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IR Thermometer and Flush Insert

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mook1302, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. mook1302

    mook1302 New Member

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    Thinking about picking up an IR thermometer today to try out on my insert. Question i have is that i have a flush insert so where is the best place to take the reading without taking the surround off?

    Also what temps should i try to run my stove to be most efficient?

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  2. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

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    Hi,

    I saw your first post the other day, but my Kindle doesn't play nice with this board.

    Welcome and congratulations on the stove.

    The best place for temps is just above the door, left or right of center. I get mid to high 300's. To be honest, the temp is more of a curiosity. A visual inspection of how well the fire is burning is my indicator for more/ less air.

    As outside temps drop, the draft improves, and you are able to shut the air further.
    With my setup (cape cod with uninsulated liner in external chimney), the sweet spot on the air control is about 1/2" from fully closed.

    Gabe
    Huntindog1 likes this.
  3. mook1302

    mook1302 New Member

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    Thanks Gabe! What speed do you run your blower on? I feel like the slower you run it the hotter the heat coming out but the less faster the room heats up. Maybe im just impatient and want heat now! lol

    Also have you had any issues with your primary air lever. Mine gets real hard to move when you first get a hot fire going and on reload.
  4. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    The nice thing about an IR thermometer you can scan your insert while it is burning and pick the hottest spot as your reference point. (Btw. works also great to find cold spots around the house). For my insert it is above the door right in center. There is is about 50 F lower than the insert top (without the blower running). Maybe for 1 or 2 days it would be worthwhile to remove the surround and compare the top to the hottest spot in the front. Most stoves run well between 500 to 700 F stove top temperature.

    When I started I also just relied on visuals to assess the fire. My problem was that my insert is seemingly burning fine even at lower temperatures but the heat output is just not there. Once I got the thermometer I was much better in getting it to run great and heat the house well.
  5. mook1302

    mook1302 New Member

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    Thanks! I picked up an IR Thermometer and took the surround off. Where exactly should i take the temp?
  6. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    i use the ir thermometer to watch the glass and the top of the insert.... To measure the top, the easiest way is, with the surround on, hold the gun upside down and shoot through the holes. This gets the angle just right to measure the top of the insert, and leaving the surround helps the looks.

    Measuring the top is, i think, more critical, as thats the temperature of the steel. BUT measuring the glass is like seeing into the future. If the glass is hotter than the top, the stove is still heating up. When they are the same, you are cruising, and when the glass is cooler, you are coming down, but this last one is obvious.

    Its trial and error. But really helps, its also proven that the magnetic thermometer is useless in my inset.
  7. mook1302

    mook1302 New Member

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    Just took a couple readings... i started the fire up when i got home around 530 and ran it wide open for a while and then loaded it up and let it burn for about 10-15 min wide open and then slowly cut it back and now im running the air at 3/4 closed and blower at 3 oclock. The glass is reading 750. right bove the door on the front is readinf around 430. Since i have the surround off the top front is reading around 330 and then the top around the flue is reading around 700. How do these numbers sound lol?
  8. Monkey Wrench

    Monkey Wrench Feeling the Heat

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    Measuring the glass?

    Is measuring the glass temp with an IR gun an accurate stove top temp?

    I've always wondered if I was measuring the glass temp, or thru the glass and inside of the firebox and coming up with a average temp of glass and firebox temp.

    I've gotten 900+ on the glass before. Are you telling me my stove top was 900+?

    Thanks
    Frank
  9. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

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    Thats sounding pretty good! What kind of wood was it, and how much did you load?

    I run my fan at 3 o'clock as well, and usually with the ceiling fan on low blowing up. I made a fire tonight around 7:30 I think, with a few pieces of less than ideal limb wood. The hot spot (just above the door, and about 4" left of dead center) never got over 300, but thats ok because the livingroom is 75, and I'm really getting a coal bed ready for the overnight burn at 10pm.

    When the load has cooked down, but there is still a good amount of coals, rake them all forward ( you may know this already ). Load a couple larger splits in the back on top of eachother, and add a couple/ few more in front, with the smallest, driest piece on the coals. Give it full air for a while, then air down as usual.


    Gabe
  10. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

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    Yes. When I move the primary air from left to right, it seems to hang up on something near the center of its travel. Its been that way since new (September '08). I always figured that it was something that would resolve itself with use. Regardless, its of no concern.

    gabe
  11. mook1302

    mook1302 New Member

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    Thanks Gabe. Just wanted to make sure i wasnt the only one with that issue. When they delivered mine for installation the air lever broke off first fireand i had to use pliers the first couple weeks to turn open and close the air until they were able to come back out and put in a new lever.

