Do new stoves (Jotul F500) not heat like old stoves (Sherwood).

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Edrrt

New Member
Nov 19, 2019
45
Sonoma
I had a Jotul F500 Oslo professionally installed at my second home and have been very disappointed in it's heat output and just overall design in comparison to my old Kent Sherwood.

People raved about this stove. Do they not know any better or am I doing it wrong?

For starters my Sherwood is a thick steel firebox, no brick or liner. It puts out incredible amounts of heat. It will boil a pot of water as fast as my gas stovetop, it will burn wood that touches it, burn the paint off anything within a foot of it. It heats a drafty two story 4,000 square ft ranch home with no blower with ease. It burns all night leaving a heavy coal bed the next day and runs fairly clean. It also eats anything, has been elegantly smooth/ easy to use and completely trouble free for 30 years of heavy use.

I burn well seasoned oak.

I installed the F500 in modern well insulated second home and it barely warms the room it's in. The Jotul looks very pretty, burns the wood nicely, has a nice secondary burn, almost no smoke output BUT little heat output in comparison.

The finnish is painted enamel, indicating to me its not designed to get very hot. It will not boil water. I leave a pot on it to humidity the air and it never boils. I could touch the surface briefly at any time and be uninjured.

My impression is that the new stoves keep all the heat concentrated in the firebox to burn more cleanly but as a result can not heat like the older Kent Sherwood?

It burns well, looks pretty, but doesn't heat well. Am I doing it wrong or is this how modern EPA stoves are? Would the external blower kits even do much? They pull air from between the back of the stove and heatshield... but the back of the stove is designed to put out almost no heat anyway for clearence reasons. Seems pretty ineffective place to try and source warm air.

Since it is so critically acclaimed I thought I would give some other critiques on its design from using it.

To me the interface is not easy to use or well thought out at all.

1) The air intake adjustment bare metal and to hot to handle. How can you have a user control that can't be touched?

2) The air intake adjustment mechanism is in the Ash causing it to jam, bind, and become obstructed. The operator must tap and shimmy it, disassemble it, lubricate it with hight temp graphite... you tube if filled with video's on how to do this from frustrated owners. The air intake lever on my 30 year-old sherwood is above the door, never sees ash, is insulated, and operates like silk with no maintenance.

3) All door latches are rough, finicky, spring loaded, require considerable force to operate and burn the operator. The front door looks very pretty with it downward turning lever and small finger knob. But the design kills your leverage and it is difficult to apply enough force to the TINY wood knobb wwithout touching the surrounding metal. The ash door is better for not burning yourself but still very rough to operate. In comparison every lever on the sherwood I can operate effortlessly with a single pinky finger.

4) All the doors have deep crevices all the way around them that pack with ash. This means every time you open a door, especially the side door, ash is spilling out everywhere.

These things seem so simple to fix, and are very important to the end user experience.

On the plus side the ash pan is easy to use and it's asthetics are excellent.

So should I replace it with a used Tile Fire off Craigslist or something else? I am shocked a new top of the line stove seems to be bested by a 30 year old budget model.

Or am I not using it right or is my old stove really just better at putting out heat? If so are there other benefits that make the lack of heat output worth it?

I was told if I took the bricks and cat out it would heat better but based on how this thing is built I don't think it can take much heat.

Thanks everyone.
 
Last edited:

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,667
central pa
I had a Jotul F500 Oslo professionally installed at my second home and have been very disappointed in it's heat output and just overall design in comparison to my old Kent Sherwood.

People raved about this stove. Do they not know any better or am I doing it wrong?

For starters my Sherwood is a thick steel firebox, no brick or liner. It puts out incredible amounts of heat. It will boil a pot of water as fast as my gas stovetop, it will burn wood that touches it, burn the paint off anything within a foot of it. It heats a drafty two story 4,000 square ft ranch home with no blower with ease. It burns all night leaving a heavy coal bed the next day and runs fairly clean. It also eats anything, has been elegantly smooth/ easy to use and completely trouble free for 30 years of heavy use.

I burn well seasoned oak.

I installed the F500 in modern well insulated second home and it barely warms the room it's in. The Jotul looks very pretty, burns the wood nicely, has a nice secondary burn, almost no smoke output BUT little heat output in comparison.

The finnish is painted enamel, indicating to me its not designed to get very hot. It will not boil water. I leave a pot on it to humidity the air and it never boils. I could touch the surface briefly at any time and be uninjured.

My impression is that the new stoves keep all the heat concentrated in the firebox to burn more cleanly but as a result can not heat like the older Kent Sherwood?

