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Troubleshooting new stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by johnstra, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. johnstra

    johnstra Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
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    I don't think my stove is pulling nearly enough air into the firebox. Last night with my break-in fire, I could not get it to burn without leaving the ash pan door open until the kindling was burning vigorously. At that point, I could close the ash pan door and it would continue to burn.

    My flu is 6" and it's 22' total height. The stove is rear vented into a tee and then two 45* elbows connected off the top of the tee to give me the offset I need. From there it' 20' straight up and out. Oh, and I have double-wall stove pipe.

    One thing I'm concerned about is the interface between the flu collar and the adapter to the double-wall stove pipe (crimped to fit into the flue collar) isn't fastened together in any way. There through holes on the collar that could be used to hold single wall in place but the outer wall of the double-wall adapter is on the outside of the collar. Do I need to use some screws through that outer wall to hold the adapter snug against the collar? If I don't, it's a very loose and leaky fit.

    Anything else I need to be looking at? I feel like with the primary air control wide open, I my flame should be much more active.

    Thanks,
    -john

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like this is just the draft needing a little time to get started. Don't use the ashpan door. Instead, leave the door ajar until the fire gets going. By all means attach the pipe at the flue collar. If the stove has a big puffback, the unsecured connection at the rear of the stove can blow right off.

    From the manual:

    Do not operate the stove unless the ASH PAN is inserted
    into the stove and the ash door is closed. This could
    overheat and damage the stove.


    also:

    3) Light the paper under the kindling. Close the
    side door and leave the front door slightly ajar
    momentarily until the kindling has started to
    burn and draft begins to pull.

    and finally:

    Secure all joints, including attaching the stovepipe to the
    stove's flue collar,
    with three sheet metal screws. Install
    #10 x 1/2" (3 mm x 13 mm) sheet metal screws into the
    holes pre-drilled in the flue collar. Leaving off the screws
    can cause joints to separate from the vibration that results
    from a creosote chimney fire.
  3. RonB

    RonB Feeling the Heat

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    Southwest MI
    The situation you describe with the kindling and slow draft is common in all cold stoves. You need some warm air going up the chimney to create a draft.
  4. johnstra

    johnstra Feeling the Heat

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    Ok. That's what I hoped. I attached the stove pipe to the flu collar. Everything is nice and solid now. I've done two break-in fires, so I'll be building a real fire tonight.

    Thanks for the help.
  5. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    i was saying just this to a potential customer at our fall home show recently, when the Hearthstone rep interupts me(how rude huh?lol) and tells the customer its ok, everyone does it
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Another problem may be the wood.
    I notice mine don't stay burning unless it's on "High" if the wood is not dry.
    Of course if your are on this forum, by now you know the importance of well seasoned (dry) wood.

    I'm just say'n. :)
  7. fjord

    fjord New Member

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    Yes, it's true: most do it. Wood is not always completely dry. Stoves and furnaces have different air controls and volume. Using too many wood stoves since the stove renaissance in the 70's from U.S, makers like Fisher and Ashley to Scandinavia ( Morso and Lange) , and the real Vermont Castings, most startup fires with or without coals use the 'cracked' ash door, open front/side door, or with top loaders, sliding a small sliver of wood in the top door to get the fire going. Yes, it depends on the size and seasoning of the splits. You have to do the trial and error of wood heating.....takes a season or two. No stove or furnace burns in the same manner.

    BUTT: the manuals' warnings are attorney-talk to protect the manufacturer.

    And BUTT #2 : most important, you can easily overfire any stove or furnace with too much air leading to overfiring, with possible damage to the stove or furnace. We 've used a loud timer to remind us of the open doors.
    "In the old days" the morning fires were very hot to "burn off" creosote from damped down overnight fires. We do a modified version now, BUTT, keep a careful eye on the stove/furnace top temps.
    FYI: the 2 stoves now are 24/7, with NO central heat. One is a cat, the other a non-cat. The primary air on the cat stove makes it easier to startup. The non cat Oslo takes some open ash at first then a cracked side door to get a full load going. Just keep an eye on the temps WHERE the maker says to place them.
    royal likes this.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    There is one statement that seems to be made by many folks and it irks me to no end. It is just like the folks who want to do drugs and say, "Well, everybody does it." Or it may be alcohol, silly foods, talking on cell phones while driving, texting while doing anything, ad nauseum. I just read a few hours ago some article where the person states that everybody talks on the phone while driving. What? I know lots of folks who don't even own a cell phone so how can "everybody" do it? It is just plain dumb to make a blanket statement about everybody doing something. Well, maybe it is everybody but me....

