Blaze King install puzzle

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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
923
NW Ontario
Stop burning until all dry wood is not an option now, because we'll be having single digit temperatures the next few nights. The stove is keeping the basement warm and thereby helping with the upstairs heating.

I plan to build a roofed-over firewood storage and keep ahead three or four years on splitting. I am used to our old greenhouse stove and open fireplace that can tolerate last-minute splits, unsplit wood, fungus bark, or anything.
if you're gonna burn sub-par wood, burn it hot (like on a high tstat setting). maybe you could get some of those bio bricks to pepper into the loads?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
To recap, the VP of BK, and four current BK users are all saying that the wood you use is not ok. That you need to burn drier (and this hotter).

That amplified message should tell you something.

One member here always advises to buy a pallet (or two) of those sawdust logs and consider it part of the cost of buying a new stove. I concur. It is safer, and you'll be less frustrated and more happy with the stove.

Not the message you want, but it is what it is.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
What size masonry chase is the 8" liner in? Very few are large enough for an 8" liner and room for proper insulation.

Regardless if you are having that much water drip out of the pipe your wood is very wet. So you are loosing 1/3 of your BTUs to the surrounding soil. And about 1/4 of your BTUs wasted boiling the water out of your wood. That doesn't leave much to heat your house with.
There is from one to two inches of vermi-cement (the recipe was very heavy on the vermiculite and light on the Portland cement, and I mixed it by hand in a wheelbarrow to keep it loose) all around the 8 inch liner, and in a few places 3 inches or more, especially toward the bottom, where the original flue curved a little and some brick was broken out.

Two inches of vermi-cement is supposed to be equal to the insulation used around flexible liners.

I loaded the stove again a little while ago, about six more pieces, and a little while later, the liquid started dripping through the bottom of that seam in the adjustable angle fitting. The dripping doesn't continue through the entire burn cycle. It stops when the wood is charred. I'm going to keep burning the stove through this extreme cold snap, and then I'll let it cool off and look at everything. I have some pallets and 2X4 scraps (not pressure treated) that I can cut up and add to the mix in the meantime. For weeks I've been drying split wood indoors with heat and a fan.

There is a new creosote drying material I read about today that can be sprayed up the flue it looks like ti floats up with the draft like a dust or mist instead of being burned inside the firebox, so it won't touch and harm the cat.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
That amount of moisture could and likely will result in rusting out parts of the stove, including the flue collar, dome components etc.
As recommended, look for some manufactured fuels, such as North Idaho Energy Logs, Malheur Forrest Products logs and Bio Bricks. You could burn these until you obtain properly seasoned wood.
There is from one to two inches of vermi-cement (the recipe was very heavy on the vermiculite and light on the Portland cement, and I mixed it by hand in a wheelbarrow to keep it loose) all around the 8 inch liner, and in a few places 3 inches or more, especially toward the bottom, where the original flue curved a little and some brick was broken out.

Two inches of vermi-cement is supposed to be equal to the insulation used around flexible liners.

I loaded the stove again a little while ago, about six more pieces, and a little while later, the liquid started dripping through the bottom of that seam in the adjustable angle fitting. The dripping doesn't continue through the entire burn cycle. It stops when the wood is charred. I'm going to keep burning the stove through this extreme cold snap, and then I'll let it cool off and look at everything. I have some pallets and 2X4 scraps (not pressure treated) that I can cut up and add to the mix in the meantime. For weeks I've been drying split wood indoors with heat and a fan.

There is a new creosote drying material I read about today that can be sprayed up the flue it looks like ti floats up with the draft like a dust or mist instead of being burned inside the firebox, so it won't touch and harm the cat.
I've noticed that the dripping stops when the wood is charred. So if I start each load by burning "full blast" with the bypass door open until the wood is charred, instead of going straight to the cat which is set low, maybe I won't see moisture at all? I'll try it with a full load tomorrow. That's what I did in the very beginning, but I was making small loads then and there was no drip from those loads and the glass stayed clean. Perhaps there is not quite as much moisture as we think.

