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Jotul c550 Rockland tips thread

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rockreid, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. rockreid

    rockreid Member

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    Stamford, CT
    Seeing how this large stove is new I think there needs to be a ongoing thread about how to operate this popular insert.

    As a complete n00b to wood burning I have found through 3 days of experience that stacking a few splits stacked high and keeping the throttle on about 1/2 to 1/4 gives a good secondary burn for a long time on relatively little wood. My wood so far is not seasoned that well, although I have yet to break into my main oak cord and a half that has been stacked in full sun all summer long.

    Yesterday and last night I was able to keep the house in the upper 60's and even up to 71 or 72f despite dropping outside temps to 46 or so. The wife made me fire it up again early in the day but by choice I might not have done so. I am balancing trying to keep the wife happy and saving wood for when it gets really cold here in January-March. I adjusted the blower fan to about 1/2 speed all day. My plan is to try to drop oil burning use by 1/2 this year. We'll see. But tonight there is one more burn because temps are supposed to drop to 40 before weather heating up the rest of this week.

    Also, I have been having a problem keeping the large glass area clean, I suppose because of my wood quality. I have cleaned it every day with newspaper and ash. Not fun. I hope I don't have to do this every day. For those Rockland burners with well seasoned wood I would be interested in hearing if you too have a clean glass problem.

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  2. soxfan13

    soxfan13 New Member

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    eastern MA
    I would be interested in exchanging strategies and ideas. I lit the first fire of the season yesterday. In my short time using this stove it does throw a lot of heat, but I haven't gotten the long burn times though. I think the longest I have gotten is 5 hours. Part of it is that I like the fire aspect so if there is no fire or mostly coals I will put more wood in even though the stove is still throwing some serious heat. I guess I could let it go another hour or so before the heat output would have changed significantly.

    I have been cutting the air all the way back. I do get good secondaries but not for a super long time....maybe 1/2 hour to an hour. I guess I thought cutting the air all the way back would give me a longer burn time but.....maybe getting a longer secondary burn would in the end produce more heat which would make for a longer burn time.

    -still very tired sox fan
  3. woodheat

    woodheat New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
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    Loc:
    Ct.
    I agree, lets try to keep a thread going about best ways to burn the 550 Rockland. Having my 2nd fire of this year tonight. Burned for a month or so at the end of last season, but still have much to learn. I too have only been able to get 5 hours max out of the stove. I would love to find a way to get it to go 8 so it would last through the night.

    The two fire this year so far I have tried the top down lighting method. I see how it is beneficial in the fact the fire does not collapse on itself, but I have to practice on getting the correct kindling / split size ratio. The first fire was very slow to get up to temp. the second fire was better using more kindling and a little smaller bottom splits. I did not need to add wood for 2 hours after lighting and the fire did not collapse on itself.

    I was having an issue with the blower affecting the burn when I turned it up the flames in the top would start going crazy. I used stove caulk and sealed the inside bottom back shroud and it seems to have stopped the effect. I am not sure yet if it helped the burn time because We have just had small fires so far.

    Many recommendation talk of raking coals forward before reloading, I will try it tonight before bed.
  4. rockreid

    rockreid Member

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    Loc:
    Stamford, CT
    wow...I definitely do not have an air sealing/blower problem with my unit. It seems very airtight and easily adjustable using the airflow slider control.

    I am learning that keeping my half-seasoned wood away from the glass helps a great deal in keeping it clear. What really seems to cloud the glass is turning the air control down all the way when I go to bed. I want to try some Liberty or Bio Bricks to see if dry fuel helps in this regard, but I called a place today that would deliver to Stamford one ton for $370 total... I don't think that makes economic sense.

    Right now it is dropping to 40f tonight and the house temp is 70f using only the Jotul. Bear in mind this is a 2600sf house or so. I'm very happy to not be using any Oil fuel at all so far. Hopefully I can get away with not using any oil at all until the dregs of winter set in late December or January.
  5. soxfan13

    soxfan13 New Member

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    eastern MA
    I move the coals around to cover the whole stove evenly before I put more wood in. Also, I have a magnetic thermometer where the air is blown out from the blowers. I can get it to regularly read in the 600 - 700 range.
  6. Willman

    Willman Minister of Fire

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    Sabattus Maine
    I read that BBricks will void Jotuls warranty. Easy to overfire I guess.
  7. rockreid

    rockreid Member

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    yes, I heard that too. If I did experiment with Biobricks I would start out with just 4 bricks stacked in a tight cube and see what that does. I think the overfiring happens when people stuff the whole stove full of these compressed wood bricks to try to get overnight burn times.
  8. feuerundflamme

    feuerundflamme New Member

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    Loc:
    Fairfield Cty, Conn.
    Please continue to share your experiences. We just had ours installed and are waiting for a needed heat shield under our mantle before we fire it up. OK, that's all I have to share for now. Nothing to contribute yet. First post :)

    Thanks & a good night now
  9. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Will you be able to post a pic of the Mantel's shield installed??

