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Flue Adjustment On Progress Hybrid

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Cross Cut Saw, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Is it just me or is the flue adjustment on the progress hybrid very vague?
    The instructions give adjustments you should make when engaging the cat etc., but actually quantifying what is half open etc. is very hard since there is nothing to gauge the position of the arm against and it's all black so actually seeing the arm vs. the heat shield is hard to do.

    I used a silver paint pen to paint part of the arm and make marks on the heat shield so that I have a point of reference as to what "half way" is but it seems like it should be a little easier, I've had to explain what the marks mean to my wife several times...

    Anyone have a better system?

    Thanks!

    This picture shows my stove at "just under half" closed according to my marks...
    2012-11-07 16.59.32.jpg
    I had to use a flashlight to take a picture of it since it's pretty dark back there even with the light on in the room.
    It just seems like it should come with a mark on the arm and some sort of dial on the heat shield...

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  2. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I don't know - so far now I'm finding I run with it closed all the way 90+% of the time so I wonder if it really makes a difference... but I do get your point - I liked the FV having markings with numbers that everyone could relate to.
  3. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    We've just started running it 24/7, what does it look like in your stove when you're running it fully closed? Do you see flames still or is it just glowing?
  4. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    You won't mind it without the marks after you get a "feel" for the settings and the flames. If your wife is like mine, she will appreciate the marks. I go more by how high are the flames and how quickly is the stove temperature rising, every fire is a little different. I always end up completely closing the damper after the stove is good and hot and the cat is engaged, unless I want some really fast heat, and then I just "crack" the setting open.

    Unfortunately it's kind of like cooking a good Italian meal - a pinch of this and some more of that until it's just right!
  5. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Do you always see flames when the flue is fully closed?
  6. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I do not always see flames when the flue is fully closed. The firebox has to reach some critical temperature before that happens. If you engage the cat quickly enough before the firebox gets too hot, you get no flames and just a cat burn. This is best done when you don't want too much heat.
    Cross Cut Saw likes this.
  7. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I don't find the air adjustment an issue. Fully open = top on start and reload. Good flames, fire starts getting really active, move handle half way through the 90 degree available range = about 45 degrees.
    Engage cat at appropriate time, close air all the way once temps start rising. May crack it open after that, may not. Then typically don't touch the air control until near the end of the burn, when I may open the air up to burn the coals down more quickly, especially during cold weather. This stove responds so quickly to air adjustments that you really don't need markings, even if you want to tweek. Individual fires will dictate your actions , if and when you do anything other than get it going and walk away. In that circumstance, just open a bit for more fire, close a bit for less, watch the fire for a minute or two, and you'll know if you are set or want further changes.
  8. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I've generally had flames even with the air fully closed. However keep in mind I'm very new to this. I am trying to engage sooner and get it shut down in the 'cat only' mode to extend the burn time still. It will go out and be flameless after a bit, but then they come back and will burn for a good time. Mind you they are very nice to look at and I'm getting a clean burn (no smoke) as well as lots of heat.

    Tonight I actually had coals to load on and the wind outside is making the draft wacky I think. However, I do have it shut down all the way again after opening it up a hair since it was in a puffing pattern that I was afraid might result in smoke smells - the wind is really whistling and I could see the stove reacting a few times. Anyway, at the moment I have lazy flames on top and a 350-400 stove top temp. This load also happens to have a lot of pine in it so I expect it had a lot of early VOCs to burn off and little else to do now (2hrs into burn at the moment).
  9. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I agree that once you get the hang of it, you'll be fine. Like Rideau said, stove responds so fast to changes that I just go by the fire. I adjust from the front of the stove so I can see the fire as I adjust the draft. I would do this even if there were markings, which would render them useless as I wouldn't be able to see them from the front of the stove.

    I also agree that I use about 4 "settings". These include full open on reloads, down to about half after the fire gets cranking, down to just a hair open or fully closed after engaging the cat. The "hair" open varies a bit depending on how cold it is, how much/what kind of wood is in the box, etc.

    I often see no flames after fully closing. That will last for a while. Then, lazy flames for awhile. Then, back to no flames. When it's really cold, I set it at a bigger "hair" open and enjoy some crazy secondaries for a good long while.
    HollowHill likes this.
  10. greenbrierwv

    greenbrierwv Member

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    Waulie is spot on yet again. Im getting the exact same behavior from mine. all open at reload, down to half after shutting by pass for a bit, than a hair above closed. this makes for long burns. this stove is simple to operate. much easier than my old VC defiant encore. uses a lot less wood too. my wife even commented on its ease of use and how little you have to feed it for 12 hr burns.
  11. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I must be the oddball then - I have yet to get a 12hr burn here. I've loaded it full of hardwood and turned it down to fully closed and yet still barely had enough coals to relight after 10 hours. Perhaps it is a function of how hot I'm letting it get before I engage and shut down the air? I don't know. Mind you I'm getting tons of heat from the stove.
  12. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Slow1, sometimes I feel like that, too - that I'm not getting the burn times of the others. Then, I load her half full last nite at 6:30, rush out of the house this morning for an apptmt, return at 10:30 this morning, rake the coals forward, load her half full again, and she takes right off and I'm up to 450 in no time (from about 150 stove top). By my reckoning, that's 16 hours. Gotta love it. My problem is that my house doesn't hold the heat as well as the Progress :(
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  13. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Slow down there Slow1 - that does not make sense. Fully loaded with Hardwood and hard to light after 10 hours??? Something ain't right in your part of this blue state.

