Everything Drolet Tundra - Heatmax...

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Dodgemrj08

New Member
Dec 30, 2015
11
Northwestern wisconsin
Also curious to see a picture. Wondering if it can be used to keep the cold off until you find a welder? I don't think the other cracks were enough to stop people from using them but could be wrong.
I could still use it and will this weekend but I don't want to run it unless I'm home for the time being. I'm a welder/machinist by trade but I would have to bring it to our shop to weld it. And I'm not certified for this type of thing. I have fixed cracks it steel before and it's touch and go its basically just a bandaid for things that get so hot then cold frequently like this. I know they want it welded then it voids my warranty if it cracks again says so in warranty paperwork.
 

Dodgemrj08

New Member
Dec 30, 2015
11
Northwestern wisconsin
Pic of crack
 

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DoubleB

Minister of Fire
Mar 4, 2014
659
NE Wisconsin
I haven't seen that crack before, all the ones thus far have been on the corners of the loading door.

That looks a good 3-4 inches long? Ouch. I don't really see what would have caused the stress to crack it.

I'm one of the folks who is still using their cracked furnace. I put firebrick on the inside, I added another layer of temperature control to prevent excessive temperatures, and I figure I can keep an eye on it and either discontinue use or weld things if the cracks get worse. I'm not a super risky guy, but I figure the cracks aren't going to cause the furnace to immediately disintegrate into a pile of burning rubble that sets my house ablaze. I'd be tempted to say the same with yours. I'd probably drill 1/8" to 1/4" holes at the ends; temporarily seal the holes/crack with furnace cement; request SBI to send you the firebrick upgrade; add overtemp protection, and see if that stops the crack over the next couple months of cold winter. If so, then the stress is probably relieved by now and you could weld it shut if you want on their dime. Yep, a whole lot more rigamarole than you should have to do, but it is what it is at this point.

But that's just me. I'm sure someone will have some pretty good ideas.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,537
NE Ohio
Can't make out from that pic what exactly (where) we are looking at.
I am also running a cracked firebox. I marked the end of the cracks before I added some "fire insurance" to the front firebox wall, cracks have not moved since. They are not as big as yours though...I wouldn't have an issue with running that after drilling/welding. Have SBI send you the firebrick kit for the front wall if they aren't already.
temporarily seal the holes/crack with furnace cement
I tried that, it works great until you let the furnace go cold the first time...cracks right where the metal is cracked. Opens and closes with the temp just like the metal under it too. I'd be curious how high temp silicone would work out...
 

Dodgemrj08

New Member
Dec 30, 2015
11
Northwestern wisconsin
The crack is in the corner behind where the door seals and its about 2.5 in long yes. I'm not drilling any holes in my stove still on warranty. If off warranty I would weld it my self. The fact that they told me to call around and find them a welder to fix my stove is ridiculous. And I did call everyone on there list they gave me 2 don't mobile weld 3 won't do the work to far to drive for to little work. I emailed them this info. They told me this
"
No replacement will be accepted.

Stop to found many reason for a replacement. On the list provided all the welders can repair your furnace.


Thank you"
Who the hell says that? I did what they asked... You can't force someone to do work they don't want to do.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,537
NE Ohio
Yeah, that sound like a little different location for cracking than most.
Wow, talk about being less than accommodating...sounds completely different than how they were dealing with the cracks before...although I think I recall of at least one other person that was given the suggestion to weld
"
No replacement will be accepted.

Stop to found many reason for a replacement. On the list provided all the welders can repair your furnace.


Thank you"
I think whoever wrote this email does not speak english as a first language...I'm not even sure what they are trying to say :confused:
 

The46Zone

Burning Hunk
Dec 23, 2014
226
Peru, IL
@Dodgemrj08
Does your Tundra have the firebrick retro installed on the front side of the furnace? I'm curious if they are selling them installed or available at Menards or wherever you purchased the furnace.
 

