2020 Pacific Energy Summit LE - Baffle Belly

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MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
161
Wisconsin
We have been running our new Pacific Energy Summit for only about 6 weeks. I know it is normal for the baffle to distort, but it seems early in the stove's life for a baffle with a 10 year warranty to have this much of a belly. The manual states that if it warps by 1/4" it should be replaced. I haven't taken it out to measure it yet, but it sure looks like more than 1/4".

So, the question is... Is this normal after 6 weeks?

Now here is some background info:
Like many other threads I have read, I will mention that we have seen this stove run hot, but we have not overfired it. I have seen the stove top reach 750 degrees twice. The first time it reached 750 we reloaded with too much on too hot of coals and probably didn't turn it down soon enough. This was day 2 with our new stove. It plateaued there and came back down slowly on its own while I sweated. The second time was from a cold firebox with a full load. I had turned the primary air down (all the way down) quite early in the burn, but it kept slowly walking its way up. With a full load, that's what it does no matter how early I turn it down. When the stove pipe probe was over 700 and the stove top was over 750 with no signs of it backing down, I installed a wad of aluminum foil in the secondary air intake temporarily until it regained its composure. This time I wasn't sweating because I had a plan to deal with it before it happened.

We have now taken to only filling it 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full on a fresh burn (from warm coals or a cold firebox), or just covering the bottom of the stove with splits if we are loading on hot coals. That seems to make it much more controllable. It's a shame we can't load it up, though. Coming from a Big Moe, this firebox already seems small and the burn times short. But the firebox isn't full of tar and I've checked the connector and chimney a couple of times and they look great. That was our main reason for the change. We wanted less creosote.

Today I received my Magnehelic, and went to work measuring the draft. Almost immediately after I started the fire, the draft reached 0.05" H2O. I let it run up to a pipe probe temp of about 600F and checked our draft. It measured over 0.1" H2O.

I'm not sure how to post videos here, but here I go. The first one is early in the burn. This was a new toy so of course I want to play with it and see how it reads as things begin to ramp up. I had JUST lit the fire a couple of minutes before taking this video.

For the second one, I let the fire ramp up until it was a little over 600F at the pipe probe. I turned down the primary air to minimum. Waited a few minutes, and took another reading.

There is no draft spec in the manual, but I'm guessing based on other threads I have read that this is more than twice the ideal draft and it was 40 F outside with little to no wind.

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,563
South Puget Sound, WA
Nice setup. The draft does look a bit high for 40º. Have you added a key damper in the stovepipe yet? If not, that is the next step. The additional rear secondary ports are new and may affect the baffle, but so far nothing looks too bad. It's worth keeping an eye on though.

Your cat is a chatty as our old guy and about as loud.
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
161
Wisconsin
I have not added a key damper yet.

I know that is the common solution, and I would have done it right away if I didn't have insurance concerns. When we started looking for a new stove we went to look at several different models. One was an Enerzone, and to be honest we probably would have bought the Enerzone if it had a "legs" option. The pedestal look was less desirable. I asked the Enerzone dealer about the new EPA stoves and what to do if we have too much draft... Reason being, we have already run a different stove on this chimney so I know it drafts well. I asked specifically if we should install a key damper. He was pretty adamant that installing a key damper modifies the exhaust of the device and would void my insurance. He said he knew because he investigates fires related to wood burning appliances and any modification to the input or output would void the insurance policy. I don't know. Maybe he is right, and if we did have a fire... he is right down the road so he might be the investigator.

Before I installed the key damper, I wanted something documented from some pro telling me to do it. Otherwise I'm just some guy who went to Menard's and found some parts that fit together. Yesterday, I sent the same info I posted here to Pacific Energy and the dealer where I purchased my Summit (different dealer than the Enerzone dealer).

The dealer was on it right away following up with Pacific Energy. I got a response today from Pacific Energy, and the dealer. Pacific Energy stated clearly that my stove is overdrafting, and they included a document suggesting that I install a key damper with pictures of what the key damper looks like.

I'll forward that email to my insurance agent and tell him I'm installing a key damper per the manufacturer's recommendation. I am pretty sure that will satisfy everyone.

