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PE Super 27 burn times - is there something wrong?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Bozol, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Bozol

    Bozol New Member

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    Hi all,

    When a new piece of wood is placed on the coals in my newly installed PE Super 27 when dampered down it immediately goes up in flames instead of what my old (much older!) pre EPA stove would do, which is slowly smoulder. It doesn't appear like there's much difference between it being dampered down or wide open. I mean, it's obvious that more air is coming in when wide open but there isn't much change when it then gets shut down. I am doubtful I'll get a night's burn out of this - we'll see I guess. I just want to know if this is normal. I.e is what I am experiencing now par for the course or should something be looked at because it's burning too quickly. Is this because the stove is brand new and needs some time to 'figure itself out'?

    It was installed by a WET certified technician and had a small burn on for few hours before we got to it in earnest. My house is small - just 900sqft and well insulated with new windows and doors. Right now it is -25`C outside. I am burning soft standing dead, split or whole depending on what fits in the stove. A friend's identical stove seems to smoulder when new wood is put in.

    How should this stove compare to the BK Princess?

    I was hoping to be able to load'er up in the morning before work, stoke it with a couple of pieces at lunch and then similar after work to burn between 10-15 for the entire day. Is this ridiculous? Tonight I've burned through 12 pieces in just over 6 hours.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Be patient. The new stove will not burn at all like your old stove. Even with the air control closed, there will still be a limited amount of air feeding the fire. This is to prevent smoldering. Feeding just a stick or two at a time is inefficient and only appropriate when the outside temps are mild.

    You have a great stove that has excellent burn times. With good dry wood, you should be able to load it up in the am and not have to reload it again for 8-10 hrs.. Feeding it just a stick or two is not efficient. Put on several good sized splits with the air wide open. Let them ignite, then gradually reduce the air supply in increments. Cut the air back until the flames get lazy, then wait five minutes or so for the fire to build up again, then cut the air back again. With dry wood and good draft you may be able to close the air off completely within 10 or so minutes.

    Do you have a stove top thermometer? That will help determine how the stove is burning and when to reload.
    etiger2007 likes this.
  3. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    If the stove has an ash chute (I believe it is optional on the Super 27) - they can leak a lot of air into the firebox if not closed completely - it can easily get cinders etc jammed into it and prevent the trap door from closing completely. You will see a white hot inferno around the chute area - and burn alot of wood fast. I would check this first. The ash chute is bolted into the stove floor, I would let the stove cool, remove the firebrick from around the chute, and examine the chute how it works and insure it is functioning properly.

    And then check and adjust the door fit - search dollar bill test on this website.
    PA Fire Bug likes this.
  4. Bozol

    Bozol New Member

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    Hi madison and begreen,

    Thanks for the calming words! I'll check what you've both suggested and then monitor and keep you updated.

    Thanks.
  5. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Welcome.

    EPA stoves are a different breed then pre EPA stoves

    A thermometer really helps when operating a wood stove.

