Drolet Heat Commander

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Smackcat

New Member
Feb 5, 2021
7
Minnesota
Just plugged in the brand new drolet heat commander and have a clicking noise coming from behind the unit just above the blower fan.
not certain, but I believe it may be the automated damper door wide open, clicking against the stopper.
What’s odd is, it’s doing it when it’s plugged in and the thermostat is off, not calling for heat from the wood furnace.
Anyone have experienced something like this!?
Also, when I click the green “load button,” it blinks 5 times fast.
This is the first time using this unit.
 

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trx250r87

Burning Hunk
Nov 30, 2012
168
NE Wisconsin
Just plugged in the brand new drolet heat commander and have a clicking noise coming from behind the unit just above the blower fan.
not certain, but I believe it may be the automated damper door wide open, clicking against the stopper.
What’s odd is, it’s doing it when it’s plugged in and the thermostat is off, not calling for heat from the wood furnace.
Anyone have experienced something like this!?
Also, when I click the green “load button,” it blinks 5 times fast.
This is the first time using this unit.

Do you have all the sensors plugged in correctly?

Maybe unplug and reset the unit. Both stepper motors should "slam" shut the primary and grate air openings when unplugged.

Eric
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,389
NE Ohio
Unplug it, wait a minute and try again? (oops, see that's been suggested already ;em)
Anything in the troubleshooting part of the manual about it?
 

Smackcat

New Member
Feb 5, 2021
7
Minnesota
Do you have all the sensors plugged in correctly?

Maybe unplug and reset the unit. Both stepper motors should "slam" shut the primary and grate air openings when unplugged.

Eric
Eric,
Thank you for your prompt feedback. I utilized the manual and figured out what connections were for the two auto-dampener doors. Each dampener had its own connection to the circuit board. Playing around a bit, I swapped them around. And, much to my satisfaction, it so happens they were incorrectly attached to the circuit board.
I do not know if it was an error from Drolet or the HVAC feller that installed it... because we had to take off the entire back of the unit (blower and electrical circuit board area) off to get it downstairs... thus, had to unplug the connections on the circuit board.
Anyway, thank you for the help and the suggestions. I’m happy she’s working now and blowing hot heat!
GOD bless!
 

Smackcat

New Member
Feb 5, 2021
7
Minnesota
Wow that's amazing. I feel you have either a super tight home, or maybe not many square feet?

The house was built in 1983 and it seems like it was built with pretty decent quality. It has triple pane Anderson windows throughout which aren’t original. We just moved in on New Year’s Eve so I’m still learning a lot about the house. The main living quarters which consists of a main floor and an upstairs is 2500 ft.². The basement adds another 1000 ft.², unfinished.

I did purposely push this thing a little bit more than I normally will just to get a feel for its overall potential.
I am now trying to determine if I have overdraft out of the chimney flue. It doesn’t seem like I’m getting a lot of noticeable secondary burns at the top of the firebox.
 

Suppwood

New Member
Feb 13, 2021
7
CT
Got my heat commander installed today. This is a replacement to a hot blast I had some issues with. I have base board heat so I have some work to do on getting this thing ducted properly in order to get the most out of it. With that said the basement is about 77 degrees , first floor is 70 . House is 2700 total sq feet. The hot blast did it but it cooked through wood and pushed heat through two vents I installed in the floor. Time will tell with this one. Install went smooth but with the two small fires I got going the stack temp has not gone above 250.
 

trx250r87

Burning Hunk
Nov 30, 2012
168
NE Wisconsin
250 F? That seems low as a max flue temp but honestly I have not measured mine since installing the HC.

Eric
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,789
Nova Scotia
Got my heat commander installed today. This is a replacement to a hot blast I had some issues with. I have base board heat so I have some work to do on getting this thing ducted properly in order to get the most out of it. With that said the basement is about 77 degrees , first floor is 70 . House is 2700 total sq feet. The hot blast did it but it cooked through wood and pushed heat through two vents I installed in the floor. Time will tell with this one. Install went smooth but with the two small fires I got going the stack temp has not gone above 250.

Stack temp measured how? Have to be careful in measuring & comparing if not known. Internal can be 2x surface.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,780
Iowa
Got my heat commander installed today. This is a replacement to a hot blast I had some issues with. I have base board heat so I have some work to do on getting this thing ducted properly in order to get the most out of it. With that said the basement is about 77 degrees , first floor is 70 . House is 2700 total sq feet. The hot blast did it but it cooked through wood and pushed heat through two vents I installed in the floor. Time will tell with this one. Install went smooth but with the two small fires I got going the stack temp has not gone above 250.

This number come from a magnetic gauge on single wall connector pipe?
 

Suppwood

New Member
Feb 13, 2021
7
CT
It did. Not the most accurate I know but on the old stove that thing about pegged almost instantly after lighting.
 

FixedGearFlyer

Burning Hunk
Oct 8, 2010
208
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
It did. Not the most accurate I know but on the old stove that thing about pegged almost instantly after lighting.

Welcome to the Heat Commander!

It's efficient and does a great job of getting an even output throughout the burn, as well as extracting as much heat as it can before the gasses go up the chimney.

On mine, I see a face temp (measured on the heat exchanger clean out door) in the low 300's and a flue surface temp of 250-275 when cruising mid-burn.
 
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Suppwood

New Member
Feb 13, 2021
7
CT
250 F? That seems low as a max flue temp but honestly I have not measured mine since installing the HC.

Eric
So phone rings today and it is Drolet. When I registered the stove for warranty I mentioned having questions about the stepper motors. To my surprise they called to ask what my questions were and provided answers. I’ve purchased many things and that has got to be the first time a manufacture called to address anything so soon after purchase. Also said those temps would be normal depending on numerous factors such as wood species , call for heat, moisture content etc.
 

