Everything Drolet Tundra - Heatmax...

Socratic Monologue

Burning Hunk
Dec 2, 2009
136
WI
I start with 4-5 small 2-3” splits with kindling leaving the damper open for probably 30-40 min or until these splits have almost turned to coals but are still burning quick yellow flames. My problem might be I’m not packing the firebox full enough. I’ve been a little apprehensive about over firing. I’ve only been tossing in 4-5 larger 5-6” splits.
It sounds here like you're talking about how you do things when you start from a cold firebox. The furnace needs to be hot -- so, after your starter fire, and then maybe one more good but quick load -- before it is going to behave normally.

So, once you've got the furnace running for the day, rake most of the coals to the front, and then load it full each time you load. If that makes too much heat for your house, simply load less frequently (let the temp in the house drop before reloading). You'll have to experiment to figure out how long to leave the damper open before shutting it; I suspect birch will only need a few minutes to get charred.

If you get sick of futzing with the damper, and are comfortable doing this, read in this thread about the damper controller thermostat mod. It is easy to do, and works great. And you'll know your flue temp all the time, so you won't worry so much about overfiring. (Oh, I just noticed Gearhead660 posted a pic of his :))

Oh, and you can (and should, I think) hook up a manometer to double wall pipe -- just drill a hole through both layers of the pipe, insert a section of brake line or other metal tube, hook it to the hose on the manometer, and you'll know what your draft is doing all the time. The Dwyer mark ii model 25 is inexpensive and works well for this.
 
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Getwidit

New Member
Aug 28, 2019
66
Stuyvesant ny
Still dialing in this heatmax. I am miles from where I started and a thank you to all you guys on this forum for that.

Biggest upgrade and difference maker was getting the return off the basement floor and to the ceiling. I used two 12" flex duct connected to two 12x20" return air boxes, setup near the front of the heatmax to catch that heat coming up from the door and rising to the ceiling. This also was nice because it also lets me use air filters now. Return air went from a pretty steady 65f to around 75-85f from the ceiling. No more blower on and off the whole burn cycle, it now stays on for the majority of the burn cycle. Basement temp has dropped dramatically, which makes me believe that the heat is now upstairs. Picture will explain this setup better.

I now am able to heat and maintain house temp down to 25-30f. Colder than that it just won't keep up. Register temps are around 95-100f during the hot parts of the burn cycle. Just wondering what you think should be my next thing to tackle?

I am using my basement door, that I cut the top off of, as my return to the basement. Do you think this could be an issue? I have thought maybe put the top of the door back on and cut a vent into the bottom of the door instead. Maybe pull colder air off the floor was my thought.

I haven't really checked static pressure of the ducts, but I can feel the air coming out pretty good.

I am thinking some options are:

1. Mess with the return part of the system, either the basement door or the piping itself.
2. Maybe insulate my ducts and heatmax plenum downstairs?
3. Look into insulating basement with some foam board?

Or maybe I am at the max for this furnace? Are my register temps similar to you guys?

I am getting around 10 hours of burn time on a full load, setting my temp controller to open at 275f and close at 350f.
I dont think u need to insulate the whole basement but I dont see any insulation on ur ceil box. That's were u lose the most heat. The block walls and insulated by the earth. Just get some fiberglass insulation and hit all ur boxceils.
 

nellraq

Member
Nov 6, 2012
85
Coldstream, BC, Canada
If you are looking for a long burn, pack it full. How long are you leaving the damper open? There is no way to adjust the blower setpoints. others have installed resistors on the temp probe to essentially lower the temp when the blower turns on/off.
I have installed a resistor on my heatmax II.....which is the same as the T2. I have virtually no coals now. The fan turns on at a lower temp, which allows the coals to release their heat to the air. This reduces the on/off cycling of the fan too.
Thanks to "Case" for this easy, cheap mod!!
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,257
Nova Scotia
I dont think u need to insulate the whole basement but I dont see any insulation on ur ceil box. That's were u lose the most heat. The block walls and insulated by the earth. Just get some fiberglass insulation and hit all ur boxceils.
Not sure exactly what you're saying here, but insulating a basement definitely pays off, and the earth is a very poor insulator.
 

Gbawol42

Member
Dec 16, 2018
80
Northern Michigan
I have installed a resistor on my heatmax II.....which is the same as the T2. I have virtually no coals now. The fan turns on at a lower temp, which allows the coals to release their heat to the air. This reduces the on/off cycling of the fan too.
Thanks to "Case" for this easy, cheap mod!!
Help me out, what page is his mod talked about so I can check it out
 

Gearhead660

Member
Dec 20, 2018
138
WI
This is where I recall it. Different thread.
 
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Jpops

New Member
Aug 30, 2019
8
Minnesota
I have installed a resistor on my heatmax II.....which is the same as the T2. I have virtually no coals now. The fan turns on at a lower temp, which allows the coals to release their heat to the air. This reduces the on/off cycling of the fan too.
Thanks to "Case" for this easy, cheap mod!!
Am I correct in assuming a higher OHM resistor lowers the on and off temp of the blower?
 

Gearhead660

Member
Dec 20, 2018
138
WI
Am I correct in assuming a higher OHM resistor lowers the on and off temp of the blower?
Correct. The resistor changes what the computer reads as the resistance coming from the temp probe. The temp you see on the LCD will not be the actual temp in the plenum.
 

Getwidit

New Member
Aug 28, 2019
66
Stuyvesant ny
Not sure exactly what you're saying here, but insulating a basement definitely pays off, and the earth is a very poor insulator.
You're right the earth isn't going to be as good as insulating the walls how ever he could make a huge difference in heat loss by atleast putting some fiberglass in his box ciel. That's where you'll lose the most and is the cheapest to fix. Will be what 50 bucks todo a small room. Or 500 on 2 inch foam for the walls at that point. Throw another log on the fire imo.