    As far as the wood i was using last night. I am not realy sure. I have a alot of maple and a ton of oak that i am hoping to have ready next season. Last night when posted those #'s I used about 2 medium size splits EW on the bottom and 3 smaller splits NS and loaded her up pretty good when i got those numbers. After I posted that the stove cruised around the mid 600's stove top and around 400 above the door for about an hour n a half and then started slowly dropping.

    I was reading other spots on the stove to try to get and idea for when i put the surround back on how to the run the stove without getting the exact stove top reading. On the two top corners of the stove i was getting a reading around 300-320 and when i shot into the top air vents i was getting a reading around 350-380.

    I had to load the stove three times last night, once around 7, 930 and then i loaded it for bed around 1230. Am i loading too much or is that pretty normal since im running to pretty hot and that it doesn't have the largest firebox.

    Thanks again, getting a lot of useful info on how to run this stove.
  12. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    IR guns are not designed for glossy or transparent surfaces. They they are usually calibrated for dark colored flat finish surfaces. Some can be adjusted for other surfaces but, unless you have something to calibrate against, it would only be a guess.

    Unless I have my surround off it is hard to get meaningful readings on my flush insert. When the top center just above the door is in the 400 range I find the top, by the flue outlet, is in the 600 range. In the beginning I used that for relative readings. If the door was above 450 I cooled down the stove. Now I just go by the look of the fire.

    During the day I load my stove about every 4 hours with some small splits for quick hot fires. I work from home so it is not a problem for me. For the overnight burn I usually load it pretty full with as many larger splits as I can about 11PM. The stove is turned all the way down and cruising by 11:30. I normally get up about 6AM to a hot bed of coals and reload with smaller splits to warm the house before everybody else gets up.

    Everybody's setup is a little different and your results may vary.

    KaptJaq
  13. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I'm pretty sure that mine is reading through the glass to the interior of the fire box; If I shoot through the glass in about the same spot, first higher on the side wall then lower on the side wall, I will get very different temp readings. I have a surface meter on the front of the Buck 91, where the top of the fire box is welded to the front of the stove, but that reads quite a bit lower than the interior when checking both with the IR.
  14. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

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    Hey Kapt - not hijacking, but curious how you made out in the storm. We were without power for 6 days, and lost 2 smaller oaks. I ran the stove 'gently' without the surround as needed. Kept the livingroom over 70, but was nervous about loading for an overnight burn without the blower.

    G
  15. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    try one of these at $40:

    http://www.amazon.com/Digital-k-typ...r-DM6802A/dp/B004YRAQWC/ref=pd_sim_sbs_misc_2

    Here is a cheaper one $26

    http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Thermocouple-Thermometer-Nicety-DT804A/dp/B005N80IME/ref=pd_sbs_misc_1

    Get you some thermo couple wire pre-made up Type K run the wire back and let it rest on the top of your insert. then just plug in the meter when you need to take a reading as you can get different lengths for how ever long a run you need to get the connector out to the front of the stove.

    K type thermocouples read up to 2460F degrees but some type K wires have a lower rating as the insulation wont hold up to higher temps so if you get better type K wire you can use it at higer temps like inside the firebox if you want to. It says the glass insulation is good up to around 500F degrees but I have used it at higher temps outside of a stove and glass insulation works fine at higher temps.
  16. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    We were lucky. Our block looked like a war zone. Out of 22 houses, 6 had major storm damage. One house had 8 huge oaks toppled. We lost one bug infested oak on our property, no damage, and no power for 11 days. At the head of my driveway my neighbor's oak came down taking a maple and a beech with it. I've got all the rounds I can store and still find myself looking at downed trees and saying I should grab that...

    Ran the insert with no surround and even loaded it for over-nite burns. It was not that cold outside but, without power, I could not run the insert fan or the table fan I use to move the heat around. I lit the downstairs stove also. With both stoves going gently the house stayed comfortably & evenly warm.

    KaptJaq
  17. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    I use an IR thermometer with my Osburn Matrix flush insert. At the top of the stove there is a good sized vent where the blower puts out the air. I can shoot the IR thermometer through this vent and read the top of firebox. This typically reads in the 400-600 range depending on when I filled it up, how dry it was, etc. I've gotten it up to just over 700 after a full load of really dry stuff (8-10% MC) and that was a little nerve racking. The top of the stove measures probably 200-300 less than the top of the firebox.

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