2020-21 Blaze King Performance Thread (Everything BK)

BoilerBob

Burning Hunk
Jan 14, 2011
142
SW Nova
Ooh, I don’t know rdust. The setting N corresponds to a different throttle plate angle depending on if the stove is warm or ice cold. At the n position the blade is partially open unless the stove is hot. I propose that the throttle blade is more open at colder temperatures than warmer ones which conflicts with your theory of operation. The bimetallic coil thermostat responds by trying to hit set point whether current stove temperature is above or below.

I can verify this by turning the thermostat down until I hear the throttle blade close. It closes at a lower thermostat setting way below the n when cold.

At a super low thermostat setting like full minimum I think the throttle plate will never open. You’re riding the hole no matter what.
Riding the hole today
25c inside, 1c outside
5 splits in cold stove this morning and will ride the hole for a 12 hr burn. Might reload tonight or maybe let stove go cold for a morning restart. My house only drops 2 or 3 degrees Celsius in 12 hrs overnight, and sometimes gains 2 or 3 degrees Celsius during the day when sun in out with a cold stove and no other heat on.
Insulation and a tight house paid off as I now heat 1280sq ft on 1 cord of wood only, no other heat source on.
 

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
697
Eastern Long Island NY
I'm going to say this much, this is my first true season of control and letting the fire do its thing with a 100% closed pipe damper w/ exception of reloading. What I'm noticing is true T-stat control of desired heat output.
After initial loading of splits to the top of the firebox, I'll close the damper, not even touch the t-stat setting, within 15min cat probe is north of noon and will settle in to 2-3 O'clock, I will have small gentle candle flames and hold a stove top temp of 500-525 for the 1st 10hrs of the burn, once the fuel gets baked back to the last quarter of the stove, I notice the T-stat doing its job, sometimes the pile of blackened wood / huge coals will be glowing, other times its just a pile of black wood, stove top temps will settle in between 400 - 450 deg f and will hold for another 4 hrs or so, cat probe will now be between 10am and 11am, I let that go until the stove top temp settles at about 350, then its time to reload and start over, depending on how cold its outside my burns generally last between 14-18 hrs at this point (low temps mid 20's, high temps all over from 32deg to almost 40 deg f now)
Wood consumption so far this year has been lower then last year, and it has been a little colder then last year also.
That is precisely what I am seeing too. Different model but similar size.
 

AndrewU

Member
Dec 1, 2019
113
Sedro-Woolley WA
In my opinion, that always pays off. Be it heating or cooling.
But around here the power's so cheap, houses usually only have the bare minimum.
What is your fully loaded power cost? I usually pay about $0.10/kw-hr including everything. It varies a little though as they have tiered rates based on total consumption.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,125
Ottawa, ON

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,733
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Riding the hole today
25c inside, 1c outside
5 splits in cold stove this morning and will ride the hole for a 12 hr burn. Might reload tonight or maybe let stove go cold for a morning restart. My house only drops 2 or 3 degrees Celsius in 12 hrs overnight, and sometimes gains 2 or 3 degrees Celsius during the day when sun in out with a cold stove and no other heat on.
Insulation and a tight house paid off as I now heat 1280sq ft on 1 cord of wood only, no other heat source on.
I see you’re running with the damper fully closed. That damper is up inside the telescoping double wall section. Was it pretty easy to reach up and install the plate? Does it have to come out every time for cleaning?

I am also not afraid to let the stove go out if the house is warm. It’s only slightly harder to start a new fire than it is to reload on top of coals. I actually appreciate that cool down period as the fire dwindles since it lowers my average output. Like many have reported, even the lowest burn rate can be too high if your house is decent and climate not super cold.
 
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BoilerBob

Burning Hunk
Jan 14, 2011
142
SW Nova
I see you’re running with the damper fully closed. That damper is up inside the telescoping double wall section. Was it pretty easy to reach up and install the plate? Does it have to come out every time for cleaning?

