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Damperslide- Question on use

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by hardwood715, Oct 27, 2006.

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  1. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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    From asking questions here on the forum, I have learned almost everything I know about my stove from you folks, that said, I am getting the feel of using the easy spin air controls on the doors of my stove, more open- more air, more heat. now the one thing I have no clue about, but hear mentioned alot from the old timers around here, is to damper down, not getting confused with closing the air inlets, do they mean closing the damper or on my stove called the damperslide, basically the stove flue, to retain heat slow burn etc, Is this safe to do? I know open her up to start fire,- I have been keeping it open all the way till the coals die out then shutting her up all the way to prevent cold air from chimney coming in. during burning, can this be partly closed, and if so is this done to prolong fire, retain heat? Trying not to sound too stupid here, but wanna learn all I can! Again this is not a 8 inch, 6 inch flue opening, but a damperslide that opens and closes the entire rear of stove, 3"X 30" thanks, and hope I'm not confusing the issue.

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  2. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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    Elk? Help! No post goes un answered, wanna take a stab at it, How about it BB can i close the damper a little? would it help? 31 views no reply, I'm gonna have to trial and err her! Maybe because its common sense that ain't to common to me :)
  3. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I stab at er ,

    Damper down is a statement is closing down of the air inlet and or air flow of air. The newer stoves of today normally only have the air inlet control if its being of 1 main air inlet or 1 main and 1 secondary air inlet.
    The newer EPA stoves of today dont normally have the pipe or exit air control damper unless a stove have a lot of extra draft.

    The older stoves normally had inlet air and a pipe damper and both were being used more times than not.
    What i used to do with the old Fisher style stove is set the door air inlets to how ever i was burning per the time of year and then used the pipe damper to control the fire.
    The newer stoves but not EPA stoves that had i air control and not the "door screws" style air inlets i would control the fire with the 1 air inlet and the damper was open to start a fire and then cloase half way once the fire was started and use the front air control to manage the fire.
    All the older stoves i have run had 8" chimney pipe.
    The newer EPA stoves normally run on the 6" pipe and tho they have normally 1 air control it is still being called dempering down when controling the air inlet.
    All stoves are different and take some pratcic to run and find the best settings over time.
  4. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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    Exactly what the Fisher guys around here were saying, but in my case its like a chimney damper
    only opening and closing the actual insert. Yes thanks for stabbing at her, they said to control fire, set the air screws, knobs whatever, to either hot, quick fire, or longer burn fire, then you can close the damper to control fire, I guess if i close her to far, smoky house right?

    thanks for help
  5. Dave_1

    Dave_1 New Member

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    The heaven you say! You mean that there are other Bears on this board?!? Don‘t be calling for Elk! :lol:

    Seriously, as you have correctly analyzed, dampering down was the last setting before us “old timers” sat back in our rocking chairs to enjoy the heaters burn time. A manual damper was usually installed in the first section of the stove pipe leaving the heater flue. But the operator was forced to constantly attend to it’s setting in order to get the, supposedly, optimum burn time & heat output from their heater.

    So in time most recognized the manual damper for what it truly is, a pain & a creosote collector. It is a weak link in the burning process because of the variables involved in correctly setting it. Consequently most either removed it or set it wide open & have lived happily ever since.

    However, some went to an automatic damper on their heaters in order to get that elusive optimum burn time & heat output. Please read all of the following thread regarding an automatic damper operation in nshif’s situation.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/3558/

    Once you understand the Fisher’s operation with either a manual / automatic damper control apply such knowledge to your situation. Where in the heater does your slide damper sit? Is it below or above the wood? If above, then you have an opportunity of trying to learn just how to correctly set it for each load of wood since the type of wood, the moisture content, the then atmospheric conditions will not be the same as the last time you set it. If below I would close it & forget it as the door screws are all you need.

    Good luck with it,

    Dave
  6. JMF1

    JMF1 New Member

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    Might Hardwood be talking about a "bypass damper" ? If so, once the fire is established, close it.
  7. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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    No I'm talking about what the stove mfgr called a damperslide- its actually my stoves flue opening except it opens and closes by a rod to a plate that extends the whole width of the stove upper rear ABOVE baffle diameter 3 Inches X 30 inches . its a 1980 gold mark similiar to the fisher inserts EXCEPT for the flue!
  8. Dave_1

    Dave_1 New Member

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    That being so then it will be up to you if you want to constantly fiddle with it‘s setting. Some folks like to tinker, I’m just too lazy. :)

