2020-21 Blaze King Performance Thread (Everything BK)

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,715
07462
Hopefully the last arctic cold front swinging through here as we speak, low teens tonight and tomorrow night, then some moderation, hopefully the wind takes it easy on us also.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
697
Eastern Long Island NY
Hopefully the last arctic cold front swinging through here as we speak, low teens tonight and tomorrow night, then some moderation, hopefully the wind takes it easy on us also.
The wind is starting to pick up quite a bit here. Low of 21 tonight, and I will light up the BK again for tonight, tomorrow and likely tomorrow night. Yay
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
697
Eastern Long Island NY
Well, after that storm, it may be that I'm done for the season. March is unpredictable though. Nevertheless I'd like some advice on preparing the stove for the off season.

Every now and then I have ran a fire of 5-6 small splits on high to clean off the window when I needed to "bridge" a couple if hours before a next (24 hr) load (and because it's nice to see that hot box...).

I have not brushed the inside though, and there is a shiny coating on the back wall and behind the metal shields (as far as I can see).

I was thinking of running a full (rather than 6 small splits) box on high. Does that make the goo on the walls easier to brush off (after having been really hot)?

What type of brush (hard, soft, material)?

What about the ashes. Take all out?

What about the bricks. Leave in place (with some ashe remnants in between etc)?

Bottomline, how do you put the BK into a dormant state for next season?
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,715
07462
Bottomline, how do you put the BK into a dormant state for next season?
I have a few more weeks of burning left in the season too, today I'm burning down all coals and doing a full clean out, more cold air coming Thursday and thru the weekend till Tuesday here.
As for the end of season, I run the brush through the chimney, then clean out the upper cat chamber, from there, if there is shinny black build up in the stove (like the back wall) I'll take a bunch of smaller splits, light them up, engage the cat and blast the whole burn on high, this usually takes care of everything, then clean out the ashes and be done for the season (I keep the by-pass open all summer)
This year's off season I think I'm going to replace the door & window gasket, the door gasket doesnt feel as soft when I shut the door lately, but there's also 3 full seasons on it, so it doesnt hurt to replace it.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
785
NW Ontario
Well, after that storm, it may be that I'm done for the season. March is unpredictable though. Nevertheless I'd like some advice on preparing the stove for the off season.

Every now and then I have ran a fire of 5-6 small splits on high to clean off the window when I needed to "bridge" a couple if hours before a next (24 hr) load (and because it's nice to see that hot box...).

I have not brushed the inside though, and there is a shiny coating on the back wall and behind the metal shields (as far as I can see).

I was thinking of running a full (rather than 6 small splits) box on high. Does that make the goo on the walls easier to brush off (after having been really hot)?

What type of brush (hard, soft, material)?

What about the ashes. Take all out?

What about the bricks. Leave in place (with some ashe remnants in between etc)?

Bottomline, how do you put the BK into a dormant state for next season?
i always blast a hot load of pine through the stove for the final burn of the season to clean it up. it will make cleaning the buildup in the stove easier, and burn off a lot of that goo. sweep the chimney at some point, vacuum out the cat chamber thoroughly, clean off the cat (in place or remove it and put back with new gasket), start chopping wood for future seasons.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
697
Eastern Long Island NY
i always blast a hot load of pine through the stove for the final burn of the season to clean it up. it will make cleaning the buildup in the stove easier, and burn off a lot of that goo. sweep the chimney at some point, vacuum out the cat chamber thoroughly, clean off the cat (in place or remove it and put back with new gasket), start chopping wood for future seasons.
Yes, the chimney will of course get its due and at that time I'll inspect the cat chamber (as the stove pipe will be off).
However, I always liked to do the chimney n(well, have it swept by a professional) in the fall before the season starts, so that I know all is right before I go..
Any reason that it's better to do it in spring?

So none of you clean out ashes between/under the bricks?

If I brush the remainder off of the walls after a hot fire, use a plastic brush, or is a steel wire brush ok?

Many (stupid) questions, but if I don't ask I won't know what works well for those that have used a BK for years...
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,733
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
You're going to love this, you're supposed to clean out the junk from behind the welded in steel heat shields. I first burn hot fires to dry out all of the firebox creosote, this isn't a few sticks of kindling but 6-10 or more beer bottle size splits to really heat up the steel and convert the black scale to something brown that flakes off. You don't need to run at max output, don't want to overfire the flue, but dang high and for a long time. This is like a self cleaning oven burning off the overflowed blackberry pie. If you can't wipe off the flakes with your fingers then you didn't get it hot enough.

