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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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    Loc:
    Billerica, MA
    Under optimum conditions:

    Dutchwest 2479 (largest DW non-cat)
    10-12 hour burn times (10 is closer to the average)
    firebox is 24"W x 13"D x 15"H (about 6 medium or 4 large splits on top of a coal bed)
    outside air connector not connected (but is 2' from abundant fresh air source)

    Fuel:
    seasoned hardwood (red oak, ash, and some maple)
    about 12-24 months of seasoning in racks (mix from multiple piles)
    average log length 20", longest is 22" (stove accepts 24")

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  2. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    I find it hard to believe (I haven't personally looked) that all of these companies are using the EXACT same design. My guess would be that there is some variation between them. So...maybe one works better than another? Maybe one of these companies actually responds to and takes care of its customers? Hopefully, this technology will pan out and provide simple, efficient, consistent results. Either one of these companies will get it figured out, or this technology is just a dead end, time to start looking at another way.
  3. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    U G H H H ! That's the point, after all. Many of us who moved to the "new and improved Vermont Castings/Consolidated Dutchwest large stove line" did so because they wanted to purchase a superior product that worked better than the CAT models. What we got was not that. We got pretty units that work really well when you stay close to them, check every 20 minutes or so to make sure you are getting ready for secondary burn, and when you finally get there after a few false attempts/stalls you look up at the stack and no smoke. Who knows what happens later, you are exhausted, its about an hour and a half past bedtime and you fall off quickly. You didn't get to talk to your family because you spent all your time with your Neverburn....

    I acutally got a good burn last night (not considering the above mentioned ordeal) To answer the question posed, this is a Defiant NC. I had it 3/4 loaded and it burned down to 3//4 inch coals in 8 hours - once I got good secondary burning I did close off the primary air to about 1/4 set.

    I'm not going to keep this up. I will go through this season just to see what happens with the really cold times. But after that, I'm off to a company that makes a product that works. I don't have a problem with Non CAT stoves, Just he Vermont Castings Defiant and its Neverburn system of creosote manufacturing technology.......

    I am going to add that outside air kit and drop it into my basement leve so it can sipon in all the fresh air it wants. This because I did notice a bit better burn when I left my door cracked a bit, as suggested by another post yesterday. But, having said that, the Defiant CAT stove worked very well for years in exactly the same location , the next stove will certainly do the same.

    I was foolish enough to think this VC product would be my last new stove...so much for that....
  4. dtabor

    dtabor New Member

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    Elk et al,

    Just for clarification for the new burner (ME), what is considered "burn time"? From light up to coals that are able to re-light? Actual fire?

    D
  5. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Burn time producing real heat say stove top above 300 At 300 there should be ample coals to establish a load without too much fiddling with kindling
  6. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Ahhhh, but they supposedly just created a DVD that explains the technology and how to properly operate a stove equiped with said technology! So I ask tech support today how I can obtain this DVD, not surprising, they had no idea such a thing existed and couldn't help me. Nothing like keeping everyone on the same page! ;)

    In all seriousness though, most of their tech support people don't sound like they've used an everburn stove before. So if VC wants some more constructive criticism, this is another thing they could definitely improve on. Their support people need to know what is or isn't overfiring, how to get a clean burn on the stove, what that "rumble" is, what temps are considered normal for stove top, external flue, internal flue, etc. Of course it would be even better if this was all in the owner's manual too.
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    May I ask who you talked to? was it the chief combustion engineer I gave you the phone number too?
  8. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    Ahhhhhhh...I think I'll just kick back and watch the nice smoke-free fire in my Hearthstone. I might even decide to fall asleep in front of it...
  9. BJN644

    BJN644 Feeling the Heat

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    I sold a Hearthstone to buy my Oakwood, WTF?
  10. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Christopher in technical.
    Shouldn't the guys fielding questions directly from customers be "in the know"?
  11. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Don't want to veer too far off course but I think its a relevant question - one guy in the thread dumped his downdraft stove for the same stove that you dumped in exchange for a new downdraft stove. What didn't you like about your Heathstone that made you want to get rid of it?
  12. BJN644

