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The Hampton HI300 just doesn't seem to be throwing enough heat. What am I doing wrong?????????

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by SherryAnn, Jan 26, 2009.

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  1. wtb1

    wtb1 Member

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    Another somewhat stupid question. On the Hampton HI300 where does it take in air for combustion?

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  2. SherryAnn

    SherryAnn New Member

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    I think you are right, I may need to cut ties. I have good news to report. I started it up slowly with some bark and a bunch of small pieces that I split off a larger split. Then I put two small splits a bit later. I saw some nice secondaries with just those two small splits. I then put on a bit later three small splits on top of that. I now seem to have a much hotter, lazier flame. The house raised two degrees in the first 1/2 hour of burning the splits usually takes much longer than that. I asked if he was going to insulate the whole chimney, he said there was no reason to, nothing would get past that five gallon pail full he stuffed up there. .... and still no block plate. Hey, did you say your installer might come pay me a visit? I told him we blew through two chords of wood, he agreed that was way too much, but never offered any apologies for the fact that is was HIS fault. I'm not please. The sensor is down near the floor, so that isn't the issue as to why it doesn't shut off. Hey I'm SWEATING! YEAH!
    As for the handle, do you think it's a good idea to have a different number of washers on the bottom than the top? That doesn't seem right. He should have been able to get it to work with one washer out from top and bottom. I think it needed to move the whole latch piece up or down. There are some nice diagrams of the latch and how to adjust it in the manual, my husband my mess with that in the morning. I clearly hadn't read the installation part, thought I didn't need to! Silly me. He never heard of adjusting that latch to make the door tighter. you all are educating my installer, isn't that nice!

    Oh, did I mention he IS an installer for Hampton? I thougth I had chosen well......one of those "looks good on paper" situations!
  3. SherryAnn

    SherryAnn New Member

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    HEY CHECK OUT MY SECONDARIES....with almost no wood. It's getting hotter and hotter!

    Attached Files:

  4. edthedawg

    edthedawg Minister of Fire

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    hey great news and good job!

    what happens if you actually put some wood into that thing?? :)
  5. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

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    The steel bar with holes in the picture at the top is an air inlet for the secondary air tubes (not shown in the pic).
  6. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

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    SherryAnn, where did he stuff insulation? Is it right above the stove near the damper area where your pipe enters the chimney?
  7. SherryAnn

    SherryAnn New Member

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    That metal piece that you can see throught the door is Hampton's airwash system.....not that I understand how it works....but it keeps the glass clean. The metal tubes you are talking about are at the top, but you can't see them. As I understand it, and from what I saw on the youtube clips I was directed to by all the knowledgable people here, it is the burning of the gases inside the box. Air comes out of those tubes cigniting the gases. How my doing guys....am I learning? So basically I have these dancing flames that are floating around, not flames from the wood that's on fire.
  8. SherryAnn

    SherryAnn New Member

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    Just did, I'll let you know after Kay and I nap. (Up all night for no good reason) I loaded it up and I'm shutting down the air a bit at a time right now. We're planning to snooze by the fire!
  9. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    I don't know why I started to follow this strangely lengthy thread, but....

    1. Stuffing insulation at the usual location of the block off plate. Seems it should accomplish the same thing; only a question of durability in my mind. I mean if it's really stuffed good, thus no air moving through.
    2. That said...speaking from experience....I think an exterior chimney in RI would like to be insulated.
    3. On the blower output. Have you tried measuring the temp of the air coming out the blower? There's a thread around here someplace about that. In rough numbers, it should almost burn your hand. (I melted a popcorn jar I was trying to dry in front of it once. Dang.)
    4. After looking at the photos, I wanna offer my opinion that it's a beautiful insert in a nice stone FP. Even if it didn't burn well, the house resale value has to have been improved just on looks alone.
  10. edthedawg

    edthedawg Minister of Fire

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    It is a ridiculously long thread, I admit to overfeeding it myself. But i'm just happy she's finally getting some heat off the machine.
  11. SherryAnn

    SherryAnn New Member

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    Yes, he took the top piece off and stuffed it right up at the start of the chimney where the damper used to be. He put about a 5 gallon pail full in there.
  12. SherryAnn

    SherryAnn New Member

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    I plan on insulating the whole thing, but I don't plan of having him do it. I will try to measure temps, a friend suggested this with a meat thermometer. Okay, that was hot. It's seems about 160 degrees.
    It is beautiful, but for over 4k installed, better do more than look good! I think I'm making progress now.
  13. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

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    Ok, better known as a softblock. A hard blockoff plate is a piece of sheet metal that closes off the damper area and insulation above it to keep the heat within the firebox. What you have is exactly what I did and I noticed some heat improvement.

    Be aware of more chances of creosote build up now. Here is the reason why. Your stove pipe was being heated up by all the heat that was rising into your chimney. This kept your stove pipe warm. Now that you have reduced the amount of heat in your chimney flue, you will have more of a chance to build up creosote, especially the second upper half of the liner.

    This issue will all go away when you have the liner insulated. In the mean time here are the two most important things to reduce creosote build up (from the manual).

