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Hearthstone Equinox

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by trettig, Nov 6, 2011.

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  1. trettig

    trettig New Member

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    I am new to this Forum. I hope someone or many can comment with their knowledge. I presently have a Hearthstone Equinox which I purchased last year. I had a Nashua stove (Largest one they made) prior to purchasing the Equinox. I heated one year with both. My problem is that the equinox does not hear as good as the Nashua. Both used a similar amount of wood. Although the Equinox has a longer burn time with less start-up's. I live in a large 2800sq foot, brick, big windows, old house in central Mass. The equinox does not heat as good as I hoped. Is there any better stoves out there. I purchased the Equinox because I thought it was the biggest and best. I can't help but think I did something wrong or purchased the wrong stove.
    Tom in Central Mass.

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Let's start with the basic questions first:
    What stove top temps are you getting with the Equinox?
    When was your wood split and stacked?
  3. ms440

    ms440 Member

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    Yup, IME soapstone must have dry wood. The dryer the better!
  4. trettig

    trettig New Member

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    top temperatures I don't know. I will test. What should it be? The wood is dry. I purchased seasoned wood this Spring. Stacked soon after. It is dry.
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    If it is oak, it is only marginally dry with a decent moisture count since it has only been cut, split, and stacked for less than a year.

    You seem to not have a stove top thermometer. You should get one, or an IR thermometer . Stove temps should be 500-600. The thermometer should be on the center stone.
  6. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    What kind of chimney (and what's the size) this stove going into?

    pen
  7. trettig

    trettig New Member

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    I woke up this AM and the stove was at 200 degrees F. after 7 hours since the last filling. The draft was at half during the night. I have a stainless steel 8 inch liner going up to the top of my chimney with cap. I will fill the stove and see what temp's the stove runs at.
    Tom
  8. woodmiser

    woodmiser New Member

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    Does your flue exit the rear of the stove?

    Once you get it heated up to at least 500 degrees stove top, with a good blazing fire. Heat pours off of it at that temp. You can be 6 feet away and feel it radiating from all sides.
  9. trettig

    trettig New Member

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    The draft is out the back of the stove. To a T and then strait up the SS liner about 25 feet. It looks like the stone has heated up to 350. It was at half draft with a full load of wood. Maybe I should not dial it back. Just let it run full open draft. What do you all think?
  10. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    No sir, if anything with a full load of good fuel you should be dialing it back beyond the halfway point. Letting it run wide open sends all the heat up the flue. You should be able to reach 500-600 easily on a full load and get 8-10 hours of heat from that bad boy. Although it is a bit early to see those temps, at least 450 or so this time of year.

    Shawn
  11. woodmiser

    woodmiser New Member

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    Dial it up full on at the start to get the stove nice and hot. If you don't get the stove hot, the soapstone will still be absorbing heat if you cut back too early, never giving the fuel a chance to get stoking. I find that getting the stove up to temp first allows control afterwards. You can drop down to just throwing in a few splits or even one split at a time once the stove is hot. I do that during the day sometimes when it's not real cold.

    Are you running 8" flue all the way? No choke points?
  12. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    I would have to disagree with you a bit here woodmiser. I have a Mansfield so my observations are based on the Equinox's little brother.

    I find there is no need to "get the stove nice and hot" before dialing it back. Warm yes but not hot like a cast stove. The soaps tend to heat up a bit slower, and I find its better to use the flue temps as a gauge (if you have a thermo) to start dialing it back as opposed to the actual stove temp. By doing so you keep the heat in the stove more than send it up the flue. Of course all stoves have their own personality, and mileage may vary.

    Shawn
  13. trettig

    trettig New Member

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    Anyways is there a stove that is better for my purposes? (my house is 2800sq feet, big windows, brick, insulation in the roof) I think the soapstone just can't keep up with the heat loss of my house.
    P.S. No choke points, 8 inch SS liner up to the top)
  14. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    I would be willing to bet it is not the stove if the house is properly insulated. Soapstone stoves are different animals than metal stoves. You are just on the learning curve.

    Shawn
  15. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Like every other similar problem posted here I would be suspect your fuel supply. That is a big heat load for a single stove, but there is no reason the stove you have shouldn't get hot.
  16. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I think you are not getting the stove hot enough. If you don't get the stove hot enough you will have a problem heating no matter what stove you have.
  17. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    I can't for a moment believe an Equinox can't heat your home. Either your wood is not as dry as you think, or your house has some serious issues with heat loss. Or, you just don't have the hang of heating with wood yet.. I am heating 2/3rds as much house with 1/2 the stove.. No problems.

    1) you need to KNOW the internal moisture of your wood. Go to lowes or what have you, buy a $20 moisture meter, split a piece of firewood open, test the moisture level.
    2) insulate/seal your house
    3) as odd as it sounds, once the stove is up to temperature, LESS air is the answer.

    Oh, and to answer the question you have asked twice, at least IMHO, there is no better stove out there. I KNOW a hearth store near me that is heating about 4200sqft of open space with one.. it absolutely rocks.

    pun intended.
  18. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    If the stove is only topping out at 350, you have a problem, whether it is fuel, draft, etc. If you do not get a stove hot you will not heat your home. You seem to want to think it is the stove, but everything points to another item being a factor.

