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Errrrrr.....first and hopefully LAST overfire on Jotul 400 castine

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Soadrocks, Dec 19, 2009.

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  1. Soadrocks

    Soadrocks New Member

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    I was getting a nice fire going before I left for the gym. It was stacked pretty well. I waited about 45 minutes and it got up to 600, and started to pull back the air. Waited another 17 minutes, pulled it back a little more (slightly over half closed) while the temp peaked at 650, and then I left as I thought it was going down in temps. I left and my wife came home 30 minutes later to see the fire at over 800 and quickly closed the air completely. Lesson learned. Nothing looks to be warped. Made me nervous....So much to learn!!!!!

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  2. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    You got hot, but probably not hot enough to be worried about.

    My target is to let it get to 550 or 600 degrees then pull back the air one quarter, then monitor it for 5-10 minutes. Then, if the temperature continues to rise or is stable, pull it back another quarter and watch it about 5 minutes. Then, after two more pulls five minutes apart and it's in a long-burn secondary burn cycle. As long as the wood is dry, and I have 4-5 pieces in the stove with air around them, this works fine. I wouldn't think that you would have to wait 20 minutes between air adjustments. I also make a point to not leave the house until I have minimum primary air on the stove.
  3. buffygirl

    buffygirl New Member

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    Soadrocks -- Understand where you are coming from -- I'm struggling trying to learn to burn the Oslo -- it seems so unpredictable -- just when I think I've mastered it something like this happens -- don't like the temperature spiking when I have closed it up. One of my problems is I've been burning wood for 30+ years and never had any problems. Thankfully, there are so many posts here on this forum with info -- keep reading! Merry Christmas.

    Buffygirl
    Learnin to burn Jotul Oslo
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The temperature increase is because the volatile wood gas is being cleanly burned off. It's a pretty normal and predictable process once you get the hang of it. Just start closing the air down at an earlier temperature. More like 450 to 500, once the secondaries fire off. Don't close it all the way off, just close it down to the point where the secondaries get lazy and ghostlike. At first this may be only 50% closed. The stove will continue get hotter with the secondary burn and then you can close it down some more, maybe to 25% or all the way closed depending on draft. You've shut it down too far it the flames go out. Ideal is that lazy wafting secondary burn, often blue in color.

    PS: The Castine can take 800 without issue, particularly for a short burn. I wouldn't make a habit of it, but don't lose sleep over it.
  5. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    I have been burning with EPA inserts for 6 winters now. Have always been able to keep temps. in a comfortable range UNTIL 3 or 4 days ago...

    Had a good bed of ashes and first load of the day. Loaded insert up with 3 or 4 splits. Cut air back at usual time - temp around 450* and let it sit awhile. I left the room - which I never usually do after reading so many threads here about disasters resulting from that...but I did it anyway. Got involved in making a present for a friend and then smelled something hot.....

    Insert was having a party without me. Temp., when taken on center top, was 900* - a bit cooler on the sides. Made me a bit nervous but I knew exactly what to do because of reading so many threads here about this happening.....I shut down the air. Turned blower on high. Opened back door and put a little fan in front of the insert pointed at the blowers. Temps. began to drop pretty quickly and I was sooo happy that I had known what to do.

    When it cooled down I looked inside to check baffles and air tubes - any sign of visible damage anywhere but all looked fine. Nothing ever glowed red - except my face for letting it 'happen to me' :red:

    A good experience for me. I knew better than to leave the room but I didn't pay attention. Figure I got off lucky.

    Warned everyone in my family and made sure they know what to do if it ever happens to them. They all just rolled their eyes at me as if to say 'It will never happen to me so I don't really have to listen.'
    :roll: I tell em anyway - kinda like practicing fire drills in school.

    Glad yours turned out okay too.

    Always something new to learn tho this wasn't exactly a fun learning experience...
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That something's hot smell has hit me a few times too. It is unique and good for you for being tuned into it. Get used to carrying around a timer so that you can leave the room and still be reminded about the stove.
  7. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    My wife works out of the house and tends the fire when I'm at work. She can get tied up or lost in her work. I suggested using a timer after a couple close calls, nothing over 750* but that's warmer then we like to see it. She tells me it's working out great so far.

    I also start backing the air down around 400-450, I usually back it down in three stages. If I wait till it gets any hotter it'll be touching 750+ in no time.
  8. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    If you see the air deflector start to glow red, you know you are too hot. It is usually the first part of the Castine that will glow. The next part is the rear-most portion of the secondary air chamber. Sometimes you can't see this during daylight. You don't need to run the Castine above 650 degrees as the stove just starts to over-heat. I've had mine up to 800 a couple of times and while it is not the smartest thing to do, it happens and you probably haven't damaged anything. I believe the top cover is the first component to warp on these stoves, so you can check that out. My dealer has replaced a few of those.

