Can’t get Woodstock Fireview above 400

3650

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2011
665
midwest
Hi guys

About 5 years ago I bought a used Fireview with two cords of red oak. I didn’t install it as I switch to coal. I ran out of coal a few weeks ago so I wrangled the Fireview over to the chimney and hooked it up.

The stove seems to run ok but not hot. This is fine for this shoulder season but this will be useless for my drafty old uninsulated split faced block house during the winter.

I’ve got no problem maintaining a nice fire. Reloads go according to instructions. I’ve tried half loads, full loads, rounds, splits, chunks.

I reload with damper open, cat disengaged, let it get going good for about 10 minutes, engage the cat, set the draft to 1. The stove top temp will slowly climb from 300 to 400 and sit there for about an hour the start a slow decline. AND here is the kicker. It will need reloaded in about 4 hours all this with draft on 1. That doesn’t seem very efficient. In all the posts I’ve searched on this draft on 1 should yield 500-550.

I inspected the cat and it is in fine shape. No cracks or signs of damage. One other thing I noticed when I came home is black dry tar that looks like it had ran out the seam of the 90 elbow stove pipe. Now I cleaned my chimney before I installed and I used new stove pipe to connect to my masonry chimney.

So I’m not so impressed with the performance. Hopefully it’s operator error that can easily be corrected and not just how this stove “performs”, because if it is then this little jewel is useless to me.

Thanks guys
 
Last edited:

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,174
Iowa
I reload with damper open, cat disengaged, let it get going good for about 10 minutes, engage the cat, set the draft to 1
Are you reducing to the #1 setting immediately following cat engagement? Guessing that you may want to run the stove on high after cat engagement for a while before reducing your air supply. Getting the load good and hot to burn off excess residual moisture. This may help your creo problem as well.
What size is your chimney (inside dimension?) Masonry only or lined with Stainless liner?
 

3650

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2011
665
midwest
I’ve tried both ways. Reducing after 5 or 10 minutes or immediately. Same result.

I don’t recall exact chimney dimensions. I know it’s 7” wide and maybe 10” length ways or whatever the standard is. No liner and no intention of ever getting one. My chimney is in excellent shape and if I ever decide to go back to coal stainless liners are a no no. Having said that, I was also given the entire double wall stainless chimney pipe on the grounds I removed it. Which I did. It is my intentions to install this in the house this summer IF I can get this stove to perform better. Actually I will likely install it anyway just so I can have an additional application for another stove.

I just saw a thread about the lever not fully engaging the cat. I’m going to have to examine this on Saturday. It’s supposed to be 68 so I’ll shut it down. Maybe this is the issue. Maybe not, I’ll see.

I should add that my chimney is internal to my house.
 
Last edited:

Nigel459

Feeling the Heat
Oct 24, 2017
288
Ontario, Canada
If you’re needing to reload a full stove after 4 hours that suggests your burn rate is plenty high. High burn shouldn’t create dripping tar aka creosote unless your wood is wet.

How is your wood? You say it’s oak, which Can take a very long time to dry in some environments. If not enough air or sun, might never dry.

PS wet wood would also explain the low temps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: moresnow

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,958
NE Ohio
Could be the cat is old and weak...this sounds a lot like another thread here recently...a new cat fixed the problem.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,174
Iowa
As mentioned 4 hrs between reloads is a really abbreviated burn time for the FV. May be worth checking all the gaskets/sealing areas for leaks.
Are you packing a complete load?
A handful of pics of your install wont hurt either.
Your chimney volume is twice the stove requirement I believe. Not really conducive to optimal performance! Hopefully a FV aficionado will jump in here.
Installing the pipe sys. that came with the stove would be a great idea.
Can you set the primary air lever down more? For your longest burn there should be zero active flame on the Cat stoves I am used to. I believe the FV is the same.
Good luck
 

3650

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2011
665
midwest
The red oak I have is old. It came with the stove. He said it was 2 years old when I picked up the stove about 5 years ago. So well seasoned. It is stacked off the ground. Not covered and we’ve had some rain off and on but I’m bringing it in and drying it by the stove.

It doesn’t seem to matter if I pack the stove full or partial. A draft setting is 1 yields 400 for an hour then drifts to 350 by the 4th hour it’s at 250.

My setup is temporary as I just ran out of coal for my coal furnace in the basement. It’s quite simple a 90 out of the back 56” rise and 90 into the chimney.

The cat looks good. I don’t know how to check if it’s weak. I am curious if it is engaging fully after seeing a post that one needed adjusted. So I will check this Saturday.

