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I need help, advice, or maybe just a hug

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by martel, Mar 10, 2006.

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  1. martel

    martel Member

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    as many of you may judge from my past posts I have been eagerly awaiting the installation of an insert. Last week we had the regency 2400i medium put into the masonry fireplace with a custom faceplate to fit perfectly the arch of the FP. when gary (the installer) was done, he put in a few magic pieces of wood and fired her up. the room went from about 62 to 73 in about 45 minutes.

    now that Gary and his magic are gone I am having temperature problems. I can't get my living room thermostat thermometer past 60 degrees, the upstairs is freezing, and it has been generally mild. here is my situation: I am burning cherry that sat for three years. I assumed with that sort of time the cherry, cut but unsplit, would be well seasoned. As I burn the wood there is no hissing, foaming, oozing or anything else that people explain as indicators of "wet" wood. do you think the wood is unseasoned? is cherry not that hot (seems that I have read a lot to the contrary)? if i burn with the stove "open" does a lot of heat go up the flu? am I doing something wrong? or was Gary really magic?

    thanks for any responses and once I figure out how to shrink pics enough I will post one of the insert with the beautiful custom faceplate.

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  2. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Do you have a good, hot base of coals in place beore putting on your cherry logs? Do you feel comfortable with how to use your air supply control(s)?

    I cut up a 2 or 3 year old oak and it was somewhat wet inside. Try some kiln dry firewood from a grocery store or something - see if it is your wood.
  3. martel

    martel Member

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    thanks. I am going to run out and buy some wood for the test... although i feel a bit sheepish because I tend to snicker at people when i see them buying a six dollar bundle of wood (he who laughs last)...

    I have worked the air supplies quite a bit. starting to get a feel for them, but i think that it will be a bit different with better wood. i'll tell you though this stove is super high tech compared to the one I grew up with at home in the eighties!!
  4. Marcus

    Marcus New Member

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    I have a recently installed Regency i3100 which puts out a ton of heat. I had small supply of really well seasoned split wood. That worked tremendously until it was used up in 2 weeks. Then I switched to some logs from a tree that was cut up over 1-1/2 years ago but never split. Even though the wood was stacked and seemed dry in appearance, it was apparantly still wet inside, did not burn well, and barely put out any heat. I would guess in your situation it is the wood also. Trying some store bought dried wood is the best option.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Logs are just hard to burn period. No matter how old they are. The wood has a hell of a time releasing the gases anywhere but out of the ends and it takes a long time to get the logs hot enough for it to come out of the ends. Bust a few of them up into splits and give them a try. I burn logs on occastion but always on top of hot coals and with burning splits running on either side of them.
  6. martel

    martel Member

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    Helpful things- yes BB i split them several weeks ago- they had been sitting as rounds for 2-3 years is what i meant.
  7. iburnpine

    iburnpine Member

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    Martel,

    You didn't tell us what temperature the stove was burning at either.....do you have a Rutland thermometer on that sucker so you have an idea if you're even in the 'burnzone'? You could've been burning at a low temp....who knows.

    I'll tell you one thing, the air control on the Regency's is very precise. I have the F1100 in my cellar and if I move that thing an 1/8 of an inch, it matters. Your stove should be kicking some butt though.....so I definitely agree with everyone else. Get some decent, dry stuff and get that sucker burning.

    Pete
  8. martel

    martel Member

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    one question- where in the world would i put a thermometer on an insert. The installer said you don't get an accurate read because it is double walled(??)
  9. Haston

    Haston Member

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    Martel: I just asked that very question in the following post. Seems most people put their thermometer in the upper corner above the door on the Regency insert. But you're dealer is right, the front stove surfaces are mostly double-walled. Still, I'm going to give it a shot. H. (Regency i3100)

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/1605/
  10. martel

    martel Member

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    let me know how your readings turn out.
  11. martel

    martel Member

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    OK- update and I still need a hug. So, the saga continues... I ordered a cord of "seasoned" oak, to make a long story short it hissed at me- not seasoned (ok, no skin off my back, burn it next year). I drove out to Dick's sporitng goods where they sell bundles of wood. I paid five bucks for less than a cubic foot of wood (felt a bit embarrassed and I actually explained to the guy at the register why I was buying the wood)-- came home to test the stove. For the first time I got to see brilliant flames in my stove!! I got the temp to rise a few degrees in the room (on the thermostat thermometer) with the insert and it didn't go any higher.

    so, the warmest I can get the room is about 65 degrees and outside of that room is probably under sixty. But when I open the door it is hot as Hades in the firebox- much hotter than I have gotten it before.

