Can’t Properly Fill Pleasant Hearth 1800 Without Fire Going Out

Lurtz Posted By Lurtz, Oct 10, 2018 at 11:19 PM

  1. Lurtz

    Lurtz
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    Oct 10, 2018
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    Hi all! Here comes another newbie to the forum with another quest for some insight.

    As the title says I have a Pleasant Hearth medium 1800 sq ft model. Can’t remember the model number off the top of my head. I’m having an issue filling it it as full as I would like due to the fire going out when I close the door if I don’t fill it just so. This results in shorter burn times.

    If I lay all the logs in the same direction and fill in the gaps in between them it is very hard to get any flame going and if I manage to do that it goes out almost immediately after closing the door. So, I have to lay two logs e/w with a small gap between them then take a log and place it on top on the back left corner and angle it toward the front right corner. I also have to be careful to not let any part of a log touch the sides of the fire box or I’ll get the same result. This is on a refill by the way, with a nice bed of coals. Not when I’m first starting a fire.

    There seems to be something funky with the air flow going on. It’s always been this way. All clearances seem to be good. There’s probably 2.5 feet of pipe above the stove before a 90° bend to the outside to a masonry chimney. Metal lined flue. Chimney goes 5 feet above the peak of the roof. Clean it every year with little creosote coming out. Always burn well seasoned or kiln dried wood.

    This is my fifth year burning with this stove and I feel like I more or less know what I’m doing but this issue has always bugged me. I really want to upgrade to a Blaze King after reading about them. Not sure if that would solve the problem or not though.

    Another thing that bugs me about this stove is that when I run it this way it seems like I have little control over the temp. When I turn it down all the way the temp still goes as high as it wants 6/700 sometimes with the air intake all the way down.

    Anyway, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
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    I've never done a full reload in my life when I didn't have to leave the door cracked a little while until the burn is established. And to get control you need to start shutting the air down around 300-400 stove top temp in steps. It'll go up a hundred or so and start leveling out.
     
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  3. moresnow

    moresnow
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    Welcome Lurtz.

    Is this wood that you have seasoned personally? Purchased "seasoned" or "kiln dried"?
    Hate to say it as it would seem you have it under control at the 5 year mark.... But. Your symptoms indicate wet fuel to me. Reloading on a coal bed with air? Unless something else very odd is happening it should get with the program!

    Please take no offense but could you re-split a few pieces and stick your moisture meter to the fresh exposed face? Eliminate that ? for the rest of us here and post your results.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. Lurtz

    Lurtz
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    Oct 10, 2018
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    So, I have yet to purchase a moisture meter (bad form, I know) but maybe I'll pick one up from the big orange box so I can give you a reading.

    I purchase the kiln dried wood from a local dealer. It's a decent sized operation. I make sure to stack it in a covered wood shed with open sides before it gets rained on. I've also purchased what they call semi-seasoned and let that sit for 18 months or so and have had the same issue, however I seem to get better temp control with that stuff over the kiln dried.

    I know we can't say this definitively without a moisture reading but I'm fairly certain it isn't a moisture issue. I have used some wetter wood mixed in in the past and have had the hissing popping, but even without that the issue is still present.

    And to respond to BrotherBart, I always crack the door for a couple minutes on a reload to get things going. But when the wood isn't loaded just perfectly for the air to circulate I could leave it open until I got a temp of 450+ and close the door and it would still go it.

    I am wondering about the cleanout on the chimney, though. It sits pretty loosely. Any chance that if I ran a bead of caulk to sort of make a gasket on it that that might solve my issue? I should also mention that there is a slight down draft before initially lighting from a cold stove, always. Could this be the culprit?
     
  5. yooper08

    yooper08
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    Jan 4, 2016
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    Besides fuel quality, draft could also be at play here. How tall is your chimney?
     
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  6. Lurtz

    Lurtz
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    Oct 10, 2018
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    Haven't measured the exact height since I was buying the sweep kit so I don't remember exactly. The woodstove is in the finished walkout basement and the chimney is on the hillside toward the front of the house. So, it goes up about a story and a half and meets the roof at the apex then goes up another 4.5 to 5 feet above the peak of the roof. All told maybe 25 feet or so because I had to buy a second pack of the poles for the brush.
     
