1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Jotul c550 Rockland tips thread

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

  1. bboulier

    bboulier Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Messages:
    445
    Loc:
    NE Virginia
    Some comments on recent posts:

    1. My stove never goes above 600 or so. By altering either the air intake or the fan, I can keep it below 600 (measured by an IR thermometer).
    2. I never run the fan on automatic, preferring the manual adjustment.
    3. I do occasionally hear small bangs. Never seemed serious.
    4. The stove definitely has a learning curve, but I have been very pleased with it. I don't use it 24/7 (not enough wood, nor time), but it provides plenty of heat for the main and upper level of a 1950s split level when I do run it.
    5. Comparing this season to the last one, I can aver that the folks who emphasize the importance of properly seasoned wood are correct.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. spencer186

    spencer186 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I to had an incident where I was here in the "hearth room" while my stove was ragaing away in the living room. I had reloaded and left the air wide open. By the time I remembered it I returned to the front edge of the baffles starting to glow and a giant inferno. I shut the air down- nothing. So I figured I'd try the wet paper towel. I opend the door with what looked like a giant fireball from a breathing dragon inside my stove. With the rush of incoming air it pushes the flames to the back of the stove and really blows them down. I tossed the paper towel in and left the door open about 20 seconds. Closed it, then opened it for another 20 or so like Ohio Burner did. Did the trick for me. I didn't have a thermometer but I went and got one after that. The Rutland magnetic. That thing scared me. According to that I had temps of almost 900* regularly. Then I took it out, let it cool and it was reading 190* sitting on my counter top! Got it replaced and the spring on the new one broke in under a week. I'm getting my money back after this and trying to find something made in the USA, not some Chinese piece of S$#t.
  3. spencer186

    spencer186 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I also notice with my stove, if I have a really thick bed of ashes under the coals it insulates the snap stat and shuts the blower off early. I've had it shut off with a top temp of 400. Obviously it also takes a lot longer to come on. When I have less ash it works perfect.
  4. Jaugust124

    Jaugust124 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    374
    Loc:
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    When my stove is clear of ashes, the fan turns on at around 450*. However, after several burns it doesn't seem to matter how long I burn or if the stovetop temp. gets up to 600*, it just doesn't want to turn on in auto made. I also noticed when in auto it shuts down at about 300*. Now I stick with manual made. The only time its a bit of a pain is overnight when the stove cools off too much. I'm not really getting burn times longer than 4-5 hours it seems, so I wind up getting up in the middle of the night to shut it down or reload.

    Ohioburner, Regarding opening the air control I understand what you mean. I'm just saying that opening the air all the way worked for me to bring the temps down. Even with the air closed all the way down, there's still air coming into the stove feeding the fire, maybe not much, but with it all the way down the heat can't escape out of the stove, so the temperature keep going up. With the air all the way open, yes, there's more air coming in, but now the heat can escape up the chimney. Unless I am totally misunderstanding the stove and its operation,, which is certainly possible since I am new to all of this.

    Like I said, I'm just stating what worked for me at the time. If it happens again, maybe I'll try opening the door.
  5. AK13

    AK13 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Messages:
    224
    Loc:
    Seacoast, NH
    Same here. After more than 5 hours I usually have to go through a full "restart" (i.e. not enough hot coals to reload and let it go on its own). I have been using auto at night sometimes but I'm not really sure when it is shutting off when I do this. Probably shutting down too early.
  6. EJL923

    EJL923 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    465
    Loc:
    Western Mass
    Ohioburner,

    If you are getting burn times with this stove of anything over 10 hrs, i see why you have trouble heating your house. Specs for stoves are misleading, it says 10 hrs for this stove, but it is at minimal air meaning minimal heat. Vice versa, hotter burn causes more heat but less burn time. Im sure you know this. what im getting to is i heat my house, 2400 sq ft by reloading every 3-4 hours, keeps downstairs 67, upstairs about 5 degrees cooler. All i care about is my furnace isnt kicking on, plus no occupied rooms upstairs
  7. Jaugust124

    Jaugust124 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    374
    Loc:
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    Here, here - I totally agree. My house is 2300 sq. ft. and the room my stove is in is rather small 13x20 with 8ft. ceilings. I was afraid I would get blasted out of the room, but we have managed to move the air around pretty good. That room gets to between 70*-74* on average and I can get the adjacent eat-in kitchen which measures the same size to about 68*-70*. I have 2 other rooms on the first floor - formal living and dining rooms that we don't use, so keeping them up to about 62*-64* is good enough. As far as upstairs - we have 4 bedrooms and some heat comes up, but not usually enough unless the temps are above 35 or so.

