1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Stove problems? get one of these to help you trouble shoot.

Post in 'The Gear' started by MountainStoveGuy, Feb 24, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,654
    Loc:
    Boulder County
    The vast majority of stove problems are draft related. You can aruge with your dealertill you blue in the face, so go in the show room informed. Buy your self a draftmeter here or at your local hearth shop. They can order them from stove manufacturs. The dealer will gladly place this order for you or loan you the shop's with a small deposit.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    851
    Loc:
    Southern Ontario
    This is great, another thing to buy and toss around numbers.


    Any more info on how there used? They measure FPS? What is an optimal draft?
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,654
    Loc:
    Boulder County
    your manual should tell you what the draft should be, but generaly speaking, .06 is good, .10 is strong, .04 is weak. You drill a 1/4" hole in your pipe and intall the wand. You hold up the meter and get a reading. then you plug it back with a screw. If your having problems with your stove and you can read your draft, and if the draft is good then you know you have something wrong with your stove. Its very black and white.
  4. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    851
    Loc:
    Southern Ontario
    Do you test when "cold"
  5. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,654
    Loc:
    Boulder County
    No, you test when fired up and under full draft.
    I start with a cold stove, make a note of the reading. then i take a reading when the stove is cranking.
    For example, i have been having problems with my showroom install. Tonite i took a reading of .03 cold, and the meter was pegged under full blast conditions. So i was well above 1" of water coloum, wich is overdrafting. I cant keep my burn display from burning through a firebox in 3 hours. I suspected the install, but i wanted to make sure. draft meters are handy little devices. And my point of this thread is that if your having problems, you can eliminate the chimney real fast with a draft reading. Imagine your dealer has been teling you that your problem is draft. Imagine the look on his face when you bring in a digital photo of the draft reading on a burning stove. He will have to change his story.
  6. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,430
    Loc:
    Halifax, VA
    A draft meter is also essential if you are installing a barometric damper so you can properly adjust the damper.



    The draft gauge is measuring the speed of the draft in terms of pressure, hence the inches of water business. One can convert that to f.p.s or any other speed they'd like using the density of wood smoke. Of course that number isn't really available so draft is almost always spoken in terms of Inches of Water, as MSG said.
  7. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    Imagine the new stove owners' face when you drag out the draft meter and show him/her their draft is nil, and that it isnt the "POS" stove that wont burn, tell them they need work on their draft since they are over/under drafting, and hand them a service bill to boot! ;-P
  8. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    2,293
    Loc:
    Sunny New Mexico
    Don't want to start an argument about this, but I totally disagree. In my experience, the vast majority of stove problems are from:
    Sloppy assembly at the factory (gaskets, plate misalignment, cement gaps, etc.)
    Construction defects (welding gaps/cracks, etc.)
    Design flaws (especially asymmetrical or otherwise poorly designed air systems)

    I have yet to purchase a new stove (or help a friend with a new one) that didn't have multiple issues of this sort.
  9. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,654
    Loc:
    Boulder County
    your a special case ;)
    i didnt say ALL stove problems are caused by draft, but any pro in this industry will agree that draft is the MAJOR culprit to poor performing stoves.
  10. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,654
    Loc:
    Boulder County
    my comment was a little toung in cheek :)
  11. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    oh, c'mon.....adversity.....

    I think it prudent here to specify TYPE of stove. Wood and coal stoves, I have to agree with MSG. Most issues are draft related.....stove or chimney might be dirty, but it all affects draft. Another problem often seems to be unrealistic expectations. Guy has a killer draft, hasnt figured out how to run the stove, and wonders why he cant get the fabled 12 hour burn out of those 3 splits he puts in there. Guy has a poor draft and wonders why he cant keep it lit, or seems to get no heat.

    As for pellet stoves, the number one problem is with maintenance! By far. Folks just dont want to clean them....eventually the stove crashes, you get called out to service them, see the things filthy. At this point, you tell the customer and they either learned a lesson: they need to clean it more often, or, they get PO'D, and are shocked that you'd actually have the testicular fortitude to even mention that they dont clean their unit adequately.