I am also not afraid to let the stove go out if the house is warm. It’s only slightly harder to start a new fire than it is to reload on top of coals. I actually appreciate that cool down period as the fire dwindles since it lowers my average output. Like many have reported, even the lowest burn rate can be too high if your house is decent and climate not super cold.
I can run with damper fully closed today as it is really windy. On calm and warmer days I leave it wide open and I can’t ride the hole, my thermostat is sometimes around the 3 o’clock mark.
I don’t remove the damper to clean with the soot eater. I clean through the bypass going beside the damper plate. I then pull out the probe thermometer from the double pipe and lift pipe off the stove to clean around the bypass door. It slides up about 11” with damper plate installed. No problem reaching in to access the plate.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,733
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I can run with damper fully closed today as it is really windy. On calm and warmer days I leave it wide open and I can’t ride the hole, my thermostat is sometimes around the 3 o’clock mark.
I don’t remove the damper to clean with the soot eater. I clean through the bypass going beside the damper plate. I then pull out the probe thermometer from the double pipe and lift pipe off the stove to clean around the bypass door. It slides up about 11” with damper plate installed. No problem reaching in to access the plate.
Whoa! So you just shove the sooteater head right through the opened damper? I use a sooteater but didn’t know it was small enough for that.

My Bk doesn’t need a damper but I think my noncat would benefit.
 
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showrguy

Feeling the Heat
Aug 2, 2015
499
Marysville, Pa.
Whoa! So you just shove the sooteater head right through the opened damper? I use a sooteater but didn’t know it was small enough for that.

My Bk doesn’t need a damper but I think my noncat would benefit.
Mine goes past 2 key dampers, no problem..
I’m on an 8” stack though..
 
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TheIglu

Member
Nov 17, 2008
32
Royalston, MA
I haven't been on this forum since last year.

I don't need to. I don't think about heating and burning wood anymore. It's no longer taking up mental bandwidth for me.

I came here for bettering my heating using a Harman TL300. Ended up having it fail, then replaced it with a Blaze King Princess due to recommendations and readings here.

It just works.

I don't need to worry about it. I don't need to fiddle. I know what my wood needs for moisture content. I just put it in once or twice in a 24 hour period, and walk away.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was ready to give up on burning wood after a VC Resolute Acclaim, then a Harmon TL300. This Blaze King is SUCH a treat to heat 24/7 with. Thanks for recommending and having threads like this for people like me to discover and rely on.
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,678
San Ysidro, New Mexico
Whoa! So you just shove the sooteater head right through the opened damper? I use a sooteater but didn’t know it was small enough for that.

My Bk doesn’t need a damper but I think my noncat would benefit.
I do the same with one of mine. It goes through with no problem.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,733
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I do the same with one of mine. It goes through with no problem.
Good to know for some of those folks wanting to reel in their overdrafting inserts. It's hard enough just to get at the damper to operate it but cleaning around it is another challenge. Another good point for the sooteater.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
883
Western Washington
I haven't been on this forum since last year.

I don't need to. I don't think about heating and burning wood anymore. It's no longer taking up mental bandwidth for me.

I came here for bettering my heating using a Harman TL300. Ended up having it fail, then replaced it with a Blaze King Princess due to recommendations and readings here.

It just works.

I don't need to worry about it. I don't need to fiddle. I know what my wood needs for moisture content. I just put it in once or twice in a 24 hour period, and walk away.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was ready to give up on burning wood after a VC Resolute Acclaim, then a Harmon TL300. This Blaze King is SUCH a treat to heat 24/7 with. Thanks for recommending and having threads like this for people like me to discover and rely on.
I’m curious though, do you still feel the need to see the glow once in a while?
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,678
San Ysidro, New Mexico
Good to know for some of those folks wanting to reel in their overdrafting inserts. It's hard enough just to get at the damper to operate it but cleaning around it is another challenge. Another good point for the sooteater.
It is installed in the telescoping part. After I clean with the sooteater I disconnected it anyway to clean behind the cat etc. If anything still around the damper that is the time to finish the cleaning with the telescoping section off.
 

cnatew

New Member
Jan 3, 2021
13
Anacortes
Not in a cat stove, also your confirming theres an insulated blanket wrapped around the liner to?
The dealer tells me they haven't done insulation on stoves for 25 years because of mild NW location.
I had them come and clean out stack with a large pile of creosote come down (1.5 years worth I reckon). The door is wobbly on top hinge, supposed to be factory set so they're checking on warranty though not likely reason for smoke. They confirmed it all looks great otherwise and in working order.

Draw is much improved as noted before, but still, with live bed of coals, I start filling the box and I'm racing the clock with smoke that starts pouring into the home. I close the door, a flame picks up, draw increases and I try again. Better at first,, but then more smoke builds and pouring into room. I rapidly shut door, pick around for right size log, creak door slowly...push the log in clapping door shut and repeat. A haze lingers on the ceiling ... this royally stinks.

