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Someone please help - cant get stove hot enough

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by kflorence, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    I just purchased a Napoleon wood stove insert 1101. The company who installed did not install a stain steel flu liner all the way up to the top of chimny. They said I did not need it and only installed maybe 5-6 feet of liner and then I have the clay liner in the chimney. We have had the stove for 2 weeks. Very new to us. Cannot get the stove above 300 degrees no matter what we do. I think the wood may not be seasoned enough but we get a nice clear door, very little smoke. I purchased a thermometer and put on side of unit to check for temperature, where do you exactly put the thermometer or does that not matter. I even bought a pack of wood they sell at home depot saying seasoned wood to see if it is our wood. Still could not get the temp above 300 degrees. When we load at night and close the draft to low it will smolder out in a few hours. What are we doing wrong? Is it the draft, is it the lack of full liner? I am concerned we are creating too much creosote. Please any info would be great. Thank you.

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  2. fishinpa

    fishinpa Member

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    All things you've mentioned taken into consideration, it sounds as though it may be your chimney setup.

    Sit tight, someone will be along soon to give you a much better education/information than I can.
  3. trailblaze

    trailblaze New Member

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    whats the total chimney height?

    with home depot wood, air control wide open, you should have OVERHEATED that thing!

    sounds like your chimney may be the culprit... and if your doubting the wood, that will not help get things hot...

    tell us more about the chimney
  4. Burd

    Burd Feeling the Heat

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    I have the napolean 1402 insert and I have my thermomitor on the top plate not on the side But with the 1100 insert you dont have much of a top plate
    To me its kind of odd that they didnt run that liner all the way up. Did they say that the chimeny was clear and clean Did they even look down or up it before they installed it. I have a clay liner but I still ran my 25 foot liner up.
    I have no problems getting the unit up to temp.It could be your wood. Or a bad draft.Goood luck
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We'll need the approximate chimney height from the hearth to the top of the chimney. And we need to know the tile size inside of the chimney. If the stove is dumping into a large flue that may be the issue, especially if this is an exterior wall chimney.
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Is it correct to assume that what was there before was a traditional open masonry fireplace and that this is your first experience with a woodburning insert? As BeGreen said, we really need to know what the height and interior dimensions are of the existing masonry chimney structure & flue, and whether it's on an outside wall of the home or interior to the home. Rick
  7. carl1979

    carl1979 New Member

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    you need to try your thermometer on top of the stove , and make sure your top baffles are not knocked out of place
    the info below is from the napoleon manual


    When loading the stove, ensure that the two upper fibre
    baffles are not lifted up and off their ledge.
    For maximum effi ciency, when the stove is thoroughly hot, load
    it fully to the top of the door opening and burn at a medium
    low setting. Maximum heat for minium fuel (optimum burn)
    occurs when the stove top temperature beneath the trivet is
    between 500°F (260°C) and 600°F (315°C). The bricks will be
    nearly
  8. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    It is a center chimney roughly 22-24 ft. Clay lined. I originally was getting a full liner but when the mason who came to inspect prior to install stated that because of the angle of the flu we would need a converter instead. He stated that the set up was fine, not dangerous, dont need a full liner. I am starting to think that it is not fine. I agee with you that we should have overheated the stove. We have done everything to get it hot to no avail. I am very concerned about the creosote build up now. I wont let my husband start it up anymore until we can figure this out. I dont know the size of the clay though. Is this definatley the problem oin your opinion? Can i ask the installer to come back and fire it up to confirm that he will not be able to get it above 300 as well? This is our first stove, and starting to regret purchasing it.
  9. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    Yes, this was a traditional center chimney fireplace. We thought a wood stove insert would be perfect seeing that is a center fireplace and a fully open concept floorplan. Yes, 1st experience with a wood stove. The height of the chimney is apprx 22-24 feet. I am sorry to say that I dont know what you mean by interior demensions, do you mean inside the fireplace? Very sorry for not being more informed. Am I able to measure with the insert in place??? I am starting to believe based on the responses that our wood stove set up is the culprit. More advice please.
  10. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    The approx height is 22-24 feet. It is a center chimney. I am not sure about the size of the tiles, is that crucial to determine the problem? I have a feeling that it is dumping into a large flue and that is why I cannot get the temp up above 300. Last night it was a 300, I put 2 small logs in and it dropped to 250 within 5 minutes UGH! Starting to regret getting on the wood stove bankwagon! Please, more advice.
  11. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    ok, will try that with the thermometer. Stupid question, please forgive me but where are the top baffles located? I have read the manual over and over and have done exactly what it says but still no higher than 300 degrees. I am assuming the baffles are on the inside and will look. The stove is brand new, not sure how the baffles would have been knocked out of place. Thank you for all your help. Greatly appreciated.
  12. Burd

