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)

Tonight, I miss my old stove..(BKK questions)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Beetle-Kill, Jan 1, 2011.

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

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,771
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    I do 12 hour burn cycles this time of year and usually reload on something that looks like this. While I fill it all the way up every time, I do vary what I fill it with depending on heat demand. For example, last night was some of the good stuff, 18" long, straight denser wood while this morning was chunks and uglies.

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    403
    Loc:
    Southern Delaware
    With a coal bed like that, and my t'stat set at 3.5, I still get plenty of heat from the stove to maintain the house temp. So, I typically burn my coals down much further than that.

    But, this may be due to the difference in climates...being from Syracuse, there may not be enough heat from those coals for your application.
  3. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,771
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    A lot more variables come into play once you start taking heat load into account. The stove is in the middle of a large open space, so its not like it is cooking a small room to heat the rest of the house. I have a lot glass on a windy ridge. The windward side of the house is the one with the glass and I am in the middle of siding it. Most of it is just plywood with the windows popped in with 4 screws and fiberglass stuffed around them. Interior is just fiberglass in the stud bays, no sheetrock yet. I'm sure my operation of the stove will change once I get the currently underway felt/foam/tyvek/siding project done. While I am sure it will never be up to Alaskan standards, I hope to cut my wood consumption down and not have to run the stove so hard when it is blowing.

    I do agree that this is part of what BK is experiencing. Speaking from experience, excessive air penetration through the building envelope is hard to overcome with a stove.

    Attached Files:

  4. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,058
    Loc:
    SE Michigan
    S&W,

    I can only bet that once you get that house sealed up it will be an amazing difference! :)
  5. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    403
    Loc:
    Southern Delaware
    I would love to see pictures of your house once you get it finished. I really like the large windows



    [​IMG]
  6. learnin to burn

    learnin to burn Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    347
    Loc:
    Southeastern, Pa
    I can't wait to see pic of when it's done either.

    Solar - How many sq ft is your stove heating? I know you told us before but can't seem to recall.
  7. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,771
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    BK, my apologies for the hijack.

    Hiram, I hope you are speaking form experience. Your project was good motivation.

    This is my third gut/rebuild and I'm not sure I have another one in me. I excavated on the downhill side of the house to solve drainage/severe water issues, put the trusses up to so solve all the issues with a flat roof in Syracuse and to get summer shading/winter sun through the south and SSW walls. Main level is 2300 sq ft, lower level is 1200. I'm currently just heating the main level but the lower level seems to stay above 50. Here is where I've been and today's update. Was cold enough today to freeze an IPA but the sun was nice.

    Attached Files:

  8. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Yes 5 Star, which is min building code for a new house.

  9. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    No way!

    75* in the living room right now and 68* in the master bedroom (room furthest from the stove). It's 1* outside and we had a high today of 9*. I put wood in the stove at around 10AM (almost 8PM now) and it's been going all day with the dial straight up and down.

    Last year, before I got the stove, my 90,000 BTU boiler would seem to run nearly non stop when it was around these temps. ~2100 sq ft total between house and garage (all radiant floor heat)

    As for burn times, I get 12-14hrs easy, as in I just throw in fresh wood and it lights off right away. Birch and Spruce is what I burn.


  10. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,087
    Loc:
    SW MI near Saugatuck
    Me too!

    Oh man, do I know what you're talking about. My rehab is on a similar scale.

    Thanks so much for the photos. I love seeing you putting those trusses on the flat roof, and turning that modern box into something beautiful. Big props. Hang in there, you'll feel great when you're done. (I say that to myself every day.) [/quote]


    Hmmm.... nope, I got nothin. :)
  11. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,849
    Loc:
    Colorado- near the Divide
    Stop apologizing for the hi-jacks, I've already stated that they're a good thing on this thread. Only thing I can add is I'm glad the cold has gone elsewhere, downright nice outside, currently (25.5, w/no wind).- OK, Nate- I knew your energy star rating was up there, had to be with your results and exterior conditions. Wish my place was like yours.
  12. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,771
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    I was cruising around the AK energy website http://www.ahfc.state.ak.us/energy/weatherization_faqs.cfm but couldn't find out what the requirements for 5 star were other than a contractor would come out and tell you what your house is. I don't have any new construction experience here, but I think as long as you have insulation in the walls and R38 in the ceiling nothing else really matters. Nate, how do the builders meet the 5 star requirements on a typical house there? Where do they go from there if they really want to tighten it up?

