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Quadrafire 5100i Insert Review: Install and Burn

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by fatcaaat, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana
    Wow, that is cool looking. Mine does get the secondaries burning sometimes, but never like that. I am starting to think that my wood is probably a big factor is the lackluster performance. The wood that I am burning now is supposed to be seasoned, but I took a moisture reading on it and it was 15% on the outside and nearly 30% on a freshly split face. I don't hear or see any moisture burning off of the wood, but I guess it is there. I guess it is time to find another source of wood for this year. Next year I should be able to start burning my own seasoned wood.

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  2. jross47

    jross47 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Loc:
    central Pennsylvania
    Interesting Thread. I have installed 3 5100i's (one was ACC). I currently burn a 4100i that maintains 450-500 on front just above door. I get good 2ndary burns using 1 year old wood and 6months old ash. As far as 5100 is concerned I have noted problems with a lack of combustion air, And have created my own outside air kit using 3inch drier vent and sheet metal. Quadrafire now sells one however for around 150.00 (not worth it). Good luck and remember: "Nothing burns like a Quad"

    JR
  3. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana
    JR, thanks for reminding me about this thread. I picked up a load of seasoned wood from my father and have been mixing it in with the wet stuff I got ripped off with. The insert now maintains 400+ temps at the same place, on the front just above the door. I also ended up piecing my own OAK kit together out of a 4" dryer vent, a length of hard pipe and a length of metal flex for less than $20. Quadra fire is crazy to charge what they do for their kit.

    So overall, dry wood and the OAK has helped TREMENDOUSLY with my 5100! Thanks for all you people's help and guidance. This is a great place!
  4. fatcaaat

    fatcaaat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Wow...I"m back after almost a year and wanted to provide some reports on me burning. I am still having a lot of success with my Quad and burning lots of wood this winter to keep very toasty. This past year I did a lot of air sealing in the home and I noticed I'm getting a tremendous draft from teh basement...that's where the air is being drawn from. So my next update after this year's burn season will be to install and OAK on this guy.

    With the air sealing of the house and blowing in 21 inches of insulation on both attic banks, I'm able to maintain a temperature in the house about 76 degrees (with it being about 15 outside) on one half of the house and the heat never kicking on. ON the other side of the hosue I maintain 73 degrees, but the heat does occasionally kick on. I need to figure out a way to get my heat into that part.

    I have not experienced any issues with the unit so far....i'm also starting to burn it hotter...normally I keep the face of the unit above the window about 400-450....now I'm cranking it up around 500-550 and even up to 600. Not an issue to get it there.

    My burns...for me, the way I burn is this...during the day, I keep adding a few splits every two hours and it builds up a nice coal bed. My last load before bed goes in around 10-11pm. I place it on a deep bed of coals and pack it in nice and tight. I put the damper on low and that's that for the night. I wake up the next morning with a nice bed of coals still in there and still have a unit that's 300 degrees on the face. It is at this point I actually push the button all the way in so the back inlets are fully open. I rake the coals level and let it burn this way for about 30 min while I attend to other things. By that time they are crazy hot again and I toss on a large split or two and leave it that way...damper closed, but the button all the way in....this is how I burn down the coal bed. Over the course of the day I try to burn down the coal bed, but around 5pm I start building it up again for the overnight.

    Mind you I work from home most days, so it is easy for me to do this.

    I am having a lot of success burning maple, oak, and some locust this year. I got a great deal on 3 cords of "uglies" so that's what lead me to do what I'm doing...a couple of pieces every few hours burning on medium all day. I get lots of secondary burn when I fully load the unit, but not as much with a less packed firebox.

    The blower is on all the time...not automatic set...I have it set to manual, on , high whenever it is burning wood.

