Dry wood vs Wet wood

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,944
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, wet wood can dramatically reduce fire and flue temps. The flue gases cool down further as they head up the flue. When the gases drop below about 250ºF they start condensing on the cooler flue walls. This is what forms creosote.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,944
South Puget Sound, WA
I wanted to see how our wood is drying so I got out the moisture meter. It's the same General meter shown in the video. It is now at 23.5% and drying well. We will probably dip into it by December. Then I tested some green soft maple that was just cut down last weekend. It tested at 44.2%. That's almost half water! In spring it would have been even wetter. You can see by this that the wood used in the video was quite green. Maybe "seasoned" for a few weeks.
 
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Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,545
Southeast CT
Dry wood definitely makes a world of difference. I had my first fire a couple days ago. Stack is 2 yrs old with mostly Norway maple. Some ornamental cherry in there for some reason appeared to be hardly seasoned and it slowed the heat WAY down.
I also remember my early days with wet wood and struggling to get heat from insert. Now, with my super easy breathing Jotul Rockland and dry wood, it hard to keep temps lower than 700.
 

FTG-05

Feeling the Heat
Feb 8, 2014
391
TN
Great video! Thanks for posting it!
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,859
07462
The struggle is real, my first season of burning was a real crap shoot, I didnt really know nothing about nothing when it came to efficient wood heating.
I installed my own stove, class a chimney (with the help of a friend) and was totally comfortable with the idea that I would just go into the woods, find a dead standing tree, chop it down, split and stack on the front porch.
I did just that and I struggled through the first season with keeping the air control opened at all times, smoke constantly coming out the chimney, plugged cap and 2 cleanings during the season (luckily it was a semi warm winter here)
That spring I kept with the dead wood idea, but I was able to cut up about 3 cords of it and let it dry for the spring / summer and fall season, the following winter was a night and day difference and I learned the value of using dry wood.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
992
MA
It looks like England has banned the sale of what they call wet wood for pollution concerns. Things like those small bundles of non-dry wood for sale in places.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,085
Downeast Maine
It looks like England has banned the sale of what they call wet wood for pollution concerns. Things like those small bundles of non-dry wood for sale in places.
I wish they would do this everywhere.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,395
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Dry is always better.

We are talking about wood here, right? :)

Me . . . I like my steak nice and juicy . . . but was raised by my mother cooking it until it was a dry piece of shoe leather.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,676
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Currently burning some 5+ year old pine early this fall. Took a split and re-split it and then poked it just out of curiosity.

IMG_20201026_114712986_HDR.jpg
 
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buc74

Burning Hunk
Oct 16, 2012
148
Fort Atkinson, WI
JRHAWK9, this pine was previous not split I'm guessing?
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,676
Wisconsin Dells, WI
JRHAWK9, this pine was previous not split I'm guessing?

it was previously split...and stacked for 5+ years under a top cover.

You can see the difference in color between the original split face and newly split face.

1603810057472.png
 
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buc74

Burning Hunk
Oct 16, 2012
148
Fort Atkinson, WI
Just wondering, maybe thats as dry as pine will get. I've been liking burning pine for a few years now and after a year covered its at 14 or less for me.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,676
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Just wondering, maybe thats as dry as pine will get. I've been liking burning pine for a few years now and after a year covered its at 14 or less for me.

You probably have much better drying environment than I do. My wood is stacked in the middle of the woods, so it doesn't get much sun or wind during the summer months. Once the leaves are off the trees, then it gets some sun and more wind, but we don't get much sun in winter around here. Plus the temps in winter are not conducive to drying either. ;lol

Wood does lose/gain moisture once it reaches that equilibrium point though. So I'm guessing this pine has been at that point for quite awhile now and it's moisture has been dependent on how humid/dry the air has been. I was actually surprised at how low it was knowing how humid our summers are and the environment at which it was stacked in over the years.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,768
Iowa
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JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,676
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Take a peek at the bottom of this page. Should explain why your low M/C point is where it's at. Looks very normal for your location.



yup.

I'm still waiting for my oak to get to that point though. Stuff I will be burning this winter, once I start burning oak, was split/stacked in fall of '14. So 5 years. Last time I checked a few splits it was right around that 18-19% area.
 

buc74

Burning Hunk
Oct 16, 2012
148
Fort Atkinson, WI
You probably have much better drying environment than I do. My wood is stacked in the middle of the woods, so it doesn't get much sun or wind during the summer months. Once the leaves are off the trees, then it gets some sun and more wind, but we don't get much sun in winter around here. Plus the temps in winter are not conducive to drying either. ;lol

Wood does lose/gain moisture once it reaches that equilibrium point though. So I'm guessing this pine has been at that point for quite awhile now and it's moisture has been dependent on how humid/dry the air has been. I was actually surprised at how low it was knowing how humid our summers are and the environment at which it was stacked in over the years.

Our wood is in direct sun most of the time, that's likely the difference.
 
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Maj92az

New Member
Sep 26, 2020
50
N Idaho
Wow neat. I dont have a meter but I was having a heck of a time using some wood that stored in a basement for 2 years. I can imagine it's not getting the same treatment as outside. I'll need to haul it out and swap with my own ( was putdown there by PO). No wonder they had many issues with record breaking creosote. I probably could contact someone about longest operating stove/ furnace with most build up world record. Man were they dumb and oblivious.
 

Boater

New Member
Nov 13, 2019
16
AR
Wow neat. I dont have a meter but I was having a heck of a time using some wood that stored in a basement for 2 years. I can imagine it's not getting the same treatment as outside. I'll need to haul it out and swap with my own ( was putdown there by PO). No wonder they had many issues with record breaking creosote. I probably could contact someone about longest operating stove/ furnace with most build up world record. Man were they dumb and oblivious.
No that would have been me with our old Dutchwest 2462 that I obviously had no clue how to operate! Older and hopefully wiser now (thanks to this site) with a Jotul 500
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,002
central pa
You guys have no idea how bad some chimneys are
 
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jmb6420

Member
Jun 25, 2019
92
NE Oklahoma
I'm lucky here compared to a lot of you. I've got oak both red & white that was CSS in March - June of 2019. It's all testing below 15%. Oklahoma sun & wind helped it right along.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,002
central pa
I'm lucky here compared to a lot of you. I've got oak both red & white that was CSS in March - June of 2019. It's all testing below 15%. Oklahoma sun & wind helped it right along.
Is that on a fresh split face? I can get oak to 17 or 18 in that time period if the weather is right