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Progress - backpuff!!!!!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by HollowHill, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    OK, have been experimenting today to try to get the temps up. Loading with smaller splits and more of them and then turning the draft way down per WS instructions. First load went OK, got up to 460. Loaded up for the night with a large split in back and small and medium splits in front with firebox about 2/3rds or so filled. Turned her way down (but not all the way) and she went black, which WS said was OK. Glanced at the stove top temps occasionally and turned up the draft a bit as the stove top temp wasn't climbing, but got distracted by other things and didn't glance as much as I should have. Suddenly, I hear a muffled, but loud pouf. Ran to the stove and gave her some air figuring that it was a backpuff, then backed it down to 0 as the stove went nuclear. Stove top temp up to 570 :bug:. Brought the air back down to 0, as WS said to do in the event of an overfire. Temps are slowly starting to come down, now at 540. I know this isn't an overfire, but I was scared that the temps would keep climbing. I've never been over 480 before. So, on the one hand, I finally did get the temps up, but on the other hand, the stove let out a serious belch, I think. My air purifier in the next room is going ballistic (it senses air dirtiness and responds accordingly), so I must have gotten a fair amount of smoke in the air with that belch. Funny, the air purifier in the same room isn't bothered at all. The smoke detectors didn't sound off, either. Now the air is at 0 and the fire is actually quite nice, calm, but steady. The stove top temp continues to fall, now 520. So, what happened? Did it get too little air causing a build up of gases and then a backfire which then sent everything nuclear? Or did it get going too much and something (what????) popped? If it was too little air, why is it now responding so nicely to the 0 setting? Don't know which level is higher - my confusion or my panic. I'm still shaking. Any thoughts as to what might have happened would be appreciated.

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  2. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I vote this one!
    It happens.

    Think diesel engine.
  3. ciccio

    ciccio Member

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    Hollowhill,

    This all sounds normal to me, I usually engage the cat at around 300 stove top then I bring the air down to zero, then I raise the air control about a quater inch from zero, next the fire box goes black and the temperture begins to go up and up you are getting a cat burn now..sometimes that would last for over and hour and a half temp on stove top reached 625 with the ir gun about 590 with the woodstock thermometer then you get that big WHOOF and the fire box lights up and the secondaries kick in and last for about 2.5 to 3 hours before everything begins to settle down for the long slow burn.
    It's a funny thing after the woof and the secondaries kick in the temp on the stove top only goes up just a little bit and it peaks right there and then in begins to go down slowly, I believe thats how this stove is going to operate or lets just say thats how it has been going for me, by the way I been loading my stove full as best as I can because I do not have many splits that are over 20 inches long..
    Hope this helps and if I can help you in any other way please let me know or pm me.

    Enjoy your stove and dont be afraid to run it, I am really happy with the stove so far.

    ciccio
  4. ciccio

    ciccio Member

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    [quote author="HollowHill" date="1325754735"]OK, have been experimenting today to try to get the temps up. Loading with smaller splits and more of them and then turning the draft way down per WS instructions. First load went OK, got up to 460. Loaded up for the night with a large split in back and small and medium splits in front with firebox about 2/3rds or so filled. Turned her way down (but not all the way) and she went black, which WS said was OK. Glanced at the stove top temps occasionally and turned up the draft a bit as the stove top temp wasn't climbing, but got distracted by other things and didn't glance as much as I should have. Suddenly, I hear a muffled, but loud pouf. Ran to the stove and gave her some air figuring that it was a backpuff, then backed it down to 0 as the stove went nuclear. Stove top temp up to 570 :bug:. Brought the air back down to 0, as WS said to do in the event of an overfire. Temps are slowly starting to come down, now at 540. I know this isn't an overfire, but I was scared that the temps would keep climbing. I've never been over 480 before. So, on the one hand, I finally did get the temps up, but on the other hand, the stove let out a serious belch, I think. My air purifier in the next room is going ballistic (it senses air dirtiness and responds accordingly), so I must have gotten a fair amount of smoke in the air with that belch. Funny, the air purifier in the same room isn't bothered at all. The smoke detectors didn't sound off, either. Now the air is at 0 and the fire is actually quite nice, calm, but steady. The stove top temp continues to fall, now 520. So, what happened? Did it get too little air causing a build up of gases and then a backfire which then sent everything nuclear? Or did it get going too much and something (what????) popped? If it was too little air, why is it now responding so nicely to the 0 setting? Don't know which level is higher - my confusion or my panic. I'm still shaking. Any thoughts as to what might have happened would be appreciated.[/quI
  5. ciccio