    I have not had a chance to get a thermometer for the stove yet. But it is was really quite hot. I am very confused and a bit discouraged about why it is not even making my living room toasty. The insert is supposed to heat up to 2400 feet (pretty certain) and other regency owner boast a great heat output. Is there a chance I am losing all the heat from the firebox into the flue? It seems like the only answer I can come up with. Any suggestions?
  12. Haston

    Haston Member

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    May be a stupid question, but did you get a blower with your Regency insert? If not, I can see how it might be hard for the stove to warm up the room with the bulk of th estove and heating surface tucked into the hearth and chimney. The blower being on makes all the difference with my i3100. If you do have the blower, and are still getting these bad results, it may be time for you to call Gary and his magic back for a consult. Good luck. H.
  13. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    If Gary (the installer) did it, so can you. There's nothing wrong with the stove. If it worked once, it'll work again.

    One cubic foot of wood isn't a whole lot. In my cast iron insert it takes that much wood and an hour or so, just to get all the metal warm. You probably just need some more good wood. Don't panic. Find wood. You'll likely be fine.
  14. martel

    martel Member

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    Alright Dr. Mo, I'll stop panicking. Two things:

    1. yes, I have a blower- so that's not the problem.
    2. when I experiemented with the bundle the stove had been running all day and was certainly warm when I got to the point of cranking it up with the very dry bundled wood.

    thanks guys. i am going to try to find a friend wiht some super seasoned wood to run it on for a while.
  15. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Go find some dry pallets, cut em up, and get her going. Mix in some of the "not so seasoned oak" once it gets going. Just be careful not to overfire. I know what your thinking "overfire he says, I should be so lucky".

    Heck go to some of th home centers and ask th manager for pallets, busted lumber, contruction site dumpsters, etc. Good luck
  16. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Well, I can relate to this, too. When I first started firing my new insert 16 months ago, I was watching my room thermometers like a hawk. Seemed like I could never get them near as high as I expected. Then, mysteriously, after burning for a few weeks, room temps seemed to get a bit higher. Now, they are fine. What happened in between probably had more to do with my learning curve than the stove's performance. It can take a while to settle in with your warm, new guest. Hopefully, this is all that's going on at your house. Still, I understand your concern. Let us know what happens when you get some more dry wood and fire that thing a while longer. And good luck finding some dry wood. This can be challenging, especially the first year.
  17. martel

    martel Member

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    thanks again- as for dry wood... I have ordered another load of wood advertised as seasoned oak. i asked him very specifically how long it was seasoned for- he said a year and a half. after getting yet another load of bubbly hissing wood I called him back and he said it was downed a year and a half ago and just split. I would have had him come pick it up and give me my money back but it was already stacked.

    I will experiement with firing up a bunch of pallet pieces I have a few laying around.

    I will check back in after a few more days. The cherry I am burning does not seem to be wet, but also not giving off a ton of heat either...

    back to the drawing board.
    krm
  18. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    These are the same lessons I learned buying wood, both from guys who cruise my neighborhood (mostly in the fall) as well as those with their numbers in the phone book. Now I get WAY more specific with my questions. Many of those I've spoken with are really put-off by lots of specific questions. These usually have wet wood. Some seem like they just started their 'firewood business' after sticker shock at the gas pump or some other financial pinch. One actually admitted to me that this was the first cord of wood he'd ever delivered. And I got his name from a professional tree service. Most were lower on the cordwood learning curve than I was and I wasn't all that far along. Some were real nice guys. Two in particular I really got on with. One (his first cord) actually delivered the closest amount to a full cord of wood than all the others, even the tree service pro's, and he didn't even know the definition of a cord. His wood had sat on the ground for about a year after splitting. Although it was 'seasoned for a year' it was very wet and very moldy. It did seem to dry out faster than fresh cut, though.

    The ones I dislike the most are those that are both ignorant and project the greatest hubris. To this day, there has not been a single WoodMan who delivered a full cord of dry wood. And I don't expect it will ever happen. One professional tree service was over 2/3 of a cord short on a two cord delivery. That's one and one third cord delivered for two cords ordered. It was still short about 1/4 cord AFTER the make-up delivery. The first load they delivered also contained two sheets of 4' x 8' plywood and about a yard of sand, dirt, gravel, and rocks that got pretty big. He nearly took off my garage door when he dumped it. And would have if I hadn't opened it up when I saw where he stopped his truck after he ignored my instructions.

    WARNING: WoodMan interviews are best conducted on the phone as I've found WoodMen can often get pretty excited in person when confronted with pointed questions. For your reading pleasure. The conversation usually goes something like this:

