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Posted By Majic_6,
Dec 22, 2012 at 3:02 PM
Same diameter as your stove is ideal.
Focus on the wood. Your chimney is not perfect, but it's within spec. If you find that the stove continues to work much better with this new wood, see how it does with a good load of say 6 splits.
PS: do you have a thermometer on the stove top? That will give you more info on how it's burning.
Like everyone else, the wood is the primary suspect. If possible, get some dry wood (2-3 years css) from a neighbor or??? Just an armload for one full firebox would do the trick to tell you how important dry wood is. Good luck.
If you have to limp with wet wood, mix some Ash in (stuff can burn green), and make sure you are checking the chimney regularly. I was checking mine every 2 weeks when burning wet stuff. Cleaned it once a month.
We all had the same problem first year burning; do you have access to any pallets? Mixing the dry pallet wood in with 3-4 of your splits every time you load may be enough to get you through. Also stack as many of your splits a safe distance from the stove with a fan blowing towards the stove to move air around this will help dry it out quicker. The key to getting the max heat circulation is to blow cooler air towards the stove at floor level.