    I compared this months oil bill to last two years from the same time period and I figure I saved about $200. Hopefully next month I can do the same. The price of oil has been steadily rising. We paid $3.15 per gallon and I imagine its only going to get worse.
  8. Jotul_Rockland

    Jotul_Rockland Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    My installer has been very reluctant to add in a bottom block-off plate. He claims that this is the wrong thing to do and can potentially increase creosote buildup.



    Does installing a block-off plate at the bottom provide a lot of benefit in a interior chimney ( Chimney within the building)? How much of air escaped is going to get radiated from the brick and the other side of the fireplace? Is the benefit of me getting a bottom plate marginal? Please advice.
  9. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    962
    Loc:
    Central Ohio
    I think you misunderstood. Since installing the insulated block off plate and blocking the zipper air, I can have some hot coals burried under the ashes for quite a long time but this is unrelated to the heat output really, my burn time is really about the same, I have trouble just getting it overnight. Usuable heat output is probably in the 4-5 hr range, I usually reload about every 3 hrs if I am there. When I try to heat that side of the house with the Rockland alone I keep it usually in the 600's. Its not like I am trying to heat the house getting a 14hr burn time. I often see 700's, its not like I am just idling by.
  10. spencer186

    spencer186 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    [quote author="Jotul Rockland - CT" date="1295488568"]My installer has been very reluctant to add in a bottom block-off plate. He claims that this is the wrong thing to do and can potentially increase creosote buildup.






    My guess is that he just dosen't want to do it because it's a bit of a pian in the butt. I cleaned my chinmey after 3 months of 24/7 burning and got about a cup of soot. Didn't even see a spec of creosote and Ihave a block off plate. There are plenty of well informed folks on here and I never heard any of them say a block off plate will cause creosote. Pretty much everyone is a proponent of them. Tell him its your chimney and he dosen't have to worry about creosote, you do.
  11. wannabegreener

    wannabegreener Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    246
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    As far as burn times, what to you consider the end of a burn. I will reload at night and about 7 to 8 hours later my stove is between 200 and 300 and enough coals in the bottom where I can get the fire going with a little bit of bellows work and some small splits. I split about 50 - 100 branches about 2-3 inches thick for this purpose. I'm not really getting any heat at that point, but I still have coals where I don't have to start with paper and match.

    Just wondering what people consider the end of a burn - as in measuring burn time.

    Thanks
  12. spencer186

    spencer186 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    74
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    If I can load it up in the AM without paper or kindling, I consider it still burning. Which I can almost always do, so I consider myself getting 8 hr burn times. If I get a really good load at night, usually about 11 PM I can still have the blower on at 8am on auto mode, if I've recently emptied the stove and don't have a lot of ashes.
  13. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    962
    Loc:
    Central Ohio
    Did a non scientific test on the fly today to test my burn time. Since everyone is home this week and the temps are low again I have had the Rockland fired up. I'm used to throwing smaller 16" splits on, and only getting a few hours of heat (2-3hrs of 300+ with 3 splits). So wanted to do a heat duration test today. This morn I restarted the fire from near out- had to use some kindling.I didnt put only but a couple small splits on, and once they got going I topped with some bigger locust and 1 unidentified split. The locust were pretty long, near 24" since they barely fit through the door, and maybe a cross-sectional area similar to a 4x4. I'd say the firebox was about 3/4 full. I chocked it down a little early, I usually wait until it hits 400 or so, but I throttled it all the way down at 300. After about a half hour or so it was up to around 400, not much secondary action but a little. I was surprised I couldnt see any smoke out the chimney. But I could tell it was burning a bit too low, the door which I had just cleaned yesterday was nice and brown hazed in the middle. Hour later went to pick up my son from pre school, came back, fixed lunch, did dishes, checked stove. I'm at my normal time were it would have been dyeing out, and it was still going strong in the 400s. It was coaling by now, but still almost the shape of the full size pieces. So I continued on about my day, couple hours later checked it, big bile of hot coals now but still holding upper 300's. By the time it hit 300 which I consider 'heating time' (as opposed to burn time) was 6.5hrs... I was pleasantly surprised. The house was still in the mid 70's and I had just reloaded the other stove so I let it continue to burn down, opened up the air fully, and about another hour-hour and half later I was at 250 and still radiating a good bit of heat. Was able to restart at 8hrs, with small splits, which will bring me to part II I'll post about tomorrow, I got to go to bed now! Just wanted to say the Rockland impressed me today. Sometimes it does sometimes it doesnt. I think my biggest problem is packing the firebox full. Its so hard to get it full. The 22-24" splits seem to make a big difference but they are very awkward and if they arent perfectly straight and even they waste a lot of space too. I bet if I had it packed today that 8 hr burn time might have been extended an hour or two even.
  14. bertschb

    bertschb New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Sunriver, OR
    I just had a new Jotul C550 installed last week and used it for the first time last weekend. Thought I'd chime in with my experience...

