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Stove ID and problems

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by FishKiller, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. FishKiller

    FishKiller New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    Hello All,
    i am new to the forum and new to wood stoves (at least burning one as a main heat source. ) and now that i am midway through my first burning season i have some questions...

    I moved into a new house last spring and was more then thrilled to see a wood burning stove sitting in the middle of the family room. it is large and centrally located in the house so my next step was to start collecting wood. i was lucky enough to have a friend that had cleared land 2 summers ago to make horse pasture and the trees were free for the taking. all white oak, no more then 12 inches in diameter. it is all well seasoned and has been split and on the rack since summer (been down for more then 2 years total). now for the problems....

    previous owners ensured me that the chimney and stove had been cleaned completely and it certainly appeared so, everything looked vacuumed out and no ash to be seen. out of precaution i ran a brush up the chimney before the season started and very little creosote came down. I've burned about 2 1/2 cords so far and now the stove seems to be acting different. the draft seems to be reduced, not to the point where smoke comes out the door, but it doesn't "scream" wide open like it did in the beginning.

    my plan is to start cleaning EVERYTHING when the weather finally breaks this week. however, i don't have a clue what model stove i have and am looking for a manual to assist me. it's a Lopi (stamped on the door) but all the identifying marks are missing. i think it's early 90's and has a cat. which is also why I'm concerned because after the stove is hot i always run it through the cat and there is no smoke coming out the chimney, so there shouldn't be any creosote build-up... unless i am mistaken.

    i am also looking for suggestions on how to operate a large (at least i consider it large for the house) stove during milder weather... i know i burn cold more then i should, but unless its less then 20 out the stove is just too much. i'm trying to keep it my main heat source with the price of oil, but i don't want to burn dirty and don't want to sweat myself out of the house.

    thanks for the help.

    IMAG0449.jpg IMAG0448.jpg View attachment 90917 View attachment 90916

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  2. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    639
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    The cat could be plugged.... Oak takes a long time to season! I split some oak that was 25-30" in diameter that had been down for 5 years and it was not even close to ready. But maybe if the stack has a cap it could have a plugged screen?
  3. FishKiller

    FishKiller New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    i do have a cap, but i was on the roof last week and it looked clear. i took the cat out and hit it with an air hose... not sure if that's the best way to clean it but it had little effect on it. i let the stove go cold about a week ago (when i cleaned the cat) and noticed a fair amount of ash in the area behind the cat and on the top of the bricks. not sure if maybe that could be the problem. that is why i am looking for a manual to do a break down. so any ideas on the stove would be great. as far as the wood goes, it sure seems dry, if i take a split and break it down to kindling, say less then an inch across its almost match light. as a side note... whats your opinion on burning pine? i've always been told its no good, but the more research i do the more it appears its alright to burn. would sure make life easy where i live.
  4. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    639
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    If the pine is dry why not lots on here do. Can't help with the stove but watched a video about cleaning the cat and they say not use compressed air because they are fragile. If you could post some pix of the cat. If all the cells in the cat look good it probably is in good shape. Maybe something else obstructing the smoke path..
  5. FishKiller

    FishKiller New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Messages:
    30
    thanks,
    i'm just trying to best to figure out what is slowing her down. a couple of the cells were chipped, i will take some pictures when i let her cool down next. i've had coals for the last 3 hours and it's still 79F in family room, 15F outside and snowing. not a problem with heat output, just concerned about potential problems.
  6. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    639
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Don't have a cat stove but from my understanding the flames should be lazy or almost disappear fromt the wood with the occasional burst of flame. Not really much to see accept a glowing waffle. Check some videos on youtube...
  7. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    639
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    However, from watching the videos myself I see there is a good bit of flames....
  8. FishKiller

    FishKiller New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Messages:
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    here is a picture 15 minutes after a 4 split reload, running through the cat at about 25% air

    fire.jpg

    ... seem ok?
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    47,097
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I'm not sure but this looks like it might be a Lopi Flex stove. There should be a label on the back of the stove identifying it. Does it have a big rectangular catalyst? If so, here is the manual:
    http://www.lopistoves.com/TravisDocs/93508019.pdf

    PS: Methinks them doggies got into the radioactive kibbles.

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