Builderml

Burning Hunk
Sep 13, 2015
195
Ct
OK now I am getting pissed::P. How the heck do you guys burn hardwood in this thing? I got lazy before the little snow we had and didn't fill up on my softwood. So I ended up burning maple for the past 3 days, mixture of splits and rounds. The coal build up in this thing is a joke and on top of that the heat output went down. Brenn if you have only been burning hardwood I can see why your having problems getting the heat output you would like to have. I hate to say it but I think the Tundra may prefer softwood over hardwood. Here's an example, so I burned pretty much just pine/spruce for the first 1 1/2- 2 months had no issues with heat output or coal build up. In that time I filled up a 5 gallon bucket of just ashes. Here I am tonight able to fill up the same bucket with just coals 3 days later. After all I do need to make room for some wood in the firebox. I need to make a grate for this thing to see how that works. I had planned on just burning the softwood while it wasn't really cold out and kept my hardwood for when the temps dropped but looks like I need to rethink that whole idea. Will keep you posted on how I make out with a grate setup once I finally make one.
 
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The46Zone

Burning Hunk
Dec 23, 2014
226
Peru, IL
Bullderml,
I was wondering how dry your maple is? I am burning red elm in my stove and result is fine ash, however when I added some 2 year seasoned maple in my stove I am having the same problem as you. Large coal chunks. Not saying it's related but could the maple you are using not be as dry as needed for the Tundra??

Dave
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,537
NE Ohio
Brenn if you have only been burning hardwood I can see why your having problems getting the heat output you would like to have.
That's about all I have other than a little pine that is cut short for my lil stove. But other people manage to use these things with hardwood, so I'll continue my quest for heat from the darn thing.
Coal buildup is a complaint that the EPA stove guys have whenever it get good n cold, darned insulated fireboxes anyways, hot coals do not equate to heat in the house for sure! They say to throw a piece of dry softwood on the coals and then open the intake damper, it will give you heat output and burn the coals down too.
 
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trx250r87

Burning Hunk
Nov 30, 2012
181
NE Wisconsin
I have been burning mostly red oak, soft maple, and Elm. I don't burn 24/7 but so far this year I only have accumulated about an ice cream pail of ashes. I actually prefer some ash buildup and try to leave an inch or two in the stove.

When I burn red oak it seems like I get more consistent heat, but it requires a little more air. I can often run with damper open the whole time.
 

Dodgemrj08

New Member
Dec 30, 2015
11
Northwestern wisconsin
@Dodgemrj08
Does your Tundra have the firebrick retro installed on the front side of the furnace? I'm curious if they are selling them installed or available at Menards or wherever you purchased the furnace.
I bought my stove at Menard's last fall in September. I did receive the new fire update about 2 weeks ago when I initially emailed sbi about any updates witch at first said no. Then next day I got an email about the firebrick update they thought I should have. Then I seen crack. Now here we are 2 weeks later...kicker is I went to Menard's last year to buy the shelter sf2631 but they had just started carrying the drolet and I saw the glass the 40% less wood sticker and 100$ cheaper than the shelter and I was sold.
 

laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,626
Ashland OH
Are you removing the ash so air can penetrate the coals? Also, are you loading full loads of maple? From an overnight burn, you should have nothing but ash in front and coals in back.
 

The46Zone

Burning Hunk
Dec 23, 2014
226
Peru, IL
I haven't fired mine up yet, I am still digging out my crawlspace. I have purchased some of the flue temperature monitoring devices that were suggested by others on this forum. I'm curious as to how it will do with the firebrick retro installed in mine. Just curious hopefully next year I will have my crawlspace dug out and new basement finished.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,537
NE Ohio
Are you removing the ash so air can penetrations the coals?
Yup, ya gotta keep the boost air nozzle clear for sure. I tried it without...real PITA to get the fire going!
From an overnight burn, you should have nothing but ash in front and coals in back.
Exactly, I get that even with Hickory.
 

