Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rockreid, Oct 6, 2008.
Excellent! giving that method a whirl right now. Thanks!
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Regarding secondary burning. How do I tell when that is occuring? Is it happening when the flames dance around on top of the wood and stretch up to the secondary air tubes? Also is there a link or an explanation of how the secondary air tubes work? Couldn't find anything on the Jotul site.
I can't a finger between the grates to access the switch. Do you use something else to do it (like a pencil)?
I'm now thinking that maybe my controls weren't installed exactly right. I'll see if I can adjust them. Thanks.
EDIT: I just checked this before starting a fire today and, sure enough, I was able to maneuver the controls forward and to the right a bit, and I can access this with the grate on. While I was in there I also noticed that the fans sit freely on the bottom of the insert (i.e., I can move them around). They look like they have brackets on the top of them with small holes. Are the fans supposed to be attached to something in there?
Thanks so much! This site has been a great benefit, as has this thread!
Along the same lines, I've found that the back secondary tube on my can be easily turned and has even been knocked out a couple of times when wood hit it. I was wondering if there is any particular direction on the tube that the holes should face?
the holes should face forward. There is a small whole on the center top of the tube and there is a matching peg in the top baffle plate that should key into the hole on the tube. This keeps the tubes in place and will not allow them to turn or come out unless the baffel plate is lifted. Your baffle plate key must not be in the tube hole if the tubes are turning or falling out.
Thanks! I've got it burning now, but I'll check this the next time I can.
I know when I was figuring out the secondary burn thing there were lots of threads explaining and describing it. I am not versed in finding threads and inserting them as others are. You might want to do an 'advanced search' on secondary burn and see what comes up.
I know when mine are engaged because the burning pattern in the firebox changes. There will be a flame on the wood, down by the coal bed, reaching up to the top of the firebox where the secondary tubes are. The flames that appear to be dancing are your secondaries. Logs won't be in as much flame as they were before secondaries kicked in. This usually happens once my insert is above 400* or 500*. Sometimes you will even see flames shooting out of the secondary tubes. :bug: It is mesmerizing to watch.
Oh- figured I better mention that if you loose the flame that is feeding the secondaries, the one that is burning up from the coals, you will loose secondaries too. That flame acts like a wick. Keep it healthy.
My blowers are attached to the bottom of the insert but they can be moved around. In fact, there are times when the blower has started to make an unusual noise and it is generally due to one of the blowers resting up against it.
Thanks Perplexed! It is mesmerizing....
A pinky or a pencil. You just need to be able to flick it from off to auto or manual. On auto, mine doesnt kick in until my therm is at 650* minimum.
I was not creating a good fire base. Glass is clean and temp was cruising around 475. Still learning but I know what I need to do.
Thanks everyone for the help!
Is it normal for the coating around the air tubes and baffles to burn off? Thanks
Now with the real winter weather kicking in, I am barely getting 5-6 hr burns. I have been needing to fire up every morning from scratch. I packed the firebox as tight as I ever have last night on a really hot bed of coals and was able to get a fire going this morning from coals, but that is the exception. Good seasoned wood supply and air shut down all the way once I hit 500-600*. Anyone doing better on burntimes?
For just starting out with this insert you are getting good burn times. It has taken me a year of learning curve to reach a 6 hour burn time. Much more tempermental than our old insert. Just like learning all over again from scratch.
Our winter has been very mild. Only a few days with really frigid weather. Found that it operates much better in colder temps. than in temps. above 40*.
I still can't shut air down past 60* or I loose flames and chimney smokes. Even though I can't shut air down all the way I am getting 6 -8 hour burn times now so I am not complaining. Just find it curious. I am very satisfied with the heat output. Our rooms that are heated with the insert are regularly staying in the mid 70*.
Keep doing what you are doing and I imagine by this time next year you may have longer burn times.....or be satisfied with what you are getting. ;-)
Carl- What do you mean by burn times? The other night I had coals in the insert at 3am. I added no more wood and cleaned out the insert at 4pm. I still had hot coals then. Do you mean by burn times how long you have a fire in the unit? I can't seem to get my stove to push the room temp above 66-68 degrees after running 4-5 hours. The room is 850 sq. ft. and the ceiling 8 ft. Wood is very dry. Also do you or any other owners of the 550 have to crack the door about one inch to start a good fire? I get an IR reading with the door open of about 700 and the magnetic one in the center of stove where hot air exits runs 375-400. I s this about the same for the rest of us? Thanks in advance for any advice or thoughts. PS It is 12 degrees outside right now and snowing like mad here in Schoharie valley. Wait till next Thursday and Friday temps hit us.
I would say that my definition of burn time is having enough coals to fire up with out newspaper.
Yes, I have to leave the door open a crack to get things going when starting up too. Time varies for how long I have to leave it open.
The area where our insert is is approx. the same as yours and our insert heats it up extremely well. Usually in the mid to upper 70's. Start up with room temp. of 60* and within an hour or two the temp. is into the 70's.
I'm wondering how far down you are setting your primary air. If it is wide open most of the heat goes up the chimney.
