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Jotul 500 hard to control.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Bison, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Bison

    Bison New Member

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    Newbey here folkes,not new to woodstoves though.
    But i can use some help with diagnosing a problem.

    I have a jotul 500 for the last 4-5 years.Its is a nice stove and puts out lots of heat.
    At times to much heat though,but lately i find that controlling the fire is shear impossible once it is going good.
    I can close the front control lever all the way but that fire just keeps roaring.
    It gets downright scary when there is a good wind blowing and sucking on the chimney.
    It'll cause the top of the stove to turn red in the dark.
    Burn times since new are less too,there used to be enough coals left to start the fire right back up but lately the stove is stone dead in the morning
    I use beetle killed jackpine as wood source

    All the cord seals on the stove appear in good shape but there is some cement cracked and broke loose around the inside bottom in the firebox,Don't know if that is causing extra air to enter.
    I wonder why there is no air control on the main air inlet on the stove bottom.
    I was thinking of making one there,...don't know if it is a good idea though.
    Any suggestions are apriciated.

    Thanks

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  2. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    You have a leak somewhere almost certainly. I can turn mine all the way down and it will cruise at 400-550 before settling lower for the night. Of course the pine will tend to keep temps up, but it should never be glowing. Have you done the dollar bill test? I just replaced all of my door gaskets on my 3 year old F500. Pay particular attention to the ash tray gasket.

    Get a stovetop thermometer - you shouldn't be running over 700 - I get worried at over 650, but maybe that's just me.

    Also get a flashlight in there with a dark room and search for cracks - you may already have warped something/cracked a part.

    Per the cement - I don't have any around the bottom - was this a new stove to you? I have some at the top which was holding the baffle still, but has long since dropped off.

    Last thought - is the control lever doing anything?
  3. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    As you may or may not know, the Oslo's air control is set so that it (like other EPA stoves) will not totally close off the air . . . and in fact, once you have brought the stove up to temp you want to close down the air to get a good secondary fire which gives more heat and longer burns . . . usually.

    Having a stove glow red is typically not a good sign . . . and without even asking for temps from the stove top thermometer (a good thing to use incidentally) I can safely say you've got an issue . . . most likely with air getting into the stove.

    I'm also guessing that the fuel quality has not changed during the past few years of use -- you're still using the same type of wood with the same amount of seasoning . . .and that you haven't changed the chimney set up.

    If the gaskets all pass the "dollar bill" test I would then suggest cleaning out the stove and sticking a bright light into the firebox (and ash pan) and in a dark room see if the light comes out anywhere . . . this could be a case of needing to have the stove joints cemented back together. .. although I will say I'm four or five years in and my Oslo is still doing very well -- both with the gaskets and joints.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Carbon Neutral brings up a good point about the air control lever . . . you may want to open up the doghouse (two metric nuts -- 100 mm I think) and pop off the doghouse cover . . . just make sure it is actually hooked up and working.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Checking the air control by pulling the doghouse was my first thought. I think they are 10mm bolts. How tall is your chimney? If it's above 25Ft. you may need to add a key damper to the connector pipe for better control.

    How strong are the winds you are getting?
    BIGDADDY likes this.
  6. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Yeah 10 mm . . . fat fingers typed in 100 mm . . . which would be some helluva large bolts.
  7. Bison

    Bison New Member

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    Thanks for the replys fellows.
    To answer some of the questions.

    I bought the jotul brandnew. It has cemented joints inside at the bottom of the firebox. it looks like i'll have to take the whole stupid stove apart to reseal it(not something i look forward to) and has no firebricks, wich was the main reason for buying the jotul.
    Even though the stove has been pretty hot a couple times,it don't appear to have a casting crack(nothing i can find anyway)
    Yes i've had the "doghouse" as you call it off and the control works good(had to install a new lever when i just got the stove cause it would'nt move without using a BFH.),..Come to think of it,A couple years ago i removed the flat plate under the DH with the little holes in it cause the fire wouldn't burn worth a chit...'worked better after removal.( maybe i should put that thing back in)
    I'll try the dollar bill seal test later,..the flashlight is a good idea,..hadn't thought of that!
    I have a infrared temp meter i used on it,...cant remember wat the temps were but i think the first 12" of the flue are allready over 600 when its windy


    The chimney is 8" dia at the ceiling and up and 16-17' tall straight up from the stove and been there since i build the house in 93.
    I use the same jackpine wood for the last 4 years(burns hotter than the white poplar i used before in the jotul and prior stoves.

    I'll report back later
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Remove the ashpan, then take a bright light and a poker and see if there is any impacted ash build up behind where the ashpan sits.
  9. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    it does sound like you have a leak some place. check for them and get a damper. i always like the extra control, especially if things start to get hot.

    cass
  10. Bison

    Bison New Member

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    Well i did the dollar bill test and it passed with flying colors,ashpan,front doors and side door.
    A thourough check with the flashlight from the inside and outside did not reveal a visable leak either, ..not saying there can't be a hidden one.

