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My Everburn procedure

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BurningIsLove, Nov 16, 2007.

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  1. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Posting this to a separate thread to keep stove-specific threads and/or rants about VC from polluting this thread:

    Here is the procedure that I follow once the stove (Dutchwest 2479 everburn) is up to temp and needs to be reloaded:

    1) Open bypass
    2) poke residual logs to collapse into coals (if necessary). Needs a good 2+" of coals, so plan accordingly
    3) load fresh splits (see note below on orientation)
    4) open air inlet 100% for about 10-15 minutes or until fire is very active (about 475 on the flu connector magnetic thermometer)
    5) Damper down to about 1/3 air and let burn for another 10 minutes. This reduces wasteful burning that is just rocketing right up the chimney, but is necessary to pre-heat the new splits on the top
    6) Open air inlet to 100% again for about 2 minutes to get an active fire again
    7) Close bypass/engage everburn.
    8) If rumble persists, temps are good, smoke-free at the top of the stack, I damper down to about 3/4 then 1/2 then 1/4.

    If the everburn "stalls", it means that the coals werent oriented right, there weren't enough of them, or the fresh splits were 'ready' for that stage yet. All the above assumes dry, seasoned hardwood. Also, I have a thick masonry chimney which has to be properly heated before it drafts well enough to use everburn. This takes about 2 hours in my set up.

    Also, when the drafting is good and outdoor temps are low, lately I've been experimenting with the following to reduce 'thermonuclear' incidents. A freshly loaded stove holds about 6 medium sized splits on top of the coal bed. I have been putting two less-seasoned splits on the top row. That way they bake for a while and dry out before the splits below them reduce to coals. I dont mind the extra energy required to heat the water in the unseasoned splits because this stove throws more heat than I need when everburn is working properly.

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  2. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Forgot my own note on orienting the splits.......

    When I add new splits, I create a small 'pocket' in front of/ above the throat entrance to the reburn chamber. Split-size willing, I do this often by resting a split on the flat, top section of the block that houses the throat. When that split and the ones around it eventually reduce to coals, it falls into place on its own. For some reason, creating that pocket seems to help. Maybe it allows the air to not have to travel across cooler splits that have not completely caught yet, therefore making it more hot before it enters the throat.
  3. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Is there enough coals left in the morning to just add wood, char it, close the damper and start "everburning" or do you have to start from scratch with establishing a coal bed big enough to everburn?
  4. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    IN the morning there are still coals remaining, but not the 2-3" required to jump right back into the everburn process. Also the stove has dropped to about 200 degrees (surface), which isn't hot enough. But the stack is still warm and the draft is moderately strong, so after loading with fresh splits it is only a few minutes before the fire is roaring again. However, it does take a while to rebuild the thick bed of coals necessary.

    So in the morning, the procedure is similar but different and goes something like:

    1) open bypass and reload about 1/2 way with small diameter splits (2-3") and open up air inlet all the way
    2) make big pot of coffee
    3) once the splits are about halfway to coals, jumble them w/ the poker to break off some coals and build up the coal bed
    4) completely load the firebox as normal, finish the pot of coffee, and revert to the previous posted steps and enjoy.