    Wood, Coal, Pellet...whats left? Gas? Dunno...dont sell it.
  12. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    323
    Loc:
    near Milwaukee, WI
    MSg, the draftmeter you had a link to seemed to measure only up to 1" WC, so how do you know if it is greater than that? For my stove the draft is supposed to be between .6 and 1 WC. I have suspected for a long time that it drafts too vigorously, our wood burns REALLY fast, even damped all the way down for much of the burn. But it seemed that the range of the wind meter was only up to 1" so would that really help>? Or was I not understanding their description correctly? I was thinking I should just ask a guy at our stove store if I could borrow one anyway. Have to convince hubby that we need to do it first.
  13. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,140
    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    Or you could get a magnehelic with a more broad range.


    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/catalogPDF.shtml
    page 654
    update
    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ca...-vacuum-measuring/differential-pressure-gages
  14. Roadkill

    Roadkill New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Messages:
    10
  15. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,654
    Loc:
    Boulder County
    I linked to that pice of equipment because its cheap and works pretty well. The scale only goes to 1" but if the instrament is pegged, then you know you have a problem. So it works reasonable well for testing overdrafting stoves. Usually draft problems are on the low end of the scale, but here on hearth.com there has been more overdraft problems this year (at least thats what i remember) then underdraft problems... which is weird.
  16. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    536
    Loc:
    Rome, NY, USA
    Hi Guys,

    It is interesting also to see the difference in draft between 30s and -10 outside temps. No one talked about that yet.

    I have noticed fantastic draft when it is really cold out, but the draft goes down (hence I need to open te primary air more) when the temps go up. I use more wood too.

    Carpniels
  17. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    2,293
    Loc:
    Sunny New Mexico
    Yeah, that's a huge factor, Neils.
  18. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,140
    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    First off I use the magnehelic to check the draft once in a while between cleanings.
    BUT
    For you wood guys what if you were to hook up the Mag to the stack and left it there to monitor draft and adjusted your air to suit? Wouldn't this be easier to dial in your settings?

    Just wonderin'
  19. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    391
    magnehelic
    http://www.technicalspecialties.net/Uploads/Catalogs/2000_cat.pdf
    Fancy brand of differential pressure gage, but it does look fairly rugged.


    If you want to do this without spending a lot of money, a few dollars for some clear tube and a 6" ruler will do the same job. Accurate enough for most stoves anyway.
    http://www.efunda.com/formulae/fluids/manometer.cfm#calc
  20. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,140
    Loc:
    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    I guess this is what I'm talking about If I used say copper tubing I could mount the Mag on the wall and keep it hooked to the flue all season(mine is hooked up to the draft port in this example).
    Then at a glance one could see how they affect the stove when they make adjustments, and maybe find the sweet spot for any stove it's ten degrees and I have tremendous draft 1.5"hg or it 45* and my draft is around .50"hg. what's going on inside the stove and flue? now you can see a representation of the draft and you can dial it in to an optimum range...
    Maybe being a pellet head I'm spoiled.
    It was just a thought to assist with the drafting for newb's and maybe an experianced burner would get use out of it too.
    Just one more tool in the arsenal.....IMHO :)

    EDIT sorry I meant Inches of H2O not " of Hg.... :red:

    Attached Files:

  21. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,988
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va

    i think overdrafts are becoming more common now that more folks are direct connecting with liners rather than hooking to larger cross sectioned terra cotta flue systems. proper cross sections and insulated liners create stronger draft velocities, but stoves are still being built to be functional with flues at 2X cross section (the non-cats generally allow easier passage than older cat units as well), but installed with optimal , makes for great draft which can be a pain, but a lesser pain than "no draw" . proper setups, good burning practices and barometric dampers on occasion will help a lot with overdraft issues. funny you are running into that up in the path of airplanes where you reside as well, thinner air usually makes overdraft rare from what ive run into in the past.
  22. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    391
  23. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    603
    Loc:
    ct
    this post is just way too informative to allow it to be lost on page 20, so I bump it to the top!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page