After the bake, sweep the chimney. Junk falls into the firebox and you want a clean chimney all summer so that the corrosive stuff is not in your flue.

Start from the top. The cat chamber vacuum. Vacuum the cat. Then wipe off the entire firebox wall until you see bare metal, then clean out the junk from behind those side plates using whatever method works. I use a two foot length of rubber vacuum hose on an air nozzle and snake it behind the shields. Then puff puff the huge flakes out. Pretty amazing how much comes out. A lot of junk is piled up on top of the preheat tubes in the firebox too.

Then clean everything out of the firebox. I do not remove the bricks.

Clean the glass well. Leave the bypass open. Loosely close the door. Put the thermostat at 50% so that the bimettalic coil is not loaded, intake flapper will be midway open.

It's ready to burn come fall. Put something fun in the firebox like a fake squirrel.
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,125
Ottawa, ON
You're going to love this, you're supposed to clean out the junk from behind the welded in steel heat shields. I first burn hot fires to dry out all of the firebox creosote, this isn't a few sticks of kindling but 6-10 or more beer bottle size splits to really heat up the steel and convert the black scale to something brown that flakes off. You don't need to run at max output, don't want to overfire the flue, but dang high and for a long time. This is like a self cleaning oven burning off the overflowed blackberry pie. If you can't wipe off the flakes with your fingers then you didn't get it hot enough.

After the bake, sweep the chimney. Junk falls into the firebox and you want a clean chimney all summer so that the corrosive stuff is not in your flue.

Start from the top. The cat chamber vacuum. Vacuum the cat. Then wipe off the entire firebox wall until you see bare metal, then clean out the junk from behind those side plates using whatever method works. I use a two foot length of rubber vacuum hose on an air nozzle and snake it behind the shields. Then puff puff the huge flakes out. Pretty amazing how much comes out. A lot of junk is piled up on top of the preheat tubes in the firebox too.

Then clean everything out of the firebox. I do not remove the bricks.

Clean the glass well. Leave the bypass open. Loosely close the door. Put the thermostat at 50% so that the bimettalic coil is not loaded, intake flapper will be midway open.

It's ready to burn come fall. Put something fun in the firebox like a fake squirrel.
@Highbeam ,
Are you sure you are not working for BK? Regardless, your post should be inserted in the BK manual........(royalty of $0.99 per copy) me thinks.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
785
NW Ontario
You don't need to run at max output, don't want to overfire the flue,
I thought that, so long as your stove and chimney is in proper working order, that this is a non-issue, as the bimetallic coil will adjust air to prevent stove overfire. Unless you had a dirty chimney and ran hot and caused a chimney fire that way, I can't imagine that a properly operating BK is going to cause an overheated flue? Please correct me if i'm wrong.
 
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lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,678
San Ysidro, New Mexico
I can see almost up to 1000 degrees if I don't pay attention. Never let it go more. Everything depends how the load is burning. Yes the thermostat will control the fire but it doesn't control the chimney's temp. If l want a hot burn in my setups, when the fire catches I dial it down around 3:30 or less. At that point chimney temperature stays around 900 degrees or so and it will go into black box on its own.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
697
Eastern Long Island NY
You're going to love this, you're supposed to clean out the junk from behind the welded in steel heat shields. I first burn hot fires to dry out all of the firebox creosote, this isn't a few sticks of kindling but 6-10 or more beer bottle size splits to really heat up the steel and convert the black scale to something brown that flakes off. You don't need to run at max output, don't want to overfire the flue, but dang high and for a long time. This is like a self cleaning oven burning off the overflowed blackberry pie. If you can't wipe off the flakes with your fingers then you didn't get it hot enough.

After the bake, sweep the chimney. Junk falls into the firebox and you want a clean chimney all summer so that the corrosive stuff is not in your flue.

Start from the top. The cat chamber vacuum. Vacuum the cat. Then wipe off the entire firebox wall until you see bare metal, then clean out the junk from behind those side plates using whatever method works. I use a two foot length of rubber vacuum hose on an air nozzle and snake it behind the shields. Then puff puff the huge flakes out. Pretty amazing how much comes out. A lot of junk is piled up on top of the preheat tubes in the firebox too.

Then clean everything out of the firebox. I do not remove the bricks.

