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How hot is too hot?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Johnpolk, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    I try to keep my stove top between 550-650. I have had the glowing top and the therm was pegged at 800, cutting the air down sooner cured this.

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  2. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    Running a stove is a learning process. I've had my stove for awhile now, and I still let my stove get too hot last night, even with the air shut down completely. We had low single digit temps outside last night with some wind.

    Short adventures north of 700 are unlikely to damage your Isle Royale, based upon my experience and the experience of others here. The front and center of the griddle get much hotter than the rest of the stove. I try to stay between 550 and 650, but don't sweat it too much if it ventures higher. I did glance at my pail of ash next to the stove a couple of times when I went above 700, but it did come down and my shorts stayed dry. ;em Nothing on the stove or flue glowed.

    Bigger wood, smaller loads, cutting the temps earlier. All of those things help keep the blood pressure down. Still, it's kind of fun to drive a fast car once in awhile.
    loudog likes this.
  3. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    Where are you measuring the temp? It's my understanding that for the IR we're supposed to be measuring temp at the outer, forward edges of the griddle top (the part on top that opens.) When I check there with my IR gun "normal" temps are 500-700. However when the corners are 550 the center of the griddle can easily be 750 and up, so it matters where you measure.......
  4. Johnpolk

    Johnpolk Member

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    Good question. I have been using the highest temp I can find on the stove top as my reference
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Under 750F and all is good. Then bring it back down to the 550-650 range where it likes to cruise. The IR likes to have a couple of nice big splits and then fill in with what ever will fit. I load mine to the max on virtually every reload UNLESS I am trying to time the burn (like time it right for a nightly fill). The temps you reported don't even raise an eyebrow. Yes, time to get it shut down, but you ain't hurting things. The IR is one of the easiest breathing stoves that I have ever seen. Keep that in mind and shut it down a little earlier. At 500F I slam it down to about 5% open and walk away. Typically it will cruise up to 650-700 and then settle back down to 550-650 for the long haul.

    To the person that asked about the ash pan door...don't MAKE me get all monkey boy on ya.:p DON'T DO IT. (experience speaking).
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  6. Johnpolk

    Johnpolk Member

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    When I have it fairly full and it gets away from me, shutting the air all of the way will not stop it from going nuclear. Since I started this thread I have been shutting it down sooner and it seems to help so far. In another thread someone referred to it as "the firey gates of hell". That about summarizes it. Secondaries going nuts and not slowing down no matter what I do at that point. All that said, everyone's advice of shutting down earlier seems to help avoid that
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    What do you consider nuclear?
  8. Johnpolk

    Johnpolk Member

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    Like I said it would go up to 750. My wife had 800 once she said. When that happens the scary part is that it begins at a low temperature. Maybe it's all they way shut down at 600 and just continues to rise and get more secondaries and it becomes a snowball. All the wood off gases at same time I think. Shutting down sooner seems to help so far
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Without a doubt. Yeah, 800F starts to get my attention. Been there, Done that. How tall is your chimney (piping)?
  10. Isaac Carlson

    Isaac Carlson New Member

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    First of all, if it isn't glowing you don't have to super scared. I don't know how tall your chimney is, but if it is tall, you may want to put in a flue damper to cut the draft.
    If your chimney isn't too tall, try blocking off some of the secondary air. I know some stove MFG's put too many air holes/tubes in their stoves to get a better burn with a short chimney, but they will run away with a tall one. Almost every purchased product has to be modified to work the best for whoever buys it. We have to add an air tube/holes for the in-laws because of their short chimney. I don't like the placement of the air sources on a lot of stoves. I don't have any axe to grind, I just like to look at different stoves and make note of the good/bad points. It is a base to build on.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't go modifying that stove (personally). I have been running an IR for quite a few years now, and the design of the stove works well. It DOES sound like you have exceptional draft. Fill us in on your stack height.
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  12. Johnpolk

    Johnpolk Member

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    From stove top to cap is about 15 feet. Straight up.
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That is not a whole bunch. About the same as mine. I have a little more, but not much (to cure a downdraft issue). I don't think you or the stove is doing anything wrong. As you have noted, turning it down sooner has helped, and I will tell you that the occasional short stint at 750F ain't gonna hurt that stove. You will keep a nice clean pipe to boot.;)

    Burn on - Isle Royale brother. Burn on.
  14. Johnpolk

    Johnpolk Member

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    Thanks. It's nice to be able to ask around with these concerns and see what is normal and what isn't. Burning wood is definately an art, but dang it's fun and addicting
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep - and you have a darned nice stove to do it with.:p
  16. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Is your temps more normal now?

    Just thought i would check and see how it was doing.
  17. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    A paper clip and now my temp gage records its max. Thanks to whomever posted that idea.
  18. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    Don't mean to hijack the thread but just curious what kind of burn times you guys get with your Isle Royale? Long slow burn times compared to hot almost over fire times?
  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I hate this question. Please define your burn time. Is 300F still considered active? Or is it 500F? I have gone 24 hrs with enough coals to light up a new load, but it sure wasn't carrying the heat load for the house.
  20. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I agree, Jags.
    Seems most refer to having enough coals to relight.
    To me. the only sensible, meaningful definition is my stove is still putting out enough heat to heat my house without more than a few degrees fluctuation in the house temp over the burn cycles.
  21. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Exactly. Also, if the stove is oversized for your needs, the burn times will be much longer.

    If the stove us undersized, your burn times will be much shorter.
  22. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I consider burn times as usable heat for your needs.

    Enough coals for a relight does nothing for keeping your home warm.
  23. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    I don't burn slow and long (which implies low temps), and I don't burn almost overfire (which implies high temps over extended period).

    I think it's useful to say that similar sized non-cat stoves produce similar burn times, given the same wood and the same operator skill.
  24. Johnpolk

    Johnpolk Member

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    I like the paper clip idea. I've been wondering about a good way to do that and that sounds as simple as anything coukd be for monitoring g what the max temp reached is. I've been having more luck controlling the stove lately by shutting it Down sooner. Easier to realize you shut it down too early and open it back up some than it is to shut it down too late and not be able to control a runaway. It's a learning curve though. Love the stove by the way
    rideau likes this.
  25. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    Agree 100%. And it doesn't usually take much movement when opening it back up.

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