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Secondary Air Tube Removal

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BigV, Oct 1, 2006.

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  1. BigV

    BigV Member

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    Hello all, I just found this forum and decided to join.
    I grew up in NE Ohio with wood burning stoves used as the primary heat source. When I purchased my first home, I installed a stove over 25 years ago. Then I sold the house and have been out of the wood-burning scenario for over 20 years now. 2 years ago I purchased a pellet stove to heat ½ of my 2500 sq ft home and had a fireplace in the other half. With the soaring costs of energy, I decided to install a freestanding wood stove on my existing hearth and run the pipe up through my fireplace. I have noticed on all new stoves secondary air tubes inside the top portion of the stoves. Although I understand their function, my question is “can the tubes be removed without causing any functionality problems”? The reason I am asking is because my new stove (Regency) is fairly small compared to my stoves of yesteryear and the secondary air tubes take up a lot of space and limit the amount of wood I can put in the stove.
    Thanks!

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  2. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    No don't remove them. Maybe you'll be able to fit an extra split but without them you'll have to load the stove twice as much. Basically you'll knock yourself back to the stone age of stoves and not even have the huge capacity of yesteryear.
  3. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Yeah that's a big no-no BigV.

    THose secondary tubes are the key to the ultra efficient combustion of the stove and removing them will result in an efficient smoker of a stove.

    Perhaps you need to tweak your burn habits to get the longest fires out of the stove. Long, efficient fires are possible with the tubes and the secondary system it tact, it will just take some getting used to to get it all working right together.
  4. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I had two different Regency's and you don't need to remove the tubes, they will fall out on there own. Only partially kidding.

    Leave them in. When the stove is burning right, you can see the effect it has on the burn. Looks like natural gas burning from the holes in the tubes.
  5. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    That would be like removing all that junk under the hood of a modern car. You can get a bigger stove if you want to put more wood in it.
  6. BigV

    BigV Member

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    Thanks for all the quick replies!
    I will leave them in!
    Thanks
  7. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Forgive me. I know this will probably sound like I am flaming you. Please don't take it personal.

    I am wondering why you bought that stove? If you didn't want air tubes, and bigger firebox, then why buy that Regency? I can't imagine that a manufacturer would design a modern stove that costs multiple thousands of dollars only to have the end user immediately modify the design to suit their own taste. To your credit, you asked first. I have come accross some end users who did not ask and went ahead and removed the air tubes, and the baffle.

    Again, please don't get mad at me. I am just trying to understand what the thought process is. I spend a tremendouis amount of time each week explaining how a modern wood stove works. I know it is not easy to understand. But do you really think it would be okay to modify the design of a wood stove that has been rigorously tested to comply with EPA air quality regulations by doing something as simple as removing the air tubes? I don't understand. If the air tubes were not needed, why would Regency have put them there? Seems they could have kept the price of the stove down and saved on extra metal fabrication by not including them in the box to begin with.

    Like I said, this is not the first time this question has come up. Other people have removed the air tubes. I am just wondering why someone would think it is okay? Are the dealers suggesting that they are "optional equipment"?

    If you don't want the air tubes and want more room in the firebox, buy a top loader with a rear positioned secondary combustion chamber. But then you'll have to remember to close the bypass gate. I have several customers, after I ask them when they close the damper and at what temperature, who tell me they just leave their damper open all the time. Even after we educated them about how thier new stove uses a secondary burn chamber and showed them in the manual how to make it work and maintain it, they still chose, on their own, to burn the stove at all times with the bypass damper open.

    Again, I am just trying to understand. Why does an end user assume that they can modify the design and get acceptable results? These stoves cost so much because thousands of dollars go into research and development and testing. These babies are cleaner burning than most oil furnaces and capable of more efficiency. They are modern marvels of engineering. Why is that so hard to accept? These are not your fathers wood stoves.

    Dased and confused,
    Sean
  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Good metaphore. Like getting a modern Toyota Prius and removing the hybrid system... in order to make room for a carburator and a super charger so that it will use more gas.

