2019-20 Blaze King Performance Thread Part 1 (Everything BK)

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Tron

Member
Jan 1, 2020
112
Jackson MS
The premix is just the tile glue, but even that did set pretty fast. I have dry grout I will mix up once it has completely set, but I will probably grout one or two seams and clean the tiles directly afterward. That grey stain on the half tiles is just dust from cutting.
Sadly, we did not get it mirror-flat, those slate tiles did have a variance in thickness (and I even suspect that some of them were not entirely straight). In the middle of the living room that would probably be bothersome, but for the hearth where you don't walk over all the time, I guess it passes. It being in an alcove, after all.

If anyone's interested, we did not build any sub-construction beneath, it sits directly on the concrete foundation. Should be fireproof.
 
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GinaC

New Member
Jan 31, 2020
26
Newport, VT
If the Sirocco is put together like the Princess, the screws are #2 squarehead sheet metal screws. With a big aggressive thread holding thin metal together, "tight" shouldn't really be an option (if you try to tighten it too much, it just strips the hole).

Were you using a square head driver?
I didn't have the correct tool to really go at the screws, and I didn't want to scratch the shroud. I also wanted the guys to come and make sure everything was OK inside, and then try to center the thing again.

Success! The guy was in the area today and my little Sirocco is fixed and going strong as we speak. Apparently the last guy wasn't careful about placing the fan wires where they should be, and the connection was blocking the flapper, as we all thought. This guy zip tied the fan wires to the large black fan plug wire and placed them all carefully together before replacing the shroud. He also added a ground that should have been installed in the first place. The price of a service call was well worth my peace of mind.

Annnnd... he managed to get it centered in the hearth! \o/ I am a very happy BK owner.
 

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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,501
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I didn't have the correct tool to really go at the screws, and I didn't want to scratch the shroud. I also wanted the guys to come and make sure everything was OK inside, and then try to center the thing again.

Success! The guy was in the area today and my little Sirocco is fixed and going strong as we speak. Apparently the last guy wasn't careful about placing the fan wires where they should be, and the connection was blocking the flapper, as we all thought. This guy zip tied the fan wires to the large black fan plug wire and placed them all carefully together before replacing the shroud. He also added a ground that should have been installed in the first place. The price of a service call was well worth my peace of mind.

Annnnd... he managed to get it centered in the hearth! \o/ I am a very happy BK owner.
That's great news. Looking forward to your reports on the improved function. That flapper stays closed a lot of the time on mine.
 

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
326
Yardley, PA
@GinaC. Looks good. I mentioned in a different thread that in the past there was a screw blocking the closing of the thermostat plate. Looks like in your case there were some wires doing the same thing. Please stick around and update us on the performance of the Sirocco this winter. Its a good looking unit but not as many let us know the results of that flush insert. I seriously considered that unit before pulling the plug on my Princess. Happy burning.
 

GinaC

New Member
Jan 31, 2020
26
Newport, VT
@GinaCPlease stick around and update us on the performance of the Sirocco this winter. Its a good looking unit but not as many let us know the results of that flush insert. I seriously considered that unit before pulling the plug on my Princess. Happy burning.
I will update as things change, but I can say now that I am very surprised that it keeps my house as toasty as it does. (It was working well before the guys came the first time to screw the shroud in.)

My house was built in 1939, so I have very little, if any, insulation in the walls. I haven't restored the original double-hung windows yet, and there are 30 of them in this little 1289 sq foot house! I do have 1960's storm windows, but I can still see and feel heat loss. I shrink wrapped them all this fall, and so that's some more small leak-prevention.

The wall opposite the insert is the open staircase to the second floor, and the master bedroom is right above the insert in the living room, with the chimney going through it. The fan on the Sirocco really pushes the heat right up the stairs and even the room upstairs on the other side of the staircase stays warm. At the top of the stairs is a little window seat, so again, once my windows are restored and new storms put on, I should get even better results.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,720
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I will update as things change, but I can say now that I am very surprised that it keeps my house as toasty as it does. (It was working well before the guys came the first time to screw the shroud in.)

My house was built in 1939, so I have very little, if any, insulation in the walls. I haven't restored the original double-hung windows yet, and there are 30 of them in this little 1289 sq foot house! I do have 1960's storm windows, but I can still see and feel heat loss. I shrink wrapped them all this fall, and so that's some more small leak-prevention.

The wall opposite the insert is the open staircase to the second floor, and the master bedroom is right above the insert in the living room, with the chimney going through it. The fan on the Sirocco really pushes the heat right up the stairs and even the room upstairs on the other side of the staircase stays warm. At the top of the stairs is a little window seat, so again, once my windows are restored and new storms put on, I should get even better results.
I have lived in a couple older houses, including one ~1890s house with the original windows in it. Those old wood windows will actually last practically forever if you maintain them, and they can even be reasonably efficient in the winter with modern double pane storm windows added. (I remember losing a fingernail to one one time when the counterweight rope broke while I was trying to close the top sash. Those sashes were solid!)