    Mo: How old is that wood?
    Woodman: It's been seasoning for about a year. (All use the word 'season' and know the magic of year old firewood.)
    Mo: And when did you split that wood?
    WM: Huh? Split it? It's been 'seasoning' for a year, like I said.
    Mo: No, I don't mean when was it felled. When did you actually split it?
    WM: Well, I'm not sure exactly. Just a little bit after it was felled.
    Mo: How long has it been stacked?
    WM: Huh? Stacked? I told you it's been seasoning for over a year. It's ready to burn.
    Mo: Do you remember when you split and stacked it?
    WM: Well... No, not exactly, but it's ready to burn.
    (When such indirect answers are supplied, the wood is likely wet. But I press on for educational purposes.)
    Mo: Has that wood been covered up from the rain, at all?
    WM: Huh? Covered? What do you mean?
    Mo: Was it tarped or in a barn or a wood shed?
    WM: Uh, no. But it's ready to burn.
    Mo: What kind of wood is that?
    WM: Mixed hard wood.
    Mo: How much of what?
    WM: Huh? How much of what? It's mixed. Mixed hard wood. Ready to burn.
    Mo: Have you burned any of that wood yourself?
    WM: Huh? Burned it myself? Well, uh, no, I haven't, but it's ready to burn. (or sometimes, just) Yeah. It burns great. :)
    Mo: How much you want for that wood?
    WM: $100.
    Mo: How much is there?
    WM: About a cord.
    Mo: Looks like about a third of a cord to me.
    WM: No, that's a cord.
    Mo: A cord is 4 x 4 x 8 feet, or 128 cubic feet of wood. That looks like about 1/3 that much to me, even less.
    WM: Huh? Well, that's what we call a cord around here, and I been doin' this for a while.
    Mo: I live around here, too. And the Missouri Agricultural site agrees with me.
    WM: The days of $120-a-cord wood ended with Nixon! (Now he's ticked and in my face. :)
    Mo: (Calmly) I was cutting my own back then, so I wouldn't know.
    WM: You're a real smart ash, ain't you?
    Mo: Better a smart ash than a dumb ash.
    WM: Later dude. (Speeds away, never to be seen again.)
    Mo: Huckster. Good riddance. (I then go inside and turn on my security camera recorders. :)
  19. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Hey Mo the guy that claimed to sell cords by the pieces is even a better story.
    But Mo there is a lot of complicated math involved 4x8 x4
    One might need reading a ruler skill?
    Mo's rule of thumb seasoned wood requires being stacked off the ground atleast 6 additional month to be burnable

    Mixed hardwood is anything goes once it is dumped

    Mo's woodman moon light as a realator
  20. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    This actually IS my rule of thumb. :)


    These guys don't have the soft skills to be realtors. :)
  21. martel

    martel Member

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    I think i talked with the same guy this week Mo- he must be working out of Pennsylvania...

    This had made me determined to cut enough wood in the next three wonths (including the cord I bought that is already "seasoned") for next winter...
  22. berlin

    berlin New Member

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    I've never met an honest woodman, my conversations go very similarly to yours, always they advertise or say cord, and after many questions it's learned that they are only selling 1/3 cord. every time. what is it with people that sell wood and blatant dishonesty?? I absolutely will not do business with people like that. Thats one of the reasons i burn mostly coal- sold by weight, and the mine i get it from sells to indiviuals mostly as a favor, they make money on commercial/industrial costomers; but they are friendly, tell me anything i want to know, and would never try to cheat me or anyone else.
  23. martel

    martel Member

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    while growing up my dad switched to coal for this same reason. would be nice to find an honest woodman around here as I am expecting to have to buy probably 1-2 cord a year as my backyard has little space for enough wood.

    I will add another question to the interrogation: how old are you?

    I'm a relativley young guy and I'm not too into discriminating by age, but both these guys were quite a bit younger than me and it felt like they were trying to just turn a quick buck. Doing the calculations in my head today while I was out splitting, it seems like selling firewood is not a quick buck at the end of the day...
  24. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I would investigate coal, but I can't imagine how they would be able to deliver it at my place. Don't they need a chute to dump it into, or something? Buying by the bag? Well, I've never even seen it around here (St. Louis, MO). I guess it's possible, but isn't it a lot more expensive by the bag?

    A coal insert in my upstairs masonry fireplace might be cool (warm), and probably cut my natural gas bill down from $200 to $30 a month.
  25. berlin

    berlin New Member

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    I pick my coal up at the mine in western Pa. in my pick up truck. with an eight foot bed I fit about 2 tons; when i get home i shevol it out into my toolshed/coalbin in my backyard. What i burn; and the only thing you'll be able to get for a decent price in missouri is bituminous coal; which, unlike smokeless anthricite, will produce some smoke similar to woodburning. I pay $45/ton for coal @28 million btu's. (yet another reason i burn mostly coal, wood can't compete). I am actually from missouri, chillicothe, so i've burned a lot of illinois/missouri bituminous when i lived down there. it's lower heat than pa (13,000/lb vs. 15,000/lb) and the thing you would have to watch out for is clinkers, midwest coal has high iron pyrite that tends to cause ash fusion, but there are still plenty of coals down there that have decent Ash Fusion Temps (AFT).

    I've haven't neccisarily found that to be true, i've met woodmen of all ages. The similarity in all of them that i've ever met is that they seem somewhat lazy, stupid, dishonest, did i say lazy? kind of harsh, but i've had only bad experiences. I think that they are simply losers looking for a quick buck so they can buy their next case of natty light and pass out in their trailer.
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