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Fireview performance issues

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jack33, Dec 21, 2009.

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  1. Jack33

    Jack33 New Member

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    It has been exceptionally cold in the Northeast this December with much lower than normal wind chills. This is probably exacerbating my frustration with the stove and something to be considered given my drafty house.

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  2. Jack33

    Jack33 New Member

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    Thanks, maybe I'll start collecting wood stoves too and swap them out for various weather conditions.
  3. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I don't think anyone can effectively heat a very large space in cold weather with 300* surface temps. I don't do long extended burns at that temp - that is my reload point after 5-7 hours (actually I will load before it hits 300). I'm still fine tuning my process and I hope things will improve once I get a more consistent wood supply.

    If all you can get is a 300* surface temp for your burn then something is wrong with your setup or fuel. You should be able to cruise at over 500* for a good long time then it should slide down over an extended time even if you don't increase the air.
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    This all sounds like a combination of poor draft from oversized clay tile chimney, firewood size, and unfamiliarity of new stove. I bet your old stove was less forgiving draft wise and the newer EPA and especially cat stoves require excellent draft from a same sized chimney as stove exhaust collar. I've tried different stoves on 8x12 clay tile chimneys before and had the same problems. If you buy a larger EPA stove I bet the same thing will happen on a larger scale. You stated you don't want to reline but I think the best thing you could do is a 6" reline.
  5. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    Fireview. Hot. This thread is getting hot. We'd all like to see Jack's stove get hot.

    I 2nd the re-line of the flue with a 6" stainless liner into the stove, w/ block-off plates if applicable. It's the right way to do the install on the new EPA stoves. If you don't you risk the garbage in = garbage out scenario which is what we seem to have so far.

    Did you try any pine construction scraps to see if you could get the stove to nuclear temps yet? Gotta get there 1st. Pronto.
  6. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    This is also my first season with a Fireview. I'm not getting everything that some of the veterans are getting, but everyone's situation is different. I think that some of my wood is suspect as well. We had a lot of water fall from the sky this year in the northeast. I'm going to start a thread soon after getting some more experience.

    Jack, if you can make it work, try to add the insulation you mentioned. You may get a tax credit as well. I have an old drafty house that I reckon was upgraded to average with all the work that I've done over the years. Most of the first floor (stove room included) got closed cell insulation. Not always practical, but I gutted the area down to the studs last summer and figured it was a giant step up from patchy vermiculite. Certainly R-50-60 in the attic of cellulose or fiberglass and caulking everywhere will help.

    Good luck.
  7. Chad S.

    Chad S. Member

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    Not a Hi-jack but, I just dropped 3500 on a fireview and chimney setup today then came across this thread. Hope I made the right choice :shut: Thanks Jack :lol:
  8. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I'm in total agreement with this post - Especially that most cat EPA stoves are going to require a 6" or 8" lining to draft properly. I would bet that if Jack lined his flue with SS pipe, it would resolve the coaling problem, generate better firebox temps, and Jack would be very happy and forget about the old smoke dragon. It really makes sense - the old stove (Resolute) burned fine because the flue temp was so much higher with the inefficient stove pumping tons of wasted heat out the flue, so the draft was excellent. The Cat stove has MUCH lower flue temps and therefore needs the more restrictive liner to keep the temps and draft high.

    Just my two cents. :)
  9. Jack33

    Jack33 New Member

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    Yes my spilts are toobig for the stove. They were sized to drop in the smoker.

    Coaling issue...I'm pretty sure this is me and not the wood. I had my girlfriend open the air up to 2-3 about a 1.5 before I got home. She gets home before me but no she rather be cold than touch this stove...might be because I'm yelling at every night. Anyways, obviously it helped alot. Normally when I get home (6:00PM) I throw wood at it trying to get some heat out of it, then it gets loaded 5 hours later (11:00PM) before bed, then it gets stuffed 7 hours later (6:00AM) when I get up, and then 12 hours later (6:00PM) when I get home. I'm building up too many coals with the 6:00pm load plus the 11:00pm load. So I am going to try 2-3 pieces to get to 11:00pm and see what happens.

    Tonight I dug out a bunch of ash and cinder. I used nothing but pine/spruce scraps and 2x4 oak pallet wood for the 6:00pm fire. I didn't fill it...see above...but had plenty of wood in it. I tried various air settings and it will not go over 500-525. The air control works, with the cat engaged I have a box of flame above 1.25 and I lose the dark flame somewhere between .5-.75.

    Many seem to think I don't have enough draft....but I think it is too much. I think all the heat is getting sucked out before the cat can burn everyting and heat the rock. The chimney is 7x11 clay tile lined. From this first floor flue collar to the top is 21-22 feet high. I have a cap on it, 13 feet of chimney is inside the house and there is 8 feet above the roof line. I have never had a poor draft issue even in 50 degree weather.