It burns well, looks pretty, but doesn't heat well. Am I doing it wrong or is this how modern EPA stoves are? Would the external blower kits even do much? They pull air from between the back of the stove and heatshield... but the back of the stove is designed to put out almost no heat anyway for clearence reasons. Seems pretty ineffective place to try and source warm air.

Since it is so critically acclaimed I thought I would give some other critiques on its design from using it.

To me the interface is not easy to use or well thought out at all.

1) The air intake adjustment bare metal and to hot to handle. How can you have a user control that can't be touched?

2) The air intake adjustment mechanism is in the Ash causing it to jam, bind, and become obstructed. The operator must tap and shimmy it, disassemble it, lubricate it with hight temp graphite... you tube if filled with video's on how to do this from frustrated owners. The air intake lever on my 30 year-old sherwood is above the door, never sees ash, is insulated, and operates like silk with no maintenance.

3) All door latches are rough, finicky, spring loaded, require considerable force to operate and burn the operator. The front door looks very pretty with it downward turning lever and small finger knob. But the design kills your leverage and it is difficult to apply enough force to the TINY wood knobb wwithout touching the surrounding metal. The ash door is better for not burning yourself but still very rough to operate. In comparison every lever on the sherwood I can operate effortlessly with a single pinky finger.

4) All the doors have deep crevices all the way around them that pack with ash. This means every time you open a door, especially the side door, ash is spilling out everywhere.

These things seem so simple to fix, and are very important to the end user experience.

On the plus side the ash pan is easy to use and it's asthetics are excellent.

So should I replace it with a used Tile Fire off Craigslist or something else? I am shocked a new top of the line stove seems to be bested by a 30 year old budget model.

Or am I not using it right or is my old stove really just better at putting out heat? If so are there other benefits that make the lack of heat output worth it?

I was told if I took the bricks and cat out it would heat better but based on how this thing is built I don't think it can take much heat.

Thanks everyone.
How old is the stove?
 

Edrrt

New Member
Nov 19, 2019
45
Sonoma
4 years. No changes since new. If you open the door it heats the room. If you close the door the heat stays inside.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,667
central pa
4 years. No changes since new. If you open the door it heats the room. If you close the door the heat stays inside.
To start if it is a 4 year old f500 it doesn't have a cat.

What moisture content is your wood at?
What temperatures are you running at both pipe and stove top?
How tall and what type chimney do you have?

These stoves are generally good reliable heaters that out out very good heat if run properly with good fuel. We can help you get it working properly
 

Edrrt

New Member
Nov 19, 2019
45
Sonoma
To start if it is a 4 year old f500 it doesn't have a cat.

What moisture content is your wood at?
What temperatures are you running at both pipe and stove top?
How tall and what type chimney do you have?

These stoves are generally good reliable heaters that out out very good heat if run properly with good fuel. We can help you get it working properly

I need to get a stove thermometer from my other place.

I would guess the stove surface is around 200F, the chimney is a double wall 6" about 13ft tall.

The wood is 3+ seasons old before burning and very very dry. It lights and burns easily. I don't have a moisture gauge.

Air is the rate limiting step. If I crack the ash door it can get super hot but the manual says no.

It just gives a slow roll otherwise. The difference on the air vent + to - is pretty small.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,667
central pa
I need to get a stove thermometer from my other place.

I would guess the stove surface is around 200F, the chimney is a double wall 6" about 13ft tall.

The wood is 3+ seasons old before burning and very very dry. It lights and burns easily. I don't have a moisture gauge.

Air is the rate limiting step. If I crack the ash door it can get super hot but the manual says no.

It just gives a slow roll otherwise. The difference on the air vent + to - is pretty small.
That temp is a third or less of what it should be. How are you running the stove? When do you start shutting the air back?
 

Edrrt

New Member
Nov 19, 2019
45
Sonoma
That temp is a third or less of what it should be. How are you running the stove? When do you start shutting the air back?


Usually I start it with a mix of pine and hardwood with the ash door open. Once its caught shut the ash door and let it burn down with the air max open or main door open.

Then I add hardwood. Once its caught I shut the door and dial the air back leaving it just open enough that I see flames rolling on the wood and the gasses comming out of the holes in the pipes on the ceiling are igniting.

If I open the air to max the change isn't huge. But its not starving. Flames rolling over everything fine. No blow torch. If I open the front door of the stove it heats the room and takes off.

Thanks for the help.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,667
central pa
Usually I start it with a mix of pine and hardwood with the ash door open. Once its caught shut the ash door and let it burn down with the air max open or main door open.

Then I add hardwood. Once its caught I shut the door and dial the air back leaving it just open enough that I see flames rolling on the wood and the gasses comming out of the holes in the pipes on the ceiling are igniting.

