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New wood stove not heating house, need advice

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Majic_6, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Majic_6

    Majic_6 New Member

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    Hi, bought an englander NC 30 a month ago and it doesn't seem to heat up the house very good...it's in the basement, hooked through concrete wall to the chimney..everything is installed the way it should be, but its not heating the basement in my opinion the way it should..3 of the 4 sides of basement is underground and is 1,000 sq ft...stove heats up to 2,200 sq ft...sq footage of entire house is 2,700, but not trying to heat entire house just basement and be able to kick blower on if it gets too hot.. have a blower system I ducted in to blow heat up to main floor through ceiling above the stove..something is just not working properly, shouldn't this be keeping at the least my basement toasty?...any advice is much appreciated

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  2. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    How is your wood supply how long was the wood seasoned?
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome majic. The most common issue reported here is poorly seasoned wood. These stoves want good dry wood to burn at maximum efficiency and heat.

    Is the basement insulated? If not, there goes another ~30% of the heat output.
  4. Majic_6

    Majic_6 New Member

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    I'm using seasoned hickory..half of the basement is finished/insulated, where the wood stove is I just have a concrete floor with a stone paneling with drywalled ceiling...I know I'm losing some heat due to that area not fully finished, but it seems like it might be a damper or draft issue that's keeping it from reaching the heat capabilities it has, I do plan to try other woods as well, but hickory has always been good to me in the past
  5. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    The boards that are on top of the burn tubes need to be on the burn tubes, flat and square. The concrete will absorb much energy. And get some thermometers to see what temp you are running. Also use a fan to push the cold dense air down to the basement, sounds crazy but works well.
  6. Hardrockmaple

    Hardrockmaple Feeling the Heat

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    Are you keeping the fire going 24/7?

    I find if I let the fire go out in my basement for more than a day the stove never keeps the basement toasty warm. I've come to the conclusion that the basement floor is the culprit. If the floor is kept warm, the basement stays warm, if allowed to cool off it takes almost a day for the basement to warm up again, and if the fire is allowed to go out, the cycle is repeated. Also, if I keep the basement fire going around the clock, by day 2 the second floor will stay around 70 degrees during these cool/not cold days.

    My basement walls are insulated, the floor is not. If I want a constantly warm basement I have to burn 24/7.
  7. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Describe seasoned. How long has it been split and stacked?

    How is the fire burning? Are you getting good secondary action? How is the air control set? What kind of chimney? How big/tall? Do you have a thermometer on the stove?
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    When was the hickory cut, split and stacked? If this was a couple years ago, then it is probably not the wood. If this was done this summer, then it's at least part of the problem. Another issue typical in basements is negative pressure. It could be the area where the stove is, is starving for air. Is there a nearby door or window you can open an inch to see if the fire picks up?

    Describe the entire flue setup from stove to the chimney cap. Include pipe sizing. There could also be a clue there.

    edit: looks like jeff and I were posting at the same time.
  9. Majic_6

    Majic_6 New Member

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    Ok, will try to answer all the comments and questions, but want to say thanks for all the input first, I REALLY appreciate it!!..wood was cut and stacked a few months back but has been down 3 or so years...just bought this cabin 3 months ago and after first $500 electric/furnace bill, stove purchased and installed..chimney is stone, 20 + feet from dirt, 5 ft underground...I plan to cut up a ton of wood in the next few weeks so I'm ready for the next few seasons to come to ensure that my wood is at its best, but the hickory I'm using could be better, I'm going to purchase some more seasoned wood from a buddy to get me through this season..my location is southern Indiana..I have been running it 24/7 for 2 weeks, the best heat I get out of it is when I leave the door open for a period of time, which tells me it's the air flow and draft...I cleaned and inspected chimney before installation and seen no issues. As for the fire burning, it's great with door open and gets the second burn, when closed door and damper all the way open, little flame and no 2nd burn..I'm thinking that I clean it out and make sure damper is working properly??
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Burning into a masonry chimney, right? What are the dimensions of the inside of that chimney. Besides the fact that the wood can in no way be dry enough that chimney is probably too large to establish a good draft.
  11. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Buy or borrow a moisture meter (less than $25). The reading will confirm whether it's draft or wood. I don't see how it could be the thermal mass of the basement if the best heat is with the door open (i.e., there's not a lot of heat in the first place).
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    What are your stove temps and what is the basement temperature when the stove is running?
  13. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Ya, I'd guess wet wood as #1 problem, chimney second. Fix the first problem first.
  14. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you need a insulated liner to get the draft stronger.
  15. Majic_6

    Majic_6 New Member

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    Ok, I have the stove with 6" pipe from top of stove to bend is 3 feet, after the bend it goes 1 foot then bumps up to 8" for 2 feet into the 8" opening in concrete wall, through wall and up 22ft exact at 8x8 orange brick chimney with stone masonry outer..I don't have thermometer or moisture meter but with pick up next time I'm out
  16. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    If you haven't used a moisture meter before, you need to make a fresh split in the wood you're going to burn and measure the moisture on the fresh-cut face, with the two prongs parallel to the grain. The further below 20% moisture the better. The further above 20%, the less ready the wood is to burn.
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    How much wood are you putting into the stove and what does the fire look like?
  18. Majic_6

    Majic_6 New Member

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    A couple logs at a time, leaving air to circulate between and around the wood...fire has little flaming with door shut, open the door and it blazes...thanks for the advice Dan, I'm new to using indoor stove aside from splitting and packing in wood as a pup, just used furnace at other place and outdoor fire pit for hangouts, will definitely check moisture from this point on
  19. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I think you'll find that stove is a heat monster with good fuel. Your chimney is far from ideal, but it might work ok when you get it warmed up. At least it isn't a huge 15x15 flue.
  20. Majic_6

    Majic_6 New Member

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    Thanks Jeff, I researched the crap out of that stove and the reviews were awesome, was hoping it wasn't the stove and knowing that's its probably my doings, that's fixable...I will get good fuel to maximize this stoves capabilities...I appreciate all the advice and info, I will address wood problem first and go from there
  21. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I think your wood is part of the issue.
  22. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Your wood is wet.
  23. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    Yep.. the fact that the logs were down for years doesn't matter so much. It really won't begin to season until its cut, split, and preferably stacked.
  24. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Wood is wet and chimney is less than ideal but may work. Split a piece and touch it to your cheek if it's cool/damp the wood still has too much moisture in it.

    How big are your splits? Can you post some pictures of the stove loaded and with an active fire?

    I would suggest using splits no bigger than 3-4 inches, along with a lot of smaller pieces. Split a 5 gallon bucket of kindling size pieces(1x1 or 1x2), load the stove with half of them and burn them with almost full air to get a good hot coal bed. After that load the stove up on top of that coal bed and see what happens. To have any success with less than ideal wood always try to keep a hot coal bed. Also load the stove up not just not a few pieces of wood.
  25. Majic_6

    Majic_6 New Member

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    Update, I got some dry wood and the stove is working great, been going an hour and temp in basement is climbing.

    Rdust, what is an ideal chimney, just curious as to how bad mine is off

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