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Rangeley fan question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Heather, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Heather

    Heather New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Loc:
    Washington State
    Thanks, Pete, for the video. Looks very toasty! I haven't tried an overnight burn yet. I am burning 3 year old wood, stored under cover. I notice the blackness building up in the corners even while the stove is burning at 350 degrees. It gets progressively worse as time goes on, and in the morning the entire cooled glass has a thick coating on it. In my climate we don't need to keep the stove going 24/7, oftentimes we don't build a fire until we get home in the evening. (We also have a furnace) I suppose the next thing to try is a very hot fire to see if burns off the deposit. I am also going to talk to the stove dealer.

    Another thing I have found with this stove is that it generates a lot of heat out of the bottom. The heat shield doesn't seem to help. The old stove had firebrick on the bottom, so it wasn't an issue. Our hearth was thick enough for that stove, but I'm wondering whether we need to add another plate under the stove, resting on the hearth and held up an inch or so for air circulation. It gets really hot!

    Downdraft doesn't seem to be a problem so far. We had a windy night recently and I didn't notice any puffing.

    Right now I'm feeling a little disillusioned. I don't want to spend precious time scrubbing the window just so I can see the fire.

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  2. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Heather try a small hot fire out to see how it does. We don't even load most of the way till it gets very cold out. Small hot fires put out a lot of heat and die out much faster so you don't use as much wood when not needed. That is a big advantage to an EPA stove.

    Pete
  3. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,211
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Random thoughts . . .

    I don't own a Rangeley so take these suggestions with a grain of salt . . . well some of them anyways that pertain specifically to your stove.

    Moving the heat: Try the fan "trick." It works . . . it's not immediately noticeable and may not move the heat into every room of the house depending on the lay-out . . . but it does work. Pointing a fan on the floor with the air being blown towards the hot stove pushes the cool air towards the stove where it is heated . . . hot air rises and moves out at the ceiling level (the whole hot air rises deal) and moves into the areas where the cool air has fallen and been displaced. On my Oslo I tried out the floor fan before getting a blower and I figure I really don't need to add the blower . . . but if the fan trick doesn't work you should be able to add the blower to the stove at a later date.

    Cleaning the glass: If you're getting black gunk on the glass (actually neoceram, but everyone calls it glass) you probably need to use more than just damp newspaper like I do . . . many folks have had good luck with the damp newspaper and dipping it into some of the fine ash and scrubbing the black off that way. As noted, burning hot will also burn it off . . . maybe Pete or someone else will chime in, but the temp you mentioned is actually a little on the low side for my Oslo . . . maybe it's different with the Rangeley since the two stoves are built with different materials. I tend to run my stove around 450-600 degrees F . . . and at those temps any gunk burns off quickly.

    How does the gunk get there?: I tend to get some gunk on the glass when one of two things happens . . . a split rolls up against the glass while burning, interferring with the air wash . . . or sometimes when I am starting the fire with the side door ajar and the cool smoke curls up against the glass in one or more areas. You may also get some of this gunk if the wood is not as well seasoned . . . it sounds like this is not the case with you . . . assuming that the three year old wood is only top covered or in a woodshed and not in a damp basement or covered completely by a tarp as these methods may not allow the wood to dry as well. Oh yeah, almost forgot . . . you can also gunk things up if you close down the air too soon before the stove is hot enough . . . resulting in a smoldering type of fire.

    Heat at the bottom: Here's where having an infrared thermometer would be nice since sometimes things are hot . . . and sometimes things are HOT. "Hot" is subjective . . . a hot hearth may seem hot, but may be well within the safe temps . . . or there could be something wrong and it is dangerously hot. It's not an end-all, tell-all test . . . but with nearby walls folks in the past have suggested that if you can put your hand on the wall for a few seconds without it being painfully hot it's OK . . . me . . . I like using my infrared thermo. Oh . . . another thought popped into my head . . . if the Rangeley has an ash pan . . . once that gets some ash in it that may also help work as an insulator to reduce the temps at the base of the stove.
  4. Mulebelle

    Mulebelle New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Northern California
    Hello

    I'm new to posting on this forum, however have been reading and learning from everyone who so generously have been giving such good information on their various experiences. Thank you!

