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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. bigdaddybry

    bigdaddybry Member

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    I've noticed it takes a while for the fan to kick on as well. The stove could be cranked up to 500+degrees on the top center and still no fan. Is this normal?

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  2. Roxburyeric

    Roxburyeric Member

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    Western Connecticut
    I am also new to wood burning and had the 550 put in this summer. We've been burning for a couple weeks off and on depending on the weather and have been happy with the heat output for our very open floor plan 2,550 sq. ft. house. Early on I had a good overnight burn 7 hours with good coals in the am (got excited), but since then, it has been a bit of a struggle to get more than a four hours. I think my issue is my wood being not seasoned enough. The glass has also been getting black during the day time, when I'm at work and my wife tends the stove. I'm sure she doesn't watch it as closely as I do. Learning as we go and thinking my only real problem is my wood not being dry enough. I have 4.5 cords of wood (2 cords of oak purchased this summer (split in the early spring) and 2 cords of ash and some cherry cut over a year ago and split early spring and 1/2 cord of ash cut and split early summer. The cherry is great, the 1 yr. old ash is OK, the oak is burnable but not great and the 1/2 yr. old ash is so-so. I also have 2 cords of oak cut down last year and just split - for next year. With the price of oil down so much I have considered using oil and letting my wood season for next year or maybe even waiting until the real winter comes. But then I say why did I invest $4,000 on the whole setup and then not use it. Sorry about rambling on. Let's keep this post going guys.
  3. Roxburyeric

    Roxburyeric Member

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    Forgot to mention my fan also takes a little while to startup in auto even when the stove is hot. I think it must take the switch a little while to activiate, regardless of the current stove temp. No noise problems here.
  4. woodheat

    woodheat New Member

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    We have been burning our stove on and off for a total of around 10 day of burning this year and 3 of the overnight burns lasted over 8 hours filling it with large splits, the stove was still over 200 degrees. I definitely helps to use large round or square pieces as EddyKilowatt suggested We burned the stove for over a month last year and I could not get better than 5 hours out of no matter what I tried.

    Last year I did notice that when I had a good fire going, there was a significant difference in the flames in the upper secondary burn area when I put the fan on high and the stove would eat wood much faster relating to the air speed, I wondered if this was part of the design to have the stove run hotter to compensate for the blower taking heat away. I mentioned this in an earlier post on another thread. I ended up getting some stove caulk, pulling out the blower fans,and sealing up the gaps in the air channel at the bottom that lead to the back of the stove. Right behind those gaps it where the air inlet is for the secondary burn tubes. The blower fans were forcing air into the secondary burn tubes making the top of the fire get excess oxygen. After I did this my burn time increased significantly. Does anyone else notice a difference in their secondary flames relating to the blower speed. Who knows if this was intended by the manufacturer or not, but I did not like the lack of control, If I want it to burn hotter I will open the main air supply.

    When I first got the insert the fan came one pretty quick, but now if I put it on auto it takes very long and I want heat out of it sooner than that. Now I just leave it on manual. I found that the thermal sensor is mounted on the underside front edge of the firebox. The ashes that collect in the bottom of the stove insulate the sensor from the fire and cause it to slow its response.
  5. bdog

    bdog New Member

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    Oct 8, 2008
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    48
    Loc:
    Western NY
    Fellow Rockland Owners:

    I copied the following from the Rockland owners manual:

    Blower Settings / Air Control

    Use the following guide for best performance.

    Burn Rate......Air Control Setting......Blower Speed
    Low......Fully Closed......Low / On at 30 min.
    Med......Low 1/16”-1/8”Open......Low / On at 30 min.
    Med......High 3/16”-1/4”Open......Low / On at 30 min.
    High......Max. Open......High / On

    I know that most of the time it takes my stove some time (maybe 30 minutes, but I think often less) for the blower to start. I leave mine on auto and must confess, turned up to a high speed all of the time. I really have not played around with it too much.

