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New girl on the block needs some Jotul Oslo advice...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by KarynAnne, Oct 30, 2006.

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  1. KarynAnne

    KarynAnne New Member

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    Hi everyone...yeah, I'm new, but I've read a load of the FAQs and a lot of the topics to try to not sound like a complete moron. I really need some help. I've got a new Oslo, great stove - but I'm so new to wood heat and timid about mistakes and anal about trying to make the stove work as if it's on a thermostat that I need some experienced help. Unfortunately, my questions are going to sound pretty dumb. Sorry in advance.

    First things first...it's installed great. Great draft, easy to fire up, virtually no visible smoke coming out of the chimney. Something's going right.

    Here's the problem...I can't get any kind of consistent temperature out of it (it's up - I shut the air thingie by a fraction ---- it's down - I open the air thingie by a fraction). Geez, I'm spending all day long running up and down the basement stairs to watch my wood stove like a hawk. I'm really afraid of getting it too hot. I did the break-in the right way. I've had it as high as about 610 (thermometer on the back right corner of the stove top) but I'm afraid to go any higher than that as the instructions say the optimum is 400-600. Also, the helpful little color coded thing on the thermometer basically has 600 very near the "overfire" range. The stove isn't going to do me much good if it burns consistently around 300-350. But that's what I'm getting when I try to damp it down so it won't rise on me. I'm afraid if it starts to rise, it won't know when to stop. So, literally, every 10 minutes I'm stopping what I'm doing (baking brownies) to run to the basement to eyeball that thing again. To ask someone "where do you set the air control thingie" is a dumb question, I know. But there's got to be some sort of method to this.

    Any help is most appreciated. I might bake you a brownie. Thanks in advance...
    Karyn

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  2. daninohio

    daninohio New Member

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    It just takes time to get to used to your stove's operation. I'm a newbie at this too, although I've been running mine on cool/cold days for the last two months. At first I was running back and forth constantly checking it and worried it would go too high. With that experience under my belt, I've pretty much figured out when to add wood and where I can set the air control and run it w/o attention. I still check occasionally it to make sure I'm right, but so far it's been right where I expected. I think you just need to keep climbing the learning curve.
  3. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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  4. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    When you "reload" is it a full load or just a couple of splits? A full load of Hardwood should keep temp up over 300 for 3 hours minimum.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Jotul Oslo?

    Paging BeGreen! Call in the lobby for Mr. BeGreen!
  6. Marty

    Marty Feeling the Heat

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    Hi KarynAnne, I just started a thread on almost the same topic that is full of good advice on how to burn (I'm a rookie too)

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/4093/

    ...I wouldnt be worried about getting the temp up to 5-600 fast and letting it really pump some heat out before you maintain the fire at a constant... It burns cleaner at higher temps (I think), and you'll get more btu's into the house for less constant fire maintainence... and that overfire zone on the indicator is more of a generality (with a built in cross model error) than an actual indication of overfire condition... besides you have to get it up close to 700 to burn off the 700 degree impurities... you'll feel much better about the stove once you take it through it's paces...
  7. KarynAnne

    KarynAnne New Member

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    Thanks for the help so far. As for reloading...I put in about 3 pieces. It's a good amount but not stuffed. I have picked up from some other threads that some Jotul owners take the stove to 700 and don't think too much about it. Am I right in thinking that 700 is not a scary temperature for this stove? Yikes.

    I guess the other issue about not being able to maintain a constant temp is just generic to wood stoves. Like, I would love to "set it" on 500 and be done with it. I don't mind watching it, but I know that I'm over-doing it with the babysitting. I'm afraid that if I have that air regulator thingie set to where the temp is on the rise and I don't stay right on top of it that it'll rise too much and end up in a dangerous place.

    Please let me know about a high end temperature that's still in the safe zone. And thanks a bunch...

    ::virtual brownies for everyone!::
  8. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    With all the cooking going on you may not be able to smell it!!!!

    After break in smells have ceased, a heads up to be aware of: when the stove is getting too hot you will get a distinct steel or burnt iron kinda smell in the house...at this stage probably good idea to back the air down...Might go up a bit at first but closing the air down will bring it down..

