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should I add a damper

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wingsfan, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    I'm burning the Englander 30 out of the basement and Have 4ft of stove pipe on the inside and 26ft of 6in. Stainless steal chimney on the outside. Today the weather was 40 degrees out. I loaded the stove with some ash and a couple of pieces of unidentified wood and once it got goin, I shut the air right off. The stove was runnin about 625-675 stove top,which is where I like it to run. But I was thinking that if It got too hot, there was no other way to shut it down since the air was already down al the way. So I am thinking I am gonna put a damper in the stove pipe, so if things get to hot. I will be able to shut it down completely, if needed. Any thought, one way or the other.

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  2. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    It is a simple peice of mind for a tall chimney. We have one that gets used once maybe twice a year let me tell ya there are times when its nice like in high winds or storms. There are even days where its just plain cold which can create a stronger than normal draft too. If you put one in make sure its a damper section not a drill to fit damper.


    Pete

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  3. pen

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

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    Do you leave the air completely shut for the entire burn?

    Are you having lots of coals left over when it's time to reload?

    How often are you loading?

    How clean is the glass after a burn like this?

    pen
  4. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    I'm going to add one too. I also had a fire recently keep climbing with the air completely shut. All I could do was sit there with a pail of sand and a fire extinguisher and hope it didn't go too high. Seems like a simple fix for a potentially dangerous problem.
  5. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Did you check your gaskets and door adjustment ? Cover the secondary hole if it is run away fire as well it will drastically stall the tubes and cool it down fast.

    Pete
  6. El Finko

    El Finko Member

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    wingo- I have the same stove with just about the same install- basement with same pipe/flue length. I have decided to install a damper as well. Otherwise that 30 pulls like a freight train.
    I've had success slowing things down using magnets to cover the doghouse inlets and the tube inlets, but I figure it'll be much easier to install one damper, turn it down when necessary, and let the stove run as designed for the most part.
    I can achieve the same net result with the magnets (restricting the air on the inlet side as opposed to the outlet side with a damper), but it requires more fiddling.
    I purchased a Chinese drill-to-fit damper but am going to chuck that and get the section damper that fits my double-wall stove pipe.
  7. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

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    Also may want to check the ash pan door. If it is ajar a bit while looking like it is closed it could allow additional air in, especially if the center plug is not fully seated. A pipe damper is always a good idea for safety and if you find it overfires, try using less wood to attain your desired results.
  8. relicdigger

    relicdigger New Member

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    I have a 28ft. interior chimney and also have a strong draft. I actually fabricated small metal inserts for the always open air intakes but the magnets are a much better idea, quick and adjustable. I just ordered a set of high temperature magnets this morning to do the task. Thanks for the great information on this forum.
    Mike
  9. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    We open the air back up after the fire starts burning down to help burn the coals down.

    We don't have a lot of coals left, like after an overnight burn.

    We could reload every 4-5 hours,, but unless its bed time or the wife is not around, we don't usually fill it like it all all the way.

    The glass for the most part stays clean, we clean it once a week just to see the fire better, but it is never to the point we can't see in.
  10. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    What is the problem with the drill in dampers? For $3 it seams like a lot cheaper route than the damper section. Then if I ever take it out ,one piece of stove pipe is cheaper than having to buy three pieces to install a section. just wondering.
  11. pen

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

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    Sounds like a damper wouldn't hurt a bit to play around with.

    You meet all the conditions in my opinion.

    If you are using single wall stove pipe, then a drill in damper is the way to go.

    pen
  12. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Proper stove operation is not possible on my chimney without a damper that I leave full closed all the time. These EPA stoves were not designed for the draft of a tall chimney. Even with the ability to fully shut down my primary I still have to keep damper full shut. I'm all for dampers when they are needed. Just get the drill in kind. The damper adapters I've noticed have a large hole in the middle so they will only partially dampen.
  13. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    Pen, I wanted to solicit you for this issue since you responded to this thread back in Feb.
    My burn times are ok, but I was looking to get better. I have been doing some H.com research on dampers and
    came to this thread. My pipe length is about 26' total. I have never had a draft problem in my years at my current home.
    The seals on my doors are almost 2 years old but not in bad shape, they could probably be replaced just for
    the reasons of this post is concerned. I have a prevailing wind that will come and go and with that the stove will
    jump start itself and go back and forth. On very windy times I have shut the air completely down to keep it under
    control.
    Will an inline damper help control the inconsistencies due to the draft? Is there any other suggestions to keep the air
    more controlled in the firebox? The stove is an Oslo, 2007. Do the secondary burn tubes draw air from the air intake to
    assist with secondary combustion? I'm not sure that even has anything to do with this??

    Thanks
  14. El Finko

    El Finko Member

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    Since the thread has been revived, I'll add a question for Pen and others regarding that drill-in damper.
    My stove guy told me that I had to use a damper section because my pipe is double wall. Is there any way at all to get by with a drill-in damper, or must I break down and get the damper section?
  15. pen

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

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    The secondary air has it's own unregulated source of air on most stoves. So in a case of extreme wind that causes excessive draft, even with the stove's air control turned all the way down if the draft picks up the air will come into the secondaries like crazy and make things take off.

    When this happens, is it extreme enough for the stove's temps to go up higher than they should? If this happens regularly, and the stove is getting too hot, then I'd personally go ahead and put the pipe damper in. I have this same situation and only use the damper a few times a year for that purpose. 99% of the time, it sits wide open.

    The downfall to putting a damper in if you don't really need it is that it can be a pain to clean around and does change draft a small bit even when not in use.

    The main thing is don't use it unless you need it. Putting it in to try and keep more heat in the stove just isn't going to work on the modern stoves like it did with the old ones where they often had a straight shot from fire up the pipe and out.

    If the instructions for the double wall pipe you have do not allow for a drill in damper, then it's not legit to try. Also, many drill in dampers might not have a shaft long enough to go all the way through a double wall pipe.

    For as much money as that pipe costs, I'd keep it true and swallow the fact that it is best to use the damper section that is made for it.

    pen
  16. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    So, that being said, and it seems as if you are leaning towards not doing it unless I really have to. What other suggestions can you throw my way to slow down the combustion process without putting in a damper?
    I suppose I could replace the door seals again.
    Aftermarket baffles maybe?
    I'd like to get a couple more hours out of a load. I'm getting 5-6 right now.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2013
  17. pen

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

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    Is that if after 5-6 hours you lose flames? Or if you don't load every five or 6 hours, then you won't have coals to load on? Stove ever get too hot and you are unable to control it / keep it from climbing?

    In the end, if your stove pipe is not the really expensive stuff, then it doesn't hurt to try. If you find you don't like the damper then to completely remove on single wall pipe just insert plugs in the holes or else get a new section of pipe.

    Just remember, if you install it, and use it when you don't have excessive draft, it will slow the burn, but will also slow down your stove's ability to burn the smoke completely (pulling enough air move through the stove) and you might wind up noticing some smoke towards the later part of a burn.

    pen
  18. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    Today will be a test, a cold front moved in over night and the temps are dropping during the day and into the night tonight. Along with the cold front there was a wind, which as I eat my breakfast and look at the stove I can see the flames dancing all over the place. It's funny, because the stove will react to a breeze before I can hear it. It's quiet here and all I can hear is the cast clanging and the air feeding the stove, which you can also hear the fluctuations when a breeze goes by.

    I think I'll start by changing out the door seals and then go from there. My wood is good, it's not that. Plan B, if I don't get any significant results with plan A, will be the damper.
    pen likes this.

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