    The secondary burn technology is really great, and once you start burning with those tubes in place you'll understand why they are a good thing. When you see the firebox full of a huge ball of fire, even with the primary air shut down, you'll realize that the stove is burning all the fuel in the wood and be very happy with all the heat coming out of that stove. You'll also realize just how much heat a modern stove can put out on a surprisingly little amount of wood.
  9. paulgp602

    paulgp602 Member

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    I have a Regency insert (year 2005 model). Is this something common or something that happens frequently? I tried once to take my secondary tubes out for a bottom up liner cleaning from in my house, but they wouldn't budge.
  10. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    The purpose of those tubes is to burn secondary gases, which can be up to 50-60% of the heat in the wood. Removing them is going to seriously cripple your heat output and the reason todays fireboxes are much smaller than yesteryears. With the secondary burn (that's the tubes on top you're referring to) you can get around the same amount of heat with around half the wood. A modern stove with secondary burn with the same firebox size as yesteryear would throw out so much heat you'd have to sit in your garage to feel comfortable.

    You're not the only one BigV that wondered about them, at least you asked. A co-worker of mine felt the same thing and they removed the tubes so they can fit more wood, having the baffle frame get in the way they torched it out. Once I explained to them those things give off serious heat, was it worth it for the extra couple logs, they said "Oops". Here's a guide talking about the stages of wood burning, and how they work. Along with saying they allow you to get up to 50-60% more heat in the wood. I'm not exactly sold it's that high, maybe it depends on the wood but it is significant. Once my secondary burn starts up, my fire & heat goes turbo.
  11. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Less wood, more heat, longer burn times. I am looking into adding a secondary combustion chamber in my wood furnace to aid in combustion. Its there for a reason. Eventually I will get me a new USStove EPA Wood furnace. Then I'll be set.
  12. BigV

    BigV Member

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    Hopefully this section of my original post answers most of your questions.
    I apologize if these same questions have been asked and answered in the past, but with most forums and the number of new users I am certain this is not uncommon. I did attempt to find the answer(s) using the search function before posting, however after reading numerous posts I could not find the answer(s) I was looking for. Perhaps a sticky at the top of the page with frequently asked questions and answers would be useful and minimize answering the same questions over and over.
    Keep in mind that I did not “assume” that the design could be modified, that’s why I asked the question.
    As stated earlier I have been out of the wood burning stove scenario for over 20 years. With the older stoves, you packed the firebox with wood (naturally the bigger the firebox the longer the burn time), dampened the airflow as low as possible and hoped the stove was still hot in the morning. I realize that times have changed and new stoves are much more efficient than the stoves of yesteryear. This is a learning curve for some old-time wood burners and the only way to get answers is to ask questions.
    Thank you to all that have helped to answer my question(s)
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Please don't be offended by the responses to your posts. A lot of people here only know the new stoves. You posted a perfectly legitimate question and hopefully in the responses you got the answer you need.

    The air tubes will provide you with results that are, while not as phenominal as everybody says, really good. You will like the results you get from your new stove a lot over how the old ones operated.

    And don't hesitate to come back with questions as you start using it. You will have some, I assure you.

    We all do.
  14. BigV

    BigV Member

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    Thanks BrotherBart, since the weather here in NE Ohio is still fairly warm (except for an occasional cold night) I have not had the chance for any long duration burn time in my new stove. The answers provided (at least most of them) have been very educational and helpful.
    Thanks to all that contributed.
  15. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    BigV, get that baby fired up, get to know it and how it like to burn nd you will be impressed. Once you learn your stove and about how much air it likes, you will get overnight burns.

    Modern stoves give you more heat on less fuel. You wil like the fact that it uses less wood. The trick is to learn how to burn. The way to learn is "time behind the wheel". This willl be my first full burning season, and in just the past couple of weeks I learned so much. Watching a secondary burn is a thing of beauty.

    Good luck luck with it and enjoy it. KD
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    And keep me updated on that Kodiak. That dude is on the top of my list for the replacement. Even if the local dealer is up to his kiester in Buck stoves and does not want to admit he is a Kodiak dealer.
  17. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    In a nutshell: Overnight burns are no problem, heat output roasts me out of my family room, plenty of heat finds it way upstairs to the sleeping rooms, glass gets a little build up of creosote on the lower corners (I clean it once a week), inside of firebox and chimney liner only get a dusting of rust colored powder, blower gets a little bit of a vibration at high speed, but I think I just need to tighten a screw or look up in there to see what is vibrating (the blower is rubber mounted). I never really run it that high.

    The coldest it has been is lower 40's a few nights, so only time will tell. My home is 2200 sq. ft. colonial style, 7 years old. So far, I am very happy. Send me a PM if there is anything specific you want me to address. I don't want to hijack this thread. KD
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