Clean the glass well. Leave the bypass open. Loosely close the door. Put the thermostat at 50% so that the bimettalic coil is not loaded, intake flapper will be midway open.

It's ready to burn come fall. Put something fun in the firebox like a fake squirrel.
Thank you much for a detailed response. Getting any corrosive stuff out before the long break makes sense. I thought to do that in the fall because I've always done that (little nervous about a real dead squirrel in the flue, I guess - I guess I should just trust the cap that nothing is in there...).

Last question (for now, one never knows with me...): when we had a warm spell here (35+ F), and the stove would be off for a few days, then I sometimes got a creosote smell in the basement (where the stove is). The basement would get cold, because I'm not often heating it (minisplit or oil/hydronic). So that tells me there is a draft reversal. In particular on rainy (misty) days.
I was therefore thinking to close the Tstat. But I can see a long consistent stress on the coil may move its equilibrium position (and hence its calibration). So 50% open it is. - unless @BKVP says "nah", I do xyz all the time and it's fine.

But - even when the firebox may be as clean as I can get it, I guess there will always be some parts that may still be smelly.
How do you avoid getting that in the room? Plug the inlet with something (if so, what)? Although for that the door should be closed too, and you seem to want to "save" the door gasket by not having that shut completely (as during fire).

Opinions?

Thanks all! - as always, great advice is being produced here!
 

Holiday

Burning Hunk
Feb 18, 2013
231
Saskatchewan, Canada
I'd say close off the chimney, could even do it right where it connects onto the stove
 
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BoilerBob

Burning Hunk
Jan 14, 2011
142
SW Nova
Thank you much for a detailed response. Getting any corrosive stuff out before the long break makes sense. I thought to do that in the fall because I've always done that (little nervous about a real dead squirrel in the flue, I guess - I guess I should just trust the cap that nothing is in there...).

Last question (for now, one never knows with me...): when we had a warm spell here (35+ F), and the stove would be off for a few days, then I sometimes got a creosote smell in the basement (where the stove is). The basement would get cold, because I'm not often heating it (minisplit or oil/hydronic). So that tells me there is a draft reversal. In particular on rainy (misty) days.
I was therefore thinking to close the Tstat. But I can see a long consistent stress on the coil may move its equilibrium position (and hence its calibration). So 50% open it is. - unless @BKVP says "nah", I do xyz all the time and it's fine.

But - even when the firebox may be as clean as I can get it, I guess there will always be some parts that may still be smelly.
How do you avoid getting that in the room? Plug the inlet with something (if so, what)? Although for that the door should be closed too, and you seem to want to "save" the door gasket by not having that shut completely (as during fire).

Opinions?

Thanks all! - as always, great advice is being produced here!
To keep the chimney warm during a few warm humid days, I wait till the coals are all burnt down and almost cold stove. Then I relight 3 splits to keep the draft going for 24 hours.
Worth it to me not having to deal with draft reversal. ( happened a few times)
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
I have a slip joint or telescoping section to flue collar. I've only plugged it once...during hearth rebuild. JUST DON'T FORGET TO REMOVE IT BEFORE YOU LIGHT FIRST FIRE IN FALL!

Off to Fairbanks tonight...might be kind of cold there tonight...
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,733
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Thank you much for a detailed response. Getting any corrosive stuff out before the long break makes sense. I thought to do that in the fall because I've always done that (little nervous about a real dead squirrel in the flue, I guess - I guess I should just trust the cap that nothing is in there...).

Last question (for now, one never knows with me...): when we had a warm spell here (35+ F), and the stove would be off for a few days, then I sometimes got a creosote smell in the basement (where the stove is). The basement would get cold, because I'm not often heating it (minisplit or oil/hydronic). So that tells me there is a draft reversal. In particular on rainy (misty) days.
I was therefore thinking to close the Tstat. But I can see a long consistent stress on the coil may move its equilibrium position (and hence its calibration). So 50% open it is. - unless @BKVP says "nah", I do xyz all the time and it's fine.

But - even when the firebox may be as clean as I can get it, I guess there will always be some parts that may still be smelly.
How do you avoid getting that in the room? Plug the inlet with something (if so, what)? Although for that the door should be closed too, and you seem to want to "save" the door gasket by not having that shut completely (as during fire).

Opinions?