    I'm also curious how the stove replaces a 90K boiler running non-stop? Or is the boiler still running with the stove?
  13. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    499
    Loc:
    Plymouth, Minnesota
    High cat temps mean your door gasket seal is not working. I had issues with high cat temps and my seal seemed fine. After replacing the gasket rope the cat temps are under control!

    Any BK dealer can drop ship the door rope gasket and glue for $30. I know you said it passed the dollar bill test but still think it could be the problem and for the little money it cost its really can make a big difference. I think the rope gasket on the door is really the key to your issue.
    Jim
  14. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    403
    Loc:
    Southern Delaware
    I, for one, truly appreciate the input, and believe that everyone's contribution is valuable. With that said, I would like to preface the rest of this post with...My following thoughts may be my inexperience talking.

    But, I have to wonder if the door gasket really is the problem, though I fully understand the logic behind this analysis. Beetle-Kill and I are having the same high cat temp problem, and for both of us, this is our first season with the blaze king. So, the door gasket was brand new at the start of the season. Plus, the dollar bill test, for me anyway, showed the door to be so tight the dollar bill felt as though it would rip if I pulled on it any harder. It's hard for me to imagine that a new gasket will seal the door any tighter.

    Although, I have to agree, for $30, what's it going to hurt...
  15. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,771
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    I was convinced it was the door seal as well until the dollar bill test results. The other thing is both of them are getting good burn times. I am now in the measurement device error camp as far as the cat temps go. I face a lot of the challenges with heat load that Beetle Kill does, I am pretty convinced I just burn hotter even though our cat thermometers say I burn lower.

    That said, given many of our first year season experiences, I would closely inspect the door gasket at the beginning of year 2 and every year thereafter as it makes a big difference in how the stove performs.
  16. learnin to burn

    learnin to burn Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    347
    Loc:
    Southeastern, Pa
    I think it is the cat probes also. In fact I have an e-mail into Condar Tech Support regarding it. I'm thinking there is a difference in calibration or something when it comes down to the 1.5 inch probe vs. the 2 inch that comes with the BK. Hopefully I'll get an answer tomorrow and let you know what they say.
  17. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    403
    Loc:
    Southern Delaware
    Could be...

    Beetle-Kill and I have both switched from the stock 2" probe to the 1.5" Condar scaled probe. But, I did check the accuracy of the 1.5" Condar scaled probe, when I first inserted it, by noting where the 2" stock probe was pointing before I removed it. The 1.5" Condar probe pointed at the same place around the dial as the 2" stock probe. But, this was done in the mid-range of the scale, not at the higher end of the scale. Perhaps there is some deviation on the high end...I'll try to switch back to the 2" stock probe the next time I am running high...if I can remember :red:
  18. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,429
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    It is true that if you blow air over the cat gauge(with your mouth) when it's up high, it will drop easy...interesting.
  19. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    403
    Loc:
    Southern Delaware
    OK, I just compared the 2 cat probes.

    The 2" stock probe settled in the middle of the 1500* mark and the 2000* mark as indicated in the pictures found in post #98 on page 5...my best guess would be about 1750*. I then switched them out and the 1.5" Condar probe settled out at 1800*. So, I would say, at worst, there is about a 50* difference.

    While the 1.5" Condar probe was in place, I blew lightly down onto the top of the dial...the needle started dropping immediately. Which makes me wonder just how much the cat temp is really dropping, as opposed to the probe being falsely impacted by the fans.
  20. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,429
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    Does make a person wonder.
    It must drop it some though. But I notice the glow of the cat does not seem to change any after turning the fans on..not sure it even should though.
  21. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,087
    Loc:
    SW MI near Saugatuck
  22. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,771
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    Those threads always seem to get lost between talking about max heat out of a load of wood and max instantaneous heat output of the stove. Added confusion is introduced by the need to get an overnight burn out of a stove that isn't big enough to do it in January and keep the house warm. As far as the BKK goes, I find max instantaneous output is when you have the blowers on high and turn the tstat down to just the point where the active flame of the fire turns into secondaries leaving you with a low flame in the fire and dancing glows in the wood. For my setup, this tstat setting is somewhere between 3 and 3.5. While this maximizes instantaneous output, I am sure it is nowhere as efficient as burning at a more moderate stove temp. Just doesn't matter when your house isn't tight, the wind is howling out of the NW and the high on the cloudy day isn't going to escape the teens.