    BJN644 Feeling the Heat

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    I had a Phoenix, it took 2 hours to throw any heat out of it from a cold start and the way the roof of the firebox was set up it would smoke you out when you opened the door. Other than that it was a clean burner, I never had to clean my chimney in 3 years ! I can see that's not going to be the case with the Oakwood.
  13. LarryD

    LarryD Member

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    Elk,

    When we were burning our DW 2479, the best burn times we got (by your definition, which I am adopting!) was about 5-6 hours. That was with the fire box "freighted" and following the aformentioned everburn process. Our wood was generally 12-16 mos seasoned, which I've learned "aint" enough for Red Oak. I also think we were over drafting and that contributed significantly to our feelings about the stove.

    The polarity to that is our Quadra Fire "Isle Royale", same "chimney" but with a butterly damper up near the first 90 degree elbow and single wall pipe up to that same elbow. Wood is 2 years plus seasoned. At this point I've been burning mostly Maple. Last night I loaded all Red Oak at 8:00pm and at 6:eek:o am the stove was at 375 degrees (stove top) and a very nice bed of coals. Best burn time yet! I think the damper makes all of the difference. right now it is about 40 degrees out and I hav the damper about 1/2 way and the stove is performing very nicely. I am still learning the stove, but seem to be getting much more consistant results. I did clean the chimney prior to installing the stove, I am going to bring one of my bucket trucks home and clean/inspect again in a few weeks.

    Larry D
  14. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    Hi Elk,
    Today's story. My daughter burned the VC/NC all day today with the bypass damper open; I told her to just keep a couple of splits on it. So, I came home and there were coals. We went out for a short time and I put on a few more and left it open. (this stove burns pretty clean that way) When I got home I slowly filled it up. It wasn't hard to get my stack temp up to 600, a little rumble and stall, then 700 a little rumble and stall. So I opened it up again, stirred things up, moved the splits around so I had a little air path from the dorrs to the secondary input and tried again. I let it go up to 550 this time, closed it down and rumble, then that slowly dropped down to a slight wooshin sound. But, I can see the input to the secondary chamber and it is fired and glowing. but there is smoke out the stack. Once again, raise the temp to 600, close and maybe. You pointed out to me that it might be steam, perhaps. I can see the secondary glowing and hear a bit of rush here. Last night, I had a great burn. That little rumble looked to me to be the intermittend combustion of wood/gasses within the stove. The rush is the secondary pulling air past the siphon holes and (I guess) burning smoke while it is at it. Its pretty easy for me to get to the top of my stack and look. Last time there was black sticky creosote at the top. Next time its clear, I'll take a look and see if that has burned off or gotten worse.
    All in all, I can say that when you pay a top dollar for a product like VC, you should get a top dollar product. One that works in a straight forward fashion without constant attention. How may cars would a company sell if one had to constantly stop on the way to work to check the plugs, see if there was enough air in the tires, double check the oil, etc. It would make a 1 hour drive take 5 hours: and that is my problem here: this stove is a beautiful but high maintenance knock out.
  15. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm sorry and a little disappointed that the folks with these stoves (so far) do not seem to be pleased - in other words, the stoves are not performing to their satisfaction.

    As far as this forum, I have no problem with folks posting updates to their experiences after a few weeks, and other such stuff. I also hope some additional users will show up as the season progresses.

    However, I do not want the forum to become the focus group for VC, Harman, Lopi or any other manufacturer. The local dealers and the manufacturers and reps should be contacted and your opinion should be made known. Also, folks should post reviews on our rating section so as to inform others of their experiences.

