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The challenges of keeping a good load schedule for big stoves

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BrowningBAR, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I agree.

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  2. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Coaling issues - I'm a bit confused as I have been under the impression that the buildup of excessive coals is generally a symptom of either too small a stove being pushed hard (shouldn't apply to this thread?), or wood that is not dry enough.

    If you are having excessive coals built up when you want to reload is this a matter of simply wanting to put more wood in (stove is plenty hot) and timing is the issue, or are you actually having buildup of coals in a larger stove without enough heat output?

    My experience so far with my new larger stove is that I get a lot of heat from the stove even as the coals are burning down. Granted, I can get more from a fresh charge of wood, but I don't (so far) need to run those temps to keep the place warm....
    Huntindog1 likes this.
  3. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    I normally load my stove when I get home at around 7:30pm with a few medium splits and leave the air open about halfway. By 11pm its ready for the overnight refill. I again load it at 6:30am. That has been my routine now since after Thanksgiving. Sometimes my wife will throw a few splits mid afternoon to keep her going or to up the temps.
  4. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Everybody has different BTU requirements. Everybodies space is different. Some can get enough heat to warm the house in the coaling stage and some cannot. And its not just about insulation. I have a very well insulated house above the basement. But 18' tall ceiling in the great room, a loft and 40 windows most of which are 6' tall make for a very challenging environment to heat. For me, a stove below 400 degrees is just a stove waiting to be reloaded.
  5. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Guess someone needs to make a 6+cuft EPA stove.. oh, yeah, that would be the BK eh? ha.

    I realize there are different needs and desires, it just seems that at some point trying to heat the entire space (one that requires such large amount of constant intense heat) from a single heat source may not be the best solution as distribution of the energy comes into question.
  6. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    At some point of the burn, everyone has a massive load of coals. Some may retain their shape of a split, but make no mistake, it is nothing but coals and will fall apart if touched with a poker.

    This isn't an excessive coal build up problem. This is "still in the middle of a burn cycle and need to load for the overnight burn" problem.

    As do I. But, I did not have 6-8 hours of heat left in the burn cycle. I did a partial load in the evening that I thought was going to last 6 or 7 hours. But I was wrong. It would have lasted 9-12 hours. I needed to reload, but I had a stove full of coals and unbroken down splits that either prevents a full load from being done or risk the stove taking off due to the amount of heat that the firebox already contains.
    dentman4411 likes this.
  7. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I recommend getting two additional small stoves. Put one next to the Defiant and one next to the 30. Then, it won't matter so much if you have too many coals to load the big stoves, just load the small stoves instead. :p
    rideau, jharkin and BrowningBAR like this.
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    It will be like an on-deck circle for wood stoves.
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Maybe its time to go to the dark side and put a Garn in your basement.....
  10. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Timing has been a challenge for me on the Buck 91 at my MIL's. Sometimes when I'm ready to load it for the evening (she goes to bed rather early,) the coal bed is still pretty large. I've been having her open up the air a bit in the afternoon to get more heat as the burn tails off, and get the coal bed burnt down. She tends to not put enough air to it sometimes. I really need to get a big load in so it'll pump out the BTUs overnight (stove isn't central to the floor plan, and the room has a ton of windows, so good output is needed.) Overheating isn't a problem over there....might get to 74, max, if it's warm out. Right now I only have 16" wood for that stove, so I have room to shove excess coals back in the box. But that's limiting the amount of BTUs I can load into the stove. It's tough when you're not there to manage the burn, but I think she'll get a better feel for how much air she needs to add in the afternoon. I can't expect her to move big coaling chunks up to the front where they would burn up better though...
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    1. What is a 'Garn?'
    2. I have no basement.
  12. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Just messing with you... Its one of those massive whole house gassification wood boilers.
  13. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Seriously, though, this year, heating has been incredibly easy.

    The biggest difference is in the morning reloads. House is warmer, stoves light off quickly, house gets up to temp easily. It's frickin' awesome.
    rideau, corey21 and jharkin like this.
  14. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Glad to hear it bbar!
  15. blwncrewchief

    blwncrewchief Burning Hunk

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    This is exactly the problem. Also why you had a BK owner post about it also. When I did it the other night I had to choose from these problems because of it:

    1) Let the stove go and wake up at 3am to a cold house because there was not enough of the load left to carry 8-10 hours.

    2) Just throw a couple pieces on, which would fire up quickly causing a short burn and waking up to a 60-64* house in the morning and having to do a cold start.

    3) Put an actual load on, which with that many coals and 400* would take off sending the stove to 650-750*+. That would be fine if it was 0*, but at 30*+ that would send the house temp to 80-90*.

    4) Wait another two hours or so to reload at the proper time and temps. Meaning 2-3 hours less sleep.

    5) Cheat. The option I choose. While I'm not a huge fan of the compressed wood blocks I have found some uses for them. One of the things I have learned is they are extremely predictable in small loads in my stove. I raked the coals to the front, piled 4 (3+ pound medium sized blocks) in the very back, one in front of them. Then pushed the coals up to that one and put one on top of the coals. The stove fired the secondaries within 5 minuets, closed the air to 1/8" and went to bed. My tel-tail paper clip on the thermometer said 575* peak stove top. Woke up 8 hours later to the house at 69*, stove at 200*, clean glass, and enough coals to relight easy on the morning. Well worth the $2.99 at TSC for a bail out.

    It is just one of the problems you can run into with a stove with plenty of firepower or longer burning. It's a much better problem to have than having to reload the stove in the middle of the night when it is zero outside. Even at zero I can still pull 8-9 hours and keep the house close to 70* when I get up. As long as I have my act together it is usually not a problem. I just got used to the colder temps, got complacent, and didn't think thru what I was doing. Once you get good at learning this style stove they are really great stoves for what the are. By adjusting load sizes, wood, etc. I have burned for 5 weeks straight without using a match.

    Now one of the problems I have to contend with is my schedule is quite screwy allot of the time. The wife works a normal job so we are up by 6 am every morning. I have my own business which leads to anything from being home all day to being gone at all different times and for all lengths of time from an hour or two all the way to gone for days. Some times I may have to leave unexpectedly and some times I have a set schedule that could be anything. Basically I am just stuck with what I have to deal with and in reality there is not allot of better answers. To have the best chance I need a stove that can do 10-12 hour burn cycles most of the time which my stove can do now 80% of the time. The only other better option would be 24 hour burn times. The other "better" stoves would be a PH. So far it does not look like it can do 24 hours so it is a 12 hour stove to me most of the time. A smaller BK can do 24 hours, but with my heat requirements and the winters we get here it would only do 24 hour cycles in mild shoulder season putting them back to 12 hour stoves for 80-90% of my heating season. Next a BKK, would do at least 24 hours maybe 30-60% of the season. The only problem with it besides the price tag is I would have to look at it in my living room every day (sorry) and with black glass most of the heating season, which would drive me insane. They release the Sirocco, Chinook, or Ashford 40 or 50 and my wallet is in trouble and I might have to put myself in therapy over the glass. If the Sirocco 30 proves good and can keep the glass clean on a 12+ hour burn and do 24+ on a low burn my wallet is probably in trouble. If Woodstock comes out with a stove as attractive as the PH that can do 24 hours + on a low burn I will have soapstone in my living room. The F5100 I could do but it is going to have to do allot better than 30 hours on a 765,000 btu load or it will flat be too much stove for me. That is 25K btu by the numbers on the bottom end. I can get lower than 25K average now cleanly on a burn cycle and it is almost too much. Someone is going to take my money sometime in the future. Just have no idea who it is yet. Until then I am happy enough with what I have.

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