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I'm falling out of love with my stove.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Ziprich, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Ziprich

    Ziprich Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
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    56
    Loc:
    Western Md (Hagerstown)
    I am not sure what happened. Last year i ran my stove none stop for almost the whole winter without problem. I had a problem this year, i over fired the stove. it wasn't that bad, and i looked afterewards and the stove looked fine. then like a month later i started having problems keeping the house warm. there is a crack in the one firebrick, but was told no big deal just get it replaced next time the stove is down for a while. When i called the dealer about my stove he had me take temp of the stove top(500), and of the pipe(250). He said it sounded good. He thought that the problem is that it is just to cold for the stove to keep up. It was a cold week when I called but nothing that my stove couldn't handle before. So now i am looking for some thoughs on my problem. Any ideas would be great, Thanks!!!

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  2. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    Any change in the wood you're burning?

    Sometimes a 500'F stove is plenty but in a drafty house, when the wind is whipping outside it just isn't enough at all. I've noticed with my VC that if I'm burning oak and it isn't a couple seasons old it just doesn't heat like I need it too. So I put my 2+ year aged wood in, and bingo.. it's plenty warm and the temps are now +700 on the stove top.

    YMMV but that's my thoughts.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I think I was using the crappy wood during the cold snap. Ashamed to say I don't know the species. It wasn't pine but it was light. Now that it's hovering around freezing, I got into some oak (I'm pretty sure :) ), and wow, what a difference. I don't think it's totally the difference in temp. A lot of it, yes, but also the wood.
  4. Ziprich

    Ziprich Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
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    Loc:
    Western Md (Hagerstown)
    The wood should be the same as last year. Maybe better. As for the draft in the house should also be the same. I keep going upstairs looking for a window to be open or something. I could get it to run hotter, but I would not be able to burn all the way through the night or work day. Also I would eat more wood. This problem started all if a sudden, so I feel its has to be something. I might try some wood from a different pile tonight.
  5. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    I don't know much about flue temps in catalytic stoves, but a 500F stovetop is very conservative. 500F probably sounds good in that it's perfectly safe, but it's surely capable of more. I know this winter has been considerably colder than last in my area, probably in yours too.
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Have you considered the fact that LAST YEAR was considerably warmer than this year. I have a TL-300 and 500 stove top is about the cruising speed that i heat this leaky semi-insulated 100 year old 3000 SF house. Sure i can make it 650 for short times but its not needed,and i usually have the air set at the lowest setting or the house overheats. Last year i only used half the fuel i normally use in a normal year.
  7. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    This is common in many relationships, often when the infatuation period is over you start to see flaws and weaknesses that you never noticed before, and you begin to wonder if you made the right choice. But true love is something that is really only built over time with compassion and trust. Try doing something special for your stove, like bringing home some expensive exotic wood, or some new wood stove tools to put some excitement and spark back into the relationship.
    Whatever you do, avoid walking past the stove store and lusting after those shinny new wood stoves in the store window, that sort of wander lust will only make things worse.
  8. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    East TN.
    Good one LJ!
  9. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Have my TL-300 for 3 years and every year the LOVE grows deeper. You have a phenomenal stove, i cant even use mine when the daytime temps get over 40. house overheats on the lowest setting. I also have some fine well seasoned oak to burn.
  10. coldkiwi

    coldkiwi Member

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    Wow. they make real understanding lumber jacks in British Columbia,good one LJ
  11. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    Don't know about your neck of the woods, but here, my power company bill shows that this winter so far has been an average of 7 degrees colder than last year. That's a lot. Because it takes a lot of extra cold to move the average.. Could be your stove just isn't up to the task if that is the case.
  12. charly

    charly Guest

    I'm laughing;lol
  13. Ziprich

    Ziprich Member

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    Loc:
    Western Md (Hagerstown)
    Ok now its time to come alittle clean. I didn't tell you guys that my stove is in my block basement that is unfinished. my wife didnt want it on the main floor, biggest regret ever! But I didnt think that was it because it worked last year. Im not sure how big my house is. Its and average size rancher with a upstairs that consists of two rooms. 2000 sq ft maybe? Also the door to the upstairs was removed this year, not that it was air tight or anything. Should I call the stove shop or insulate the basement?
  14. AppalachianStan

    AppalachianStan Minister of Fire

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    Last year did you keep the door close to upstairs?
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    With good dry hardwood I would think that you would be able to take the stove up to 600 or 650F stove top.

