Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by vtburner, Nov 13, 2009.
Care to elaborate?
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This year has been a little colder than the rest. BTW the lows you have in your list are too high. For instance last week we got down to the low 20's (F).
I work out of my house and have 2 daughters, 1 wife, and always wear shorts. The family keeps happy this way. I'm always hot, their always cold. My house is also kinda big.
1) Napoleon is using the new material (vermiculite I think) to make baffles because people started complaining about too much smoke early on in the fire - before it got hot. So now I always keep mine hot since I am using fire brick as baffles instead of their new vermiculite.
2) The brick at the back of my stove are made from something called "refactory" not "fire" brick the difference is in the insulative characteristics. When I talked with Obedia's people the tech indicated that if I replaced all of the fire brick with refactory fire brick, I would significantly increase the "heat capacity" of my stove, turn it into more of a Russian/Finnish stove and would have far less ash after every burn. But when he called the factory to order me some, the Techs there advised against for reasons unkown. But just having the baffles be fire brick instead of vermiculite, I notice the difference in the amount of ash.
3) When it comes time to replace the air manafold shield (should be done about every 2 years), if you find that one or more of the mounting bolts has stripped out, they will send you some high temperature (2000 F) expoxy which you use to put in the stripped out hole and create new threads with. All that is required is that you send back the unused portion. Its a $35 tube and you will only use a small portion of it.
4) The Napoleon 1900 stove is something called "a convection" stove. It heats air which then moves around the house. Other stoves produce direct heat (rather than convestion heat) and tend to blast people out of the room the stove is in while other rooms stay cold. The convection process helps even out the heat throughout the house. BTW, although I have not bought a fan, I think this may be one justification for doing so; it would add in the convection-ness of the stove.
5) Fire bricks crack - which is normal, but if they crumble, it may be time to have some spares on hand.
This kind of stuff. Also the tech I talked with had had a Napoleon for 8 years or so.
(4.5” x 9” x 1.5”). firebricks fit right into the 1100P instead of the light baffles..??? it seems you would need at least 4,no..??
any other retrofits for the Napolean 1100... its basically identical to the 1900 but N/S shorter...
the standard baffles are 9"x20" so you are a little short if you use 4 4.5" bricks but you can always cut the 5th with a tile saw if you feel you want to.
Schnazzy house. Love the deck.
thx. We all gotta live somewhere. You never own a house; It owns you.
VT Burner-- Did you buy the stove? You have got to give us a report!
I have heated with the Napoloeon 1900P for the past 1 1/2 years anow and am very pleased. We live in upstate NY and it heats our 2700Square foot house cpomfortably right down into the single digits. once it gets past that I use the baseaboard oilfired hot water to suppplmenet. We heat from Oct thru AprilMay and burn approx 7 full cords a year. I tried several older style stoves abd did a lot of research before buying the Napoloeon last year. For the money it is a good buy. I to have had excessive wear on the baffles because we load it up full, and early on were unaware of the damage we were doing to the baffles, but are now more careful. I also stumbled across Obadiah's and am very pleased with them. I purchased the blower (a must buy for this stove as it heats the houes much more efificiently with it) and also a replacement set of baffles for when our get too much more beat up. I would rate this stove a dolid performer, but it is not a very heavy duty stove like the quadrafire I wanted. for us it works very well. Over the older stoves I tried, I noticed several good things- I burn less wood, smoke a lot less from the chimney, and have much less chimney buildup throughtout the year. DEfeinitely a big step up from the older stoves like the all nighter and mama bear and and fire boss I used previously.
About a month ago, I replaced my baffles with regurlar fire brick. Its worked great. I don't have to worry about banging the baffles.
Now that I have read your testimonial on the fan, thats next on my list. You are the first person I know who has actually put one on these monster stoves.
Have you got some pictures of your installation?
Which heavy duty quadrafire did you have in mind? I would like to check those out as well - for comparison.
