2020-21 Blaze King Performance Thread (Everything BK)

Brentwood

Member
Feb 18, 2018
14
Southwestern Minnesota
I run a king on a 7” flue. First 5’ or so is double wall black stove pipe the rest is insulated double wall. 7” is what was required for my previous stove. I rolled the dice on reusing it with the king. I have 26’ of flue total height with 2 45’s in it to go around the ridge beam. I just run my draft at .10”wc instead of .08 and have no issues...
Please help me understand what you mean by "I just run my draft at .10" wc". How are you controlling your draft, and how are you measuring it? Do you use a damper in the flue? My understanding of the Blaze King stove (limited because I've never seen one operate), is that the only user control that affects draft is the thermostat. It's possible I've missed something or misunderstood.

From the manual:

"Recommended draft is .02 -.03 in. w.c. at medium fire and .05 in. on high burn. Too little draft results in a sluggish fire and smoke spillage when the stove door is opened. Too much draft (over 0.06 in. w.c. on high burn) makes it unsafe to operate the stove and will void manufacturers warranty."

I think we can assume the manual is referring to draft measurements on an 8" flue.

I'm sure your 26' flue contributes to your high draft, but since a 7" flue wouldn't move as much volume of air as an 8" at the same pressure, maybe the 7" flue needs that higher draft to get the proper volume of air. I'm just guessing here.

7" flue has 23% less volume per foot* than an 8" flue.
6" flue has 44% less volume per foot* than an 8" flue.

*I'm calling it volume per foot, but it's proportional to cross-sectional area. One radius squared divided by the other radius squared.

My 18' of 8" Class A chimney should be here in a few days, along with most of the other items I think I'll need for a proper installation, but there are a couple of other items that won't be here until December. I'm still considering trying the stove with my 6" chimney just to get a data point.

I appreciate your comments.

Brent
 

Nelson

Burning Hunk
Dec 5, 2013
239
Mount Horeb, WI
Overthinking OCD wood burner post inbound....

When should I load?

I work swing shift. The wood stove is our primary heat source here. I can achieve 24 hour load cycles with the KE40. I’m trying to manage not overheating the house as well as keeping the wife happy.

I struggle between two different theories.

When I reload, I always let the stove burn on high for about a half hour. When I do this, she really cranks out the heat. So, loading before work puts the hot fire right in the early afternoon. I worry about overheating the house while doing this.

loading when I get home requires staying up longer.... but the hottest fire is around midnight or so.

anyone else struggled with this really simple question? Am I crazy?
My suggestion would be play around with it for a few weeks and see what works best. That's how I arrived at where I'm at. Coming from a reburn stove, where I was only burning nights/weekends with 12 hour burns, having the long consistent heating

I don't work swing shift but I work remote/at home full time (covid) and have been dealing with trying to figure out the best time to load as well. At this point, I've been getting easy 24 hour burns in my princess and maintaining a house temp within +/- one degree. I'm heating two floors so I don't really run into a warmer point at startup - the room my stove is in pretty much stays between 74-77F. I've settled in on an evening reload as it just seems to fit with the daily routine.
Overthinking OCD wood burner post inbound....

When should I load?

I work swing shift. The wood stove is our primary heat source here. I can achieve 24 hour load cycles with the KE40. I’m trying to manage not overheating the house as well as keeping the wife happy.

I struggle between two different theories.

When I reload, I always let the stove burn on high for about a half hour. When I do this, she really cranks out the heat. So, loading before work puts the hot fire right in the early afternoon. I worry about overheating the house while doing this.

loading when I get home requires staying up longer.... but the hottest fire is around midnight or so.

anyone else struggled with this really simple question? Am I crazy?
I would experiment with both and see what fits best. Coming from a reburn stove (12 hour burns), and getting consistent heat output over 24 hours, I've found that experimenting has been key in trying to settle in on a routine. If it were me, I would probably opt for the before work reload and try to deal with the initial heat as best I could (crack a window for a bit, use some floor fans to move heat, etc.).
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,996
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Overthinking OCD wood burner post inbound....

When should I load?

I work swing shift. The wood stove is our primary heat source here. I can achieve 24 hour load cycles with the KE40. I’m trying to manage not overheating the house as well as keeping the wife happy.

I struggle between two different theories.