    I certainly hope these initial problems are no indicative of all the installations of these newer models - but if they are, I think it is not good news for the makers or users of these models. Perhaps most wood burners are looking for simple "set and forget" operations as opposed to cars with 8 gears and a split shifter.....only time and additional experience will tell.
  16. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I'm looking back to the post last Feb where these stoves were being complained about but not being able to control them they seemed to over fire Fast forward to early to mid Nov and people can't get secondary burns Larry d could not control his stove he gets rid of it purchases an Island royal but add an in line damper. His draft s was so strong he needs an inline to control it

    initially it was the stove fault but using an inline to control the next stove tell it all. he is using that damper half closed


    What else is different here. Is FEB a bit colder than early unseasonably warn Nov? Lowest here has been only 26 FEB happened to be bellow normal. I hit below zero 3 times in FEB

    we are getting mixed results on opposite ends of the spectrum non preforming and slowing down performance
  17. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    So Elk, when do you expect to have your new down drafting stove installed and burning?
    If in fact its outdoor temps to blame, shouldn't all designs be equally affected? Are you having a lot of trouble with your cat stove right now? Are the guys that dumped their downdraft stoves and bought different stoves having a lot of trouble right now? The three I can remember off the top of my head who got rid of their everburn stoves and bought the hearthstone, PE, and the Isle Royale have seemed to suggest they aren't having trouble getting clean burns and excellent burn times right now. If that's not the case I would hope they'd be honest about it.

    I never had a problem with too much secondary combustion on my stove. I think that would be a much better problem to have than too little secondary combustion...
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with you in general, Gordo, the only exception being when stove shops and manufacturers educate customers and steer them toward a certain stove for a certain use. We did that for decades, like "this one takes a long time to heat up" or "this one heats quickly, but has shorter burns"....even "hey, if you are going to burn 2x4's, you'd be better buying this one (usually steel)".....

    As much as I respect Elk's knowledge, I cannot and do not expect a "consumer reports" style report because he is already burning 100% VC and does have an axe (however you rate it) to grind with them. Only by burning a bunch of other newer stoves - almost at the same time (or at least in the same winter) could even a rough comparison be made.

    I am fairly certain that Elk will get those new VC's running like a charm. That is not the question. The question is whether my wife can get it running like a charm - no, Webwidow will not take offense at that because we often work out a technology test where if SHE can use and understand something, we consider it user-friendly.

    We KNOW the stoves work. That is not even a question given EPA testing and field testing (which is usually done by employees of the firm). The only questions seem to be how user friendly the design is COMPARED TO OTHER MODELS and throughout various flue, weather and wood conditions. Only a bunch of users in the field can "rate" that.

    My best example is the mid-size Avalon stove- we sold thousands of them. We never took one back. I may have visited 5 customers out of a 1000+ stoves and told them how to burn it. In the ten years after sale, I would guess that we sold an average of less than $50. in parts to each user (we started selling them in 1986)........

    That is a pretty high standard, in my book. And, yes, a steel unit can tend to need fewer parts and service.

    There are all sorts of perceptions at work here. There is always the said or unsaid "I paid a lot, so this stove should dance through hoops".....well, that simply is not true in the stove biz.....never has been. You pay more for style, weight, more parts, etc......but as I said in my little "choosing" article, money does not equal happiness (nor the lack of it) in the purchase of a stove.

    There is also "I bought the best brand, it should work the best".....hmm, maybe that is why I have been trying to tell people there is no BEST brand, there is the best stove for a given situation and person.

    On a slightly more technical note, I am as confused as everyone else because the technology certainly looks like it should work - and I loved the Acclaim (other than the fact that the early models fell apart from too much heat). It may just be one more case of trying to tune something up too high. Perhaps the designers and makers could have compromised more in terms of NOT designing for EPA, but for the average user.

