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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. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Bypass - lets the smoke go directly up the flue instead of down through the coals - the big damper door you see in the rear of your firebox top!

    I think that is what you are calling the damper. I'll let others answer the rest.

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  2. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Bypass=damper=big opening on the top of the firebox you control with the lever at the top/side of stove. The primary air control is the small lever on the bottom/side of the stove.

    The instructions for reloading from the owner's manual are:

    Reloading and Reviving the Fire
    Reload your stove while it is still hot and there are
    plenty of embers to re-kindle the fire quickly. Include
    some smaller pieces of wood in the new load of fuel to
    help the stove regain high temperatures quickly.
    Follow this procedure when you reload the stove:
    • Open the damper and move the primary air lever to
    the “HIGH” position.
    • Open the front door and check the ash level on the
    grates and in the ash pan. Clear excess ash from
    the grates, particularly at the rear area. Level the
    ember bed. Empty the ash pan if necessary. [Me: brush away all ash from around and in the shoe, don't empty the ash pan all the time, let it fill up, the ash acts as insulation. I also think its better to pile the hot coals up against the shoe, cover the throat opening if you can, forget about leveling the coal bed like they say here. Put smaller splits and/or some pallet wood towards the back, they will burn hot ensuring good secondary combustion]
    • Replace the ash pan and close the front door.
    • Load wood, smaller pieces first, and close the loading
    door.
    • Allow the stove to regain its “thermal momentum”
    before closing the damper. This may take 15-20
    minutes.
    • Close the damper and set the air control lever for the
    desired heat output.
    NOTE: If the charcoal bed is relatively thick and your
    fuel is well-seasoned, it is possible to add fresh fuel
    (smaller pieces first), close the door and damper, and
    reset the air control within five minutes.

    ME: Like Burning said, you should know somewhat quickly if you've got a good secondary burn or not. If you don't have a good coal bed, you can forget about dampering down, just burn on high until you've got a decent amount of coals in front of the throat opening, and you should be good.
  3. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Think tradergordo answered most of your questions already, but just for sake of completeness:

    Uppermost lever that controls whether the gases are going into the 2ndary combustion chamber (lower-back of the stove) or straight up the chimney (no secondary combustion). Aka you are "bypassing" the 2ndary chamber (everburn)

    The air inlet setting is more or less inconsequential when you are loading fresh splits, as one of the doors is open letting in way more air than the air control does when the doors are closed.

    Use the air inlet valve. "Dampering down" means closing (choking) the air inlet valve nearly/all the way. On DW stoves, turning the air inlet all the way clockwise (horizontal) is 100% open, whereas turning it counterclockwise is closed all the way, aka dampered down.

    Close it when the stove is operating/burning well and you dont need that much heat (e.g. once the room is up to desired temp)

    7) Close bypass/engage everburn. - What is the bypass? the damper or the air inlet lever or something else I don't know about?
    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. - How, by damper down, are you talking about the damper or the air inlet lever?
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, you folks certainly save me a lot of typing!
    Besides that, you know a lot more about this particular stove!
    Thanks.....
  5. BurningIsLove

    BurningIsLove New Member

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    Beats 'work' on my nearby laptop. :)
  6. cmcramer

    cmcramer Member

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    Greetings, once again! I'm the guy who reported a glowing red flue collar on my new downdraft stove last year winter, and I figured it was time for an update! Actually, it was not the flue collar, but the part the flue collar bolts to -I think it would be the 'fireback' - and it glowed red almost everytime I used the stove. Closed air control would not prevent it.

