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New small insert install... a plan and some questions

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lostandconfused, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    This an exterior chimney right? If so you'll benefit greatly from a blockoff plate or at least some roxul packed up there.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013

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  2. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I had some River Birch that I cut fresh last year, and it was pretty dry by winter. I don't know if all Birch will dry that fast. I would separate wood by species if you have the room, in case one specie dries faster....
  3. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Insulation behind the surround ain't going to keep heat from rising up the old chimney around the new liner and bleeding out the masonry to the outside world.
    webby3650 likes this.
  4. lostandconfused

    lostandconfused New Member

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    Dartmouth, NS
    Just wanted to post a quick update, now that we've got a week of break-in fires under our belts!

    Some of the wood has dried out to 18-20% moisture, although some pieces are still ~35-40% and are taking their time. May need to split some of the larger ones down to speed up the drying (AKA the "I need to go buy another Fiskars axe" argument).

    The unit takes about 30 minutes before the blower kicks in, but when it does it pumps out the heat nicely. No draft/smoke issues so far, so looks like 5" flue is working fine.

    The only complaint so far is that the glass is getting pretty dirty already. I think this is mainly from one of the logs I picked out not being dry enough, so more smoke, + more soot? Will have to test each piece more carefully if so.

    Also wanted to say many thanks for all the advice from the posters here - it's very much appreciated!
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A cool, smokey fire will soot up the glass. A hot fire should burn the soot right off.

    As you are finding out, wet wood is a big pain to burn. Buy the driest wood you can find now for next season and get it stacked and top covered.
  6. lostandconfused

    lostandconfused New Member

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    Amen... I'm also closing down the damper before going to bed, and finding that affects the glass too - going to have to experiment a bit!

    Also, doing some reading around the forum and finding out about "secondary burns". Turns out I had one going last night! Noticed the fire looked a bit weird to me (clustered at the top of the firebox, and kind of 'laid back'), then checked the FAQ thread today and found out it was a good thing. Beginners luck I guess!
  7. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    Yup secondaries are key and can be a PIA to achieve with less than ideal wood. I close of the air in stages to maintain good secondaries. Have been able to get a couple hours per load of a nice light show
  8. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I had a similar problem with wood my first season. Some was good, some wasn't. One thing I did towards the latter part of the season was to get a good hot fire going with the best wood and then feed a couple of splits of wood that was upwards of 30% in. That way the secondaries and flue stayed at high enough temperatures. I lost some efficiency with the wetter wood and the glass got a little darker than it does now, but my chimney had no creosote when I cleaned it.

    Split the wet stuff down and stack it in the breeze in only one row.
    lostandconfused and Dave A. like this.

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