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)

You Were Expecting This, Weren't You?! (Tell The Truth)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by soupy1957, Jan 20, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,365
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    So here we are, 1 week into owning and burning wood in our wood stove.........and guess what............we've suddenly "taken a break" from lighting a fire.
    Is it the "work" involved..........what's going on??????

    I think the two of us felt as if (since we don't "depend" on our wood stove for heat), it was "ok" to give ourselves a break from having to "tend" the fire, for a change.
    Of course we "love" a fire, and appreciate the heat, ..............

    Been there?????
    -Soupy1957

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. woodzilla

    woodzilla New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    168
    Loc:
    Mid-Michigan
    Oh h3ll no!
  3. wood spliter

    wood spliter New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    854
    Loc:
    Long Island, ny
    No, I had mine put in in December and its been on ever since. The family loves it. The wife who was not on board with tending to it even loads it now. I loved my last two oil bills! We did have to get into a rhythm. We found a bag to carry the wood so it would not make a mess. I try to bring enough wood for 2 loadings. I also keep a weeks supply of wood on my covered porch. Now its easy for us to get the wood at night or in rain or snow. Hope some of what I do makes it easier on you.
  4. wolfram

    wolfram New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Western NY
    No. Seek help. Be independent. And add other ways to be independent.
  5. jcims

    jcims Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    106
    Loc:
    Midwest
    That's the thing. Once you get a routine down, it really becomes much more fun.
  6. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    845
    Loc:
    Franklin MA
    there are about 7 days in the heating season i don't light the fire

    Monday was one of them - had a lot of dental work done - came home and turned up the t-stat to 70 and went to bed

    99% of the time i'll light a fire when i get home from work but having the new boiler in the basement is just another option - frankly i don't fret it and if by being conformable in my own home means i 1/2 gallon of oil for that night than so be it
  7. wood spliter

    wood spliter New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    854
    Loc:
    Long Island, ny
    Yes it took about 3 weeks to come up with a routine. Between getting the tools, allot of sweeping and moving the wood pile. Its well worth it.
  8. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,746
    Loc:
    Central Sands, Wisconsin
    I take a break from lighting a fire sometime in October, then start lighting it again in April.

    October - April the fire never goes out, so I never have to light it!
  9. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,365
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Don't misunderstand the initial post...........it's not a lack of "love" for the woodstove; its merits or its ambiance. It's just ............I dunno.........getting used to adding the extra duty to my daily routine. All the pieces are in place to do the "routine," .........it's just an adjustment.

    I'd truly LOVE to keep the fire going and not have to re-start it daily, but that hasn't happened yet. I believe that if the wife were able to be more of a participant, it might make things easier. (She tries, but it's hard for her to do, from a wheelchair).

    Being a "care-giver" is a tough job as it is, .........laundry, cooking, dishes, house cleaning, groceries, bed-making, ........so my time is pretty "spoken for" even before the wood stove addition. (Not to mention holding down a full-time job, btw).

    -Soupy1957

    P.S. Stevebass4: that avatar of yours is just "wrong" (lol)
  10. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    976
    Loc:
    So. Me.
    We've always used the Fireview in our home to keep the house toasty. It's only been the primary source of heat when we've lost the power.

    However, "my" stove (the Classic) in the studio is the primary source of heat for the space even though there is an oil-fired furnace as back up. So this is the first time I've ever "been on the stick" for 24 hr. operation. And I have to say, it's been pretty easy. There were a few operational hiccups with respect to uneven building pressure earlier in the fall, but my friends here helped me think about it in a new way and I've really got the hang of it now. And yes, it did take about 3 wks. to get the routine down. It helped, I think, that we've been wise to the necessity of dry wood for many years now, so I was able to sidestep that pothole (which can be a real "ankle twister").

    I don't find it particularly difficult, at all. I fire the stove up in the morning guaging the amount of wood I use on the day's forecast. While the stove comes up to operating temperature I enjoy my coffee and NPR. I damper it down and then go about the day's business. I make sure the woodbox is filled during the daylight hours and in preparation for a bout of crummy weather. I fill the stove at night and then just, "set it and forget it". Ash removal is a weekend chore. I find two full loads of wood/day more than adequate to keep the studio very comfortable.

    It probably helps that the Classic is a very nice stove and a breeze to operate... friends of mine have an old stove in mediocre condition and they really are slaves to the thing. I have a hard time holding my tongue when I hear the litany of complaints about how "much work" it is to have a wood stove. Yeah, probably is when you have a pre EPA, poorly maintained stove, an older home you make no effort to insulate, and you buy the cheapest load of wood you can find and leave it in an uncovered pile in your dooryard... .

    Practice makes perfect, and I really get a kick out of being warm and "out in front" of the oil bill!
  11. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,539
    Loc:
    VA
    You've only had it a week as you say, and the weather hasn't been nearly as bad... next cold snap and that routine will snap into place!
    I'm having a little of the same thing going on here - last week I got home from work and lit the stove every day, but yesterday I tried and failed because I had no starters and no newspaper and not much kindling ready, and then the yellow pages I was using (as substitute newspaper) weren't burning... then the (regular cooking) stove set off the smoke alarm, so I just gave up and let husband do it when he got home. If I was in a wheelchair I would definitely have to be very motivated so kudos to both of you - you will work it out soon as it's cold enough again!
  12. Mr. Kelly

    Mr. Kelly Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    214
    Loc:
    Northern Worcester County, MA
    Can you clarify..., is the fact that you have to relight each day the result of not having overnight burns, or that you've had overnight burns, but haven't had the coals or box heat to get a fire going in the morning without restarting from cold?
  13. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,153
    Loc:
    Midwest
    With experience, there shouldn't be too much 'tending'. I light the fire, it burns, I get cold, I throw in another log...night time comes I load the appropriate amount of wood, go to bed...next day scrape out some ashes and repeat. Most of the time is spent just enjoying the warmth and flickering orange/yellow glow.