    Every fire is different based on the fuel & weather conditions, but it's a procedure that seems to work often enough. So the morning procedure takes about an hour before everburn is ready to go again, which is less than half the time it takes starting a cold stove/stack.
  5. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Don't want to speak for someone else, but in my experience, there's usually enough coals in the morning to get restarted, but no where near enough to start everburning right away, so basically you are starting almost from scratch reestablishing that thick coal bed required for everburning.
    [I see Burning jumped in while I was typing]
  6. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Oh, and for some reason, ash (the wood species not the substance) seems to work really well for building the initial coal bed. It's lower in BTUs than red oak, but it's quick to season & dry out, and therefore works like super-kindling.
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Ask not to mention manufactures, but I am soon receiving a DVD detailing the Everburn technology and how to burn with it. After reviewing it, they want some feed back. They are hoping it will make it easier for new comers to the everburn technology. I am replacing my Cat intrepid with a medium size Dutch west evern burn stove, I can experiment with it and use it in conjunction with the DVD. Trader an I have been exchanging notes and I now have a direct line to the head of operations. the chief engineer. and the chief combustion engineer. They have been monitoring simmilar everburn post. The chief engineer called me a couple of days back. We would love to share all info with you and compare notes with the manufacture, Trader, and Burning, or others to participate. Let me know if there is any interest. That's all I can say now
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I don't have the stove so forgive my ignorance, just trying to help. If your burning with the bypass open for about 30 minutes, maybe your missing out on alot of those volatile gases by the time you engage, and it's already close to the final coaling stage and most of the heat is up and out the chimney? It shouldn't take that long to engage, you only need 1100 degrees inside the firebox for secondary combustion. That secondary chamber has to be at that temp with a good bed of coals and fresh wood after 15 minutes? You shouldn't have to get that stove top temp up to 600 for the everburn to take off. Does it have to rumble to be working? If you engage sooner, does the temp climb at all? Does it smoke after engaging til the fire is out, or just for a few minutes? Maybe it needs more of those gasses for ignition of the everburn and it needs to pass through slower?
  9. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    This is good news...I look forward to your review.
  10. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    No-one take this personal But the everburn sounds like it needs an everamount for lift off and an everamount of attention. It must give an everamount
    of heat though. :cheese:
  11. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    I find that if I wait less time, the reburner stalls out and the temp drops like a stone well into the 'creosote' zone. That temp referring to the flue pipe connector, not the stove itself which of course takes much longer to heat up/cool down. And when it stalls after about 30 seconds, the stack goes from clear to smoke dragon almost immediately.

    Yes, there is certainly some loss of gas & efficiency when the bypass is open. That is why I normally damper it down a bit so that it's burning slower. Takes longer to create the coal bed, but it results in an overall efficiency since those fresh loaded splits will last longer. It's certainly part of the balancing act one must do each day w/ this stove. But there is still plenty of unburnt wood in there at these stages, so when the everburn is working well you arent losing too much (but more than we'd like).

    And one can tell that there are plenty of volatile gases in the box when you close the bypass. In my opinion, that is the source of the infamous everburn 'rumble', at least one of them. That is not to say that if you cant hear the rumble, the everburn isnt working. But when you hear the rumble, you know for sure that it is.
  12. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    With all my heart, I am interested in participating with whatever info you can share! For comparison and proving feedback to VC, would be helpful to know the specifics about your setup. Trader has a vertical setup with a ClassA I think from the video, mine is horizontal w/ thick masonry chimney.
  13. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    some observations here: I have two different chimney setups , center house location with 4 flues starting at the bottom floor threw the second and into.an attic space and out the roof

    Second one, is an exterior chimney block flue containing 2 8/8 clay flues

    The interior one on my main level, I have the encore connected. I find it easy to start and easier to control (Interior location)

    The family room Intrepid II ,is the chimney block exterior one. It takes a bit more kindling, a little more coursing. Once a decent temp and bed of coals it drafts fine, but it takes longer to get it rolling.

    Burning, I think you suffer from the same symptoms as my exterior Intrepid chimney needing to nurse it along longer, aligning wood spacings, and establishing a coal bed. It does not draft as good as my interior 8/8 clay flue chimney

    Just wondering, if your chimney and draft situation is more a product of your efforts to get results, than the burn technology of the stove. ITs true here for me. I have direct comparisons. 3 years later, I still learning how to run this intrepid or encore. Every wood load sets different and I been burning wood well over 35 years and still learning..

    The rumble happens to a lot of stoves when bi passed .I believe it to be a pressure differential and causing a rush or vacuums and a resonance. When air rushes in to replace the vacume created after bi pas mode it engaged. It even happens occasionally with my Cat stoves. In a few minutes it usually settles down or stabilizes and the secondary combustion continues. The rumble does not need to be present at all times for secondary combustion. There will be times, when you never hear it, but still are employing secondary combustion.
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Suggestion for everyone........ I think it is best to not use the word "Everburn" since it is just marketing speak for a downdraft stove. We should use either or both - downdrafting stove - or baseburning stove - I think downdrafting stove is most descriptive. This was the information will pertain to the harman, lopi, avalon and other brands as well as to the models in the VC line (acclaim) which are not labeled everburn.......

