Everything Drolet Tundra - Heatmax...

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

TDD11

Member
Oct 24, 2016
89
Central Ohio
Can't say that I'm too impressed with the build quality of your damper. My VZ damper has a consistent 1/32" ( if that ) gap around the whole damper.

@brenndatomu - I thought the Field damper was the iPhone 12 of barometric dampers ? Based off of the picture that @TDD11 posted, the build quality looks like the Motorola click to talk phone I had in the late 90's ;lol;lol;lol;lol;lol
Yeah, I could not remember off hand but 1/32 could be right. They are pretty tight and certainly LOOK a lot better than the FC damper.
I'm not sure if it is the way the picture was taken or what, but that appears to be a larger gap than I have...but still isn't enough of a leak to make you lose a noticeable amount of draft...unless your chimney is super marginal...what are the chimney specs again?
Why are you running your draft so high? -0.04 to -0.06" is what is spec'ed.

I dunno...maybe VZ makes different models...the one I looked at in the store looked like it was made from a Bushes Beans can...spray painted black and a hinge tack welded onto the "flapper"...no adjustment of any kind, didn't operate smoothly...I couldn't get it back into the box fast enough.

And just so y'all are aware, those Field dampers need to be dead nuts level or the flapper will always work its way to the low side and could hang up...if level they are buttery smooth.
I have a 26' 5.5" interior chimney. I was targeting .06-.08"WC because I had misremembered the stove specs and thought that was the desired range. I have adjusted the Fields damper for a max of .06"WC now.
I wanted to get a draft regulator installed because it would run well over .12"WC without. This year in general, and even with this Fields regulator installed, It seems like my burn times are shorter this year than previous winters. It's a good thing I am working from home so far this winter, because I don't know that I'd have many coals left after 10 hours right now.

The VZ damper I had, I had installed 4 years ago when I still had a clay lined chimney. I removed it from the system because of smoke spillage issues with the door open, and was trying to eliminate any draft leaks. I kept the VZ damper though, and was going to reinstall it with my new setup recently, but could not get it's ID to accept the telescoping pipe OD. I think I bought it from Menards by the way.

The fields is definitely very smooth!

I just checked mine...more like 1/8"
I wish!!
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio
If you are having smoke spillage issues now, can you throw one of these magnetic register covers over the BD right before you open the door to load?
 
  • Like
Reactions: andym and sloeffle

TDD11

Member
Oct 24, 2016
89
Central Ohio
If you are having smoke spillage issues now, can you throw one of these magnetic register covers over the BD right before you open the door to load?
That's a great idea, I was thinking of making something to cover the damper when reloading. I did not think magnetic but I like it.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio
Just pop the first 3 secondary air tubes out...baffle can be carefully maneuvered out.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio
To do that just twist them and remove?
Yes, the procedure is in the manual...and make sure the tubes go back in where they came out of...they are not all the same.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio
In my experience they are not real easy to rotate.
I've had tubes out of 3...all came out by hand...but yes, have also read of some having to use mechanical advantage.
 

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
434
Hicksville, Ohio
Only one I did was mine when it was brand new. It seemed like the grooves( or channels or whatever ) on the tubes weren't formed quite right. After some adjusting they went back in easier. It was difficult enough that I checked the manual twice to make sure I was doing it correctly.
 

Gbawol42

Burning Hunk
Dec 16, 2018
127
Northern Michigan
Anyone know offhand what the wattage for running the Tundra 2 (or heatmax 2)? I am researching running my furnace on solar and seeing if it's worth it or not. Just figuring it would be nice to not worry about power outages running on solar. Plus the blower pretty much runs all day, so I feel it would pay for itself eventually.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio
My T1 ran right around 200 watts (190?) with blower on low (T2 would be similar) it would take a looong time to pay for a solar setup, unless your rates are very high.
 

Gbawol42

Burning Hunk
Dec 16, 2018
127
Northern Michigan
My T1 ran right around 200 watts (190?) with blower on low (T2 would be similar) it would take a looong time to pay for a solar setup, unless your rates are very high.

This was a concern for sure. You know just one of the ideas roaming around my head while drinking my morning coffee. I didn't think the watts were that high. However I still like the idea of power outages not effecting it.
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
1,004
South Central Minnesota
This was a concern for sure. You know just one of the ideas roaming around my head while drinking my morning coffee. I didn't think the watts were that high. However I still like the idea of power outages not effecting it.
I did a battery backup for power outages - a group 27 deep cycle battery and a pure sine inverter/transfer switch/charger is what you need, I think my total cost was ~$400 for that piece of mind. The battery only lasted ~4 years but I never checked the water level (my bad) and now the new battery is sealed so we'll see how that goes. I think this size battery would run the furnace a good 6 hrs or more, long enough to get though a heating cycle.

