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Jotul 550 - Its a BEAST... Any advice on how to tame?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by plazorisak, Jan 10, 2008.

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  1. plazorisak

    plazorisak New Member

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    Here is what I have experienced with smoke:

    When operated improperly and impatiently, yes - you will get significant smoke within the firebox. I have not had any smoke leak out of the unit - but I have had some pretty dark moments inside the box.

    When operated properly, the stove works great. The video on the top down fire is a good source for how to operate properly. Also, I find building a small hot fire and continuing to build up from there works every time.

    I admit, sometimes I get a little lazy and throw on a log that is just too big for the coals and fire that I have built up. The "too big" log will smolder, billow dark angry smoke, then eventually catch on and burn. Sometimes to accelerate the process, I will crack open the door a tad and create swirling drafts until "too big" has burned to my satisfaction.

    Now, I am not saying that the other person is operating incorrectly - BUT, I do find in my own operation that significant smoke is a result of improper ... or rather impatient...use.

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  2. soxfan13

    soxfan13 Member

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    NoYa Maine
    Do you have a thermometer? If so where do you place it since the 550 is flush, and what temps are you getting?

    Thanks for the info. Still waiting ( kind of impatiently) for my 550 to be installed.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's a flue extension. After visiting the website and reading the literature, what don't you understand?

    http://www.extendaflue.com/
  4. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    BeGreen - Found more info. on it last night so now I got it. Simple enough,eh!


    NoYa- Sounds like you start up fires how I do it now in my Napoleon so I will just keep on doing that when I get the 550. I have tried other ways in the past but it just hasn't worked as well and I didn't have much luck with the top down method but I have only tried that once after watching the video. Seemed like it took much longer to get my insert generating heat and humming along at a high temp. I like to get it up to 500 and keep it there as long as possible. I will try it again when I get the 550 though.
  5. plazorisak

    plazorisak New Member

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    Soxfan 13 (go SOX!)

    I have a standard magnetic.. but I am not happy with it. It is currently magnetized just above the door... but this area tends to stay a lot cooler than the stove. I have removed the surround for experimentation purposes - testing the temp of the pipe vs. the door... but I cannot seem to get a good reference for ratio purposes: ie 450 on the pipe = 250 on the door. It just seems that the door temp (just above the door) lags too much from the pipe temto have this measurement make any sense.

    Soo.... Eddy Kilowat had an interesting post on this thread and I am going to follow through on it. He recommended a dial thermometers with a stem length of 12” to 24” range. His quote "Google “dial thermometer” or “tel-tru manufacturing” (they made the one I have and use), you are looking for something industrial strength that will read up into the 750-1000F range. "

    I thought that was pretty good advice and will be placing an order this weekend.
  6. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    Hello! I'm a new member and soon to be owner of a Jotul C550. My installation date is July 31st and I'm like a kid the last couple of weeks before Christmas - you remember how that felt.

    I'm glad I ordered my insert back in late June as I hear it's getting insane out there with delivery and installation times running several months in advance. I've also heard that some dealers have already exhausted their supply of stoves for this year

    I had 3 cords of seasoned hardwood delivered last Saturday and have been busy building storage racks and loading them up. I wanted to get this squared away sooner than later. Some people say that wood prices are going to go up as well.

    After reading the posts on this thread, I'm glad I purchased the C550. I read as much as I could about inserts prior to my purchase but did not find as much good advice and knowledge as I have found here at Hearth.com.

    I know this is going to sound crazy, but I almost can't wait for the first cold snap to happen.

    Woodsy
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Hold on there woodsy, lets not be wishing the warm summer days away. It'll get cold soon enough. After several years burning, the excitement starts to wane.

    Welcome to the site and congrats on your choice of a fine stove.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'll say. I am in no hurry for summer to go away. It can stick around until November and I wouldn't be complaining.

    That's a beautiful insert, be sure to post back impressions once the season starts.
  9. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Welcome to the forums Woodsy, and congratulations on the stove choice...

    3 cords is a decent start on the wood pile, but you might want to consider getting more, especially if you will be using the insert for primary heating. I'm near Lowell, and last winter I went through about 4 to 5 cords using a VC Encore Cat for primary heating. Also if you can get a season or two ahead, you can purchase green wood at a considerably lower cost and season it yourself. (You will also probably get more reliably seasoned wood, as what most wood guys sell as seasoned, most of the folks here would consider to be still mostly green...) Of course the best bargain is to purchase grapple loads of log length and process it yourself, but that is a lot of added work, and requires that you have a pretty good bit of available space.

