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Newbie Quadrafire Sante Fe user needs help getting heat

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by royaloak, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. royaloak

    royaloak New Member

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    I just purchased and installed my first pellet stove at my cabin in northern Michigan. It's a Quad-ra-Fire and the model is the Santa Fe.
    My cabin is 1000 sq. ft. With cathedral ceiling in the living room with a loft above the other living space. It's 2x6 construction and well insulated.
    I don't seem to be able to get the temperature above 72 degrees in the living room where the stove is located and 68 in the rear area of the cabin. This is with the hopper chute open all the way and the fan on high.
    This is where I'm really confused.
    There seems to be as much heat going out the exhaust as entering the living area. It is direct vented out the wall. Is this natural?
    There's two small slide doors next to the burn pot to dump ashes into the ash container. Should I leave these open when using the stove?
    I'm not sure what pellets I'm burning because I'm back downstate. I know there made in Michigan and are three letters.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  2. Mr. Spock

    Mr. Spock Minister of Fire

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    I wonder what the temp is up in that cathedral ceiling and loft area? What are the temps outside? Do you have an OAK installed?
    Very hot air coming out of the vent would be considered normal. How is the flame, active yellow/white with sharp tips just reaching above the burn pot?
  3. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    When it is 72 inside, what is it outside? A pellet stove generally operates at around an efficiency rating of 75%, with some higher. Leave the ash doors closed to force air through the pellets, rather than around them. Direct venting outside is just fine.
  4. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    The Santa Fe is not a closed vent system but takes from room to feed the fire so is not the highest of effeciency. The stoves convection fan is not very strong and is probably not giving the needed room air circulation that you need. Simple to run and maintain though.
  5. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    If I'm not mistaken, all quads fall into this category. I recall reading someone here who sealed the intake to modify this but it appears to be a quad design feature.
  6. royaloak

    royaloak New Member

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    The unit is probably operating fine. I think I just expected more heat outpiut. To answer some of the questions the cathedral ceiling is about 20 ft. high. I'll see what the temp is in the loft this weekend. The temp. outside was between 16f and 26f the one day I had the oppurtunity to use it. I'll play with different brands of pellets and see if one burns hotter than the others.
    I don"t want to some to ignorant but what is OAKS?
  7. Mr. Spock

    Mr. Spock Minister of Fire

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    I think a lot of that heat is going up and then out through the roof.
    An OAK is shorthand for Outside Air Kit. If you do not have one installed the stove is pulling cold air into the house through all the cracks and crevices and would make it feel colder.
  8. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    I cant speak for the Santa Fe. On the Classic Bay you have to seal the base with silicone and a few other spots, not very difficult. Even without it sealed most the air comes from the path of least resistance which is the OAK.
  9. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    If you loose the power after dumping the pot it can be a smokey experience as the open ash pan then is not being sucked into the burn chamber:(
    Mr. Spock likes this.
  10. Woody1911a1

    Woody1911a1 Feeling the Heat

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    what brand of pellets are you burning now ? and how is your damper set ? you said self install so i'm guessing you didn't use a magnehelic gauge and you just guessed or it's full open .
  11. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Santa Fe has no damper. You have to adjust the feed to keep a proper flame. Not a very effecient system.
  12. Dinger

    Dinger Member

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    I heat 1963ft two stories with a SantaFe. It's proven itself to -15 so far, maintaining 72 on those nights easily.

    Make sure a ceiling fan is used, spinning the proper direction, and research the oak. I couldn't crack 70 before installing mine. Some say Quads oak connect isn't efficient, I say mine's playing the part just fine.

    Also make sure you give a good cleaning per the manual. You want that exhaust path nice and clear, along with the exchange tubes.

    Also, wide open feed on high is probably too much fuel. On med-lo fine, but you don't want the flame up to the heat shield, it's not the right way to get more heat. 6" out of the pot max.
  13. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    All your heat is rising.. Get a good ceiling fan to direct that heat and start a good convection current.

    It's only a 30,000 BTU unit, so even though your Canin is only 1,000 sq ft. Those 20 ft ceilings double the sq footage. So your area is about equal to or greater than a 2,000 sq ft area. But it's worse, because the heat is going up, where you can't get it.

    Is there a fan up there? If not, I would be installing one ASAP.
  14. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    The Sante Fe is a small stove for your house, IMHO with that high ceiling. DD is right. You absolutely need a fan up there to push that hot air down. You need to read that manual and set the fire on HIGH so that the flame is averaging about 4" out of the pot. When you look down in there, you should see some blue flame swirling in there. Make sure you keep ALL SIX (EDIT > 8 SMALL HOLES) of the small little holes at the bottom of the pot open with a .32 caliber gun brush or at least a .22. By all means, keep those ash dump slides closed.
    DexterDay and SwineFlue like this.
  15. Wooden Head

    Wooden Head Member

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    Where are you in Michigan? Where is the cabin?