    My guess is BK knows what they are doing and max output of a load of wood over the entire burn cycle (most efficient burn) is probably somewhere in the normal range on the tstat. ;-)
  23. TX-L

    TX-L Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    231
    Loc:
    Tug Hill State Forest, NY

    Last night, on a hot bed of coals, I loaded up the stove with 2 HUGE pieces of wood; 1 hard maple & 1 black cherry, and a smaller piece of black cherry. I ran the stove with the stat on 3.5 and the blowers on high. After 35 +/- minutes, the stovetop was at 775 and climbing (positioned on the right side of the cat probe near the flue collar), the factory supplied cat probe was at the 3:00 position, and the surface temp of the double wall connector pipe was 330 as measured by a magnetic Condar pipe thermometer.

    I replaced the standard issue cat probe with a Condar probe (has numbers on it), the dial spun past the 3:00 position and exceeded 2000 degrees. There seems to be some deviation between the two probes, and probes themselves are slightly different lengths. I didn't leave the stat on 3.5; I don't know how hot the stove surface would/could get if I left it full open.

    This is the first season with this stove, so the door gasket SHOULD NOT have deteriorated yet (doesn't mean it can't). The dollar bill test indicates the door is tight, as I cannot pull a bill through any part of the door with it shut and latched. Also, when the stat is turned down, the fire follows accordingly. A leaking door would continue to feed air, but mine doesn't; at least not enough to keep the flame active. Bypass door is also tight, with the extra click upon latching it. Chimney connector pipe was recently cleaned, a little fine powdery soot on the interior pipe surface.

    Wood: Well seasoned, for 2 years outside, split and piled, facing southwest, and covered with roofing tin on top only. Hard maple, beech, oak, elm, very little cherry, ironwood, and apple once in a while. Moisture indicator consistently reads about 14% on the maple and oak, haven't checked the other types.

    Chimney: 8" Double wall pipe connector straight up to the ceiling, then an all-fuel ceiling kit, then transitions back to double wall in the attic, two 45 degree elbows over the course of another 5' of vertical rise, and into an interior brick/tile lined chimney. I have good draft, but I don't have a draft reading to provide here.

    Thoughts: My stove is the parlor model, it doesn't have the convection deck on the top of the stove. Perhaps the air delivered by the fan rises off the hot stove surface much faster on the parlor model, as it is not contained by a full length convection deck. The convection deck holds the air in the interstitial space for a much (relatively) longer period than the "open" stovetop parlor model, resulting in greater heat transfer from the stovetop to the forced air. If the stovetop runs cooler, the rate of heat transfer from the cat to the stovetop would be greater. Might this keep the cat temps on the convection deck models lower, all other things being somewhat equal?

    Solar, I don't think I could run mine on a setting of 3(+) for a long time. I think it would get way too hot. Maybe it's the wood, draft, or combination thereof...

    At any rate, I have doubts about the accuracy of the probe(s), but love the operation of the stove. I have an 1870 poorly insulated farmhouse less than an hour from Canada, and haven't used one drop of fuel oil yet this season. I went back to the factory supplied cat probe about a month ago, as it never spins up to quite as high a position as the Condar replacement; I guess that's just a mental thing for peace of mind.
  24. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,771
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    I have never had the stove run away on me except when I found that the door latch needed to be adjusted. But, that is with my setup and my fuel. The Ultra vs Parlor is another interesting variable that I will have to think about. I imagine the side shields and extended top deck insulating the firebox likely causes very different burn behavior and thus tstat behavior than a Parlor.
  25. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,087
    Loc:
    SW MI near Saugatuck
    I wonder why the likely explanation--stoves being run too cool due to aftermarket Condar probes that read too high--keeps being mentioned and dropped?

    I'll try again.

    Both folks who say they can't get their stove-top temps high enough without their cat probes reading too high are using aftermarket Condar probes, correct?

    Threads here have exhaustively documented and discussed that Current aftermarket Condar probes read too high:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/51149/

    and:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/51880/

    In particular, Condar's response to Pen's extensive test showing Condar flue probes read higher than a thermocouple probe confirms it:

    and Pen concludes:

    The upshot of exhaustive (pun intended) testing is that Condar flue probes always read too high, and even more so when their external portion gets radiant energy--as from a single-wall pipe or stove top. This is confirmed in this thread, by reports of the probe quickly reading lower when a breeze is applied to the external portion.

    The conclusion seems simple--the problem is with the Condar probes, not the stoves. People are running their stoves below maximum output because the aftermarket Condar probes they installed read too high.

    Am I missing something?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page