I forget what model quadrafire I was looking at, but their comparable model was almost another $1700-1800 over what I paid for the 1900P, plus tax on top of it. Mind you I visited the only large BIG stove distributor in my area, and they know they are the only place in town for large selection so you do pay for it! I mail ordered the 1900P and it was $1750 complete to the door in a no frills all black model. This is a heating unit, so I didnt care about the designer door or gold trim and gold trivet, etc.. The blower was another $180+ from Obadiahs, and the instructions were generic at best. Before buying the blower I used both a 20" box fan to move the air, and later a similar squirrel cage blower from a previous stove blower design, but neither compared to getting the heat out of the 1900 once I installed the correct fan from Obadiah's. I had actually removed a break away section of the back cover from the 1900 when fitting the smaller squirrel cage previously and had to reweld that breakaway piece back in place in order to fit the correct Napoloeon blower once I received it. I mentioned the instructions with the blower were vague, and think they are the same instrucitons that come with all blowers for all Napoloeon freestanding stoves, so you have to play with the fitment a little first before screwing anything in place. There is a thermal switch on the AC inlet wire attached to the blower, and you have to mount that separately to the back cover of the stove with a self-tapping screw, but nothing tells you where it has to be mounted. you are forced to make it not too far away because of the short wire, but I was concerned about being too close to the back of the forebox and damage the switch or be too far away to have it come on late and shut off too early. so, I "SWAG"d it and it works and has not turned off in the past couple months because of the constant cold outside, and fire inside! I was worried about routing the 120V black wire across any of the sharp brackets or edges of the stamped metal housing because a frayed 120V wire is a very bad thing. I was very tempted to write Napoleon and tell them how bad their instructions were, but I know how far that would go, and once installed and it worked during my first firing with it, I let it go. If they re-write their bad instructions it will only drive the cost up another $20 anyways. I will have to try the bricks up top trick instead of using the replacement baffles I have already. Being an engineer I cant stop screwing with things, so I am curious to see how they fit and if any differences are noticed. I am sure I can get my $60 back out of the baffles on Ebay as I see they go for a premium there. Obadiah's was a good find for sure. I also noticed Obadiah's had an $8 blower guard which I did not purchase, and I wondered what that was about.
BTW- I am heating a 25' x 40' ranch (1000 ft2) from the basement with an addition over the attached garage and the sotve is heating the semi-finished (insulated) basement it is in the center of, plus the 3 brms and 2 baths over it on 2nd floor, and the addition consisting of a kitchen and living room thru the open stairwell. Far from your castle, but I would guess my taxes are about the same as yours, as I am in NY, otherwise known as the welfare state of the NorthEast
>I was very tempted to write Napoleon and tell them how bad their instructions were, but I know how far that would go...
I did exactly that when I found that they could not give me the mechanical drawings of their cooking trivet. It turned out that the guys who actually know anything over their are so busy, they have underlings handle issues like technical specs. When I finally lambasted them in email for acting in a way that was pissing off an otherwise loyal customer, I finally got through to the rear ranks and was sent this very precise drawing.
Maybe way in the back there are some really good instructions that have been dumbed down those working in the front of the store.
>I “SWAG"d it and it works...
When I get my blower I'll hit you up for information on the majic spot.
>Being an engineer I cant stop screwing with things..
There are therapy groups for this. . If God game to earth and gave man the perfect widget, an engineer would start by identifying how it could be made better.
> so I am curious to see how they fit and if any differences are noticed...
The brick fit like they were designed to fit in - because they were. I use the half bricks. For around $16 you can completly replace the baffles.
Heats Twice---- Thanks for the info. Have you noticed any unusual smoking issues with the conversion to fire brick baffles? My baffles are still in good shape, but I know that within a few years they will need replaced. I have a few issues with smoking when the stove is <250 degrees and I don't want to add any additional opportunities for smoking.
Thanks & happy burning!
No problems with smoking. But I always burn well above 250 degrees. I also throw in large (15-25lb) splits and haveing that (practically) unbreakable brick up there gives me nice peice of mind.
Another joke about engineers:
Optomist: Glass is half full.
Pesimist: Glass is half empty
Engineer: Glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
when you guys are talking temperatures, WHERE are taking your temps? I assume under the trivet, as that where I see the reference temperatures taken from in the owners manual. If I remember correctly, I believe the owners manual mentions stove efficieincies are best when the stove temp as measured under the trivet are between 500-600 degrees? I use a magnetic thermometer under the trivet, and 6-8" up the stack for stack temp reference as well. For most efficient heating I would say my under trivet temps are best between 450 - 700. I find that is most commonly accomplished by setting the air input "draft knob" between 2.5 - 3.5 for most efficient operation.
I have noticed the under trivet temps ironically drop as much as 100 -200 degrees when the upper baffles have been disturbed and there is a large 3-4 inch gap between them from being bumped during loading, so those baffles make a large difference when put in place correctly !