    Thanks John
  10. woodheat

    woodheat New Member

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    Ct.
    Last nights results - The stove was down to coals around 9:30 pm ( 250 degrees reading with IR top center where air blows out. I raked all the coals to the front as some have suggested to do ( there were a lot of them). This left a space in the back all the way down to dead ashes. I put 2 splits in the back right on top of each other and one in the front on top of the coals I raked forward, then I put one more on top between the 2 top ones. The splits were half moon about 4 inches thick and 16 inches long. I left the air control wide open for 1/2 hour then reduced it to 1/2 the all the way closed 15 minutes later. The chimney did smoke quite a bit after reload because it seemed to take some time before the front log on the coals got going well. I woke up around 3:30am and the stove was down to coals, but still burning bright, The temp was back down to 255 and still putting out heat. That was 6-6.5 hours from 250 up and back down to 250. This is the longest burn time I have gotten yet.

    Next time I am going to try 18 inch logs maybe a little bigger and see if I can get 5 splits in instead of 4. I could have easily fit 1 or 2 more in last night, but the shape of the logs made me concerned that one might roll toward the door, so I left it out. I am also going to try a couple kindling pieces under the front log when I reload to kick start it hopefully reducing the heavy smoke after reload.
  11. rockreid

    rockreid Member

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    Loc:
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    anyone heard a bang come from inside the Rockland?

    Two nights in a row, the secondaries were firing up good and I hear a bang or thump from inside the insert... my IR temp reader indicated 650 at the top of the stove inside the blower air outlet near the pipe. I hope I'm not overfiring, as I only had 3 splits + a solid bed of coals going with the air control in between 1/2 and 1/3 open. I have never stuffed the insert full of splits.
  12. soxfan13

    soxfan13 New Member

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    eastern MA
    I have not heard an atypical loud bang....just the stove expanding. I have a thermometer located at the blower outlet and I regularly have temps in the 600 to 700 range with no issue. I have gotten the thermometer up to 800 with no issue...I think :)
  13. bdog

    bdog New Member

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    Loc:
    Western NY
    Hello from a new member.

    Reading your comments etc I have to ask, are you happy with the Rockland?

    We purchased one a couple weeks ago and it is scheduled for installation this Friday. Our fireplace flue tile is cracked in multiple places and when we loked at the cost of relining etc, and the wasted heat of the fireplce, we decided to go for an insert (I've been wanting a stove for a loooong time - the house I grew up in was only wood heat)

    There were a few other units I liked a little better, but my wife really insisted on a flush face unit, and something that looks more like a fireplace or "Ben Franklin" than a typical stove (I have to admit, I like the cast iron face as well, it reminds me of the stove we had in the house I grew up in). Also, from our local dealers, the Rockland was the largest firebox we could find in a flush face unit at a reasonable price. I liked the Napoleons, but the prices from the only dealer that had any were too steep for my wallet.

    Also, any other tips and suggestions regarding this unit would be appreciated.

    Thanks!!
  14. rockreid

    rockreid Member

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    Stamford, CT
    so far so good.

    I think the Jotul Rockland is a compromise unit, and a good one. It is the same story over and over here on this forum that the wife decides the Rockland (or the other flush-faced units) are the only ones that will be allowed in the house without protest. It is true that as far as raw efficiency and heat output there are better units on paper, but one cannot discount the wife factor and keeping a happy home. Yes, I am whipped.

    With temps again down to 40 last night, I still have not fired up the oil furnace this season, so far so good as far as the Rockland being able to reasonably heat my home. I have been burning about a week now with just half-seasoned oak. This next week starting today will be heating up a bit so the Jotul will sit idle and hopefully I won't have to burn through any more cordwood before winter really hits.
  15. labrador

    labrador Member

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    Let's all keep this Jotul 550 Rockland thread going. There are enough of us out there to mutually solve any problem any one of us might have. The temps up here, (Schoharie county, NY) have been 32 for the past two nights and the 550 has more than done its job. By morning there are still some coals and and the house temp is 62. It is heating the second floor of a ranch home at least 1600 sq. ft. on one floor. Wife and I have built a second woodshed to accomodate even more wood. Size is 16x6x8. That should do it.
  16. EddyKilowatt

    EddyKilowatt Member

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    Have you got any splits that are square-ish and 6 inches or more on a side? I think that big cross-sections of wood is one of the biggest factors in getting a long burn time... regardless of stove. They are more difficult to fit in the firebox, and they take longer to get going... but those thick cross-sections are what gives the long burn time in my experience.