When I reload, I always let the stove burn on high for about a half hour. When I do this, she really cranks out the heat. So, loading before work puts the hot fire right in the early afternoon. I worry about overheating the house while doing this.

loading when I get home requires staying up longer.... but the hottest fire is around midnight or so.

anyone else struggled with this really simple question? Am I crazy?
So you swing shift folks come home and go right to sleep? I always wondered if you would try and be night owls and then sleep in really late. Then wake up for work like day shift people. I guess you can choose but I would have a hard time going to sleep right after I got home.

Perhaps you can try and optimize your method to reduce the overheating on every reload. That 30 minute period of high burn can be a waste of fuel. Cut that way back, especially if you really are running 24 hour cycles and the system is already hot. You just need to char the wood and establish a fire to produce a steady source of smoke. Many folks on hot reloads don't do any burn in but just slam the bypass shut, turn the stat down and let the stove sort itself out.

Why don't you try a compromise and only burn in the fresh load for 15 minutes? I know that 15 minutes is too long in my stove with dry wood, flue temps are over 800 at that point and the cat meter needle is way up near the top. You shouldn't have to suffer with a hot house at every reload. Oh, and winter hasn't really arrived yet so this issue may resolve itself as your house needs a little more heat.

I prefer to reload when I get home from work. It's dark out so I don't smoke out the neighbors, there's usually some sort of food cooking so I have time, and I can set down on a chair and wind down while the stove settles in.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,403
Iowa

stoveliker

Member
Nov 17, 2019
96
Eastern Long Island NY
Fan question, I don’t need an eco fan but I’m definitely going to buy one because I think they are cool. I didn’t realize there were so many options. Some are for low heat etc. which one would work best for the princess? I was looking at Home Depot website but where is the best place to purchase?
I bought this one - on a Chinook 30 (well, I used it on the old cast iron DutchWest first, but it works fine on the Chinook too). I'm supposing it'll work similarly well on the Princess?

Amazon product
 
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Dustin

Minister of Fire
Sep 3, 2008
593
Western Oregon
I bought this one - on a Chinook 30 (well, I used it on the old cast iron DutchWest first, but it works fine on the Chinook too). I'm supposing it'll work similarly well on the Princess?

Amazon product
I have an eco fan sitting on top of my KE 40. I hardly ever turn the fans on.

The eco fan actually works pretty well as a “when to reload” gauge. I can tell by the fan speed where the fire is at usually. Pretty neat little thing.
 
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stoveliker

Member
Nov 17, 2019
96
Eastern Long Island NY
So the Eco fan is cool but not a s cool as the Sterling!

Amazon product
d*mn, that is what I should have made instead of chess pieces back in my college metal working courses...
Nice (and unaffordable :( )!
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
I appreciate design and packaging. Packaging can impress me tremendously as it speaks to the quality of the contents.
As stovies know, I appreciate quality beverages. 3 years ago in Ireland I bought 2 very stupidly expensive bottles of Wisky. When I saw how they were packaged, the tightness over the amount I paid went away. Middleton Very Rare 32...impressed beyond belief over the attention to detail. Still haven't opened it!!
 
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Dieselhead

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2011
654
NE
Please help me understand what you mean by "I just run my draft at .10" wc". How are you controlling your draft, and how are you measuring it? Do you use a damper in the flue? My understanding of the Blaze King stove (limited because I've never seen one operate), is that the only user control that affects draft is the thermostat. It's possible I've missed something or misunderstood.

From the manual:

"Recommended draft is .02 -.03 in. w.c. at medium fire and .05 in. on high burn. Too little draft results in a sluggish fire and smoke spillage when the stove door is opened. Too much draft (over 0.06 in. w.c. on high burn) makes it unsafe to operate the stove and will void manufacturers warranty."

I think we can assume the manual is referring to draft measurements on an 8" flue.

I'm sure your 26' flue contributes to your high draft, but since a 7" flue wouldn't move as much volume of air as an 8" at the same pressure, maybe the 7" flue needs that higher draft to get the proper volume of air. I'm just guessing here.

7" flue has 23% less volume per foot* than an 8" flue.
6" flue has 44% less volume per foot* than an 8" flue.

*I'm calling it volume per foot, but it's proportional to cross-sectional area. One radius squared divided by the other radius squared.