    As I reported, VC Field Tech visited after my complaint, checked for loose gaskets, found the gasket on hinge side of ash pan to be loose, so he unbolted the hinge and hammered it tighter. (Yes, I should have checked the hinge side...but didn't.) At about the same time I added a damper in my flue pipe that connects to 22-24 feet of straight 8 inch stainless! I burn year old hardwoods. Some observations after watching this stove like a hawk for a year:

    a) Never, ever had a stall. As was discussed last winter, my 22 straight feet of 8 inch stainless, interior chimney, gives me way too much draft. I installed a flue damper to slow the dang stove down, and it's usually set at 45 degrees.

    b) A very hot stove and chimney - 550-600 stove top temps for an hour or so - burns in a predictable manner. Lower temps are too unpredictable, so I work to get my stove....it's cast and its ceramics....and my stainless chimney .....all up to temp. I can feel and smell when it's hot enough. (Some lavendar on the stovetop helps!) When it's burning good and hot - almost no emmissions from chimney....a pretty neat site.

    c) This one I do not understand, but it's true: A really hot stove re-loaded full tends to overfire, while a really hot stove re-loaded small does not. And a stove with 6-8 inches of glowing coals does not! But if I fill the dang thing with new seasoned wood......I have to close the flue damper as much as possible and close the air entirely to keep it from over firing.....and glowing the fireback. Can't explain it.

    d) longest burn times only about 6 hours - disappointing.

    I'm getting the hang of this stove....and it does maintain a very consistent burn temp once the whole thing is good and hot.....but it just isn't a 'set it and forget it' type of stove.
  7. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    I suggest you check those gaskets again, and do it right this time (i.e. every square inch of every gasket). It should also be noted that there is a known problem with some of the earliest built stoves that they did not tighten the interior bolts down enough, causing leaks (saw that info posted on hearthtalk.com). 22 feet straight up is NOT that unusual, and in fact 8 inch diameter will give you LESS draft than 6 inch. There is no doubt in my mind that you still have a leak in your stove, absolutely no doubt. You should be able to do better than 6 hour burn-time with seasoned hardwood on a full load, and overfiring should be impossible with the primary air off and damper closed.

    p.s. Its been a while since I measured it, but I think my own flue+chimney is also 22 feet, straight up, and mine is 6 inch, with no added damper. All else being equal, I should have more draft than you do.
  8. chaynes68

    chaynes68 New Member

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    Does having the stove in Everburn mode improve burn times or does it just produce more heat? I'm having issues getting Everburn to stay lit and can only get 4 hours burn time on a load wondering if this will improve once I master the black art of Everburn?
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    chay, it should do BOTH, and by a very wide margin!

    Consider the updraft mode as being idle in a car - does not matter how much you step on the gas, it does not go anywhere! Any newer stove is really made to ONLY put out the heat while in it's closed mode (cat or internal damper engaged if it has one)....

    I have heard about some magic powder you can sprinkle on.....
    ;-)
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6044687244477384979
  10. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    There should be a HUGE improvement in burntime in "everburn" mode vs. open damper. The reason is that when you are dampered down (downdrafting/everburning) the flames are not consuming your load of fuel all at once. I have been experimenting with extended burns. BurningIsLove says he has gotten a good 12 hour burn (still producing usable heat and big coals after 12 hours). My best with the same conditions are more like 10 hours. Last night for example I had a good 9 hour burn, bedroom (upstairs from stove) was 72 in the morning, 20 outside, pretty big coal bed still left, was reloaded and everburning again in about 15 minutes. That is basically the ideal situation and what I try for on a regular basis although it doesn't always work out that well. I really have to pack the stove with wood to get those long burns.

    If your wood isn't seasoned, this stove can be impossible to burn cleanly (sustained everburn) - when you damper down it will easily stall. It can also stall if you do not have good draft for any of the reasons affecting draft (flue/chimney configuration, size, height, outside temps, atmospheric pressure, home ventilation, etc.)

    When you say 4 hour burn time - is that dampered down with air down too? And what kind of wood (soft/hard, how seasoned?)? Normally I'd say if you are only getting 4 hour burntime with seasoned hardwood, and dampered down with primary air down, then you probably have a leak somewhere. These stoves are now, in my personal estimation based on my own experience and the posts from other owners, notorious for having poor gasketing from the factory (if they aren't loose to begin with, they will be after your first couple fires with the gasket sticking to the curing paint its pushed against). I've replaced all of my door gaskets, and you might have to do likewise. I also don't like the rutland gasket cement (used at the VC factory, and I've also used it myself) I think straight silicone works better and other stove manufacturers are now using silicone only.

