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Progress Hybrid - I insulated the flue and WOW what a difference!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by fire_man, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I installed my Woodstock Progress in December 2011 and had some performance issues especially at temperatures above 50 F. The flue was a 16 foot tall singe wall exterior uninsulated rigid liner up a 13x13 clay liner (fireplace installation). I removed the smoke baffle above the stove's loading door.
    Last year I had these issues at temperatures above 50F:

    1. Difficulty starting and maintaining a fire. It tended to smolder and self-extinguish unless pampered and fanned.
    2. Smoke spilled from the door while loading with an established fire - it was virtually impossible to open the door without spillage. Yea, I know, I removed the annoying baffle.
    3. The stovetop temperature directly above the combustor would not climb much above 325 degrees after bypassing - The cat frequently stalled and I had to heat the stovetop well above 300F to get lightoff.
    4. Gray smoke spilled from chimney.These problems diminished as the outdoor temperature dropped below 40 degrees, but I still experienced sluggish combustor light-off and difficulty reloading the stove without smoke spillage.

    After insulating (2 layers of 1/2" Olympias Super Wrap), with outdoor temps above 50F:
    1. Stove lights on the first attempt with zero pampering.
    2. Very little smoke exits from the door while loading, in fact the flame visibly gets sucked into the far side of the screen. (Annoying baffle still removed).
    3. The cat lights off every time (engage at stovetop 250F) , stovetop temp climbs and no smoke outside.
    4. I recently noticed my glass is staying crystal clear!

    My draft was just not good enough without insulation. The shorter flue did not help matters. I still have not burned at temps below 40 degrees, but things should only get better from here.
    Needless to say I am very happy I insulated this liner. The Progress Burns great now!
    Joful, raybonz and Backwoods Savage like this.

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  2. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Awesome! Sounds like a pretty painless solution! :)
  3. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Alwaays nice when you find the solution, at least you figured it out soon. I just added roxul and a block off plate and my homes a sauna now.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Tony, so happy to hear that insulation makes the big difference. Just one more proven theory.
  5. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Congrats glad the upgrade helped.
  6. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    It was not exactly a "painless" fix. It's a little tricky dropping 16 feet of rigid liner down a chimney. Fortunately I had some good help. We worked as a team to hoist that sucker up on a count of three and it went straight up and then dropped down perfectly.

    No additional herniated discs to report! !!!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. John Drake

    John Drake New Member

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    What made you choose Olympias Super Wrap? Is it better than other alternatives?


    I'm also considering this stove, but have a couple concerns before I order. I have a similar setup to you, should I request a double walled liner or insulation as well? The installer may not be familiar with this stove where I live.
  8. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I chose the Olympia Super Wrap because it was non-ceramic, non carcinogenic (wife stood her ground). The downside is you can't get it wet, it's water soluble.

    I strongly suggest a liner installed in an exterior flue be very well insulated. I'm not sure if double wall is better than an insulated singe wall liner. I would think given the choice single wall with good insulation would be much cheaper and just as good (or better) as double wall. Double wall would be needed to reduce clearances.
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I've also noticed better performance after insulating my outside chimneys. I think it's very important with these super efficient stoves to make your draft as good as possible.
  10. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid Member

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    What made you decide to do a double wrap with the 1/2"? The reason I ask is because my liner is getting installed later this week. I too have a short flue and decided I am going to add insulation wrap. My insulation is also 1/2".

    Do you (or anyone else) feel that doing 2 layers of 1/2" will be that much better than just a single wrap?
  11. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    My ridged pipe was 15 feet long (plus a short flex pipe). The insulation wrap came in a 30 foot length, so I figured why waste the extra wrap when I could cut it in half and get exactly 2 layers? I had tons of space in the clay liner to fit two layers.
  12. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Right on Tony! I agree with colder weather your draft will probably improve!

    Ray
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    This is exactly why I suggest a double wall insulated from stove to sunlight if the install will allow it. If not - then wrap it - if not, then fill it in with the bags of pourable stuff. In that order.
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Did the same with my Jotul last week, and noticed many of the same improvements. I think there's good argument to recommend an insulated liner in all exterior masonry flue installs.
  15. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    My chimney is an inside chimney on an outside wall and the liner is insulated. Probably not needed but I thought it couldn't hurt and easy to do before rather than after. I had a sweep install this liner as the tiles had to be knocked out.

    Ray
  16. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Ray:

    Better overkill than underkill. I learn this lesson over and over every time I do a project! And I still sometimes have to redo stuff (like add more depth to my Hearth because I upgraded to the Progress!)
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    So true Tony! I guess you need to think for today with an eye on tomorrow... I had to replace my hearth for this stove and it was actually a bit undersized for the old stove too..

    Ray
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

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