    I put no less then 2 splits in most of the time more..
  6. PA Fire Bug

    PA Fire Bug Feeling the Heat

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    You can also partially remove the ash pan to see if the trap door is closed completely. When cleaning our Super 27s I always leave some ash in the stove to fill the trap. This prevents unwanted air from entering through the trap door.
    raybonz likes this.
  7. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Good tips. I'm also trying to learn how to get the most out of mine and have a question or two that may help the OP too. When you get to the point that you can close the air down with, say a half a load or more, what stove top temp should we strive to maintain? That is, at what point is the stove the most efficient and creosote-free and what is the lowest temp we can allow it to go and still maintain efficient and clean burns?
  8. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    Good post! Im going to check my ash pan as well. It does seem like you have something going on. I too was thinking burn times would be a bit longer but hey im burning pine! After mine is warmed up I slowly turn it down and the secondaries start doing there thing. Once ive dialed it in I have beautiful flames SLOWLY dancing around. Flames seem to be detached from the wood and make blue lazy paths in the box. I have had this stove since early october and have played around with burn times and different wood. I try not to let it smolder as it bugs me to see smoke coming out the top like my old smoke dragon did. Its a balmy 1c above here so im thinking youre north of me. Ive run it so far in temps as low as -15c with highs of -8c. I placed a larch split next to a lodgepole in my firebox and they seemed to burn up at the same time (yes same size and mc) but it was interesting to see that an overnight burn with just lodgepole vs just larch was very different. I can burn up a full box of lodgepole in 3.5 hrs to a healthy bed of coals (my wife claims 2.5) but even with this I have a small bed of coals in the morning where the wife can throw a few small splits in and poof! It seems long after there is any real heat coming from the stove you can get it going with whats left without a match. If I had some oak...... who knows how long my burn time would be, 8-10 hours? that would be interesting to see,, anyone?? I will have to watch the dump for back yard tree removal throw aways as thats about the only good hardwoods I will see. Since Im new to my stove Im sure once Ive played around with it some more I will be able to get it dialed in a bit better.
  9. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    Whoops! Sorry Bozol the quote got messed up with my reply!
  10. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    The ash chute air leak is fairly obvious - looks like a blow torch. door gasket leaks not so obvious.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Fixed. You can go back with the Edit option and make corrections. In this case the [/quote] was at the end of the entire post instead of at the end of Bozol's posting.
    Seanm likes this.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The stove top will seek it's own temp at that point. Typically it will settle in at about 650F if the wood is good and dry. But anything between 500F and 700F is possible. Overtime the stove top temp will decrease. Once the wood gases have burned off the stove is burning pure charcoal. At that point the stove is burning efficiently, even with a 400F stovetop temp.
  13. Bozol

    Bozol New Member

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    Hi all,

    Seems like what was going on was the ash trap was leaking a bit but as soon as there was enough ash in the stove the leak stopped. Depending on wood size and quality I can get anywhere from 6-10 hr burns. I do notice recently that puffs of smoke are leaving the stove when the door is opened, and sometimes lots comes out when the fire is being lit. I do open the damper all the way, open the door a touch for ~5seconds and then open fully but still a puff of smoke comes in the house. The chimney was cleaned prior to installation, which was just a month ago, so I doubt it's a creosote issue. Any ideas? Have others ever experienced this problem?
  14. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Sometimes just the natural air flow from the stove's window air wash, a little smoke. But , you will learn with experience, only open the door to load wood after coaling - and not be opening the door and load wood at times when the wood would be smoking.

    Rarely do I leave the door cracked at all, never fully open to ignite a fire. Get a head on your wood supply so it is fully seasoned - it makes a world of difference in performance - especially with starting fires.

    Glad you figured out the ash trap - if it were an option, I personally would not want it with the current design on the PE stoves. I have not sealed mine, but have let it fill up and NOW never attempt to try to clean it out.
  15. Bozol

    Bozol New Member

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    I'm going to check the cap anyways, even give the chimney a sweep just in case that does something. I hope we figure it out because last night my eyes were stinging!

    Yeah, I haven't been totally emptying the ash from the stove and make sure there's lots in the hole over the ash trap. I have an extra brick that I think I'll hacksaw to cover the trap.
  16. Bozol

    Bozol New Member

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    Ok, smoke problem solved. Cleaned the chimney cap and voila, smoke going up. There was LOTS of black on it. I will clean it along with my twice yearly chimney sweep. Very relieved that I won't be living in a smokey house! (I temper this enthusiasm with the reality that I've just lit a new fire with no problems, with my luck it'll come back again :)
    raybonz and PA Fire Bug like this.
  17. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I have a different stove but I get a little smoke in the house if I open the door before all the wood is burnt to coals. The chimney is not clogged at all, but I get only an 'ok' draft, I think (nothing to compare to so I am not sure).