As I stated before, I burn from October thru AprilMay depending on the temps each year. But, I CONTINUOUSLY run the stove from probably NovDec thru MarchApril. My first months using this stove last year I was constantly battling a relatively high coalsh level that consumed too much of the fairly short firebox height. We have come up with a loading scheme that seems very effective for keeping the coalsh levels at a minimum wile continously burning the stove through the colder months, and getting the most heat of our wood. We try and get our temps up throughout the day to accomodate the longer burn times we achieve at night by closing the damper to "1" or so . Problem is the low and long burns we do at night leaves a pile of coals that accumulate too much if you keep burning it on low, and loading front to rear. so, what we do to burn up the accumulating coals and keep the stove hot enough to burn efficiently is we burn 16" or so split logs sideways instead of front to rear in a 2 or 3 : 1 ratio. Meaning, for every long slow burn at night with logs front to rear as explained in the manual, we burn another 2 or 3 times between that with short split wood pieces turned sideways. the stove really gives off the heat this way, and burns up the accumulating coals into almost dust ash very well. In order to do this, I use my shovel or poker to move most of the coals to the left and right running front to rear, leaving an air 'tunnel" down the middle to the rear. I then set my shorter split pieces left to right, and and stack them closely, and possibly a single one on top to create a triangular stack, but sideways, spanning the air trough down the middle. I also place the first log almost 1/3 of way forward from the back of the stove for a small tight load. I came up with this idea from watching the stove throughout it's own burn cycles over months. I discovered with the stoves design of letting the inlet air in low and middle front of the firebox, the stove burns best when it burns the wood and creates a super hot middle kiln area surrounded by wood on 3 sides and possible on top. So, by creating the trough down the middle and burning shorter split pieces left to right, I am creating this same "kilnlike" tunnel, that burns hot and efficiently, and allows the coals on the left and right and rear of the box to burn completely into energy because the box temps are so high, and the air is moving across them anyways. I was even able to get my teenage son to understand it and he practices the same loading 2-3 sideways :1 front to rear ratio and we have become very comfrotable using this stove throughout the long winter heating months to comfortable heat our 2700 sq ft. house down into the single digits when managed properly.
To accomodate this sideways log placement cycle thing we do, I now cut some wood 16" , and others at 20 - 22" and stack them all together, so when we bring in wood each time, we have a good mix of sideways and front to rear logs.
This year between the blower installation, and the new loading scheme I am getting a lot more out of my stove than I did last year and our wood consumption is down as well! Before coming up with this, we had too much unburned coals and I would unfortunately have to discard some of the not so completely burned coals out with in the ash bucket, to make room for a long overnight slow burn, and that was frustrating. I am now betting the load of logs we get annualy that used to only heat our house for one year, will likely get us almost 1.5 years because of the our napoleon stove, and the way we are using it. I also stuck a mirror up my chimney last week and couldnt believe how clean it is compared to previous years with older technology, but good named brand stoves. Happy Napoloeon stove burning!
I place one thermostat on the top plate visor above the door (not under the trivit). The other I put 6-10 inches up the stove pipe - as you do.
I also have noticed almost no soot build up on the inside of my chimney even after burning cords of pine and a mix of silver maple.
I will try your stacking technique.
Great info exchange here gang! I have 2 thermometers on my 1900 as well. I have a magnetic Rutland on the "visor" above the door on the left side. It indicates stove temps. I usually burn it between 300 & 500 degrees F. My 2nd thermometer is a Condor Flue Gas Thermometer that has a stem that goes directly in to the stove pipe 16" up from the top of the stove indicating flue temps. I endeavor to maintain a range of 400 to 900 degrees F for flue temps. I also try to burn the stove as hot as possible to keep creosote to a minimum.
Constantly maintaining a stove at those temps is a challenge at times. As long as we are at home and the outside ambient temps are <30F we don't have much problem. If the outside temps rise and especially if it is >40F we either have to burn small hot fires or large "smoldering" fires. The hot fires really help keep the flue clean, but the smoldering fires have a tendency to do the opposite.
Our stove has been burning since November only letting it burn down to hot coals for cleaning. When the coals build up to about door bottom level, I use a "rake" to pull the coals to the front of the stove as much as possible. Moving the coals to the front helps reestablish the fire when more splits are added. I typically add a few 3"x4" size pieces of well seasoned hard wood to get 'er going to the higher temps. I then add a few large splits or half rounds for the extended times I need.
I always load the stove in the "north--south" orientation as I like to burn my 20" + wood. If using 14" to 16" wood placed "east to west", I lose from 20% to 30% of the fire box capacity, which proportionately reduces maximum burn times. When packing the stove tight with hardwood splits and rounds 20"+ long, I can easily maintain a fire for more than 12 hours. That is one of the beauties of this stove! It burns as well as or better than it is advertised!
I find that the hotter I burn my stove to keep the door glass "clean" the closer I am to utilizing the most efficiency as possible from the 1900. My vermiculite baffles are holding up well, but when they finally give up, I will certainly give the fire brick trick a go.
I ordered the stove with the blower installed and that has been a blessing! I always keep the blower speed on low and we have a ceiling fan that helps circulate the warm air from our 16' high vaulted ceilings. The 1900 does an outstanding job of heating our 4000 square feet! 2000 sq. ft. on the main level and a full basement is kept very comfortable during the heating season in NE Indiana using only 3 cords of wood! The house is tight and tucked in a large woods which really helps cut the wind, but I am extremely happy with the over all performance of the 1900!
