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Hello and a question about building up heat

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jtcedinburgh, Sep 19, 2006.

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  1. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    Hi everyone, this is my first post.

    My wife and I recently had a Morso Owl (3410) radiant wood-burning stove installed. I've lit a few test burns but as it's still not that cold, I haven't really had a chance to test it out fully.

    One thing I have noticed is that it seems to take a long time to get appreciable radiant heat from the stove - say, an hour or longer. Basically, if I load with (say) three logs, kindling and get a fire burning (leaving the door slightly ajar as recommended for the first 10 to 15 minutes to get the fire established - and ensuring that I don't leave it unattended) I don't really get any real heat until I add further logs. Is this normal?

    The Owl has a slider to control primary and secondary air. The instructions suggest opening both up fully whilst establishing a fire, with the door slightly ajar as described. It does produce lots of flames but I am wondering whether I need to do anything else.

    I tried closing down the primary air and backing off the secondary, which produces less flame but I'm not sure if this is the correct approach.

    I'd be very grateful if someone could point me in the direction of a detailed description of how to maintain an established fire beyond the first hour (most resources I've read seem to concentrate on getting the fire started, which I'm finding to be very straightforward).

    Thanks,

    John

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  2. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    I forgot to say: I've been measuring my flue temps also - and it takes up to an hour to get the temperature up from the band marked 'creosote' (i.e. up to 220F if I remember correctly) into the 'ideal burn' zone. Once it's there it kicks out a reasonable heat, but I'd be lying to say that it's the 'drive you from the room, make you sit on the stairs' type.

    Am I doing something fundamentally wrong?

    John
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I measure the temps on the stove top. Your manual may tell you the best location. Flue temps are lower than the stove tips.

    The first 3 splits are needed to establish a decent ash base. and to bring it up to running temps. Warn temps outside really donot establish a strong draft. all of what you are experienceing is normal. Another point, a stove is not a short term solution, it needs to be run a decent length of time to produce heat. Moisture containt in the wood can hinder the heat output
  4. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Elk's last sentence is probably the most likely cause. In most cases where the heat output is below normal it is due to a high moisture content in the wood. The wood sepcies can also make a difference. That stove should warm up in about 25-30 minutes. Also, if draft is too much a lot of the heat may be sucked up the flue. There a few possibilities. Since the stove is new you have to go through the learning curve and figure out what works best in your case. The best results will come with good seasoned wood off the hardwood variety, good draft, and proper technique. You should be shooting for about three inches of red hot coals. Use lots of kindling to start.

    Sean
  5. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    That seems like a long time for that stove, but a neighbors stove, a large Jotul (500 I believe) took a good 30 minutes to even feel warm when I messed with the stove one day. My stove takes around 30 minutes to start putting out good heat, but it's fairly serious heat at that point vs. just warm.

    See what happens with a couple really dry peices of wood along with your splits...like 2 peices (Caution: NO MORE THAN 2!!!!!) of 2x4.
  6. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I agree, I think you're trying to use it when it's too warm outside. Stove doesn't draft or burn well, takes a long time to get going, when it does get going it doesn't do well, takes much longer than normal to even warm up.