My 18' of 8" Class A chimney should be here in a few days, along with most of the other items I think I'll need for a proper installation, but there are a couple of other items that won't be here until December. I'm still considering trying the stove with my 6" chimney just to get a data point.

I appreciate your comments.

Brent
I do have a key damper in my pipe. Many of us BK users do. We also run magnehelics (draft gages). Dampers are not recommended by BK but for us with tall stacks need them, or draft would be much higher than BK recommends.
I recall several years ago a gent running a king on a 6” system from his basement and he was not happy. He tried and tried but got smoke spillage, etc. Reusing my 7” was a gamble, I admit, and I made out fine. The next guy that tries may not be so lucky.
 

Dustin

Minister of Fire
Sep 3, 2008
593
Western Oregon
What’s the consensus on cleaning the glass? Procedure? I can’t really see through mine anymore..
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,641
San Ysidro, New Mexico
What’s the consensus on cleaning the glass? Procedure? I can’t really see through mine anymore..
Burn hotter on reloads. That helps.
 

stoveliker

Member
Nov 17, 2019
96
Eastern Long Island NY
Burn hotter on reloads. That helps.
I've tried that (full box of maple running at full blast, bypass closed, for 35-45 mins upon reload) without much luck. I have a Chinook 30, and I have a transparent "V" from the two upper corners of the window down 3/4 of the window. The rest is black. Now, when in the lower corners it gets too thick, I can see it flaking off, creating "visible patches".
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,641
San Ysidro, New Mexico
;)
I've tried that (full box of maple running at full blast, bypass closed, for 35-45 mins upon reload) without much luck. I have a Chinook 30, and I have a transparent "V" from the two upper corners of the window down 3/4 of the window. The rest is black. Now, when in the lower corners it gets too thick, I can see it flaking off, creating "visible patches".
That's the nature of the beast. As get colder outside through winter it stays cleaner. I don't clean the glasses on mine in years. Next hot burn or one of those early morning when I am off will clean it.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,996
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
My glass does not burn clean, never has, even if you get it hot enough to dry out the bark on the glass it won't burn off like it does on a noncat.

So, I use a razor blade. Some sort of blade lube like windex. I can get it sparkly clean but obviously you need to not scratch the glass, just scrape the bark off from the clean side towards the bark. I use the flat box knife refills and use a sharp one.

Those people with no idea what they're talking about will try and tell you to wet a papertowel and dip in the ashes to make an abrasive paste. No, this ain't a light film, this is thick bark on the glass.

I never get 100% blockage, just the bottom corners are blocked, no more than 50% of the window blocked.
 

Fiddlerbob

New Member
Oct 1, 2020
11
Indiana
I had an old catalytic stove replaced with a BK Princess insert and I fired it up for the first time today to off-gas the paint. 60F out and very windy and with a couple of windows open there was no issue with the off-gases.

The factory shroud wouldn't work for me because the fireplace is really uneven with large rock so I designed a custom shroud and had it made by a local sheetmetal shop - see pic. I designed the shroud so that it could be attached to the stove after the stove had been inserted into the fireplace. It uses welded nuts on the back of the shroud with the bolts being inserted from the front of the stove.

The install was a real bear. There was very little room to get the insert and arms and tools into the fireplace to attach the flue. The installers did a great job but wrestled with it for well over an hour just to attach the flue. Sure glad I didn't try this as a DIY...

I need to experiment more with using the stove. The temp control knob seems touchy, turning it a little bit can have a big effect, but I am seriously impressed so far with the stove. I loaded a small amount of wood at lunch time and here it is 10pm and the stove is still putting out good heat with live coals in the bottom. My old stove would have eaten that amount of wood in an hour and given off very little heat.

QUESTIONS: After I got the fire going , see pic for the 'size' of the fire, the temp reading on the BK cat thermometer went all the way through the cat active zone and a bit past it. I turned the air control knob to about 4:00 and that eventually brought the temp back to the active zone. How high is too high on the BK cat thermometer?

I was always under the impression that a catalyst was only really active when it was glowing red. With the air control adjusted so that the temp probe was reading about 3/4 of the way through the cat active zone the catalyst is not glowing but the stove is still putting out good heat. Should the catalyst be glowing at this time??

