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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. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    My secondaries kick off pretty early. Stove temps can be below 500 and I will see secondaries. Though, I'm not really concerned with them. No smoke from the chimey and a temp that heats the area is all I am looking for.
    BrotherBart, corey21 and Pallet Pete like this.

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  2. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    Maybe I'll have to re-evaluate my burning technique *cough*cough*. I get some secondaries starting at 400-450F while the stove temp is climbing. If I further reduce the air at that point the stove would start to cool. I'd start to lose the secondaries and just end up with a smoldering fire. If I let it get just a bit hotter before I further reduce the air I end up off-gassing and then the secondaries go nuts....and the stove gets up to the 600F range quick.

    I find it hard to keep it in the Goldilocks zone. Let it run efficiently at 600F+ with plenty of secondaries or run the risk of smoldering and smoking below below that.

    If my wood was 10yrs old it would be easier of course. Right now it is around 18-22%.
  3. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    I had my stove dampered down 90 % at a 450 stove top and she took off to 700 dampered down 90%, Im sure she would have kept climbing If I didnt put a box fan on it. After I put the fan on it it just stayed at 700 for a long time, four ash splits. Crazy
  4. jacksnipe

    jacksnipe Member

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    I don't think this is correct for the Englander NC-30. I believe the air control only effects the air wash, the dog house air comes from the two small holes on the bottom near the front legs. The small rectangular opening on the under side in the rear of the stove is for the secondary burn tubes..
  5. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    The wood is perfect at 18-22 imo, you can't expect much better than that and I don't believe the manufactures of these stoves expect better.

    A bunch of these stories of run away stoves right now, I really think it has a lot to do with the colder temps/improved draft a lot of people may be seeing right now. During my non cat days when it got into the 20's I could shut everything down a little faster due to the draft improving/changing.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Need to correct ya here. The air control has no effect on the doghouse air. The air control controls the primary/airwash air that enter through the round inlet in the back bottom of the stove, comes forward and down the glass and back into the load. The doghouse air is un-regulated and comes in through those two holes behind the leg mounts. The rectangular opened in the back is un-regulated and supplies the secondary air to the tube in the top of the firebox.

    The interactions is that when you close the air control all the way all of the draft is pulling at the doghouse and tubes so the fire intensifies from stronger draft from those sources.
  7. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    I'm willing to agree....it probably has to do with alot of variables. When it comes to secondary type stoves, EPA stoves by nature do not give us complete control. Each load of the same wood will yield a unique fire. A little extra draft or a slight difference in the way the wood was loaded can give a completely different result.

    Since NC30's tend to run hot if not babied and my wood is much drier than last year....I'm just gonna have to spend a little bit more time with the stove as I get the fires going. Its a constant learning process.

    This is of course providing I don't have any leaks....
    lopiliberty likes this.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Sounds like a N/S load not tightly packed and air got through the splits and off gassed the back of the load way early. I have had it happen. Just as I thought things were settled in and I was ready for bed. Well, so much for going to bed for another hour.

    You have the same height chimney that I have. The stove was designed and tested for the draft from a sixteen foot chimney. I blocked off 1/3 of the unrestricted secondary air inlet last season and she burns like a dream without all of the drama.
  9. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    I am not disagreeing with anyone but when I push my controll in towards the unit at about 80% or so there is a marked change in air from the dog house, completly pushed in and there is little jet-stream/blowtorch activity in front of it. Very easy to observe this if one has created a hot tunnel to back of stove when loading. Effect is the same even when the secondaries are jetting. This led me to the description I posted. Pedestal base and oak connected.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I blocked the holes behind the legs four years ago and put the doghouse on a shelf in the garage. And the air control still works. >>
  11. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    I have a feeling that when you close the air lever you are forcing the dog house to have more air flow. A hot fire needs "X" amount of air for combustion. If you remove that air via the main air control, it will "suck" extra air through other means if possible due to the draft of the chimney. The stove compensates for less primary air by sucking more air through the doghouse....and the secondaries.

    I may reduce one of the intake ports for my doghouse air and see what happens....

    BrotherBart....are the doghouse intake ports accessible if you have a pedestal mount instead of legs?
    Huntindog1 likes this.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    You are right. Changes in the intake air via the primary air control shifts the balance of air to the secondary air and the doghouse air. That chimney draft is gonna pull air from the points of least resistance. The back of the ped is open so if have access behind the stove you should be able to reach the holes. The adjustment of the secondary air though is the most beneficial.
  13. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Burnlt13,

    I am interested in the statement you made about your parents stove the QuadraFire 4300.
    Why do you think their secondaries get going so quickly.
    Do they load on a very hot bed of coals.

