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Hey Fellow Summit Owners - Need Advice

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Willhound, Jan 3, 2006.

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  1. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    441
    Loc:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Hey gang

    Well, it's been about 3 weeks now with the Summit insert, and so far I'm extremely happy. NG doesn't kick in unless I let it.
    A few things I have noticed/have questions about. Maybe some of you with more experience (Frank, Roospike?) can make some suggestions.

    1) Damper setting - I have been playing with various damper settings to see how they affect rate of burn, amount of heat etc., but one thing I have absolutely noticed is that anything above half open, this thing seriously takes off. I'm talking complete combustion, big flame, and of course, more wood. Heat is unbeleivable, to the point that I've been worried that I'm over-firing. Reaching in front of the door to adjust the damper means either wearing long sleeves, or else being quick about it, or the skin starts to blister. When the "hot smell" kicks in I usually chicken out and cut her back. (Hot smell not to be confused with the paint curing...already went through that). As a result, I find that I am usually running at around 1/4 damper or lower. Getting satisfactory heat, but also a lot of ash build-up which tells me I'm not getting a complete burn.

    Am I being too cautious?

    2) "Poing" sound....(hard to convey sound effects when typing). After a fairly long sustained burn, if I let things die down to coals, I'll get a sudden, deep "pong" or "poing" sound. Loud enough that you can hear it two rooms away, so not just coals snapping. First time it happened I just about dove for cover. I happened to be looking right at the firebox when it happened last night, and didn't see any effect. I'm thinking either A) outer shell has heated up and expanded, then when cooling off it contracts and makes the sound..or B) same thing, expansion/contraction, but chimney liner is rubbing somewhere?
    This noise usually only happens once, and then not again until next heat/cool cycle, so not the usual "ticking" etc. that you normally get.

    3) Tightening door handle - when brand new, the door seal was tight to the point that the door handle had to be given some serious twist to get it closed. Obviously, with use, the door seal has seated, and the amount of effort needed to lock down the door has lessened considerabley. The handle itself also seems to now have some movement (a little jiggle), although the door itself seems to be tight. Looking at the inside of the door at the handle, there seems to be a spiral shaped lock washer type thing that holds the handle in place. Is this adjustable? At the same time, I think I might be getting a very slight amount of door leakage in the very bottom left hand corner. I think this because when the unit is fully dampered down, I see a slightly hotter spot in that area of the firebox, and also, this area is the only spot on the door that gets sooted up occassionally. Looking at the solidly welded hinge mounts, they don't look adjustable, as in I don't want to wack on them with a hammer, so does tightening up the handle help this?

    As I say, very happy with the unit, and this is probabley small stuff, but I just want to make sure I fine tune as much as possible.

    Thanks for any input.

    Willhound

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  2. roac

    roac New Member

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    Loc:
    Nampa, Idaho
    Not a Summit owner but can't you use a stove thermometer to tell us how hot it exactly is? Buy one if you don't have one. There must be somewhere on that insert to put one.
  3. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
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    Loc:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Not really. Not unless I could stick it on the front of the door somehow, so maybe if magnetic. I was going to buy one when I first got the unit, until I realized it would be pretty much impossible to use. Pretty well closed in, which is why I think the blower works so phenomenally well as far as moving heat.

    I suppose I could remove the "cook" top for a short time so that I could place it on top of the firebox as a test, but it's not reccommended to run this thing without the shelf in place to act as a heat deflector, and I respect that considering how hot it gets.

    Willhound
  4. roac

    roac New Member

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    Loc:
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    Willhound,

    I believe they are all magnetic. Just place it on the door, it'll give you some peace of mind if nothing else for 10-15$.
  5. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Ok, thanks roac. I'll give it a try, I can also always use the thermometer on my old Fisher out at the hunt camp, so like you say, not a lot of money to try it out.

    Willhound
  6. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Eastern Nebraska
    Hey WH , Hows things . #1 I normally run my damper at under 1/4 90% of the time . Unless i just cleaned out the stove and or i am relighting a fire from scratch then i run a small log or two at 1/2 damper or so to get a coal bed going . As far as soot on the glass goes i normally get soot on the lower left side of my glass also on less hot fires. I called Pacific Energy about it and was told this is normal with the PS summit stoves . Odd its on the bottom left of everybodys stove tho . #2 I still get the ping noise when the new reload starts to get hot and also a litte bit on the cool down . #3 Door handle : Mine was super tight when new but now every thing has seated its not as tight. When you close the door you need to put some foward pressure on the handle to close the door and not just turn the handle to close it because it will wear on the handle over time i would think. ( this is what i do anyway ) As for the handle being loose itself , mine is not loose at all going through the door . The wood handle is loose and always has been just because the way it was made . I opened my door and looked inside and i see the handle comming through the door with a washer on the inside and a "S" pin going through a hole to hold the handle in . Is your "S" pin bent ? Is your washer bent?
  7. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    441
    Loc:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Thanks Roospike. So it sounds like my experience closely matches yours. I just found it odd that I'm burning at typically 1/4 damper or less. Maybe because EBT works like Tom the Chimney Sweep says it does? OK, I won't go there in this thread.........