    In the end, the customer perception is everything. If 1/4 or 1/3 of the users end up unsatisfied, that is WAY too high of a %%%.
  19. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    I do not have nearly the experience that many people in these forums do. But I will say that as some who takes pride in my work and in my ability to make things work, the “downdraft” design was way too much hassle. Out of the three models of stoves I have owned and operated, that one was a nightmare. I started with a VC Dutchwest small catalytic. I decided when I needed a larger stove for my new house, I wouldn’t even think of going with anything other than a VC stove. I stuck with the DW line, and went with a NC model due to the claims of high efficiency and ease of operation - plus I wouldn’t have to replace my chimney with an 8”. I spent A LOT of time with this stove, and, as I’ve seen others say, there appear to be so many critical variables in operation that it’s hard to consistently duplicate a successful burn. The lower barometric pressure differential associated with warmer spring and fall days I’m sure plays into the stove’s performance, like with any other stove. But, start looking at other minute operational details that don’t have a real noticeable effect on the majority of other stoves – these are the ones that apparently combine to make consistent operation of the downdrafts a real nightmare. There appeared to be no reason whatsoever for it to work one minute and then not the next.

    I am fascinated with all of this even though my VC Dutchwest NC is history. I am hoping someone will come up with a real simple fix to all of this that will make me say “DOH”. Maybe Elk, maybe someone else. I have a feeling, though, that there are going to have to be some major design modifications to this stove. Either that, or these stoves will only be available to certified operators who have had 40+ hours of one-on-one training with NASA scientists and Army Rangers.

    I am a bit fuzzy on all of the testing that goes on to be able to make the claims of such high efficiency. Do manufacturers simply have to get secondary combustion started, and then take an instantaneous stack sample, or does testing go on over a period of two or three reloads? Is this like EPA testing of industry, where the stack test is observed by EPA officials, or is it up to the manufacturer to be honest?

    I’m really curious where the particulate emissions data provided on the label comes from (is it the lowest observed level of emissions, or an average, or what)?
  20. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Mike I will post a separate post detailing EPA testing procedures instead being buried on page 5 in this post. what is done is filters are placed in the chimney and monitored then removed and weighed for particulate matter. You could be right the design is to sophisticated for the common user. or too many variables exist with these users their drafts systems the wood supplies and the operators. I do know I never use the 12 buttons on my dish washer. I place the dishes in add soap and turn it on. I also never programed my old VCR 24 days in advance to record a show

    The only time I used all my horses in My LT! Vette, was when I did time trials. I never used them going to the grocery store 590 ponies at once is a lot to get moving

    I never use basic language to navigate on my computer any more. I don't have a lawn sprinkler system that most can't seem to program right that still fire off during torrential rain storms.

    I know a lot of people that put wood in a steel box and light a fire and get heat and are quite happy being warm. Never see too many stoves getting 12 hour burn times without achieving secondary dampered down opperations. Something there must be working

    I had a guy working for me that cut the same piece of 2/4 short 3 times finally I climb down the ladder and he asked me to point out the 9/16 mark on his ruler sufice to say his
    employment was brief. and that I found he was better suited with a shovel and rake.
  21. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    I don't know if you're lumping me in with your expert framer or not - regardless, my bachelors and masters degrees in civil engineering, i would think, might suggest that I am not a "common" user. Nor, would I place anyone taking the time to post experiences with these stoves on this web page in that category. If by "common user" you are talking about people who take time to read instructions, call manufacturers, study the designs and concepts of the stoves that are supposed to make them work, make an effort to use well dried wood, observe temperatures - need I go on - then yes, I am a common user. However, these stoves appear to need some trained to operate them SPECIFICALLY and put 1/3 of their waking hours into their operation. I guess I'm just not one of theose people. I have a family. A house that needs work. And I need down-time. I'm not going to keep saying it. But Elk, best of luck with your setup. Hopefully, if you experience the same things, you won't be too proud or too embarassed to post something on this page saying you were wrong. If you are successful in operating one of these, maybe you can enlighten us "common" users.
  22. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Can someone explain what is so sophisticated about a stove with two controls? It has an air control and a damper. Is it the damper that supposedly makes this so much more confusing than a say a steel box? I don't think its particularly sophisticated at all.