I have attached the "Chimney Draft Measurement, How To" doc that Pacific Energy sent me. It doesn't say which models this applies to, so the safe bet is to assume it only applies to the 2020 PE Summit LE and models with identical fireboxes.

It sounds like I did everything almost completely correctly when it comes to measuring draft. I would not have been able to do that without the info on this forum in the existing threads, so thank you to all members for the help.

I think the cat really prefers this stove to the old one that didn't have a glass door. The radiant heat coming through the glass is much more intense than with the old one. He often comes around meowing just after I start a fire. I think he has figured out he's going to get to enjoy a good roast in front of the stove.
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,563
South Puget Sound, WA
You did well and are on the right course. I'm glad your dealer has been responsive.
The wood stove is a magnet for our younger cat. He is waiting there in the morning for me to reload.
 

bcarp

New Member
Jan 19, 2021
24
BC Interior
I have the same stove, for about 7 weeks now and my baffle looks similar, the pic attached doesn't represent the full distortion. I've had pipe temps up to the 900f range once or twice - was also sweating and not just cause of the heat, but once the air was shut down it came down - I should make a tinfoil ball just to have in case. I would like to measure my draft to know, but I don't think I have an over-draft scenario and am able to fully load the stove no problems.
 

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MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
161
Wisconsin
I have the same stove, for about 7 weeks now and my baffle looks similar, the pic attached doesn't represent the full distortion. I've had pipe temps up to the 900f range once or twice - was also sweating and not just cause of the heat, but once the air was shut down it came down - I should make a tinfoil ball just to have in case. I would like to measure my draft to know, but I don't think I have an over-draft scenario and am able to fully load the stove no problems.

The general wisdom shared on this site is that if your non-cat EPA stove is going thermonuclear, you should open the door wide open to send the heat up the stack and cool the stove. I have not been able to bring myself to do that.

I spent too much time with old non-EPA stoves. On my All Nighter, opening the door would make it burn like the very fires of Hell, and yeah it would send heat up the stack and not stop until it ran out of fuel or turned my pipes into a puddle.

So instead, I have T20 screwdriver and an aluminum foil plug staged near the stove.

I now also have my damper installed.

I took my baffle out. I am not liking how it looks.

20210227170413_IMG_3079.JPG 20210227170512_IMG_3083.JPG 20210227170524_IMG_3084.JPG
 

mcdougy

Minister of Fire
Apr 15, 2014
673
ontario
I think your stove baffle is normal as compared to my 3.5 season baffle. Although not exactly aesthetically pleasing it does not seem to affect the stove operation. Consider it as your first dent in your new car. You don't like looking at it but it doesn't change performance. I sent a pic to my dealer and it's now documented, so when I see a performance issue I have documentation that this has been a progressive situation. The dealer is the one that suggested this course of action.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,563
South Puget Sound, WA
I have the same stove, for about 7 weeks now and my baffle looks similar, the pic attached doesn't represent the full distortion. I've had pipe temps up to the 900f range once or twice - was also sweating and not just cause of the heat, but once the air was shut down it came down - I should make a tinfoil ball just to have in case. I would like to measure my draft to know, but I don't think I have an over-draft scenario and am able to fully load the stove no problems.
The baffle is fine. The stove is robust. A little sag or bow in the large stainless bottom does not affect anything. If it's any consolation our double-wall stove flue temp has been up over 900º flue temp several times due to me spacing out turning down the air sooner. It's why I now have the stove temp sitting in front of my face while getting absorbed in answering threads on H.com. It's easy to get distracted. In the least, set a timer when you load the stove for 4 or 5 minutes to remind you to check the stove.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,150
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I propose that if there is ever a time that flue temps get to 900 with the intake control fully closed that you need a key damper. I recently installed one and am very happy with the added safety of control not to mention the associated efficiency increase.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,563
South Puget Sound, WA
I propose that if there is ever a time that flue temps get to 900 with the intake control fully closed that you need a key damper. I recently installed one and am very happy with the added safety of control not to mention the associated efficiency increase.
Not necessarily. I don't recommend everyone do this because every stove installation is different. If the draft is super strong then yes, a key damper is a good solution. If the flue temp is that high due to user error it's not an issue of draft. With the air closed the flue temp will come down, just not instantly because a large mass of fuel is still oxidizing rapidly. I tried a key damper on our 20' straight-up chimney and did not see a good gain in control. What did make a difference was cutting off the boost air and a very slight change in the air intake stop. Now we have good control regardless of outside temp or me spacing out the timing of the air control reduction.
First and foremost, learn how to run the stove well before making modifications.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,150
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Not necessarily. I don't recommend everyone do this because every stove installation is different. If the draft is super strong then yes, a key damper is a good solution. If the flue temp is that high due to user error it's not an issue of draft. With the air closed the flue temp will come down, just not instantly because a large mass of fuel is still oxidizing rapidly. I tried a key damper on our 20' straight-up chimney and did not see a good gain in control. What did make a difference was cutting off the boost air and a very slight change in the air intake stop. Now we have good control regardless of outside temp or me spacing out the timing of the air control reduction.
First and foremost, learn how to run the stove well before making modifications.