    Eddy
  17. bdog

    bdog New Member

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    Labrador,

    Sounds great!! I cannot wait until mine is installed on Friday. The weekend is supposed to be pretty warm, so it should be good for some small break-in fires (assuming I will need to open the windows).

    Built another wood shed, eh? How much wood do you have ready for this winter? As we decided a little late in the year to move ahead with an insert I think I am going to be short. Right now I have about 3.5 cords of well seasoned wood (all over 2 years, some 3, mostly ash, elm sugar maple and cherry). I'm thinking about buying a cord to top off the wood piles and give me a better sense of comfort. Did you have the Rockland last year? If so, how much did you burn?

    For next year off to a great start with 2 cords of red oak from a few LARGE trees a neighbor had removed, and another 1.5 cords of ash and a cord of sugar maple.

    Regards, bdog
  18. gibson

    gibson New Member

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    Count me in. Hooking mine up this week. Good thread.
  19. bdog

    bdog New Member

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    My Rockland actually went in a day early. Looks great. Had the first break-in fire today, no problems. Gonna do another one Saturday.

    Yesterday I also scored about a cord of maple from a local tree service. Half is from a silver maple, half is sugar maple. Some pretty good size rounds. I figure free heat is free heat. Should be done processing by Sunday, have it stacked and ready for winter of 09-10. The catch was I also needed to take about 1/4 pickup load of small stuff. I guess I'll mix this in or burn it in the outdoor firepit.
  20. labrador

    labrador Member

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    Bdog and Manny, This will be my first winter using the 550. Using cubic feet I think I have about 4 cords (full cords) of wood . The house holds the heat pretty well and since it faces south we get alot of solar heat. No panels, just slilding glass doors. I wish I could get FREE wood. Out here the tree people usually keep it and sell it. A cord aroud her goes from $175-250. So I scrounge all the wood I can get. Enjoy heat for the next two nights. BTW is your cast iron surround flush with the outer wall of the fireplace? How did you manage that? Mine sticks uot about 1" on the top of the surround.
  21. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley - Northeastern MA
    soxfan13: Where did you place your magnetic thermometer? I've been trying to find a suitable location to place mine to get fairly accurate readings. I have not had any big burns yet so I have not been able to experiment too much. This is my first year burning so I'm a noob.

    Thanks for your help.
  22. tomgil

    tomgil New Member

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    Oct 24, 2008
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    Loc:
    Northern RI
    just had my Rockland installed this week...so far so good. My only issue is the fan noise. Sounds like something rattling around in there at mid speed consistently, then it comes and goes at higher speeds, ok at lower. Anyone seen this? Thanks for starting this thread.
  23. leakypuppy

    leakypuppy Member

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    Sometimes I have to adjust the black grate that covers the fans for this to stop.
  24. bdog

    bdog New Member

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    Just a quick update -

    Been burning the Rockalnd the last week or so, mostly first thing in AM and then overnight. Overall, VERY happy with the results. Still trying to figure a few things out about air control etc, but things are going good.

    Given the temps and time of year I've been burning a lot of the less than best wood - stubbs, dried punky wood, etc. Generally, once we get it going, I've been able to keep the house temp up to 75ish in the main living areas (and warmer near the stove) to high 60's/low 70's in the more distant parts of the house, and I've got a 3,000 SF house. I have ceiling fans in most rooms and I have most of them running at low speed when heating, really moves the air.

    Three nights in a row I was able to get an "overnight", with only 3 good size splits. Lights out at about 11:30, up at 6 AM and the house is still warm, with enough coals to start up the morning fire.

    Little nervous about the wood supply, as we made the decison to install the Rockland late in the year. I have about 10 face cords. 1 is kinda junky, but the rest are pretty good (good splits of ash, oak, elm, beech, hard maple and cherry, all aged 2 years, courtesy of an ice storm last October). I have another 2 to 3 face cords of ash fom trees felled last spring by the power company, but not cut/split/stacked until this fall. I would like to try to hold that for next year to get the most BTU's out of it.

    Overall very happy with the unit!!
  25. labrador

    labrador Member

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    Bdog, I'm very happy with my 550 also and so is the wife . Have had it running quite a lot these past few days and nights, last night the temp went down to 24 degrees and the house was comfortable in the morning. By morning I still have some coals left. My automatic setting on the thermostat doesn't seem to work. I leave it on manual all the time. Even when the stove has been burning for several hours and I set it to auto it does not come on. Maybe I'm impatient. the noise you hear may be as suggested is the grate in front. Try it without the grate. Hope your wood last , sound like you have 3 full cords which may not be enough for western NY.

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