    Gooserider


  10. gibson

    gibson New Member

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    [quote author="Gooserider" date="1216433538"]Welcome to the forums Woodsy, and congratulations on the stove choice...

    3 cords is a decent start on the wood pile, but you might want to consider getting more, especially if you will be using the insert for primary heating. I'm near Lowell, and last winter I went through about 4 to 5 cords using a VC Encore Cat for primary heating. Also if you can get a season or two ahead, you can purchase green wood at a considerably lower cost and season it yourself. (You will also probably get more reliably seasoned wood, as what most wood guys sell as seasoned, most of the folks here would consider to be still mostly green...) Of course the best bargain is to purchase grapple loads of log length and process it yourself, but that is a lot of added work, and requires that you have a pretty good bit of available space.

    Gooserider


    I just bought a Jotul 550 and am interested to see what I will burn. I have 4 cords ready to go. I have a 2800 sf colonial but only heating about 2000 sf with wood. A friend heats 2400 sf with a 30 year old, non epa, better n' bens insert and only burns 3 cords per year.
  11. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    Welcome Woodsy-

    I have two suggestions:

    While it is summer, if you can stand it, do your 'break in' fires while you can have plenty of ventilation. The fumes are not pleasant!

    I'd like to ditto the suggestion on having another cord of wood on hand if you are going to be burning 24/7. My first insert had a smaller firebox and I used anywhere from 2 1/2 cords to 3 cords of hard wood a season. My 550 was installed last January and it used more wood...also produced more heat.. I ordered 4 cords for next season. I do hope to get that amount down as I get better at burning. I'm still in the beginning of the learning curve with the 550.

    Enjoy
  12. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    Loc:
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    Thanks to all for the warm (no pun intended) welcome and sound advice.

    I was thinking of having one more cord delivered as an insurance policy - I don't want to be scrounging for wood in February or March. As some of you have said, there's a learning curve that needs to be developed before I know how much wood is enough to last through the winter. Winters can be brutally harsh sometimes and I plan on using wood as my primary heat source.

    I inquired to my oil supplier about this heating season's oil prices and was told "most likely in the $ 4.50 - 5.00/gallon range". I generally use about 800 gallons/heating season which translates into $ 3,600.00 - $ 4,000.00 (YIKES!!!) at these insane prices. At this rate, my new insert would pay for itself in about 2 heating seasons (insert plus installation less the cost for wood).

    I had actually considered doing this last year after calling my oil supplier and getting last season's "lock-in" prices - $ 2.899 on the low end and $ 3.159 max on the high end. These "lock-in" prices are good until August 1st of this year so I had my two 275 gallon tanks topped-off (@ $ 3.159/gallon) before the new prices go into effect. It's kind of funny - I thought $ 3.159/gallon was horrendous last year when I got my quote but that is now a bargain! Needless to say, it made my decision to go with wood heating fairly easy. My wife was even on-board after I ran the numbers by her.
  13. Edmccabe

    Edmccabe New Member

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    Loc:
    northern RI - Smithfield
    I have been using a 550 nearly 24/7 since I installed it September and am satisfied by its performance - but have yet been able to figure out the primary air routing. Study of the parts diagram suggests it is all at the top front.

    Is there any diagram or air flow schematic that I have missed?

    My only source of irritation with the unit is the frequent need to remove the ash - about 10 days max.

    Ed

    Attached Files:

  14. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Logon,

    That is awesome stonework!

    (says a mason's daughter)

    Shari
  15. Custerstove

    Custerstove Member

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    Hey Logon, very very nice mantle. As for the stove, the primary air enters at the air control lever. In fact, if you put a match up to the control lever you will see the flame being sucked into the stove (I'm assuming the stove has a fire going). Beyond that point, the air flow and path is probably very complex. If you find a diagram, please post and share.
  16. Edmccabe

    Edmccabe New Member

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    Certainly will.

    Ed
  17. czorbach

    czorbach Member

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    I am attempting to attach the picture of my new 550 installation. I plan to do the break in fires next week when my family is away. It was installed in May and I am now glad to see that it qualifies for the tax credit.

    Attached Files:

  18. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Crack kills...
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