    I guess it's sort of like a new car...you wash it, wax it, vacuum, clean the glass, oil changes at 3k miles, etc. Once it's 20 years old, you won't care.
  14. 4acrefarm

    4acrefarm Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    159
    Loc:
    western ma
    Try lighting it with an instant light plumbers torch if you don't have paper and small enough splits. I do this when it dosent catch the first time or when i'm to lazzy to do it right. A mechanic friend of mine usese road flairs, just toss it in and forget it.
  15. elmoleaf

    elmoleaf Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    391
    Loc:
    Southeastern Massachusetts
    Woodheat involves lots of physical labor, even if you don't cut your own wood.
    I use it to supplement my oil heat to save money. If I were rich, I probably wouldn't bother with a woodstove.
  16. dreezon

    dreezon New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    173
    Loc:
    Peoria, IL
    Say it ain't so.
  17. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,528
    Loc:
    USA
    Get a BKK, it takes most if the indoor hassle and work out of heating with a wood stove. Load it once or twice a day and walk away... Seriously.
  18. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    1,365
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Mr. Kelly: Most nights in the last 7 days, I've been adding a log every now and then til I go to bed. Considering I go to bed at 8 PM, (the wife is up often during the night, and if she was in perfect health, she'd gladly tend a dying fire), I can load up the firebox with as much as she'll hold, without blocking the air inlet, (it's a 20" box, East/West, and about 12" North/South), and it'll burn til about midnight. By then, it's a glowing coal bed.

    So, setting up for an "overnight burn" has so far elluded us. As a result, we settle for letting things burn down, and when the temp in the room gets down to 68ºF, our furnace kicks on by default.

    We COULD have bought a bigger firebox I suppose, but our 1200 sq. ft. of living space wasn't supposed to need more than the size of the Avalong Rainier 90. I'm beginning to wish we had purchased a larger wood stove firebox capacity.....then I could REALLY "load up" the box.

    Tickbitty: You're right of course.........the next day that a cold snap occurs, I'll be lighting it in a heart beat!

    -Soupy1957
  19. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,419
    Loc:
    Middle TN
    Soupy, the problem I have when using the "add a log at a time" procedure is that I end up with a 4 or 5" coal bed that makes loading the stove up at night difficult if not impossible. These stoves truly perform best in cycles: you load the amount you want, let the secondaries burn off the gases, enter the charcoaling stage, then settle down to a coal bed.

    I think a lot of people confuse "overnight burn" with 8-10 hours of full secondary combustion. I can't speak for a catalytic stove (which is why I started a thread discussing their burn cycles), but in a non-cat stove with burn tubes, you're just not going to get hours and hours and hours of that magic light show. Once the wood has given up those gases, you're pretty much in the charcoaling stage. I've found that since adding a blower, I get "more" usable heat from the charcoaling stage by moving more convection heated air.

    For me, an overnight burn is loading up about 8-10 small to medium oak splits on an even 2" coal bed loaded N/S. The first hour is a strong secondary combustion inferno and a stove top of 650F - 700F. Then I get about another hour of 600F. Then an hour of 500F. Then I hit the early charcoaling stage where the stove seems to hold 400F for several hours. Eight hours later, I usually have a fire box full of coals at the back, and a temp of 250-300F. To me, that is an "overnight burn".

    I don't think you're doing anything particularly wrong, but be aware that the "log at a time" method can go against the burn cycle/nature of today's stoves. My overnight burn consists of a shorter period of that nice, strong secondary combustion than it does the "glowing red"/charcoal stage. Nature of the beast, unfortunately.
  20. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,973
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    I'm way way too cheap to use the electric baseboard heaters so my choice is to be cold if I don't "feel like" starting a fire. Suck it up, Princess.
  21. caber

    caber New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    291
    Loc:
    Western Maryland
    No taking a break when your primary source of heat is your woodstove. No fire, no heat.
  22. wood spliter

    wood spliter New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    854
    Loc:
    Long Island, ny
    As long as I damper the fire down at night I still have coals in the morning. Then I ad the smallest dry wood I have and its going good within a half hour. My box is bigger but so is my living space. I am up at 5am, the house is 65 in the front from the stove and 64 in the back with the oil heat as a supplement. By 6am the front is 68-70. The back doors are shut till everyone gets up. I am out the door by 7 by then all the boors are open. I damper down the fire and it hold at 66 and 64 respectively. This is on a 35 degree day and 20's at night.
  23. logger

    logger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    687
    Loc:
    Pine Barrens, NJ
    That poor bastard Avalon of yours needs a new home.. Im calling DYFS!
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,872
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
  25. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,746
    Loc:
    Central Sands, Wisconsin
    I understand, you are an occasional woodburner. Nothing wrong with that. Lots of people are.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page