    ciccio Member

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    I believe in the case of an overfire you would want to give it some more air closing the air will get the stove hotter in that case….yes it was hard for me to understand that as well and if that does not work I would try opening the bypass and let some of that heat go up the flue.

    ciccio
  6. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    Dont have the progress hollow. But a back puff could also be caused by the outside weather conditions, not just air settings.

    I have seen the fire go black on certain days in the fireview, only to "explode" with secondaries that last a few minutes, go away, then come back as spectacular as before. Then after a bit it settles to the cat burn or if i want heat some flames. Very cool to watch.

    Its taken some time getting used to running the cat. I cant imagine learning on one with both systems like that. Dont be too scared of letting the stove stretch its legs. 600 some odd stove top temps are usually the goal (dont always get there). The heat out put from a burn cycle peaking at 650 or so, is simply wonderful.

    Good luck.
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    This usually happens to me if I turn it down for a low cat burn too soon. The fire box goes black and the cat turns beet red with the stove temps climbing fast. This can go on for a good 30 minutes then all of a sudden WHOOF, there's a burst of flame and she settles down after that. One time with my Fireview I swear the top lid jumped a 1/2"! I can pretty much see this coming now and I'll either turn up the air to get some flame or bypass for a few minutes.

    This new stove is a different animal with the secondary baffle so it may take some time to figure out all the little quirks. As soon as you guys get it all figured out let me know so I can put my order in. ;-)
  8. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, ciccio, this made me feel a lot better when I read it early this morning and I was finally able to stop pacing and go to sleep. I talked to WS this morning and have a couple of theories as to what was going on. One, I may have inadvertently covered the air nozzle in the front between the two andirons with a big chunk of coal and ashes. Or/and my combuster may need cleaning. Mine was one of the screens that was misaligned after shipping and I didn't realize it for a week or two, so I may have gunked up my combuster. I know the screen looks pretty clogged. I plan on cleaning it tomorrow after work. Today has been warmer, so I haven't been pushing things as much until I get the stuff cleaned.
  9. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I wouldn't be totally surprised if this lid may have levitated a bit as well :sick: I know that's what I was picturing in my mind as I dashed in there. I can't see the cat, so I don't know what it's doing when things go black. I know it didn't start climbing immediately 'cause I checked it for the first 10 - 15 minutes and it wasn't going anywhere. Given that this is new tech, maybe it's not so bad to be ignorant, I have no preconceived notions, that's for sure. I must say WS goes above and beyond to help and offer advice. You may be old and gray before I get this thing figured out!
  10. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    I wonder why with no visable cat they didnt make some sort of option, or just stock, cat probe?

    I understand the temps on the top stone equal half the inside, but with soapstone, it seems slow to react.
    Example would be a morning load. Load up get it going cut the air wait for temps and engage. I like to stick around to make sure the cat didnt stall, and or its not going to go thermo nuclear. I would think that a probe could allow you to make that determination a lot faster than waiting on the surface thermo.

    Then again, im considered strange outside of this place.
  11. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I totally agree. My cat probe I installed on one of my Keystone's is so much quicker to react I can engage from a cold start in 15-20 minutes and the stove top temp is lagging way behind usually around 150.

    I would think with this new stove having the cat pointed forward they could install a probe somewhere right on the front of the stove near the bypass lever.
  12. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    Much agreed. Still dont know why more stoves dont have a built in spot for them in the first place. One of the nice things about some older dutchwest designs.

    Think about the ease of operation, a cat probe right near the bypass lever...yep its good, engage.

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