    So before we confuse the entire world, let's settle on a term.

    I'm working on a wiki article stealing parts of this thread that perhaps can be the place we point people to learn to burn these stoves.
  15. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    It honestly is not our job here to do R & D for manufacturers - one would assume that after a couple million stoves they would not have to ask a few of us internet addicts what is right and what is wrong.....

    Obviously each individual can do what they like. But other than personal sharing and off the cuff experience, I'd prefer Hearth.com not be involved in corporate communication and feedback.....on a more opinionated note, the last thing a manufacturers should listen to is a tiny subset of their users, many who have opinions that are far from "detached". If they really want to find something out, get 20 "green" customers, and give some of them various stoves for a month each - PE, Woodstock, VC, etc.....and have them take notes. Then do some focus groups!

    I have seen many dealers and reps DESTROY manufacturers with their well-intentioned advice. Despite wishing that all hearth manufacturers will survive and thrive, I think they will be better off hiring consultants than using our Forum.

    My first suggestion for VC is to KISS. The original Acclaim manuals all had those cutaway drawings showing how the embers built up and what they did. That is how I learned to burn my Acclaim correctly from day one. Two drawings and two paragraphs of text would do more good than some DVD's and videos.
    (That one is FREE - any more will take a consulting contract)

    Ah, but that might be too easy. We'll have to get a committee together :)

    Anyway, I hope this is something folks can understand.
  16. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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  17. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    MY OPINION: I think many posters are not using their stoves correctly. I think they prematurely engage the bi pass mode I think thermometers are also being used incorrectly.

    Let me explain: It is one thing to read the thermometer and say ok time to engage. The thermometer is one indication, but there is more than just temperature readings.

    Another indication is , charing of the wood, indicating the second stage of the burning process. What is not being taken in consideration, is there is still a lot of water contain, that still has to be evaporated This vapor is still stored within the interior of the splits/ logs, even dry at 20 -25% Till the water is evaporated out one will still see smoke exiting the chimney . OR is it smoke? could it be steam? steam is white and looks like smoke and if one can smell it they assume it is smoke. Well it may be both. I think many are falsely seeing steam and think their secondary combustion is not working. Till the moisture is removed there will be a visual white exiting your chimney. To me I prefere to see it exiting rather than condensating within the interior and creating the shiny creosote. If you are seeing that shiny creosote this could be caused by two factore One your wood is not as dey as it should be or two you are engaging the bi pas damper too soon You have to evacuate that moisture for good secondary combustion

    A third indication as to when to engage the damper is a well established coal bed I usually allow 3 splits to burn into the coaling stage. without dampering down only controlling the primary air

    To be successful you need a combination of all three. Good bead of coals moisture removed and high enough temperatures before engagement. I think if you are a bit more patient and not so hell bent to engage, you will obtain better results This is not confined to just the everburn or cat combustors ,but to all wood stove burning. We are receiving a post of post of my stove is not burning as I expected. Well the on and off burning is hard to get results. The warmer temperatures are not draft condusive . so results suffer

    A word about expectations: Wood stoves are area heaters not central heating systems I really think productivity is from burning 24/7, constantly producing BTUs. Few are instant warm ups. it takes time. one advantage is they are constantly producing BTUS, where central heating is on again the off it requires lee btus to keep it constant . Many manufacture over stat a heating areas and BTU output in reality those numbers can be reduced 1/3. when sizing a stove the usage might be more important than the BTUs the ocasional burner will want instant heat and needs to be bludgeoning a stove to get there He might need a stove larger. The 24/7 constant output never needing to raise that much temperature differential
  18. RonB

    RonB Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Webmaster and good point. I don't know what "Everburn" is but I can visulaize downdrafting--and I will read the article now. Also, ditto for me on your next post. You are making good sense.
  19. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    The pipe temp should drop and the stove temp should rise if it's working correctly, shouldn't it? Don't they claim that these downdraft stoves are suppose to burn similar to cat stoves? For example, when I reload and bypass, my pipe temp can go up to 600 or more and I watch it and try to keep it around 500, then when it's time to engage the pipe temp will drop all the way down to 250 and the stove top will slowly rise up to 500-600. When I look outside at my chimney I see white steam and no blue/gray smoke. What color is your smoke? Does it continue throughout the whole fire?
  20. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    My experience seems a little different than BurningIsLove in this regard. After the huge coal bed is established, I can toss new splits on and damper down almost immediately and still get good secondary combustion.

