Englander NC30 - highly disappointed

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montana_stove

New Member
Dec 19, 2010
3
Bozeman, Montana
I had a Blaze King Princess which was in my house when I bought it about 3 years ago. I decided to buy a cleaner and more efficient woodstove and the Blaze King had a crack in the door. After some research, I bought a NC30 3.5 cubic foot stove from overstockstoves.com. They sent me the TimberRidge NC30, which is the same as the Englander and Summers Heat models. It was definitely a beast to get inside since the whole package weighed 455 pounds.

Anyway, after hiring someone to help me hook up the stove pipe, I've had nothing but trouble with this stove. It is extremely difficult to get a fire started and draws very poorly. After getting a fire started, I have to leave the door open for about 2 hours. If I try to shut the door, the fire almost immediately goes out. Even after 2 hours, I often can't shut the door or I will lose the fire. It definitely puts out less heat than the old Blaze King, but does burn less amount of wood. Once the fire is started and I have to add more wood, huge amounts of smoke billow out into the room when I open the door. I'm going to call a different professional to inspect the hook-up to see if there is something to be done on that end to fix the poor draw. If that doesn't work, I'm definitely going to try and return this nightmare stove. Buyer Beware!
 

Pagey

Minister of Fire
Nov 2, 2008
2,436
Middle TN
A member of their tech support is a forum member here. Hang out and he, along with many happy 30 users, will be glad to help you diagnose your problem(s).
 

Clarkbar2311

Member
Mar 16, 2010
222
SE Michigan
my understanding is draw is a function of your chimney not your stove....
 

Hiram Maxim

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2007
1,065
SE Michigan
Are you using kindling to start the fire?

Did you clean your chimney?

What size is your chimney?

How tall is your chimney?

Is it a masonry chimney?

How long has your wood been cut/split/stacked?

Where do have your air control set at?
 

BrotherBart

Modesterator
Staff member
There is one that is sitting across the room from me burning right now. Like it has for four seasons. With dry wood and a small bed of coals up front the door is closed after the wood is put in it. And away it goes in around a minute. And smoke has never come out that door. Holding the heat down is the problem, not getting more heat.

You have a problem with the wood or the chimney setup.

Edit: Load the wood in it with the splits laying front to back. That being one end of the splits toward the door. With that thing sticking up in the middle of the front aimed at hot coals between two splits on the bottom. And hang on for the ride.
 

precaud

Minister of Fire
Jan 20, 2006
2,307
Sunny New Mexico
Clarkbar2311 said:
my understanding is draw is a function of your chimney not your stove....

That would be Affirmative. This scenario happens frequently. Owner goes from old smoke dragon, which throws tons of heat up chimney, to new EPA stove. Doesn't consider chimney. Hooks up EPA stove. Is highly disappointed. Blames the stove.
 

pen

There are some who call me...mod.
Staff member
Aug 2, 2007
7,965
N.E. Penna
I'm sitting next to one that heats like a bear. My stove top climbs to 650 w/ me needing to who her back to keep from going up to the fires of hell.

You have a problem unrelated to the stove itself.

I suggest you do some reading here and evaluate your setup. As everyone else has said, it's either your wood or your chimney.

https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/65174/

pen
 

Rockey

Minister of Fire
Dec 18, 2007
811
SW Ohio
Getting a fire started is never a problem in my Englander 30. 45+ feet of chimney does wonders for a draft. Getting a long burn from the NC 30 compared to the much smaller cat insert upstairs is another story.
 

BrotherBart

Modesterator
Staff member
Rockey said:
Getting a fire started is never a problem in my Englander 30. 45+ feet of chimney does wonders for a draft. Getting a long burn from the NC 30 compared to the much smaller cat insert upstairs is another story.

With that much chimney it is a wonder that it isn't sucking splits up into the flue collar. :roll:
 

Rockey

Minister of Fire
Dec 18, 2007
811
SW Ohio
BrotherBart said:
Rockey said:
Getting a fire started is never a problem in my Englander 30. 45+ feet of chimney does wonders for a draft. Getting a long burn from the NC 30 compared to the much smaller cat insert upstairs is another story.

With that much chimney it is a wonder that it isn't sucking splits up into the flue collar. :roll:

It ripped my wife beater off a few minutes ago. I wont tell you whos eye I had to blacken out of frustration.
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
Well damn, my Summer Heat 30 equivalent is in the addition, and the addition is damn near freezing.
I have no stack hooked to the stove, and no wood burning in the stove, and I see no flames and feel no heat, this thing must be a lemon. ;-)

With the last couple seasons being the big BK hoopla, I am still trying to wrap my head around reading he got rid of a Princess.
 

WARDNEAL

New Member
Jun 13, 2010
64
Central Ks
I have the little nci 13 inset and it heats great.

I do have 23 ft of insulated flex liner installed have no problems with draft.

It however will not burn less than well seasoned wood.

Hope you get it figured out.
 

Hiram Maxim

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2007
1,065
SE Michigan
Hogwildz said:
With the last couple seasons being the big BK hoopla, I am still trying to wrap my head around reading he got rid of a Princess.

It sounds like it was a pre EPA Princess?

So he was trying to get more efficentcy from a new stove?

That's my take!

Cheers,Hiram
 

BrotherBart

Modesterator
Staff member
And already had one cracked stove so he didn't buy a Summit. :lol:
 

rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,601
Michigan
precaud said:
That would be Affirmative. This scenario happens frequently. Owner goes from old smoke dragon, which throws tons of heat up chimney, to new EPA stove. Doesn't consider chimney. Hooks up EPA stove. Is highly disappointed. Blames the stove.

x2, couldn't have said it better myself.