    Sorry about the rant. Carry on.
    Trooper likes this.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    johnstra, we can quite regularly count on new wood burners having not so good of dry wood. Lots of them purchase what is called seasoned wood but most wood sellers just say that or don't know what real seasoned wood is. We had to go into town (11 miles) today and on the way we saw no less than 4 places who were putting up wood for this year. Yup. Freshly cut; freshly split. One fellow was also selling it as ready to burn at $120 per cord. Amazingly, he is selling quite a bit of it too.

    Most hearth.com folks like to have their wood stacked after splitting and then leave set for 1-3 years before burning it. Once folks experience really dry wood they would certainly not go back to the old way with green wood.
  11. johnstra

    johnstra Feeling the Heat

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    I've owned/operated a wood stove before (non-cat VC encore). It was a very different beast. I understand the over-fire concerns with buring with the ash pan door open. Ordinarily I wouldn't do it, but not knowing the stove I did it get the fire started. I liken it to using ether on a diesel engine... folks have done if for years and some people still do it, but I've seen cracked ring lands and damaged pistons resulting from it.

    My wood is dry... I'm burning pine right now. I don't know when it was cut and split, but my meter says it' 10%.

    I lit another fire tonight and it took off just fine. I left the front door cracked till it was burning good. Then I closed the door and left the primary wide open. After about 30 minutes, I moved the primary to 1/2 and then dialed it down a bit more 15 minutes later. I have secondaries going now on a small load of pine.

    Looks good and feel good!
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like you are getting the hang of it. Beware of idle suggestions for shortcuts, particularly when they are in direct violation of the stove maker's documentation. While there can be exceptions to the rule, ask first, who is paying for this if it doesn't work out?
  13. Lighting Up

    Lighting Up Feeling the Heat

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    One thing to keep in mind when starting from a cold start is feel if you have cold air coming down the chimney on that start up. If you do you will need a hotter starter. What I do is add some paper to the starter for a hotter start. open a door or window a crack in the house and keep the stove door open a crack. Oh and don't, don't, don't walk away till the door of the stove is closed.

    Cold starts in this season get tricky because no heat (hot air) is getting up the chimney. We tend to forget this because we feel the first chill in the house.
    Good Luck...
    md
  14. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Well sure it's OK . . . Hearthstone makes money on selling replacement parts and new stoves, right? ;)

    I personally wonder what the engineers would say about this rep and his opinion . . . much less what the legal eagles would think of his comments . . . I mean if it's OK to not follow one thing in the manual what else could I ignore? . . . well I would really like to install the stove closer to the wall a few inches closer than the manual . . . I would really like to not clean the chimney more than say once every five years . . . I would really like to get the fire going faster by using a cup of oil.
  16. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Back in the day, VC told us dealers to sell the ash pan feature on the Encore as a "turbo" for getting the fire started faster. It sure worked great. About 2 years later, for various reasons, they decided to tell us to stop.
  17. fjord

    fjord New Member

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    True...it was done because:
    1. Their attorney and liability insurance rep.
    2. Users who left the ash door cracked for startups, often did not monitor the stove, or set an alarm to close the ash door well before any chance of overfiring.
    3. It was a startup technique RECOMMENDED by some dealers, without caveats.

    Used safely and correctly, it CAN be fine. Watchful waiting.

    Wood burning is an art. Like anything it can be dangerous ( kinda like driving ? ).
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I suppose one can also go out and cut wood without chaps or protection and may be be fine. Just another art, no? Haven't seen that recommended too much in the gear section though. It's always easy to recommend risky practices when one is not paying for the outcome of the risk.

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