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Envi Blocks will void my stove warranty!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by isipwater, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Burned properly they burn a lot cleaner than cord wood. If I lived in an urban area this is all I would burn.

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  2. The Maine Stove Guy

    The Maine Stove Guy New Member

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    I would agree with Dave...our customers that use them haven't had problems. Just keep in mind they do burn hotter as they don't have the water content that cut wood generally has. We even suggest them to mix in with the cord wood if someone has a batch of wood that is too green.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum, MSG (we had a past member with the same :cool:). If you are an industry guy, you may want to consider filling out a sig line. Nice to know what professional expertise you bring to the party. Or you may decide to stay semi anonymous, but be aware, I have already sent your avatar to the NSA.:p
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I burned eight packages of Eco Bricks last season and six bricks tight in the middle didn't do any over firing.
  5. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I added two bricks per load in with my "semi-seasoned" wood last year. Had thermometer on the whole time. No issues with too much heat.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'm actually a little more anxious when I burn eucalyptus due to the high oil content of the wood.
  7. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Well, with great reluctance, cancelled my order of Envi blocks. I am sure it would have probably been fine to burn them in my stove, however, I am spending a lot of money, and I don't want any hassles with warranty issues, should an issue arise.

    I do think this is a shame as a new person to wood burning. How can the stove companies be irrational about compressed wood bricks when there is so much positive feedback from people who burn with them. It is my hope that the stove industry and begin to tackle this issue in a way that reflects reality.

    Thanks to all for your feedback about the bricks. Since I have never burned wood for heat before, I will wait a season or two before I feel more confident to burn with the bricks. For now, I am back on the hunt for seasoned cord wood.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good plan. The next load of wood you get, don't accept it until you've checked some of the splits for moisture content on a freshly split face of wood. If the MC is high, reject the load.
    isipwater likes this.
  9. STOVEGUY11

    STOVEGUY11 Feeling the Heat

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    IMHO, they are called wood stoves, and tested as so. They are not called Bio-Brick Stoves! I know some manufactures say they void warranty. Others say they do not recommend them. Others say they are ok if you burn the specific brand that stove manufacture is tested for.
  10. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Huh. We burned ecobricks in our stove no problem-we even had the guy from the stove shop out to do a cleaning the first year and he saw them and didn't tell us we shouldn't be using them! We couldn't ahve made it through our first season without them, we just didn't have dry enough wood (first year with the house...but also, it's our only real heat source).

    Now, you can't just throw them in there, they are meant to be stacked tighter. I imagine if you let enough air get around several of them, there would be a good chance of an overfire.

    The only time we overfired (very slight red glow by the stovetop thermometer that DH couldn't even see, but definately a "paint curing" smell) we were using driftwood kindling and it was just too much of it in there.
    isipwater likes this.
  11. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    I burned a pack of the bio bricks that menards sells last year. I used 2 or 3 blocks mixed in with cut pieces of oak pallet to break in my new stove. I def didn't place them right bc I had that thing at 800F a few times. It's good stuff but you do have to pay attention to how you load it or it will take off!
    isipwater likes this.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Isle Royale is a very willing stove. As you have found out, mixing with pallet wood or any very dry fuel is going to get very lively very quickly. I would stick to cord wood if mixing.
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  13. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

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    Yes, and bio/envi bricks are 100% wood. Albeit, very dry wood. I would encourage Isipwater (the OP) to try both products before committing to a full pallet or more. I mixed bio-bricks with some not so dry wood toward the end of last season (my first) with no troubles at all. Start small, watch how they burn, then work your way up as needed.
  14. Fiziksgeek

    Fiziksgeek Member

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    I burned nearly 2 pallets of the full size evni blocks in my Jotul insert last year, and my parents burned 1 pallet of envi-8 and 2 pallets of the full size...no issues.

    In a single fire I would use 3-4 envi blocks for a shorter burn on a mild day and 6-8 for a longer burn on a colder day.
  15. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    I've used envi and bio blocks to fill the gaps between splits in my LOPI Liberty.At one time I use two envi blocks and four biobricks with no problem on a constant basis.
  16. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    Look there is plenty of seasoned wood to be found about now in Concord and Wilmington,Ma.Google firewood in those two towns and talk to the sellers.Try Marshall farms.He has about a 100 cords of seasoned firewood.He says he'll sell it all so don't wait.The number is 603-738-9429.He's in Concord Ma.
  17. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    State side we have a real problem between compressed wood logs/blocks and the stove mfgs. Which makes for a very poor investment situation from a business standpoint for domestic consumption until the stove mfgs get on board. Europe is not so backward by necessity due to the lack of raw material.
  18. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Yep, to me that distinction between Envi-blocks and wood does not make any sense. Does it also void the warranty if someone stuffs his stoves with 2x4s (made of pine!)? Or well-dried kiln wood? What happens with members that live in Texas or Arizona and get their wood down to 8% moisture content? If a company wants to exclude warranty claims because of overfiring they should include a stove thermometer with an exact spot to put it and a temperature that should not be exceeded. Imagine car manufacturers would deliver their cars without a speedometer. I don't see the difference here.
    alforit and isipwater like this.
  19. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the tip. I just called and he won't deliver to me because I am 60 miles away. I am down far in southeastern Mass. Let me know if you can think of any good suppliers that are closer.
  20. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Agreed, US stove manufacturers are behind. Over-firing is over-firing, which can happen with either cord wood or compressed wood blocks. Yes, there needs to be education about how to properly heat with compressed wood blocks, but the US stove manufactures could be taking a leadership role in this instead of ignoring the compressed wood fuel market.
    firebroad likes this.
  21. kumastoves

