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Getting the most out of the 30NC - Advice Needed

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Young_Buck, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Young_Buck

    Young_Buck New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Loc:
    Vermont
    Hi all,

    I posted on here earlier this year asking for opinions on various different stoves. I ended up purchasing a new 30NC and installed it earlier this Fall. I've been burning it now for a few weeks and I'm pretty happy with it, but I'm not getting the heat out of it that I was expecting/hoping to. This stove replaced an older pre-EPA Shendandoah heater.

    My setup - It's installed in my partially finished basement of our 1200 sq. foot ranch home (I know basement installs are less than ideal) and is sitting about 10 ft away from a centrally located stairwell in our home. With the Shenandoah I was able to get the basement to 70-75 pretty easily. So far with the 30NC I'm running about 10 degrees colder (60-65). I am using a lot less wood, but the heat is not the same.

    The wood - It's been split/stacked for 2 years. It's a mix of black locust, maple, oak and some beech. I don't have a moisture meter, but I'm pretty sure it's seasoned at this point. My wood consists mostly of bigger chunks so I can only fit 3-4 large splits in at a time.

    Temps - I have a Condar stove top and a chimgard flue thermometer. The stove tops seems to cruise at 450-550 with the fan going. Flue temps are 250-300 degrees. I'm getting about 4 hours of good heat (above 300 degrees). I re-load when stove top temps are 250 or below. The problem is that I'm getting a large build up of hot coals and I cannot fill the stove with a lot of splits because there is a 3-5 inch bed of coals. I've tried both N/S and E/W loading and it doesn't seem to be much different either way.

    I seem to have a strong draft - maybe too much draft? I don't have a pipe damper.

    Any suggestions here? I know there are a lot of satisfied 30 owners on here and I'm hoping that you might be able to help me out. I appreciate any advice, tips that you can offer up.

    Thanks,
    YB

    PS - Sorry for the long post.

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  2. wmarazita

    wmarazita Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Loc:
    Southern California

    YB,

    I don't have any advice for you. I have a 30NC and have the same problem some times. The problem is the greatest when I am trying to push the stove to heat a very drafty house and feel the need to load earlier than I should. Anyways, there is a similar thread going that might give you some insight:

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/how-to-keep-it-going-24-7.119675/

    Hopefully that will help. Maybe someone else will add additional info for your exact question, now that it has been bumped to top.

    Bill
  3. rwhite

    rwhite Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2011
    Messages:
    627
    Loc:
    SW Idaho
    I think you problem and the one addressed in the link above are similar. And they are similar to what a lot of folk probably experience when switching to EPA stoves. They are more effecient, burn less wood and produce less emissions. But it comes at a cost. With a non-epa stove you are constantly feeding it and the time lag for the stove cooling off is very short (probably a reload every 3-4 hours). EPA stoves take a longer time to go from a full burn to coals and therefore you have a longer time for the house to cool down. A properly sealed and insulated house can overcome that lag and maintain good even temps. Your choices are properly seal and insulate your house or burn your stove in the same way you burned your other one (air open and eat through the wood). A common misconception is that new stoves don't heat the same as old ones. A metal box is a metal box and both have the potential to heat the same way. The old stoves just didn't have as much potential for wood conservation.
  4. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,711
    Loc:
    Central Michigan
    How long are you "cruising" at 450/550 and how much/often are you seeing 550? My 30 runs at 550-650 and 700 is not uncommon for a bit and the stove is happy to do so. Might be the wood?? Are you getting complete secondary ignition consistently?

    Run her hot, open the air back up earlier in the burn cycle during these super low temps and try the rake coals forward and a couple smaller splits on top of the pile with the air wide open. When I do this I get the stove back up to 450/500 while the coals burn down limiting the cool off period and keeping temps in the house up.

    BTW - what temps did your old stove cruise at? A 30 should have no trouble at all matching or exceeding those.
  5. Young_Buck

    Young_Buck New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Loc:
    Vermont
    On a full load (4-5 splits) it will cruise at 450-550, temporarily peaking at 650 or so for a bit, for maybe 4-5 hours. I do have a pedestal fan sitting directly behind the stove blowing (on high) from back to front of the stove. I would imagine this is cooling the surface temps of the stove a bit. I'm getting good secondaries that last for quite a while.

    I think I'm a little nervous/apprehensive to run it too hot. I don't want to over fire it. Today I definitely ran it hotter and it helped. The basement was 70 degrees today which is comfy.

    I'm not sure. I did not have a stove top thermometer on the old stove. I had just the flue thermo. It would get really hot but the heat wouldn't last. I was constantly feeding it more wood. The new stove is much more efficient. I am liking this ...:)

    I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. It is definitely a learning process with one of these EPA stoves. My next thing to figure out - how to keep the glass cleaner...minor I know.

    Thank you everyone for your sharing your knowledge.

    -YB
  6. n3pro

    n3pro Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Enola, PA (near Harrisburg the unknown Capitol.
    Have you tried it without the fan? The times I've used my blower to tinker with it seemed to cool the air, maybe moving it too fast? Natural convection seems to work better for me then using a fan to force the air.
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    The 30 likes to cruise hot. The thing is built like a tank. You aren't going to hurt it. Don't hesitate to give it workout.
    Seasoned Oak likes this.
  8. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    RE: clean glass,

    The 30 doesn't seem to have the most effective air wash system. Burning hot will keep the glass fairly clean as the smoke residue is burnt off.
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I think your splits may be too large. Instead of filling the stove with 3-4 large splits fill it with 6-8 splits.
  10. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Definitely use smaller splits if you want higher temps.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The glass gets crapped up from the doghouse air in center front bouncing off the front splits and defeating the airwash. Load it N/S and have that damn thing aimed between two splits instead of into the end of one and the glass stays clean.
    Woody Stover likes this.
  12. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I try leave an open channel right up thru the middle right to the back of the stove if possible so the wood in back can get some air too from the doghouse. It seems to help get secondaries from the burn tube all the way in back and burn the wood better in back. Otherwise only the wood in front seems to burn.
  13. Hoozie

    Hoozie Burning Hunk

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Klamath Basin, Oregon
    How small of splits are you guys talking? And, how long of burn times are you getting out of yours, with said splits?
  14. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I wasn't fan of using huge splits. It was a pain to get going and to get it to burn right for me. Medium to large splits work better for me.

    7-10 tightly packed splits work best for my needs.

    Also, the blower is your friend. Embrace this friendship.
  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Is the basement insulated?
  16. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    That's what I was thinking. Maybe the big splits, especially the Oak, are dry enough to burn but could be drier. OTOH, he says he's getting good, long secondaries....
  17. rwhite

    rwhite Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    I usually try and have a mix of large and small. I consider small 5" across and less. My stove is smaller than a 30 so I can only get 4-5 in there. More splits=more surface area burning=more heat. It comes at the price of shorter burn time though (4-6 hours). I reserve the larger splits (those that I can only get 1 or 2 in the stove) for the overnight burns. Not as much heat but I still have coals in the morning.

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