    This install almost has a tiny stove pipe. Can I safely install a damper right to the flu collar and directly into the thimble? So the damper would become my connector pipe? I hate to have 1 more setting to mess with but if required I will. The magnetic thermometer I have on the pipe reads anywhere from 50-100 degrees less than the stove top one. But, this is right next to the flue collar so I'm not sure how much I can rely on an external temp reading that close to the stove.

    I only replaced the stove for the reasons stated earlier and perhaps I got caught up in the 2009 Fireview whirlwind. A reline will double the cost to replace a stove that I was content with to begin with. That is a tough sell when I have the other stove sitting in the basement.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    7x11 chimney is too big, it's equivilent to a 9" pipe. Fireview takes 6". Your draft is probably fine at first in bypass and heats up fine, but after the cat is engaged the flue will cool and effect draft which is giving you your lack of heat and coaling problem. If you don't want to reline you might as well send the Fireview back and install your old stove, it will burn better with that chimney because it runs with hotter flue temps.
  11. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    2nd that one.
  12. Jack33

    Jack33 New Member

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    Well I know it won't be relined this winter so I'll have to take it out. According to WS, the maximum flue size is 8x10. So this must be an exterior measurement they are giving. Or combined with my height it is just too much.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    One more thing to add Jack. You say your pipe come right out the back in into the thimble. So does mine. The only thing you must do with this is to have some rise in the horizontal pipe. 1/4" per foot is recommended; we went closer to 1/2" per foot.
  14. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    The pipes that tie both our stoves to their thimbles are basically straight back, too. I did not want to see any stove pipe when viewing the stoves from the front. It was an aesthetic consideration and the mason we hired was "fully on board" with it. I suspect there is some "grade" but I've long since forgotten any amount. Allow me to share that I am now just beginning to appreciate the importance of flue size and the effect "draw" can have on a stove's performance.

    It does take time to adjust to a new stove in a new setting. I had some backpuffing with the Classic in my studio, but have worked the kinks out of the system for the time being thanks to some very good advice from other more learned members. It took some time on my part to "wrap my head" around the basic concepts of building pressure and inequality, and I'm still not sure I have a complete handle on it, but for a few weeks now there has been no backpuffing whatsoever. I mistakenly thought the Classic could be operated the same way as the Fireview in our home... WRONG-O. The principles are the same, but the technique had to be tweaked in the studio.

    I am maintaining a comfortable low 70s during the day, with overnight temps falling to mid/low 60s. This on 3 "feedings"/day. I am very pleased and very comfortable. The Woodstocks are wonderful stoves and I sure hope you're able to figure out a way to get your's to perform the way it was designed to, Jack.
  15. Jack33

    Jack33 New Member

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    The connector pipe including the crimped ends is only 6 inches long so I really can't adjust my rise over run when there is no run.
  16. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    You shouldn't have any trouble with that connection, at all. Any rise on our two installations is minimal and both stoves draw fine.
  17. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    From what I've heard from other previous Fireview users, when it comes to a drafty, poorly
    insulated house, it just won't cut it. They would have frozen if they had to soley depend upon it.
    Not to downplay the unit, because it is well made & very efficient, but not made to put out
    a lot of BTU's in the shortime. Those users stepped-over to non-cat stoves & settled with the
    more frequent loadings.

    All other things equal, I do believe your flue is oversized for you application, and you would
    be surprised how much a liner would improve your performance. Below I list my "Heirarchy"
    of "Good Stove Operation" in order of importance:

    1.) Flue System - size, location, height & construction

    2.) Wood/Fuel - dryness, size & type

    3.) Stove - as long as it is EPA (eveyone likes to blame it on the stove, but usually it is aboves)
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The fireview is rated by WS to heat up to 1600 SF. This square footage number assumes standard 8' ceiling height, modern (good) insulation, good windows, and average temperatures. It's a great stove with great looks and I would have one right now for my 1700 SF if the install footprint wasn't so big. If my home was in an area that had really low temperatures, if I had cathedral ceilings, and if my insulation and windows weren't upgraded then the stove would be too small. In fact, the stove is too small regardless and should be bigger simply because you don't want to buy a stove that must be run at full blast all the time.

    Cat stoves lend themselves very well to never being too big. Even the big monster BK king can be turned down to the same low low heat output of a fireview. If you need more heat you can crank it up to 97000 btu.

    I bought a 6" liner once and it was about 500$. You do not need it to be insulated if your clay tiles are still safe. To get the most out of your WS you'll want to line that chimney.

    Lastly, the long burn times that make cat stoves so great also result in low heat output at those settings. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
  19. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    This is probably off the mark for the thread but it seems to be a recurring theme. I frequently deal with heat retension issues in large rooms with cathedral ceilings in the course of my work. Virtually to a one, the rooms that are "cold" are rooms with cathedral ceilings and NO ceiling fans or NO window treatments. The heating system is usually barely adequate in those spaces, too. Heat rises, what good is a 20' ceiling if all the heat is at the top 6' of it??