    The wooden part of my handle is tight, but the handle does jiggle just ever so slightly where it goes through the door. I dunno...maybe it always did, but I just didn't notice in the early excitment of getting the thing installed. I'll check the S pin you mentioned. I know my wife had a hard time with the idea that the handle closes in the down position, and was constantly spinning it all over for the first little bit...maybe bent something. It's not enough of a jiggle really that I think it is a problem, I just like my stuff to be in like new condition. When I first looked at the Summit I liked the look of the wooden handle, but wondered if there would ever be a problem with the wood drying out and splitting. I asked the dealer and they told me that they had never had a complaint in this regard. I guess the wood they use is some type of well dried hardwood. My buddy teases me that if I ever run out of kindling, I can always burn my handle. He's just jealous, and besides, I've only used 3 sticks of kindling since I lit this thing. Even when I clean out the ashes, there are always enough hot coals in the back to just rake them forward, throw in a few splits, and watch her go.

    Gonna go check that S pin now.

    Willhound
  8. roac

    roac New Member

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    Doesn't a wood handle violate distance to combustibles?
  9. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Good question! I dunno...I can tell you though that it stays way cooler than the usual wire coil handle I've ever had on any of my other stoves.
  10. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    441
    Loc:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Stove thermometer finally arrived in the mail today. Local shops were all sold out, except for one guy that wanted $27 for one, so I ordered one online.
    Not a lot of places to put a thermometer on the Summit Insert where you are in direct contact with the firebox, but I was able to squeeze it in just above the upper right hand corner of the door, partially under the cook top.

    I am getting a constant 460 to 550 F at about half damper with a good bed of coals and a couple of splits of birch, and the fan running at the highest speed. Pretty much how I usually run it.

    I assume that if I could have got it onto the pipe that it would be quite a bit higher ?

    Frank, I don't know if you've tried a thermometer on yours?
    Roospike, how about your free-standing Summit? Is there a big difference between the front of the stove and the pipe?

    Willhound
  11. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Eastern Nebraska
    I have double wall pipe so i cant tell what the pipe temp is . I thought about getting a probe thurmo and drill a hole in the stack and run it through to get the gas temp . My free stander is all covered because its the classic series . I have taken the trivet off the top and put a magnet thurmo right on the top plate and was running @ an average of 450 deg. at 1/4 damper with two logs . ( oak, elm , ect ) I have wireless thurmos all over in the house and out side. One in the front room with the stove , one in the kitchen , two upstairs and one out side. I normally run the stove to meet the needs of the house temp.
  12. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
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    I think the damper setting lets you overfire because there's so much variability in the wood, it's moisture, what condition, and for starting fires. I've noticed the biggest factor with my insert is the moisture in my wood. If I load up my insert with wood that's been sitting on the bottom of my piles (and getting splashed & snowed on) and bring it in for a couple days then try to burn it, I have to keep my air at max air the entire burn and wish I could crank it up even more as it barely burns even at max. If I load up on wood that's been right under my plastic I'm in the same boat as you and I have to cut it back below 50% or I'm going to overfire my unit.

    So, I think that's normal that you're not using it at maximum. If your wood was wet, you'd have your air setting higher than half to compensate. Also, if your wood was drier than what you're burning now you'd wish you could lower it to compensate. So, sounds like you have a perfect situation there in the middle.
  13. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    I guess Frank was right when he said "Fire her up man, she’ll be fine."

    I checked the manual again, and there is no upper temperature limit specified. The only reference I can find is under the section titled "Proper Draft", part 2) "Too much draft may cause excessive temperatures in the applicance. An uncontrollable burn or a glowing red stove part or chimney indicates excessive draft". Yeah...no kidding.

    Another section warns, "DO NOT OVERFIRE THIS HEATER: Attempts to achieve high output rates that exceed heater design specifications can result in permanent damage to the heater and chimney" , but no mention of what those specifications are.

    Considering the lifetime warranty on the firebox, I suppose they have a lot of faith in their construction.

    Throughout the day I've been playing with different draft settings to see what temps I get and I think the thermometer is just confirming the "hair on the back of my arms" test that I normally apply. When I reach down to adjust the damper and the hair on the back of my arms feels like it's gonna combust, it's time to back her off a bit. Or, it seems I have a pretty good "feel" for what it's doing. Working so far, so I guess I'll just stick with it. Anything below 450 and I don't feel like I'm getting good heat (pretty cold here today, - 30C) and anything above 575 to 600 and I start getting a nervous feeling, so right in the middle seems good.

    Willhound
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