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I plugged the holes

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by -PB-, Dec 13, 2010.

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  1. -PB-

    -PB- New Member

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    while checking for air leaks using an incense stick I found what appeared to be 2 factory designed holes in the bottom of my VC encore 2550 near the ashpan. I had been getting high temps (600-650) with the air completely closed lately and suspected a leak. I plugged the holes with a small piece of gasket rope and the stove has been running better (not as hot with the air completely shut down). Can anyone advise if this is dangerous in any way? IMHO i essentially fixed what would compare to a leak in the ashpan or door gasket. I would appreciate any thoughts or opinions.
    Thanks in advance.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    You probably found the unrestricted primary air inlets that keep users from completely closing down primary air. Needed to pass the EPA certification tests. If you have blocked them then be sure to adjust your burning habits to leave some primary air open instead of closing the air control all the way down. If you don't, you have re-invented a 1970 smoke dragon with secondary air input.

    Edit: It just hit me that may be a down draft "Everburn" stove and those may be the air intakes for the Everburn chamber. If so plugging them could kill the secondary burn in the Everburn chamber. Not a good thing.
  3. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    Although superficially wounding the secondary burn in the Everburn chamber might accomplish what VC engineers could not: user control.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    In my former home I had excessive draft and the stove had too large a notch cut out or the air control which prevented closing the stove down as much as was needed. This resulted in runaway fires when stoked for overnight burns. I found and plugged a 3/8ths inch hole that supplied zipper air to the doghouse and while this tamed the runaway fires, it also resulted in excess coal buildup.

    10 years later with another house and the same model stove I made an adjustable control for the zipper air. I can now close it down partially for the night yet open it up through the day as needed to burn down the coals.

    In your case I would examine closely where the air from those holes go and what impact closing them may have.
  5. -PB-

    -PB- New Member

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    I thought the encore non cat has the everburn system? Do you think I'm ok if I am still getting air in through the primary air door in the back that doesn't close all the way? The stove appears to be performing better... more consistent, even, longer burns. No smoke out the top of my chimney when cat is engaged leads me to believe cat is working properly. Any thoughts?
  6. -PB-

    -PB- New Member

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    the holes lead directly to the ash pan area that leads up through the grates in the floor plate into the firebox. In that case wouldn't plugging the holes be essentially the same as fixing a leak in the ash pan door or gasket?
  7. ColonialCity

    ColonialCity Member

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    I also have a 2550 encore, with 30+ ft of chimney, needing to shut down my stove a little more. I would also like to find where these holes are located. Could you describe exactly where these holes are?
    Thanks.
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    My Keystone has a similar hole in the ash pan housing and I was told it was to help complete combustion at the end of the burn cycle. I found plugging it gave me cleaner glass and longer lasting coals. I thought maybe by plugging the hole it might not burn as clean and leave some unburnt chunks in the fire box during a low burn but so far it's burning great.
  9. Monkey Wrench

    Monkey Wrench Feeling the Heat

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    Perfect timing for this post.

    My name is John Doe, I live at 123 main street, nowhere Md.
    Just in case the EPA police are reading.

    I have a 33' ss lined masonary chimney, and had WAY to much draft. Which restricted me to small/med loads only, or face a complete run-away condition.

    Saturday I drove 60 mile away to speak to a dealer, His name is also John Doe.
    He informed me that there is a 3/8 in. hole on the bottom right of my unit, which he referred to as the EPA hole. Sold me a roll of Hi-intensity heat tape, and said tape over it. Than cut a small hole in it. test unit, if needed slowly enlarge hole.
    Bottom line closing the hole 100% affect your air wash/secondary burn.
    My 3/8 hole is now 3/16. Unit runs GREAT no runaway, great secondary burns,longer burn, clean glass and most important....I have control, over the insert.

    R/S
    John Doe
  10. -PB-

    -PB- New Member

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    Very nice John Doe.
    Colonial,
    the holes are on the bottom of the stove, facing down, on the front right and left sides. The right side one is near the ash pan door handle. The left side one is about in the same place just on the left side. Easiest way to find them is by using and incense stick or cigar when the stove is running. Put the smoke in the general area and follow it right to the holes. I would caution you to only do this if you have runaway temps or exceedingly high temps and have thoroughly checked for leaks. As others have posted in the past the 2550 is a great stove for ideal conditions BUT if you don't have ideal conditions (too much draft, etc) it can be a real PITA or even scary with the high temps.
    It worked great for me.
    Good luck.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    On my former RSF, I stuck a piece of 3/8 OD pipe in the hole, effectively reducing it to 1/4. It was a PITA to remove it when I needed to burn down the coals and put it back when I stoked the fire. On my current RSF, I have a threaded rod with a cone shaped tip that I can vary the distance from the hole, like a needle jet on a carb. I just dial it in to wherever I want.
  12. Monkey Wrench

    Monkey Wrench Feeling the Heat

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    Thats a great idea!

    On my insert I have to remove the blower and botton panel to have direct access to the 3/8" hole. My plan is kind of complicated, so you might want to take notes.
    I'm going to take a 3/4"w. X 1"L magnet and put it over the hole. Re-assemble fan and panel. If I want a larger hole/air I can stick a small screw-driver threw a small opening and adjust/slide the magnet for more/less air.

    R/S
    John Doe
  13. ColonialCity

    ColonialCity Member

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    I'd be a bit concerned with the magnet idea... I've heard that magnets loose their magnetism when they get hot... That could lead to a sudden increase in oxygen if the magnet suddenly drops, causing an unexpected increase in temp? Maybe some others could chime in on this? I like the cone adjustment idea... I'll have to look and see if there's room on my 2550 encore to fabricate such a system.
  14. Monkey Wrench

    Monkey Wrench Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, I thought of that, but if a magnet can stick to my stove pipe at 300+, I wasn't worried about this area the temp where I'm attaching the magnet is 160 degrees. It's not on the fire box.

    But If I wrong Please chime in!

    R/S
    John Doe
    Currently On The Run From The EPA!
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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  16. Monkey Wrench

    Monkey Wrench Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Guys For The Info and heads-up on the magnet idea!

    This is a Great site. Every-one looking out for each other.

    R/S
    John Doe
    On The Run!
  17. PJF1313

    PJF1313 Member

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    John Doe -

    We have your I.D.

    We have your location.

    We have your intent.

    We will find YOU.


    The United Shades Environmental Protection Agency ;-)


    The magnet should hold. It's on the bottom of the stove is about the coolest area, especially with an ash layer insulating it.


    P.J.
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I hear that a couple of magnets can stick over those holes in a big, hot, honkin steel stove for over four years without falling off.

    That's what I hear at least. :coolgrin:
  19. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I read they lose their Magnetism at something over 600 Deg ,Must be true cuz my temp gauge fell off the pipe at 650 then was OK when it cooled down.
  20. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Neodymium magnets have lower Curie temperature than other types, often as low as 310 °C.
  21. Monkey Wrench

    Monkey Wrench Feeling the Heat

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    Bumping: Old Thread.

    Those with over-drafts....over fires!

    Might find helpful!!


    Burn Safe
    Frank
  22. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    When I use my adjustable control for the zipper air, it still brings a smile to my face. I sleep better too not worrying about over-firing.
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