustion air and the BBF kicked out some pretty serious heat. The cat lit off and ran up to about 1250degrees and leveled off. After kicking the fan on high it cruised at around 1100-1200 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours and slowly tapered off to about 800 degrees after four hours or so. Stove temp taken on the front of the insert above the right door corner was a little over 400 at its highest point. Not sure what the top temp is because it is not accessible to me.

    It is going to take a while to get it figured out but everyday seems a little better.
  5. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
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    Loc:
    SW Wisconsin
    Thought I would add a few more pics of the BBF in action. I took some with the lights on and then some without to show the flames better. This is after bringing it up to temp and then shutting down the air for the overnight burn. The hardest thing this time of year is getting this hunk of iron up to temperature from a cold start when it is not being continuous fired day to day. Once the temps drop it should be pretty smooth sailing between loads.

    So far heat output and burn times have been very good. I have been burning a mixture of elm and walnut.

    Attached Files:

  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Ohhh Yeahhh. That is one sharp looking beast. That must be one big pit on the inside of that thing for 3.9 cu.ft. of fire box.
  7. 53flyer

    53flyer New Member

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    Loc:
    Eastern WA
    Is this what you have? I can't see most pics that people post in here so I'm usually guessing a bit... If so, that's a beast! A very large firebox and accepts huge cuts of wood compared to just about anything else (typically 16-20"). http://www.woodstoves.net/country_flame/bbf.htm

    I don't know why but only about 5% of people's pics appear for me...
  8. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

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    It is a rather large fireplace. I did take lots of measurements before I bought it. The guy selling it couldn't get it to fit in his pit so that is how I ended up with it.
  9. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    That is the one except mine is a little older model. It does not have the optional gold trim which my wife doesn't like the looks of anyway. It will take quite an armload of wood to fill it up.
  10. bren582

    bren582 Member

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    Loc:
    Monmouth County NJ
    I like it in Black.. Man, that beast really fills up the fireplace.. I would imagine you will have no issue with overnight burns!!
  11. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    SW Wisconsin
    Just a little update on my experiences.

    Over the holidays I had the chance to play around with the BBF insert and have been easily getting 11-12 hour burns with excellent coals to start up off. The firebox has not been loaded fully(probably 3/4) and I have been using a mixture of splits and small rounds of walnut and elm. I have some oak splits for later this winter that should burn longer.

    I noticed that shutting the fan down to low towards the end of the 11-12 hour burn it will still have nice coals well over 16 hours. Cat thermometer was still reading around 250-300 degrees once the fan was shut off. On one occasion I did let the stove run out for over 24 hours and still had coals to stir that did light off some pine kindling.

    The only real complaint is the side glass does not stay very clean. I kinda expected that with the long burns but the door glass has stayed relatively clean with the airwash.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sweet deal on some serious heat. It looks great in that setting. Nice job.
  13. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    That does look nice. And speaking of Country Flame, not trying to hijack the thread here but can anyone identify this model?[​IMG]
    Guy's ad says "It measures 36" wide and 30" tall and has an automatic three speed fan. "
    but does not give model etc. I wrote the guy to try to get more info, but he has not written back, which may mean it's sold, but figured it's worth a try. I would have to see the manual and whatnot before I would have any idea if I could use it, but altough the pic is dark it does appear to be in real nice shape and be a fairly recent model. These are made in PA right?
  14. pgmr

    pgmr Feeling the Heat

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    Nice looking install. Can't tell from your picture - is the mantle some type of stone? If it's wood, it might be a tad too close to the top of the stove.

    Do you have the blower plugged into a receptacle in the fireplace?
  15. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    That looks like an all stone mantel to me! Matches the hearth.
  16. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

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    Is that a catalytic stove? I don't have any experience with anything except the BBF but Country Flame made a model R and a model E cat stoves that were smaller than the BBF and didn't have bay windows. I tried to buy one of the new left over model R's a couple weeks ago from a wholesaler but it was sold. There is also a model B but that has bay windows. My BBF is 36" wide so that stove is either quite large or the measurement is wrong.