    Not much more to say about it other than I love it. I'm going to be installing another stove in my other fireplace in another part of the house for next winter...I don't need another large insert...thinking of just a small free standing stove to pop in the huge fireplace as i only will need it to knock the chill out of that side....build a fire around 5pm in there and load it for overnight...maintain it during the day with a long slow low burn...that's the plan anyway.
    Blue2ndaries likes this.
  5. HaTaX

    HaTaX New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Messages:
    82
    Loc:
    Minnesota
    Glad you came back and gave an update, this insert was on the list of ones I was looking at. Mainly because I like the fact that it does stick out onto the hearth quite a bit and offers a nice view of the fire from all angles. How clean do those side glass pieces stay? Probably not as long as the main viewing glass, but I'm curious if they're somewhat clean or just black panes after a few burns.

    How is the blower noise when running full tilt? What's the longest you've left it sitting and come back to a decent amount of coals? Sorry for the 100 questions, but you're the perfect candidate to have their brain picked.
  6. fatcaaat

    fatcaaat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    The sides are pretty dirty and get dirty quickly. I just don't clean em anymore. I'd rather have the windows replaced with plates. 10 hrs is the longest I can go with a fully packed stove and still have decent coals later. The blower noise is less than my house fans...but it is subjective. I find it ok...others may think its loud. Think medium size microwave.
  7. Jim.od3@gmail.com

    Jim.od3@gmail.com Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    59
    Loc:
    Portland, OR
    Can the 5100i be loaded N/S?
  8. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana
    That is the way it shows you how to load it in the user manual. It is much deeper than it is wide.
  9. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Having that side glass, even if it IS dirty, likely means you are getting a lot more heat more quickly into the room out of the front and exposed glass side of the stove than you would with plate on the sides, judging from the different in heat transfer between the large PH glass window and small Fireview glass window of my experience.....
  10. Farmer B

    Farmer B New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Long Island
    Recently had a 5100i installed. So far I am very happy with it. I am still learning how to use the stove and have had some difficulties getting a full night burn. I don't think I have stuffed the firebox enough, however even with a pretty full load there is only a bed of coals after about 4-5 hours. I have turned down the air all the way. Can anyone give me an idea of how they load, what size splits and or how much they load into their stove to get ten hours? I also got my wood delivery late in the season so I am dealing with some excess moisture in the wood. Cold start-ups have been challenging. I hope to have some better seasoned wood for next winter. My only complaint with the unit is that the side windows get completely fogged over soon after starting the fire. I had picked this unit due to the large visibility factor.

    We recently had a new boiler installed. The old boiler was knocked down at 8:00 in the morning (40 degrees outside). I had the 5100i fired up by 8:00 and when I got home at 3:00 the house was a comfortable 70 degrees. That was with my wife only adding a log at a time.

    I also have an issue with the built-in's we installed next to the insert. They get extremely hot even when the stove is not cranking. I think I am going to have to create a stove board "protector" on each side to prevent them from being damaged. As a test I put a large cookie sheet an inch away from the built-in raised about an inch off the hearth. The built-in seemed to stay dramatically cooler. Any ideas would be appreciated.
  11. Keith Briggs

    Keith Briggs New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Evergreen, CO
    /\/\/\/\/\/\/
    Should get 6 hours of burn with hardwoods. Not much more.
    I get 4 hours with hard softwoods (lodgepole & doug fir).
    Larger the wood, longer and slower the burn. Can put in 22" pieces too.
    I burn on high only to minimize sweeping.
    Side windows are a design flaw. Always look bad, hard to clean ash out and hard to clean those windows. Looks great in the pictures though.
    I never burn green. I'd buy more seasoned stuff and let the green stuff dry out. Keep it outside and in the wind. Inside virtually stops the dehydration process.
    I don't understand your built-in situation. Some pictures would help.
    /\/\/\\/\/\/\/
  12. Farmer B

    Farmer B New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Long Island
    I keep reading about people burning for 10 hours so I wasn't sure why I only get about 5 hours. As I mentioned we are also very disappointed with the side window issue. If we knew that we would have gone with our second choice (Hearthstone Clydsdale). The wood I have isn't "green" but it isn't fully seasoned. Part of the issue was since I knew it needed a little more time I covered my wood rack with a tarp that ran to the ground. That didn't let any moisture get out. We have also ranged frequently between above and below freezing so I built up even more condensation under the tarp. All a learning process. I am pulling up the tarp to get some better air flow around the stack.