FixedGearFlyer

Burning Hunk
Oct 8, 2010
208
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
So phone rings today and it is Drolet. When I registered the stove for warranty I mentioned having questions about the stepper motors. To my surprise they called to ask what my questions were and provided answers. I’ve purchased many things and that has got to be the first time a manufacture called to address anything so soon after purchase. Also said those temps would be normal depending on numerous factors such as wood species , call for heat, moisture content etc.

That doesn’t surprise me, at all.

Without giving you the TLDR version, we are Drolet/SBI customers for life, now. They turned what could have been a truly terrible customer experience into an exceptional one. They stood behind their products AND behind us, as their customers, without any hesitation. I’ve gone through and debriefed the experience as an exercise in how I can make my own customers feel the same way in our family business.
 

trx250r87

Burning Hunk
Nov 30, 2012
168
NE Wisconsin
Quick 1 hour time lapse video of reloading 12 3"-4" diameter red oak splits at 20% moisture content, log cabin style in Heat Commander. Loading on some hot coals at 6:20pm, 3*F outdoors. Upstairs thermostat says 71*F, HC thermostat started at 65*F and at 7:16pm satisfied at 69*F.

-6:15pm push reload button, reloaded 12 splits red oak
-6:32pm HC auto adjusts damper partially closed
-6:35pm HC auto adjusts damper open
-6:37pm HC auto adjusts damper partially closed
-6:46pm draft is established, I adjust key/manual damper to .06" wc on Dwyer Mark II
-7:16 HC thermostat satisfied at 69*F, HC enters energy save mode, auto damper closes, green light flashes, blower fan cycles @60 seconds on/60 seconds off


Eric

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FixedGearFlyer

Burning Hunk
Oct 8, 2010
208
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Quick 1 hour time lapse video of reloading 12 3"-4" diameter red oak splits at 20% moisture content, log cabin style in Heat Commander. Loading on some hot coals at 6:20pm, 3*F outdoors. Upstairs thermostat says 71*F, HC thermostat started at 65*F and at 7:16pm satisfied at 69*F.

-6:15pm push reload button, reloaded 12 splits red oak
-6:32pm HC auto adjusts damper partially closed
-6:35pm HC auto adjusts damper open
-6:37pm HC auto adjusts damper partially closed
-6:46pm draft is established, I adjust key/manual damper to .06" wc on Dwyer Mark II
-7:16 HC thermostat satisfied at 69*F, HC enters energy save mode, auto damper closes, green light flashes, blower fan cycles @60 seconds on/60 seconds off


Eric

View attachment 274681 View attachment 274682 View attachment 274683 View attachment 274684 View attachment 274685

Nice! We are warm and toasty tonight, despite -20s in the forecast.
 

Case1030

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2017
365
Manitoba
How many relights are you guys doing? Usually when I started the Tundra the fire didn't go out until spring. Just curious on the average burn times the new Heat Commander are getting.
 

trx250r87

Burning Hunk
Nov 30, 2012
168
NE Wisconsin
How many relights are you guys doing? Usually when I started the Tundra the fire didn't go out until spring. Just curious on the average burn times the new Heat Commander are getting.

I usually reload at 6am, 4pm and 10pm, give or take 30 minutes for each and I have not needed kindling for a week or 2. It's very rare that the main floor temp dips lower than 69*F. 72/73 is the norm, even with this stretch where single digit highs and -15 lows. I know I could push the furnace and pack more wood in but I have not needed to yet.

Eric
 

Suppwood

New Member
Feb 13, 2021
7
CT
Welcome to the Heat Commander!

It's efficient and does a great job of getting an even output throughout the burn, as well as extracting as much heat as it can before the gasses go up the chimney.

On mine, I see a face temp (measured on the heat exchanger clean out door) in the low 300's and a flue surface temp of 250-275 when cruising mid-burn.
That is spot on for what I get. I haven’t really pushed it with a full load. House it at 72 not an extremely cold night (30f). It’s been in energy save mode a few hours.
 
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FixedGearFlyer

Burning Hunk
Oct 8, 2010
208
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
How many relights are you guys doing? Usually when I started the Tundra the fire didn't go out until spring. Just curious on the average burn times the new Heat Commander are getting.

In this cold weather, we've been doing 2 full loads per day, one at about 9 am and one at about 9 pm. We're loading onto coals.

In milder weather (20s and 30s), we've been doing one full load at about 9 am, then letting the pellet stove pick up the slack for an hour or two in the morning before we relight a cold furnace. We could do two smaller loads, too.
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
851
Central Ohio
I usually reload at 6am, 4pm and 10pm, give or take 30 minutes for each and I have not needed kindling for a week or 2.
Just like the rest of us I'm sure you are loading based off of outside temps / heat load. Are you loading roughly 12 splits to each load during the current cold snap ? Any idea what they might weigh ? Just trying to get an idea on how much more efficient the HC is over the older Caddy's and Tundra's.
 

trx250r87

Burning Hunk
Nov 30, 2012
168
NE Wisconsin
Just like the rest of us I'm sure you are loading based off of outside temps / heat load. Are you loading roughly 12 splits to each load during the current cold snap ? Any idea what they might weigh ? Just trying to get an idea on how much more efficient the HC is over the older Caddy's and Tundra's.
When I reload to increase the temperature of the house or in the morning when I have minimal coals, I use the log cabin method. When I load at night with colder temperatures and for a longer burn, I pack the pieces in with less air space between, and load all N/S. I also tend to use larger pieces over night and generally burn red oak.

I do not weigh any of my loads but I usually fill the firebox height wise. I don't know that the HC is much more efficient at burning, but more efficient at getting more heat into the house.

Eric
 
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