As far as off grid solar backup, you would need more batteries (at least 3-grp 27 deep cycle- maybe more) an pure sine inverter/transfer switch (~$300) solar charge controller, and the solar panels/mounting/wiring. All for something that cost me ~$20 a month on the electric bill (.18/kwh) during heating season.
 
Last edited:

Gbawol42

Burning Hunk
Dec 16, 2018
127
Northern Michigan
My only gripe with this furnace.

You guys have any tips/secrets for getting the coals to burn down faster for that last 2 hours of the burn? I pretty much rake forward and leave the damper open, just wanting some faster burning during this stage.

I see they addressed this issue on the new heat commander.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio
Do like the stove guys do...rake the coals forward and put some pine, or other "gopher" wood on the pile, leave damper open. This burns the coals down, you get some usable heat in the process, and the pine does not add to the coal pile.
 
  • Like
Reactions: andym

Gbawol42

Burning Hunk
Dec 16, 2018
127
Northern Michigan
Do like the stove guys do...rake the coals forward and put some pine, or other "gopher" wood on the pile, leave damper open. This burns the coals down, you get some usable heat in the process, and the pine does not add to the coal pile.

Hmm never thought to add wood to get to burn faster.

Of course I'll have to start stocking some pine, it's it's something I keep on hand.

I do have last year's Christmas tree sitting outside behind my shed...........
 
  • Like
Reactions: brenndatomu

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio
Box elder works pretty well too...I'm sure there are plenty of different species that would do the trick...pretty much anything that is not known for good coaling...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Case1030

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
434
Hicksville, Ohio
Do like the stove guys do...rake the coals forward and put some pine, or other "gopher" wood on the pile, leave damper open. This burns the coals down, you get some usable heat in the process, and the pine does not add to the coal pile.
I use this trick some. 2x4 cutoffs work well, as does any kind of construction scraps if you have access. Many discarded pallets are also made of softwood. Generally if I have a large bed of coals that's all the heat I need. Granted we've not had much real cold weather this winter....yet!
 

Gbawol42

Burning Hunk
Dec 16, 2018
127
Northern Michigan
I use this trick some. 2x4 cutoffs work well, as does any kind of construction scraps if you have access. Many discarded pallets are also made of softwood. Generally if I have a large bed of coals that's all the heat I need. Granted we've not had much real cold weather this winter....yet!

Yup I hear ya. My question comes up today since it's 20 degrees out and 30mph winds. Feels like single digits. First time that just the heat from the coals wasn't enough. Just needed that little bit more omph.
 
  • Like
Reactions: andym

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio
Making sure the heat exchanger tubes are clean will help when you have cold weather like that too...
 

TDD11

Member
Oct 24, 2016
89
Central Ohio
Well, the Honeywell M847A1080 damper motor that I ordered on December 10th from Supplyhouse failed already. Of course it had to happen when the forecast finally turned cold. And their website shows that they are Out of Stock.
 

trx250r87

Burning Hunk
Nov 30, 2012
170
NE Wisconsin
Well, the Honeywell M847A1080 damper motor that I ordered on December 10th from Supplyhouse failed already. Of course it had to happen when the forecast finally turned cold. And their website shows that they are Out of Stock.
There's one on eBay for $145 shipped.

Eric
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,799
Nova Scotia
I did a battery backup for power outages - a group 27 deep cycle battery and a pure sine inverter/transfer switch/charger is what you need, I think my total cost was ~$400 for that piece of mind. The battery only lasted ~4 years but I never checked the water level (my bad) and now the new battery is sealed so we'll see how that goes. I think this size battery would run the furnace a good 6 hrs or more, long enough to get though a heating cycle.

As far as off grid solar backup, you would need more batteries (at least 3-grp 27 deep cycle- maybe more) an pure sine inverter/transfer switch (~$300) solar charge controller, and the solar panels/mounting/wiring. All for something that cost me ~$20 a month on the electric bill (.18/kwh) during heating season.

A little inverter generator and a gallon of gas can go a long way too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3fordasho

TDD11

Member
Oct 24, 2016
89
Central Ohio
There's one on eBay for $145 shipped.

Eric
I contacted Supplyhouse since it is under warranty, they think mid-next week I should receive a replacement. Local forecast is looking very cold for about a week, starting on Friday. 8 straight nights with lows below 14°F, with 5 in a row below 5°F. Damper picked the perfect time to fail.

I am still running the stove, with a clip to hold the damper open - as long as I remember to close it we should be OK.