I may give your suggestions of loading "east to west" for a relight, I will keep you posted!
Happy cutting, splitting and burning! BTW---I do this to help maintain my sanity!
to get more heat out of mine I stuffed rope gasket in the back across the top of the rear shield. This makes all the air come out the front, puts out twice the heat.
Can anyone comment on the amount of noise the fan makes?
Do you notice it when its on or off?
HT--You can hear the fan even when it's on low speed, but it's more of just hearing the rush of the air movement and a very, very slight motor hum. You can certainly tell when it is off because there's no air movement. I have the variable speed control where you can go from low to high with infinitely adjustable speeds in between. The higher RPM's the fan is spinning, the more air is moving and the more noise you can hear.
This is our second winter with the 1900 and we have yet to have any problems at all. (Knock on wood....)
How about your fan? I think in an earlier post you mentioned that you installed the blower. Are you having any probs or just doing a little sampling?
I have not bought a fan yet. It is only because of you and 67charger that I am now thinking of buying one. I respect your recommendation's as you seem to know your stove well. In fact you two are the only ones in the last 2 years I have met on this site who's opinions about the Napoleon I trust. This is because you both seem to have had other types of stoves in the past and can compare them objectively - like me. Everything you guys have been saying about your stove matches my experiences with it.
The reason I did not buy the fan when I bought the stove is that, after talking with the people in 3 stove dealerships in my area about using a fan on other types of stoves, they all advised against it since the action of convection would accomplish the same amount of heat delivery. They said that all the fan would do is warm things up faster. But once the room was already warm the fan's effectiveness would diminish.
I was inclined to disagree because if that where so, a car's radiator would serve no purpose. The fan has to aid in taking heat away from the stove in to the room and even keeping the stove itself cooler.
Now that you've confirmed my suspicions, I'm going go buy one.
Another question I have is whether to buy the type that has a thermal control on/off like 67charger or one with a speed control like yours. Do they sell models with both or do your fans already have both?
My 1900 is equipped with the thermal sensor and variable speed. I am amazed at how much more air is circulated with the fan. I believe that you will be very happy with the blower installation. We also have two ceiling fans that we can use to move more air if weed need to.
You are right on other wood stoves. We have used many over the years like a basic "Warm Morning" with isingglass window for the door circa 1979, to Earth Stove that was a champion at creating a chimney fires circa early 1980's, to the ol' heavy duty Fisher Papa Bear and now to the Napoleon 1900. Each stove was a learning experience and over the past 30 years, I have learned much about heating with wood.
I wish that I would have discovered the Napoleons sooner. I always do a lot of research before making a purchase and I certainly compared many of the manufacturers and their products. I found that the dealers in my area consistently promoted the Napoleons over the numerous brands of other stoves. That was a certain confirmation that helped me make my selection.
Maybe a dealer in your area might have a 1900 with a blower installed so you could hear how quiet it really is. Let me know how you come out on your fan installation!
Actually I only installed the blower yesterday. It rocks! Of course its only 45 degrees outside so I can't tell if it will solve my extreme cold problem - when its in the low 20s.
But wife & daughters all say that the stove burns much warmer with the blower on.
Thanks to all for the recommendation. I did stuff rope gasket along the back as EKLawton suggested. It makes a lot of sence. Great idea.
As 67charger mensioned, I too found the instructions confusing. The pictures they provided as part of the instruction steps showed the motor wired with the poles reversed. And the clues to which wire of the speed control to disconnect/cut were hidden in it. But in an hour and a half, I had it installed. But I had to use my own screws since the self tapping ones were too small for the pre drilled holes in the heat sheild and there was no wire nut included to finnish off the thermistor connection. But what the hey, I had them all in my garage as spares from some other project. I've attached the directions I recieved.
My thermistor is in contact with the stove fire box so that it turned on within 15 minutes of starting the fire last night. But this morning I found that the fan was still running even though all I had left were few coals. I guess that the cut off temp is far lower than I expected as the stove was still too hot to touch (low 200s). This says a lot about the heat capacity of the stove - its high - stores heat a long time - especially after replacing the baffles with fire brick, which after 3-4 weeks of constant burn are still in good shape with no signs of wear.
67Charger asked where we are measureing the temperature. Attached are some really losy pictures of the two thermostats I have on the stove. There was so much heat being thrown off by the stove it made it difficult to focus the camera. But the one in the upper part of the picture is under the trivit (trivit removed). The lower one is on the viser just above the door. The fan is running and upper one registers 675 degrees the lower 575 degrees. So I always put one on the visor and add 100 degrees to figure what the temp is below the trivet.
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