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Mistimed reload?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Kevin Dolan, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Kevin Dolan

    Kevin Dolan Burning Hunk

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    I put three largish splits, 5-6 inches diameter, on the jotul 400 at around 7 pm last night and had it cruising nicely at 400 f stovetop last night. I had to go to bed around 9 pm and the wood was nicely charred and not looking as though I should reload before bed. I got up around 5.30 this morning to a very low bed of coals, just enough to restart. My question is, should I or could I have put on my overnight load before going to bed and put the damper to half and leave it like that till morning?
    Thoughts appreciated,
    Kevin

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  2. TTigano

    TTigano Member

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    I've been trying to get in the habit of loading the stove up 45min to an hour before bed. This way, I can let the fire build up again and get the stove top temps up around 500. I will slowly start to turn the air down in 1/4 incriments as the tempurature rises. I wouldn't trust leaving the air open half and walking away... Things could still get very hot in a few hours.
    HatboroPaul likes this.
  3. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Just depends, loading up a very hot stove can cause over fire. Adding one piece may not hurt, its getting a feel for your stove that will help.

    Things to consider:
    How hot the stove is.
    How big is the coal bed.
    How much open room in the fire box.
    What kind of wood you loading.
    How dry is the wood your loading.

    If there is some open room in the stove then the stove isnt going to be able to get as hot as if you pack it full. If you pack it full on a very hot bed of coals then it has only small open space usually up by the secondary air tubes or baffle up in the top of the stove. That small space allows the stove to get very hot up there, its like a little burn chamber. The extra heat up there will burn the smoke gases better as in hotter and more complete your getting more heat out of the smoke. This will heat your stove up quickly and very hot.

    So If you have some open room in the stove and by adding one more log there is still some open space then I dont think the stove will over heat.

    These stoves work best by using them in cycles. Have the coal bed burnt down by bed time so you can rake the coals forward to front of stove and load the stove up full on a partial bed of coals. Not all the wood will be sitting on hot coals , only the wood in the front will start burning at first , then the stove will burn back to the wood in the back thats not sitting on hot coals.
  4. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    How far was your air control set open last night?

    pen
  5. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    You mention about that damper half way open if it was at that that it would explain the burn and i wonder how hot your stove got after you to bed.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Probably could have added wood. As for the damper setting, that depends upon what your normal setting is but set at half seems a bit too much.
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    It's interesting that you could burn 10.5 hours with the damper half open. I'm pretty sure I'd have nothing but ash at that damper setting. What is your draft normally like? How dry is your wood?

    Matt
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    If you had added wood on top of a hot coal bed you would have had to wait for the initial off gassing and adjustments. Well, I darn sure would have.
  9. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    What was your house temp when you got up?
  10. Kevin Dolan

    Kevin Dolan Burning Hunk

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    Matt when i said that I relit in the morning, the fire was right down to minimal coals and the stove top was 150f. My draft is the primary control and I like to have it set down to 1/4 when I leave it burn overnight. My wood is dry, around 20% moisture or less.
  11. Kevin Dolan

    Kevin Dolan Burning Hunk

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    SW Ontario
    The room temp was 68 and the stove being cast was still giving off some heat. The house is well insulated and I think this is a big help. I think based on the feedback I have received, I should wait until the wood has gassed off before reloading but need to plan that accordingly.
    Appreciate the feedback.
    Kevin
    etiger2007 likes this.
  12. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Well wood that has just finished off gassing is consider hot coals. They may still have the shape of splits some what.

    If you search the forums for loading up a stove full of hot coals you will find alot of information.

    Usually its best to let the coals burn down alot, not just till the wood has quit off gassing as at that point there is most likely alot of very hot coals in the stove. Let the the coals burn down to have just enough for another restart. As if your wanting to load a full load at bed time, I am afraid if you pack that stove full with that much hot coals you could over fire the stove.

    A good way to tell if you have enough coals is if you can rake the coals forward to only have the front half of the stove with hot coals, then thats enough coals. If you have so many hot coals that the entire bottom of the stove is about 3" or more deep with coals thats alot of heat energy to pack one of these stoves full of wood on top of. All stoves are a little different but if you search this forum you will find several stories of guys getting a run away stove. One of the stories is mine. Coal beds are different , so learn to judge how hot your coal bed is. And know what kind of wood your loading as if your loading a full load of hickory its going to burn really hot compared to tulip poplar wood.

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