    Labrador - yeah, I really think I am going to be short on wood. Although I refer to face cords, most is cut to 21 or 22 inches, and my 8' long stacks are actually more like 5' tall, so from a cubic feet viewpoint I think I've got closer to 4 cords. But, I love my stove and I burn too much, so I'm gonna be short. I also need to be better at letting the "burn cycle" happen. I grew up with an old, leaky parlor type stove. when the fire was low, you added wood, piece at a time mostly.
  6. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    My 550 was installed last winter so I had some time then to learn it's ins and outs.

    I get expansion noises too and don't usually worry about them. Figure it's the metal heating up. Had same noises with my other insert too. Some of the noises are 'pings' and others can be louder. Don't know what to look for on the outside if there is a problem on the metal inside. Seems to burn the same. No smoke leaking into the room or flames shooting out of it so I just burn along...

    Dirty glass - mine will get dirty if I shut the air down too soon. All is dependent on the temp. inside and outside. I experiment. Don't know how you all cut back on air so quickly. If I cut back too soon I get smoke out of the chimney. I also get smoke if I leave it shut down and the secondary flames slow down. As they slow down I gradually open the primary air back up. I try to keep chimney with no visible smoke as to not irritate my neighbors. Strict burning bans in the area I live in...

    Overall my glass does stay clean except in the front lower left hand corner. I have read somewhere that this is common with Jotul so, again, I don't worry too much. I use a sharp razor blade to clean it and it comes right off. If I want to be messier I use vinegar and water....

    For those of you who load your inserts up at night and then shut the air down - how do you keep the temp. from going over 800*???? I put 3 splits on today - on top of a good coal bed and the temp. on the top (Taken with my IR therm.) got up to 810*. That temp. was on the center area only - sides on top were in the 600*-700* range. Turning the blower on high cooled it down to where I was more comfortable...

    I manually set the blowers on mine and generally have it on low once things in the room heat up. Have a ceiling fan on low in the same room so things stay pretty even. I try to keep the temp. around 72*-74*.

    I am usually home during the day so, like someone else said, I tend to add wood when temp. in the room begins to vary. I just play it by ear and haven't tried to get longer burn times as some of you have. I tend to fiddle with it when I feel like it....Something comforting about tending a fire.

    My house is well insulated so on warmer days I only have to burn a few hours to get the room temp. up and then I let it burn down and the warm cast iron surroung and low blower speed is all that is needed. I know this will change when Dec. hits. For now I enjoy it and the fact that it is very easy to get to my wood piles. ;-)
  7. bdog

    bdog New Member

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    Western NY
    I have not tried the razor blade method to clean the glass, worried about scratching, etc. What I do is when the glass is coll, I take a small amount of white ash, mix it with a little water, then use a damp paper towel, put a little ash paste on the damp towel and wipe way (some needs a little scrub). Then wipe the glass again with a clean damp paper towel - clean glass in about 2 minutes.

    When loading for overnight I don't have too much of a problem with the fire running away. I make sure I have been burning for a couple hours to get the unit warm and have a small bed of coals (even just a small fire). I rake all the coals to the front (just behind the ledge with the andirons) and push the ash to the back or remove it. Then I pack 2 large splits and 1 medium split (although when colder I would image 4 might be better, my larger splits are usually 6"x6" on the end, or even a little larger). into the box. Largest split in the back behind the coals, medium in front of that, touching the coals, and othe large on top of the 2. Maybe place a 2 or 3 small pieces of kindling on the coals depending upon how hot they are and then close the door with air open to full. Usually within 10 to 15 minutes I have good flame, then close air to half. I take the dog out. When I bring her back in the wood at the front is burning well, I close the air almost all the way and go to bed. In the AM (maybe 7 hours later), the adjacent room is always at least 69 F, and there are still coals in the box. If the morning is cold then I basically repeat the evening process, but with smaller splits.

