We just installed a new (Manufactured 12/21) Englander 32-NC to replace our sadly split-at-the back-seam Fisher Mama Bear. The Fisher was here when we bought the place, and we've burned her for 10 years, now. Sadly it has a split seam in the back that needs repair, and that will take some time to get welded. So we thought we'd go green and buy an EPA-approved appliance.
The strange behaviors:
1. Even when we let the flames build for 30 mins or more, with the door cracked, the flames die within 1 min. once the door is closed. Stove temps are around 300, primary air fully open. Could there be an obstruction of the primary air? I know the new 32-NC's no longer have a doghouse by the glass, and so I cannot see where the primary air comes into the stove. For now, with the door cracked, we essentially have a fireplace...
2. Even with a decent firebox of flames, opening the door more than a few inches will cause smoke to pour into the room--and yes, I'm opening it painfully slowly. It's almost as though there isn't a strong enough draft or there's some type of obstruction. Would this type of behavior come from a faulty primary air damper? The double-layer of ceramic batts above the secondary burn tubes look to be OK, but not really certain what faulty ceramic batts would look like. We've never achieved a secondary burn anyway.
3. Could this just be a draft issue? Having the primary smoke route to the flue just a few inches from the door (and only a few inches wide at that) sounds like a recipe for smoke rolling out of the stove, so I'm guessing EPA-rated stoves probably need better draft than say an old Fisher Mama Bear. But then, I'm not an EPA-rated stove designer.
For anyone who has read this far--many thanks. I'm calling the company tech line on Monday, but hoping that someone with more experience in this forum might have a solution.