    Now some people might be thinking - if there was a leak, shouldn't that actually help the everburn stay lit because you'd be burning hotter? Not necessarily. Leaks around the ash pan and doors can cause the fuel to burn faster and more from the top down (which is not really what you want). When the everburn is going well, there is a siphon affect which pulls air into the main firebox via the small holes in the shoe at the lower back center of the firebox - this helps keep secondary combustion going. If you damper down and cut the primary air off, you should see very little "flame activity" in the firebox. If you see fire dancing around in the firebox then you almost certainly have an air leak.
  11. chaynes68

    chaynes68 New Member

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    My 4 hour burns are with the top damper closed and the primary air closed. I did tighten up the doors a little and looked for leaks. I don't think my stove is leaky (and I could be wrong) but I seem to have excellent control of the fire with the primary air control.

    The wood I am using could be my trouble (think its cherry? harder than birch softer than oak...dont know)....buying the stove was a last minute decision for me so I am not prepared in the wood dept. Last night I ran 2 tests...the first one I used a small amount of pallet wood and had a nice fire going and obviously have everburn going I was actually able to see the jets of hot gas coming out of the holes. Once that burned down I pushed those coals in front of the throat and loaded up with 4 splits and 4 biobricks on either side of the splits. For the first time I was able to get the stove temp up tp 500 degrees with stack temps less than 700. Thought for sure I was gonna get Everburn to light with a full load. Tried it 5 times and it stalled each time after 2-3 minutes.

    My stove dealers advice was to have the stove temp to 600 degrees before trying for everburm mode. Now that I have some experience with the stove I think I can get it that hot with fear of burnin the place down. I also have a stash of some really dry oak that I need to cut to size, also have a pallet of biobricks coming. I feel like I'm getting close to a breakthrough....
  12. dtabor

    dtabor New Member

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    chaynes,

    After advice from people here, I wait til my stoptop temps are 650+ before trying to damper down. Its still hit or miss on whether it will stall but under that temp its a guarantee stall or no rumble at all.

    D
  13. BJN644

    BJN644 Feeling the Heat

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    The key on my Oakwood is the thick bed of coals, if you don't have that forget it nothing will make the secondary burn. I can also say that I rarly get any "rumble" from it, usally on a fresh chared up load she will rumble for about 30 seconds. I know I'm getting secondary burn because I can easily get 10 hour good heat throwing burns, and the inside of the stove is clean and not black. I can get up in the morning stir up the thick bed of coals that are left add some wood and have her burning in no time.

    I have come to the conclusion that the Oakwood is a 24/7 burner, and I would guess the Everburn's too, and it shines when used this way. Early season cold starts are a royal pain, but the stove really performs when I need it the most, when it's freaking cold out ! like right now.
  14. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    YES. Absolutely. In fact if you live in one of those borderline climates or a place like the pacific northwest where it's mostly 30-40F all winter and high humidity, I wouldn't even think about using an everburn/downdraft stove, it will just drive you mad. Buring 24/7 in cold weather (under 25F seems to be the sweet spot at my house) is definitely where it does best. And yes again, to the thick bed of coals being key.

    chaynes68 you said something about a test load where you started with a small amount of pallet wood. I don't know if you can get a big enough bed of coals from a small pile of pallet wood, and the pallet wood, while great for burning hot and getting your other stuff burning, isn't the best for building that coal bed you need! Also it doesn't sound like you are really filling the firebox with fuel - the long overnight burns require a full firebox. I would also recommend trying to get your temps up even higher before dampering down, and if the everburn stalls even then, don't cut the primary air all the way back. If your fuel isn't well seasoned, you are going to have to run it with the primary air up, which will also mean shorter burntimes.
  15. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    More theory here - but this stove might be VERY sensitive to OVERDRAFT (and underdraft, of course)...

    In the case of overdraft, the deal is this. As our combustion engineers will tell you, there are three T's

    Time
    Temperature
    Turbulence

    Assuming VC tested the stove on a relatively perfect chimney - for EPA purposes, they would have no reason to check what happens when the draft is 50% or more stronger than that! (same goes for other makers, but more important with a new technology).

