BK Ashford/Sirocco 25 questions

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

dafattkidd

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2007
1,786
Long Island
Hello friends, I’ve just ordered a BK Ashford Insert in black. I’ve been burning wood for a long time in other units. So, I know the basics; dry wood, full load cycles, clean chimney, etc.

I also know that each stove has its own little idiosyncrasies. What are some stove specific tips, tricks, hints, hacks and advice for the BK Ashford 25? I’m super excited to get this new insert and I’m really looking forward to hearing from you.

Questions I have:
What are realistic burn times on low, medium and high?

What size splits work best for you (length and diameter of split size)?

What is your preferred wood loading procedure (NS, EW, cribbed, etc)?

Any other hints, tricks, hacks or processes that work for you?
 

TheTodd

Member
Jan 2, 2018
8
Ellicott City, MD
I put this in the larger BK thread last night, but just in case you didn't see it...

Better late than never, but in my 3 seasons of burning, I have averaged about 10 hours on my Ashford insert on low. Thankfully that setting is enough to keep my 2500sqft house warm almost the entire winter with a circulation fan placed in the foyer(stove fan off), so I rarely have to turn it up any higher and shorten burn times further, but on high it might be just 3-4 hours. FWIW I have a block off plate and insulated firebox, and a pretty high stack that probably pulls my draft out of spec which affects burn times too. I shoot for just a hair above where the flapper clicks to avoid stalling the cat and still have either fire or glowing coals most of the time. Interestingly, I also seem to get better burn times loading E-W rather than N-S. The majority of the conversation here about burn times, black boxes, etc relates to freestanding stove models, so we insert owners need to be aware of that. Good information and conversation, just less applicable to us.

Here's some more focused insert talk if you're interested: https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/bk-ashford-25-and-sirocco-25.163405/
 
  • Like
Reactions: Highbeam

mellow

Resident Stove Connoisseur
Jan 19, 2008
5,312
Salisbury, MD
You can also check out my review of it when it was first released.

 

phiester

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
2
Hershey, PA
I put this in the larger BK thread last night, but just in case you didn't see it...

Better late than never, but in my 3 seasons of burning, I have averaged about 10 hours on my Ashford insert on low. Thankfully that setting is enough to keep my 2500sqft house warm almost the entire winter with a circulation fan placed in the foyer(stove fan off), so I rarely have to turn it up any higher and shorten burn times further, but on high it might be just 3-4 hours. FWIW I have a block off plate and insulated firebox, and a pretty high stack that probably pulls my draft out of spec which affects burn times too. I shoot for just a hair above where the flapper clicks to avoid stalling the cat and still have either fire or glowing coals most of the time. Interestingly, I also seem to get better burn times loading E-W rather than N-S. The majority of the conversation here about burn times, black boxes, etc relates to freestanding stove models, so we insert owners need to be aware of that. Good information and conversation, just less applicable to us.

Here's some more focused insert talk if you're interested: https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/bk-ashford-25-and-sirocco-25.163405/
I
recently had a Sirocco 25 insert installed. I've only been burning for a few days, but have noticed some difficulty turning down and achieving burn times longer than ~7 hours. Some of that is likely due to the load not being completely full.

However, I'm also thinking that my draft is probably too high making the thermostat very sensitive since I have an insulated 30' liner.

TheTodd, I noticed you mentioned a block off plate to help reduce the draft. Could you tell me a little more about that? Is that a Blaze King component? Where is it installed? Did you notice a different with and without it?

Thanks!!
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,858
Long Island NY
A flue damper can reduce draft. A block off plate reduces heated air from escaping up the chimney (outside of the liner). It is mounted where the liner comes out into what was the fireplace.
 
  • Like
Reactions: phiester

TheTodd

Member
Jan 2, 2018
8
Ellicott City, MD
I
recently had a Sirocco 25 insert installed. I've only been burning for a few days, but have noticed some difficulty turning down and achieving burn times longer than ~7 hours. Some of that is likely due to the load not being completely full.

However, I'm also thinking that my draft is probably too high making the thermostat very sensitive since I have an insulated 30' liner.

TheTodd, I noticed you mentioned a block off plate to help reduce the draft. Could you tell me a little more about that? Is that a Blaze King component? Where is it installed? Did you notice a different with and without it?

Thanks!!
The block off plate is meant to prevent heat from traveling up the chimney outside the liner and instead forces most of it back into the house, but it wouldn't affect the draft. You'd need something like a damper inside the liner to affect the draft. On freestanding stoves there is much more access to the stovepipe to activate a damper manually, so that's fairly commonly used there (although not officially supported by BK), but not on inserts since the fireplace greatly restricts that access. I am not aware of a good way to manage high draft on inserts, unfortunately.


Wood with moisture content >20% is the most common cause of new installs not getting the expected burn time, since you likely haven't been acquiring and seasoning wood 2-3 years ahead of time yet. 80% of people with that complaint on the forums seem to end up learning that they aren't measuring it the right way and have wetter wood than they thought.
 
  • Like
Reactions: phiester

Raoul

Member
Aug 25, 2017
49
Tacoma, WA
Completely normal burn time. I have never achieved anything like the guys who run the free standing bk’s.
Only way I might stretch it is when I mix the load with high quality pressed logs.

My burn time measurement is can l light it off the coals.
 

mellow

Resident Stove Connoisseur
Jan 19, 2008
5,312
Salisbury, MD
I
recently had a Sirocco 25 insert installed. I've only been burning for a few days, but have noticed some difficulty turning down and achieving burn times longer than ~7 hours. Some of that is likely due to the load not being completely full.

However, I'm also thinking that my draft is probably too high making the thermostat very sensitive since I have an insulated 30' liner.

TheTodd, I noticed you mentioned a block off plate to help reduce the draft. Could you tell me a little more about that? Is that a Blaze King component? Where is it installed? Did you notice a different with and without it?

Thanks!!

I would insulate your fireplace so the heat is not robbed by outside sources, especially if this is an exterior chimney.

As for your draft at 30' that is quite tall, for inserts you can't install a damper since it is not easily accessible, but what you can try is installing an offset adapter, they are made in stainless for insert installs. They do reduce draft.

 

phiester

New Member
Dec 13, 2021
2
Hershey, PA
Thanks to all for the replies, this is a great forum. I've been tweaking and I think I found a good thermostat 'low' setting. I've also tried to pack the wood in the firebox as densely as possible. Been able to get 11-12 hours now on low, which suits the work/sleep schedule just fine.