Thanks all! - as always, great advice is being produced here!
This setup prevents a draft reversal from coming into the room. Though it is very unlikely with my single story home. image.jpg
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
697
Eastern Long Island NY
This setup prevents a draft reversal from coming into the room. Though it is very unlikely with my single story home. View attachment 275722
That's just a connection to the air inlet, with a flexible duct ending on the ground? I.e. an OAK package butt-ending on the floor?
(My - Chinook 30.2 - inlet looks different; it's "female", and I am not sure a standard, box-store connection would fit...?)
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,733
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
That's just a connection to the air inlet, with a flexible duct ending on the ground? I.e. an OAK package butt-ending on the floor?
(My - Chinook 30.2 - inlet looks different; it's "female", and I am not sure a standard, box-store connection would fit...?)
That’s a 4” flex piece connected to 4” rigid metal duct that drops through the hearth and floor into my ventilated crawl space. The inlet is about 3’ below the stove. I’m a believer in outside air connections for combustion appliances.

The BK outside air connection “kit” includes a bolt on male stub. 100% of combustion air comes through that duct.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
697
Eastern Long Island NY
That’s a 4” flex piece connected to 4” rigid metal duct that drops through the hearth and floor into my ventilated crawl space. The inlet is about 3’ below the stove. I’m a believer in outside air connections for combustion appliances.

The BK outside air connection “kit” includes a bolt on male stub. 100% of combustion air comes through that duct.
Hm. I like that set-up. And I like OAKs for that reason too. Unfortunately I have a slab, and my stove is (even with its top) below grade at the side of the home where it is. (Basement does have a walk-out garage attached, though, but a 30 ft or so horizontal OAK duct to there would need a large diameter, I think - and some work to get it where it needs to be without it being a trip hazard...)
So I won't be able to do that. Good idea though. I'd insulate it - now that duct is an insulation leak in your basement, w/ only some thin-walled metal between the basement and the crawl space.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,733
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Hm. I like that set-up. And I like OAKs for that reason too. Unfortunately I have a slab, and my stove is (even with its top) below grade at the side of the home where it is. (Basement does have a walk-out garage attached, though, but a 30 ft or so horizontal OAK duct to there would need a large diameter, I think - and some work to get it where it needs to be without it being a trip hazard...)
So I won't be able to do that. Good idea though. I'd insulate it - now that duct is an insulation leak in your basement, w/ only some thin-walled metal between the basement and the crawl space.
I don’t have a basement. The duct pokes through the r30 fiberglass insulation into the ventilated crawl space. The duct is air sealed to the subfloor with a pile of expanding foam.

This is a BK so no huge intake flow rates. That metal duct never sweats. Partially because my underhouse air is relatively warm and partially because the portion exposed to warm indoor air is short.
 
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Tron

Feeling the Heat
Jan 1, 2020
256
Jackson MS
And I like OAKs for that reason too. Unfortunately I have a slab,
I'd guess that for insulation purposes a slab is waaay better than a crawl space. From what I've heard (we have a slab, too), those things give you nothing but worries. Be it critters, or pipes freezing in Winter, or whatever.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,733
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I'd guess that for insulation purposes a slab is waaay better than a crawl space. From what I've heard (we have a slab, too), those things give you nothing but worries. Be it critters, or pipes freezing in Winter, or whatever.
Weird. None of that in any of the homes I’ve lived in with crawlspaces beneath. It’s pretty warm down there, like ground temperature, 50 or so. If you live in a swamp they can get wet. That’s no fun. Don’t buy a swamp house!
 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
883
Western Washington
Interesting (to me) I’ve been burning Idaho logs last week in the warmer weather. Easy 30 hour burns and not overheating the house. Gotta cut another fir snag down this weekend but getting spoiled with the press logs. Is this common knowledge? The fir cooks me out even on low setting. Also noticed if I let the press logs get hot before reloading, it sets my smoke alarm off with no visible smoke?? Wife and the cats really like that in the early am lol, might keep doing it just cus and make up something to explain ha ha!
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,715
07462
Animals laying on the warm hearth.
I thought I lost the cat last night, before going to bed we both have a routine were I fill his water bowl and I drink a cup of water, he's always there when he hears the bowl hit the floor, well no cat last night, figured I forgot to let him inside, so I turned on his signal light (porch light) and went to the basement to make sure the stove was good to go, when I turned on the stair light, I saw a long black log partially melted into the floor in front of the stove.. found my buddy soaking in the cat rays.