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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 appreciate your input but i am really confident that is not the issue. i have been a slave to the stove for the last 4 hours and the temp is 275 right now. i have gone through an entire bundle and i am working on the 2nd bundle now. ( i bought 4 bundles). once the fire is going and i add 2 - 3 splits the fire starts to die down. i keep the draft door open all the way, the door open 1-2 inches and the temp is still at 250-275. I should not have to go through 2 full bundles to get it to 300 should I? If i put in 3 splits it seems to want to die down with all the air supply i can give it. once the door is closed, forget it. barely a flame. Again, it has be 4 hours. I would think that the stove would and should be hot enough to keep the fire going at this point.

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  2. brogsie

    brogsie Feeling the Heat

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    That home depot wood should be burning no problem.
    I think the guys are right about the draft being the problem.
    Hope you have good luck with the installer.
  3. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    *** The reason you are not getting the unit hot is because you are running it with the door cracked open!

    I read that if you shut the door the fire goes out.

    If the wood is good then this is probably from poor draft. The old clay flue may be so large that its not pulling a good draft on the insert which is designed for a 6" flue.

    After you have a hot bed of coals you should be able to load the thing FULL (I mean packed). Close the door, open the air, and watch it go.
  4. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    Good point!
    No block off plate with a direct connect install, and probably not insulated and sealed around stove.
    This would create very little draft.
    Once the stove is running take a lit match and put it where your surround meets the brick or stone on your
    fireplace. If the fire on the match "sucks" into this area, you are getting a bad draft around your stove.

    Brad
  5. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    We have been at it for 2 weeks now. Generally we start the fire, wait a while, start to add 2-3 peices of wood. There is a good fire going, the door is closed now, the glass is clear. We then continue to add as needed but no matter how long we keep putting wood in and close the door, the temp does not reach above 300. We have tried to leave the door open and inch or 2 for only a few minutes to get the new wood to catch, close the door, open the draft all the way for about 10 minutes or so and slowly start to close the draft. According to the manual this is what we should be doing. We are doing this and we have gone through a bit of wood with no heat. I believe it is the draft and hookup problem.
  6. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    ok, will try that. i still am waiting for the installer to call me.
  7. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    Unfortunately I have let the stove die out for the evening. The city inspector is coming in the morning so I would like a cold stove so he can inspect properly. I would have loved the match advice a few hours ago when the stove was burning wood. It is just some red ash at this time. For the heck of it, I took a match and did what you said around the surround and brick and the fire on the match immediately wanted to go into the area, it even went out. I did it a few times and the fire on the match definately wanted to get sucked it. The flame went into that direction behind the surround. I think if the wood stove had a full fire going I am sure it would have sucked it immediately. Doing that little match trick without a full fire going and still sucking in prove your point and others about the "no block plate"? I will bring this up with the inspector tomorrow morning amoung other thinkgs.
  8. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    Sounds to me no block off plate.
    Basically a block off plate "blocks off" the rest of the chimney from your living space.
    Only the 6" liner goes through the plate. With no plate and direct connect, you can see how the air would want
    to draft "around" your stove and not through it. A block off plate is something you and your husband can do yourself if the installers wont throw it in.
    As far as the liner, can someone else let me know if the liner can be added on to? Finish the liner and cap the chimney. It will all work out.

    Brad
  9. Burd

    Burd Feeling the Heat

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    Your flames should look like this before you start playing with your air supply nice and hot.
    I allso believe that your having a draft problem Can you take off your trim around the insert to see If you have a block off plate.If you take off your trim you should see the 5'pipe and a flat peaice of metal That is call your block off plate.Its there to help with draft and helps keep the heat from going right up the chimy It should be covering your old damper

    Attached Files:

  10. Mr_Pither

    Mr_Pither New Member

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    I agree with all of the posts suggesting a full liner, but may I ask, where are you placing your thermometer? If it's on the door or on the top plate of the insert, you may not be getting an accurate reading.
    If possible, place your therm right against the flue pipe, (you may have to tie it against the pipe with stainless steel wire, as comes with a Rutland therm. The magnets don't stick to stainless pipe). If you use a meat therm, like I do as well, you must place it in such a way as to rest it against just the flue pipe and no part of it resting on the insert top. I originally had mine resting against the pipe and the top of the insert and got a false reading because the end tip was sitting on and reading off the insert top.
    Insert tops are a second layer surrounding the actual stove thus, the top temp will not be as hot as the stove.

    Once you reach a top temp for your stove, you can place the therm on the door and check readings, or, if you are using a meat therm as well, leave the meat therm on the pipe and attach the other on the door, then compare temps.

    Good Luck,
    Mr_Pither
  11. Mr_Pither

    Mr_Pither New Member

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    Quick correction.....If your flue pipe is single walled at the exit point of your stove, then a therm placed against the pipe will give you an accurate reading. If you have double walled pipe, you will need to install a probe type therm.

    Mr_Pither
  12. Burd

    Burd Feeling the Heat

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    Its a insert not a stove there no pipe visable with a insert
  13. webby3650

    webby3650 Minister of Fire

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    I think your oak could be a problem for you this year, you might (as suggested earlier)buy some seasoned hardwood from someone. Make sure it is seasoned good though, these EPA stoves are very picky, I stuggled with this a bit at first. On a had full of 2"x4" scraps my Jotul 550 will go from coals to 300 degrees in 20 minutes.
  14. Mr_Pither

    Mr_Pither New Member

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    Its a insert not a stove there no pipe visable with a insert

    If you remove the surround plates you should be able to see the pipe, or at least the flue pipe collar. I did not install my surround plates and see the collar and pipe, and the therm attached to the pipe.

