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PE Alderlea T6 Learning Curve and Observations

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by certified106, Apr 1, 2011.

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  1. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Lets keep in mind that he had an older version of the DW that may have needed a rebuild in order to be able to compete with the newer version of the Dutchwest! Yes the T6 is a great stove, but overgeneralizing is uncalled for in this world of wood burning. We all have so many different experiences with our own stoves and I'm glad for Certified, that he went with the T6 and we can all benefit from his learning curve!

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  2. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Chris, good to hear from you again as I was about to send you a PM to see if you were still alive and make sure things were ok :). I understand having down times on the forums though as this winter I had about 6 weeks were I was still reading but didn't post much for various reason. I do have some thoughts on the T6 so far that I will post a litlle later on mainly because I want to organize them and make sure it comes out right. It has been a very different experience so far not bad but different for sure and my wife still thinks I'm nuts analyzing every little nuance of the stove haha. My old DW did have issues but I did have it pretty air tight it was just a pain to keep it that way if you used the ashpan door or front doors at all. Last fall I actually scraped and recemented most of the seems that I could easily get to and checked it over very thouroughly. I'm not sure it burns to much different than the new ones as the only thing that has really changed much is the air wash and compared to my parents new DW with airwash it had a little bit longer burn time since they have a large version so it seemed on par with what I expected from it. I will say this so far the new stove for sure has a lot more top end btu wise and for what it's worth, be it good or bad, it's not hard to get it there. Hopefully some day down the road this thread will help somone out for whatever reason as I'm going to try to give this review in the most fair and balanced way possible when I finally compare both stoves in a side by side post.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I went through similar thoughts after the Castine. We really loved that stove. The T6 was the first steel bodied stove I had had since an early Ashley tin can in the early 70's. It was after the first serious cold spell without power that my perspective really changed. The T6 cruised us through cold weather and brought overnight comfort without getting up at 0-dark-thirty for refilling. Woke up at a normal hour and the house was comfortable. After that, my objectivity was lost. The fact that it can do this and yet still be a reasonable shoulder season burner has made me a pretty happy camper.
  4. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    I'm looking forward to the comparisons, especially cat vs non-cat - not one is better than the other, but general burning differences/observations. I'll be posting the same when I get my Englander 30 installed this fall.

    If the Englander works out from a stove size, steel box and non-cat stove standpoint, if we swap it out later for a more decorative stove, the T6 would be near the top of the list. Before getting the Englander, I had considered an enameled PE Summit Classic, but I think I like the cast jacket on the T6 better - just wish you could get that enameled.

    I was talking with my brother about these woodstoves as a whole and I recall when buying my Woodstock Keystone, reading very few negative reviews with the Woodstock stoves - other than someone bought a stove to small for their house. Now that I think of it, I don't recall reading any negative reviews on the PE Alderlea stoves.

    Happy burning!
    Bill
  5. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the informative posts Cert,
    Burn on!

    Chris
  6. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    So I had to dig this thread back up......
    So after a year of being on this forum I finally decided to start a top down fire last night and I gotta say I was really happy with the results. Don't knock me to hard for how crappy I stack/throw the wood in stove but hey I was skeptical how it was gonna work and next time I will set it up a little bit nicer. You can see in the photo that I stacked the wood pretty high so the flame off of the fire starter was immediately licking against the baffle in the top of the stove. Here is where I got pretty stoked (I know it's a bad pun) in under 5 minutes you could see secondaries coming out of the baffles. The secondaries continued for the rest of the start up of the stove and I have to say I am still floored. I went out and checked the chimney and there was only a trace amount of smoke coming out of it within minutes of lighting the fire starter. Thanks for turning me on to this fire starting method guys, I'm definitely sold on the top down method now!

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  7. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I agree Jesse it works very well with my Alderlea too.. I have a question, How long do you wait to move the air lever from full air to another position? Basically how do you determine what position to place the air lever and how long should I wait to reduce the air?

    Thanks,
    Ray
  8. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

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    Keep up the good work Cert. I am still trying to get everything ready for my install.
    Its still getting to around 85 during the day, so I still have a bit to go before burning
    season...cant wait to try out all I have learned from this website...
  9. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Eyeball experience. If you turn it down to early and too much, the fire smolders and you will coat your glass.

    Really variable with stove temp, ie cold start vs reload.
  10. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    OK thank you..