    What i did notice however was a 1/16" gap between and along the bottom of the airduct (held with one bolt in the center against the inside back panel) were it meets the bottom of the fire box.
    This gap will allow air to enter in the bottom of the firebox close to the main air inlet. I don't know if this is designed this way or maybe cement once filled this gap but if there was there is no trace of it left.

    begreen, i always scrape the ashpan cavity clean when i change ash pans.
    BTW,...a stiff breeze is all it takes for the fire to start burning harder

    looks like a damper is the best option, question is were?...... In the flue or at the bottom inlet?
  11. fraxinus

    fraxinus Feeling the Heat

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  12. fraxinus

    fraxinus Feeling the Heat

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    For what it's worth, when I bought my Jotul F600, the dealer told me they had begun routinely installing dampers in the stovepipe for most of the Oslos they sell.
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    My thinking is that if the chimney has not changed . . . the fuel has not changed . . . and the method of running the stove has not changed . . . that only leaves the stove . . . and while a damper may or may not be a good idea, it does not address the problem -- the problem being the stove ran fine before and does not run fine now . . . which still makes me wonder if there is a leak somewhere . . . as to where it is . . . I'm stumped.
    Huntindog1 likes this.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Has the top been removed on the stove? If so, is it seated squarely on it's gasket? Look from the side of the stove and make sure it is sitting parallel to the base of the stove.

    Vacuum out the firebox, pull the grate and inspect the base area surrounding the grate. Look for any hairline cracks emanating from the corners of the grate recess.

    With a helper looking at the outside of the stove in a darkened room, try shining a very bright light about the interior of the stove to assert that there are no light leaks along any of the seams.

    If you want to try a damper, put it on the flue pipe about 12-18" above the flue outlet.
    CarbonNeutral likes this.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I was rereading the thread and just caught this. Can you post a picture of this part? If this is the air slider, it's essential. Maybe the reason it wouldn't burn well originally was the wood? I'd definitely put that plate back in and try it. Post pictures so that we can see what you are seeing!
  16. RED FRONTIER

    RED FRONTIER Member

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    Did you receive the stove without the fire bricks or did you remove them?
    Those bricks help contain the heat in the stove an maybe could have warped the side
    panels and created a leak. My 500 and my dads both came standard with fire brick.
  17. neumsky

    neumsky Minister of Fire

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    I just bought my Oslo 3 months ago..& it came with brick. I'm wondering why you would take out the main intake control valve?
  18. Bison

    Bison New Member

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    OK, isa tupid ,..my yotul is a model 600,..not a 500 as i originally posted.
    The 600 has no firebricks but cast iron inserts.
    Here is a pic of the airduct cover,..tell me if this gap(knife inserted) is normal or needs cemented closed.
    you can see on the bottom were the incoming airstream kept the floor clean of ashes in front of the duct.

    Neumsky, i did not remove the main air control,.just the sheetmetal plate with the 1/4" drilled hole in it that covered the main control
    That little hole controlled the max airflow allowed to enter the firebox trough the doghouse orifices regardless of the setting of the control lever.

    EDIT: title fixed

    Attached Files:

    neumsky likes this.
  19. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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  20. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    That gap should be sealed be in my opinion, but doesn't explain the issues you are having. That gap would only allow secondary air to enter the firebox prematuraly. Clean the area real good and re-seal with stove cement just to make sure. Now, whats up with the part that was removed? I have tinkered with several Jotuls and I can't picture this part that you are talking about. Do you still have it? Can you post a picture of it? I think re-installing this part would be the first thing to do.
  21. Bison

    Bison New Member

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    webby3650,
    if that gap is supposed to be cemented closed it can very well explain the problem i'm having.
    If secondary air dat is meant to come only trough the top has a change to feed trough that gap in the bottom.IMO it'll have the same effect as leaving the ash door a crack open.
    There is nothing better to get and keep a fire roaring uncontrolled than to feed it continuesly air from the bottom.
    Matter of fact, that's how i light mij stove in the morning fast.even if there's just a couple glowing embers left i pile up a few logs and open the ash door a crack and in less than a min i get a good fire going.
    remkel likes this.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I changed the title to Jotul 600. I am not familiar with this air restriction plate, can you post a picture of it? For sure I would put it back in. And go ahead and force a little stove cement into that gap.
  23. Bison

    Bison New Member

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    Thanks begreen.

    unfortunatly that "plate" has since disapeared from the "that way i won't lose it" place i use for items like that, kinda like all the other things i store there.LOL
    Anyway, it was located in the top of the "doghouse" just under the breathing holes
    Aparently there is an europian and a north American version of this plate(diff size holes).
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like an inexpensive part. I'd contact a good Jotul dealer and ask them to order it for you.
  25. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Like I said, go ahead and seal it, just to make sure. It would only take a few minutes to solve the problem. Maybe using the ashpan door to get a fire going caused the problem. This causes isolated parts of the stove to over heat, and should never be done according to the owners manual.

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