    Here is a link I found on some of the older models. http://www.fireplacespluscm.com/freewoodcountry.htm

    Country Flame was bought out a few years ago by American Energy and all the cat stoves except the BBF were discontinued. I think they were from Missouri and now they are in Hutchison, Minnesota.
  17. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
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    The mantle is stone like the hearth so no problems there. I drilled a small 1/2" hole through the back side of the hearth and ran the cord down to a receptacle in the basement. I didn't really have room in the firebox and was worried that it would get too hot. I also didn't want a cord running exposed along the length of the hearth.
  18. pgmr

    pgmr Feeling the Heat

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    Great idea. Was the cord inside the masonry structure down in the basement? If so, how did you fish it out?
  19. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

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    My stone hearth was elevated and open underneath originally. My wife and I did not like the look so we added the glass tile and 18" floor tile to get proper front clearance. I drilled through the hearth and then drilled down through the floor and mounted a receptacle on a joist. I had thought about dropping it down the ash dump in the fireplace and fishing it out in the basement but again I had concerns with the cord directly under the stove.
  20. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the info! I wish I could find out more about these stoves, because now there is an even cheaper one in my area, but again I can't identify the model. I have already bought and sold one other craigslist stove because it turned out it wouldn't work with my hearth, so I don't want to get anything where I can't check out the manual and clearances, but it's a bummer when there is a decent stove for $200 to have to spend $1200 for something equivalent!
    Here's the cheapie one in case anyone recognizes it!
    [​IMG][​IMG]
  21. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

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    First real steady cold snap here this year.

    High of 28 yesterday with a low of 18 degrees this morning. Put two splits and two 4-5" rounds in the stove at 11pm, got it up to temp, and shut down the air. Went to bed and the house was at 73, woke up at 6am and the house was at 71 and the cat probe was still reading at 400degrees with the 600cfm fan on high. Added a couple more pieces of wood and she shot back up to 1000degrees. Left for work and the house was back up to 74 already. Coldest room in the whole house is 68 degrees.

    So far so good.
  22. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    SW Wisconsin
    Another performance update. We survived the 12" of snow and blizzards yesterday and now the cold has set in. -7 degrees without the wind chill this morning with highs in the single digits today. Going back below zero again tonight.

    I honestly wasn't sure how the BBF insert would do in these temps because my house is rather large, the insulation is not the best, and there are lots of big windows that are almost 40 years old. I loaded the stove at about 10pm last night, got it up to temp, and shut the air down completely because the draft was quite good. The room with the insert was at 72 degrees and the bedrooms were at 68 degrees. Woke up at 4:30 this morning and checked the stove. The insert room was 68 degrees, bedrooms were 65 degrees. The Cat thermometer was at 500degrees with the fan on high and went to 800 degrees when I shut off the fan. I then moved some of the wood that was left around and stirred the coals up to help burn it down. While messing with the stove the house had dropped to 67 degrees so I opened up the air some and got ready for work. I checked the stove again after about a 1/2 hour and the cat thermometer was at 700 degrees with the fan on and the house was up to 69.

    The bigger coals had burned down so I loaded it up again, let it burn hot for a few minutes, engaged the Cat, and shut down the air after a couple minutes. After 45 minutes the Cat thermometer was at 1100 degrees with the fan on and the house was up to 70 degrees.

    At least that tells me it can maintain a comfortable temperature without needing to kick in the furnace. Now I just need to get my attic insulation up to par and get my other BBF set up down in the basement for these cold temps and in case of a power outage.
  23. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

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    I like the updates and am very impressed witht the results your having. Do you load n-s or e-w? Whats the longest peice you can get in the firebox?
  24. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

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    Last night I loaded N-S as it seems to burn hotter. This morning I placed three small rounds N-S and the two larger splits E-W to see how that works.

    Manufacturer claims a 29" log capacity. I have burned about 24" stuff without any problem so far.
  25. Chargerman

    Chargerman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Update:

    House is still nice and warm. Did have to use the NG furnace to take out the chill a couple mornings when I got lazy and didn't refill right before going to bed on a couple sub zero nights. Stove still had good coals in the morning though.

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