I am no expert on this insert at all and am learning all of the time. I find it challenging to get consistent results when burning. Very sensitive to outside temps. and types of wood I feed it. I do know it burns better when outside temps. are below 40* and it likes to run hot. (500*-700*)
Burn time for me means how long from when I reload to next reload. It also varies depending on outside temps. On mild days one fire in the morning is all I need to keep things warm until early evening.....we have had mild winter weather this year.
I usually try to reload when top temp. is above 300*.
perplexed- I will try burning with air vent halfway closed to see if that makes any difference. Are you able to put your hand on the surround when stove has been going for several hours? I can put my hand on surround after several hours burn time.
Labrador -Yes, surround heats up and radiates that heat out into the room. Stays nice and warm for a long time after the fire has died down.
After a few hours of hot burning, I can put my hand on the surround but not for more than 5 seconds or so. I agree with perplexed that this insert loves it hot. I seem to burn at 500 to 700+.
Perplexed, when you are getting longer burn times, are you keeping the fan on low? I like the fire so I reload the firebox more than I have to. I could probably go every five hours or so because the unit is still throwing heat but looking at just a bit of coals isn't that much fun. I have never gone more than 5 hours without reloading it yet. Just like everyone else, I am still trying new stuff with this unit.
I keep the door open to start it from a cold start. It starts faster that way.
Had it for 2.5 months now and I'm still learning. I don't get the long burn times, but it sounds like I still have some fine-tuning to do. I'm also interested in hearing a what speed others keep their fans. Also, I have no block-off plate and plan to install one in the spring. Can I expect that to lengthen my burn times?
Soxfan- If temp. in room is too low I run it high or med-high until room heats up then lower it to low. Read a thread here titled 'very confused - a little help please' and 'meathead' responded with loading instructions that have made my active flame and burn times more than double.
I, too, like the flames and was loosing them after 1 1/2 hours depending on the load. THings would stay hot with the coals but no flames. I have been practicing with his instructions and it works great. Flames start in front and then burn one log at a time back and then down into the fire box. Insert temps. stay in the 600-700* range for several hours. Works best when outside temps. are below 40* and no wind. Room temp. stays in upper 70's no problem.
I know I have read how to load here many times in the last year but for some reason it never translated into good results for me with this insert. Kept having to spread the hot coals throughout the firebox which caused the wood to burn way to quickly. This method slows things down and keeps things good and hot and for some reason I can get it to work even though I did try many times in the past. Something in how he explained it...who knows..
For some reason I can't get air shut down more than 60% closed or I loose flames and chimney smokes. I do have to adjust air setting as load burns down based on how flames are holding up. Think it is due to size of this insert and it needing more air than my old, smaller insert. Still get a longer burn though.
Depending on how coals are doing I sometimes add a light log on top of them to help them burn and it will give me flames as I run the air wide open at the final stage of coaling. This can take place anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on the load. (Some burn more quickly than others.)
Have to add, as many before me have said, every load is different and reacts differently which can be frustrating when trying to figure things out. Now I feel like I have several methods that I can get to work depending on what type of fire I want. I figure it will take several years to feel really comfortable with my abilities to read this insert....but I absolutely love it.
My advice to anyone figuring out how this insert operates - have more wood on hand than you think you will ever need for a season so that you have a lot of room to work with then experiment to your hearts content. ;-)
JJEGLBS & perplexed, I made my own block off plate out of sheet metal and bent it so it rests on top of the metal where the damper is. Stove did seem to run hotter. I found an old metal handle and attached it to the block off plate to ease it into place. I wish I had plenty of wood to burn but should be able to get through the winter.
Just finished reading this thread. Great tips and info from everyone about their Jotul Rockland 550! My husband and I purchased ours and had it professionally installed in early November. It has been working great. Got us through the -30 degree F cold snap of several weeks here in Montana in mid-December. Our heat bill was 1/4 of what it would have been without the Jotul! We have experienced some of the same problems several others on this thread have: Our automatic blower was working great and then after about 3 weeks...it stopped. Then it "mysteriously" began working again without any problems. Not sure why. Burn times are fine here, especially since we don't have the luxury of hardwoods (only pine and fir). So, we are happy with a 5-7 hour burn time. Our Weimaraner has claimed his spot in front of the stove and gives it a huge "paws up".
However, in the last 1-1/2 weeks we have been experiencing a problem we just can't seem to find a solution to and it is quite perplexing since the stove has been working fine for us until now. We have a big smoking problem when opening the door to feed the fire. This does not just happen on the initial burn start-up, but every time we open the door. We are careful to open the door slowly, open the air control all the way, and make sure the blower is turned off. But no matter what, the smoke comes billowing out into the living room! We can only think of two possible reasons for this: (1) we are burning Douglas Fir wood (it is seasoned) compared to pine in the past few weeks. (2) The weather here has warmed to the mid-40's during the day and the low 30's at night (usually in the teens to 20's at night and low 30's during the day). Could the warmer, damp air be causing a problem with our draft?
Any suggestions or help folks on this thread can provide would be appreciated. We do plan to talk to the installer this week also to see what thoughts and ideas they have.
*Chimney is 15-16 feet tall.
*Chimney is on the inside, not an outside wall.
*Have a SS liner
*Doesn't matter what the stove temp is...150 or 700...we still get smoke!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
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