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I guess I cleaned my stove too well.......NC-13 owners

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by trailrated, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    Cleaned the chimney and stove today. Didn't vacuum the stove but removed a lot of ash out of the nooks and shelves inside. Now my stove is burning to hot. Got away from me on the first load and had to remove a log and run it outside.

    Shutting down it isn't making much of a difference. This is my 4th year with the stove and I've had the operation down good. I know how my load will react at each air setting, etc. Not today......small and medium loads are getting to hot.

    I'm attaching some pictures of what I noticed. When the fire has calmed, I'm noticing a vertical burn in the center like a blow torch is underneath. Two photos show this at two different stages of the burn. The ash pan plug is beneath the "blow torch". I removed the plug today and got out built up ash lying in the surrounding hole. The only thing I can think of is to much air is getting in from the ash drawer now that ash has cleaned out??

    The third pic shows the coal bed and you can see the coals in the center glowing very red in front of the "dog house" and near the ash pan plug. I don't remember this stove ever acting like this. Evidently I removed ash built up in places and more is getting in now??

    Can any Englander NC-13 owners relate? And what does everyone else think?

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  2. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    I'll try and make the pictures bigger, photobucket changed the layout and its messing me up
  3. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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  4. ethanhudson

    ethanhudson Member

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    Ash Door FTW...
    raybonz likes this.
  5. ethanhudson

    ethanhudson Member

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    In case I wasn't clear enough I am assuming that you may have dislodged the ash door or inadvertantly removed ash that was sealing a long ago dislodged ash door. This dislodged ash door is letting in combustion air that you can not regulate. Let it go cold, remove the ash door, clean the flange where the door seals, re-install the ash door being sure that it is fit snug and air tight. Happy burning :cool:
  6. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    I

    I did what you recommended and it was my thought process as well, I just had to wait for things to cool down. When I checked the ash pan plug it appeared to be sitting normal. I reloaded with 2 normal size splits (normal for this size stove) and seeing how its going to react. So far it doesn't seem to want to get away from me. I'm gonna double check the ash door again after this load. That $**t was scary earlier!
    raybonz likes this.
  7. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    If you don't use your ash pan like my parents, glue( furnace cement) is shut.
  8. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    I don't think it will matter gluing the ash pan door closed. The plug for the ash pan is in the floor of the stove. I'm sure air could still come from underneath and get through a mis-aligned plug.
    stoveguy2esw likes this.
  9. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    Sorry wasn't clear,haha...glue the plug shut. My family were using their ash/plug to start and leaving it open. I put an almost permanent stop to that and glued it shut.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    When the stove cools down make sure the plug is seated well. Then fill all of the space around the edges of the top piece of the plug with ashes and pack then in. Should stop the leak. Keep an ash bed in the stove and it should not do that again. Another thing you can do is stuff some Roxul or other fire proof insulation in from under the plug.
    trailrated likes this.
  11. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    I like this^^. I must of had enough ash around the plug to stop any air. I usually keep a bed of ash, but today I went all out and scooped it all out for a fresh start.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I took the plug, just like the one in the 13, out of the 30 and plugged the hole with Roxul. Then put a brick over it. Heck of a lot easier to scoop out ashes without that "handle" on the plug in the way.

    And I never clean the whole ash bed out of a stove. The first burn without an ash bed is a royal pain for me. The ashes between the bricks in my 30 are from trees that burned in 2006.
    raybonz likes this.
  13. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    I should do that too. I'm getting tired of trying to scoop around the top of the plug! I have some extra firebrick that I ordered from Englander to keep on hand in case I crack a brick. Just have to figure out how to get it sized to fit. Will they score and break like concrete blocks?

    -SF
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Pretty much. You can also just hacksaw the handle off of the thing. Cast iron saws pretty easily. But the brick is the easy fix. I hated it because it was always right where I wanted to put the piece of Super Cedar.
  15. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Glad you fixed that underfire air leak! I always leave ash in the firebox too and just shovel out the stove.

    Ray
  16. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    Thats Awesome! Until today, My ash on the very bottom was from last year.
  17. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    I always leave some ash in the stove. As BrotherBart mentioned, it fills in the spaces nicely in the bricks. On cold starts (weekend burning) I usually swept the ash away from the top of the plug just to double check that it's seated well - then sweep it back over the plug before start-up. Lately it's seated so well that I can't wiggle the plug loose at all. So I left it that way. I believe over time (few years weekend burning) enough ash has packed in tight around the plug to make it sort of permanent. I don't use the ash pan so that works for me.

    (correction - I believe I did have the plug out at end of last season, if I recall, when cleaning out chimney and stove - so this year's burning has done the trick.)
  18. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Also, don't forget to check that baffle board to make sure you didn't bump it and move it forward so that it's not seated properly. If that's out of whack, that'll make the stove top get hot as well. Just mentioning that as post-cleaning inspection stuff. I agree with the others about the ash plug.

    When I cut the brick and put it in place of the plug, I had an open tub of furnace cement around so I put a ring of it around the hole, then seated the plug to stop any air infiltration.

    pen
    raybonz likes this.
  19. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    Yea, checked that as well. I went over everything, checked secondary tubes, chimney joints and even got in the attic and checked that section. Couldn't find anything obvious. When I cleaned the stove and removed the plug, I had ash built up all below the plug on the seat edges. Swept all that out and then had this problem. Figured it had to be an air leak from "disturbing" the plug.
  20. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Imagine that, you did what the stove was intended to do and it gave you hell for it.

    I simply find the Englander version of an ash pan / plug degrading to the stove line.

    With that exception, I can't say enough for the stove.

    But, I'm wondering if you had a combination of things. Any chance your dog house air was plugged with ash and you cleared that out today? The air from that dog house shooting back through coals then hitting the last of the solid things in the back of the stove could/does make it shoot straight up as well (I'm watching it happen right now).

    pen
  21. trailrated

    trailrated Member

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    It could have been plugged, but every once in a while I check it (just by sticking a screw driver in the holes). This time was no different. The holes were clear but who knows how much ash is/was down in the thing??

    My primary air is above the door. I noticed I had a lot ash built up on the shelf inside the stove behind the primary air. That had to make a difference when I cleared that.
  22. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Different stove but last year i found out do not mess with the ash plug for the same reason.
  23. chvymn99

    chvymn99 Minister of Fire

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    Wow... Glad you figured that out. Never would have figured that, but I know now if that happens. But I've never cleaned mine out that thoroughly. Just took off enough too see the tops of the bricks to check for fractures.
  24. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Not an Englander, but I shovel out my stove and vacuum it clean twice per year to check the cat and all the cemented joints in the firebox. Isn't this advisable with any stove? Even you steel firebox guys must have something that can fail, no?
  25. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I remove the tubes and baffle boards and clean them when I clean the chimney. I just don't vac all the ash off the floor of the firebox.

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