Yes I'm waiting for that tester to come that I ordered mid-December, had to re-order, and it is supposed to be here in a few days. I'm going to avoid putting in pieces with bark for now. A load that had several pieces with bark produced the cup of liquid.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
I've noticed that the dripping stops when the wood is charred. So if I start each load by burning "full blast" with the bypass door open until the wood is charred, instead of going straight to the cat which is set low, maybe I won't see moisture at all? I'll try it with a full load tomorrow. That's what I did in the very beginning, but I was making small loads then and there was no drip from those loads and the glass stayed clean. Perhaps there is not quite as much moisture as we think.

Yes I'm waiting for that tester to come that I ordered mid-December, had to re-order, and it is supposed to be here in a few days. I'm going to avoid putting in pieces with bark for now. A load that had several pieces with bark produced the cup of liquid.
Having that bypass open until charred will damage the bypass gasket retainers. Please stop that practice. You have a great deal invested in your stove, your home and family. This is not an experiment. Look at local retailers for manufactured fuels or spend the funds to get a cord or two of confirmed dry wood.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
That amount of moisture could and likely will result in rusting out parts of the stove, including the flue collar, dome components etc.
As recommended, look for some manufactured fuels, such as North Idaho Energy Logs, Malheur Forrest Products logs and Bio Bricks. You could burn these until you obtain properly seasoned wood.
If these parts rust out from moisture, doesn't even a trace of liquid moisture cause some degree of rust? I know an unused stove closed up with moisture trapped inside would rust, but does a hot stove that is in constant use also rust out? Is the type of steel used very prone to rust?

Some have explained that the reason for connecting male stove pipe ends down into female is "to carry creosote liquid back down to the stove where it is burned." I guess that might not apply to the design of a cat stove with bypass closed.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
It's the heat going up thru the bypass that does the damage.
 
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Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
Having that bypass open until charred will damage the bypass gasket retainers. Please stop that practice. You have a great deal invested in your stove, your home and family. This is not an experiment. Look at local retailers for manufactured fuels or spend the funds to get a cord or two of confirmed dry wood.
I haven't begun that practice, although I just broached the idea of trying a longer burn with the bypass door open before switching to the cat.

I was not aware that leaving the bypass open damages the gasket retainers. I don't think I ever let the bypass open more than a half hour and that was on the very first burn with a very small load and the stove was cold and the cat took that long to go active.

Please explain the limits of letting the bypass door open.

Note that I'm careful not to load wood too high so that it could block the bypass door or be too close to the cat shield, so flames don't reach the cat.

In the early loads when I started I followed the direction to keep the bypass door open for so many minutes before closing the bypass, unless the cat was not active, in which one needs to wait longer (which I had to do on the very first load) but the last few days I've been switching to the cat much sooner after re-loading, because the cat was still way up in the active level.

I didn't notice any dripping with those early loads when I waited ten minues, or more, to close the bypass, so I thought tomorrow I'd try waiting to close it for a half hour and then switch to the cat and see if there is no drip. But if leaving the bypass door open for that long does damage to bypass door retainers, I won't try it. At what point must the bypass door be closed?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,154
central pa
There is from one to two inches of vermi-cement (the recipe was very heavy on the vermiculite and light on the Portland cement, and I mixed it by hand in a wheelbarrow to keep it loose) all around the 8 inch liner, and in a few places 3 inches or more, especially toward the bottom, where the original flue curved a little and some brick was broken out.

Two inches of vermi-cement is supposed to be equal to the insulation used around flexible liners.

I loaded the stove again a little while ago, about six more pieces, and a little while later, the liquid started dripping through the bottom of that seam in the adjustable angle fitting. The dripping doesn't continue through the entire burn cycle. It stops when the wood is charred. I'm going to keep burning the stove through this extreme cold snap, and then I'll let it cool off and look at everything. I have some pallets and 2X4 scraps (not pressure treated) that I can cut up and add to the mix in the meantime. For weeks I've been drying split wood indoors with heat and a fan.

