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Vogelzang Colonial TR004 Insert - Air Control working?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by zarbiker, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. zarbiker

    zarbiker New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Hi,
    I recently installed a Colonial TR004 wood burning insert with a 24 foot insulated stainless steel liner mounted inside an exterior chimney. I am concerned as to whether my air control lever (a.k.a. damper control) on the front of the insert is working properly. In the open position it is a little hard to get the fire started without leaving the door ajar. I understand this is pretty common. I leave it in the open position and the fire eventually really gets going with a nice clean burn. However, closing the air control lever seems to have little or no effect. If I open the door slightly the fire clearly gets more air.
    My question is "does this sound normal"? Should sliding the air control show a clearly noticeable change in the fire? I worry that my air control lever is not working.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    South Puget Sound, WA
    Welcome. Often when we see this problem it turns out to be the wood and not the stove that is at fault. EPA stoves want thoroughly dry wood. Try some construction scraps mixed in with your wood and see if the fire is more responsive.
  3. zarbiker

    zarbiker New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
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    Thanks begreen,
    I will try to see if different/dryer wood improves startup. My real concern is whether my inserts air control is having any effect or is defective. If I opening or close the air control lever while a fire is in full force and then wait a minute or so I see no discernible difference in the fire intensity. Should I?
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
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    If the wood is not well seasoned it won't respond with a vigorous growth in flame as the air control is opened. Dry wood will. This is a common problem, there are lots of threads here on this topic. For now, assume the stove is ok and try out some known dry wood. If the stove still doesn't respond to the air control, then that would be the next thing to check out along with the flue collar connection.

    Here is a current thread:
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/burning-the-bacon-wood.105251/

    PS: Was the chimney thoroughly cleaned before the liner was installed? Is the liner insulated?
  5. zarbiker

    zarbiker New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
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    Thanks begreen,
    I was told the wood I purchased was dry but I don't know how to really know for sure that it was. I will burn with some kiln dried samples of wood they sell at the supermarket and re-monitor the air control. The chimney was cleaned before I installed the new liner. To more easily pass through my fireplace damper opening I insulated only the top 21 feet of the 24 foot chimney liner. I have only burned when the outside temperatures were below 30 degrees.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    46,672
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Well done. Sounds like a good plan. It's almost impossible to find really dry wood when bought late in the season. If you have an ax or maul try resplitting some of the wood and press the freshly exposed face of the wood to your cheek. If it feels cold and damp, it is probably only partially seasoned. Some hardwood like oak can take 2-3 yrs to fully season.

    Keep us posted.

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