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Retrofit a Thermostat to an Insert Blower?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by velvetfoot, Mar 7, 2006.

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  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I will be getting a Quadrafire 2700i installed next week.
    It has a blower, but it is not automatic.
    Have people retrofitted a thermostat control?
    What temp would you sense? The stove temp?
    My idea is that it would turn itself off automatically at night.
    Hey... I guess I could use a timer... :)

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    If someone were smarter than i am they could figure out the temp of the metal where the fan goes and install a low limit snap switch in there. That would do it.
    Ryan
  3. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    I have been reading allot of manufacturer's installation manuals lately, and while I don't remember the exact manufacturer (I think pacific energy or enviro kodiak-wood burning inserts manuals) I have seen schematics for exactly what you are describing. The low limit snap switch is a great idea, just mount it near or against the fire box, but away from any air flow from the fan. Should be an easy task.
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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  5. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    The way I set mine up was to get a thermal switch -

    http://www.meci.com/index.php/cPath/132_516

    Here is a whole page of them for $.50 a piece, then just wire the switch into the hot leg of the fan. Things to watch out for - make sure you get a "close on rise' or "make on rise" switch. The temperature is a little dependent on where you mount it. If you get one on the cooler end of the range (160F) you may want to mount it off to the side of the stove or even a coule inches down on the side. If you get one of the hotter ones, mount it closer to the center. The cooler you keep the temp switch location, the better...if you are trying to sense the 500F temp at the top/center of the firebox, you'll probably melt a lot of wires.

    I believe I got a 180F model and mounted it about 2" down on the side of the stove in the air plenum. Works pretty good, but it wouldn't bother me if it turned on just a bit sooner.

    Corey
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What ever method you choose, please be sure to keep the wires away from the surface of the stove. 160 degrees is quite hot and should be used with high temp wiring only. The nothern express switch is set to switch at 110 degrees, so it can be placed in a much cooler part of the stove. FWIW, the switch on our Quad (pellet) comes on about 125 degrees.
  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    On a unit like the Quad 2700i, where would a good spot be to place the magnetic mount?
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I suspect that may take some experimenting. It will be somewhere on the face of the stove that warms up to over 110 deg. after the stove is fully warmed up, but doesn't get burning hot. If I had to guess, it would be on the lower half. Does the dealer have one of these burning?
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I just ordered one. I guess I'll see how it works once it gets cold. :)
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I used a Stove Stat for a number of years. It was good to have the blower go off when the stove started cooling down toward morning. The heat took its toll on the thing though. It is just a snap switch in a plastic housing with a magnet on it. Cord plugs into the wall and the blower plugs into the back of that plug.
  11. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Plastic? That doesn't sound good. It's appealing to me to have the fan turn itself off when it gets cool.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    It must be tough stuff. The housing lived through a lot of years of high heat on the side of that firebox without visible deterioration. Actually I hate that it accidentally got thrown away after it quit. I could have replaced the snap switch in it and took off running again.
  13. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    teflon is rated to 500F, and Polimid is even better (but more expensive)
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I've used the stove the past couple of nights.
    The switch works.
    It's convenient not to have to turn it on and off manually.
  15. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    If you want to variate the fan speed, my unit came with an optional I think $35 variable fan speed switch. All it was, was a simple rheostat, the one they packaged with mine is [url="http://www.northlineexpress.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=5SA-4008&source=nextag&kw=5SA-4008]this one[/url]. I'd been better off picking it up myself for half the price.

    If you want to variate your fan speed, that device is what does it. I hate the ugly beige, that has to be the one that came with my blower. Plug your 3 prong fan into the bottom of that thing, plug it into the wall, you can now twist the knob around to variate the speed. I haven't seen an insert blower much over 1 amp, it can handle up to 3 amps if you're still interested in being able to variate the speed.
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I already have a variable speed fan.
    I like the convenience that the fan gets turned on when the stove gets hot and turned off when it gets cold.
    It not a bunch of cycles, just for example at the beginning and end of the evening when I burn the stove.
    If there is a load of wood in the stove in the evening, the fan can keep running until it gets switched off when it cools off.
  17. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I got lucky the other day. Went into the stove shop where I bought the old stove and they had a Stove Stat sitting on the shelf where the old stuff sits. Still had a $35 price tag on it. I bought it.

    I had to have little fun though. I picked it up and took it up front to the son of the guy I bought the other one from twenty years ago. I told him we had a warranty problem. He asked what was wrong. I told him that the Stove Stat crapped out just 18 years after I bought it from his daddy.

    Best comeback in the world. He looked at me, grinned and said "Any thing bought from dead family members has no warranty."

    Yeah, I will buy the next stove there too.
  19. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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    Kinda like my house. Actually had to buy out a will! Good comeback. yeah you got lucky, at least the store is still there, and not replaced with a home cheapo!!!!!
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