    If somebody is close to you, they be able to take a look and help.
  16. royaloak

    royaloak New Member

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    I do have a ceiling fan and my next step is to install that OAK. I've really only had the stove operating for about 18 hours but I'm going up tomorrow so I'll make some chute and flame adjustments. Play with the speed of the ceiling fan and install the Oak. The cabin was built in 2009 and is very well insulated so I'm hoping I can get some of that heat down from the ceiling area.I'm going to try some different types of pellets also but I don't think we have a great selection locally like it sounds with the people in the Northeast area.
    Thanks for all the suggestions and this a great forum.
  17. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Put the Ceiling fan on High. Try it both ways (blowing heat down/sucking heat up) for 24 hrs, before switching and trying the opposite direction. One way may work better than the other.
  18. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    If you've only run it for a total of 18 hours in a cold house, it could easily take that long to start to heat up all the walls, floors, furnishings. Remember that they are heat loads as well as the air.
  19. Jason Knapp

    Jason Knapp Member

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    I had an issue with a new quad a few weeks ago.The owners manual asks for a flame about 4" above the burn pot. I had the feed adjuster wide open and the flame wouldn't come near the desired 4" mark. The stove was under warranty. The tech came, took the feed adjuster out completely and the problem has been gone ever since. Maybe this would help you a little bit. Even though 72* is pretty good IMO.
  20. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    By the 'dealer' taking the feed gate COMPLETELY OUT, he has taken away your ONLY adjustment!!!! When you get various size pellets and densities, you will have no way to keep the flame height at the correct height! That was very stupid of him! IMHO, of course. You stand a good chance of overfiring your stove when you get a batch of small pellets. Your flame not coming up the 4" could have been caused by many other things such as the 8 small holes being clogged, the dump valve partially open or drooping, misadjusted door or gasket, weak combustion blower, clogged exhaust path including vent cap. To just take the feed gate out probably just 'masked' the REAL problem but it was the easiest, fastest way for him to get out of your house. Later he'll tell you the warrantee is void because you overfired the stove!
  21. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    When the gate is open, it doesn't block any of the opening at all? I agree, makes no sense.

    A "Poor" pellet may not produce the 4"-6" flame on high. But change pellets and WHOA!!! Now its a raging inferno that sounds like a train coming down the tracks (Every Quad owner knows that sound!!!)
  22. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Case in point. You can clearly see that there is ZERO obstruction when full open. Please reinstall that gate. It is a needed component to control the stove (the Only one on a Quad/ no damper, no trims, etc)

    This is UP.

    2013-01-09_19-18-05_277.jpg

    This is DOWN.

    2013-01-09_19-18-13_375.jpg

    Up again, from another angle.

    2013-01-09_19-17-21_650.jpg
  23. Jason Knapp

    Jason Knapp Member

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    I agree 100%!!! This is not my stove, but one that I installed recently. I tried to state my reservations about the removal of the feed rate adjuster, but the "expert" pretty much laughed at me. Luckily he put his "fix" in writing, giving my friend and stove owner recourse in the event of an overfire. AGAIN, I AGREE this was the wrong move. My thoughts involved trying a different brand of pellet. The stove was a week old when the expert came to the house. This is the same guy that looked at me like I was nuts because I plumbed in the OAK.
    Did I mention that this was a Santa Fe Insert??????
    Furthermore, I should have stated that my Original post was more sarcasm that anything.
  24. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    I can sympathize with you on putting an OAK in a Sante Fe insert. I've yet to do it on mine and haven't been able to justify the labor vs the advantage of using one on the leaky sucker. Besides as you know you immediately have to put a super sharp 90 out of the side of the lower firebox pointing toward the rear. The only thing I could see that fits is a street elbow or something fabricated. I don't have an ash dump in this fireplace like I do on the Castile's and it's an interior chimney so I HAVE to go up. I have the flex already to go but not the ambition! :)

    Sounds like you love the 'expert' as much as I would.
  25. smalltown

    smalltown Minister of Fire

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    With My Qaudrafire Castile when I first started using it I had some really big fires going If people remember correctly I used to call them my "Ed Sullivan" a really big show fire.
    My only problem was having the feed gate open to much. I can't imagine running with it all the way open.

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