    Burd Feeling the Heat

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    Im no expert. I dont think that your going to build up creasote that fast.How wide is the clay liner Allso carl1979 has a point make sure your baffles are resting on the brick and the baffles are pushed all the way to the back and the gap is in the front. When you load the stove make sure you don't lift them in the air or the heat will go straight up. Try loading it n/s you'll get a hotter faster burn that way
    Are you getting alot of smoke out of the chimmeny? Now you will get it at start up but after it gets going it should burn clean.Is your fan kicking on?
  13. Burd

    Burd Feeling the Heat

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    There on top of the brick on the inside of the stove.There very light in weight there is two of them one on each side of the center tube.
  14. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    When we're asking about the flue interior dimensions, what we need to know is the size of the (presumably) clay liner that goes up the inside of your chimney. The cross-section. It might be 9" x 9", or it might be 8" x 13", they come in all imagineable sizes. The flue collar on your insert where the gases from combustion exit the stove is 6" in diameter. The short portion of liner they installed is the same. If the chimney flue above that short portion of liner has a cross-sectional area significantly larger than the 6" diameter liner, then the flow of gases is going to slow way down at that point. That makes for a poorly drawing system. There are very specific guidlines concerning how much of an area increase is acceptable for proper performance of the system. Probably the only way you're going to be able to determine the dimensions of the flue is to have someone go up on the roof and measure the inside of the clay liner from the top of the chimney. Don't lose heart...you have a good woodburning insert there, and it can be made right. Rick
  15. carl1979

    carl1979 New Member

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    Yes the baffles are inside, you need to open the door and and just look at the top of the firebox the two baffles are pretty flimsy very light and can get knocked around easy if they are out of place you'll lose a lot of heat
  16. Chettt

    Chettt Feeling the Heat

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    Just to clear things up in my mind, did you load the stove full of Home Depot kiln dried wood and it burned but didn't put out much heat? I'm not familiar with your insert but I would think if you had really bad draft it would be hard to start and then smoke up your house. Also you mentioned putting in two small logs or splits. Here's what I would try - load the bottom up with the driest splits you have, on top of those put dry scrap wood(1X2's , 2X4's), light it and don't turn the primary air down one bit until the thermometer hits 400 degrees. I'm thinking it is green wood, not enough wood or shutting it down early.

    Let us know how you fix this.
  17. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    Thank you for your response. I dont know how wide the clay liner is, i guess my husband will have to get up on the roof and take a peek. I checked the baffles and they were pushed forward. I pushed them all the way back and the openings are in the front. Will this do the trick or is that just part of the problem. We must have pushed them forward when loading. They were not all the way forward, but forward some. My firebox is not very deep, very hard to load n/s (front to back). I have not looked out to see smoke at the chimney, I guess will have to try that as well. Yes, the fan is kicking on. Everything that we are suppose to do we are doing but still nothing above 300 degrees. The thermometer says anthing under 275 is burning creosote so not sure what to do.
  18. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    kflorence, don't be terribly discouraged. There are many here who are very capable of helping. Take a deep breath, and relax.

    From what I can tell at this point, you have either a poor draft, which could be a result of having a 6 inch liner go into a much larger chimney.....this is a possibility. Ask your installer what size the original chimney "flue tiles" are. They could be 8x8 inch, or maybe 8x10, there are many sizes that have been used over the years.

    In any event, it is absolutely the best setup to have a 6 inch liner go from your woodstove insert all the way to the top of your chimney.

