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New Guy with Comments - Lopi Freedom Bay

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Shawn, Oct 15, 2006.

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  1. Shawn

    Shawn Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    36
    Hi all. Great site - been reading all the posts for a while, thought it was time to start talking with you all. We just recently moved in to a 2300 sq ft. ranch with a fireplace (chimney on interior wall) and invested in a new insert - the Lopi Freedom Bay. That sucker seems to really put out a fair amount of heat...but I have been reluctant to really burn it overnight and when we are gone. I have to get used to the fact that it really is safe. I'm assuming the majority of you burn overnight and when away from home (at work, etc.). I seem to find myself constantly messing with the air control, etc. trying to maintain a stove top temperature of 500-600 degrees...I'm not sure if this is the best temp or not, the manual says simply not to overfire about 800. I've also heard that closing the air down all the way increases the formation of creososte - I'm not sure how much of an issue this really is I had an insulated SS liner installed into a masonry chimney.

    As far as the overnight burns, does this imply a strong bed of coals that you can toss a few small splits on and get going again or does an overnight burn mean to expect flames in the morning. THe couple of times I have burned overnight the fire was largely going out when I hit the sack and just had a couple of hot coals in the AM...pretty much having to start a new fire in the morning.

    I'll look forward to anyone's words of encouragement and comments.


    Shawn

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  2. Dunadan

    Dunadan New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    184
    Loc:
    Holland Patent, NY
    Hi Shawn,

    We just had a Lopi Revere insert put in on Friday. I too was reluctant to burn it while we were away at soccer games yesterday, but I did, and the house was still here when we got back ;)

    I did burn it overnight the first night we got it. I got a good strong small fire going, then raked all the coals to the frong and loaded a good bit of wood behind the coals. After letting it burn on high for about 15 minutes, I pushed in the air control to about 1/4 open. I think the idea is the front log burns slowly then when done ignites the one behind it and so forth.

    My results were good and bad.

    The fire burned all night (from about 10:00 pm till about 7:00 am) and left me with a nice bed of hot coals. But, I had some nasty build up on the outside portions of my window that you can barely see through. I know I've read slow burns can do this, but I didn't think it would be that dramatic after one night's burn. Now I'm trying to figure out the best way to clean it, as I can't stand not having a nice clear view of this baby burn (I imagine yours is even more impressive with the bigger fire box).

    Other than that I love this thing. Before we went to bed last night our downstairs area was about 78 and upstairs was about 71. I do find myself tinkering all the time like you. I've got that little temp guage on the top of the cook top and watch that pretty closely. The comments on burn quality on it I believe are meant for it to be mounted on a flue, so I'm unsure when it says too hot (which starts at about 500) whether that's really the case. I imaing the top of the stove normally gets a lot hotter than the chimney flue.

    Sean
  3. Shawn

    Shawn Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    36
    Hi Sean,

    Our neighbors have the Revere, which is probably why we choose the Lopi. I liked the Revere, but we got last years model of the Freedom Bay for about the same price...my wife liked the bay style windows. I also burned yesterday while away for about 4 hours. Yep, the house was still standing when we got back, though the fire was mostly out. I guess it's all a comfort level and the more used to the insert I become, the more likely I will be to burn it when I'm not sitting in the room staring at it :). I get soot build on the window as well, although I have been able to wipe it off with just a wet papertowel. I seem to get it more on the sides of the fron window, but you can still see the fire fine.

    As far as the temperature goes, I am not able to access my flue pipe so the thermometer goes on the stove top.

    Shawn
  4. BigV

    BigV Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Akron, OH
    Shawn,
    I am sure as time goes by you will get more familiar and comfortable with your stove. Most folks (including me) tinker with the air controls trying to maximize the efficiency of their stove(s). I keep mine burning 24/7 when the temperature gets cold. Once you have an established fire and a hot bed of coal it become easy to maintain. Just throw a couple of splits on the hot coals and damper the airflow down before you leave the house. Open the air back up when you return and in no time you will enjoy a blazing fire once again. In the evening I load the firebox with larger splits (as many as I can fit into the stove) and let it burn wide open for 15 to 20 minutes. Then turn the air is turned down to maintain a slow burn all night. When I get up, I open the air back up and throw some small splits on the hot coals and in no time have a roaring fire once again. I usually burn the morning fire hot to burn out any creosote build-up that may have accumulated from the night burn.
    In time you will learn where to set you air controls to allow for an all night slow burn.
  5. Shawn

    Shawn Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    36
    Hi BigV,

    Just noticed your from the Akron area. Same with us we live in the Bath / Fairlawn area.

    Shawn
  6. BigV

    BigV Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
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    139
    Loc:
    Akron, OH
    We are close to each other. I live in the Merriman Valley. My back yard borders on the Sand Run jogging trail.
  7. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    Burn time is counted from starting the fire until the last coal extinguishes. The build up on your window is normal. The air wash doesn't keep the glass 100% clean. Try lighting up an old non-epa stove with no airwash and you'll see just how amazing airwash is. To get rid of the crusty stuff try Rutland conditioning glass cleaner. Works well. Speedy White hearth & stove cleaner is good stuff too and a little more flexible. You can use it to wipe down the stove, take roof tar out of white carpet (literally) etc. Burning while fire is unattended is sort of risky but hundreds do it every year with no ill effects. I leave the wood stove at the shop burning when I go home myself. In my own home I have a pellet stove, so it just runs when needed so long as I don't forget to fill it up.
  8. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    917
    Loc:
    Deltaville,VA
    Hi Shawn,

    I think its natural to be a bit paranoid about unattended burns when you first get started. Go slow, get the feel of the stove, gain some confidence, then pack it full for the overnight burn.

    To practice the overnight/unattended burn, get your fire going on a weekend morning. Damper back and do not touch it for about 7 hours, and observe what happens. It will give you an idea what goes on through the burn cycle.

    Anyway, we were all paranoid in the beginning, but once you get confident, you will find yourself cramming the stove full before you head out to work.

    edit:

    btw, an overnight burn to me is when you can just load the stove with splits in the morning, and you have a fire going within a couple of minutes without paper, or lighting a match.
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