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Just installed a Quadra Fire 5700

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by MnDave, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    ohlongarm,
    I looked at the specs on your stove. OMG - 47kBtu/hr. It has a 4.32 cubic foot combustion chamber and uses 8" chimney pipe. Wow!

    That is obviously a very serious stove. And with a cat no less.

    Besides burning the smoke, do you think that the cat acts a little like a stovepipe damper? When you close the bypass damper and force the flow through the cat how does the flame react?

    I will keep reading the manual. Sounds like this stove is bullet proof.

    Thanks,
    MnDave

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  2. Mitch Newton

    Mitch Newton Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Messages:
    173
    Loc:
    Beavercreek, Ohio
    MnDave, I did try running the stove with no fan and the temps really went up big time. The fan really makes a difference in the stove temps. However, the heat getting upstairs seemed a little less without the fan. So I'll probably run the fan most of the time. I know you talked about convection verus drafting the heat upstairs, but the blast of hot air coming up the stairs is really pretty nice heat. Keep us posted on the installing the damper. (Where you install it. How high up? How it works?) I am definitely getting an IR thermometer. I am about 80% happy with the stove at this point. I am looking at ways to insulate the basement walls. If the basement walls are taking 1/3 of the heat, I have to change that somehow. My wife wants to use some space age insulating powder to add to paint and then paint the walls. How do you think that would work? I really don't want to drywall and insulate.
  3. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    That's great Mitch. My suggestions to you have been for experiment only to see if your stovepiupe temp rises, so yes by all means run that fan to get the heat off the stove.

    Sometimes getting a good chimney updraft can are tricky. Especially when the chimney is very cold. Sometimes I have to draw a picture for myself to fully understand what I am seeing and why.

    For instance, a few times with my old stove and no outside air kit, I failed to get an adequate updraft (using a propane torch) before I lit the fire. The downdraft restarted in the chimney, so smoke poured into the room and onto the floor, even with the stove door closed. Yikes!

    I opened the front door (same level as fireplace), and the smoke stopped pouring out into the room as the chimney updraft slowly restarted.

    Why does this work? Because the fresh air from the open front door satisfies the draft created by the stack effect in my house. That stack effect was helping cold to drop into my chimney and creates a downdraft. Until my fire gets hot and creates a strong updraft in the chimney I can get a little smoke into the room.

    I am glad to hear that. After reading a good article about cat vs non-cat stoves, I now understand that one of the trade-offs between them is long-burn vs flame viewing. One article even said that "non-cat stoves cannot do overnight burns". I would have qualified that to say that smaller non-cat stoves cannot do overnight burns on a single load. Hence I am about 90% satisfied with the Quadra Fire 5700 at this point. My wife and I love the flame view while we watch TV. If I can get the unit to burn overnight in a typical Minnesota winter then I will be 100% satisfied. Sofar it is burning overnight on a moderately cold night with a 65% load.

    Also the ACC feature has been working great. I used to have to watch my stove for the first 20 minutes or so and be there to cut the air so that it would not overfire. With the ACC feature, I light, watch for about 5 minutes, and go about my business. If it does not take off I chalk it up to user error (not enough kindling as I am running low).

    I do not know anything about the insulating paint. I am sure there would be some benefit. Have you considered pinkboard with a reflective surface? It can be anchored to block or poured wall pretty easily.

    MnDave
  4. charly

    charly Guest

    I found the same thing with the ACC feature when I use to have my 5700. A wasted feature in my eyes. And what a surprise for a new owner to think he or she could set it and forget,,,, they'd come back to an inferno, possibly a chimney fire.
  5. Mitch Newton

    Mitch Newton Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Messages:
    173
    Loc:
    Beavercreek, Ohio
    I disagree Charly, the ACC control is great. Automatically reduces air flow over twenty minutes. I love it. I watch my stove all of the time and but the ACC sure makes it easy to control the burn thru-out the firebox, front and rear.

    MnDave, I got an IR thermometer and am greatly surprised. Not just temps on the stove but temps around the house. It really shows you where the cold spots are and the hot spots. Certain spots in my living room are running 89' while other spots are 69' I think with a little air movement by a small fan I can increase overall temps in the living room. The ceramic window on the stove is reading over 800'. While the door and stovetop are reading 400 to 550' pretty easily. Does your stove start to make some expansion noises when the fire gets hot? Just wondering how much of that is ok and when to start being concerned.
  6. charly

    charly Guest

    Well maybe that I had such a strong draft and dry wood, I could never let the stove draft using the ACC for 20 minutes, my pipe temperature would be pegged!
  7. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    Mine makes little expansion noises every couple of seconds as it is warming up. The only time my fire got real hot was the first few times before I added my modifications to reduce air flow. I have yet to see a stovepipe temp over 525 and a stovetop over 600 and in all cases the temp rose slowly over at least a half hour.

