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Help! drafting and heat issues!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Brad Stephanie Jurries, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Brad Stephanie Jurries

    Brad Stephanie Jurries New Member

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    Okay... now that I have your attention... *sigh* I hate to even be here asking this stuff.

    You all helped me pick out a stove earlier this year and we went with the Pacific Energy Super 27. I think it would work just great if we had properly seasoned wood....but....as I mentioned before my husband refuses to cut standing wood off of the beaches and only gets salt-seasoned beachwood (driftwood). Some of which is wood types from over 1000 miles away; i.e. very salty.
    We cannot get this stove to burn as hot as our old wood-eating Fisher (which couldn't hold a fire overnight even if the house was on fire), and now we are having drafting issues. I think it is creosote problems attributed to the salty wood, but my husband is pretty prickly about the salt issue and thinks its just a crappy stove. Winter is coming and in rainy wet windy southeast Alaska; this could make for a miserable winter.
    What are the thoughts out there?

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  2. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    i'm willing to take a stab at this and agree. i too think it can be creosote take a peek down the chimney. i'll bet if you had a moisture meter and broke open a piece of that salty wood it would still be wet. sounds like your having fires already. what is your air temp outside when your having these problems?
  3. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Tell your hubby to pull his head out of his arse, research some on the new EPA approved stoves, and educate himself.
    Times change, things change, sometimes people refuse to change and fall by the wayside or get hurt
    If that thing is crusted up with creosote, your hubby will be even unhappier if there is a fire other than inside the stove and the house burns or someone gets hurt.
    You sound like you have the head on your shoulders, try and knock some sense in that stubborn mule, for both your sakes.
    You PE manual will clearly state #1 NO salt water wood.
    Just grab him by his jewels, stick that manual page right in his face and tell him ton read & repeat.
    Good luck!
  4. Brad Stephanie Jurries

    Brad Stephanie Jurries New Member

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    our air temp is routinely around 60 this time of year.
  5. Brad Stephanie Jurries

    Brad Stephanie Jurries New Member

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    Ugh; I'm just not sure what I can do here! he IS being quite the mule!
  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Try this...
    Go to your local box store or someone that sells the packs of kiln dried firewood.
    By a few packs, bring em home, and about an hour or so before Mule man comes home from work, get a nice blaze going.
    When he walks in, see if he notices. If he doesn't, point out the nice dry unsalt riddled wood you have going on in there, and show him how real wood burns.
    The chemicals in the salt water driftwood are going to eat everything up quickly before its time.
    Lead the horse to the water, if he won't drink, take matters in your own hands and take the hell over.

    And 60 is wayyyyy to warm to burning a stove!
    PapaDave likes this.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Put hubby on here. Let him ask the questions. The odds are the wood is still damp in the middle and the flue is getting plugged. This is not a matter of heat, it is a matter of safety.

    Hot salt water fumes are highly corrosive. Share this thread with hubby. Ann lives on one of the western islands of AK and has no choice. This is what happens to a good stove after several years of salted driftwood burning. Hubby is wrecking the stove by bad practices. If this is about saving money he has it very wrong.

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/burning-salt-water-driftwood.111340/#post-1475554
  8. Auzzie Gumtree

    Auzzie Gumtree Feeling the Heat

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    is there any way you can get a load of properly seasoned wood and then you can show him the difference - sometimes us 'mules' need showing not telling.........;em
  9. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    LMFAO....Sorry but I am going to say this....
    Strip down, and CAREFULLY string a bunch of splits strategically placed on your body, then tell Mule man that he can carefully take each split off if they go into the stove and are burned as a load.
    There may be some incentive.... :cool:
  10. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Salt wood or not, it will burn much better dry. Definitely check your chimney and cap, under the wrong conditions you can get build-up in a hurry. The colder it is the better your draft will be but I burn at 60F without a problem. Do you have a chimney brush?
  11. Brad Stephanie Jurries

    Brad Stephanie Jurries New Member

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    There is no where anywhere where I live to get kiln dried wood. We live on an island in rural Alaska and the largest town is 1200 people. We don't have a lot of services here. Otherwise, I would do that!

    The climate here is very cool and maritime (the ocean is 100 feet away) and my house is old and uninsulated so it is often colder in the house than outside. If it is 60 degrees outside it may be only 53 in my house and we often need to take the chill off in the evening from when the west wind is blowing strait across the water. This is not 60 degrees in dry northern california.
  12. Brad Stephanie Jurries

    Brad Stephanie Jurries New Member

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    I already did lots of research about this issue but he won't listen to me. I know its bad and that is why we didn't spend more money and get the stove I really wanted!
  13. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Steph! Fancy seeing you here. We've had our new stove burning a few times this year already, and we really love it. We had trouble getting our first burn to go because the firebricks were so wet, but draft has been good ever since (6'-ish stovepipe and 10' class A with a pair of 45's in the pipe at the stove). The shielding does create a more gentle heat than my dad's Regency 3100 though - perhaps that's part of the perception? Can you really not scrounge any better wood? We have tons around from both historic and recent logging. It's amazing to see what the old-timers left behind on the ground sometimes.
  14. Brad Stephanie Jurries

    Brad Stephanie Jurries New Member

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    Yes I have a chimney brush but I have to go back to the hardware store. The 4' handle sections was missing threads for the brush to screw in. I'm going to make sure I get one the next time I go to town. Will salty wood cause more creosote and solids to build up in the pipe?
  15. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Stephanie,

    Let him know these stoves are smoke burners not as much wood burners but burning wood is in the end what happens.