    kumastoves Member

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    I fully agree with isipwater in that over firing is over firing. While Kuma does not specifically mention compressed wood, there is a warranty exclusion for improper fuel (coal, etc.) and over firing in general. I have personally burned compressed logs in my own Kuma at home, up to 9 North Idaho Energy Logs at one time. I can also glow the top of my stove every time I use it with cord wood if I don't tend it properly.

    While US manufacturers could be more accepting of compressed wood, and probably will be in the near future, there are many many other ways to overheat your stove. In defense of manufacturers, there has to be some responsibility on the user to understand the basic limits of the product. Manufacturers have just found it easier to give the black and white, rather than detail the grey. I appreciate the analogy given by Grisu with the car and speedometer but even that is not that black and white. With no understanding of the limits of 1st gear, I could damage the car without even reaching half of it's speedometer limit.

    To relate to stoves, how can we relay all of the conditions in which a stove is being over fired? I frequently heat my own stove top to 800 degrees before shutting the air control down. It usually takes 10-20 minutes to reach that after re-fueling, depending on the coal bed. So, if 800 degrees is OK, is 825 over fired, and is the stove warranty void if it reaches 825 for only a few minutes? If 825 is the limit and 800 is safe, how long is 800 safe for? What becomes the safe temperature for 100% duty where you feed the stove like it's running a steam engine?

    With the Kuma warranty not specifically excluding compressed logs, one could argue that a stove damaged by the same is our own fault because we didn't say not to use them.

    I recently sent, under warranty and for the second time, a full set of baffle components to a customer for a 3 year old stove. This time, I simply told them that they are over firing their stove and the components would no longer be warrantied. I don't know if they are using compressed wood, or have too much draft, or are using too small of a stove. In the end, I agree that compressed wood should be allowed in stoves. But "what do you mean; I over fired it" shouldn't let the user off the hook either.

    BTW, 9 energy logs can get a stove pretty toasty.

    Jason
    rasp21 and fox9988 like this.
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Jason - I agree with everything you said. That being said, why is there not a clear cut max temp listed in most operators manuals (this is not in any way directed at Kuma). This is one of the most frequent operational questions we answer on hearthdotcom. Trying to guess the color of the glow is a horrible way to answer a question (and is already at overfire temps as far as I am concerned). In an industry where it is easier to just list black and white answers - why is there no answer to an oft asked question?

    But to digress - yes, an overfire is an overfire - it really doesn't matter how it got there.

    (I am not really trying to put you on the spot, just hoping that someone in the industry can give a non-political answer to this question).
    fox9988 likes this.
  23. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    That is pretty high and I would not run my stove that hot regularly. Cudos to Kuma for building such solid stoves. However, you are asking the same questions that any user has: What is a safe operating temp? How high can I go without damaging the stove? When do I need to interfere with the burning process? Stove manufacturer's simply place that burden on the consumer who have to come to places like here to get an idea how their stove is operated properly.

    I don't think that is what I said. If the manufacturer stated not to heat the stove above 900 F that is it. How that temp has been reached is irrelevant in that case. Why not simply include a $10 stove thermometer in a $2000 purchase (in most cases) with detailed instructions in the manual how to use it to get an efficient burn that is in the safe range? I don't think such a thermometer exists yet but you could easily add a second needle that only moves forward and shows the highest temp reached so far. If it goes in the dark red the stove should be checked by a licensed installer to make sure it is still sound. That is what I would call customer service. Not only sell people a stove but also show them how get the most out of it while operating it safely.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    :eek:;ex Kids, don't try this at home. Those NIELs pack a wallop.

    Jason, I'm sure this was in the name of science and quality control, right?
  25. kumastoves

    kumastoves Member

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    Good question. About 90 percent of our customer service calls go a bit like this:

    Customer: My stove's not working!
    Kuma: You're not burning it hot enough.

    I'm going to take a look at this and recommend an adjustment to the stove manuals. Often times we are too busy to fix things that are working fine. In other words, it won't get changed til someone says "why don't you all add temp guidelines to your manuals?"

    As indicated above, max temp may not actually be black and white. Even if it is a bit more grey, it's a dang important piece of info that admittedly, we haven't done a very good job of addressing. Perhaps something like this (I'm making it up as I go here):

    CAUTION:
    Your Kuma Stove is safe to a maximum surface temperature of 850* (see diagram for temp gauge location). Sustaining temperatures of more than 750* is over firing and will reduce the lifespan of your stove. Optimum operating range is between 500* and 700*.

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