    I'm not even going to ask if you have seasoned wood, I'm sure you do. It sounds like you have an air leak, like in the door - or possibly the ashpan if you have one. Is it possible the high winds the last couple nights made your draft go nuts?

    How long do you go flameless after you engage the cat and close the draft down all the way? Can you verify by looking at the butterfly valve in the back that the plates are fully closing?
    Cross Cut Saw likes this.
  14. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Wood does seem good enough - almost too good, ha! Seriously, as long as I get a handful of coals left over, say enough to have a 3+" square pile 1" thick? I know I can place a couple splits straight on that and open the air full to get it flaming in short order. I doubt I could have done that in the first year burning with what I was burning then...

    Air leaks - could be I suppose, but I don't really see any evidence of it while burning. I do have the ashpan btw. I don't see any strange flame patterns in the stove or odd soot lines that I would expect to see. Everything seems to burn rather evenly, straight down the middle from the front for the most part if anything. I have wondered about my draft though - I added 3' to my pipe for the FV as it was marginal there, but with the install of the PH I took out a 90* bend (now venting vertical for 3' before the 90* bend to go out through the wall) and I switched to double wall connector pipe but I doubt that 3' section really can make much draft difference with the changeover.

    Generally I have gone flameless for a few minutes - perhaps 20-30 tops. However I also was starting off with quite the fire in there. Tonight I tried a bit of an experiment to see what could happen... I had a small hotter fire when I got home (5 smaller pieces burned at just under 1/2 air) that really got things warmed up in the stove. Then about 9:15 or so it was down to coals, not a huge bed, but just about right for reloading. I loaded 6 pcs (medium - I'd say just under 1/2 of a full stove worth) on top of the coals and let them get burning at least on the bottom piece and sides. Once the fire was established I engaged the cat and brought the air down until fully closed. All in all my reload took about 20 minutes. Mind you I went cat before stovetop registered 250, more like 190 or so. Anyway, the stove went dark with only a few visible glowing edges and a brighter spot reflecting from the front center (where the air hole is). It has now been almost an hour since I shut it down and stovetop is around 300, there is more glowing but no flames in the box. Will see how it looks in the morning.

    I'd have to pull the heatshield off to see the valve - worth doing but I'm not keen to do it on a hot stove :)
  15. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Since I first posted my wife and I have been fiddling around with it a little more. It seems less significant now that I'm loading larger amounts of wood and keeping it going all the time, knowing the adjustments when there are smaller fires would make it easier but I'm sure the next shoulder season I'll have a good feel for it and it will be more second nature.

    We've noticed that you can engage the cat at 300 and get it cruising up to the 400-500 degree range fairly quickly, then slowly lower the flue to fully closed and while we're not seeing active flames or one long lazy flame here and there we are maintaining 500-550 degrees for quite a while rather easily.

    The only problem we've had with coals after long burns (10-12 hours) is that there are too many! We end up with so much we have to burn them down a little bit just to fit a nice load of wood in...

    We happen to have an antique piece of furniture with a large mirror on top straight across from the stove, this is GREAT for adjusting the flame, just find the handle and look up in the mirror to see what the flames are doing.

    We're loving this stove, our 150 year old drafty house is about 72 degrees all the time. I've never had a wood stove and it's not like any warmth I've felt before, the whole house is warm, not just pockets of warm air mixed with cold. The walls are warm, the floor is warm, the furniture is warm, and most importantly the people are warm!

    I'm just glad it's getting colder so I can burn 24/7!==c
    2012-11-05 22.48.31.jpg

    Good times...
  16. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Slow1: If you are starting the stove stone cold (w/ no established hot coal base) and then loading it up, I might not expect a 10-12 hour burn with hot coals at the end. I get a good coal base going before I load up. I don't think I ever loaded the stove from stone-cold. It sounds like your flame is acting properly (no strange patterns, flameless for 20-30 minutes).

    I noticed you said you engaged at 190 stovetop and the temp stayed at 300F for an hour. That tells me you barely lit off the cat. I would have liked to have known what kind of smoke trail you saw outside. When my cat "stalled" at 300F, I got heavy smoke out the stack. I would have to either open up the draft so the cat had more air, or fire the stove up hotter before engaging. But I will be curious how you did on that load.