I tell everyone I meet that asks about new stoves the most important things are good fuel and a good chimney set up. You can hook any of these new stoves up to a properly set up chimney with good fuel and they'll burn great.
 

montana_stove

New Member
Dec 19, 2010
3
Bozeman, Montana
Thanks for the feedback. As for my chimney setup, it is a masonry, lined chimney. I had a sweeper come in and clean the chimney before installing the wood stove. He also did an inspection and said everything was in good shape. The old stove had eight inch pipe, so I did have to install a reducer where the 8" pipe enters the chimney. Perhpas that is affecting the draw. There are also a few 45 degree elbows in the set-up, so that may be affecting matters. The chimney is probably 30' tall.

I've tried burning more seasoned wood (cut 2 to 3 years ago) and the burn is definitely improving. I'm just very frustrated that this is such a "finicky" stove compared to the old Blaze King which would chew through anything. We don't have hardwood in Montana, so maybe this isn't the best stove for the area. I am impressed with how long the wood burns, however.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,171
South Puget Sound, WA
Many modern stove require more draft. Can you describe the connector to the chimney in detail? Also, what is the size of the tile liner in the chimney?
 

BrotherBart

Modesterator
Staff member
No question that the old stoves had a good point or two. My first season with the 30 was frustrating sometimes. My wife was kind enough to remind me that twenty years before it took me a season to get comfortable with the old stove. All I could remember is that I could load it and run it in my sleep after so many years. Or load it for the night half drunk. The last half.

You bought a great wood stove and a heating beast. If it wasn't mine would have had the top plate lazer cut and been a barbecue grill by now. Instead it is a wood burning delight.

Stick with the stove and us and we will get ya there.
 

montana_stove

New Member
Dec 19, 2010
3
Bozeman, Montana
I'm definitely not a chimney expert, so I'll have to get back with you on those particulars after I talk with the sweep again. I have a brick alcove style hearth. The pipe I hooked the 8" to 6" reducer to is set in mortar. That pipe runs horizontally about four feet off the ground to the chimney. There may be just too many turns in this setup. I'll check back in with details.
 

pen

There are some who call me...mod.
Staff member
Aug 2, 2007
7,965
N.E. Penna
montana_stove said:
I'm definitely not a chimney expert, so I'll have to get back with you on those particulars after I talk with the sweep again. I have a brick alcove style hearth. The pipe I hooked the 8" to 6" reducer to is set in mortar. That pipe runs horizontally about four feet off the ground to the chimney. There may be just too many turns in this setup. I'll check back in with details.

Maybe I am misreading you, but if that is a 4foot horizontal run, then I bet that could be the start of your problem.

I too had a non-epa fisher before this. There is definitely a learning curve. However, I would not even consider going back to the old stove because of the cleaner chimney, longer burns, and less wood burned. But, to get these benefits, you need really good wood and a good chimney draw.

PS (I too just added a SS liner to my masonry chimney to improve draft and it helped considerably.)

pen
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
BrotherBart said:
And already had one cracked stove so he didn't buy a Summit. :lol:

Bastage.................... LOL
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
If your liner is 8", with merely a 6" reducer at the bottom, that a big part of your problem. The Englander calls for 6" stack. 8" is too big and killing the draft.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,171
South Puget Sound, WA
What is the pitch on the horizontal run? It should be pitched uphill toward the chimney at least 1/4" / ft, but 1/2"/ft would be better.

I just went through the installation part of the manual. The docs place strong emphasis that this is a 6" flue stove on pages 3 & 4.

5. A 6†diameter flue is required for proper performance.

WHY THE CORRECT FLUE SIZE IS IMPORTANT: 6â€
“Draft†is the force that moves air from the appliance up through the chimney. The amount of draft in your chimney depends on the length of the chimney, local geography, nearby obstructions, and other factors. Too much draft may cause excessive temperatures in the appliance. An uncontrolled burn or a glowing red part or chimney connector can indicate excessive draft. Inadequate draft may cause back puffing into the room and “plugging†of the chimney and/or cause the appliance to leak smoke into the room through appliance and chimney connector joints.

Today’s solid fuel appliances are much more efficient than in the past. The units are designed to give you controlled combustion, as well as maximum heat transfer, using less fuel to do so.

The design of your new appliance is such that the exhaust “smoke†is now at lower temperatures than in the past, therefore requiring proper chimney size to give adequate draft. If your chimney is too large, the heater will have a difficult time raising the temperature of the flue enough to provide adequate draft, which can cause a "smoke back," poor burn, or both.
 

forvols

Member
Dec 6, 2007
55
NORTHEAST TN
Have you tried a small hot fire first? Getting the flue temp up before a big load might help. I know it does on my NC-30 in the basement connected to 26 ft or so of clay tile lined chimney(tiles are 10x10id). Thats with one 90. I do the hot fire, then load up with bigger splits, air wide open door cracked about 1in, once the wood is blackened I close the door, when the stove top reaches 375-400 I back the air off to 1/2. Stovetop gets to 475 I back the air off to 1/4, stove will cruise at about 500-550 sometimes I wll back the air off to 1/8. Flue temps run 375-400. As the load burns down I will mess with the air. Still part of my learning curve getting most from the latter part of a burn. When the stove is cruising I have good secondaries but they will go away as the wood burns down. Get the stove hotter I just leave the air open longer, If you have a fan on the stove dont use it until you get to cruising temp. That fan will drop the stovetop temp 100-150*. Im still learning to use it also. I am burning poplar split in MAR-APR10, all that I have right now. Good heat but it burns quick, a load still last alot longer that it did in the fisher.


Tony
 
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