2020-21 Blaze King Performance Thread (Everything BK)

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
I do the same so far. I do have to get pretty close and peer in to see if it’s feasible to reload yet. I’ll sometimes crank it up to hurry things along. Crazy how well it squeezes every little drop of heat out of the coals.
 
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cnatew

New Member
Jan 3, 2021
13
Anacortes
Stack effect has to do with the house pressures in relation to the chimney exhaust, some homes have a lower pressure that develops due to a local temp inversion or from appliances / air sealing which then want to steal air from another source, when its static usually the first make up air source is a chimney with a reverse draft, when a stove or insert is being used typically cold starts create a smoke issue, then the temps in the flue warm up enough and the flow of draft gets going in the correct direction, this can be mitigated with a make up air source into the main living space.
When I was saying leaky return, I'm suggesting that perhaps some sheet metal has not been correctly screwed to the furnace on the cold air return side, or a hole cut into the return in the furnace room for something (maybe the upstairs return at one point had a whistle or was to loud, so another hvac company hacked the return to fix the service call problem, but not the real issue)
Now to the BK stove specifically - needs to have an insulated liner in the chimney, this is due to much lower flue temps due to high efficiency, so if a normal insert was letting 750 deg flue gas exhaust on average, the BK is more like 400deg, you can literally put your hand over it on some settings, the insulated liner keeps those gases from cooling further with provides for a more stable draft, it wont fix your cold starts, but it will help with reloads.
Check the cap for debris blockage, grab some bino's and look, even a little bit of debris can cause and issue, before reloading the stove, open the t-stat fully & by-pass for 5 min, then crack open the door, see how if that helps with cutting the smoke roll out.
Thank you. That is much more clear.
Would a liner be installed normally if it is required for BK? I would have agreed if they told me it was important or necessary. As such I anticipate it should be lined.
The cap is believed to be free, but going up to inspect more later today.
I posted a bit about air flow in home. I tried a lot of combos including furnace on and off, blocking each air return in combinations, opening up air to outside basement to encourage draft. Nothing seemed to help. The fire was hot then and the chimney was working with door closed.
And I always wait for air flow to adjust and I open the door super slowly.
 

cnatew

New Member
Jan 3, 2021
13
Anacortes
Now to the BK stove specifically - needs to have an insulated liner in the chimney ...

Check the cap for debris blockage, grab some bino's and look.
I called the retailer and they confirmed that I have a two story liner installed.
Then I went up on roof and found that it is quite caked with creosote ... derrr ... I brushed it clean and the problem is much improved ... now with draft established, there is only a small amount of smoke that comes in, like usual since I bought this thing.

I use quality, super dry fuel and the retail person was dogmatic that I won't get creosote build up if I'm using good fuel. I check it myself, I split it fresh and press the meter into the belly and get 14-16% reading (alder and fir). I run it hot frequently to clean out the pipe. It never does seem to get that hot on the temp gauge though, just a little past the red, but I've read posts that this is normal.

So I need to keep on that chimney more, it seems. I'm going to buy a brush and do it myself. Do people use creosote logs with cat stoves? I read that I can and should on one site, but a few months ago the retail person said no, not to worry about creosote...

Then should I expect some minimal amount of smoke blow out still or should I expect it closer to perfection like with my open FP?

A lot of questions ... you guys are super cool .:cool:
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,710
07462
Do people use creosote logs with cat stoves?
Not in a cat stove, also your confirming theres an insulated blanket wrapped around the liner to?
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
So I let my fire die down yesterday and checked my chimney out. I had some creosote building up at the 2 90 joints and just above the second 90. Enough to let me know to try a different burn strategy. I cleaned the chimney and reread the manual. I’m going to try letting the new wood that I cut bake longer on high before lowering swoosh. I ran into a couple puzzling things. When I ran it on high this am , when I checked after about 15 minutes, the cat gage and my temp gauge weren’t topped out like usual. I thought that was odd since when I lower the thermostat it usually pegs for a while. Anyways, another confusing thing is in the manual it states to never reload unless the cat gauge is below the first marker in the active zone. But then in another spot it says it’s best to reload with a good bed of coals. Well, yesterday when I let the fire go out, I definitely wouldn’t say there’s a good bed of coals when the cat gauge reaches that spot. Well, I’m open to suggestions. I was almost thinking of buying press logs to finish the season but the wood I cut is testing at around 18ms. Although when I tested my neighbors that he burns, it tested 12-13 so my meter could be off but it reads correct by its calibration test. Chimney was really easy to clean actually but letting the fire go out completely (still slightly warm) was about 24 hours
 