    Dave
  9. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Since your "damper" was built into the design of the stove as opposed to an add on, you may as well experiment with it. It doesn't sound as if it would be a creosote collector like a stove pipe damper. If you find it's not working out, you can just leave it open.
    Me...my stove pipe damper (crusted with buildup) went into the trash heap with the old stove pipe. I didn't replace it and have not missed it. Although I did not try to control the burn with mine, I just opened it up when burning and closed it when not. My air inlets allow me total control over the firebox.
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    30 years or more of wood burning and they all were not EPA specials.
    Franklin fireplace stove that had a mind of its own Plenty of compromised situations Including dumping burning logs in tha metal bucket to slow things down
    I've seen cherry red. I have rehabed a few fishers last year essentually cleaned them up gasketed the door and painted them then gave them away to less fortunate famillies.
    I was not always an inspector. I have used the inline damper I have my third stove setup now that has one. From all this It has added to my learning experiences I helping another forum member re-build his Villagant


    Dave miss part of my message of maybe I did not make it clear I hate to see nicices purchase from a yard sale old dilapitated stoves then thing they can just hook them up.
    An experienced burner this could work but to the novice? The label and listing code my interpetation is to ptotect these people from themselves. I have one such stove I use just to fire a couple of times a year. I know how to safely burn it. In my office at times I make a judgement call once I determine the opperator's abilities or knowledge I have seen the old steel plate stoves buldge and split their welds from overfiring.


    Dampering down by Elk if the stove has a builtin damper and a secondary smoke passage or combustion chamber which most modern stoves have the Damper is engaged once the stove reaches 500 degrees or better and t decent bed of coals exist anf the burn is well developed One dampers down to initiate a secondary burn in that secondary combustion chammber.
    Smoke and its particulates can combust, if hot enough burning energy that normally would exit the chimney It is also amther way to slow down the burn and trap more heat and lengthen the productive heat release. Wet wood or initiating the dampre will lead to more cresote build up thyis damnper gives you two controls the inlet air and now the outlet exhaust.

    What happens over time is the secondary air passages become clogged and dampering down starves the fire. IT can't exhaust in the secondary air passages clodgged.

    The bast mantainance routine I have is pulling that stove out and with a blow gun blow that sucker out. and vac it. Once you re install it it acts like a brand new stove.

    Some dissesembly is required. I doubt these yard sale stoves have been cleaned to this extent and are prone to failure. There is a thread of a rebuild going on now never mantained ash clogged the air and exhaust outlets never ran right.
  11. Dave_1

    Dave_1 New Member

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    Hi Elk,

    BeGreen set me on a mission that has been a real eye opener. In reading the links that he gave, which reference other links, that reference others, etc I keep noticing a recurring theme about today’s vaunted heaters. They only have a life expectancy of 15-20 years, while the cheaper ones are shorter then that, because they, supposedly, “degrade rapidly“.

    (Scroll half way down the page to “Appliances”)

    http://www.ec.gc.ca/cleanair-airpur/CAOL/wood_stove_replace/wood_stove_rep_e.cfm#replace

    <snip>
    “We can expect a 40-year lifetime expectancy for good quality stoves (Houck and Tiegs (1998) while inexpensive models of lower quality degrade rapidly when used at their maximum capacity and have to be replaced every few years (Gulland Associates Ltd, 1997). In Australia, industry suggests that wood heaters have a working life of 15-20 years (Environment Australia, 2002).”
    <snip>

    (Also, in the following link, testers now cite 15-25% moisture content (mc) as acceptable. But yet in the same study, & other studies that I’ve given previously to BeGreen, the same testers whine about creosote build up from wood having 20-25% mc.
    Like the saying goes; This ain’t rocket science, its just common sense. (See point 2.11, pages 36-38).

    http://www.omni-test.com/Publications/rwctr.pdf)

    Thus your personal rehabilitation of Fishers is, as Artie Johnson used to say; "Very interesting". Your claiming that only a cleaning is required to put the Fishers back to work speaks volumes about their construction & durability. So when you state

    I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that you are not talking about Fishers. Is that a correct assumption?

    Elk, what post(s) are you referring to since you only have one post on this thread?

    Thanks,

    Dave
  12. Dave_1

    Dave_1 New Member

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    Steve,

    Thought you would like to see the article on automatic damper / thermostat operation. According to Mother-Earth-News (Sept/Oct 1982), Dr Stockton Barnett came up with a device that in effect simulates the function of an automatic barometer damper yet operates as a thermostat. If there is a local “Blaze King” dealer near you it would behoove you to check out thoroughly the “Automatic Thermostat” operation. From the way you describe your heater you could easily adapt this feature to the GMFI?