    Secondly, you may be having a firewood problem. These new stoves are different in how they operate. I don't know if you have or can afford a moisture meter, but having DRY WELL SEASONED WOOD is imperative to using these new EPA rated stoves. They operate best with dry, well seasoned, wood.

    If you get your hands on a moisture meter, split a piece or two, or three, of the wood you are burning and see what reading you get. If its 18 to 25% moisture it should be fine, if its showing 25% or above its probably part of the problem.

    So, my gut tells me you have 2 things to look at, DRAFT, and DRY WOOD.

    Good luck and keep asking questions. I am convinced that a working insert in your situation would simply tickle you to smithereens!
  19. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    It would also be interesting to know whether or not a block-off plate was installed above the insert at the original damper throat of the chimney. This seals off the opening there around the 6" flue pipe to prevent the unecessary loss of heat up the chimney flue around the liner. Rick
  20. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    While you check moisture in wood I would also get a second opinion on length of liner that you had installed. As others have stated a fully lined chimney is best, and in my opinion, the safest. A neighbor of ours had a chimney fire due to a partial liner instillation that they didn't even know about. They assumed that it went all the way to the top of the chimney. They did get their chimney swept but the the creosote on the chimney was the problem and couldn't be reached by a brush. They now have a full liner. 8-/

    Sometimes installers just don't want to do a complete job because it involves more work than they want to do. :mad:

    P.S. Not on topic but my first insert was the 1101 and I found it to be a very user friendly unit.

    Don't know if the dealer told you but the blower on it is located in the back of the firebox and does need to be cleaned or else it will break down. In order to clean it you have to pull your insert out of your fireplace to reach it's housing.

    We were burning daily and ours began to malfunction after 1 winter. Dealer we bought from kept telling us that blowers don't break down and not to worry ---probably within normal operation.....Being inexperienced I hung in there until it completely stopped...I found a knowledgeable repairman and learned a lot!!!

    Shortly after having it fixed I found this forum and wish I had known about it earlier - much earlier!
  21. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    Yes, I found them. I pushed them all the way back. Is this why no proper heat or just one of the problems. My husband will take a look at the flue size in the daytime tomorrow.
  22. Burd

    Burd Feeling the Heat

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    HA I think you got it. The napolean get there air supply from the front and sweep air on to your glass and starts to burn your load of wood from the front to back. So if your fire isn't getting any oxygen its not getting hot. It takes a will to learn your stove and you are on the right sight to learn every thing you need to. NOW read up on burning season wood and learn as much as you can. Hang around and you'll learn allot from these great guy and girls on here?
    Your next Post will be. Am I burning to hot?
    NOW FIRE IT UP AND ENJOY :)
    MY2cents
    Did the installer charge you for a full liner? If so how much?.I just hope he didn't RIP you off. A good contractor is hard to find these days. Ive have read on here of other people with the same set up as you. Just make sure you have your chimney cleaned and checked Once or twice a year
  23. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    My husband will have to take a look in the daylight tomorrow to measure. I have a chimney cap in place so hopefully he will not make matters worse trying to remove to properly measure the flue size. If the size of the flue is significantly higher the the 6" liner, what should I do? Have the installer come back and install a full liner? I am afraid that he will say not necessary or charge me an outrageous price to remove the stove and install a full liner (labor, blah blah blah ) My fireplace is a floor to ceiling full brick masonry fireplace, I have a feeling the flue is large because the hearth is very large. What I am most confused about is that we start a small fire, leave the draft open all the way, add small wood at a time, the glass door stays clear, very little smoke. All seems to being going perfect with the exception of no heat above 300 degrees. Seems cheaper to turn on furnace at this point. I do appreciate your comments on our stove. I was wondering if the napoleon was a mistake. I will post the flue size tomorrow. UGH!
  24. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    Yes, that is right. I started with kindling, got a bed of good coals, put in 2-3 small "seasoned" wood, started right up but never went past 300 degrees. continued to add more seasoned wood that I purchased from home depot, 300 degrees. Clear glass, little smoke. It seems from all the great and appreciated replys that the set up may be the problem.
  25. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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