    However, I'm not familiar with the O.P's insert so then yes, she may not be able to see the pipe or collar with the surround removed.

    Mr_Pither
  15. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    OMG! my fire never has looked like that. I mean i do get a nice roaring fire with the draft open and the door slightly open a bit but no way does my stove come even close to that fire when the door is closed. I will look for the block off plate but is suspect none will be there. Will the inspector from the city require this? Is this for code?
  16. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    HUH? I have a wood stove insert? How am I suppose to put the thermometer on the flue pipe? I would have to take the surround out and stick my hand up the flue to reach the pipe wouldn't I? Please clarifty. I am currently putting the thermometer on the top of the stove above the door.
  17. Mr_Pither

    Mr_Pither New Member

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    Yes, you would have to remove the surround. Usually just 2 bolts.

    Depending on the size of the insert, you may not have to stick your hand up the flue. One of the reasons for a surround is to hide the gaps between the insert and the fireplace.
    My Englander insert sits about 8 inches below the top of the fireplace opening. I can see about 4 inches of pipe collar and 3 inches of pipe.

    In addition, if you remove your surround, you will be able to look up above your insert and see if there is a block off plate installed where the damper is/was.

    Mr_Pither
  18. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    OK, i will reluctantly try that. Remove the surround and look for block off plate. "Stick my hand up the flue"?? The stove is still a little hot so if I burn my hands i wont be posting for the rest of the evening!! maybe ever!! I did not bargain for this but here i go.
  19. Mr_Pither

    Mr_Pither New Member

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    Oh my goodness..............let the stove cool silly.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I've held off commenting until I knew the tile size. As I suspected, the chimney flue is too large. fossil's and jtp's comments are exactly right, you are losing draft on the stove.

    Take heart, you've done everything right. Don't beat up on yourself, there's little you can do to make the stove burn better. The stove needs a full liner and the installer needs his head (and license) examined. Put a full, 6" liner on the stove and I think it will be a totally different heater, one you will be quite happy with.
  21. glenng

    glenng New Member

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    [/quote]

    HUH? I have a wood stove insert? How am I suppose to put the thermometer on the flue pipe? I would have to take the surround out and stick my hand up the flue to reach the pipe wouldn't I? Please clarifty. I am currently putting the thermometer on the top of the stove above the door.[/quote]

    Your thermometer is in the right place. I have a Napolean 1400 and I was in exactly the same place you are in now when I started burning 3 years ago. Each year gets better. I suspect your wood is not dry enough. Everyone, myself included buys a wood stove 1st and then finds firewood 2nd. It takes a few years to get your wood supply figured out. EPA stoves need dry firewood and 1 year is not enough time for drying in these stoves. 2 years stacked perfectly in singles rows is a must. You will not be able to purchase firewood that is dry enough. I learned a lot from visiting this site. Pull up a chair and get comfortable here. Next year will be 3 times better and so on. Napolean stoves rock. Dont be discouraged you just need well seasoned wood.
  22. kflorence

    kflorence New Member

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    OK, I will try to explain as best a woman can who has never had a wood stove before. I observed the wood stove surround. The surround is not bolted anywhere. I see no bolts. If i pull on the surround it easily moves away from the brick hearth all the way around the sides and across the top. NO BOLTS holding it in place. It appears that the wood stove insert is what is holding it upright. However, on the bottom right of the surround is the blower knob. I am afraid to pull on the surround or pull it up in the event i screw up the blower know. I dont want to break anything. Shouldnt the surround be flush again the hearth bolted down. If i pull on it i can peak behind it and see the inside of the fireplace. Seems odd to be able to do this. Never noticed before. What should I do? Like i said, it appears the wood stove is what is keeping it upright, no bolts holding it against the hearth. Is this yet another issue??? I cant believe that I am unable to do this simple task. Advice please!
  23. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Just put it back the way it was for now. There's nothing you can do with it removed other than gaze up into the fireplace to find out whether or not there's a block-off plate. It's either there or it's not. (My money's on not). In any case, the block-off plate and the full liner are the issues you need to take up with the installer. Rick
  24. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Girlfriend, you're gonna be a "Pro" when this is over ;-)

    And if I ever see the "best as a woman can" line, I'm gonna pop ya one !!!
  25. carl1979

    carl1979 New Member

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    HUH? I have a wood stove insert? How am I suppose to put the thermometer on the flue pipe? I would have to take the surround out and stick my hand up the flue to reach the pipe wouldn’t I? Please clarifty. I am currently putting the thermometer on the top of the stove above the door

    you have the thermometer in the right place for your stove . Napoleon advises to use two thermometers, one on the stove top and one on the flue pipe the one on the flue pipe you would have to tie on with wire and then take the surround top off to read it. I have the bigger napoleon insert and only use the one on the stove top.

    I think you clearly have a draft problem, a block off plate and a full liner would be highly advisable for proper operation. However I am suprised you can't get a hot fire for at least a short time. Makes me wonder if your chimney cap is blocked and air is not getting thru properly
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