Basically I’m wondering why, when this is set on draft 1, it isn’t generating near the temps I read in other posts. It seems most people get between 500 and 650 at draft 1 and see temps between 400 and 500 at draft .50 -.75.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,479
South Puget Sound, WA
Reading through this, I would agree it sounds like the cat may be old. They are only good for about 10,000 hrs of burning, but before giving up on it, try blowing air through it with some canned air just in case it is plugged with ash on the backside.

Question: What is the flue setup like on the stove? Can you describe it from stovetop to chimney cap including turns?
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,908
Indiana
Where are you taking the temperature reading?
 

3650

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2011
665
midwest
i bought the stove from a retired priest. He said he only used it a few times during power outages. I was inclined to believe him as the internals of the stove looked hardly used and the cat looked hardly used. When I took the chimney out it was completely shined inside. With just dust on it. I don’t think the cat has anywhere near 10,000 hours on it but I could be wrong. I’ll get some pictures when I shut it down Saturday.

The flu is quite simple a 90 out of the back 56” rise and 90 into the chimney. 6” diameter stove pipe. 20 gauge or something close. The chimney is 7”x10” I believe. There is about a 12’ rise from where the stove pipe enters. The chimney is internal to the house. It drafts very good. I actually had to install a barometric draft and a manual pipe damper on my coal stove to keep it from over firing.


I am taking the temp slightly off center towards the rear of the stove. Im trying to have it about where I think the cat is.
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,479
South Puget Sound, WA
i bought the stove from a retired priest. He said he only used it a few times during power outages. I was inclined to believe him as the internals of the stove looked hardly used and the cat looked hardly used. When I took the chimney out it was completely shined inside. With just dust on it. I don’t think the cat has anywhere near 10,000 hours on it but I could be wrong. I’ll get some pictures when I shut it down Saturday.

The flu is quite simple a 90 out of the back 56” rise and 90 into the chimney. 6” diameter stove pipe. 20 gauge or something close. The chimney is 7”x10” I believe. There is about a 12’ rise from where the stove pipe enters. The chimney is internal to the house. It drafts very good. I actually had to install a barometric draft and a manual pipe damper on my coal stove to keep it from over firing.
A coal stove's needs and a wood stove's needs are different. Has the barometric damper been removed? If I understand the setup, it has about a 17' rise with 3, 90º turns into the smoke path. It is venting into a 70 sq in chimney, though spec calls for 28 sq in. or 2.5x the required area. All of this is going to reduce draft.
 
  • Like
Reactions: moresnow

3650

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2011
665
midwest
Two turns. No baro.

I just noticed this. Not sure what’s going on here. It looks like something has ran down the back of the stove. No idea when this happened. I just noticed it.
 

Attachments

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,479
South Puget Sound, WA
Two turns. No baro.

I just noticed this. Not sure what’s going on here. It looks like something has ran down the back of the stove. No idea when this happened. I just noticed it.
90º out the back of the stove, 90º on top of the stovepipe, and 90º turn up in the chimney. Each turn is effectively reducing the flue height by 2 ft. And then there is the 70 sq in chimney.

The drips look like creosote accumulation. It could be the flue gases are cooling down too much.
 
Last edited:

3650

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2011
665
midwest
Wonder why the flue gasses are cooking too quickly?
The wood is stacked off the ground and well aired. It’s definitely not rotten. I was trying to split a round with a 8 lb mallet and a wedge and I like to never got through it.

I need to get some batteries for my moisture meter. I’m sure it’s dry. I don’t hear any hissing out of it.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,958
NE Ohio
It’s definitely not rotten. I was trying to split a round with a 8 lb mallet and a wedge and I like to never got through it.
If you mean it was stored in rounds and just recently split, it is definitely not dry enough to burn properly...wood doesn't dry well at all in the round...unless small diameter like branches, stuff that isn't big enough to need split.
 

3650

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2011
665
midwest
Oh no it’s mostly split but there are small rounds I was just trying to splits some of them for kindling.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,908
Indiana
Have you taken a moisture reading on the wood?
 

