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"Houston we have achieved a Lazy Burn"

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rudysmallfry, Feb 20, 2006.

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  1. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    388
    Loc:
    Milford, CT
    Well, thanks to being home all week with a hurt leg, and nice cold temps outside, I've had plenty of time to diagnose my extremely short burn times in my Hearthstone Heritage. In my previous post, I'd said that I"m only getting an hour on a load of wood, and a healthy dancing yellow center flame was eating up all the wood with the air completely shut. Half of you thought it was an overdraft problem, half said air is coming in from my ash pan below. The dealer gave me some firebricks to cover the ash grate to rule out the air from below theory and ....

    The bottom theorists win! With the ash pan covered, my air control is much more accurate. I only have to shut it down to half before the screaming yellow flames turn into nice medium strength orange/yellow flames, and the stack temp holds its temp. For the first time since I've had the stove, I've got a load of wood going into it's 3rd hour. I've also broken my high temp of 450 for the soapstone by 150 degrees. The stove has been holding at 600 for the past 3 hours. Even if I let it go out now, it'll be hours before the oil heat kicks in. I'm liking this much better. I can't wait until next season when I've got some quality seasoned oak to work with.

    The only bad thing here is, I don't know how they can fix this problem. If the reason that the air coming in from the ash pan is due to the frequent expansion/contraction, how are they supposed to fix this permanently? The dealer is sending their guys out Tuesday, and luckily I have some definite info to supply them with. I just have a bad feeling that I'm going to be using this puppy with the firebricks for the rest of time.

    On a separate note, I passed two downed oak trees from a recent high wind day. What I wouldn't have given for a pickup truck and a chain saw. I'm sure somebody's capitalized by now.

    As always, thanks for all your input.

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  2. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,859
    Loc:
    Eastern Nebraska
    Unsure how your ash pan is set up at the bottom of your stove but i will speak from what i know on my Pacific Energy Summit .......... The ash pan at the bottom of the stove is more than for sure going to leak air and suck it in when the damper is shut down because they do not seal themselves ,,,,,,,,, I do as the owners manual states and fill or cover the ash clean out with ash . When ash is covering the ash clean out it sucks no air . Unsure how much ash you have in your stove when running it but you need an inch or two always when running your stove and never clean out "all" the ash. Now if i was to clean out all of my ash or not fill the ash door on the bottom as i have once before as i forgot to scrape it back into the hole the fire was hard to control. I love my ash clean out on the Summit and could not or would not want to go back to a old stove or newer stove that didnt have that option. The old days of a bucket and scoop to clean out the stove are over. Do what you can to get it fixed & best of luck.
  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,152
    Loc:
    Midwest
    You have proven where the air is entering, but it is possible that the reason is still too strong of a draft. Although I doubt it, plus if you have good seals even a monster draft is a tiny force in comparison.

    FWIW - just this weekend I had a similar problem with my stove. I thought I had everything closed down to normal levels, but still had an abnormally large flame in the firebox. After opening and closing the ash pan several times, still no luck. I pulled the ash pan completely out and found a piece of wood no bigger in diameter than a toothpick had become lodged under the ash drawer. It was just enough to cause the drawer to sit out of alignment and leak air. The 3F outside air was also helping by providing some of the stronger drafts I have experienced this year.

    You or your dealer may want to closely inspect the area where your ash pan seals to the stove. Is there any welding slag/protrusions in the area. Any slight warpage of the metal, misalignment or uneven fit? It doesn't take much (especially air coming from the bottom) to get a big roaring fire.

    In my case, the ashpan "seal" is provided by a generous overlap between the front of the drawer and the stove. If your setup is the same way, you may consider spreading a very light (very light!!) coating of grease (even crisco would work) on the back of the ash drawer and sliding it into place. It should mate nearly perfectly with the front of the stove and make a uniform pattern of grease transfer. If it doesn't, you will still see where the contact is and be able to take corrective action. Just be sure to clean the grease up before building a fire!

    You may also want to get a flashlight down there and inspect the floor of the drawer slot to make sure it is clean and also inspect the weld at the very back of the slot. You should have a full weld bead to seal that off as well. I know we have already heard of a couple of instances where welds have been missed so far this year.

    Good Luck,
    Corey
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Lake Wissota
    Great news,
    Enjoy your stove. I would keep the firebricks in there. Its easier to just scoop the ash out once a week, than to mess with those slide out ash pans that don't seal properly.
  5. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
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    2,859
    Loc:
    Eastern Nebraska
    Not all ash pans seal at the ash pan Todd . The PE Summit also has the air supply going into the ash pan eara. Most stoves "I have seen" have a door to the stove to seal off from tha ash pan. The door is open and ashes are let into the pan.
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