If I open the air to max the change isn't huge. But its not starving. Flames rolling over everything fine. No blow torch. If I open the front door of the stove it heats the room and takes off.

Thanks for the help.
Without knowing any temperatures or moisture content it is pretty hard to know how to help. But I do know using the ash door will destroy the stove. Get a probe thermometer for the pipe.
 

vatmark

Member
Jan 5, 2017
94
Nebo NC
You may want to go on the jotul website and read the manual for the F500. It clearly states that the ash pan door must be closed during operation. It also states that you want to run the stove with a stove top temp between 400-600 degrees.

We have an F500 and it puts out a lot of heat. We have an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings and it heats the space really well. We also have a steamer pot on top and the water steams just fine.
 

Edrrt

New Member
Nov 19, 2019
45
Sonoma
You may want to go on the jotul website and read the manual for the F500. It clearly states that the ash pan door must be closed during operation. It also states that you want to run the stove with a stove top temp between 400-600 degrees.

We have an F500 and it puts out a lot of heat. We have an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings and it heats the space really well. We also have a steamer pot on top and the water steams just fine.

The manual said running the stove with the ash pan door open can allow it to get to hot and crack the finnish. I leave it open for about 3 min when lighting. The stove stays cold to touch. Not sure that will harm anything?

I will order a moisture gauge, stove thermometer and chimney probe.

Do you just drill a hole in your double wall pipe and slide it in?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,667
central pa
The manual said running the stove with the ash pan door open can allow it to get to hot and crack the finnish. I leave it open for about 3 min when lighting. The stove stays cold to touch. Not sure that will harm anything?

I will order a moisture gauge, stove thermometer and chimney probe.

Do you just drill a hole in your double wall pipe and slide it in?
The problem with the ash pan is just that the stove stays cool but the base heats quickly. That causes stress which will crack the stove eventually. Some get away with it for a while others not long at all.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
1,203
Palmyra, WI
The air intake adjustment bare metal and to hot to handle.
Don't grip it, tap it.
The air intake adjustment mechanism is in the Ash causing it to jam, bind, and become obstructed.
It's an air inlet. Ash generally doesn't fall "into" the air opening. Two bolts are easily removed to access the slider underneath. Remove the cover, vac, graphite, good for the year. To me that doesn't equate to frustration, just a once a year to-do item.
All door latches are rough, finicky, spring loaded, require considerable force to operate and burn the operator.
I'm drunk half the time and not getting burned, so not sure. Kidding, but not really - don't grab at stuff, the handles are solid and functional. If they're binding, then there is something wrong. It's like most other equipment, figure it out. Graphite lube is your friend, not some annoying nemisis. It sounds like you got a used stove - they do require some maintenance to keep them operating smooth. I remember back in the day when I would get a different appartment and hate the layout and all of the fixtures like plumbing. Wasn't what I was used to. Wasn't long and the new seemed far better, and couldn't imagine going back.
The front door looks very pretty with it downward turning lever and small finger knob. But the design kills your leverage and it is difficult to apply enough force to the TINY wood knobb.
I never use the front door except for cleaning and access. Assume that it will drop ash everywhere. If approached in that manner, it looks good and functions fine for the intent - access when cleaning but no more.
At 4yrs I was doing the above maintenance, graphite on the dog house damper, graphite on the side door handle. At about 6yrs, I disassembled the side door handle, emery cloth the shaft, lube and reassemble. If you aren't doing these things, the stove would be rough to handle, and I could see why you would think it's junk. But doing those things makes it a swiss watch again.
The house here is 2000 sqft, and we're good to -40f, so it does put out some serious heat. Give it some time - you'll start to appreciate it more.
One other thing - consider the ash pan door for nothing other than changing out the ash pan. You need to find a good way to start up without opening it. Don't get into that habit - it's a crutch that you don't need. Listen to what they say about cracked castings. I can routinely get everything going, burning well, damper and side door closed down, and me out the door in 15-30 min. Every stove is different, find out what works with this one and fine tune it.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,974
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Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,413
NW Wisconsin
13' chimney is a bit short, any bends in that? Most of these modern stoves are designed around a 15' straight up chimney. Sounds like it could be a lack of draft, maybe another section of chimney would help?
 

XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
292
Wisconsin
You've gotten some good advice from other members, so I won't try to add to that. But I think I can put your mind to rest on the finish.

It sounds like you have the Blue-Black Enamel. It is a great finish! Have had the stove for almost 3 years now and it still looks brand new. As far as it being able to take the heat - it does. I run the stove top temp between 400 and 500 and if I shoot the oval plate in the center with my IR gun, it is often 800 to 900 degrees.

