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Removing ash daily in Jotul 450

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by bhd21478, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. bhd21478

    bhd21478 Member

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    Hey everyone. I have a jotul 450 kennebec. First off, its a great insert, puts out awesome heat. I have 2 year old seasoned oak and walnut. Its been split and stacked for at least a year. The only things IM suprised about is the amount of ash buildup i get. Once I get good coal buildup and it running smooth I cut the air back to one half. I can get the temps up to around 700-800 temps before cutting it back. Anyways I have been taking about 3 gallons of ash per 24 hr usage. I have been burning alot of walnut lately. Im wondering if that 's what the deal is. It seems when I burn white or red oak I dont have as much buildup. It burns great and starts fires easily. I do have chunks of uncombustible charcoal mixed with my powdery coal. In the morning I have been taking all the good orange coals and raking them to the side so I can scoop the powdery coals out. The way the 450's firebox is designed, its stepped off and slanted down, and once the coal is level with the door it can get messy. So is this a walnut problem, or should the wood be seasoned another year or so. In general Im happy with the unit.

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    How often are you loading the stove? Are you loading the stove full each time, or just putting a few pieces in here and there?

    Taking it up to 700-800 before closing the air down may be burning your wood up too quickly and causing you to need to releod prematurely, giving you excessive build-up.

    What kind of stove top temps will the stove peak at if you start turning the air down at say 450-500?

    pen
  3. bhd21478

    bhd21478 Member

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    I do sometimes load it full each time. Should I just place a log on here and there to prevent this.
  4. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    You could try just placing a single smallish split in there (especially a softwood like pine if you have any seasoned) then leave the air wide open for 30 mins to an hour or so. This will help burn down coals better (obviously won't do much for ash).

    Any info on what happens if you start turning the air down before 700+?
  5. RORY12553

    RORY12553 Minister of Fire

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    Why would you not want coals? I try to keep a coal bed going to make reloading easier.
  6. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Sometimes they build up so much that it limits being able to put in a full load of wood.

    This is generally more of an issue for folks who are burning wet wood as they don't get the stove top temps as high as they need to heat their space by trying to chew through the poor fuel, and as a result end up trying to reload before they really should need to and end up with excessive coaling;

    or the person is trying to heat a space larger than they should for the stove:

    or they are operating the stove incorrectly in terms of how they load, how often they load, how they control the air control, etc.


    pen
  7. bhd21478

    bhd21478 Member

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    The wood is dry I promise. I can take two pieces and clink them together. NO thud sound. I am trying to heat a big area and thats where I think you are on to something. It was single digits for the two days over the weekend. I kept loading it looking for more out of the unit.
  8. RORY12553

    RORY12553 Minister of Fire

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    It wasn't the single digits here but it was colder than normal over the weekend so i had to reload more often than normal which wasn't an issue but when I got up this morning the house was very chilly!
  9. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    That sounds like alot of ash for 24 hrs I start cutting air back on my Jotul abot 350 - 400 the coals are common when real cold most lrake them to the front and let burn down some before reload. There are plenty of discussions on the coals from last year.
  10. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    BINGO! That stove can only give you so many BTU per 24 hours before you are overfeeding it.

    When that happens, some of the options are:

    1. Live with the cooler house and stick to normal loading schedules
    2. Shovel hot coals out of the stove (which is a bit of a waste and can be dangerous if not going into a proper container)
    3. Try adding 1 small to med split and leave the air wide open to keep the stove top warmer than just coals alone, and help to burn the coals down.
    4. Let the furnace help you out a bit or add a space heater somewhere. It's a hard thing to accept it when the stove can't keep up, just remember that it is still doing the majority of the heating, and sometimes a bit of a helping hand from a supplementary source isn't such a bad thing.
    5. If this is a frequent problem, get a bigger stove or a second stove.

    pen
  11. eyefish2

    eyefish2 New Member

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    I did a quick search and found a table that showed ash contents of different woods. Oak was at 0.3%. I did not see a ash content for walnut. Ash content over the 20 species listed varied from 0.2 to 1.1%. The species with highest ash were eastern sycamore and ginko?? I do know that when I burn some type of a "junk tree" from my yard (not sure of species), I get 3 times more ash than I do from burning oak. I would bet that the walnut has a higher ash content.
  12. Loco Gringo

    Loco Gringo Feeling the Heat

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    FWIW, we see walnut as a messy trash wood here. I passed on a triaxle of splits for 300 a few weeks ago.
  13. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    How much wood are you burning to generate 3 gallons of ash? If the 3 gallons is really all ash, not ash with coals mixed in, then you must be burning a ton of wood. If you are generating 3 gallons of ash and coals then I'd try the advice of others to burn the coals down. if it is really all ash then you must be putting a lot more wood thru the stove than I'd expect.

    I burn a fair amount of walnut and I think it is the bark that generates the ash. The bark is thick and hangs on to the wood more than most bark so it gets burned more than most bark. It generates more ash than some other woods, but the difference is slight.
  14. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    I will often use pine during the day when I'm burning heavy coaling woods at night. The pine leaves no embers if you let it go, and helps get the most out of any coals from the hardwood.
  15. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Can you save the oak for the really cold weather ?

    I have mostly oak and cherry ( besides pine) and save the oak for when it's really cold.
    Even cherry will start leaving me cold coals if I'm trying to push the stove. I can push them to the side and they pretty much burn on the next load but when they really start piling up and getting big that's usually a sign that it is time to bring some oak in.
    I try not to bust those clunkers up, either. Dunno if that helps burn them back up again or not, but it seems to.

    3 gallons is a lot. It must be black, not grey.


    Never burned walnut.
  16. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    For reference, I burn 24/7 in my Olympic, which is a big stove, and get 3 gallons of ash per week burning a mix of hardwood.
  17. nyyfan

    nyyfan New Member

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    Brandon,

    I to have a Jotul 450 insert and I have to say I really like it. If I had to chose another insert tomorrow I would probably go with one that has a larger firebox as it does work overtime when it is really cold out, but no worries I just use the furnace to help out. In the beginning of the burning season I to was getting a lot of coals and ash and was emptying it out once a day or so. After doing some reading here, I started pulling all the coals forward and this would help them both burn up but also keep the temps up. It has lengthened the time from reloads and now can go a few days without having to empty the firebox out.
  18. david g.

    david g. New Member

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    We have a new Morso 2b Standard stove and are encountering problems with excessive coals building up. We burn dry hardwoods such
    as maple. We've been burning with other stove brands for 30 years without this problem. Any advice?
  19. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

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    Try burning a kindling fire. Best to start a new thread too, this ones been dead for almost two years.
  20. david g.

    david g. New Member

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    Thanks - I did start a new conversation.

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