    I haven't used a wood stove insert since the 1980's when I heated a home entirely with wood for ten years. That insert was a Fischer. It protruded from the face of the fireplace a good 12" or so and had a very deep firebox. I don't recall the exact dimensions but I would guess it was at least 30". It had a chain attached to a metal damper that controlled the amount of air leaving the top of the stove. It also had two small screw type air inlets on the front that allowed air into the stove. No glass door. I used to easily get overnight burns with oak. In fact, I could cram that thing with wood on Friday night and come home Sunday night after a weekend of camping and there would still be coals left to start the next fire. Huge firebox.

    Back to the C550- We purchased the C550 without actually seeing it in person because nobody had them in stock in my area. My initial impression upon opening the door was "SMALL FIREBOX". Yikes! I had heard so many people describe the C550 as having a large firebox that I was surprised when I saw how small it was compared to my old insert. Of course the C550 is flush mounted so I knew it wouldn't be as deep as my old stove. But, it is so shallow that wood will only fit sideways. I wasn't expecting that! I wasn't worried though because I spent months researching stoves and I knew the C550 was a highly regarded stove and it looked great (wife was very pleased).

    Time for the first break in fire. After reading the manual I went out and split some kindling and some super small pieces (it calls for 1" - 2" pieces for the break in fire which is really just large kindling). My wood is well seasoned lodgepole pine as that is the predominate wood in my area. The fire started right up. I left the air control all the way open as recommended. I threw a couple of small pieces on after a while and let it go. The automatic fan kicked in later than I expected but I had read about that so wasn't worried. It was kicking out quite a bit of heat from that small load of wood. I was happy! Time for bed so I turned the air lever all the way to the left and said goodnight to my new money saving retirement home heating solution. Oh I almost forgot, I heard just a couple small "pops" from the stove during this break in fire. I knew this was normal as well.

    The next morning I started a new fire but this time used bigger pieces of wood. Once it was going I moved the air lever almost all the way to the left. Once again the fan kicked on later than I expected (the stove was pretty hot when the fan started). Once the fire had burned for 30 minutes or so I shut the lever all the way to the left. The flames were really interesting to watch. I was amazed at how SLOWLY the wood was burning. There was just a little flame from the wood and then flames near the top of the stove. These flames seemed to be just gas burning from the wood but not really coming directly off the wood. I'm not sure if this is the "secondary" burn I've been reading about but it was fun to watch. At this point the glass was starting to get dirty even though the wood was bone dry and had been inside the house for a couple months. No popping sounds during this burn.

    The next day I started another fire and finally threw on some larger splits once the fire was going and then moved the lever all the way to the left. The glass was pretty dirty by this time. That was a little disappointing but I knew how to clean the glass and decided that I would just clean it each morning before I started a new fire. The stove was kicking out a LOT of heat all day and used far less wood than I was expecting. I used to always burn Oak with my last insert and it had a long burn time. I expected the pine to burn very quickly. But, it burns a long time in this insert. WhooHoo!

    What I really like about this stove is the fire seems to burn no matter where the air lever is. I was expecting to have to fiddle with air flow/dampers to make sure I didn't kill the fire. But, even when the lever is all the way to the left, the fire keeps burning - just barely. But, it will keep burning for several hours this way until all the wood is burned up. It's a great and simple design. Throw wood in, get it burning, shut down the air, let it burn, reload. Simple and very efficient.

    Because of the small size of the firebox (relative to my last insert) and the lodgepole pine firewood, I doubt if I'll ever get an overnight burn. But, it is very efficient and very easy to use. I'm VERY happy with this fireplace insert so far. Can't wait to keep experimenting with burn times, log sizes, loading, etc
  15. Jaugust124

    Jaugust124 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    374
    Loc:
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    "The glass was pretty dirty by this time. "

    Brian B.
    Congratulations on the new stove. There are many happy owners here on this forum as I'm sure you already know.

    I noticed while reading your post that you had several instances of dirty glass. This being my first winter burning wood, I had dirty glass more frequently than I would have liked for the first few weeks or so at least. I found that shutting the air all the way down seemed to slow the burn down too much for me as did shutting the air down too soon. Both causing me to have dirty glass. I rarely, if ever shut the air all the way down. I generally leave it open 1/8"-1/4" open, even for overnight burns. Now, that being said I don't get 8+ hour burn times, but I don't completely pack the stove to the gills either. I am still in the learning process and hope to get longer burn times in 11/12 with better wood.

