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I need a pep talk. Getting discouraged with new Jotul Oslo...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Koko, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Koko

    Koko Member

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    Loc:
    Dudley, MA
    Hello everyone. Guess this will be my introduction post too.

    This past year my wife and I were fortunate enough to build a new home. At the time we had an exterior masonary chimny built. Our home is around 2200sqft. After talking with a friend of mine (skier76 from the forum), I was sold on a Jotul Oslo. Looks and hopefully the performance I was looking for. We are running a bottom and rear heat shield and double walled pipe in a corner mounted setup.

    Well now it's installed and I'm struggling. I performed my 3 break in fires as described. So tonight after work was going to be my first full fledged fire. Letting it rip and warming the house. Well so I thought. I struggled to get the stove barely up to 300 degrees. I can barely keep the fire going with the door closed. With it craced, it gets going but dies down once I lock the door. Damper is wide open and air control is wide open. Now, I'm wondering what the issue is and if I'll be able to burn successfully this winter. Tonights temp is in the low to mid 20's with some wind.

    Two things I need to do, is get a moisture meter and check my wood. Secondly I think I need chimney cap. From what I read that can help your draft.

    To help with suggestions...here's some pictures. Everyone likes pictures. Sorry for the poor quality. These are all taken with my cell phone.

    Here's the room the stove is going in. The stove will be in the opposite corner of the TV.

    [​IMG]

    Turn a 180 and it's wide open to the kitchen/dining room.

    [​IMG]

    "Rough" hearth layout. Just getting an idea with clearances per Jotul's specs.
    [​IMG]

    Here's some of the stone we used. This is New England Thinstones.

    [​IMG]

    First the base was laid using some subfloor paper. Then concrete board.
    [​IMG]

    On top of that 3" block was laid.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finished with sheetrock removed to meet the 6" to combustible requirement for the double walled pipe.
    [​IMG]

    Finished install. Stove is 10" off wall at the corners and surprisinglike is 25"'s from the nearest window even though it does not look it by the picture.
    [​IMG]

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  2. Koko

    Koko Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
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    Loc:
    Dudley, MA
    Any suggestion on why I can't get/keep a good fire going would be greatly appreciated. Even with red hot coals, the door still really needs to be cracked.

    3 hours after initial lighting, door closed, damper wide and air control wide open.
    [​IMG]

    I think I may be getting a slight amount of smoke back into the house. But nothing siginificant as my co2 detectors have not gone off.
  3. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Just South of Portland, OR
    Nice installation. Beautiful stones.
    The first suspect is the wood, of course. Nothing good happens until the wood is dry enough. What species and when was it split? If it's dry enough, then is it split small enough? Too large can mean tough to get going.
    Next question is the chimney. How tall? There needs to be sufficient height to ensure good draft.

    Edit: Just noticed no chimney cap. That might help.
  4. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    Loc:
    SW MI near Saugatuck
    Welcome Koko,

    I love the fat lab and the paddle-ball rock brace! That's a lovely stove and hearth.

    But on to the matter at hand. The first guess is always wood--it needs to be seasoned for at least a year after splitting, and most sellers who say they're selling seasoned wood aren't. So get a load of dry firewood from the store, or some lumber (untreated) and see if that works.

    My personal WAG is the masonry chimney. Can you tell us about it, how high it is, what the flue type and dimensions are? Stoves like to have a nice, straight, tall, well insulated chimney about the same cross-sectional area as the stove flue. So if you have a 1 story masonry chimney with a large flue, that could be a problem.

    It also might be slow to heat up, so you might have get the stove cranking to make it draw--maybe try to get the stove hot with the door cracked--WATCHING IT THE WHOLE TIME (never leave a stove unattended with the door open), and see if getting the stove heated up and some coals in there does the trick.

    Anyway, please tell us about your wood and your chimney.

    HTH and good luck!
  5. Koko

    Koko Member

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    Loc:
    Dudley, MA
    Thank you compliments. I need to pick up a moisture meter. Since this was my first year, I had to buy wood. No matter where I looked it was a gamble. After chatting with this one particular company, they claimed the wood had been cut and split for approximately 2 years. Stored uncovered on a cement slab. The wood "looks old" but I need to measure it's moisture content for sure. I will say, the really smaller splits get up an ripping in no time. I used those for my breakin fires.

    I'll have to get chimney measurements.

    Wood delivery
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Single row stacks. Only covered on the very top. ...and my little helper
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  6. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    PS And I wonder about your stovepipe. Those 90 bends are slowing you down, and is your pipe single or double wall? . I see one at the wall, and is there another at the back of the stove? (I can't tell which direction the stove outlet is). If you could change the 90 to two 45s, and double wall pipe. That would help, though I know that it would probably mess with your stove location.
  7. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    Thanks for the photos--the wood p0rn makes me happy.

    If the splits take off, try getting your stove going with those, and a nice bed of coals before putting in the larger stuff. Heating your pipe and chimney up may get you over the hump.
  8. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    He did mention that it's double wall. I've got a similar set up with a 90 into an exterior SS chimney and have no issues with draft, even though everyone here thinks I should. :)
    It's what happens outside that I'm curious about.
  9. Koko

    Koko Member

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    Very observant...that's my boy Reese and my daughters paddle ball. HA!


    I need to climb up on the roof and get a measurement of the flue. I know the thimble was 8" because the installers used a 6" to 8" adapter at the wall.

    Here's some pictures of the chimney during construction. The stove is on the second floor in this picture. So the chimney has long drop down to the cleanout.
    I don't know if that matters.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  10. Koko

    Koko Member

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    I'm running double walled pipe. There's actually no 90's used on my stove pipe. It comes straight up off the stove and hit's two 45's. then heads into the chimney.
  11. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Funny, I've got a son named Reece with a little sister too.