    Cross Cut: Lots of coals at the end of a 12 hour burn tell me your wood may not have been seasoned long enough, especially if the end-of burn stovetop temps are much below 250F. I had that problem with my FV - very frustrated I did not have much room at the end of a burn to load new wood and the stove was cooled down. You might try giving it more air after the stovetop starts dropping in temperature, open the draft up. When the stovetop drops to 400, you might want to be open to 1/4 setting.
  17. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    Slow1: I totally agree with Tony that your results are strange. But, I'm really not sure what could be causing it. It sounds like you checked your butterfly valve. There have been some reports that with new stoves when you think you've shut the air down completely, you haven't because the valve is catching. Mine was a little sticky at first. It should close completely and the draft level should go completely to horizontal. Other than that, I'm kind of stumped. You may want to look into a flue probe so you can go by flue temps rather the stove temps. I used to use stove top temps, but find using flue temps to be much better/easier.

    Cross Cut: If I fully load my stove, I also have way too many coals for a reload after 12 hours. Since I want to load every 12 hours I simply rarely fully load my stove. If it is very cold or the weekend, I'll load it fullish. Otherwise, no. Basically from October through March, I just adjust my load size for 12 hour cycles based on the weather. This will range from about half full to nearly full. You'll get the hang of it pretty quick.
  18. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I totally forgot about the "sticky valve" thing - good thought, Waulie. I'm so used to it that it's just part of the normal operation to me. You have to give the lever a final firm "tweak" to get it to close completely. One Hearth member adjusted his to eliminate that "Drag" spot. It's not a problem, you just have to be aware of it.
  19. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Tony - I have yet to see any smoke from my pipe when cat engaged, however last night it was dark and I didn't check. I should probably only play when it is light outside :). However, the cat must have engaged at some point as the stovetop kept rising up to 400+. At about 11p (2hrs into the burn) I had intermittent flames in the box, enough so that the ignitions were puffing enough to give a little smoke in the room - I'm pretty sensitive to that smell. So I ended up opening the air a crack to keep the secondaries alive in the top of the box and stop the 2-3 minute puff cycle before I went to bed. This morning at 6a I did have enough to re-light the stove (9hrs from prior load). So I would call that a successful burn other than having to adjust mid-burn.

    I have not yet checked the butterfly valve, will do that this weekend when I get a chance. It is supposed to warm up a bit so perhaps that will be a good time (not removing the heatshield from a hot stove - those screws may be too hot to handle).

    Waulie - I am seriously considering the flue probe, I just need to get my shopping list together and figure it out I suppose - I'm tracking the other thread with the pictures and will see about getting the parts. I'd rather not complicate things too much as this is an easy stove to operate...

    As to loading with coals vs cold, I do think it would be nicer/easier to do so, but I have yet to have a good base of coals after a burn when I need to reload. It did get cold for a few days here but after 9-10 hrs I barely have enough to reload so it is almost like a cold start (surface temp on the stone in the 150-200 range or less).

    I almost wonder if my wood is (gasp) too dry? ha!
  20. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I've noticed that as well, in general I would say I liked the air adjustment mechanism better on the FV as it was smoother operation. When I want to make fine adjustments with the PH it seems I have to overcome considerable static friction then I overadjust and have to come back, but without reference points who knows where I was to begin with. I can't just "nudge it" a bit.
  21. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I really don't think it's your wood. If you're loading your stove up anywhere near full with hardwood and are barely having coals after 9 or 10 hours something just isn't right. You could call Woodstock and see if they have any additional thoughts, but I would definitely check the valve. Also, a smoke smell huh? You sure your door gasket is sealing properly? Maybe try the dollar bill test.

    Interesting tid bit on the butterfly valve; The day after helping dad install his Progress (after his break in burns) I called him to see how the stove was working. He said it was going great, but didn't think he'd be able to turn the draft down more than half way because he had it about half closed and had already snuffed out flames. I was immediately worried about his draft, but on further discussion it turned out he had the draft about closed. He just didn't think he did because his valve actually rotated passed fully closed. He could rotate his lever 180 degrees, basically going from full open to closed and back to full open (with the valve reversed). After burning for a bit, his valve worked perfectly.

    Mine also had a bit of a stick to it originally, but really doesn't now. Since the primary valve is designed to fully close, this is really a precision sensitive piece of the stove and I'm sure jostling during shipping and even the temperature of the valve during construction probably affects it's initial operation.
  22. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    We were posting at the same time Slow1. Definitely check your valve! Mine works very, very smoothly.
  23. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    Also, now Slow1 and Tony have the same stove and the same avatar. I'm seeing double!
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I'm wondering about you fellows mentioning all the coals. When we installed the Fireview this is one of the first problems we ran into. I never got satisfactory answers so started experimenting and found with this stove that if we opened the draft full just before the burn was down to all coals, that the stove temperature would hold and the coals would burn down. So I'm suggesting perhaps to try something similar to that and see if this does burn that coal bed down.
  25. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I'm sure that will work fine, Dennis. I wasn't saying I had a coaling problem at all. Just that if I load the stove full it really isn't ready for a reload after 12 hours. The stove is kicking out the heat! Certainly not a bad thing, but I prefer 12 hour cycles with my schedule. So, I just put less wood in.

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