    I also found and other will probably chime in as well, but keeping the air shut all the way down tends to reduce heat output. You stated, "But, even when the lever is all the way to the left, the fire keeps burning - just barely." This is likely to produce little heat and cause your glass to become dirty. Its been said here before that dirty glass equals a dirty chimney. I have found that know matter what I do the lower left hand corner of the glass still gets dirty. I have read here that that is just the way the 550s air wash system works, but I can't swear to that yet.

    Anyway, good luck and enjoy your new stove.
  16. bertschb

    bertschb New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Sunriver, OR
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm aware that burning the wood slowly creates more creasote and dirties up the glass quicker. That's the trade off with wood burning stoves. If you want the wood to last a long time, you have to throttle it down. If you throttle it down, it gums things up. In my case, I wanted to reduce the heat output and extend the burn time for two reasons. One, I wanted to see how efficient the insert is. I also wanted less heat output because it's not that cold outside right now. If it was really cold outside, I would crank the stove up.

    But, at the end of the day, I bought this stove to reduce the amount of wood I burn. I don't mind cleaning the glass and chimney more often if that will cut down on the amount of wood I burn. When it drops back down below zero next winter I'll have the stove cranked up! That will keep the glass clean!
  17. Jaugust124

    Jaugust124 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    374
    Loc:
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    Brian B,
    Speaking of warm temps. We had 80* temps the other day. I haven't lit a fire in about a week. I miss the fire, but not the cold weather that goes along with it. Supposed to drop down a bit though, so I might be cranking it up soon.

    Glad you are getting some enjoyment out of the stove, before the summer months kick in.
  18. bertschb

    bertschb New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Sunriver, OR
    I am having fun with it! We plan to retire in 2 years and 9 months and are setting things up so our ongoing post-retirement expenses are as low as possible. We can cut firewood in our area for $5/cord so we should be able to heat our house really cheaply! No more $250 monthly heating bills for us. I figure we'll spend 50 bucks a winter to heat our house and most of that will be the cost of gas to haul it.

    It got down to 16 last night so it's still fairly cold in our neck of the woods. I'll be burning wood for another couple months but I'll be letting the fire go out mid day as the highs are in the 40's and low 50's.
  19. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,583
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    See if I can bring back this thread. Installing Jotul 550 on Saturday. Any new insights from the experts on this insert?
  20. vector1701

    vector1701 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
    Check out the installs of other members. See mine in my signature.
  21. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,583
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    Nice stove and nice price. Paying $4300 in black and no big tax credit this year. Guess my payback time will be longer than yours! Sometimes people, mee included only talk about the problems they have but how has your stove worked for you?
  22. vector1701

    vector1701 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
    So far so good. Just had the chimney cleaned a few weeks ago. Hoping to fire it up in a month or so (in RI, still kinda warm) for year 2. No complaints. I keep the fan on auto, it comes on when the firebox is hot enough. I use crushed up pallet pieces (free from a local recycler) as kindling and it starts nice.... I keep the door slightly ajar or loosely closed to allow air in until the fire gets hot and catches the wood splits. Follow the directions that come with the stove and slowly build the heat of the fire the first few times....be careful not to overfire. Get a IR thermometer and the magnetic thermometer as a guide. The mag one fits nicely right in the air exhaust vent and just looks like a stock piece on the stove, barely noticeable. Keep a good ash base. Get long gloves to prevent getting a burn on your arm when loading additional splits.

    Best resources and tips I found on this forum following experienced burners....

    Best of luck and happy safe burning this winter.
  23. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,583
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    The 550 is in. Will start some break in burning once the temp gets below 80 here. Anyone know what the skamol bricks do? Why not just use more cast iron?
  24. vector1701

    vector1701 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
  25. Seastrike

    Seastrike Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    43
    Loc:
    Central Massachusetts
    Hello 550 owners -

    As you all know, the blower switch on the Rockland has (1) Automatic setting (blower turns on/off based on heat of stove, uses a snapstat) and (2) manual setting (on/off).

    Last night, with a fire roaring away for few hours and operating blower in Auto setting, the blower just shut off.
    After that, I could then only get it operating when set to Manual.

    All connections of the blower system appear OK.
    The insert is only 2 seasons old-I shouldn’t be having any issues....

    So, I assume this means an issue with the snapstat or switch itself. Any other ideas ?
    Has anyone else experienced similar issues or any ideas to share ?

Share This Page