1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Damper Handle Stuck

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by ArsenalDon, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    749
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    I woke up this AM and My new Quadra-Fire Isle Royale stove's damper will not open. The handle is just frozen. There is no wood blocking it, it cannot be creosote buildup because the stove is new. The handle will rock 1/4 inch, enough for me to see the linkage is connected to the baffle and it rocks a bit, it is just frozen...any ideas?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    749
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    Just in case anyone else ever has this happen. It was a simple fix that literally came to me in a dream. The damper simply slit a bit too far to one side. Took a poker, slid the damper over a smidgen and presto, damper opens.

    It helped a lot that I have a top loader to be able to easily access the damper.
  3. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    749
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    Not that this happens every time but I woke up this AM to find I could not operate the damper/baffle handle, it was just stuck. After reading and reading at 4AM online, posting the question on here, no answers, so I just gave up and went back to bed.

    Just in case anyone else ever has this happen. It was a simple fix that literally came to me in a dream. The damper simply slit a bit too far to one side. Took a poker, slid the damper over a smidgen and presto, damper opens.

    It helped a lot that I have a top loader to be able to easily access the damper.​
    Happy Burning!!​
  4. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,294
    Loc:
    south central WI
    I think you are talking about the two part baffle/baffleboard. The rear part does move, so I'm glad you figured it out. Having the two parts jammed
    together is one way to crack the baffleboard. From the front loading doors, you might want to look up at the two baffleboard sections to make sure
    that one of the baffleboard parts didn't crack or fall off. It's the lightweight material under the metal baffle.
  5. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    6,960
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    The question is, why did it happen in the first place? Fly ash built up somewhere on it making it stuck? Needs some graphite lube somewhere?

    Glad you made it operable, but wondering what the issue is that causes it. What kind of stove is this?

    pen
  6. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,294
    Loc:
    south central WI
  7. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    749
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    You are correct about the baffle.....The Baffle board looks no worse for wear however I have noticed lately some pitting in the baffle board. Some of the pits look pretty deep but none have gone through.
    Do you have any idea what is going on with these pits? I am careful not to smash wood into the baffle board so I know I did not do the damage with something hard.
    Lastly, it sounds like you have good experience with the Isle Royale and I am a new owner, what kind of temps do you cruise at with it? I just got a laser thermometer and found out my stove top coil one was crap, it runs 60 degrees over what the laser says.
  8. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    749
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    Yup, it is a Quadra-fire Isle Royale. Not sure what caused it, inspection showed no soot or anything jamming it. It just slid to the side a bit causing it to hang up.
  9. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,294
    Loc:
    south central WI
    I'm glad your baffleboard survived. I don't have any deep pitting in mine, but I did have my original baffleboard replaced under warranty because it it cracked less than
    a year after I owned the stove. I haven't had any trouble with mine though for several years. There's a little minor pitting in mine, but not too deep. I'm not sure
    what causes the pitting.

    I've had a good experience with mine. My wife was just commenting today on what a good stove it's been for us over the past five heating seasons. Every person's stove/
    chimney combo is a little different, so my cruising temps may not be exactly the same as yours. Your laser thermometer was a good idea. You'll notice as you play the
    laser around the stovetop that the temps fluctuate quite a little bit depending on where you point. This ipod pic is a little dark and blurry, but you can get an idea where
    I put my thermometer or point my laser thermometer for comparison. With the thermometer set there, I try to cruise between 550 and 650. I don't worry if I touch 700
    for a few minutes, but I try to avoid 700. I'm at 400 on the thermometer now, but that's after cruising temps of several hours.

    Attached Files:

  10. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,294
    Loc:
    south central WI
    It happened to me once too during the first year of the stove and also kinda freaked me out. I was surprised that the back baffle/metal piece moves and seems to be held in place by gravity. It never happened to me again, but I rarely top load also. I really like the access that the double front doors gives me to the firebox, and it's also easier for me to flip the andirons back and forth, which I do often while reloading
  11. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    749
    Loc:
    Meadow Valley, CA
    You have been a big help...one more question for now. The owners manual says to run the stove wide open for 15 minutes a day. Do you know what is open? startup air? plus air control full up? do you know if they mean damper open too? Do you ever run for a short time with the ash door cracked open to get up to temps faster? So what does wide open mean? I am guessing this is to burn off creosote?
  12. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,294
    Loc:
    south central WI
    Good questions. I don't remember that from the owner's manual anymore, but I'm sure that I run it wide open for longer than 15 minutes per day. By wide open, I think they mean either the start-up air and primary air (for a completely new fire from a cold firebox) or from the wide open primary air when doing a re-load on coals. I only use the start-up air when starting a brand new fire from a cold firebox. As soon as the chimney hits temps of 400 based upon my probe thermometer (which happens to be when the fire is going pretty good and likely to continue growing quickly), I shut off the start-up air. That's usually in 10 to 15 minutes. From this point, my procedure is about the same for new fires or reloads. I keep the primary air open until I hit temps of 500-550, and then start to close it down so that it levels off at about 600-650. That's at least 20 minutes on a new fire and at least 15 minutes on a reload.

    The only time that I might crack the doors open is on a reload. If I don't have many coals left on the reload, it will ignite the new load more quickly, so that the wood doesn't
    smolder as long before catching. As soon as it ignites, the door goes closed. It's a bad idea to ever leave the room with the door cracked. Life happens (kids, dogs,
    emergency phone calls), and it's too easy to let the fire get away from you. If I have a normal reload, and the fire catches in a few seconds, I don't crack the door.

    Last, the wide open burns at the beginning of the reload do help burn off that light dusting of creosote that everyone gets even when burning good seasoned, dry
    wood and with good burning practices. Since this is your first year burning with the Isle Royale, I recommend checking your chimney monthly during your first burning
    season until you are confident how much creosote is forming. I've found that I can generally go a whole season and only end up with a couple of cupfuls at the
    end of the season (with a 20 foot plus chimney). Even with that though, if I get a nice day in January or February with a dry roof, I'll go up there and take a peek down
    the chimney to make sure that nothing has changed.

Share This Page