    OK, so "time" if the wood gases are pulled past the hot zone too quickly, they don't have the time to burn.
    The also need the temp, which related to that. Too much air flow past the shoe will cause problems
    And turbulence is the mixing of the air and gases, and also the "swirl" that hopefully makes the gases hang around.

    Just a slightly educated guess. The way to check this? It would be to install a barometric damper in the stove pipe and try various settings to see if spoiling some of the draft helps things burn longer and better.
  16. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    Craig: Draft is exactly the issue here. Most of us have figured out how to get coals, position them, do the hoochie coochie and go into Secondary Burn mode on these stoves. But, what you said about the draft is exactly the issue. The stove seems to have been developed to provide optimum performance (through the siphon mechanism) when the design point draft is present. I think that is why some of us have problems getting hot enough (weaker draft) some go into thermonuclear burn (over draft) and some think we are crazy because it works OK for them (design point draft).
    I figured out that I have underdraft as my stack is an 8X12 clay flue. What I've been doing is getting it to work for me by getting the coals I need and getting it hot (650 stovetop/550+stovepipe) then engaging. I also need a medium load, too much mass and I can't get it going. And, I find that a clear air path on one side of the stove (front to back) is also a big help. Finally, I need to leave the primary air open to give it more, since I am compensating for an underdraft.
    We've all shared other's experience about having to install secondary dampers, etc. They are trying to get less air in. Since the siphon mechanism is an open vent into the stove: if it can suck it will. (LOL)
    Later, I'll correct my drafting issues with a solid SS liner. Right now, I'm out of luck as there is a bunch of snow on the roof and I'm not big on falling off the roof.
    So I think this puts a fix on one of the big points of Everburn, and perhaps the other companies that license the technology. Extreme sensitivity to draft with no adjustability to compensate for differing draft/stack situations. And, a secondary burn mechanism that requires a specific draft velocity to work in design point.
    Between us all, we are finding ways to work with it but for most, very labor intensive.
    The one pressing question I can't figure out is whether or not there is some way to get the Everburn siphon to work with differing draft condtions and if there is more to it: that is more resistance to air input to the secondary burn cycle than that provided by the siphon mechanism. Perhaps I'll figure it out later when I take the entire thing apart in the spring.
  17. LarryD

    LarryD Member

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    Having moved on to another type of technology (burn tubes) with the same class A chimney, I think I can confirm some of the thoughts expressed in this thread.

    Quality of wood is absolutely critical. If your wood isn't thorougly seasoned. Forgedaboudit! You will pull your hair out.

    Draft managment is critical. I have installed a butterfly damper, we now burn an Isle Royale, and it gives us the range of control we need. When the temps are high (above 38* F) and the pressure is low, we run the damper wide open. As the pressure rises and the temps drop we need to close up damper or our stack temps (probe thermometer) sky rocket in an matter of 2-3 minutes! Yes, all of the gaskets are doing there jobs.

    The rub is knowing which is the issue!

    My wife is a stay at home mom and runs the stove while I'm at work. She commented this morning that if we had the quality of wood we have this year and the damper that the DW would be "doable". I think that this is a bit of a stretch (she wasn't the one getting up every night at 2:00 am) but the interesting thing is this. She is a stove user by default. She runs the stove because I'm not around. I think her comments substantiate the above thoughts. With those two changes, the IR is a dream to run. As good as it is, I don't think it is all the stove. We have exceptional wood (99% Red Oak seasoned 2+ years) and a means to stifle our finnicky draft.

    I do appreciate the fact that this "conversation" has continued. I do realize that this stove has been an issue before I brought up my problem a month or so ago. The drama and egos were quite a distraction. I did burn this stove for two years and now burn another, I might have more insites as time goes on.

    I wish you all luck

    Larry D
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, Larry, good point(s), and I also support the "design point" theory is accurate. This all goes back to a point I made 11 years ago (and longer, and since) that it is a bad move for stove manufacturers to play the game of trying to highly tune their product in order to claim the lowest "numbers". We knew that (or heard it from others) back in 1988-90 when this whole thing started! There is a sweet spot, probably at about 4 GPH, where you have more flexibility in stove design for real wood and real chimneys. These same issues came up even as early as 1984, with the first cat units. The holy grail has always been "the perfect chimney".
  19. LarryD

    LarryD Member

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    The perfect chimney, you are correct sir!