    Couple of things that really seem to help me:

    1) although my house is fairly large (almost 3,000 SF), and the insert is in kind of a back room all of the downstairs rooms have a very open plan, with large archways rather than door ways.
    2) the front foyer is open to the second floor with a wrap-around balcony for access to all of the bedrooms and my home office
    3) the insert is in a large brick fireplace, floor to ceiling brick maybe 10 feet wide, so the brick gets warm and radiates heat back
    4) I seem to have a great draft, even the installers commented on this - even in the open fireplace I could light a wood match and flame practically got sucked up the chimney - with the full length liner it is even better
    5) the old fireplace opening was fairly large (45" wide, 35" tall, 30" deep) and well lined with very heavy brick (it was a custom fireplace build contracted by the prior homeowner) - My installer had a custom extended surround fabricated from heavy steel. I think the large fireplace box, bricks and surround also hold a lot of heat and radiate it back

    My worry is that sometimes I am not burning the unit hot enough. I still tend to manage it like the old leaky stove I grew up with, and need to control my urge to alwys be feeding the box.
  8. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    I use sharp razor blades and have never had a problem. Did it that way on my old insert as well.

    When people said 'loading up the box' I imagined it packed full of wood as some do with other units. I usually reload with 3 splits too - maybe 4 depending on the size. I still have to be careful cutting back on the air though and I do watch outside for smoke.

    If you go back into last years threads you will find more info. Most with Jotuls say that they can handle the higher temps. I know mine does like to be hotter than my other unit.

    Don't remember who it was who changed the blower configuration but I wouldn't do that as inserts have no way to really shut down all the air in the event of a run away fire. The blower is my main way of cooling things off if they are going too high. Also obliterates the warranty....
  9. soxfan13

    soxfan13 Member

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    eastern MA
    Has anyone noticed the affect the blower speed has on burn time? I generally run the blower high to med. high for most of the time. I figured I should run it on high overnight to get the most heat away from the unit, but maybe I should put it on low to get a longer burn. I have a ceiling fan that also moves the heat.

    I also get temps 700 + with my thermometer. Usually cruise between 500 - 600. I can say I have never filled the firebox and still get plenty of heat.
  10. woodheat

    woodheat New Member

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    Ct.
    Yes, I posted a reply regarding this in this thread. The flames in my upper secondary area would be noticeably more active when the blower was on high. The air from the blower was getting out of the back of the stove through spaces in the shroud forcing air into the secondary tubes. I sealed the openings under the stove behind the blowers with stove cement to stop it. I still get good secondary burns, but they no longer change when I turn the air up to high. I can now get over 8 hours of burn time with temps over 200 after doing this, before I could not get more than 5 hours no matter what I tried. If you pull the bottom grate off and look inside behind the blowers there are spaces that go out to behind the stove. The secondary air intake is in the back of the stove right behind these spaces. No one else has seemed to mention having this issue, but I spent a lot of time turning the air up and down and watching the flames in the upper part of the stove start to dance like crazy when I turned the blower up. Maybe it is something with my particular installation that was causing it, but it is not doing it any longer.
  11. bdog

    bdog New Member

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    Woodheat,

    Interesting fix.

    I've played around with the blower speed on my unit and it does not appear to really make much of a difference on the secondary burn. I think that as the fire cools down, if you leave the blower on high it circulates more air around the box and therefore causes a faster cool down. Just an observation on my unit.
  12. Custerstove

    Custerstove Member

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    Central PA
    Here's a tip for getting a longer burn with the Jotul Rockland - and it may sound counter intuitive at first - let the stove cool down to about 200-250 F before filling with enough wood for an overnight burn. You might even be able to go cooler than that - I liked to try 175 F next time. After you quickly load the stove with large wood pieces immediately close the door and immediately turn the air intake all the way down. I usually leave the blower on medium for now. The idea here, is to add so much wood to the stove that it may actually take an hour or two for the wood to flame up - but that's extra time added on to an overnight burn! And trust me it will light up - it just takes awhile, in fact, the longer it takes the better. Just make sure your wood is dry. I read that damp wood can blacken the glass. I think some of us are flaming the wood up immediately after loading that stove and that shortens the total burn time. You want to start the stove off cool, and then maybe an hour or two later the stove slowly begins to heat up.

    The key to longer burns is the stove temp. For example, last night I loaded the stove at 250 F. At first the temp may even drop below 200 F from the addition of wood but an hour or 2 later the temp should start approaching 400 F or above with good secondaries. Seven hours later my stove was at 150 F and the addition of small pieces of wood in the morning fired her up within fifteen minutes. With harder and larger wood I should be able to get 8 hours - maybe more.