    Chimney is plenty tall. If it's lined, then I'm guessing you just need to get the stove hotter with some smaller splits first and get the draft going. That's a lot of chimney to get hot enough to draft well. If it's not lined, then you've got an awful lot of mass to heat in order to get a decent draft going.

    I have a different set-up, but similar in ways. Getting the stove and the flue hot when starting from cold makes all the difference. Let that thing rip with some smaller stuff.
  12. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    Excellent--you rock! Sorry, my eyes couldn't make out the 45s.

    Thanks for the photos. It looks like your effective chimney height is fairly short. I'm curious about your flue size/type. Be careful on the roof!
  13. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Oops. Second floor. Missed that. Chimney's too short.
  14. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    If it's a big masonry flue, maybe a liner would add enough draft?
  15. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Jotul's manual says 14' is the minimum for draft. It's hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like it's somewhere in that neighborhood. You'll need a hot chimney to maintain draft if you're at the minimum. They also say exposed masonry chimneys need smaller flues, and that larger masonry flues may require a liner. I have no experience with a liner in masonry, so I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing a 6" liner would draft better than an 8"x8" clay flue. There's bound to be someone more qualified than I along to advise better before too long.

    Here's your pep talk. It's a beautiful stove and hearth. You'll get years of enjoyment out of it. You'll get the kinks worked out.
  16. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    +1 Think of all the great fires that wood is going to give you. And welcome again.

    An operator will be available to assist you soon...
  17. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    You will need to meet the minimum chimney height requirements for the oslo, plus you will need to run a 6 inch insulated liner from the stove all the way to the top of chimney, and then you'll need to have good, dry, seasoned wood. Then you'll be set.

    From what I've read, the outside chimney, 6 inch pipe to 8 inch thimble, 8x8 clay lined flue, short chimney, all have contributed to your problem.

    I have an oustide brick chimney and have it lined/insulated 6 inch pipe, it's about 21 feet, and the oslo allowed me to wake up to 73 degree's in the living room this morning on a load of 22 inch red oak that's been split and sitting for 2 years and 8 months.
  18. SKIN052

    SKIN052 Minister of Fire

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    Here's some pictures of the chimney during construction. The stove is on the second floor in this picture. So the chimney has long drop down to the cleanout.
    I don't know if that matters.
    [​IMG]
    If I read this right your stove and chimney are located on the same floor has those two windows above the lift. Looks like the chimney then goes up no more than 10-12', hard to tell from the pic however. It looks great but I have a feeling it is a little too short and would greatly benifit from a insulated liner and flue extender of some sort. Maybe the long drop down to the clean out is adding to the problem, possible keeping the chimney too cool to create a good draft. Are you seeing much smoke when the stove is going? BTW, great looking home and great looking instal. Your fire wood looks very seasoned, could be misleading but looks dry. Good luck.
  19. jotulguy

    jotulguy Feeling the Heat

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    Do you have Any stores that sell fire wood in a bag? If you were able to get a bag of that really dry wood and try it maybe you would see difference. The height of the flue would be something i would be curious about too!
  20. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="Koko" date="1291723844"]Thank you compliments. I need to pick up a moisture meter. Since this was my first year, I had to buy wood. No matter where I looked it was a gamble. After chatting with this one particular company, they claimed the wood had been cut and split for approximately 2 years. Stored uncovered on a cement slab. The wood "looks old" but I need to measure it's moisture content for sure. I will say, the really smaller splits get up an ripping in no time. I used those for my breakin fires.

  21. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    And what's the other rule on chimneys: the top must be 2 feet above any point on the roof that is within 10 feet horizontally (have I got that right)? If so, it doesn't look from the photo as though that is the case.
  22. cycloxer

    cycloxer New Member

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    Your problem is your draft. You need to line that chimney with 6". You may or may not need to insulate. The 8"x8" is not giving you enough pull and the extra chimney below floor level is also not helping. I can't tell from your picture if you are rear vented or top vented (preferred on the Oslo). Using 45's is also better for draft. I don't think your wood is the problem.
  23. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I think you just need a little more time figuring out your stove before you make any big changes to your install. You said your breakin fires went well with smaller wood so try building up the fire from there and don't use larger splits til you have a good coal bed established. An outside clay tile chimney will take a little while to warm up to get the draft going so smaller splits will help that along.
  24. Koko

    Koko Member

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    Well...you are all lucky I'm here today. I was dressed for work except I had sneakers on and I decided I should climb up and get a measurement for the flue. Well I can tell you that the chimney extends approx 9.5ft when measured from the roof line above the gutter. I was able to get the flue measured and it's an 8x8 flue. Getting off the roof was a different story. Never had issues at my old house. But after a few minutes of nervous chatter with my 8month pregnant wife, I was able to get down safely. Had to change my works pants though, they got a bit dirty. And no I didn't poop my pants. HA! Ended up being 30 minutes late for work. But my staff and boss had a good laugh at my expense.

    Dan Corcoran, I"m not sure if this helps but the chimney is about 14 feet away from the main house. That living room bumps out a total of 16ft.

    My wonderful wife is going to go grab a moisture meter and a couple bags of kiln dried wood. Will retest tonight.

    Assuming I have enough height...how much does it cost (roughly) to do a 6" chimney liner? How do you clean a lined chimney?

    It's top vented. Glad the 45's are preferred and that's what I have. At least something is right. LOL


    The smaller break fires went ok. I still had trouble getting it too temp, primarily the final 400 degree break in.
  25. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I agree with Todd, if the smaller splits burnt well with the break in fires you might just need some one on one time with the stove. I had problems running my summit (still do) but my wood and flue are fine.

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