There is a new creosote drying material I read about today that can be sprayed up the flue it looks like ti floats up with the draft like a dust or mist instead of being burned inside the firebox, so it won't touch and harm the cat.
Why wouldn't you have used proper listed liner insulation so it would meet code?
 

showrguy

Minister of Fire
Aug 2, 2015
558
Marysville, Pa.
Having that bypass open until charred will damage the bypass gasket retainers. Please stop that practice. You have a great deal invested in your stove, your home and family. This is not an experiment. Look at local retailers for manufactured fuels or spend the funds to get a cord or two of confirmed dry wood.
What he said ’AGAIN’…..
This fella actually knows a few things about theses stoves !!
You need GOOD fuel…
 
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BKVP

Minister of Fire
I haven't begun that practice, although I just broached the idea of trying a longer burn with the bypass door open before switching to the cat.

I was not aware that leaving the bypass open damages the gasket retainers. I don't think I ever let the bypass open more than a half hour and that was on the very first burn with a very small load and the stove was cold and the cat took that long to go active.

Please explain the limits of letting the bypass door open.

Note that I'm careful not to load wood too high so that it could block the bypass door or be too close to the cat shield, so flames don't reach the cat.

In the early loads when I started I followed the direction to keep the bypass door open for so many minutes before closing the bypass, unless the cat was not active, in which one needs to wait longer (which I had to do on the very first load) but the last few days I've been switching to the cat much sooner after re-loading, because the cat was still way up in the active level.

I didn't notice any dripping with those early loads when I waited ten minues, or more, to close the bypass, so I thought tomorrow I'd try waiting to close it for a half hour and then switch to the cat and see if there is no drip. But if leaving the bypass door open for that long does damage to bypass door retainers, I won't try it. At what point must the bypass door be closed?
Close bypass the moment it indicates active. Leave it closed until time to refuel.

This explanation is in the Owners manual.

There's another thread where very trace amounts of moisture leaked from venting and have compromised the top of the stove.

By your descriptions, your water intrusion is probably much greater. This isn't covered by warranty nor is damage to components identified with improper operation.

Lastly, and I'll get heck for this, the 2015 Federal Law (NSPS rule) prohibits the burning of any fuel other than as tested and recommended by the manufacturer. Even if you have no neighbors, it's not safe.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
Having that bypass open until charred will damage the bypass gasket retainers. Please stop that practice. You have a great deal invested in your stove, your home and family. This is not an experiment. Look at local retailers for manufactured fuels or spend the funds to get a cord or two of confirmed dry wood.
Also, I've been worried, from the beginning, about a fire getting so hot that it warps steel parts inside the stove, since I read of that happening to others. I don't think any of my fires have been "wild" and I don't intend to allow it, I'm also aware of the danger of too-hot fires caused by door gasket leakage. l adjusted and check the door gasket pressure ("dollar bill test") because I understand if the door leaks air with the bypass closed, the fire will get too hot and damage the cat. I did not loosen the ash door either. I left it as is because I was told that is another way that fires have gone wild, because of air coming up through the ash door left open or loose. Now I'm worried about the bypass door gasket being destroyed if the bypass door is open too long.

As soon as I get that moisture tester, in a few days, I'll be reporting the results. I'm not a better but I'm pretty sure at least some of this wood is dry enough, but we'll see. I'm avoiding all the pieces that have any bark on now. That's what seems to correlate with the most liquid.

The seam on the adjustable angle is actually perfectly positioned to gather and release any liquid coming down toward the stove, which could also be seen as an advantage because it is like having an alarm.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
Close bypass the moment it indicates active. Leave it closed until time to refuel.

This explanation is in the Owners manual.

There's another thread where very trace amounts of moisture leaked from venting and have compromised the top of the stove.

By your descriptions, your water intrusion is probably much greater. This isn't covered by warranty nor is damage to components identified with improper operation.

Lastly, and I'll get heck for this, the 2015 Federal Law (NSPS rule) prohibits the burning of any fuel other than as tested and recommended by the manufacturer. Even if you have no neighbors, it's not safe.
I posted the last comment before reading yours.

I'd like to read that thread about the trace amounts of moisture, if I can find it. I'm very concerned about the steel warping or rusting.

