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Question on jotul 400

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Kevin Dolan, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Kevin Dolan

    Kevin Dolan Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
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    187
    Loc:
    SW Ontario
    I have been getting the stove up to around 500f stovetop and then reducing the primary air by half then down to a quarter to get the secondaries going well. Last night I accidentally turned the primary down as far as it would go and the secondaries really took off like never before. I left it like that for a while and the secondaries kept on giving out blue flames and the stove top crept up a bit before holding back around 500. Wondering how the air flows to the secondaries when the primary is shut down and if this is normal?
    Kevin

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  2. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    On a modern stove, the air is never actually shut down all the way. The design of the air controls prevent this.
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  3. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    500 stove top on the castine is fine, but I know what your saying, when its closed. Mine has done the same thing on occasion, except got 200 hotter. Inside the "doghouse", the air lever will shut completely, although there is still air entering the stove. I have an outside air kit, and have had to cover the intake with aluminum foil, and I have read that you can do the same with a ball of aluminum foil carefully behind your stove's air inlet. You must have some decent wood in there. I would maybe start closing the air down sooner in 1/4 increments. I guess that your stove got so hot so fast that the wood was out gassing really fast. I wouldn't worry too much with those temps. The castine is one particular stove that will really get hot and pump out some btu's. Good luck
  4. rijim

    rijim Member

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    RI
    I agree with WellSeasoned. When my stovetop temp hits about 300-350 deg f. I close it by 1/4, at 400 close another 1/4 (now at 1/2), at 450 it goes another 1/4; most times I can run it here and stove will cruise between 450 and 500. If really cold or windy I may have to close it fully if stovetop starts pushing towards 600. I keep a wad of aluminum foil on the hearth pad to stuff into the air intake at the bottom, back, center. During a very windy winter storm 2 years ago stovetop hit 700 with the damper all the way down was getting ready to block it off some but it leveled off and after about an hour and a half it started dropping. These stove will talk to you when the temperature is changing significantly by ticking and creaking; whenever you hear multiple ticks or creaks in say 10 to 20 second window always check it out.
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  5. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    Apr 26, 2012
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    Foot Hills of the Berkshires
    Has not been cold enough for us to really pack the stove. Hotest the stove has reached is 600 but I can imagine with a well packed stove, it could easily climb so have to keep and eye out on it. Will be a challeng in the AM as we all head out for work. Will need to make sure the stove is holding steady at a temp we can live with before we leave the house. With the old Fisher, you can damp it down and it would stay down as it was airtight. Takes some learning for sure. I have that ball of foil near the stove as well just in case, just have to train the rest of the family on its its.
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  6. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    This is pretty much the way my PE operates, too. I imagine most non-cats work about the same. I don't know how the stove was loaded when you had your excitement, but if it was pretty well loaded and hot and the wood was pretty dry, then there was a lot of out-gassing going on like WellSeasoned said, and the secondaries were doing what they do best. One of the common warnings given here is to not put too much dry wood on a hot bed of coals because the stove can run away. As Browning mentioned, the secondaries still get air even with the control closed down.

    Not that this qualifies, but there are threads on here about how to handle an over-fire situation. They are worth looking at. Some say open the door to let the hot air out the chimney quickly. Some like to be able to completely shut the air supply down. Fortunately, I haven't had to find out what works and what doesn't.:)
    WellSeasoned likes this.
  7. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Yes it is normal there is a secondary air inlet on your stove most likely in the back bottom of the stove. When you turn the air down the secondary's continue because they are not controlled by the main air control on your stove. If you shut the air all the way down the only air going into your stove is through the secondary air inlet.

    Pete
  8. kestrel

    kestrel Member

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    Loc:
    Southcentral PA
    I installed a key damper on the pipe over my stove. Gives me little more control when encountering crazy secondaries with the air closed down. Its a lot easier than tin foil.
  9. Kevin Dolan

    Kevin Dolan Burning Hunk

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    Sure can relate to your stove talking to you!!
    Mine creaks when it is building up in temp and you are right, it is worth checking on. This stove constantly amazes me with its performance and we are not even really into winter. Can't wait to really have to pump the heat out of it!
    Kevin
  10. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    I also got a key damper when I had the stove installed, and am really glad I did. The dealer told me I really didn't need it, but I'm glad I had read some castine reviews saying it could be hard to control air intake otherwise- I found that to be the case. I do have ~28 feet of interior chimney so it helps to limit the draft and keep things from getting out of control.

    But 500 degrees, good secondaries, primary air shut down?? Not only is it normal, that should be the goal - sounds like you've got it going just right!

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