3650

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2011
665
midwest
Not yet. I need batteries. I don’t live near town so I’ll have to get some later.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN
@webby3650, is that you?? I seriously doubt it, you know the FV stove pretty well. ;)
Hopefully it’s operator error that can easily be corrected and not just how this stove “performs”, because if it is then this little jewel is useless to me.
Stove is a jewel, that I can tell you. >> Get it running right, and it will toss some heat. ==c
BTW, can you describe the area you are trying to heat? Sq.ft, layout, insulation and air-sealing, etc?
if I ever decide to go back to coal stainless liners are a no no. Having said that, I was also given the entire double wall stainless chimney pipe on the grounds I removed it. Which I did. It is my intentions to install this in the house this summer IF I can get this stove to perform better. Actually I will likely install it anyway just so I can have an additional application for another stove.
Yeah, if you have the room to get that insulated double-wall installed (Class A chimney??) installed, that stove will draft great. If it is 316 Ti, you might be able to burn coal in the "all-fuel chimney" but I'm not sure..
i bought the stove from a retired priest. He said he only used it a few times during power outages. I was inclined to believe him as the internals of the stove looked hardly used and the cat looked hardly used. When I took the chimney out it was completely shined inside. With just dust on it. I don’t think the cat has anywhere near 10,000 hours on it but I could be wrong....chimney is 7”x10” I believe. There is about a 12’ rise from where the stove pipe enters....It drafts very good. I actually had to install a barometric draft and a manual pipe damper on my coal stove to keep it from over firing...I am taking the temp slightly off center towards the rear of the stove. Im trying to have it about where I think the cat is.
I love the "retired priest" stoves..I got the Buck 91 from a parsonage that was vacated. >>
OK, if you say the chimney's pulling plenty of air through the stove...is the bypass gasket good? Passes the "dollar-bill test?"
In that case, I'd try a new cat. I assume you have the old-school cast iron 'combustor scoop' and the ceramic combustor in the cast iron housing. If so, get the replacement ceramic cat from firecatcombustors.com. You need two of those sections, so it will be a little under $200. Watch it, don't close the bypass with huge flame going in the box. You should have the air to 1.5 or less for a couple minutes before you close the bypass so you don't slam flame into the combustor.
But I don't see how the draft can be that good, with the 90* turns and dumping into a 7x10" clay-tile chimney of only 12'.
If you’re needing to reload a full stove after 4 hours that suggests your burn rate is plenty high. High burn shouldn’t create dripping tar aka creosote unless your wood is wet.
Agreed, but if the jumbo masonry chimney is cooling the flue gasses too much, as begreen said, it's gonna condense creo and it will run down to the elbow.
Could be the cat is old and weak...this sounds a lot like another thread here recently...a new cat fixed the problem.
Yeah, if he's got good draft (?), new cat is where I'd be looking. Even though the priest didn't use the stove all that much, he may have overfired the cat, and semi-melted or peeled the catalyst coating, and the cat could be destroyed in a short amount of time.
Reading through this, I would agree it sounds like the cat may be old. They are only good for about 10,000 hrs of burning, but before giving up on it, try blowing air through it with some canned air just in case it is plugged with ash on the backside.
Worth a try to gently blow it out (manually, no compressed air) and maybe try the distilled vinegar/distilled water rinse. Spray it way more thoroughly than she does here, to completely soak the inside of the cells, and rinse with distilled water several times. No reason you couldn't use pans, instead of trying to spray thoroughly. Get the ceramic cat completely dry, baking it for hours in the stove on 'warm.'
You’ve left this pile of wood out in the rain for 5 years?
Yeah, but Oak heartwood doesn't rot for like 20 years. It could be a little dampish though, and a couple days inside next to the stove might not be enough to dry it completely. Wet wood would kill the cat burn, for sure.
He needs some proven dry wood...untreated 2x4 construction scraps, small <6" dead trees with the bark gone, etc, to eliminate wet wood as an issue.
 
Last edited:

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,749
Central Mass
my PH wasn't get too hot and it was because of the cat, I put the new one in and what a difference, You can try cleaning the cat, spray with some vinegar distilled water 50/50 mixture and rinse with distilled see if that livens it up.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN

3650

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2011
665
midwest
Thanks guys. I’ll have to get some distilled water when I get the batteries and I’ll clean and see if it’s any better. I’ll dollar bill test the bypass gasket then as well.

Yes begreen is correct. 3 turns. Two in the stove pipe then up through the chimney. I didn’t count the turn up once in the chimney.

I’ll have to get my manometer on it and see what the draft is. I know with the chimney cold it is -.06 With the coal stove going it’s -.15 to -.20 depending on how hot the stove is. I would then dampen it down to -.05 to -.06 and of course that’s on coal. I definitely need to measure the Fireview and see what I have.

Does any know what kind of draft it needs to be pulling? I’m guessing -.08?
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
My bet is wet wood. I have plenty of oak that is old and still way too moist to burn clean and hot. Uncovered for 5 years tells me all I need to know. My uncovered oak does not dry out enough to burn until it's been covered for many months, even if it's 10 years old, split and stacked.