    Isnt it the QuadraFires that use the Insulating bricks?

    One thing on your NC30, Loading High in the front of the stove kind of blocks the exit path for the smoke gases. What I have found that if you create a little closed area up there around those preheated air inlet tubes it creates an excellent burn chamber to burn smoke gas at very high temps, you almost always gonna get a very hot stove if you load wood high in the front of the stove and partially block the exit path for the heat and smoke to go up the flue.

    If I remember correctly hasnt it been reported that the NC30 your not supposed to load above the fire bricks. This allows a bigger open space up top that will help prevent over heat conditions.
  14. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I haven't noticed a difference.
  15. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    Since the doghouse air holes are up near the front legs and I have a corner installation....with my pedestal I'm not sure I can access them without moving the stove then. I don't think I reach the front from the back. Can you explain how reducing secondary air is more beneficial? I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around that one. I do think I can access that hole though. To me it seems you'd want less primary and doghouse air and more secondary air.

    When I am at my parents house I am the stove operator. They have a QuadraFire 4300 and 3100...both are inserts. I'm not too sure about the insulated bricks. In general they are one fire a day type burners to supplement the heating bill. So almost always its a cold stove. They have a 20-25ft flue.

    My father burns mostly Eco-Bricks and in either stove we put 3 bricks N/S with a quarter of a SuperCedar in between each brick. The bricks are spaced about 1.5" to allow for expansion. Then we put two bricks on top of these bricks facing E/W with a space between them also. If it is really cold out we'll put another brick or two on top for a third layer facing N/S.

    We light the SuperCedar's and close the door. After about 5 minutes its a blazing inferno in there and we close the bypass. At this point the secondaries are lit even though the stove is cold to the touch. Within 30 minutes the stove is dampered down almost all the way and its a very controlled,clean fire with slow but active secondaries.

    The effect is similar using 18-22% oak...the same stuff I'm burning. My wood comes from thier property actually.

    The Quadrafires have a baffle board AND some Rockwool? insullation. They are also much smaller fireboxes than the NC30. My only theory is that smaller fireboxes generally get going quicker and run more efficiently with smaller loads than larger fire boxes. If I don't fill my NC30 with enough wood I have to run it full throttle to get it to burn right. Or to summarize....all fireboxes run best when filled up more?

    If that is true than maybe that is where I'm going wrong. I pack it much closer to the top.
  16. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    I would say its the eco bricks out gasing much faster as they are so dry.
  17. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    Same thing happens with regular oak in thier stoves though. The same Eco-bricks don't perform the same in my NC30. On a cold stove it takes forever for them to light and when they do I don't get much for secondaries. They will burn for a long time though.

    If I put them on a bed of coals it will be an inferno and I'll be dampering down real quick.
  18. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Not sure if others suggested the Ash Pan and make sure that the ash plug is sitting in properly.
    Huntindog1 likes this.
  19. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    I'll double check it but its buried under 2" of ash right now though...
  20. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Also wondering about this - if we're talking about door gaskets, I have originals (3+ years) and they appear to be like new. Mind you, I'm mostly a weekend burner, so that's probably not apples-to-apples comparison, but we've had 6 month + heating seasons, and some really cold spells, so there's been a lot of fire in the stove. I hope I don't have to change these a lot...
  21. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest


    Would those "locations" be the same for the 13NC??
  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yep.
  23. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    One thing I have noticed is that when You have drier wood the primary air can be shut down at lower temps and still get great secondaries.:rolleyes:

    Try dampering down at about 400-425::F instead of Your normal 550::F?

    Your splits must be on the smaller side?

    what ø diameter is Your average split?
  24. herdbull

    herdbull Member

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    I was having some similar issues earlier in the year with my 30 as well. Got rid of the plug in the ash dump, sealed it up on the bottom side and cut a brick to fit where the plug was. I also found some 1 1/4" round magnets, they are now my friend. I have yet to mess with the secondary air as she seems to run better now.

    One thing with the magnets..... when she's running good, say 600-650, the secondaries are going and the main air is closed all the way down you can hear the draft pulling air in through the doghouse. Play with the magnets a bit and you can tame it to your liking. I load N/S and without the magnets it was eating a hole right up through the center of the load of wood at a very high rate. And I was getting high stove top temps and shorter burn times.
  25. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    I agree with this. I had one installed when I put the stove in last year even though the dealer said I didn't need it. I pretty much left it wide open last year, but after reading some more here, I've been figuring out how to use both the stovepipe damper and stove air control, and have been able to control things much better....which wasn't always the case last year. (28' chimney)

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