    When you load the firebox right to the top of the baffles you really have to watch this stove if you have dry wood. I have had some loads where I had to go to basically zero primary air to keep the stove from running away. As you have figured out, it is not a good idea to leave the stove unattended in this condition unless you set the primary air at almost zero.

    FYI. I have since added a blower to my installation and it has significantly improved the temperature performance of my stove. With my blower on max I can pretty much run any air setting I want and the stove won't go above 600-650°F . I think the issue with the Castine is that the firebox is fairly compact. If you cram the stove full of dry wood, once it gets burning, that hot mass is very close to the cast stove walls and you get a very quick transfer of heat and an exterior temperature spike. The blower keeps the temperature much more consistent and the temperature fluctuations are much smoother.
  9. bonedoc

    bonedoc New Member

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    Don't understand all these over-fire stories.

    Maybe I am doing something wrong.

    This is my second season with a FPX 33(Lopi Declaration, etc). I can pack this thing with well seasoned hardwood with the air wide open and not get the temp > 400(Taken with an infrared thermometer on the firebox)

    Not that I want to over-fire but just wonder how I can get this thing hotter. Maybe its because I have the blower on all the time to disperse the heat??

    I grew up with an old non-epa Buck Stove in the 1980s that seemed to get WAY hotter.

    Am I not understanding this stove?

    Suggestions??
  10. WoodNewbie

    WoodNewbie New Member

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    general question/comment: isn't the glass IR-treated (to reflect the heat inside the firebox)? If it's the case, what do these readings with an IR thermometer through the glass mean?
  11. bonedoc

    bonedoc New Member

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    Good thought. However, I am taking the reading through the top grate on the outside of the firebox, not through the glass.
  12. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    This morning, while making a fire, I was also outside a lot working on kindling and brushing one of the dogs. I DID TAKE MY TIMER WITH ME :coolsmile: even though my husband looked at me like I was nuts.

    I checked every 5 minutes as I shut down air until it was all the way down....I have really dry wood right now that is being burned.....no mishaps and fire was happy at it's usual 600ish* and so was I.

    P.S. I knew about the timer trick on the day of my 'higher than comfortable' episode - I just didn't heed it....Thought I would be back in the room in 5 minutes....Knowledge, when it is not put into action proved useless once again. :red:
  13. JotulOwner

    JotulOwner Feeling the Heat

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    That happened to me once. I had the stove loaded North/South and the deflector glowed a little bit. The funny thing is that the stove never saw a temp over 550F. Most of the time, I see 400-450F. Occasionaly I see 500F. I have never, ever seen either of my two Rutland stove top thermometers read in the red zone 575F+. I also have a Condar Fluegard stove pipe thermometer which I try to keep in the "normal" zone (400F-900F) and usually find it reading 400F-600F. It has never read over 900F (beginning of the red zone). My wood is dry, so that isn't an issue, but my 20 ft chimney has a T connection (two 90 degree bends three feet above the stove) which I know impacts the draft. After reading many postings on this forum, I still don't fully understand why my setup works like it does. The good news is that it works well for my needs and I know how to inspect and clean it which I do often. It just seems to operate a little bit differently from the systems most wood burners have.
  14. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    With the EUR plate it is not too hard to get the secondaries roaring and the uppermost front holes shoot right at that deflector. So, if you leave it roaring too long, it is like a blast furnace.
  15. Crabby

    Crabby Member

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    I have a Englander 30. It does the same thing. I usually have a set place to set the primary air. I have done that before and the stove top gets hot and sometimes it just cruises along at 600. I was working at a friends house the other night and my wife called and didn't know what to do with the stove. the demp was down to 250 and just threw 2 pieces on and didn't even move the air control. about 20 mins later she smelled it and the didn't know what to do, it was 800 on top. sometimes the stove will just take off like that. Like yesterday i we left for church, i put 4 big pieces in got it going a little bit, shut it down and left. it was burning maybe 400 little higher. came home about 2 hours later and it was cruising a long with flames at about 650. so if the stove go hotter than that i don't know. i did the same thing this morning, put the wood in got a good fire going and shut down, hopfully it won't run away from while i am here at work. the wood. i have lots of dry wood and not so dry, i kinda mix it in. works pretty good. heck i burn the to so seasoned wood, i can still get it up to temp and but with it. it sizzles a little and smolders a bit, then i get some flames and burns nice. plus i have a faint blue smoke or no smoke out of the stack when it going good. but anyway still make me a little scared to leave, right now i am still thinking about what the stoves doing now.
  16. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    Both posts spot on as usual BG.

    I have a timer on the microwave and my phone, so I ALWAYS use it when I need to keep track. Just setting it for 15 minutes helps keep you on your toes while trying to manage all the other items in your life.
  17. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    I just watch the stove until the thing is at cruising temp and is no longer climbing. The only time you can really get in trouble with the Castine is if you load the firebox to the top of the baffles, open the air 100%, and walk away from the stove.
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