    Is there any chance of moving the stove upstairs? If not then as you have noted, heating from the basement is inefficient. Insulating the basement will make a nice difference. About 30% of the heat from the stove is getting sucked out the basement wall. Insulating them, sealing the sill tight and then insulating the sill and joist cavity should make a significant difference. Last winter was mild in most parts of the country and wasn't a real test of heating capacity. It sounds like you have multiple issues that have combined to make for a disappointing experience this year. In the interim, close the upstairs door again and see if you have some drier wood in the stacks.
    ailanthus likes this.
  16. El Finko

    El Finko Member

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    Zippy, I have about the same setup as you, probably. I run an Englander 30 in the block basement of my rancher, and I'm a stone's throw from Hagersbush. I started this year- so cannot compare to last year- but I keep the house around 68-70 degrees as long as temps stay above about 15 degrees outside (it depends also on the wind).
    I have my stove in the basement corner and the hot air wants to collect at the top of the stairwell, so I cut a hole on the wall at the top of the stairwell- opposite the door- and placed a box fan there. Next I cut small 4x12 returns in the floor in the bedrooms upstairs and ~ VOILA ~ hot air circulates.
    Recently I added old sheets as partitions to separate the stove corner of the basement, so that all the heated air is contained and focused towards the stairwell and it made an appreciable difference. I just hung the sheets up from the floor joists about 4" above the floor to allow the cold air to rush along teh floor towards the stove.
    It's redneck tech but, like I said, I'm close enough to Hagersbush that it's okay. And it works...
    I guess my main point is to examine how you're getting your heated air upstairs where it belongs.
    I think it was BeGreen who mentioned to me a while back that old coal-fired systems where designed this way- hot air rises up through a large hole near the middle of the house and cold air falls back down via smaller returns in each room. My main hot air hole is right about in the middle of my house (my wife would tell you it's somewhere else, though)
    Trooper and Oldhippie like this.
  17. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Ziprich, I am near Hampstead, so our weather is similar. I have noticed that my insert doesn't seem to heat as well as last year either, and I owe that to two things--as others mentioned, our weather this year was a bit colder than last year (last winter was like a cold autumn), and the fact that I have adjusted my thermostat lower to compensate for $4 oil. Therefore, it has to work a lot harder. As we are getting warmer weather now, I notice that I am able to warm the place up easier. Whether or not this thing will be able to handle a a COLD winter remains to be seen--I have also noticed that my door gasket is not tightly sealed, so that will be fixed this spring. I agree with El Finko, you should try some of his suggestions. (Hagersbush--Ha!):)
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah. We had the warmest winter in history around here last year. Definitely took less heat to keep the joint comfortable. I usually burn three cord a season and only burned two last winter. This year I am gonna burn four because of the early cold snaps starting in November.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  19. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Prolly 10 fc here...when all is said and done.
    Oh ..I'm still in "love" with the BK cat!
  20. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Thats my setup as well only i have 3RD floor above that also to heat. Each floor is 1000 SF, I do have to run some fans to get the heat upstairs but stove heats this old screen door with ease. Basmt is varies from 90 near the stove to 85 far end,1st floor above that 76 and 2nd floor avove that the bedrooms fl is 70. Take your flue pipe off and look down around your combustion chamber to see if there is any blockage there but dont go pokin around there with anything sharp cuz that firedome material is fragile.
  21. murinsky

    murinsky Member

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    Loc:
    SW CT
    I would second the possible cause being related to outdoor temp differences this winter compared to last, although here is my take on that topic....

    Although I only got my insert installed last March (a year ago), the range of temps this winter has given me a good feel across the range. What I've noticed is that its almost like flipping a switch once the temp drops below a cutoff point. For my house it is in the range of 15 degrees F. Above that, the stove does fine and we are toasty warm, 75-80 in the stove room and 65-70 elsewhere without much effort. Below that, it really has trouble. Barely can keep up with 75 in the stove room and have to work at it with fans and keeping doors closed in rooms we're not using. During the first real cold snap I was going crazy, cleaning the chimney, blaming the wood, taking the stove apart, switching my thermometers around.... then it warmed up a few degrees and it was like the stove magically worked great again.

    I am not surprised it is harder to stay warm when it's cold (duh). What really surprised me was how big of a difference a few degrees makes. Maybe your house is similar, and this year you've just been a few degrees out of the zone.Good Luck!
  22. Motor7

    Motor7 Feeling the Heat

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    East TN.
    Zip insulate your basement...naked block walls have a insulation value of R-1.....no bueno.
    raybonz likes this.
  23. El Finko

    El Finko Member

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    Zip- I'd agree with most that the colder temps are to blame for your current issues, but I'd be willing to bet that you can overcome this. How are you getting the warm air upstairs?
  24. Brutus

    Brutus New Member

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    Loc:
    Palmer, AK
    Just started burning two weeks ago for the first time - so keep that in mind - but last night I closed the downstairs to my basement where my stove is located at 10:30pm and at 4:45am, it was 4 degrees cooler upstairs than when I leave it open and the temps were dropping upstairs. I have two 8x10 vents to the upstairs, so it appears the heat is rising through them and exiting down the stairwell back to the stove. When I installed the vents, I was unsure if it would go up one and down the other, or up the stairs and down the vents, or a different combination. What I know now is the door needs to be open. Air circulation in every house is different, so it could be the opposite - removing the door could have been a factor, although colder winter + uninsulated basement also makes sense. My basement is fully insulated.
  25. Brutus

    Brutus New Member

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    I meant to say I closed the downstairs "door" to the basement.

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