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Why doesn't my soapstone stove work like it is supposed to?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Backwoods Savage, Sep 20, 2009.

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  1. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    After seeing so many posts about the soapstone stoves taking so long to heat up, I was wondering what was wrong with my stove. Then this morning I woke up to a very cold house.

    I tell the wife to stay in bed while I get the stove going. That should take well over an hour according to the professionals on hearth.com! She liked that idea.

    So, having nothing in the house for the fire, I walk out to the woodpile...and find it is colder outside than it is in the house. But I quickly grabbed some kindling (I know it is dry because it is 4 year's in the wood pile) and head back to the stove.

    Feeling a little lazy this morning, instead of the usual newspaper under the kindling, I grab a firestarter (Coghlan's Fire Lighters) that I bought in the camping department of a discount retailer. I light the fire starter and place it under one end of the kindling and shut the fire door of the stove.

    I then go outdoors for some splits. But first I moved a few things (we're doing some construction) before grabbing some 6 year old elm. So I was outdoors for a couple of minutes, but when I opened the door to come into the house.........already I could feel heat from the stove!

    Wait a minute! How can you feel heat from a soapstone stove that has been burning 6 little pieces of kindling for less than 5 minutes? That is not possible....is it? Anyway, I put in the splits and then have some breakfast. Now I am at the computer and am no longer cold. It is still a bit cool in here but I'm sitting about 12 feet from the stove and can feel the heat.

    So, why doesn't my Fireview soapstone stove work like they say it is supposed to work? I'm puzzled.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Because what you are feeling is the radiant heat out the glass.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    But these things take forever to throw heat BB. Haven't you read all the posts attesting to that? Besides, it was only kindling in the stove.
  4. rich81

    rich81 Member

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    you must have bought the SUPER-DUPER model
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Your feeling the heat from the stove pipe and cast iron frame.
  6. kork

    kork New Member

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    Do you have a "Magic Heat" your not telling us about?
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    White man have big secret. Not tell...
  8. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I don't know... it's too early in the season to pass a verdict but mine may be 'broken' too. :)

    Last two "test" burns - one raised room (actually measured in Kitchen which is next door, but it is an "open" space) temp by .9* on the kindling in 45 minutes (was a slow start, experimenting with lighting methods) then after putting 3 splits on room went up another .5* after 20 minutes for a total of 1.4* in about an hour. Most recent fire raised room temp 1.8* in the same time (65 minutes) despite warmer indoor starting temp. Felt pretty warm too, but being an engineer by trade I tend to go for objective measures. I'll have to keep track of the kindling warming temps more close in the future...

    Now, if that heat is from the stove pipe I'm particularly impressed as I didn't get this much warming from my previous stove - same amount of stove pipe, and it would have significantly higher temps on the pipe during the same phase of the burn. Cast iron parts of the stove are a good possibility - they are heating up faster than the stone - the loading door in particular is a nice hot zone (glad it faces a big open room to radiate to instead of being against the wall if I had gone with the right side door! hadn't thought of that benefit when I bought it).

    In case anyone is interested, kindling plus 3 splits and air set at 3/4 raised room 3* total from initial match after less than 2hrs when I went to bed, and I had enough coals to kindle fire again in the morning 10hrs after adding the 3 splits (match + 10.5hrs), room temp. One has to love shoulder season when you really don't NEED the heat (temp differential between inside and out was only about 30* so whoopie! eh?), however I know that I would have lost about 2* in the room/house had I not burned (past experience) so waking up to almost same temp as going to bed is something. Yeah, I like the numbers and am a spreadsheet addict.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Well, you guys have to know this thread was a sort of tongue in cheek shot at the unbelievers. Yes, with a soapstone stove and proper wood burning skills you can get heat fairly quick in a soapstone stove. Granted, you will feel more heat quicker with a steel stove but soapstone heats quicker than some have tried to say.

    And of course the early heat is from the glass, stovepipe and cast! Even though this stove is soapstone, it still is not totally built with only the stone; it needs the cast parts....such as the fire door. The point is that this stove just seems to work different from some of the stories written here on this forum.
  10. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    LOL...or only because the Laws of Physics are different at Savage's.
  11. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    Well, it's still September. But if Bart was 12 feet from his steel stove after the same amount of time, he'd be down to his skivvies by now.

    Sorry, no pics attached.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    And it really keeps the place warm for a long time. I loaded it up at the end of April and the house is still warm this morning.
  13. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    You've managed to save us all.
    Thank you. ;-P

    Dave
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    YOU LIE!
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hey, it was amazing but when I got up this morning the stove was still warm!
  16. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Must be operator error.
  17. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Geez, now I'm worried that I have one of these defective stoves on the truck headed my way. ;-)
  18. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I sure hope so.
    I haven't had a chance to thoroughly check mine yet. At leat we know Woodstock will stand behind their product, and swap out anything defective.
  19. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    Your soap to stone ratio sounds really far off. You should probably drop the stove at my place and I'll take a look. You can have my stove if you want. I will probably need to keep yours for an extended period of time. I'll return it next June.
  20. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    cough, cough, firestarter, cough :coolsmile:
  21. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Well bully for you!

    Just imagine how quickly your house would warm up if you hadn't jumped on that soap stone bandwagon.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hey Bigg Redd, I was wondering if you'd chime in here again! lol Isn't life sweet?!
  23. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Hmmm . . . the stove must be broken, but don't worry I have the fix . . . go out to the garage/shed/what have you and look for your sledgehammer . . . now give your stove a few thunks on the side and this will realign the flux capacitor back to its original specs and you will be back to having a soapstone stove that will take hours to heat up your home. ;) :)
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Now Jake, I expected that answer but not out of you! lol
  25. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    I think myzamboni is onto something

    ...."I grab a firestarter (Coghlan’s Fire Lighters)"...

    Are these the new nuclear firestarters? No splits needed, a Coghlan's and kindling starts off the nuclear reaction. Your house will be warm for days. And will emit a soft glow at night.
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