    "you only need 1100 degrees inside the firebox for secondary combustion"
    The secondary combustion chambers are NOT in the firebox, this is the problem in my personal opinion, but we don't have to go there in this thread :)

    "Does it have to rumble to be working? "

    Elk doesn't seem to think so. I'd love to see if his opinion changes after he actually installs and burns the stove. I say yes, I've observed this probably more carefully than anyone outside of Vermont Castings themselves. If its not already in the coal stage, and its dampered down, AND its NOT rumbling, then it seems to pretty much always be smoking. I can also tell the difference between steam and smoke, and I'm talking about smoke. You can smell smoke, you can't smell steam. Steam is more "vaporous" and usually dissipates quickly. I've observed steam coming from all of the neighbors natural gas furnace roof vents, on any cold morning. It's not that hard to see the difference.

    Burning - what are your observations? You've got splits in the firebox that aren't coals yet, you are dampered down, but its not rumbling. Are you ever getting secondary combustion / smoke free burns at these times?

    The "rumble" is kind of like a small propane torch. I'm pretty sure its the actual sound of gasses igniting. If you've used a propane torch then you know what I'm talking about. Of course sometimes it's VERY quiet, you might have to put your ear right up near the secondary air inlet to hear it.
  21. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    So much to reply to....dont we ever sleep? :)

    Agree w/ most of the comments... Yes, I like to close the bypass earlier and have a clean burn faster. Who on this forum can honestly say otherwise? My comments about the length of time it takes to get to that point are not a reflection of taking the time to achieve good secondary combustion (read: patience), they are strictly a comparison between this stove and other cat/non-cats I have used under similar conditions.

    Elk, my chimney is dual concrete w/ clay liners (6/6) from the main floor-->2nd floor-->attic-->roof. It also drops one floor to the cleanout in the mechanical room in the basement where the oil furnace connects to the other flue, whose use is of course mutually exclusive with the stove flue. The one difference in our setups is that my chimney run up the common wall between the house and garage, so it's quasi-interior. On average, my garage stays quite warm as its the newest and best insulated. The chimney brick reaches about 120 and heats the garage nicely. So only a small portion of the stack where it pokes out the roof is exposed to the outdoors.

    I have gotten quick turnarounds in the past to get successful secondary combustion after loading fresh splits, but my coal bed has to be darn thick, outdoor conditions perfect, and there needs to be leftover splits from the previous loading that havent completely coaled yet. I usually wait about 15-20 minutes after reloading when the wood is good & charred. Again, that time changes widely depending on all the above factors.

    Absolutely. I hope I did not give the impression that a surface thermometer reading is my sole measure of when to close the bypass. While the thermometer reading X degrees does not always imply that its time to attempt successful secondary combustion, a reading of X that quickly drops to Y always implies that I jumped the gun, didnt orient splits/coals correctly, atmos. conditions not right, Mars not aligned with Jupiter, etc. When that happens, I dont even have to go outside and look at the stack to know that it will be a smoke dragon. And yes, I can tell the different between steam & smoke. At this time of year when I am burning some junk wood, I often see white smoke (steam) coming out even with secondary combustion and I fully expect that.

    The same for mine give or take. The pipe temp needs to be 500+ (stove 350+) in order to close the bypass. When I close it, one of three things occurs. The 'stall' is that pipe temp drops RAPIDLY (under 5 minutes) from 500+ to 200 if I let it go that low which I dont. The rumble only last 2-4 seconds in that case, smoke dragon. Second result is a consistent rumble for about 5-15 minutes which sometimes never fades completely. Stove temp slowly rises, pipe temp diminishes to about 350-400, emissions are clean, life is darn good. Third is thermonuclear. Stove temp rises, pipe temp rockets to 700+, rumble is loud & consistent, nothing can stop it except letting it burn itself out over the next 2 hours before temps fall back into what I consider comfortable. But the emissions are very clean in that mode. If this was a self-cleaning oven, it would be desirable.
  22. James04

    James04 Member

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    Burning,

    What is the typical stove top temperature when you have archived the second scenario. I do not have a VC I have a Harmon tl300. But, it is a down draft type. I still haven't figures out how to get an accurate stove top temperature. As, my stove is a top loader and the underside of that door has a second plate bolted to its underside. Then from the door back were it is just single wall. There is a heat shroud that creates a duct of sorts for the optional blower motor. So in short there is no place to get a good reading. Anyway I would say I am getting around 400-450 average when getting a good burn with the air damped down for an overnight burn.

