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Stack damper, creosote, and burn methods with a Jotul F3 CB

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by stovepipe?, Jan 5, 2006.

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  1. stovepipe?

    stovepipe? New Member

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    I’ve got a jotul f3 cb which is new this season, and I’m still working out the best method for a good fire. I’ve got a tall interior chimney, so good, strong draft. After I get the fire going, I seem to have the best luck when I shut down the stack damper all the way and leave the air intake fully or almost fully open. Usually runs at around 450-500 buring well seasoned oak. I can get a nice hot fire by closing the stack damper to ¼ or ½ and closing the air intake down about halfway, but this tends to slowly kill the fire and the stove temp drops.

    So I’m wondering two things: first, is it a bad idea to close the stack damper down like that? My concern is with reduced draft I will get a dirtier chimney. When I close the damper down all the way, the stove might be at 500 while the stovepipe entering the thimble three feet up is closer to 200. But this method does seem to keep the heat in the stove/room and not up the chimney. When I leave the damper more open and shut down the air intake (or even when I leave it mostly open) I tend not to get as hot of a stove—suggesting lots of hot air is flowing to the great outdoors.

    Second, anybody have this stove and want to compare notes? Are there people with strong draft who don’t use a stack damper? What seems to work for others out there

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  2. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi Stovepipe,


    I do not know if your installation is actually good, legal or adviseable. I have a Jotul Castine. In the manual, it does not give any option for having a damper in the stovepipe or chimney.

    I have a pipe straight up and use ONLY the air control on the stove for regulating the heat. That works fine, but I have noticed that if I close the air supply almost or completely, that the stove starts sucking more air through the secondary burn tubes. I have lots of blue flames in the top of my stove, but none from the bottom. It seems as if there always is the same amount of air going into the stove either through the primary air supply (which has the control) and the secondary burn tubes. Your stove is very similar to mine (except smaller) so yours might work the same way.

    I do not know if you will get a dirtier chimney. The air is not that hot so you might get more creotose buildup. That is probably why the manual does not say anything about such an install. Just make certain you clean your chimney and stovepipes every year. I understand your discussion about the hot air leaving your house through the chimney. We all want the most heat in our house. But in this case it might be better to prevent a chimney fire and deal with a little heat loss.

    If you want to continue the way you are, check your stovepipes often for creosote. Please keep us all informed about your progress. If this indeed works well, I might install a dampler in my chimney too.

    Carpniels
  3. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

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    Second, anybody have this stove and want to compare notes? Are there people with strong draft who don’t use a stack damper? What seems to work for others out there[/quote]

    I just got this same stove this year. I do not use a stack damper and I have a strong draft. I haven't had any problems getting the stove going. My chimney is an internal masonry with a liner and is two stories. I usually run mine at about 500. It takes about 1/2 hour to get the fire burning really strong. It gets going faster if the ash pan is kind of full, worse when I just empty it. I don't really run it when I'm not home so I'm not using it as my only heating source but it really helps heat my old house. When I have the stove running my gas heater doesn't come on at all. Can't wait to get my next energy bill. I hope I can brag about it! I'm burning a mix of hard woods. I've gone through almost a cord so far and I've only been burning since the last week of November. Do you ever notice a kind of clicking/pinging of the metal, seems like it comes from the top plate, when it is getting up to temp? I assume this is just the metal expanding from the heat. I'd be interested to hear any of your experiences with this stove also.
  4. pmac

    pmac Member

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    Do you ever notice a kind of clicking/pinging of the metal, seems like it comes from the top plate, when it is getting up to temp? I assume this is just the metal expanding from the heat. I'd be interested to hear any of your experiences with this stove also.[/quote]


    I've had a Jotul Castine for about 4 yrs now, and it's always made that noise when heating up or cooling down. I'm sure it's just normal thermal expansion noises....
  5. pmac

    pmac Member

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    Whoops, meant to have that second paragraph above as a quote...
  6. stovepipe?

    stovepipe? New Member

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    hey nokoni,

    sounds like we have essentially the same set-up, though I've got the slightly smaller stove (two stories, old house, interior masonry chimney, ss liner, etc). I also have no trouble starting a fire-- I've got loads of draft and the air gets sucked right in when vents are open. So do you always shut down the air completely? And get 500 with a good fire? How far do you have to shut down to get the hot, purple/blue, lazy flames? I can't seem to pull off that kind of fire only using the primary air control. I end up using my stack damper as well (or exclusively). No problem with this, just that I'm concerned that my rapidly cooling smoke is moving slowly through my chimney liner because I've cut down the draft so much, making a little creosote mess. Buring your fires at 500, how often do you have to sweep the chimney.

    I may, in fact, be worried about nothing here since it occurs to me that maybe closing the primary air results in an equivalent reduction of draft to closing the stack damper-- I'm still not really clear on how this stove works (though I expect it must be pretty simple). Anyone up for explaining?

    also, same noises here-- just metal expanding I think.
  7. stovepipe?

    stovepipe? New Member

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    oops, sorry nokoni, I seem to have replied to a combination of you and carpniels! So w/ out a stack damper, where are you setting your primary air to get 500 degrees? What does your fire look like? How long does it last? thanks!
  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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  9. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

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    So do you always shut down the air completely? And get 500 with a good fire? How far do you have to shut down to get the hot, purple/blue, lazy flames? Buring your fires at 500, how often do you have to sweep the chimney.



    I shut the air down completely once I have a good bed of coals after about an hour. If I shut it down all the way I get the lazy blue flames. I love to watch that. I have heard various advice on sweeping the chimney. My sweep swears once a year is fine and that fulfills the warranty for my liner. I'll have it done sometime next summer.
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