Most people don't want to mess with storm windows (jeez, most people don't know what they ARE anymore) and just get modern replacement windows. I think the old handmade wood windows are pretty, though.

Your house is old enough to be balloon framed, so there could be anything in the walls. I think my parents spent a decade tearing up egg cartons to dump into the walls from the attic. I once ripped out a garage wall and found that it had been hand-stuffed with newspapers of the day, which were pretty cool to read. If your house has DIY insulation of this type, insulating is a much bigger job because you need to clear out the bays before you can blow anything in (not that most blow-in companies would even mention this, I imagine, they'd just top off the bays and call in a day).
 

GinaC

New Member
Jan 31, 2020
26
Newport, VT
I have lived in a couple older houses, including one ~1890s house with the original windows in it. Those old wood windows will actually last practically forever if you maintain them, and they can even be reasonably efficient in the winter with modern double pane storm windows added. (I remember losing a fingernail to one one time when the counterweight rope broke while I was trying to close the top sash. Those sashes were solid!)

Most people don't want to mess with storm windows (jeez, most people don't know what they ARE anymore) and just get modern replacement windows. I think the old handmade wood windows are pretty, though.

Your house is old enough to be balloon framed, so there could be anything in the walls. I think my parents spent a decade tearing up egg cartons to dump into the walls from the attic. I once ripped out a garage wall and found that it had been hand-stuffed with newspapers of the day, which were pretty cool to read. If your house has DIY insulation of this type, insulating is a much bigger job because you need to clear out the bays before you can blow anything in (not that most blow-in companies would even mention this, I imagine, they'd just top off the bays and call in a day).
Yes, it is such a shame that people have been so brainwashed into replacing old windows -- the new vinyl ones only last about ten years! If maintained, old windows can be just as good or better efficiency as new ones, and they will last a very, very long time. Mine should last at least another 80 years when restored. You just can't get anything close to old growth wood these days. I just love my wavy glass, and all the downstairs ones are still stained and shellaced wood -- they've never even been painted. It's not hard to restore old double-hungs, just time consuming. I plan to reglaze them and install spring bronze weatherstripping, and do the same to my original doors.

When the previous owner acquired the house from the original owner's estate in 2000, he put in all new wiring and insulated the places he could get to, which is pretty much just the basement, attic, and the knee walls in the 1/2 storey upstairs. The walls are original drywall, and it was never plaster -- no signs of lathe on any of the studs where I've punched holes in the walls for the small changes I plan to make. The exterior siding is original as well, and in pretty good condition, so I really have no way to put in more insulation unless I want to go tearing stuff down, which I don't.

My engineer said that the original attic vents are not enough for proper air circulation, so that is most likely why I have icicles hanging from my 2-year-old roof. It's too bad that I probably won't be able to put a whole house fan in there since it could backflow the furnace due to leaky original heating vents, but I'm going to see if I can put in a small attic fan and that should help during those 90 degree days we get in the summer. I sure am thankful for 30 windows during those heatwaves!
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
My house was built in 1939,... once my windows are restored and new storms put on, I should get even better results.
I’m glad you’re going the restoration route, and not replacement. PM me or start a thread in the Inglenook and post a link here, any time you want to talk old hoses and windows. Old houses are the one constant in my life, there’s already plenty of talk on this forum about the old joint I’ve been heating.
 
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GinaC

New Member
Jan 31, 2020
26
Newport, VT
I’m glad you’re going the restoration route, and not replacement. PM me or start a thread in the Inglenook and post a link here, any time you want to talk old hoses and windows. Old houses are the one constant in my life, there’s already plenty of talk on this forum about the old joint I’ve been heating.
Thank you! I usually hang out at a forum for us old house lovers, lots of nice folks there and some really grand houses! https://thehistoricdistrict.org/
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
Chimney Expo
Wow, a chimney expo. Interesting, I bet. @bholler you ever been to one of these?
engineer said that the original attic vents are not enough for proper air circulation, so that is most likely why I have icicles hanging from my 2-year-old roof...I'm going to see if I can put in a small attic fan and that should help during those 90 degree days we get in the summer.
Yeah, I have a thermostatic fan in one of our gable-end vents, away from the summer prevailing wind, to keep my roof a bit cooler and preserve my shingles.
Maybe you have a lot of light fixtures leaking warm air into the attic? If so, limiting that might reduce melting on the roof and reduce the icicles..
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,922
central pa
Wow, a chimney expo. Interesting, I bet. @bholler you ever been to one of these?
Yeah, I have a thermostatic fan in one of our gable-end vents, away from the summer prevailing wind, to keep my roof a bit cooler and preserve my shingles.
Maybe you have a lot of light fixtures leaking warm air into the attic? If so, limiting that might reduce melting on the roof and reduce the icicles..
Well yeah. Atleast one a year. I will be in kop but probably not Thurs night
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
Well yeah. Atleast one a year. I will be in kop but probably not Thurs night
Maybe BKVP will leave some of those free drinks at the bar for you. ==c
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Maybe BKVP will leave some of those free drinks at the bar for you. ==c
I don't know about that, but he has been known to show up at customers' houses by surprise, bearing gifts like some sort of skinny Santa Claus. ;lol
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Yeah, I have a thermostatic fan in one of our gable-end vents, away from the summer prevailing wind, to keep my roof a bit cooler and preserve my shingles.
My father used to be hired on occasion to support either customers or insurance companies in litigation of fire cases, and I remember there being enough cases of houses burned straight to the ground with astounding speed by thermostatically-controlled attic exhaust fans, that it left an impression on me. Simple case: house fire starts, attic gets warm, exhaust fan kicks on, house turns into a forge.