    With my unit trying to light a fire when it's over 45F outside is pointless. Takes me a long time to get the fire going, the smoke doesn't want to leave particularly well, when I shut the door after it's going the fire frequently goes out and I have to try again, sounds similar to your situation. Also, as he states it could be wet wood which the heat is being used to evaporate the water instead of going into the living area.
  7. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Hi John , Welcome to the group. I looked up your model stove and it shows its a smaller stove that is max heat output of 35,000 BTU'S . #1 When you say its not puting out much heat do you mean less heat as being right next to the stove and you can touch it or almost touch it with little heat or do you mean puting off good heat from 5' away ? I know some stoves take a wile to warm up vs other styles and brands. Unsure of the total break down of the stove as how thick the steel is. Some stoves take longer to get the radiant heat coming off of it wile the stove can feel warm being right next to it but at 5' away there is not that much heat. My stove is the same at start up of a cold stove ........ its just takes some time to get the steel hot to do any really good radiant heat tho the stove is hot to the touch. Yours is also a secondary burner and not a cat stove ... I beleive a lot of the "non-cat" stoves ( like yours and mine ) are built in such a way to keep the inside of the fire box hotter to get secondary burn and takes a little extra to get the heat to be radiant . Other points have been mentioned as per making sure your wood is dry as wet / green / less dry wood take the time to burn off the moisture before the log puts off heat . Making sure you get a hot coal bed going . The one thing new stove owners have to figure out in time is how hot you can get your stove to run correct , with a new stove its like taking baby steps to get your new stove hotter and hotter with every run. I would #1 have a good "ASH BED" of at leat 1' kept in the stove all the time even when cleaning out keep ashes up to 1' #2 when starting a fresh fire have enough kindling to get the fire started and use small logs and or small splits to get the new fire started ........work on your new coal bed before adding larger splits of wood and save any unsplit round logs for the long run burn times. #3 Give your stove time to heat up with the kindling and small logs before looking for secondary burns - most non-cats stoves are needing 1100° inside to get secondary lite off. #4 15-35 minutes is about what is recommend to get the fire going to get started and then adding larger logs. Its just take some time to figure out how our new stoves work and what works best. Good luck John.
  8. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    Thanks. It's a cast iron model, and when I mentioned that it wasn't getting appreciably hot I meant in a radiant way. It's far too hot to touch within 10 minutes I would say. One thing I didn't realise was the need for an ash-bed - I have been cleaning mine out each time so far (5 burns since it was installed last week). Temperature here is a high of around 16C to a low of around 12C (~61F to ~54F) so perhaps it's still too warm, *but* it's a new toy and I want to play :)

    Chimney draught is good - as a newly lined chimney ought to be - and the stove has been installed as per regs (though, due to practicalities, somewhat closer to the rear than recommended but it's solid stone so it's non-combustible).

    Wood is seasoned hardwood, pretty dry (as far as I can tell - i.e. the ends are splitting) so I don't think it's down to damp wood (most of the wood has spent several weeks in temperatures peaking at 100F (in a greenhouse) and before that it had been seasoned for around 2 to 3 years (according to the estate from which I bought the wood)).
  9. My_3_Girls

    My_3_Girls Member

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    [quote - I have been cleaning mine out each time so far (.[/quote]

    Huge difference in fire/heat quality and quantity. It used to take me 3 or 4 fires just to get a good bed in the old VC 044. Let it build up, and you will 'feel the burn'
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  11. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    Thanks for the input, folks. The temperatures here have had an upturn these past two or three days so I don't think it's worth even bothering with the stove until we get our first cold snap.

    What (in your collective opinion) is the right temperature to start using the stove? I know that's perhaps a difficult question to answer, but a rough guideline would be helpful. I know that Rhonemas suggests that it's not worth trying above 45F (7.2C) which may be a few weeks or a month away yet, but other input would be useful.

    For the record, our temps for the next few days are:

    Thu Min Evening: 14C (57.2F) Max Daytime: 25C (77F)
    Fri Min Evening: 12C (53.6F) Max Daytime: 21C (69.8F)
    Sat Min Evening: 10C (50F) Max Daytime: 21C (69.8F)
    Sun Min Evening: 15C (59F) Max Daytime: 18C (64.4F)

    ...so I guess Saturday evening might be the closest we get to a 'stove night' until the weather cools...
  12. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    This is how i do it. When the highs are mid 60's to 70's and the lows are getting 40°-45° then my house keeps the heat until the A.M. and the house temp is about 70°-72° around 7:eek:oam ( no wood stove , no back up heat used ) when the highs dont get above the 60's and the lows are 40° and lower is when the house dont quite keep the heat as there wasnt the high heat during the day ( like in the 60's then the Wood stove gets used ) I have run my wood stove at 60° outside with no problem and the draft is fine. ( running the stove at 60° because that would of been the high for the day. ) I guess it all depends on how long through the night your house keeps it heat and also how your chimney is set up to draft so you can burn at say 60° or whatever temp you would like to burn at.
  13. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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  14. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Besides the good preceeding suggestions, another thing to keep in mind is, like other Morso stoves, the front glass is the ONLY surface on the 3410 that isn't 'jacketed' by either insulating brick or an internal baffle. So the first load is pretty much dedicated to getting the stove up to temperature. It sounds like you're used to a stove where the top plate heats up quickly.

    This feeling of 'slow to warm up' will be especially true if you're venting out the rear of the stove.

    If your draw is good as you say, you shouldn't have to keep the door cracked for more than a couple minutes. As soon as the chimney is warm and pulling, close the door, keeping the air controls wide open.
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