Your modifications of the air control to a federally regulated emissions system are of questionable legality. My addition of a key damper is reversible.

Sure you can just operate the stove differently but if you can’t slow the stove down as it approaches unsafe limits then it’s time to at least equip your system with the means to regain control.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,563
South Puget Sound, WA
The addition of a damper will also alter the tested combustion results. There is no change on our stove that is not completely reversible to the factory spec. And if one recalls correctly there have been several suggestions to use magnets to cut off the boost air for the 30-NC. If one is burning good dry wood, boost air is not required for startup, particularly on a N/S loading stove. Some stoves even made this a manual control.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,563
South Puget Sound, WA
Didn't say that. Words.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,150
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Didn't say that. Words.

I didn’t say you did. See that question mark? Punctuation. Truce!

Since the stove has a ul listing I have a hard time recommending any stove modifications due to federal law and insurance risk. Mine have no modifications.

Putting a key damper in a chimney has no such violation, is frequently recommended by manufacturers, and acts to provide the manufacturer’s required draft strength to the UL listed appliance which is arguably required for a proper/legal installation.
 
Last edited:

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
161
Wisconsin
I think your stove baffle is normal as compared to my 3.5 season baffle. Although not exactly aesthetically pleasing it does not seem to affect the stove operation. Consider it as your first dent in your new car. You don't like looking at it but it doesn't change performance. I sent a pic to my dealer and it's now documented, so when I see a performance issue I have documentation that this has been a progressive situation. The dealer is the one that suggested this course of action.

I am not too worried about it, but I will keep an eye on it. I will be sweeping from the bottom up, so removing the baffle every time. That will give me a chance to inspect it and track progress.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,563
South Puget Sound, WA
I am not too worried about it, but I will keep an eye on it. I will be sweeping from the bottom up, so removing the baffle every time. That will give me a chance to inspect it and track progress.
Get some replacement gaskets to have them on hand or get some material to make your own.
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
161
Wisconsin
Get some replacement gaskets to have them on hand or get some material to make your own.

That is some very good advice. I already had to make one, and I have a few replacements on order. I borrowed a friend's Sooteater, and caught the baffle gasket when I was retracting the head. Don't worry, I made a nice cover for the secondary tube, I just failed to remove the gasket.
 

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MR. GLO

Member
Jan 26, 2021
136
Massachusetts
I have not added a key damper yet.

I know that is the common solution, and I would have done it right away if I didn't have insurance concerns. When we started looking for a new stove we went to look at several different models. One was an Enerzone, and to be honest we probably would have bought the Enerzone if it had a "legs" option. The pedestal look was less desirable. I asked the Enerzone dealer about the new EPA stoves and what to do if we have too much draft... Reason being, we have already run a different stove on this chimney so I know it drafts well. I asked specifically if we should install a key damper. He was pretty adamant that installing a key damper modifies the exhaust of the device and would void my insurance. He said he knew because he investigates fires related to wood burning appliances and any modification to the input or output would void the insurance policy. I don't know. Maybe he is right, and if we did have a fire... he is right down the road so he might be the investigator.