Thanks
Bob
 

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Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
366
Eastern Alps, Italy
To answer your questions: a new cat is overreactive for a week or so, and the needle indicator can go well over the active zone. It will eventually settle down, no problem.
The catalyst doesn’t need to be glowing red to be active: sometimes it does turn red (or orange or whatever in between) but if the indicator is in the “active” zone it is still working, red or not.
Very nice install BTW!
 
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BKVP

Minister of Fire
Install looks very nice. I would like however to address why the thermostat may be a bit touchy. You see we design these units to be installed as tested. There are two shroud options, width and height being the variables.

The standard shroud is 43" wide. The firebox is 35.5". Your thermostat is in the front right corner of the firebox, in front of what would normally be our shroud. Your customized install has placed the thermostat about 3.75" closer to the stone without our shroud. It also appears to be "tucked-in" to make the unit recessed into the stone, although this could be an illusion.

Your stone could actually be reflecting heat back at the thermostat and making the spring sense the stove is hotter. This doesn't mean it won't work. Keep getting use to how it operates. Then, after lots of burns try to experiment.

You might try an experiment of placing a small patch of non combustible insulation between the thermostat area and the stone. IF it changes how the thermostat responds, then you have found a contributing factor. If not, I than I was wrong for the second time since 1974!

Great looking fireplace!
BKVP
 
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Carlone16

New Member
Nov 20, 2020
1
Alberta, Canada
We have a Blaze King Sirocco 20 that we've been running for two years, mostly in the shoulder season. This is our first winter in this home. Over the last few days, we've been finding these sooty ice pellets around the house and my husband has seen them flying out of the chimney. The photo is one of the larger pellets. I believe this happens when we are running the stove low and slow. Temperature outside is in the -10 to -20 C range. Chimney was cleaned a month ago and we have been running the stove just about non-stop ever since. Can anyone explain what's going on?
Chimney icicles.JPG
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,996
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
We have a Blaze King Sirocco 20 that we've been running for two years, mostly in the shoulder season. This is our first winter in this home. Over the last few days, we've been finding these sooty ice pellets around the house and my husband has seen them flying out of the chimney. The photo is one of the larger pellets. I believe this happens when we are running the stove low and slow. Temperature outside is in the -10 to -20 C range. Chimney was cleaned a month ago and we have been running the stove just about non-stop ever since. Can anyone explain what's going on?
View attachment 267291
Lots of us have had creosote icicles form on the cap. Lots of water is present in the exhaust of a wood stove and when it gets cold enough it can condense right out and form ice. The cap is very cold and right there where warm moist exhaust from the stove meets the bitter cold outside air so ice can form there and even plug a chimney. Normally they don't blow away though.

Is it windy? Do you think you are getting smokecicles that are breaking off and blowing away? If so, and it bothers you, the solution is to run it hotter so flue temps melt the smokecicles and prevent them from forming.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,403
Iowa
We have a Blaze King Sirocco 20 that we've been running for two years, mostly in the shoulder season. This is our first winter in this home. Over the last few days, we've been finding these sooty ice pellets around the house and my husband has seen them flying out of the chimney. The photo is one of the larger pellets. I believe this happens when we are running the stove low and slow. Temperature outside is in the -10 to -20 C range. Chimney was cleaned a month ago and we have been running the stove just about non-stop ever since. Can anyone explain what's going on?
View attachment 267291
That ain't nothin! Unless your setup is different than mine you will likely see way more icicle's/hanging ice buildup over the coarse of the season. It all ends up on ground eventually. It can be loud when it drops on the roof also. Nice stove model by the way!
 

Fiddlerbob

New Member
Oct 1, 2020
11
Indiana
Alpine1 - thanks for the response on the cats. It looks like some cooler weather is coming so I guess I'll find out soon if it will settle down.

BKVP - I wouldn't want to ruin your track record of not being wrong since 1974!! You are correct that the insert is further into the fireplace than 'normal'. Taking the thickness of the standard shroud and the fact that I set the stove further back into the fireplace, it is likely 1.5 inches further into the fireplace than normal. I suspect that the rock by the thermostat knob won't get very hot but I will try your suggestion of testing it with insulation. It is more likely that I have not yet had enough experience with the stove. I attached a pic of the thermostat location for your perusal.
 

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