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wood-aire stove - what is the rectangle door?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by andrewjoseph, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. andrewjoseph

    andrewjoseph New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2013
    Messages:
    36
    Loc:
    omaha, ne
    I am currently trying to figure out how to operate this fireplace in the house we just moved into. The fan switch does not turn on the blowers, there are two of them near the floor. I am hoping that there is a thermal switch or a thermostat which is not allowing power to the blower system, and that there just isn't a short or other electrical issue with the blowers.

    I cannot find a model number on the unit, but while I was looking for this I noticed a metal rectangle on the floor which appears to open. I don't know if it opens, what's inside, or if this tells anyone anything about the unit.

    I looked for a thermostat wire or switch or sensor inside but cannot see one.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    29,069
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Eeek! That is a $1.99 central heat/air register for house ductwork. It sure never was original equipment in any wood burning appliance or fireplace.
  3. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    762
    Loc:
    Western North Carolina
    Some sheet metal is pretty tough. Think about single wall stove pipe, for example. I know a guy who has burned his stove with a 15' run of single wall pipe up through his cathedral ceiling for over 17 years now. He never cleans the flue and relies on chimney fires to clean out the creosote! No Joke! I've talked to him about safety, but he says it's worked fine for him. He has a Hearthstone Heritage stove with four cracks in one of the rear wall soapstone panels. He starts his fires by opening the ash door for five minutes or so. It's like a blast furnace in there when I've been there to see it. Anyway, maybe those cheap registers are made of similar metal.
  4. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    703
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    The only way you are going to know if that fireplace is safe and functional is having somebody that knows woodburning appliances go over it with you.

    If the grate at the bottom front of the stove is heavy steel it may be the outside air supply and control. Can you see what connects to the bottom? If it is thin pressed metal then somebody probably replaced the original with a cheap HVAC register as BB mentioned.

    If I was putting a snapdisk somewhere, the rectangular plate in the bottom center is probably where I would put it. If the plate pops open then take a look.

    The firebox looks in good shape, little or no rust or warping. The fan looks a little small, maybe a .5 HP, 180 CF/m unit. Definitely not 2.5 HP. Possibly they put the small fans for short ducts and larger fans for longer runs...

    If it was in my house and the sweep/woodstove professional signed off on the unit and the flue I would not be adverse to starting a small fire to see what happens. Make sure he looks at the front grate and the connecting pipe. Hot embers could fall down there. Everything connected to it has to be non-combustible with decent clearances to combustibles.

    Be safe. If you have concerns then slow down and get another professional opinion. From this far away it is hard to make a good evaluation of the unit.

    KaptJaq

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