Indianawood

Member
Nov 28, 2019
114
Northern Indiana
So I let my fire die down yesterday and checked my chimney out. I had some creosote building up at the 2 90 joints and just above the second 90. Enough to let me know to try a different burn strategy. I cleaned the chimney and reread the manual. I’m going to try letting the new wood that I cut bake longer on high before lowering swoosh. I ran into a couple puzzling things. When I ran it on high this am , when I checked after about 15 minutes, the cat gage and my temp gauge weren’t topped out like usual. I thought that was odd since when I lower the thermostat it usually pegs for a while. Anyways, another confusing thing is in the manual it states to never reload unless the cat gauge is below the first marker in the active zone. But then in another spot it says it’s best to reload with a good bed of coals. Well, yesterday when I let the fire go out, I definitely wouldn’t say there’s a good bed of coals when the cat gauge reaches that spot. Well, I’m open to suggestions. I was almost thinking of buying press logs to finish the season but the wood I cut is testing at around 18ms. Although when I tested my neighbors that he burns, it tested 12-13 so my meter could be off but it reads correct by its calibration test. Chimney was really easy to clean actually but letting the fire go out completely (still slightly warm) was about 24 hours
Why is a little creosote a problem? I think people here get way to hung up on creosote. Go to Amazon and get some real gauges, k type. The basic ones with probes stink. Now that I have digital real time information I'd never go back. You are looking at what happened 5 minutes ago.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
Why is a little creosote a problem? I think people here get way to hung up on creosote. Go to Amazon and get some real gauges, k type. The basic ones with probes stink. Now that I have digital real time information I'd never go back. You are looking at what happened 5 minutes ago.
well it had been less than 2 weeks of burning the new wood and from previous wood burning experience, I’d say I had another 2 weeks before blockage. I could get a gauge, it would probably tell me to burn hotter but I’m on the fence on that one vs more frequent chimney cleaning. I’ll see if baking longer works first I guess. Didn’t seem to be glazing, everything broke up real easy and cleaned up good. The 36” horizontal had about 1/4 in layer
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
I should add that my previous bake times were only a couple minutes. I was just letting everything get blazing and shutting down. Highbeam had mentioned this wasn’t recommended in the manual. I was thinking my good bed of coals would compensate.
 

Indianawood

Member
Nov 28, 2019
114
Northern Indiana
well it had been less than 2 weeks of burning the new wood and from previous wood burning experience, I’d say I had another 2 weeks before blockage. I could get a gauge, it would probably tell me to burn hotter but I’m on the fence on that one vs more frequent chimney cleaning. I’ll see if baking longer works first I guess. Didn’t seem to be glazing, everything broke up real easy and cleaned up good. The 36” horizontal had about 1/4 in layer
Ok. Just seems like a lot of creosote for a cat stove. I don't understand stand that. Seems like a wood mc problem. The glass tells the story. Last year when I bought my bk spur of the moment i had to clean my glass often. This yr i haven't cleaned it once.
Here's a picture of my chimney. Burning 24/7 since mid November. I also have the "creosote" causing magic heat
 

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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
Ya, I bet you’re right about the mc. My glass isn’t too bad, kind of a V I guess. Plus not doing any length of bake time. I’ll mess with my burning practices for a bit and see. Not a huge deal to run press logs either really. But sure love the way this free fir burns so worth it to try.
 

Indianawood

Member
Nov 28, 2019
114
Northern Indiana
Ya, I bet you’re right about the mc. My glass isn’t too bad, kind of a V I guess. Plus not doing any length of bake time. I’ll mess with my burning practices for a bit and see. Not a huge deal to run press logs either really. But sure love the way this free fir burns so worth it to try.
You could always just burn hotter with smaller loads and load more often. I only experience low and slow burns in November and March
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
It was curious to see it build up right at the joints. I wonder if it’s not a good seal. I installed myself but the way the pipe goes together, I wouldn’t think there’s a wrong way. Seems like I remember reading a trick for looking for leaks around a stove with like a candle or something. Not sure what I could do different if I did find a leak
 

mewop

New Member
Nov 19, 2020
12
NC
I ordered a King model recently. I have a question about a liner.