Before I installed the key damper, I wanted something documented from some pro telling me to do it. Otherwise I'm just some guy who went to Menard's and found some parts that fit together. Yesterday, I sent the same info I posted here to Pacific Energy and the dealer where I purchased my Summit (different dealer than the Enerzone dealer).

The dealer was on it right away following up with Pacific Energy. I got a response today from Pacific Energy, and the dealer. Pacific Energy stated clearly that my stove is overdrafting, and they included a document suggesting that I install a key damper with pictures of what the key damper looks like.

I'll forward that email to my insurance agent and tell him I'm installing a key damper per the manufacturer's recommendation. I am pretty sure that will satisfy everyone.

I have attached the "Chimney Draft Measurement, How To" doc that Pacific Energy sent me. It doesn't say which models this applies to, so the safe bet is to assume it only applies to the 2020 PE Summit LE and models with identical fireboxes.

It sounds like I did everything almost completely correctly when it comes to measuring draft. I would not have been able to do that without the info on this forum in the existing threads, so thank you to all members for the help.

I think the cat really prefers this stove to the old one that didn't have a glass door. The radiant heat coming through the glass is much more intense than with the old one. He often comes around meowing just after I start a fire. I think he has figured out he's going to get to enjoy a good roast in front of the stove.
Try to keep the draft tube straight in not at angle, And if you put a damper I thi
We have been running our new Pacific Energy Summit for only about 6 weeks. I know it is normal for the baffle to distort, but it seems early in the stove's life for a baffle with a 10 year warranty to have this much of a belly. The manual states that if it warps by 1/4" it should be replaced. I haven't taken it out to measure it yet, but it sure looks like more than 1/4".

So, the question is... Is this normal after 6 weeks?

Now here is some background info:
Like many other threads I have read, I will mention that we have seen this stove run hot, but we have not overfired it. I have seen the stove top reach 750 degrees twice. The first time it reached 750 we reloaded with too much on too hot of coals and probably didn't turn it down soon enough. This was day 2 with our new stove. It plateaued there and came back down slowly on its own while I sweated. The second time was from a cold firebox with a full load. I had turned the primary air down (all the way down) quite early in the burn, but it kept slowly walking its way up. With a full load, that's what it does no matter how early I turn it down. When the stove pipe probe was over 700 and the stove top was over 750 with no signs of it backing down, I installed a wad of aluminum foil in the secondary air intake temporarily until it regained its composure. This time I wasn't sweating because I had a plan to deal with it before it happened.

We have now taken to only filling it 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full on a fresh burn (from warm coals or a cold firebox), or just covering the bottom of the stove with splits if we are loading on hot coals. That seems to make it much more controllable. It's a shame we can't load it up, though. Coming from a Big Moe, this firebox already seems small and the burn times short. But the firebox isn't full of tar and I've checked the connector and chimney a couple of times and they look great. That was our main reason for the change. We wanted less creosote.

Today I received my Magnehelic, and went to work measuring the draft. Almost immediately after I started the fire, the draft reached 0.05" H2O. I let it run up to a pipe probe temp of about 600F and checked our draft. It measured over 0.1" H2O.

I'm not sure how to post videos here, but here I go. The first one is early in the burn. This was a new toy so of course I want to play with it and see how it reads as things begin to ramp up. I had JUST lit the fire a couple of minutes before taking this video.

For the second one, I let the fire ramp up until it was a little over 600F at the pipe probe. I turned down the primary air to minimum. Waited a few minutes, and took another reading.

There is no draft spec in the manual, but I'm guessing based on other threads I have read that this is more than twice the ideal draft and it was 40 F outside with little to no wind.

View attachment 275273 View attachment 275274 View attachment 275275
If you install a damper I think you want to install the draft gauge permanently so you can set draft and I think it needs to be close to the the base and below the damper. If your manual says a damper can be installed in high draft then I would install. Some Jotul manuals include this clause.