After a $200 service with a nod from the crew-- please just tell me the Sirocco stoves messed this up in design, or tell me ahead of time that they shouldn't be installed in my otherwise normal home. What am I missing?
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,714
07462
What am I missing?
This is assuming that your burning truly dry wood (splits that are below 20% moisture content) - you'r missing the insulated liner, and hopefully there's less then a 30deg appliance adapter from the stove collar that connects to the liner.
The poor draw before cleaning is a direct result of poor performance due to flue gasses being able to cool below 250deg f and condensing in the liner or accumulating on the cap. The post smoke spillage could either be from stack effect due to already cooled flue gasses from running in the coal stage of the burn not being warm enough to keep the draft going in one direction or it could be a "roll" turbulance at the flue collar either due to some type of elbow bend coming at the flue collar or the liner doing a S shape to get around the smoke shelf then connecting to the stove collar.
Did the sweep vacuum the cat chamber behind the by-pass? is the existing liner truly straight up and down or is there a bend with build up stuck in it from not vacuuming? Does the chimney cap have a screen that still might have some build up on it?
As far as the stove being the issue, these stoves go through rigorous tests, all stoves run on a vacuum that is dependent on the chimney.
 
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TheIglu

Member
Nov 17, 2008
32
Royalston, MA
I’m curious though, do you still feel the need to see the glow once in a while?
If I have any doubts if the cat has ignited, I'll bend down and look up for the glow.
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
832
Texas
The dealer tells me they haven't done insulation on stoves for 25 years because of mild NW location.
I had them come and clean out stack with a large pile of creosote come down (1.5 years worth I reckon). The door is wobbly on top hinge, supposed to be factory set so they're checking on warranty though not likely reason for smoke. They confirmed it all looks great otherwise and in working order.

Draw is much improved as noted before, but still, with live bed of coals, I start filling the box and I'm racing the clock with smoke that starts pouring into the home. I close the door, a flame picks up, draw increases and I try again. Better at first,, but then more smoke builds and pouring into room. I rapidly shut door, pick around for right size log, creak door slowly...push the log in clapping door shut and repeat. A haze lingers on the ceiling ... this royally stinks.

After a $200 service with a nod from the crew-- please just tell me the Sirocco stoves messed this up in design, or tell me ahead of time that they shouldn't be installed in my otherwise normal home. What am I missing?

Ugh. It sounds like a very frustrating experience. Kenny is giving you great advice and information, but I also wanted to reiterate something pointed out earlier. An "otherwise normal home" can definitely suffer from stack effect. Your insert is in the basement, and it sounds as though you have a large fireplace opening in the upstairs. That could be a source of air leaking out of your home, as can a leaky attic hatch or recessed light fixtures. If the air upstairs is leaking out faster than it can be replaced, you'll have negative pressure in your basement, and an open insert door is an invitation for that missing replacement air to come rushing through.

An easy test to check for negative pressure is simply to crack a downstairs window. If air flows in powerfully through the crack, you can tell that your house is pulling hard to make up air that is exhausting somewhere else. Any modern stove would have a hard time not rolling out smoke in that location.

We used to live in a well-sealed home and had a slight negative pressure issue in our finished basement where our non-cat insert was installed. We had to make sure that neither the dryer nor the furnace was running when we wanted to do a cold start on the stove, and sometimes we cracked a nearby window. It wasn't bad enough for us to have smoke on reloads or reversal on low coals (we had three carbon monoxide detectors to make sure). If your negative pressure issue is larger (and I could see an open fireplace contributing to that), your smoke issues could well be larger, too. Do you have a working CO detector to be sure that combustion gases aren't coming into your home at the tail end of a burn?
 
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cnatew

New Member
Jan 3, 2021
13
Anacortes
The post smoke spillage could ... be a "roll" turbulance at the flue collar either due to some type of elbow bend coming at the flue collar or the liner doing a S shape.
There is a lot here. I can say confidently that the fuel is dry. I can say that the chimney has an active draft that seems to function well when I first open door and that it is still working despite some of the smoke coming out (it doesn't reverse). This last time there was no smoke at first, but started up as the additional log started to burn.
They had to remove and replace the cat because of a bunch of creosote that fell behind the cat and they vacuumed out that region well.