    With good fuel you should be able to have that stove dialed in at 500-600 degrees with the air control closed as far as it allows.
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The poster has already stated that the stove is topping out at 350 degrees. That is the issue.
  20. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    The obvious suspects are properly seasoned fuel, and proper operation of the stove (since it is a new stove to OP) , or a combination of both. I have to agree with Browning here, I would be willing to bet it is not the stove itself but something else or a combination of factors. If the wood is not properly seasoned, well that is a major factor. Assuming it is, I think the OP needs to dial her back much more. At 1/2 open, much of the heat is going up and out.

    So trettig, if you have a moisture meter, can you get a reading on a fresh split? If not, can you give some more info on what type of wood, when it was split, how was it stored ? If that all checks out then I think you need to look into either setup, (which sounds right) or operation. That means a bit of experimenting. The first of which is IMHO to push that air control further closed, in stages, after reloading, and going from there.

    I believe with the wealth of knowledge here, we can help you figure it out.

    Shawn
  21. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    What does your fire look like? When you get a full load established and dial it down you should see the flames slow down, lift off the logs and you should also see some flames around your secondary burn tubes under your baffle. This is the most efficient fire that will give you a long burn and hotter stove top temps.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I have to agree with some and disagree with others.

    For sure 350 degree stove is not going to heat much. BrowningBar is right on with the fuel supply. OP says wood was delivered last spring (seasoned, but that means nothing) but apparently does not know what type of wood it is. One should know what he is burning.

    This comment was made: "Dial it up full on at the start to get the stove nice and hot. If you don’t get the stove hot, the soapstone will still be absorbing heat if you cut back too early, never giving the fuel a chance to get stoking." That is totally wrong. Keeping the draft full open only heats up the chimney. Soapstone will heat up much faster one the flue is to temperature by dialing down at least half way to keep the heat in the stove; that is the way to heat any stove, including soapstone. Typically with a cold stove we have our draft set about 50% after 10-15 minutes and the stove heats faster this way. Once the stove is to 200 degrees we set the draft at about 25% open and even dial it down further after the stove is to the temp we want (down to about .75 or 1 at most).


    Also, thinking that soapstone will not heat as well as a different stove is definitely not true. If anything, it should be better. For sure you are not dialing the draft back as far as you should.
  23. FireWalker

    FireWalker Feeling the Heat

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    To the O.P........

    Sounds like we have a very similar setup! If you want max heat from your Equinox, here are a couple of things I have learned about mine.

    As we share similar height chimney, I suggest a pipe damper about 6-12" above the stove top but I don't know if this is going to work for you as you have a rear exit pipe. If it works, do it, that is a tall chimney and you are pumping tons of btu's out the stack before they get into the stones. Once you get the damper installed you can use it to make a hot box hotter by closing it on a well established fire.

    If you want a hot fire, put your wood in NS (ends running front to back).......I only use the front door. With a full load of oak front to back, the fire catches all the pieces quickly and burns faster than when the combustion air hits only one piece at a time (EW loading).........the side of the front piece blocks the fire from spreading back. When filling the box, try to fit shorter pieces tight to both sides, rounds work good here as when the fire burns the middle goes first and the your left with 2 side fires which can last a long time if care was taken to "bank" the sides of the firebox......the middle goes fast and hot, getting the rocks hot quickly then the heat slowly goes down as the 2 side fires burn. On a cold night this is a good time to drop in 2 more splits in the middle and go back to bed.

    Next is the air control........get a good fire going on a new load and shut the air off then back on a hiar. This is the setting for 600 degree top rocks and it won't do it with semi dry wood. The good stuff I have works like a dream.......big half round oak splits light on a raked up coal bed in no time. Pull the coals up front in the middle and set the first split on top so that the end is resting on the hump where the combustion air comes out. The air should spray the coals.........if the split blocks the air supply, your fire will take forever to get going. Getting the fire going is the only time you really need full air setting..........again hot burns are done between off and 1/4 air. If you can't make 550-600 on the stove top with this technique, your wood is the likely culprit. Get a full year ahead with your firewood, no burning this years wood especially oak!

    I will say, if your wood is really good and dry you should take care not to overfire as this technique can make a hot one!
  24. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    If your glass is smokey and dirty the stove isn't getting hot enough at some point. I figure a stove that size you should need a heat shield for your body to get near it once it's cranking.

    I've heated 1,800 ft with a Tribute - much smaller than the Equinox.

    If the guy you bought your wood from just said "seasoned" suspect your wood. Wood moisture meters are less than $30 and will help you out to verify what's "seasoned". Generally, if you are burning Oak and it was cut and split during the spring that just not long enough. Folks tell me "the tree has been on the ground for a year, so it's seasoned". No, it isn't.

    My little Tribute is not very tolerant of unseasoned wood. Just can't get it hot enough to burn where it needs to burn. These stoves need to be run HOT and if you don't they will get dirty and deposit creosote in the chimney - which makes it draft poorly, which makes getting it hot an issue, which makes for creosote, which makes it draft poorly.....

    I would really take a long look at your wood first before you replace your stove.

    Also, the heat comes from the COALS in the stove, not really the FIRE. I've had to adjust how I run my stove to match when/how it puts out good heat. Previously I had a very large stove for a small space so I didn't have to be too concerned with building a really HOT fire. Now that I've figured it out I get much more heat and better burn times.

    I figure your stove should have you opening windows.
  25. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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