    James
  23. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Todd, I think it is somewhat the opposite in these stoves - remember the member with the glowing red flue collar? During the updraft (bypass) stage, you are usually just starting the stove from scratch or possibly getting it back up to speed from a long burn. As a result, you are probably burning off a lot of water vapor and also not burning the wood completely, both of which contribute to a lower (relatively) stack temp. When you go into downdraft mode, the nuclear reaction starts and you get an incredible amount of heat being created in the rear of the stove. And while the idea is to exchange as much of this heat to the stove and room as possible before it leaves the stove, since you are already in the upper back of the stove by that time, it is a difficult thing to do....so there would be high stack temps during the initial (gas burnoff) parts of a wood fire. Very different than a cat since most cat stoves do not have high temps very far above the cat when it is working - the cat acts somewhat as a damper and also a heat radiator and exchanger to the surfaces around it.

    Although central heat has been out of favor in general, it would seem that an updated downdraft system would work well for a mid-sized natural draft boiler. In fact, the Greenwood is somewhat similar....but not as highly tuned for lower burns. Such a design would do all the heat exchange to water AFTER the secondary burn occurs....so as to avoid lowering the temperature of combustion in the main chamber (with water surrounding it).

    If we were sitting down to design a stove using this technology, and we didn't have to concern ourselves with style, we would probably make it in REVERSE - with the secondary chamber to the FRONT. After all, that would force the heat toward the living space. But no one would buy the stove. So design of these beautiful space heaters requires a lot of compromise, including a vast amount of the heat radiated from the rear of them.
  24. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    HI Elk,and all. I am definately interested in participating in anything that will move this technology toward simplicity and reliability. With all the help each of the contributors have provided, I'm slowly figuring the downdraft (everburn) out. I'd like to watch that video, can VC or someone post that on Utube? We could all get to it via the a Utube link.
    The rumble is definately a combination of air siphon and the secondary burning: basically it is like a little blast furnace igniting the smoke/gasses. The big question is how to reliably/simply establish the proper conditions to be able to achieve secondary burning consistently. What good is an installation with several thousand dollars of equipment that can not be used unless the "expert" is home and then that "expert" has to spend large amounts of time getting the stove to burn without creosote build up that can destroy the chimney or burn the house down? That's my problem in a nutshell: The CAT stove does not require all this attention and CFM is presenting this product to the marketplace as the latest, greatest thing.
    I was at the dealer yesterday ordering a second ash pan and I overheard the salesperson's pitch: you can get the CAT version or the NC version. With the CAT version you will have to replace the CAT every X years, rebuild, etc. With the NC version there is no CAT to replace and it burns pretty much as clean. WELL, he never mentioned that you had to go to the Hearth and get significant assistance just to be able to figure out how to get the stove to burn in secondary mode, that you will spend hours watching it get there, etc. etc.
    So, if we can work through this and help establish either a reliable procedure or CFM comes up with some sort of mods that will make this product line as easy and reliable as the CAT version, I am all for it.
    PS: Without all your help I would have spent one heck of a lot more time trying to figure this monster out, for that I am EverGrateful! Steve.
  25. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    It's about 450-500 when everything is optimal, dampered down, and I'm heading to bed for the night. The DW stove also has the vents for the blower system, but they are on the L/R side so the middle section is directly above the bypass and is usually a good indication of the stove temp. Since your stove design doesnt lend itself to that measure, you might want to pick up an IR (infrared) thermometer. But if you do, make sure you pick up one that can read stove temps. The first one I snagged topped out at 420 degrees, and the exterior gets well above that.
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