I don't know the status of the liner, I'll ask the crew if they could assess that and what it will take to get the insulation. I'll also ask them about the angle (there is a bend) in the bend at the flu that then does go straight up the chimney.
Your description of "turbulence" sounds about right. It gets backed up and spirals about at the back, then comes forward along lateral edges with the air intake pipes to come out the sides of the front opening.
I'll have to call them again and keep working on this.
I must add that even though the frustration is real, we love the quality, dry heat and feel it all to be worth it. I just wonder if I should have gone for a different model stove ... perhaps some of these ideas will make it happen. Thanks so much.
 

cnatew

New Member
Jan 3, 2021
13
Anacortes
Ugh. It sounds like a very frustrating experience. Kenny is giving you great advice and information, but I also wanted to reiterate something pointed out earlier. An "otherwise normal home" can definitely suffer from stack effect. Your insert is in the basement, and it sounds as though you have a large fireplace opening in the upstairs. That could be a source of air leaking out of your home, as can a leaky attic hatch or recessed light fixtures. If the air upstairs is leaking out faster than it can be replaced, you'll have negative pressure in your basement, and an open insert door is an invitation for that missing replacement air to come rushing through.

An easy test to check for negative pressure is simply to crack a downstairs window. If air flows in powerfully through the crack, you can tell that your house is pulling hard to make up air that is exhausting somewhere else. Any modern stove would have a hard time not rolling out smoke in that location.

We used to live in a well-sealed home and had a slight negative pressure issue in our finished basement where our non-cat insert was installed. We had to make sure that neither the dryer nor the furnace was running when we wanted to do a cold start on the stove, and sometimes we cracked a nearby window. It wasn't bad enough for us to have smoke on reloads or reversal on low coals (we had three carbon monoxide detectors to make sure). If your negative pressure issue is larger (and I could see an open fireplace contributing to that), your smoke issues could well be larger, too. Do you have a working CO detector to be sure that combustion gases aren't coming into your home at the tail end of a burn?
Thanks for this. I posted a few days above about chasing down different drafts and trying different scenarios with furnace off and on, different intakes open or closed, with downstairs window open or shut and the like. I tried this with cold start and hot coal refuel and couldn't resolve issue. This was after cleaning the creosote from the cap, but not after yesterday's sweep, so I'll try again to see if a simple thing like closing door to stairs or opening door a crack will work, but I've tried this a bit before.
I guess one thing I'm hearing, is that the force of draw is increased and decreased by several variables, so that I need to keep plugging away at finding what will keep a fast and forceful draft all the way up the chimney with a minimal to extreme heat in the box--that both situations are different depending on the variables.

I appreciate hearing your experience. I do have 3 CO monitors and thankfully haven't had problems with that.

I guess I picked the cat stove because I like this science and fiddling around with stuff ... I just didn't expect it would be so complicated to get it right!!
 

Hoytman

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2020
280
Ohio
Riding the hole today
25c inside, 1c outside
5 splits in cold stove this morning and will ride the hole for a 12 hr burn. Might reload tonight or maybe let stove go cold for a morning restart. My house only drops 2 or 3 degrees Celsius in 12 hrs overnight, and sometimes gains 2 or 3 degrees Celsius during the day when sun in out with a cold stove and no other heat on.
Insulation and a tight house paid off as I now heat 1280sq ft on 1 cord of wood only, no other heat source on.
Your square footage is similar to mine. You’re quite a ways north of me with a well insulated home. I’m way south of you with a not so well insulated home (circa 1954), so it sounds about even. LOL!

I’m curious what your low burn stove temps are and which BK you have.
 

Hoytman

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2020
280
Ohio
I haven't been on this forum since last year.

I don't need to. I don't think about heating and burning wood anymore. It's no longer taking up mental bandwidth for me.

I came here for bettering my heating using a Harman TL300. Ended up having it fail, then replaced it with a Blaze King Princess due to recommendations and readings here.

It just works.

I don't need to worry about it. I don't need to fiddle. I know what my wood needs for moisture content. I just put it in once or twice in a 24 hour period, and walk away.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was ready to give up on burning wood after a VC Resolute Acclaim, then a Harmon TL300. This Blaze King is SUCH a treat to heat 24/7 with. Thanks for recommending and having threads like this for people like me to discover and rely on.
@Thelglu ... Could you pm me and tell me the issues you had with your Harmon? Thank you!