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New Buck stove, new fireplace/chimney, well seasoned wood but not putting out enough heat

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by JodieB, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. JodieB

    JodieB New Member

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    I have been lurking around here for months reading, researching and tweaking the way I am running my setup but I just can't seem to get it to work as it should.

    Here is my setup:
    Buck Model 81 setup as an insert
    I had a chimney/stone fireplace built this past spring by a experienced masonry contractor. The chimney made of block and is approx. 20' tall.
    My wood is all oak and has been seasoned for over a year.

    This stove is supposed to heat up to 2700sqft. My home (two-story) is approx. 1600sqft. We were also told ash loads would be very low and they are not. We take out a good bit of ash every day.

    Years ago (different house) we heated with a Black Bart so we are not exactly new to wood burning. But this new stove is driving us nuts. We can't get an overnight burn and the stove is just not putting out enough heat. Now that the temps have dropped to the teens we are having to heavily supplement with gas heat AND get up every 4 hours to add wood to keep the stove putting out heat. If we don't get up the stove temps drops below what our thermometer can measure.

    This stove should be more than enough to heat the home but it seems like all the heat is going somewhere besides into the house.

    JodieB

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  2. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Do you have a full Stainless Steel liner connected to the insert?
    Your wood might not be seasoned enough, a year seasoned can still be pretty wet for some Oak.
  3. JodieB

    JodieB New Member

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    No. We have black single wall stove pipe between the stove and the flue.
  4. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    The best way for them to burn is 6" chimney pipe all the way up. Oak Cut, split and stacked for a year, depending on the size, might be decent but not perfect.
    What are the temps you are burning and what type of measuring device?
  5. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Well, with no block off plate and no liner, most of your heat is going up the flue. That stove is designed to run with a 6" flue.

    Black stove pipe is not allowed to be used inside the fireplace, or any flue by code. Is an SS liner in the budget?
  6. JodieB

    JodieB New Member

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    Let me clarify I have 6" stove pipe going up thru a flue liner which is inside a block chimney. This is standard practice here and I have no plans or ability to change it. We didn't add a block off plate because there is a big lentil/header inside the fireplace.
  7. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    Does it seem like you have good draft?
    Maybe the operation?
    Operation temps?
    This is what I do:

    Load full

    Fire raging!

    Back down draft until lazy flames and nice secondaries

    Fire raging again!

    Back down draft again lazy flames and nice secondaries

    Fire pick up a bit

    Close draft almost completely.

    Inlet the stove roll at 500-650 degrees. If you can get some Roxul and stuff up around your flue pipe and into the smoke chamber, world of difference in heat staying in the room!
  8. JodieB

    JodieB New Member

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    Great idea on the insulation. We will have to implement that as quickly as we can.

    One problem we have is that if we do what you suggest by the time we get to the point we can close or almost close the damper the stove has burned through all the wood.
  9. JodieB

    JodieB New Member

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    Also, what are you referring to as the smoke chamber?
  10. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    You had a chimney built I read that wrong. The smoke chamber is above the fireplace. So i take it you have a very strong draft? Is it burning through the wood to fast? Answer the questions above for better help
  11. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    That would only be a standard practice if the pipe is Stainless Steel and continues to the top of the chimney.
    Did you insulate the block off plate?
    If the liner goes to the top of the chimney, is the flue blocked off with insulation around the liner to prevent heat from escaping around the liner?
  12. JodieB

    JodieB New Member

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    Does it seem like you have good draft? Yes this is not a problem.
    Maybe the operation? Not sure what you are asking
    Operation temps? The stove is touchy. If the boxes cools down too much (<250) it takes forever to heat everything back up. Once it gets going it seems to stay at about 450 or so but to maintain this we have to feed it and poke the coals pretty often. In fact the wood burns very well up front but the back couple inches don't so we have to pull that up front. We just added a wood stove thermometer so I will able to give more accurate info on this is another day or so. Previously we had been using a regular cook stove thermometer we already had on hand.

    You asked about wood burn. It does seem to burn through wood way to fast. We have used way more wood that we expected. We were given the impression that this stove had very long burn times but we haven't seen that at all. It also seems that the wood is not being burnt up efficiently. There is a lot of cinders in the ash we remove. I was expecting to see mostly fine white ash. We are dumping a 10 gallon ash bucket full of ash every couple days.
  13. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like your wood is not as dry as you think. Can you shut the primary air down to almost closed and still maintain a fire? If you have to burn it with lots of primary air, you are sending a bunch of heat up the chimney.

    Oak takes a really long time to season. Two years is minimum, and three is better. Do you have a moisture meter? Under 20% is best. I have oak that I split and stacked in the wide open sun and wind in fall '11, and I checked a few splits recently that were still well over 30%
  14. JodieB

    JodieB New Member

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    I don't have a moisture meter. However, the wood is very well checkered. In fact it was all storm downed trees that had been down for a year or two before we cut and split it. Then is spent a good year in our back yard covered and stacked up off the ground on pallets.

    No we cannot usually shut the air almost closed and keep a fire, although for no reason we can determine sometimes we can.

    As soon as possible we are going to complete fill the area within the fireplace opening around the insert with Roxul or something similar. There is very little gap to either side but above and behind it there is a good bit of open space. We have already put some complete across the top of the stove. It's not Roxul and it's about an inch thick.

    BTW, now that we are using the correct thermometer our stove has been reading a pretty steady 350-400 degrees so far today.
  15. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    I have very similar stove as you and with 2 year old oak I can close down the air 100% and it will still pull air throught the damper! If you investigate the mechanism you can see why...

    So if you coal too much to quick the outside of the splits are burning but the center is too wet and will not burn well.

    By operation I mean leaving the draft open to long send heat up the stack.

    Where were you measuring temps? The best place to measure is about 4-8" below the top plate on either side.
  16. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    I posted when you did. 350 to 400 is not hot enough unless you are comfortable with the temps in the house. The magnetic thermos for woodburners have been known to be less than accurate. I have a Rutland and it is about 80 degrees off.
  17. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    Small video of your stove from someone on youtube. The flames on his are somewhat slow and lazy can be a bit less draft for longer burn. If you search secondary woodstove or similar you can see what is going on and try to copy this.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Jodie.


    Above in red is your problem. That is not well seasoned wood! Sorry, but oak needs 2-3 years after splitting and stacking outside in the wind before it will be ready to burn. In our home, we will not even attempt to burn it before 3 years and many times go longer. Heck, the oak I cut this winter won't be burned until probably the winter of 2019-2020 at the earliest.

    And if you are buying wood, pay no attention to a wood seller when he says his wood is seasoned. That is pure baloney.

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