    Plus, it's easier to add wood to a cooler stove (200 F) - perhaps you can fit more pieces in and position them better than if the stove was searing hot.
  13. HopWallop

    HopWallop New Member

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    I am in. My 550 is getting installed this afternoon. Break in burn tonight. I am new to stoves so this forum has obviously been great.
  14. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    190
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley - Northeastern MA
    Good for you, HopWallop. Make sure you season your insert as described in your manual - several small fires over several days. Gradually build larger fires each day and resist the urges to build a big fire before it's seasoned properly. You may also want to have a window and/or door open to let out some of the funky manufacturing process odors. You'll be burning off oils and curing the paint which can produce some wild smells.

    Got mine going as we speak and it really does produce a comfortable heat. It looks really good as well - my family and I are very happy with our c550.

    Great forum here - you can really learn alot from the knowledgable folks who peruse this site. I know I have.

    Best of luck with your c550. Stay warm!
  15. labrador

    labrador Member

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    Jul 19, 2008
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    Loc:
    upstate New York
    Congratulations HopWallop, You need to celebrate the install with a small break in fire and a bottle of champagne. Here's to a very warm winter for you. I had to learn to be patient about the fan kicking in on automatic. When you get your first big fire the auto mode will kick in when when the snapstat reacts to the heat. Sometimes I use the manual override and then switch to auto. Don't be alarmed if you get smoke when you open the door. I find that happens only at the beginning of a fire, not when it is really going. Also I have been cutting my wood to 18". My Lab and two cats approve of the Rockland and vie for the best place on the rug. Labrador
  16. HopWallop

    HopWallop New Member

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    Loc:
    S.E. PA
    Thank you. First break in last night. I will follow up with two more tonight and tomorrow. It fugures that I will be out for work on Thursday night. It did kick off an odor and we had to open the door next to the stove (thanks for the heads up woodsy). It fits well, with exception of a stone on the one side sticking out on the top corner. It makes for a 2" gap on the side. I will have to cut or chip out that a portion of that stone. I did kick the fan on manual to see how loud it was. Not that bad. It is nice that you can adjust it. Did get some smoke in the face and learned that if you crack the door a little the smoke works is way up the chimney. My lab also found her place front and center.
  17. bdog

    bdog New Member

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    Hopwallop,

    Not sure how large your first fire was, but I made sure that each break-in fire was a little hotter than the one before. Three fires did it for me, no more smell.

    Congrats on the Rockland.
  18. soxfan13

    soxfan13 Member

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    Loc:
    eastern MA
    [quote author="Custerstove" date="1225306849"]Here's a tip for getting a longer burn with the Jotul Rockland - and it may sound counter intuitive at first - let the stove cool down to about 200-250 F before filling with enough wood for an overnight burn. You might even be able to go cooler than that - I liked to try 175 F next time. After you quickly load the stove with large wood pieces immediately close the door and immediately turn the air intake all the way down. I usually leave the blower on medium for now. The idea here, is to add so much wood to the stove that it may actually take an hour or two for the wood to flame up - but that's extra time added on to an overnight burn! And trust me it will light up - it just takes awhile, in fact, the longer it takes the better. Just make sure your wood is dry. I read that damp wood can blacken the glass. I think some of us are flaming the wood up immediately after loading that stove and that shortens the total burn time. You want to start the stove off cool, and then maybe an hour or two later the stove slowly begins to heat up.

    The key to longer burns is the stove temp. For example, last night I loaded the stove at 250 F. At first the temp may even drop below 200 F from the addition of wood but an hour or 2 later the temp should start approaching 400 F or above with good secondaries. Seven hours later my stove was at 150 F and the addition of small pieces of wood in the morning fired her up within fifteen minutes. With harder and larger wood I should be able to get 8 hours - maybe more.



    When you are burning at that low of a temperature, do you worry about the formation of creosote? Your plan sounds like a good one.
  19. gibson

    gibson New Member

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    Loc:
    Lincoln, RI
    Questions:

    How many of you guys installed an SS liner? Did you insulated it?
    Did you need to ovalize the liner at any points? How did that work?
    How many used a block off plate?