  7. yooper08

    yooper08
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    So it's tall enough, sounds like mine which ended up at 26-27 feet.

    If you crack open a basement window when trying to reload and shut the door, does the fire still go out?
     
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  8. Lurtz

    Lurtz
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    Oct 10, 2018
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    I always crack a window while lighting and have left it open with little difference. It actually doesn't seem to help with the down draft while lighting that much either. I'll intentionally try a normal packed load this year with the window cracked to see if it makes a difference. Haven't had a chance to burn yet this year. Can't wait to get it going... especially if I end up getting that Blaze King!
     
  9. begreen

    begreen
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    It sounds like the flue is not drafting well until it's completely warmed up. If so, this could be an issue of weak or negative draft and not the stove. The local terrain may be exacerbating the situation. If that is the case replacing the stove may not help and could make the situation worse.
     
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  10. maple1

    maple1
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    The cleanout needs to be tight.
     
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  11. Lurtz

    Lurtz
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    Oct 10, 2018
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    That's what I'm afraid of! If it's the terrain do I just keep adding pipe until it reaches a sufficient altitude haha!

    That's what I figured. What do you think about me putting down a bead of silicone caulk on the frame where the door will touch, letting that dry, then closing the door on it so it seals like a gasket?
     
  12. begreen

    begreen
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    Definitely try that.

    Tell us more about your installation. Is the stove venting into a metal chimney outside or a masonry chimney? If masonry what is the liner size?
     
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  13. bholler

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    Just caulk it shut with a bead of silicone on the outside. Then cut that bead in half when you open it. It will act as a gasket.
     
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  14. bholler

    bholler
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    Does your liner extend down to the cleanout? If so is it sealed there and are all of the block cores etc sealed at the bottom as well?
     
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  15. Lurtz

    Lurtz
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    Oct 10, 2018
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    There is a 6 in double wall pipe coming out of the stove to the wall then the flue is lined with what appears to be a 6 in single wall corrugated flue liner running through a concrete block chimney on the exterior of the house.
    Thanks! I’ll try that.

    The liner extends down into the T adapter. Can’t tell from a quick glance if it is sealed at the end or not. What would it be/ should I seal it with?
     
  16. bholler

    bholler
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    You have a cleanout below the tee right? Is there a section of liner that runs from the bottom of the tee that the stove is hooked to down to that cleanout? Also is the liner insulated?
     
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  17. Lurtz

    Lurtz
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    Oct 10, 2018
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    It looks like the liner stops just past the inlet from the stove. So the cleanout area has no liner. I don’t believe it is insulated.

    Here’s a quick picture from the cleanout. Not much to see. But you can see a little of the end of the liner.
     

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  18. bholler

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    That is from the cleanout?
     
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  19. Lurtz

    Lurtz
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    Oct 10, 2018
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    Yeah. So that is just below where the pipe from inside enters the chimney. So the picture was taken just looking straight in horizontally from outside the house with the cleanout door open.
     
  20. bholler

    bholler
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    Well there is a tee there so the liner is clearly extended down that is good. Is there a tee cap on the bottom of that tee?
     
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  21. Lurtz

    Lurtz
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    Oct 10, 2018
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    I believe so. Haven’t looked closely at it but when I’ve cleaned it in the past it seemed like the creosote was sitting on steel.
     
  22. Lurtz

    Lurtz
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    Oct 10, 2018
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    Went and talked with someone at a wood stove dealer and we came to the conclusion that there is no tee cap. So the suggestions was that I get a cap or at the very least put some fire proof insulation in the clean out door to block off the lower part of the tee. Any thoughts on just doing that from anyone? Also where could I buy a tee cap and should I caulk that into place?
     
  23. bholler

    bholler
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    At this point putting a tee cap on would be very difficult
     
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  24. begreen

    begreen
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    I was afraid of that and was thinking of ways to effectively block the lower part of the tee without pulling the liner up.
     
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  25. bholler

    bholler
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    Just fill the bottom up with mortar of some sort.
     
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