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Darn Englander 30 Went Nuclear Two Days in a Row Now....

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BurnIt13, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    This is more of a rant than anything but what the heck! Two days in a row I've caught my Englander 30 going Nuclear without a reason I can figure out!

    I start a fire at 5:45am. I am using Oak that is 2+ years old at around 20%. Some are dryer some are wetter. I load about 7 medium splits in there and a half a SuperCedar. The door stays cracked for about 5 minutes (10 tops) while the fire gets going.

    I make my coffee, close the door and gradually damper the air down step by step. I drink my coffee and eat some toast while monitoring the fire. I then head upstairs to take a shower after things have settled in. This is usually around 6:15am or so.

    At this point the air control is 95% closed, maybe a 1/4" or 1/8" open. The surface temp of the stove is about 550F (IR gun), stack temp in the double wall is about 500F (probe thermometer). Secondaries are lit but lazy.

    Should be good for a nice long burn no?!?!? This is how I normally manage my fires and it normally goes just fine.....except for the past two days. Yesterday I thought it was a fluke but the same thing happened today!

    I get out of the shower and go downstairs only to find a NUCLEAR INFERNO!!! Secondaries are massive and the whole load of wood is ablaze. Surface temps are 850F and stack temps are 1000F. Yikes!!!

    I then close the air completely and turn the blower on high. After 15 minutes the surface temp is down to 700F and the secondaries are still active....but what I'd consider normal.

    The main problem about this is the house is now 88F and uncomfortable and the load of wood is going to be spent by 10am! What gives!::-)

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  2. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    It almost sounds like a bad gasket to me. I have found over the years that I have to change the gasket once a year but there is the rare occasion that I need to do that after 6 months. The secondary on our old stove would go insane with a bad gasket then calm down after the top of the load was burned away. This one well there is no controlling this bad boy with a bad gasket.

    Pete
  3. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    How tall is the chimney?

    I can't imagine the stove climbing to 800 on me once I've shut the air down when it is at 550.

    Is the door sealing properly when closed?
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Any chance you have a bad gasket, leak, or door that's not closing quite right? Also, how does the Englander air control work? Any chance that's not closing as well as you think it is, due to dirt or debris?
  5. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Geez... triple shot of the same answer within the same minute! ;lol
  6. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    Trust me its very possible!
  7. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Air control only affects primary from dog house. small rectangular opening on back just below and ahead of blower is secondary inlet, no control on it also 2 more inlets up front either side behind where the legs get mounted -airwash no control on these either.
    I had a heck of a time getting mine started this morning, kinda warm out( high 30's) draft wasn't pulling so good combined with some maybe damp silver maple( external only) and a very small coal bed ( just cleaned out ash) Weather here is all over the temp range one day 50's next low 20's for a high. I had the secondaries going when I left. Hopefully the place will still be standing when I return or the 30 will be in the basement along mega gallons of water, hard way to remodel.
  8. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    I shut my stove down as low as 400 depending on the load and usually end up cruising at 650 with the blower on high speed. A strong draft with lit secondaries can produce a lot of heat quickly. I have a different brand stove, but it seems to be a general problem with secondary burn stoves.
  9. MaintenanceMan

    MaintenanceMan Burning Hunk

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    Southern IN
    Really? I am surprised that you have to replace it that soon. I figured door gaskets would go two or three years at least. I am curious if this is what most stove users find and if I should plan on replacing mine yearly.
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Which is why I asked about the chimney height.
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    For the most part no, that isn't the case. Some stoves require more maintenance, though. I can't imagine changing the gaskets twice a burn season. Not sure what's going on there.
  12. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    My old stove said to replace Biannually however it needed it annually. Our current stove says annually ! You will want to check the manual of your stove to see its recommendation. That said I change them by feel so when I see it is getting a little harder to control and adjusting the latch does not fix the issue it is time to change the gasket.

    Pete
  13. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    Wow thanks for the quick replies!!! The chimney is a total of 21ft tall from the top of the stove to the cap. 5ft of double wall stove pipe and 8ft of double wall chimney pipe go through the interior of the house through a chase. It then pokes through the roof and there is another 8ft of chimney pipe. Top of the cap is 8ft away from the peak of the roof and is 2.5ft higher than the peak.

    Outdoor temperatures the past week have been pretty consistent. Morning lows of upper 20's. No wind.

    I cleaned my chimney pipe (SootEater) and stove on November 1st. I checked the door gasket then with a dollar bill and it was fine.

    I'm at work now but will definitely check it again when I get home. This winter begins the 2nd season of burning on this stove.
  14. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    It is because it sometimes comes un cemented if the cement was not laid right. that has happened 1 time in the last 6 years just plain crappy cement job I did.

    Pete
  15. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Maybe not just the front door gasket. There are many other possible leak sources.

    Might pay to get some magnets or a ball of tinfoil to stuff in your air inlet holes, next time this happens. Then again, if mass amounts of air are leaking in from some other source, that may not help.
  16. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Was the top glowing red in the center ? Even if not check the welds for cracks or warped tubes as well. It is hard to warp or crack tube but I have seen it a few times on here. You should be ok for short burst at that temp but I would not want to be there for long !

    Pete
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Ah, well that I can relate to. Stupid Encore damper gasket... <>
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  18. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like a bad gasket to me.

    Plus a 21 foot chimney.
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Install a pipe damper. It will add an additional level of control and should calm things down when the stove over-reacts like this. A pipe damper is a cheap item to purchase and easy to install.
    Bluerubi likes this.
  20. deck2

    deck2 Burning Hunk

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    Does your stove have an ash pan, is it sealed well?
  21. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Replacing gaskets once or twice per year??? That sounds crazy. Mine are almost 10 years old and it will still tear a dollar bill in half.:oops:
  22. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    That stove has a ash clean out hole in the floor of the firebox might want to check that.
  23. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    The stove was not glowing red. The first thing I did was turn the lights off to see if anything was glowing. It *only* hit 850F. I've only hit that a few times so it certainly isn't a regular occurrence. But I bet you'd be surprised how often that happens with Englander 30's. I hear that all the time on these forums. They LOVE to run hot.

    A damper isn't a bad idea....something good to have just in case.

    There is a couple inches of ashes in the bottom of the stove so I think the ash pan was adequately sealed. I did check to make sure the door was shut and it was. I have never used the ash pan though.....its ridiculously small.

    In addition to doing a dollar bill test I will buy some incense sticks to help see if there are any other leaks. Could be the glass gasket too I suppose.
  24. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    Knock on wood - I've not had any run-away's with my Englander 30 - yet. My chimney is around 24 ft (6 inch dia class A) tall if I recall correctly. My gaskets are good and flue pipe off the stove sealed very well too. I read from time to time the Englander 30 taking off, but so far, mine has been ultra controllable. When the temps dip in January this year (last year was very warm) if the stove behaves.
  25. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    My limited experience with the 30NC is that the secondaries don't really light until the stove gets hot. Assuming I have no leaks I believe I just created a perfect storm for the secondaries.

    The stove was warmed up to 550F after only 30min and I had lazy secondaries. Sounds good for a long burn right? I think the wood was off-gassing like crazy and the secondaries got fed tons of fuel. It then ran away even though the air was 95% closed.

    The one thing I don't like about the 30NC is that it needs to be hot before the secondaries take over. With the same exact wood in my parents Quadrafire 4300, the secondaries are practically lit before you close the door.

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