Re: "Close bypass the moment it indicates active": I think that means if I re-load (with the bypass temporarily open to re-load) and the cat is active, I should close the bypass as soon as I close the door. Is this correct? If so, that's what I have been doing the last few days, almost instantly, as soon as any ash disturbed by re-loading has time to settle or go up through the bypass, instead of landing on the cat.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
I'm very concerned about the steel warping or rusting.

I think that means if I re-load (with the bypass temporarily open to re-load) and the cat is active, I should close the bypass as soon as I close the door. Is this correct?

Warping; the Tstat should prevent overfiring. It gets too hot, it closes the air. Even when it is at its highest setting. Now this will work less well with the bypass open... So the bypass open is in fact more dangerous for overheating/warping.

Second thing: correct.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
I also keep the bypass open for a minute or two before re-loading to make sure the direction of air-flow has changed completely and the cat won't be hit by room temperature air.

Re: " 2015 Federal Law (NSPS rule) prohibits the burning of any fuel other than as tested and recommended by the manufacturer":

It's good to know that sawdust logs are another option instead of just dry cordwood for this stove. I was hesitant also about using palletwood pieces and 2X4 scraps, as some have suggested, and now I will avoid them completely. I would never have considered using plywood scraps. I will look into getting sawdust logs tomorrow. I want to meet all of the manufacturers' and legal requirements and maximize the life and value of the stove. Thanks for your help and concern!
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Pallets (absolutely no nails) and 2*4 pieces are fine. Even bkvp burns (or will burn) sawmill leftovers. Not much different. Just wood. But dry.

Make sure there is no metal, no glue (! Plywood...) and no treated wood.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
Warping; the Tstat should prevent overfiring. It gets too hot, it closes the air. Even when it is at its highest setting. Now this will work less well with the bypass open... So the bypass open is in fact more dangerous for overheating/warping.

Second thing: correct.
"Tstat should prevent overfiring":

I've been leery of trusting that to prevent warping. One of the techs I talked to early on said something like it can't be over-fired because it automatically shuts, but does that automatic closure happen only in cat mode when the bypass door is closed?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
"Tstat should prevent overfiring":

I've been leery of trusting that to prevent warping. One of the techs I talked to early on said something like it can't be over-fired because it automatically shuts, but does that automatic closure happen only in cat mode when the bypass door is closed?

Being leery is good. But I have not seen reports of the Tstat failing in a young stove. (They can get stuck -lubricate- or the dial can get loose -tighten-, but that's about all I've seen.) It's simple technology: just a bimetal.

The temperature distribution over the stove parts depends on where heat is generated and where it flows. The Tstat is "seeing" the temp best when (is calibrated for) operation with the bypass closed.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
Pallets (absolutely no nails) and 2*4 pieces are fine. Even bkvp burns (or will burn) sawmill leftovers. Not much different. Just wood. But dry.

Make sure there is no metal, no glue (! Plywood...) and no treated wood.
Another thing is that thin pieces of pallet and small sawmill leftovers might be too dry and burn too fast and hot I was thinking, but the automatic shut off should prevent cat damage and warping then? Yes I know about nails, staples and screws, I never let them in wood to be burned because all the wood ashes will be spread over the garden and lawn (hope that's still legal).
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
Close bypass the moment it indicates active. Leave it closed until time to refuel.

This explanation is in the Owners manual.

There's another thread where very trace amounts of moisture leaked from venting and have compromised the top of the stove.

By your descriptions, your water intrusion is probably much greater. This isn't covered by warranty nor is damage to components identified with improper operation.

Lastly, and I'll get heck for this, the 2015 Federal Law (NSPS rule) prohibits the burning of any fuel other than as tested and recommended by the manufacturer. Even if you have no neighbors, it's not safe.
I couldn't find that thread about rust at the top. Found this one about rust in the firebox behind the firebrick: https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/rusty-blaze-king.86417/
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Another thing is that thin pieces of pallet and small sawmill leftovers might be too dry and burn too fast and hot I was thinking, but the automatic shut off should prevent cat damage and warping then? Yes I know about nails, staples and screws, I never let them in wood to be burned because all the wood ashes will be spread over the garden and lawn (hope that's still legal).