I currently have a double flue, clay lined and oval shaped flue with ID measuring 7" x 10.5". Minimum stack height, taking into account two 90* and 36" horizontal run is suggested 25'. I am a little over 30' from thimble to exit of my chimney. It is mostly running through interior walls. Nothing else is using this side of the chimney. My thimble is 8" and I know i need a cross sectional area of 50sq inches. I would prefer to add an insulated liner but I am really not sure I can get an insulated liner down my chimney at those dimensions and still maintain the 50 sq in size. In terms of draft and heat loss, would the plain metal wall liner alone or the small 1/2" liners provide any significant benefit to me?
Would it be a bad idea to try out the stove without either of these?
 

mwhitnee

Minister of Fire
Jun 10, 2015
564
Central Mass, USA
I'm realizing that my cat is dead. It is original and about 5 years old. Creosote is building up too quickly in my chimney and the stove isn't heating up like it should- I'll be sweeping it soon.

I was thinking about changing to a steel cat from Midwest Hearth, but am open to advice. This steel cat has a 5 year prorated warranty. $315

Any thoughts on what and where to buy one would be appreciated. I like giving my business to good people. Thanks :)
 

Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
387
Eastern Alps, Italy
I recently purchased a steel cat from Midwest and they provided superb customer service. Someone said that what they sell are OEM cats.
 
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Indianawood

Member
Nov 28, 2019
114
Northern Indiana
I ordered a King model recently. I have a question about a liner.

I currently have a double flue, clay lined and oval shaped flue with ID measuring 7" x 10.5". Minimum stack height, taking into account two 90* and 36" horizontal run is suggested 25'. I am a little over 30' from thimble to exit of my chimney. It is mostly running through interior walls. Nothing else is using this side of the chimney. My thimble is 8" and I know i need a cross sectional area of 50sq inches. I would prefer to add an insulated liner but I am really not sure I can get an insulated liner down my chimney at those dimensions and still maintain the 50 sq in size. In terms of draft and heat loss, would the plain metal wall liner alone or the small 1/2" liners provide any significant benefit to me?
Would it be a bad idea to try out the stove without either of these?
I’d definitely try it as is. What the worst that could happen? Bad draft? Creosote? Ck regularly then decide. Im sure others will have a different opinion. Im a little bit of a rebel on here.
I don't fit the "mold". Im 8" double wall inside and 6" class a chimney outside. Outside is exposed, not built in. I have no problems heating my 5000sq ft house. My furnace hasn't come on 1 time this year. If I'm burning low I'll turn off fans open bypass, turn thermostat up for about 5 minutes to increase my draft. No biggie
 

Tron

Feeling the Heat
Jan 1, 2020
256
Jackson MS
Thermostat question to y'all:
During the burn, everything is fine, the thermostat regulates heat output and the room temperature is nearly constant.
However, when the fire has died down and the firebox ist half full with glowing coals, room temperature drops. I mean, there's still a lot of energy in the coals, and when I turn up the thermostat the BK continues to put out heat for a few hours more, but shouldn't the thermostat react to the dropping stove temperature and open up more? It's only a simple bi-metal thermostat, after all.

Just curious...
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,730
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I should add that my previous bake times were only a couple minutes. I was just letting everything get blazing and shutting down. Highbeam had mentioned this wasn’t recommended in the manual. I was thinking my good bed of coals would compensate.
Right, the manual still recommends a very long high burn after cat engagement. Whether or not that prevents the creosote you’re seeing is anybody’s guess. I will say that my BK has always made a lot of dark, dry, crumbly creosote. I’ve never gotten 1/4” thick after 9 months of burning with my all vertical stack.

Also remember that our winter is pretty much the same as the shoulder seasons back east. 35-45 and raining for 9 months!
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,730
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Thermostat question to y'all:
During the burn, everything is fine, the thermostat regulates heat output and the room temperature is nearly constant.
However, when the fire has died down and the firebox ist half full with glowing coals, room temperature drops. I mean, there's still a lot of energy in the coals, and when I turn up the thermostat the BK continues to put out heat for a few hours more, but shouldn't the thermostat react to the dropping stove temperature and open up more? It's only a simple bi-metal thermostat, after all.

Just curious...
You’re right, the thermostat opens back up as the stove cools. The amount that it opens back up is a complicated design parameter that is “baked” in to that coil. The random amount of ash over the coals can make that amount of air insufficient. Mine cools off near the end too despite som coals. Time to reload.
 

Tron

Feeling the Heat
Jan 1, 2020
256
Jackson MS
Time to reload.
Probably. It's just (as probably everybody here experiences) that at that point (room starts to cool off) there's so much coal left that even with vigorous compression (aka hitting it with a shovel) there's hardly room for half a load.

So I guess I'll program my smarthome to send me a text "Living Room temperature too low, time to swoosh up a bit" when that happens ;-)
Or put a stepper motor on the thermostat...
 
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