When you get your stove top thermometer - it goes on one of the 4 corners per the Jotul manual. That is where they are getting their 400-600 degree range recommendation. That said, if I shoot the 4 corners with the IR gun, they will often vary by 100 to 150 degrees. And the hottest corner one day is not always the hottest the next. I have picked the left-rear corner for mine, for what it's worth.

Oh geez, one last thing ... the only way I know that ash can get down into the primary air slider is through the 3 holes in the dog house. When moving coals around or shoveling ash out, I am always careful not to force ashes into those holes - I keep ash away from them. In the first 2 years of burning (we heat exclusively with wood) I had no issues at all with the slider not operating correctly. This Fall, I did remove the dog house to "clean and lube with graphite" and there was really nothing to clean out. I did put some graphite in there since I had it open.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,410
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Random thoughts . . .

First off, your plan to get some thermometers will help in a HUGE way. I cannot imagine running my Oslo without my thermometers. The stove top thermo I find useful for preventing over-firing and to some degree knowing when to dial back the air. The Condar probe thermo however is my "go to" thermometer -- it's my "tachometer" that lets me know when it's time to throttle back the air. I typically don't even consider closing down the air until I'm around 450-600 degrees on the stove top.

I am guessing your wood is seasoned enough . . . but a check with a moisture meter would confirm this and help rule "wet" wood out as a possible culprit. That said, I really suspect it may be either a draft issue or not allowing the stove to get hot enough before closing down the air.

To address a few shortcomings . . . a quick tap on the air control prevents burned fingers or use a small piece of slate or don a pair of gloves and no more burns. The air control issue is an easy once-a-year, maybe twice-a-year fix. Remove the dog house. Vacuum up excess ash. Lubricate with a 99 cent bottle of graphite powder. Five minute job at most. Never really thought much about the latch . . . I mean I have read about some stoves with broken latches and some that wear out . . . I have had to adjust one latch two times . . . in 12 years. Yes . . . I agree with you about the ash spillage, especially from the front. I try to use the side door and find less ash, but I also make sure the wood sits in a couple to three inches from the door's edge.

I would not recommend taking out the fire bricks.
I also would most definitely not recommend using the ash pan door. I suspect many of us have done so . . . until seeing the photos of severely damaged Oslos with huge cracks in the base due to the practice.

OK. so let's assume the wood is good . . . sounds like we'll know in a few days.
Let's also assume you have a decent draft since I think I blanked on how tall your chimney is.

Let me take your through the process I go through when I decide to open a Portal to Hell in my Oslo . . . and no, I am not trying to summon Beelzebub . . . it just sorta happens and why I may not be happy about being the cause of the impending Apocalypse I can assure you the heat generated from this process keeps me, my wife, our foster dog and eight cats quite warm here in Central Maine all winter long as this stove provides 85-90% of our heating needs (the rest of the time I am either being lazy, sick or out shopping at Family Dollar.)

I first load my stove using the top down technique. Some folks make loading a stove an art . . . me . . . it's more like koyaanisqatsi for me.

In any case I fire up the stove, leaving the side door slightly ajar while I hang out watching TV, watching the cats torment the dog or watch my wife until she tells me to stop staring and do something productive. What she doesn't know is I am being productive. I am waiting for my probe style thermometer to reach that spot of orangey goodness of 400 degrees before shutting the side door, although sometimes I will let it go a bit higher even.

At this point I will typically go back to annoying my wife while I make sure the fire is all set . . . if, after 5 minutes or so, the fire is continuing to burn strong with good flames and the temp is staying the same (or most likely rising) I will start shutting down the air control. For many folks I encourage them to shut it down a quarter mark at a time . . . first dialing it down to what would be a 3/4 mark and then the half way mark . . . pausing for 5-10 minutes at each time to make sure the fire is still going strong. At some point if the wood is well seasoned, the temps are good and Ol' Nick is ready to make a house call you will peer into the fiery abyss of Hell itself . . . and about 20-30 minutes later will feel heat.

Now it is worth noting that someone much smarter than me (and no doubt, better looking) compared to the Oslo to a locomotive which is an apt description. It takes a bit to get the Oslo up and running and once it's running if you keep the engine stoked so to speak you will no doubt realize it is a very capable wood stove vs. firing it up and letting it go out (which results in it being a bit warm, but not as warm as the aforementioned method which takes advantage of all of that cast iron as a heat sink.)

Good luck . . . and if you get dragged to Hell by Satan's minions do not mention my name.
 
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XmasTreefarmer

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2017
292
Wisconsin
FFJake -As always, sage advice on running the Oslo and really good advice on running a stove in general!