    Mine is going in on Thursday! Can't wait..
  20. gibson

    gibson New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    Questions:

    How many of you guys installed an SS liner? Did you insulated it?
    Did you need to ovalize the liner at any points? How did that work?
    How many used a block off plate?

    Mine is going in on Thursday! Can't wait..
  21. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    Loc:
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    I had mine professionally installed. The installers used a full, single wall SS liner in my outside wall chimney. They removed the damper plate and screwed together the connection to the top of my insert.

    I've had several various size fires and have not had any problems.
  22. HopWallop

    HopWallop New Member

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    My stove went in this week and I have the same set up as woodsy. I did ask the installer about an insulated or double wall. He said that the 316T is a great liner that is guaranteed for life with them and that they have not had any call backs. As far as insualtion he said that the plate at the top of the chimney blocks in the warm air created by the liner and the air actually becomes an insulator. I am not sure about how legit this all is. He seemed to be knowledgable and was very helpful when answering my other questions. This thread and the thermometer thread have been a great resource for me with the 550.

    I have had some problems trying to get the smoke going up the chimney at start up. I know the hotter you can get it the better. I can no longer stick my arm up in to the chimney with a lit piece of newspaper. How do you guys build your fire?
  23. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    HopWallop: Try the "top down" method of starting your fires. You basically place 2 or 3 small splits on the bottom of the insert, then place your larger kindling on top of that, then place your smaller kindling on top of that. I use 2 or 3 fire starters in between the kindling (some people use newspaper rolled up lengthwise and tied in a knot) and then light the fire starters. There is video on this site that you can pull up by seraching under "top down fire" or something similar which shows all the steps I've described.

    As it burns, the coals settle on top of the larger kindling and splits and the fire begins to catch fairly quickly. I leave my door open just a hair to feed air into the box until it begins to burn hot then I close the door completely. Once the coal bed has been established I add a couple of larger splits and let that get going. I eventually add more splits when the fire is well established and the fans eventually kick-on. Be patient with the fans on automatic mode - it takes a while before the snapstat closes and gets the fans going.
  24. Custerstove

    Custerstove Member

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    Central PA
    Soxfan, you're right burning at a lower temp could create more creosote - so you probably can't burn at too low of temp. It might be a good idea to burn a really hot fire following a slow over night burn to clean out any creosote. In all reality, I prefer to burn at higher temperatures and will only burn at lower temps on some nights. I've also started using the automatic blower for overnight fires - this helps keep the coals hot in the morning.

    The manual says to load the stove with smaller pieces of wood first followed by the largest pieces - I've noticed this helps to balance the wood and allows one to fit more wood in the stove. I keep thinking, if I can fit more wood in the stove, it will extend the burn time. Right now the weather is a bit warm for a large overnight fire, but on the next cold night I'd like to let the stove cool down to 250 F, even out the coals, and load small pieces over the coals, followed by a very large hardwood log and anything else that fits.

    Ideally, for me, I'd like to burn overnight, wake up 7-8 hours later, throw in 5-7 pieces of kindling to get the stove started. In the past, the stove temp was about 150 F in the morning (after 7 hr burn time) and the kindling lite up with in 20 minutes with flames dancing wildly - that gives me enough time to wash up or eat a quick breakfast while waiting for the kindling to light up.
  25. Custerstove

    Custerstove Member

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    Loc:
    Central PA
    Hey Wallop, I'd highly recommend purchasing some firestarters as Woodsy mentioned. They are made of saw dust and wax and can be purchased at most hardwood stores or sometimes the grocery store. I generally only use the firestarters when starting a fire in a cold stove. Right now the weather isn't really cold enough to keep the stove going during the day, so I usually use a small piece of a fire starter in the evening to get the stove going. I start by crumbling up old newspapers and covering the ashes, then I load the wood and light the firestarter - never falls. I sometimes leave the door open if I really want to get the fire started quickly but that can sometimes get a little smoke in the house.

    Last year, before I had firestarters I would crumble up so much newspaper that I filled up a couple of beer cases. That way I always had extra paper ready to go - kind of like a pile of wood. So keep practicing, eventually you learn how to start a fire in a matter of minutes. Enjoy that Jotul, it's a great stove!

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