    Have you ever thought about having a rating on chimnies like you do for stoves? That way people that are going to install something new or are having issues have a place to start. It isn't always the stove!

    I have learned an expensive lesson about chimnies. I thought it was the stove and it turns out that my overdrafting class A chimney was the culprit.

    I actually can't remember off the top of my head where the IR is "rated" as far as GPH. We produce so little visible smoke, my neighbor asked if we were burning this year. I'm proud of that. :cheese:

    Larry D
  20. James04

    James04 Member

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    Wow! It sure seems that there are allot more users of the Everburn technology that are having difficulty than I had previously thought. Perhaps VC has really stepped in chit this time. I hope I am wrong. After all the are an American made product. Lets cross our fingers and hope that the they will chime in on some of these issues before these users forget they ever existed.

    James
  21. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a Canadian company, one which apparently took over the (other Canadian) company to avoid losing even more than they already lost!
    http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2004/12/03/cfm-banks041203.html
    Basically, the shareholders all got taken for a ride....

    I wouldn't hold my breath. Although I'm certain they want things to work, you are dealing with a lot of history. The company went south (under) in 2005, and we have to assume that most of the current stoves were designed under the leadership (a questionable one) of the old guard. Because of EPA and UL....and the difficultly of changing castings and moldings, it can be real tough to change models which are in production. That would even assume that all the current right hands and left hands were all in sync (that there was good management, and that they knew what they were doing, and that they had the money and reasons to do it, etc.)......so there are a lot of open questions.

    Bottom line...chances are that a lot of you know more than a lot of them. It's a long way from there to a completely re-engineered stove line. Although folks here tend to think that the stove biz is booming and these companies are flush, the exact opposite is true. The lack of new construction is a big hit - and I would guess the Canadian US trade rate hurts too.
  22. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    With my Hearthstone, I noticed that my chimney damper also plays a big role in it's operation - I have it at 45 degrees during my burns, and it allows for more primary air, better secondary combustion, and lower stack temps - with no smoke. Seeing this latest point makes me wonder, too, if TOO MUCH draft might have been the culprit in making my everburn stall ALL of the time! I am much happier with the heritage - it is much more user friendly and all you have to do is look through the window to see that you are getting good seconday combustion. A big difference between going in and out of the house multiple times to check the chimney with the DW NC. Even with catalytics, there is a catalyst thermomer to look at to confirm secondary- plus, you can look in to see the catalyst glowing red as a second confirmation.
  23. chaynes68

    chaynes68 New Member

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    I'm really getting frustrated with this stove. Last night I spent about an hour and burned quite a lot of wood to get the stove surface up to 625 degrees. I engaged everburn and had the rumble for 10-15 minutes thought I was gonna get a nice overnight burn, but the load was basically burned down to 2 mostly consumed splits 3 hours later. This thing ate a firebox full of wood in 3 hours AND the stove is not exactly what I would call blazing hot...in fact it was not hot at all.

    The only thing I have left is to do is eliminate my firewood as the source of the problem. Tonight I'm gonna get some coals established with some small splits and pallet wood then load the thing up with biobricks. can anyone give me some stats on burn times with a load of biobricks? (ex. I loaded n biobricks stacked like so and got a burn time of x hours).

    This thread has been super helpful....thanks all.
  24. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

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    Maybe people are on to something with the overdraft issue. Maybe test your draft and compare to those whao are having acceptable results?
  25. James04

    James04 Member

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    Chaynes,

    I do not know your stove. However If you have a leak (too much air) or your stove is over drafting. The Bio's will burn really hot and possibly over fire your stove. What kind of wood was it that was gobbled up in three hours? How thick were the splits? What was your primary air set to? Do you feel like you may have an overdraft? What is your chimney setup? This info will help the guys with your stove help you.

    James
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