    I have attached a picture of our set-up. We still have some finish work to do. The mantle still needs to be installed and we will be refacing the brick with cultured stone. The lower portion (cabinet area) of the built-ins gets very hot so my plan was to build a temporary "deflector" out of stove board that we would put up when we are burning. Thanks for any guidance.

    Attached Files:

  13. Keith Briggs

    Keith Briggs New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Evergreen, CO
    Oh, I see what you mean. Its zero out right now in Evergreen, CO and the stove has the 20' great room / kitchen / dining (1500 sq ft) is at 64 but on the decline since the stove is full of coals. The bottom of the mantel is 20" above the top of the stove. My little Kintrex IR thermometer regularly reads 140 - 165 degrees under there but I never worry about it since its drywall except for the vertical oak front which drops quickly to 95 degrees a couple inches up. I assume your cabinets start getting warm at the 2nd or 3rd shelf from the bottom. I'd be curious what your temps are on the back side of those warmer spots. You may need to put a faux brick stone on the stove side of the outside cabinet wall if you're not comfortable with the temps you're getting. You can see the ash buildup on the side windows. You have to dig it out with the welding gloves (when cooler) to clear it. I never clean those windows.

    Can you cut your wood in 1/2? Easy if you have a larger chop box. Remember that wood is like compressed straws. Most of the H2O comes out the ends. That will speed the drying time. I'd look for a hungry wood seller and get more fuel that's ready to go.

    002.jpg
  14. Farmer B

    Farmer B New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Long Island

    Stove has been working great. Even with some bone chilling temperatures the home is staying nice and warm. The boiler hardly ever goes on. Just have to keep working on extending the burn time at night. I think I have to split some wood down a little smaller to fill the empty spaces between the biiger pieces.

    After a lot of rain and 50 degrees on Sunday we are now at 5 degrees on Monday. I uncovered the stacks last night after the rain stopped. Unfortunately I am seeing a lot of mold. I was going to work on splitting the wood this weekend (just got a new Friskers splitting ax) although rain is predicted for the weekend. I will try splitting some in half and cutting the other in half and compare drying results. I would get some more wood, however the few reputable suppliers I know of are all out of wood. I have some maple and oak from a friend who just had some trees taken down that I am going to start splitting once the temerature becomes a little more reasonable. Should be good for next year.

    As for my heat problem on the built-ins I think I am going to try putting two stove boards next to the built-in bases where the heat is the worst. I am going to make a stand to hold them so they can be removed when the stove is not in use.

    http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12400194&KPID=11814226&pla=pla_11814226

    Thanks for your feedback.
  15. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana
    This is our second full season with the 5100i and I am loving it. Ours is a basement install (ranch style house with an external chimney) heating an 1800 sqft finished basement and 1800 sqft main floor. If we run it wide open all day we can keep the upstairs bedrooms at around 68-70 degrees, and the basement about 76 degrees. We usually run it about half open on the main air control and it keeps the bedrooms at about 65-67 degrees, which is great for sleeping. It has gotten down to the negative single digits here the last few nights and it has been the favorite place to gather around.

    I agree with the comments about the side windows. They are beautiful with clean, but a pain to keep that way. I have through about just putting a thick steel plate to cover the side window area from the rest of the heat box just to keep out the ash that is hard to clean out.

    By the way, if anyone wants the nickel trim kit for the insert, let me know through a PM. Somehow they sent me two nickel kits, and I am getting tired of kicking it around the garage.

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