    Ray
  11. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Honestly with this stove I depend on the flue thermometer for judging when I start to turn the air down. I have been letting it go for about around 15 minutes (give or take a few depending on the conditions) and when I see the probe thermo hitting that 400°F mark I start to shut it down. I honestly have only been shutting it down 2-3 stages and it seems to be doing fine and the secondaries stay going strong. Sometimes I go straight from full open to half and then to closed and other times I have done it in 1 maybe two extra steps. So far I have been loving this stove and I can't wait to try it out in the really cold weather as I have no doubt it's not gonna struggle.
  12. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    I'm not a member of the Alderlea cult...yet. Here's my approach, though, and it's probably applicable to about any stove including your old DW. I try to maintain a medium fire...not roaring, not lazy flames. I want the most heat I can get as quickly as possible without subjecting the stove to excessive heat. Your flue temps should give you a pretty good idea what's going on in there.
  13. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Thanx for the info Jess! The T-5 seems to be a serious heater from what I have seen so far.. Have the feeling it will keep up when the temp gets down near zero.. Time will tell and hopefully not too soon lol..

    Ray
  14. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Thanx Woody! I do keep an eye on flue temps and also stove top temp plus make sure the fire is not smouldering..

    Ray
  15. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Wait a minute it's not a cult unless I'm drinking Koolaid..... :lol:
    I do agree with you though so far the flue temps have been one of the best indicators for me and my chimney setup, for someone else it might be slightly different though.
    It is worth mentioning though that with this stove it is alot harder to get the fire roaring up the chimney, in fact I have not seen it do that yet (I'm not saying it wont), and it stays alot more tame during start up. With the old Dutchwest if you walked away for even a few minutes with the bypass damper open and came back you would sometimes hear it roaring like a freight train as the flames could easily be pulled straight up the chimney causing the flue temps to skyrocket and the stove to not really warm up however with this stove the flames dont' have direct access to the chimney and I can leave the air wide open at the begining without having to worry about it taking off on me as much which allows the stove to warm up much easier.
  16. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I agree it's very to start this stove and with the door closed.. I also had that problem with my CDW with the bypass open and it will suck the flames right up the chimney and if you have any creosote it will ignite quickly, don't ask me how I know this lol.. The T-5 seems very tame in this respect like you noted plus seems to crank out the BTU's.. I bet it will be great to run steady with a bed of coals.. Will have to wait until it gets much colder for that here..

    Ray
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The T-Series cult vs the Woodstock cult! Two groups enter, one group leaves!

    [​IMG]
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    T cult slips colored paper and damp wood into Woodstock starter/fuel mix. Cat clogs and T cult pulls ahead. Dramatic finish at 11.
  19. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Destroyed by a Reese's peanut butter cup wrapper! A horrible death but a fine finish..

    Ray
  20. flhpi

    flhpi Burning Hunk

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    Certified,

    I am glad to hear you are enjoying your stove already. I have had several fires in mine to take off the chill and then I end up in shorts and t-shirt. Next week I am replacing my old 8in dura vent with 6in. Once in a while I will open the door and the draft isn't what I think it should be. I am glad you are liking your stove. There are features I miss from my other stoves but I would buy the T6 if I had to do it over. Enjoy
  21. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    So you guys are starting your stove with the door closed, it's still kinda warm here but with my new chimney I still have to have the door open, so far it seems like it does not draw any better than the old one but too early to tell.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    In milder weather I usually start with the door ajar. Probably because of the offset sitting right on the flue collar. Usually 5 minutes does it fine.
  23. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    I will be interested in hearing about what kind of performance change/burning characteristics change you notice when you change that flue. I have been enjoying the stove so far and can't to really let it rip in some cold weather when winter finally rolls around.
  24. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Hmmm that's not what I was hoping to hear from you after the chimney was switched out. Did you go any higher with the new chimney or just switch it out to 6"? Also, I can notice a huge draft difference in this warmer weather than when it's in the 30's so you might want to give it some time. I have also left the door cracked on occasion when starting the fire for around 5 minutes to give it some extra boost during this warmer weather.
  25. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I did not go any higher than the old one but lost the 90 in stove pipe and the thimble so on paper I should have gained the equal to 6ft or so, I have 16ft of durvent 6 inch insulated with about 5 ft of stove pipe all straight up so should work well. I agree too warm to tell but the old chimney drew this well when warm, I have noticed with these few fires (small) I have had the flue temp is lower than the stove top temp for the most part which is a big change from the old chimney.
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