I've burned half a firebox (30.2 model) of 2*4s. No problem.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
I've burned half a firebox (30.2 model) of 2*4s. No problem.
I just re-loaded this morning with short 2X4 pieces and a few pallet wood pieces (I hope they're not technically illegal to use in this stove) from the barn, and also a few more pieces from my indoor-drying stack that I think would be the driest, being smaller thinner ones and none of them have bark. I'll be watching the seam to see if any drops appear now. The last load last night there weren't many drops when I avoided using pieces with bark but I used mostly large thick pieces.

I think the liquid dripping at the seam might have much to do with (1) some loads containing mostly large thick pieces and pieces with bark on (less than ten percent of the pile has bark, but with some species it just doesn't come off) and (2) heat loss in the uninsulated 30" long stretch of pipe going up at 45 degrees through the concrete foundation that connects to the vermiculite cement insulated vertical chimney pipe. I can usually hold my hand against the end of that pipe where it protrudes from the wall, so it can't be anywhere near the 250 degrees F or so needed to keep creosote from condensing. The vertical pipe from the stove top is always too hot to touch. The concrete wall in back of the stove and especially around the pipe through the wall is very warm. As soon as I find the infrared thermometer I misplaced I'll take accurate readings.

When I installed that pipe going through the wall I should hae wrapped it with a ceramic insulation blanket and surrounded the blanket with another, larger pipe, before concreting it all in, but didn't think of it at the time. I also recently added another three feet of rigid stainless at the top of the chimney thinking it would be helpful to increase draft, but that extension is also uninsulated single wall rigid stainless. I'm learning that slow-burning cat stoves are incredibly sensitive even more than I thought to draft, pipe insulation, wood quality, temperature of the building that it's used in (not for too-cold uninsulated buildings), bypass door opening and other factors. A local chimney sweep who sells a re-burning tube stove brand warned me that "slow burning stove sounds good but it ALWAYS leads to a huge creosote mess." But you people on this forum are having success with it and I'm determined to do what it takes to succeed. I'll cut up some pallets in the barn today. The moisture tester I re-ordered should be here in a few days. This mixed wood supply with everything from dead-standing ash to oak and pine needs to be tested piece by piece.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Those extra 3 ft are not a good idea; coldest place with worst pipe. (It's also against code.)

Is the pipe where you put your hand single wall? Being able to put your hand on single wall in your basement is not good. On double wall, I can, depending on how high the Tstat is (i.e. on flue temps). If I'm running low, the flue temps are near 300-350 F and I can put my hand on the double wall pipe I have. Running a bit higher, I can touch it, but don't want to leave it there..
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
159
Slatington, Pennsylvania
I just checked the stove again for the dripping. Sure enough it is doing it now, even with pallet wood and 2X4 pieces, all completely dry from the barn, from a rack off the floor, been in the barn for years, never wet. I put in only three small thin pieces of my split cordwood this time, all with no bark and from the face of the stack near the stove, sure to be either fully dry or the driest that I have.

The stove had burned down to coals before I reloaded (so much for "+40 hours" on a full load, it's not even twelve hours, and the termperature control knob was set low, at the very beginning of the white band, as usual) and remember, the dripping only happens at the beginning after a re-load, then it stops, so there was no dripping since last night, and now it starts again after I re-loaded with wood that I know HAS to be dry.

Maybe no matter how dry the wood is, the stove still extracts moisture and it will collect and show itself at the bottom of that seam on the horizontal. Maybe the uninsulated two-foot passage through the wall is condensing the moisture and it runs down there. I understand that even a trace of moisture will rust this stove, so it must be stopped. I may stop burning the stove if it happens again with one more load of ALL 2X4 and pallet pieces.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Hm.
The 12 hrs is a concern we can discuss later.
Re: The water. No precipitation outside in the last 24 hrs?

Note that *any* burning will send many pounds of water thru the flue - the result of perfect combustion of any organic compound containing only carbon and hydrogen will be CO2 an water. See here:

Maybe your flue seam opens up when you heat it up.
Regardless, it's too cold if water drips - water should be vapor in your flue.