More newbie user Jotul 550 Rockland Questions.

Jrodmt Posted By Jrodmt, Nov 13, 2009 at 1:51 PM

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  1. Jrodmt

    New Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    S.W. Ohio
    As with anything new and expensive (to me) I am probably way over-thinking this new insert. I do have a couple of questions
    that I need help with on operation and maintaining. 1. I do not know if this is even possible after looking at the diagram of the
    insert but I swear I smelled wood smoke from the blower outlet last night. Is it possible that smoke could be mixing with the
    blower circulated air? I also had semi-sore throat and congested this morning after burning all night last night. The insert did not
    smell the same as the "break-in" smell. 2. The glass is already browned up and cloudy. Tried to clean with good foaming glass cleaner No good. just smeared and didn't work. Any tips there? 3. How often do you clean out the ashes from the insert?
    Every four hours or four days? I seemed to have a lot of ash build up after 8 hours our so of fire. Damper kept mostly closed
    most of the time. Just not that cold here yet to need alot of heat. I really have no experience with a stove or insert just open fireplace fires.
  2. fredarm

    Minister of Fire

    Aug 28, 2008
    Eastern Mass
    I don't see how smoke could be mixing with the blower air, but maybe other 550 owners can shed some light on this. The brown glass indicates you're not burning hot enough and/or trying to burn wood that's not dry enough. Try leaving the draft open about 1/4 instead of closing it all the way down and see if that helps. If that doesn't work, try burning some lumber scraps, pallet wood, or compressed brick product like Biobricks with the wood. As far as cleaning the glass goes, I've seen reports here of people having good luck with a wet paper towel dipped in some ash, although I just use plain old Windex with good results. I emply my ashes once a week this time of year, twice a week in the dead of winter.
  3. gibson

    New Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    Lincoln, RI
    A few questions:
    1.) Is your chimney lined and or insulated and how tall?
    2) How dry is your wood? Minimum 9-12 months for all except oak which needs more...
    3.) You are getting 8 hrs, it sounds like, so perhaps you are shutting down the air intake too soon?

    Clean the glass with wet newspaper and ash. Empty the ash to about 1" deep when it needs it. I only do it once a week in the dead of winter.

    As long as your set up is good, just relax and work with it. There is a learning curve, but I have found it to be an easy, forgiving stove to operate.
  4. Jrodmt

    New Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    S.W. Ohio
    The Chimney is an inside chimney at least 25ft. tall with stainless steel liner and insulated. The wood I am burning ash, oak,
    and maple has been down for at least 1 year but wasn't split and put up untill recently 1mo.?. Seems dry. Anything I suspect to be
    wet I seperate to dry and burn later. I tinkered with the air adjustment and actually was much more successful this weekend.
    I tried the ash on a wet newspaper trick that somebody else suggested and it worked very well for cleaning the glass.
    If it makes any difference the smoke from the blower smell was on the left side of the blower vent only.
    The biggest problem I am having is after running it all weekend, every time I open the door some smoke enters the house.
    I have tried all of the suggstions as far as opening it up and waiting. Opening the door slowly. Opening a window in the house.
    I cannot seem to find a way to not let smoke escape. Not a lot but enough that anybody upstairs complains and knows when I
    opened the door. I was very impressed with the heat output. First time we got to let it really burn after the break in period.
  5. op_man1


    Mar 11, 2009
    Eastern Ontario
    Without going into anything else in your post, you likely have wet wood. Even ash, which can generally be burnt green, needs to season more than one month. Wood does not dry singificantly until it is split.
  6. Roxburyeric


    Feb 6, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    Your wood is the main issue regarding the glass and burns. If you just split it, it is not dry enough - even when it looks dry it probably isn't. I use a little windex along with the ash to clean the glass. Do you turn the blower off when you open the door (you should). What was the weather like there - if it is in the 40's or higher the draft probably isn't that great which could cause the smoke smell and some smoke coming in the room. Keep on trying - you'll get the hang of it. You'll probably have to deal with the wood issue all winter - as others will say - try splitting it smaller or adding some truly dry wood. Good luck.
  7. High_Iron


    Dec 30, 2007
    Long Island
    I agree, sounds like your wood is green.

    One other thing, my installer specificaly told me NOT to use windex on my glass. He said the amonia would scratch it. I just use ash and a paper towel. works great.
  8. EJL923

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 29, 2009
    Western Mass
    Never tried ash and newspaper, but its free. If it works, use it. Home depot sells Rutland stove glass cleaner, its a cream. Works extremely well and is probably not as messy as wet ash. If you have a cermic top stove range, you can also use that cleaner. I have a Weiman brand cleaner for that which says it can also be used on wood stove ceramic glass. I didnt trust that at first, but other than color, both cleaners smell exactly the same.
    I also have the 550. I have an interior masonry chimney, about 25'. The liners is uninsulated, upper and lower block off plates. Draft is not a problem at all for me. As a matter of fact, i am starting to investigate how I can add a damper to an insert.
  9. cp20855

    New Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Re cleaning glass, I used razor blade and squirt bottle of windex knock-off. This is also what I use on glass stove top. Am I doing something harmful to glass?

    (BTW, yes, I do now know that if I burn the fire hotter, no need to clean glass.)

    Still learning,
  10. indiana4spartans

    Nov 19, 2009
    N. Indiana

    Hey -- welcome to the forums! I don't post a lot here but I've done a ton of reading over the years and learned a lot.

    Your wood is your main issue. Not even close to being ready to go yet. You will get that same response from some of the main, long-term posters on here. It has to be split and stacked for at least one year before I'll even consider putting in my insert. Oak - at least two years split and stacked. Some posters on here will really push you to go even three years before you should start burning the wood.

    So your main obstacle this year is getting some good, seasoned wood that has been split and stacked for at least 8-12 months to have a fighting chance. Hard to get ahead but if you stick with it you can do it. It's a great feeling to know you are multiple years ahead on wood. And I can tell you from experienced, once you start burning wood that has multiple years to dry and season, you will be amazed at the difference.

    What is your wood source?
  11. rkofler

    Burning Hunk

    Nov 15, 2011
    Long Island
    Maybe you are opening door too soon to reload? Is the wood smoldering when you open the door? That is the only time I will get some smoke back into the house. If you just have some red hot coals left when you open door you should not be getting any smoke in the house.
    Good luck, love the 550!!
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