For this reason, my parents always ran ours on a mechanical hour timer with an override switch, rather than a thermostat. Still not completely fail-safe, but at least it doesn't automatically turn itself on when there's a surprise house fire, and no one is home or able to stop it.
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
I don't know about that, but he has been known to show up at customers' houses by surprise, bearing gifts like some sort of skinny Santa Claus. ;lol
;lol He wouldn't even have to stop here, just drop one of those gifts down the stack as he flies over my house. ;) On second thought, if I had a flamey fire going, a load of those volatiles could cause a bigger "boom" than any back-puff I've ever witnessed! :eek:
Maybe he needs a few of these other Santas to fatten him up a bit.. ==c
20191222_093345.jpg
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
I don't know about that, but he has been known to show up at customers' houses by surprise, bearing gifts like some sort of skinny Santa Claus. ;lol
Skinny! Who you calling skinny?!
 
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Nerdasaurus

New Member
Feb 11, 2020
2
Golden BC
Hello hearth-ers!
I’m new here and can’t quite find the answer to my question.
I am looking at buying an old Blaze King KEJ-1101 for around $600. It has a new Cat in it and other than a missing wooden handle seems to be in great shape.
The reason I want a Blaze King is for the long burn times they boast.
However, I can’t find any info on this older model.
Can anyone who uses one give me their real life experience with it?
I know there are lots of variables and I am just looking for a ball park figure.

I will be burning mostly dry Douglas fir with pine and spruce.

Thanks in advance for any help and advice.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,720
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
I think the 1101 still had the horizontal cat underneath the flue with a bunch of steel baffles around it. BKVP says they were good stoves, though. (And once again I am annoyed that the link button doesn't work anymore.)

The thread below has BKVP's take on this stove, and [WARNING DANGER ALERT] also a late-model bholler "garage vs. workshop" segment, though thankfully nobody argued about it in this one, so that part stayed pretty short. ;)

 
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Rob711

Feeling the Heat
Oct 19, 2017
342
Long Island, ny
Creosote smell on low, I’ve been telling myself its not bad. I just came in from work, thermostat at my low, 3:00 on the swoosh, cat active, relatively block box. House stinks! I’ve noticed this before but rationalized excuses, wind etc. I recall reading about this here before, was there a cause or solution? This is on my new in October Ashford insert.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,754
Ottawa, ON
Creosote smell on low, I’ve been telling myself its not bad. I just came in from work, thermostat at my low, 3:00 on the swoosh, cat active, relatively block box. House stinks! I’ve noticed this before but rationalized excuses, wind etc. I recall reading about this here before, was there a cause or solution? This is on my new in October Ashford insert.
Man, that really sucks. Have you been in touch with BK regarding this (in case I missed it)?
 

Rob711

Feeling the Heat
Oct 19, 2017
342
Long Island, ny
No, I haven’t called blaze king yet. Now that I’ve been home I don’t notice it until I go to the second floor. The weather has been damp, grey and rainy, relatively warm despite what calendar says.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
I recall reading about this here before, was there a cause or solution? This is on my new in October Ashford insert.
BKVP reported that all but two cases were resolved. The remaining two may have also been resolved with some work, but both were owners who were just fed up with the stove, and requested a return or exchange. Both were granted, and both stoves were subsequently placed in new homes where they are operating without issue.

So yes, in one way or another, all were resolved. You should PM BKVP.
 

Rob711

Feeling the Heat
Oct 19, 2017
342
Long Island, ny
It’s going to be a monitor and see if it persists deal.
 

Rob711

Feeling the Heat
Oct 19, 2017
342
Long Island, ny
Idk. After a good char I set it to my low last night. This am no smell. Maybe it was the lingering smell from a reload. I’ll keep a nose on it.
 
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