    Or are you talking about "sophisticated" as it relates to all of the hoops you have to jump though to make it burn optimally?

    As for EPA testing - I want to know more about how they do it also. The EPA doesn't do the testing themselves, and the manufacturers don't do it. A handful of independent labs do the testing, they are:
    http://www.epa.gov/Compliance/monitoring/programs/caa/whlabs.html

    Craig, it would make for a great podcast if you could arrange an interview with someone who actually does the testing! Phone numbers for all the labs are listed on that page.

    Some questions I have:
    1) I've heard they use lumber - how does the fuel used compare to seasoned cordwood? How do the test results differ when using cordwood?

    2) What involvement does the manufacturer have in the actual testing? Do they specify operating procedures? For example with the everburn stoves, would they build up a huge coal bed possibly using multiple loads of wood, before dampering down?

    3) Do they use the AWES emission sampling system or something else? At what intervals are sampling done? And what duration of the burn cycle (for example are they sampling from startup to cold stove?) How exactly do they determine when to start and stop sampling?

    4) How many times is each stove fired for testing and which results do they keep vs throw out?
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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  24. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, I had searched for that document but couldn't find it. Based on the description of the testing in that document. My biggest concern is the use of the Douglas fir lumber 2x4s and 4x4s - even though it can't be kiln dried, it's moisture must be between 16-20% (wet basis) that is definitely on the low side, and WHO THE HELL burns Douglas fir in their wood stove? Doesn't this stuff burn faster and hotter than hardwood? The low moisture softwood lumber they use for the test HAS to have a major impact on emissions.

    And does anyone know where you could find the specifics of a particular stove's test? For example the document says the tester must:
    "Record all adjustments made to the air
    supply controls, adjustments to and additions or
    subtractions of fuel, and any other changes to wood heater
    operations that occur during pretest ignition period.
    Record fuel weight data and wood heater temperature
    measurements at 10-minute intervals during the hour of the
    pretest ignition period preceding the start of the test run."


    and

    "In addition, some wood heaters (e.g., high mass units) may
    require extended pretest burn time and fuel additions to
    reach an initial average surface temperature sufficient to
    meet the thermal equilibrium criteria in Section 8.3."


    and

    "Record and report any other criteria, in addition to those specified in this section, used to determine the moment of the test run start (e.g., firebox or catalyst temperature), whether such criteria are specified by the wood heater manufacturer or the testing laboratory. Record all wood heater individual surface temperatures, catalyst temperatures, any initial sampling method measurement values, and begin the particulate emission sampling."

    I'm very interested in this information (what was recorded) for the everburn stoves because it should show exactly what they did to establish the coal bed before the test, and what CFM/VC specified for the test, as well as finally giving us some "official" surface temperature data.

    But the fact is they burn for a MINIMUM of one hour before performing the actual test. SO yes, considering they burn for AT LEAST an hour with this dry pine lumber I am not at all surprised that they would get a nice big coal bed well suited for good secondary combustion on the everburn stoves. They are also allowed to rake the coalbed as much as they want, up to 15 minutes before doing the test.

    I also find it interesting that they can leave the stove door open for up to 5 minutes AFTER loading the stove and AFTER the test has started:
    "The wood heater door may remain open and the air supply controls adjusted up to five minutes after the start of the test run in order to make adjustments to the test fuel charge and to ensure ignition of the test fuel charge has occurred."

    If that's part of the actual EPA test, I guess that means its appropriate to crack that ash pan door after loading afterall...
  25. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    Why doesn't some try to replicate the test with some DRY douglas fir? I'll bet you'd be able to get pretty good results (I'm imagining a fire buring with kiln dried 2X4s, and I'll bet that thing will touch of secondary combustion in no time). Has anyone posted on here claiming consistent good results with one of these stoves (of course, there are always those "rare" events where nothing seems to work)? And I mean 40 minute start-up, load the stove,, burn another 15 minutes, shut the damper, adjust air, and forget about it for the next 6 hours.
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