    My late FIL was an architect. He never understood the penchant for cathedral ceilings because he saw them as energy hogs. Ditto huge expanses of windows with no provision whatsoever for covering them when it's dark (and coldest!).

    My father was plumbing/heating contractor and he was regularly appalled at the short shrift given to heating/cooling systems when a huge volume of space was being designed. NO one wanted to discuss the ramifications of the lofty, elegant cathedral ceiling in the "great room" or the impact a wall of glass on the north/northeast wall (the one with the "view") would have on the comfort level of the room in question... until they'd spent a cold and expensive winter in them!

    And then they'd complain and grumble about the cost of retrofitting what they were unwilling to discuss with the professional during the construction phase (when it's less expensive to install). Just an observation from someone who is already rethinking the insulation above her studio space to prevent unnecessary heat loss over night.
  20. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I have to admit, my Cathedral ceiling family room has been a bear to heat. We had our heating company redesign the house hot air furnace ducts just to get more heat to that room, but it still did not work even with extra booster fans. The rest of the house gets too warm if the Family room is comfortable. And all of the drafty cheap contractor grade windows does not help. I think all of this is why the original owners installed a woodstove in that room. My plan is to hopefully take advantage of the "Cash for Caulker's" stimulus plan and replace the windows so I don't keep getting blown off my feet with those drafty excuses for windows. If anyone is interested the plan is mentioned at:
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Cash-for-Caulkers-could-mean-cnnm-1594823266.html?x=0&.v=1
  21. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Jack, have you talked to Woodstock yet? I would sure like to hear what they have to say about all of this.
  22. rickw

    rickw New Member

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    Maybe the two issues can be separated. One, the stove isn't putting out as much heat as reported by other owners (like me). Two, maybe the heat load is too much (the big room w/cathedral ceiling).

    One - Stove heat. Is the cat lighting off properly? It should glow a bright orange with few or no visible flames in the firebox, giving stovetop temps of 550+. If you never get this, then maybe something is wrong with the bypass linkage or bypass flapper.
    The lever with the ball has to seat all the way in up position to close the bypass and engage the cat. If the cat won't glow then something isn't right. Let the stove cool off and check it out, maybe the cat isn't seated properly and lots of combustibles are passing around it. I reloaded mine 2.5 hours ago with oak splits and the cat is still glowing brightly, with the air set at 1.

    Two - heat load. Kind of difficult to do much about this now. Maybe put up the shrink plastic on the inside of the windows? A ceiling fan is supposed to fight stratified air pretty well - would be nice in summer too. Compare your roof to others in your neighborhood, its pretty easy to get a feeling for relative heat loss by looking at how much snow remains (you have to take into account roof orientation also). If your cathedral ceiling room always melts first then its losing lots of heat. My 1800 SF ranch is doing OK with the FV, but I put in a lot of insulation (R40 in attic, sprayed foam & foam panel in the walls).

    Even when its this cold I'm still not feeding the thing in the middle of the night, but I'm leaving the pine alone until it warms up a little. That 4 cu ft BK is sounding pretty good, but I'd have to redo the hearth again and I can't get an 8 inch liner into the flue..
    Best of luck.
  23. rickw

    rickw New Member

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    Another thing to consider is that the FV sheds more of its heat by convection; compared to a hotter-running cast stove which puts out more infrared radiation. In your cathedral ceiling room maybe most of that hot air just pools above your head and heats the roof, without the stove getting hot enough to supply much radiant heat. Radiant heat goes as the 4th power of absolute temperature, so a cast stove running on average 50 deg Celsius hotter ( say 250 C vs 200 C, or about 520 Kelvin vs 470 Kelvin) would on average supply (520/470) to the 4th, or about 50% more radiant heat. That seems pretty significant.

    So, this could mean that for your setup a lower stove temp results in a greater fraction of convective heat (hot air) that is basically thrown away through your roof. Maybe for you a relatively small cast stove running real hot would work better. .
  24. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Huh? The Fireview is a radiant stove unless you count the rear heat shield. This stove can really pump out the heat when I want it. Right now she's running at 650 with a full load of Locust and a nice lazy flame.

    There is a lot of cast on the Fireview as well. I wonder how much poundage wise? Maybe 150-200lbs of the 500 total? I still think his Fireview if set up and burned properly should easily out perform his old stove, the Fireview is so much more efficient.
  25. rickw

    rickw New Member

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    Its a hot rectangular block, and will lose heat by both convection and radiation. At a high enough temp the radiative component will dominate. At lower temps it puts out more convective heat I think. The point I was trying to make is that house layout might favor one over the other; and that the big room w/ cathedral ceiling may not be a good combination with a stove running at lower temps (which the FV is really good at). Lower ceilings with better insulation would better utilize the warm air output that a cooler running stove provides.
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