    <snip>

    “The Condar Company, for one, has dedicated a lot of effort to achieving ignition in a catalyst at low burn rates. The firm's design — which was developed over the last two years by Dr. Stockton Barnett and tested extensively through the winter of 1981-82 — was licensed to Blaze King and American Eagle in June, and production models should be available by late fall of this year. According to testing done by Barnett in several extensively monitored homes, the prototype stoves are capable of maintaining a heating efficiency of about 80% at burn rates of some 2-1/2 pounds of wood per hour.”

    <snip>

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/DIY/1982_September_October/Cleaning_Up_Wood_Heat_for_1982_83

    Now see the following link & note on pages 2-3, under “automatic Thermostat”, the operation / run zone.

    http://www.blazeking.com/manuals/Brochures/Brochures 2006/70796 King.pdf

    The best,

    Dave
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Hardwood, now that a lot of hot air has gone up the flue in this thread, here is the real deal for your stove.

    I have the exhaust port slide damper on the Sierra like your Marc has. It is a great tool for balancing draft in the stove and maintaining a "secondary" burn up at the baffle. It takes some practice to find the sweet spot but it is there. The chimney has to be warmed up and it is best used to balance the stove for the "overnight" burns. When you find the spot you will find that the slide damper closed part way and the primary air partially open will make her sing to ya heat wise and burn time wise.

    I think if you look you might find that you can't close it completly. At least Sierra designed theirs that way to keep ya from snuffing the fire and filling the house with smoke. If it can be closed completely for gosh sakes don't ever do it with a fire going or coals in the stove.

    What I can't figure out is how you are going to figure out the burn without glass in the front of that pup. I get to watch for the baffle to light off. Usually at a stove top temp of around 500.
  14. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Dave I install door gaskets and you are right about fishers being durable. As an inspector all fishers I have donated, were ul listed which means they were manufacturedf rom 1979
    I agree they are no better than the 1978 ones, but I have to be consistant and bound by code. John Tuggs will be the first one to tell you how he was able to get his garison Installed and permitted. I had a little to do with that. The dander is air leaking by the door and uncomtroled burns, novices in over thier head and the dampering ,which leads to cresote build up.
    I make a judgement weigting all factors, dry wood ? Are you telling me I should be more ridgid or less. An empty gun is not a threat, but one bullit changes that?
  15. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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    BROTHERBART ! Yeah, NOW IT FIGURES WHY--- Pull my stove out regularly, (Thanks to ELK ) all 450 pounds of her, to clean- inspect the damper area of fireplace, smoke shelf etc. Where the damperslide closes on my stove I notice its bowed a little, Stove body! Now i'm thinking hmm must be warped, Damperslide wont close all the way, I'm only talking maybe eighth of inch, I tap with a hammer, no way that steel is bending, GO FIGURE= they were smart enough to let smoke escape even with the thing closed! Prevent idiots like me from calling 911! SO like them guys were saying, And you just confirmed, they work together-the spin knobs and damperslide, Yeah ! where my doors meet, fully closed, there is a pin head size opening, and with the knobs open one can actually see some flame, if you dont touch the stove with your nose, you may be able to see the fire, only guy in my office in Jan with sunburn! thats how I try to see the flames vs coals vs smoke, wifey thinks i'm fricken just down right crazy, comes down in middle of night looks like im liplocking stove- trying to peer in that peek hole, thanks BB, thanks a lot! I'll experiment with caution!
  16. Dave_1

    Dave_1 New Member

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    Hi Elk,

    Have never even implied that you are to ignore, suspend, etc any part of your job obligations.

    Having not seen the number of Fisher’s that you have, your input is valuable in verifying their construction & durability. After reading multiple posts & links, it is my opinion that most heaters manufactured prior to EPA were solidly constructed because such were designed to run continuously at their maximum output. Today’s heaters cannot for doing such quickly destroys them. Thus the busted welds, warped baffles, etc you see even in the expensive heaters, as this form constantly proves. The reason? The steel content has been reduced in order to save on mfgr cost.

    According to those that test wood heaters, a manual damper operation is a guess. There are too many variables one must adjust the damper to in order to reap the benefits, even if running to a thermometer. Those who run by sight, no thermometer, must continuously view the heater’s flame, or lack thereof, in order to adjust the damper to capture the gaseous burn benefit. I do not believe that the vast majority of wood burners are that totally focused.

    My Fisher has never had gaskets. When a fire gets too hot I close the screws. Yes, air squeals by the unjacketed doors, but since the temp starts dropping within 2 minutes it is obvious the air is minuet. Any novice can quickly learn the procedure.

    Thanks, for responding

    Dave
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