    1) Burn insert with draft control wide open for about 45 minutes every morning during burning season. This helps to prevent creosote deposits within the heating system.
    2) Burn insert with draft control wide open for about 10 - 15 minutes every time you add fresh wood. This allows the wood to achieve the charcoal stage faster and burns up any wood vapors which might otherwise be deposited within the system.

    As for your door, you should have the same number of washers on top and bottom. I had the same problem when I removed one set of washers. I couldn't lock the door in place. It took a while finding the right spot to lock the bolts in place, but I found it. The door locks and no chance of a dollar bill coming out. I would revisit this issue for sure.

    Glad to see things are improving!
  14. wtb1

    wtb1 Member

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    I am glad you have had success. I am still working through mine and it sounds like I need to do the same thing. I do not think my installer will be available since he is about 3 hours away. Is this somethings I can do myself? I know I will have to take the surround off and get access to the damper area. If I use insulation as a softblock what is the best to use?
  15. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

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    This is something you can do. As a quick fix, go to Loews and get a bag of fiberglass. This does not have paper backing. You may want two bags. Take top surround off and get your arm up in there and stuff the insulation in the open damper area. This will take all of about 15 minutes.

    Then, do a search for other softblock insulation. You have to order this online I guess and it could be a while before you actually get it. Fiberglass will not burn, but may smell. I've had mine in for about a month, no smell.
  16. edthedawg

    edthedawg Minister of Fire

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    I would recommend some mineral wool insulation (firesafing) if you can find it. Not sure where it's available way down in MS.
  17. pulldownclaw

    pulldownclaw Feeling the Heat

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    I think the issue with fiberglass is that it's got formaldehyde in it, which may (?) be released when subjected to those temps. I can't recall exactly what the threat is, you may want to search the threads for it. It certainly seems like a good temporary fix, but I don't think it's desirable long term.

    This thread had got me thinking about my stove and its door latch adjustment. I mentioned before that last year when I tried to adjust it I ended up breaking the handle off because it was so difficult to open and close. I just did the dollar bill trick again tonight and there were several places where it slid right out. So, I decided to adjust the latch again, and I am right back at the same place I was last year. I just can't seem to find the right spacer combination with the right height of the latch. I feel like I'm going to snap off the handle again when I adjust it too tight, then I loosen it up again and the dollar bill slides right out. What a nightmare. I think I'd rather have a leaky door than snap off my handle again, that was a major PITA. One thing I did notice was I have some play in my door, if I lift on it, it moves up and down a little. Is this just normal sag because of the weight?

    Sorry for the hijack, I just thought I'd ask since we've got a lot of the Hampton crew already assembled. ;-)
  18. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    ^Somewhere around here is a fairly recent "oil the latch" thread, in which (long story short) several of us applied a couple drops of 3 in 1 oil to the latch and it worked miracles. One poster had the same worry about breaking the handle/latch. That was for more than just Quadrafires, but I don't recall if the Hampton was included.

    Anyway, try a little oil; it's like night-and-day.
  19. SherryAnn

    SherryAnn New Member

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    First of all, we are so health conscious, now I am nervous about the fumes from the insulation......I have three kids, do I want them breathing fumes like that?

    Secondly, thanks for hijacking, we need to oil our handle too, it is a bit tight.

    The afternoon I loaded at 2:45. When we came home at 8:45, the stove was still quite hot and the house was still 73 on the whole first floor. There is no doubt we have improvement here. The stove would have been stone cold in three hours never mind 6. Good news!

    Thanks so much everyone!!!!!!!!!!
  20. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

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    OK, for those HI300 owners having problems getting their stove to 300+, here's a sure way to get to 400/500. It works every time for me so I hope you can get there.

    Stuff the stove like the second picture. Let burn like the first pic. Start knocking down slowly to 3/4 closed. Take your time getting there. Started at 300 degrees and 1 hour later, close to 500.

    Try this and post your readings. Good luck!

    Attached Files:

  21. SherryAnn

    SherryAnn New Member

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    At what point do you put the fan on? We're just loading it up now for bedtime. It seems like the fan should go on a few minutes after closing it down most of the way. That seems to keep it the hottest am I right? Those kinds of pictures are exactly what I need. This is wood burning 101 at its best!
  22. SherryAnn

    SherryAnn New Member

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    By the way.....you know that smell you get when the paint is curing? I'm getting it now, six weeks later. That's how NOT HOT my stove was......
  23. cocey2002

    cocey2002 Member

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    Thats what I call stuffing the stove. Got to 400 this morning. Great pics. Sherry Ann- I am happy you got this thing working.
  24. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

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    Glad to see you got to 400 degrees and smell paint. That means you've heated the stove to a point it hasn't seen before. I bet you can feel the heat now!

    I do not run the blower when trying to raise the stove temp. Once I get the stove to the right temp (400/500), I run it a while until I totally shut down.

    Remember, fan should only be used at full to half way closed. No blower beyond the half way point.
  25. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    This is the proof in the pudding, (er, to use a scientific term). It proves:

    1. SherryAnn was not imagining it all. (The thought probably entered the mind of the installer, I'll bet.)
    2. It was not the quality of the wood.
    3. The Hampton is capable of good heat output, even if at first it appears to fail.
    4. Whatever steps were taken, they are important to remember. I wish they could be more definitively summarized.

    This thread is a keeper for Hampton owners.
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