    I used to heat exclusively with wood in my 1500 sq. ft. ranch style one-story home in northern CA with a 1970 version Warm Morning stove. It was a wonderful stove that could cook me out at times with a yummy fan that actually blew from the bottom of the stove to keep our toes nice and toasty! I miss that stove! It finally burned out after 23 years and I made the choice to go to a free-standing gas "wood-looking" Waterford stove in its place so I could have "push button" heat. It doesn't heat my home as well as wood and I've always wanted to go back to wood someday, but not exclusively. (Which means I now need to buy two heaters for my home...wood and a propane type heater.) _g

    Well, someday is here and I never thought buying a wood stove would be so difficult a choice! ;ex I have been trying to choose since the beginning of September and it's now almost December and, although I know so much more about wood stoves (probably even more than I want to), I still cannot come to a concrete decision and it's getting colder! :confused:

    Here's my situation.
    • Northern CA mild temperature (relative) getting to +20::F sometimes and very wet during the winter months (read...feels cold!).
    • Three bedrooms at one end of the house, hallway and living room, kitchen, dining area at the other. 1970's insulation, older double pane windows that are metal, and I would not consider them air tight because when windy, the temp inside the house drops rapidly. Live on a hill in a canyon so winds are fierce and come from every direction.
    • There are 12' cathedral ceilings in the living room (where the stove will be) as well as a back bedroom (at the other end of the rectangular house). There are ceiling fans in all bedrooms and in the living room.
    • I have a corner install that really requires a right-hand door opening. Most of the stoves have left-hand door openings. I am concerned about heat, flame, smoke escaping when loading from a top load but have no experience with top loads. (Although loading without bending so much does appeal to me!) Any info from experienced users would be helpful. I am leaning toward having a front-load option because I am thinking it would be easier to load larger splits and position them well to get a good overnight burn. I really like a large right hand side door load (maybe because that's all I have ever had, but it's easy to sit on the hearth and fill the stove that way in my set-up). I think the Keystone's door is way too small.
    • My hearth is made from 4" x 2 1/2" brick with a 1" airspace between it and the sheet rock wall and the floor of the hearth sits directly on the plywood sub-floor that has been reinforced with extra floor joists. I'm a little concerned, after reading some of these posts, that my hearth may not be good enough for the clearances that are needed with the new EPA stoves.
    • I have single wall stovepipe (with double wall going through roof area), but this will all have to be changed as it is set-up for the gas fireplace so I have options there.
    • I have 2 cords of Oak from a tree that fell & we cut & split in fall of 2011 and it was stacked early spring 2012 to dry in the sun and wind. I also have 2 more cords of "dry" Oak that I purchased from a very reliable local firewood dealer here that I have done business with for several years. Everything is cut to 16" length, but there are some longer pieces.
    So here's what's important to me (at this point):
    1. Long enough burn time that I can just stoke the fireplace with logs after about 10 hours or so. This way in the A.M. I don't have to restart the fire. I don't mind adding a log now and then during the day but would prefer I could be gone most of the day without having to re-start the fire.
    2. I would like to be able to cook on the stove. (A little concerned with the winter grill on the Rangeley getting food splatter inside the stove area.)
    3. Easy wood loading as I am getting older, not younger. Preferably a right handed door (large) and also a front load for wood maneuverability.
    4. Even heat would be nicer than very hot for a few hours then quite a bit cooler until reload time. I understand that the soapstone stoves and/or catalytic stoves would be better here.
    5. I like the ash pan from the Progress Hybrid...it looks as long as the stove is wide and that's what I had with the Warm Morning that was awesome!
    6. I really don't want to have to clean the glass all the time to have the stove not look dirty.
    7. Looks: I don't really like the gothic look of the Fireview. The Progress Hybrid is nice, so are the Jotuls but the Rangeley is...well...acceptable I guess. The Qudrafire Yosemite is nice looking, right hand doors but I'm concerned it isn't large enough a firebox for good overnight burns or a big enough stove for my home, and I'm not sure I could cook on it.
    8. Great reliability and customer support. (I think that Woodstock has this nailed from what I read.)
    So far, these are the stoves that I am considering (in order of what's on top at this moment):
    1. Jotul F50 Rangeley
    2. Jotul F600 Firelight (If this had a single door [with a right-handed handle] it probably would be on top of the list.)
    3. Quadrafire Yosemite
    4. Quadrafire Cumberland Gap
    5. Progress Hybrid (No front load option and takes a longer time to get a build and delivery & then have to find someone to install)
    6. Hearthstone Manchester (I think the ramp-style side door with be cumbersome and potentially a surface to burn myself on)
    7. Lennox Grandview (concerned with fact the line has recently been sold by Lennox from what I read.
    If anyone could chime in and give me some insight on my confusion, I would certainly appreciate it. I have even started an Excel spreadsheet to try and make heads or tails from all this information, confusion, and road-blocks. ;lol

    Mulebelle
  5. Mulebelle

    Mulebelle New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Northern California
    Ok, finally figured out how to post a picture of my hearth.

    My hearth.jpg

    Mulebelle
  6. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Welcome Mulebelle it might be a good idea to start a new thread for this. Not trying to be a jerk it will get a lot more traffic on its own. You have a gorgeous hearth too it looks fantastic ;ex

    Pete
  7. Mulebelle

    Mulebelle New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Northern California
    Thanks Pete. That's a good idea. Tomorrow I'll figure out how to do that and see what becomes of it.

    Thank you for the compliment on the hearth. I just hope it will be large enough for the new EPA stoves.

    Mulebelle

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