Builderml

Burning Hunk
Sep 13, 2015
195
Ct
I'll re-split a piece of maple I have in the morning and put the moisture meter to it. It was split this spring and stacked on the edge of my pile. You may be very well correct that my stuff may not be ready but moisture meter will confirm that. The rounds I have are at least 1 1/2 years old. I would think your 2 year seasoned maple should be good to go and your saying you have the same issue. I think it's a matter of no air hitting the bottom. It seems to me that the Tundra likes to burn from the top down and if your wood doesn't get burned fast enough it gets covered and no air gets to the bottom to finish it off. All I know is I have shoveled out a nice amount of btu's in just coal.
 

The46Zone

Burning Hunk
Dec 23, 2014
226
Peru, IL
I am getting like 17%-18% on my moisture meter from that maple, but that red elm is 14% and does much better for me in my stove.
 

trx250r87

Burning Hunk
Nov 30, 2012
181
NE Wisconsin
I'll re-split a piece of maple I have in the morning and put the moisture meter to it. It was split this spring and stacked on the edge of my pile. You may be very well correct that my stuff may not be ready but moisture meter will confirm that. The rounds I have are at least 1 1/2 years old. I would think your 2 year seasoned maple should be good to go and your saying you have the same issue. I think it's a matter of no air hitting the bottom. It seems to me that the Tundra likes to burn from the top down and if your wood doesn't get burned fast enough it gets covered and no air gets to the bottom to finish it off. All I know is I have shoveled out a nice amount of btu's in just coal.
Why shovel the coals out? I take them to the front and open the damper, sometimes even crack the door handle. There usually is plenty of heat to keep the fan running.

I often do this as soon as the secondary burn flames nolonger are seen at the top of the firebox. Rake forward, burn down the coals, then reload on top of remaining hot coals.
 

Builderml

Burning Hunk
Sep 13, 2015
195
Ct
Are you removing the ash so air can penetrate the coals? Also, are you loading full loads of maple? From an overnight burn, you should have nothing but ash in front and coals in back.
Yes I try to shovel ash out each time I load when i can. Part of the problem is I still have coals in the front not burnt down to ashes yet. Yes full loads of maple the past few days. I was out of my softwood. It's wasn't as bad when I put the pine down on the bottom and placed maple ontop. I was happy I scored some hickory for next year and now a little worried if I am having an issue with the maple.
 

DoubleB

Minister of Fire
Mar 4, 2014
659
NE Wisconsin
@Dodgemrj08 ,

I agree their email response to you is pretty cryptic, and someone already mentioned things might get lost in translation to English. Also, SBI is not known for providing good explanations of things. However, they have been known to stand behind their products, so this is disappointing for sure.

I bought my stove at Menard's last fall in September.

Another things you could try is to complain to Menards. Menards might be a big box store, but around here the local manager is pretty good and willing to help, and oh, he also speaks English. They are a much larger SBI customer than you are, and maybe a call from some Menards guys could get SBI to respond a bit better to you. Might be worth a shot.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,537
NE Ohio
I haven't burned that much Maple, but I did have some nice dry Silver Maple last year, thought I would burn it in the fall as "shoulder season" wood, HA! Thought I was gonna melt the stove down...and had good coals too! Total surprise! One the other hand...the infamous Ash that everybody gushes about...not impressed, I mean it's Ok, but not impressive IMO.

An interesting bit of info to pass on as far as my quest for heat. I was screwing around with things the other night and decided to cover ~50% of the secondary air intake holes. It made for some nice blue (and hot!) secondary flames, duct temps went way up, so I left it...the next morning the house was warmer than what has been the norm when running the Tundra (by at least 2 degrees) Same results that day...and the next. Relatively the same temps outside as what we have been having...I don't get it. My draft is -.04 to -.05" WC most of the time (sometimes -.06) so not too high. Not sure why this lil mod has made such a difference, but it has.
I know @laynes69 did something similar, but that was because of high draft...I dunno, I don't understand it, but I ain't complaining! Warmer house on less wood :) that's what these things are 'sposed to be all about right!?
I'm not gonna jump to any conclusions just yet, least not until I can get these same results when it is actually cold out, but it is a big step in the right direction.
 