    Its all about the heat. Its all about the heat!!

    Moisture in the wood cools the fire box enough that its hard to get the stove into the smoke burning mode.

    You need good dry wood and start the fires with good dry kindling.

    This gets the heat built up in the stove quickly, but if your wood is a little too much moisture it will burn but temps in the fire box stay lower than needed to to light off secondary burning of the smoke gases up in the top of the stove around the secondary burn tubes or secondary air baffles which every the stove has.

    You will be able to see the secondary flames in the top of the stove when the smoke gases burn.

    These stoves are design to be used with very little input air due to heating up the firebox really hot. The fire box is insulated with all those fire bricks and the baffle up top is insulated that lets the heat build up to higher levels but moisture in the wood will have a cooling effect on firebox temps as it evaporates..

    You can get lots of flames with the door cracked open but then your heat is flushed up the flue , that heat is needed in the firebox not flushed up the flue.
    So flames in the firebox doesnt always equate to fire box heat. Its the very low air flow thru the stove plus insulated fire box that lets temps in the fire box build up to higher levels needed for secondary burning of smoke gases.

    With outside temps warmer than 35 degs its going to be extra hard to get a good draft to pull air thru these stoves that are design to use very little air flow.
    You need to use top down fire starting method with lots of good dry kindling and good dry wood to get your temps up in the fire box as quick as you can.

    If your not starting with a good hot kindling fire your gonna sit there for a long time watching that stove slowly trying to heat up , you gonna want to crack that door open to get air into the stove but its gonna flush your needed heat right up the flue. So wood thats not good and dry is a pain in the Arse.

    You definitely will not get the heat out of these stoves, like your old stove, if you dont get the stove into the secondary burn mode.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  16. Brad Stephanie Jurries

    Brad Stephanie Jurries New Member

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    Hey Cynthia! We COULD get better wood but it would be more work. We could either go cut some and haul it back to town in our trucks, and load it into the landingcraft and bring it home. Or we could cut standing wood along the beaches and tow it home with the skiff. But he refuses to go either of these routes and I'm getting very worried about the situation! He is convinced that our problems are because its an EPA certified stove and not because of wood problems.

    (Hey I guess I didn't realize you had a super 27 too!)
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Damp wood and running a cool stove are two ways to cause more creosote. It is the accumulation of tars that condense on the inner walls of the pipe when the flue gases are below 250::F. Salty wood makes the flue gases highly corrosive. The stove you bought is not a cheap stove. It is an excellent performer when given the right fuel. Get the chimney cleaned and then get at least a couple bundles of dry wood from someone who seasons it correctly. You will note a big difference in heat output.

    My dad used to say, "a poor worker always blames his tools."
  18. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Top Down Fire Starting


  19. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Feeling the Heat

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    I second BG's suggestion of putting hubby on here to ask the questions. I know your situation well and sometimes you have to get an 'unbiased' person/group to step in :rolleyes:. Maybe print out this thread to show him? Also have you tried showing him some Youtube videos of your stove in action the way it should be? I like this one:


    Meanwhile, I am trying to convince hubby that smoke coming out of the chimney is a bad thing and he needs to turn the air up for a bit if it is smoking :confused:.
  20. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    If your husband is not willing to learn anything you probably were better off with the older stove, can you even get him to read the posts here?
  21. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    So he does not want to work to get good wood... He must be narrow sighted.
    Does he realize he was fetching much more wood and probably working harder fetching that wood to keep the Fisher appetite satisfied?
    The 27 is going to eat far less wood, IF he gets decent, DRY wood to feed it with. In the end, saving work & wood.

    Is this a case where you wanted a new stove and he didn't? Cause if that is the case, he will never be happy, just to prove himself right.
    Good luck with that. He is a very lucky man to have you, he would be tossed in the wind down here surely.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Can you get some boxes of carpentry scraps? They will help boost the fire.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  23. Brad Stephanie Jurries

    Brad Stephanie Jurries New Member

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    That might be the angle I need to try, because I am quite sure of that myself; the better wood will burn better and we will need to get less of it. This is a sensitive issue (for some reason) so I am trying to be very cautious about it. My husband is very smart and he excels at learning things the hard way. So I am trying to figure out how to skip that step in the process, so all of your infomation that I can pass on is helpful! I'm not sure I can get him to read these forums; he's not much of an internet guy....

    We needed the new stove because the old one ate SOOOOO much wood, and we are doing a state energy rebate/upgrade program, where switching to an EPA cert stove as well as adding insulation, new windows, etc. will get us up to 10K from the state. These were all things we needed to do anyways, so he was on board with the new stove. Maybe I need to propose a "trial" period of putting in the extra effort for more difficult wood and maybe he'll see the difference.....

    Also, luckily, we are often away from home and staying on our boat in town (YAY diesel drip stove) during the fall, as we are engaged in a time consuming fishery. There is some time to try to find some decent wood before we are home much (around Christmas.)
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Start collecting dry wood from local carpenters, flooring people, cabinet makers. That stove can heat well, but it wants dry fuel.
  25. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    If the wood is a little too much moisture split it smaller. You will need to use kindling on restarts to try and get the heat up in the stove easier.
    Rake your coals forward so towards the front of the stove you have lots of hot coals. Ten fill the back of the stove full with wood then leave one row in the front open and put your small thin pieces of kindling to ignite from all those hot coals your raked forward. Wood thats not dry enough makes restarts a pain.

    Here is a pictorial on Rake Coals Forward:
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/rake-coals-forward-and-stove-start-up-pictures.80659/

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