    I put the stovepipe damper in this morning. Piece of cake, took about 45 minutes. Taking the stovepipe off took up half the time. Mine is a wall mount and the 22 gauge makes for a very tight fit. The stove is too heavy to slide.

    My first impression is that the damper makes a significant difference in the flowrate.

    With a small load of 6 splits (50F outside temp) and the stovetop damper straight up (minimum flow dampening) the stove started like usual (burn rate control set to max, normal ACC operation with no rear air). After 30 minutes the stovetop only got up to 450F. That is not quite what I was hoping for which indicates that just the presence of the damper in the stovepipe produces a significant pressure drop.

    When I turn the damper to a 45-60 degree angle off vertical the stovetop temp rises 50 degrees to 500 F and I can feel the heat blowing off the stove is a little more intense. Also, and maybe it is too soon to judge but I thought that the wood was not burning as fast as before. There was not as much gas burning.

    I would like to be able to run the stovetop up to 600-650 F with a half load of wood and the burn rate control set to max. With the burn rate control set to minimum I would like the stovetop to run at 425-475.

    So, I now need to tweek my modification to the secondary air manifold. If you recal, I blocked that 3/4 inch round hole in the secondary manifold by 50% with a piece of angle iron. I was going to run with the side heat shield off so I could tweek this but I decided not to for safety reasons. I plan to block that hole by only 25%.

    The reason that I think I need to give the secondary burn tubes more air is because they do not show the kind of flame activity that indicates they are allowing enough super-heated air into the gasses. The flame view was just "ok" on max burn rate. It seems like the gasses are lighting but then they go out for a few seconds, then re-light, so I have to give those secondary tubes more air.

    After watching about a half dozen youtube videos on woodstove operation, I am very happy that the 5700 comes with all these controls. I am starting to use the rear air more to get the kind of overall burn I am looking for when viewing.

    It has been fun tweeking this stove over the last few weeks.

    MnDave
  8. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    charly,

    I think it WAS your strong chimney draft and super dry wood that made your 5700 run out-of-control. Quadra Fire has to make these stoves run on short fat chimneys in tight homes with no outside air otherwise their dealers will be called out constantly and not have the means to fix the problem.

    Did the dealer ever suggest a stovepipe damper?

    Even though my temps never got real high, I felt the same as you before I modified the stove. When I thought the stove was running away, I tripped the ACC deactivation lever. The next fire tripped the smoke alarms but that was because the paint was not fully cured after the first fire.

    I am sad that you had a bad experience with your 5700. Do you think that you would have been willing to modify the stove? The vast majority of people would not feel comfortable doing it. For me it was information from this forum that made me consider doing it. All these mods do is reduce the air to the unit.

    MnDave
  9. charly

    charly Guest

    When I had my 5700, I did the same thing at times seeing if just running the rear air was a better way to go along with the top air control closed way up.. possibly giving a nicer secondary burn. The trouble is,,, I never found one particular setting using the rear air that I would consider controlled, and load the stove for an over night burn and walk away. Of course I didn't modify anything as in the event of a house fire,,,,, you wouldn't get a dime. I'm glad you like the stove and it's working out.
  10. charly

    charly Guest

    No my dealer never suggested a damper. In fact they dropped the Quadrafire line of stoves. My self I wouldn't spend over 2000 dollars for something that had to be modified. I'd worry about having a fire and not getting a dime. My stove came through with four I'll built legs, they were machined at an angle where the bolts go through so the flat washers on the bolt heads never sat flat,,, possibly spitting the leg out while your asleep. I called the factory, they suggested that I grind the casting flat. Once I touched the legs, if they broke and the house burned, it would all be on me. I had them ship four new properly machined legs.... next thing on my brand new stove was they never machined the leg bracket slot long enough to hold open my ash dump lever, so I asked them to send me a new properly machined leg bracket,,,,, what do they send,,,, two brackets for the opposite side. I wasn't impressed with my stove as you can see. Plus I paid for a 2010 stove only to see it was a left over from 2009. It sits in my barn ,someday it will be used to heat my garage once insulated.
  11. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    I think that if the mods are the reason for the house fire then you are right, the insurance underwriter would not cover it.
  12. charly

    charly Guest

    Sad thing is if something got near your stove and caught fire accidentally,, they wouldn't pay you a dime because of your mods. They'd look for any excuse they could use. Plus Quadrafire would be off the hook. What ever works for you is great, obviously your not going the other way and opening up the draft controls, so you should be safe having a more controlled burn.
  13. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    Very wise on your part. I never thought about those cast legs and the weight of that stove.