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Byron21

Member
Dec 3, 2015
16
Maine
That's about all I have other than a little pine that is cut short for my lil stove. But other people manage to use these things with hardwood, so I'll continue my quest for heat from the darn thing.
Coal buildup is a complaint that the EPA stove guys have whenever it get good n cold, darned insulated fireboxes anyways, hot coals do not equate to heat in the house for sure! They say to throw a piece of dry softwood on the coals and then open the intake damper, it will give you heat output and burn the coals down too.

Hi Brenn new to this site but you may remember me from the Arbo site last year ,I installed a heatmax.one of the biggest problems for me was the coaling 1 getting enough heat out of them to get the blower going and 2 burning the damn things down so I could reload ....

I had a three cycle day; fill in the morning about 8am afternoon 3pm then around midnight....I had a mix of wood maple ,birch and red oak it could have been a little dryer but I don't remember the numbers now. Down to 20 degrees the furnace would do ok but below that coals were a big problem. I tried all the tricks to get them burnt down between loads .

The midnight load was the one I would spend the most time on to get them burnt down so I could get in a full load for the night ...I would spend a couple hours in the evening going up and down the stairs racking the coals and pulling them forward.. I'd leave the loading door cracked open, add a piece of softwood and so on, It was a real pain.. Meanwhile the house would cool down to say to 68 and I like it at least 72 in here. What I would do is turn the oil furnace up between loads get the house back up while I built and fired the heatmax up and it would pretty much hold the place for 8 hours .

I could go on and on about all the problems I had with that stove. messing with the snap switches and trying different locations and such but I won't.. I messed with that thing most of the winter, then everybody started seeing cracks sure enough mine had them. That was it for me I got a refund and took it out I like the technology how it burnt and all it just didn't keep us warm here.. I put in a firechief 700 and I'm happy and warm this year ...

You and I discussed putting a plenum on at one point last year but I had had enough when I saw the cracks...It could be the answer but what about the coaling I gave up and moved on.....you have heard this before from the WS "the hard part is putting the wood up the easy part should be burning it" sorry for the long winded post good to see ya again and good luck .... byron
 

Byron21

Member
Dec 3, 2015
16
Maine
I haven't burned that much Maple, but I did have some nice dry Silver Maple last year, thought I would burn it in the fall as "shoulder season" wood, HA! Thought I was gonna melt the stove down...and had good coals too! Total surprise! One the other hand...the infamous Ash that everybody gushes about...not impressed, I mean it's Ok, but not impressive IMO.

An interesting bit of info to pass on as far as my quest for heat. I was screwing around with things the other night and decided to cover ~50% of the secondary air intake holes. It made for some nice blue (and hot!) secondary flames, duct temps went way up, so I left it...the next morning the house was warmer than what has been the norm when running the Tundra (by at least 2 degrees) Same results that day...and the next. Relatively the same temps outside as what we have been having...I don't get it. My draft is -.04 to -.05" WC most of the time (sometimes -.06) so not too high. Not sure why this lil mod has made such a difference, but it has.
I know @laynes69 did something similar, but that was because of high draft...I dunno, I don't understand it, but I ain't complaining! Warmer house on less wood :) that's what these things are 'sposed to be all about right!?
I'm not gonna jump to any conclusions just yet, least not until I can get these same results when it is actually cold out, but it is a big step in the right direction.
I meant to mention that I done the same covered the secondary inlets with a little piece of sheet metal about 1/2 I got longer secondary burns and quicker starts ...Ran it that way the last month I used it .....
 
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Dodgemrj08

New Member
Dec 30, 2015
11
Northwestern wisconsin
So after going over the pictures from earlier in the post about exact locations I should look for cracks I do have 2 additional cracks around the heat exchanger. Both bottom corners left and right about 1/4 in long. Thanks for the advice to look it over again. Hopefully this additional evidence will help them remedy this issue.