    Keep an eyeball on the wood your putting in also, as you learn the stove, will also learn the wood, sometimes you might get a piece or two from the bottom that might have more moisture than another, ie smaller checks or just heavier due to moisture content... and you can adjust from there.
  9. mikenr1c

    mikenr1c New Member

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    Karyn

    I also have a new Jotul, mine is the smaller 602. Anyway I have been through some of what you describe. I have had mine up to 750 and I don't like it either. It seems way too hot but this didn't damage the stove or anything else.

    I have found that my stove works best after I have built up a bed of coals and then add a couple of pieces of wood at a time at a time. Ideally it should sit and simmer between 550 and 650. I am not getting maximum time like that but it seems more consistent.

    I also am thinking that there should be a temperature monitor that can be located some place where it is easier to see while I do my daily chores. But I haven't found one yet.

    Good luck , Mike
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    One piece of advice I gave in another thread is to try and rake the coals before reloading either to one side - left of right, or to the rear or front (experiment) with the idea of burning through the wood from one end to the other instead of it all being consumed at one time. This should help in the shoulder season, although limiting wood and using larger wood also does the job.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Your stove goes through stages of the burn. Try this. After you do an initial burn that gives you a bed of nice hot coals, put in your second load. Close the door and with the primary air inlet all the way open watch the light show while it comes up to around 400 degrees. At that point back the primary air back to 50% and let the show continue. As the stove approaches 500 degrees close the primary air inlet down to 25%. If you have good draft in your chimney and good wood in the stove it should hover between 450 and 500 for a few hours. You can even try lowering intake air a little more if it is holding the temp and the chimney ain't smoking.

    I am finding that the exact same routine that worked with the old stoves works with the new hot shot heaters.

    If your wood if crap or your draft is crap, all bets are off. But in that case your fire is going die down. Fires don't die up.
  12. KarynAnne

    KarynAnne New Member

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    [quote author="BrotherBart" date="1162277933"]Your stove goes through stages of the burn. Try this. After you do an initial burn that gives you a bed of nice hot coals, put in your second load. Close the door and with the primary air inlet all the way open watch the light show while it comes up to around 400 degrees. At that point back the primary air back to 50% and let the show continue. As the stove approaches 500 degrees close the primary air inlet down to 25%. If you have good draft in your chimney and good wood in the stove it should hover between 450 and 500 for a few hours. You can even try lowering intake air a little more if it is holding the temp and the chimney ain't smoking.

    AWESOME Brother Bart...this is exactly what I'm looking for. I'll give it a try on Friday when the weather will turn cold again here in NH. Hey - I lived in Norther VA for a while during High School...back when Fairfax High was known as the Rebels.
    Thanks again for the advice!
  13. JotulOslo

    JotulOslo Member

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    KaynAnne,
    BrotherBart's advice works well. Here's a picture of our Jotul Oslo running at about 500 degrees stovetop temperature, in Rockingham County, NH.

    JotulOslo

    Attached Files:

  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Mike, the 602 is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the F500. You'll never get long burns from the 602, maybe 4 hrs at best. But that's all it was designed to do. I think when you get a draft damper on the stove, it will behave better for you regarding temp regulation. But you'll still reach 650 often. That is just the way it works.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    KarynAnne, the Oslo doesn't have a thermostat on it. Sorry. If this is really important to you there are other stoves that do a great job of thermostatic regulation, but the Oslo is manual operation. No big deal if the stove gets up to 650. 900 would be of concern, but 650 is definitely not overfiring. Sadly there are brands of thermometers on the market that have anything over 500 degrees in the red zone. I've never owned a cast iron stove that didn't exceed that temp in day to day running.

    How tall is the stack (chimney) that the stove is attached to? If it's in the basement and attached to a mighty tall stack, you too may need a draft damper to reduce draw.

    Running up and down the basement steps - well , the basement isn't the best place to locate a woodstove for a lot of reasons. You've just discovered one.

    For now, try moving the air control in a smaller range, say between 3/4 and half open after the wood has charred. It should follow a burn cycle as described by the others. That is, burn it with air wide open for about 15-30 minutes until the wood gets charred. Then close the air damper to about 1/2 and let the stove build up to a maximum temp of about 600+, then settle down as the wood burns up, and cruise for a long time at around 450 to 500. When it gets below 400 I open up the damper full to let it burn up some more coals, or I put on another load of wood and start the cycle all over again.
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