    I got it with the pedestal base because I wanted it up higher and wanted to hide the outside air.

    I had a neighbor who is an HVAC tech come over to troubleshoot a problem with my furnace. I had determined that the flame roll-out switch was tripping. He checked the pressure regulator (I am on LP) and the gas pressure to the furnace was fine. So, he removed the flame roll-out switch and jumpered the wires. He said, "you don't need that". A few years later I was thinking about what he did and decided to put a new flame roll-out switch in the furnace. It still trips occassionally but only when the outside temp is 50 or warmer. I can view the flame and there is no obvious flame roll-out. The flame box just gets a little too hot if the furnace runs too long. Maybe it is oversized a little? I showed my wife how to reset the flame roll-out switch incase I am not there.

    Like you said, an insurance company would not cover a mod like that and in this case I had knowledge of the mod so I could not point to the HVAC guy who was not even billing me.

    MnDave
    charly likes this.
  14. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    On the same account, if any part of the installation is defective, like a single wall stovepipe closer than 18 inches to a combustable, then you are screwed too. I read over the clearances many times before I finalized my design of the surround. My floor is tile and the surround is stone up to the ceiling.

    Based on your input I plan to fasten my mods securely and go over all the do's and don'ts again with my wife.

    Thanks,
    MnDave
  15. charly

    charly Guest

    That's nice you have your stove under control now. From the factory you could eat up a load of wood pretty quick. So where do you run your damper? Only thing I worry about running a damper,,,,, once in a coaling stage would you loose a positive draft with just coals and wind up having carbon monoxide now coming into your house. In other words , with the damper say half closed to run a full box of wood,,,, would it be too closed to provide a good draft once down to coals?
  16. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    I have only had one fire with the damper and a hot reload. I turn the damper to 45 degrees and then some up to maybe 60 degrees. Once I turned it 90 degrees (flat) to see if it shut down the flames, which it did.

    The difference in the coaling stage was that it was longer and the stove felt (and measured) hotter. I have CO detectors. I did forget to open the damper before opening the door. You know right away. The heat is right in your face.

    It worked ok on a small load. Tonight it is too warm outside to load up and there is mainly warm weather in the forcast.

    If I can control the stove with just the stovepipe damper, that would be great. I think it deserves a try so I plan to remove the mods and just try the damper.

    MnDave
  17. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    charly,
    I see you live in New York. How is the snowmobiling around where you live?
    MnDave
  18. MnDave

    MnDave Guest

    I removed both of my modifications. I did note that the piece of angle iron I used to block 1/2 of the secondary air had moved away from the opening at a 45 degree angle and the metal was heat stained blue/purple. That surprise me. It would seem that a backflow of heated gas pushed it away. Maybe the stovepipe damper caused that. I plan to use my IR handheld to check for a hot spot on the heat shield in that location. That would indicate a backflow in the secondary. I took the cover off that secondary manifold and noted that Quadra Fire placed a baffle in there to block a direct path from the opening to the rear two tubes apparently so that those tubes do not hog all the air.

    So now I am running with just the stovepipe damper. It has been too warm to put more that 2 or 3 splits. It is 75 in the house and I have burned only 6 pieces of wood since this morning. I am fairly confident that I am getting more heat from the stove and the wood is lasting longer.

    The big test will be when I load it up with around 7 splits for an overnight burn. Hopefully it will stay under control. I have turned the damper to at least 80 degrees from vertical with the burn rate control set in the middle and the flame is good for viewing. If I turn the burn rate down a little more, I get into what I would think is a nice overnight burn. Again that is only with a few splits.

    It is supposed to get colder in the middle of the week.

    MnDave
  19. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Beavercreek Ohio
    MnDave, how's the stove been working for you unmoded? Have you found that the damper gives you more control? Still liking the Quad?
  20. charly

    charly Guest

    Good, I go right out my back door,, we live on a farm..

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