    I read on this forum somewhere that burning EPA stoves in batches is the way to go, and that is how I have always done it. I put a load of wood in the stove and let it burn down to coals, then wait even longer until the coals are starting to get skimpy, then reload and start over. I avoid adding a few splits every hour or two the way I might do with an older stove. When I load wood onto hot coals I get an explosion of secondary flames and the wood diappears fast. That is OK if I want quick heat but it doesn't seem to be the efficient way to use my stove.
  18. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    That's all been my experience so far as well. For a quick warm up, though, a few splits on the coals works well. Just don't overdo it and make a runaway.
  19. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    When I load a fresh load in the Osburn it seems like I have to get the stove top to at least 450 ( anything less and Ill get a smokey fire) before I make my final air adjustment ( this is leaving the air a 1/4 open). From there the stove top will reach between 500 and 600 degrees and then settle down (no smoke). I am real comfortable at these temps because im not wasting wood and not burning super hot 650-700 or more,secondary tubes are not glowing and no smoke is coming from the chimney. Sprinter I would just do some test with your stove, try dampering down sooner and see how your stove reacts, check out my post Osburn 2000 secondaries, that fire was awesome, I did not waste anything and I think the stove top maxed out at 550, lazy flames and secondaries.
  20. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Depending on the load and the amount of heat i want i have cut the air back at 350 before.
  21. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    Glad you got things figured out. I have a Super 27. My flu is about 14 ft straight up. The only time I get smoke in the house is when its warmer outside and the draft isnt the best. Even then its its a very small amount. I never smell smoke in my house.
    I can't stress enough how beneficial it is to have good seasoned wood. I burn Oak that is no less than 2.5 years old. I didnt order my stove with an ash pan for the very reasons people on here have said. I didnt want to have to worry about leaks. I also have an outside air kit on mine. I'll get all night burns no problem.
    You say you'll have it cleaned twice a year, which is fine if it needs it. I've finally reached the comfortable level of wood ( 10 cords ) , so I have really good seasoned wood. At the end of this last burning season I took my pipe apart to clean it and it didnt even need it. That was after a full season of burning 27/7. I went ahead and cleaned it and I got a little more than 1 cup of creosote.
    My house is about 1300 sq feet. It was built in the 30's and has been added onto. I've added new windows and insulated some walls and can tell a difference on my stove performance with everything I do. The outside air kit also helped stop drafts. I'm going to insulate another wall this spring. With 900 sq feet, you're Super 27 should have no problem keeping your house toasty. I love my stove
    PA Fire Bug and etiger2007 like this.
  22. Bozol

    Bozol New Member

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    Well, the smoke is back again.

    For a couple of weeks everything was fine but yesterday and saturday smoke was pouring into the house from the stove. When opening the door I had a window open, the damper wide open, opened the door a crack and held it for 5 seconds or so and then opened the door to add wood. Smoke everywhere, sometimes worse than others. It is -26`C today and was around that all weekend.

    The only thing I can think of is perhaps when I cleaned the chimney the last time I forgot to get the soot out from the top of the stove - does that make sense? On a PESuper27 how do you do that? Do you have to put a vacuum hose down the chimney to pick up the loose stuff? My chimney is about 15-16ft straight up (no bends) and is double walled. I just figured it would burn itself away - that you don't need to remove any plates or anything from the stove itself to remove that chimney soot. I gave the chimney a sweep and cleaned the cap two weeks ago. We burn in the evenings from roughly 5pm all night during the weekdays and then all day on the weekends. Could the cap or the chimney get blocked up that fast? I doubt it.

    Westkywood - must be nice having that dry seasoned hardwood around - you almost sound like a wood snob! Not all of us are so lucky. I burn soft standing dead or driftwood, nothing 'new'. A buddy has the same stove installed at the same time but has no problems - we burn the same wood (we cut together). Only difference is his chimney is much longer than mine (2 story house vs. my bungalow).

    I'm going to get back on the roof today and see the cap and give the chimney another sweep to see if that's the problem, but if it is it's kind of discouraging to have to go up there all the time. Where I live we currently have no sunlight at all until January 6 so it makes the job that much more s*itty.

    Any advice is welcome, especially before I go up there again in 4 hours!

    Bozol
  23. theonlyzarathu

    theonlyzarathu Member

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    At -26 degrees, that is very cold. And your pipe is only 16 feet high. I would wonder if the inside of the pipe itself is just too cold, and you have a limited draft. Neither of those things can you do much about when its minus 26 outside. I can't imagine with the PE secondary burning that it would get clogged. My PE Summit doesn't get clogged all winter. But in the long run you might need to insulate the chimney as if it was a house.
  24. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    The manual says to pull out the pin in the back and slide out the baffle to inspect but says only do this if you cant remove the pipe that connects to the stove. When I cleaned my chimney a week ago I did this just to see how things looked. The baffle is quite heavy but is easy to remove. Make sure you inspect how the insulation sits before you remove it. Good luck!
    PA Fire Bug likes this.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I sounds like you have a pile of crud in the flue collar. Carefully clean it off. Normally one pulls the baffle when cleaning a PE stove. If you do, you must remember to block the secondary air tube that feeds the baffle before cleaning. Otherwise you can plug it with falling creosote.

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