Fire Chief or Shelter EPA stoves feedback

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
9,879
Nova Scotia
I believe wet wood will have a sizzling sound when burning, where you can see the water boiling at the ends of the splits. I can assure you that this has not been the case. Perhaps the wood can still have a high moisture content and not see the moisture boil at the split ends?

Yes, it can, although in my experience, I have most always heard a sizzle when I put something with a high MC in.

I believe the concept of the stove is a fairly simple design. As the stove temperature increases, so does the flue temperature which pulls a strong draft, air into the inducer slide opening. The air flow SHOULD either pull the smoke and exit out of the chimney or if hot enough, burn the secondary gases.

Experience tells me that the stove is going to be at its coolest point either when starting or reloading, therefore not the strongest draft.

Your barometric damper maintains steady draft (before it exploded),and the manometer readings showed that draft to be steady, and at spec, when the explosions were happening. Changing draft, or anything related to draft, is IMO not an issue.

IMO the lack of primary air, restricted by the slider, allows for smoke to build up to much and chokes the fire. This is why I believe it takes so long for the fire to recover without a really hot bed of ambers to help recover the fire. Further, when reloading, the splits placed on the hot ambers, seem to cool the hot ambers which also chokes out the fire.

IMO the over abundance of primary air (not lack of), vs. what the secondary setup can process, is the problem. And also the cause of the glowing metal pics we have seen - those gave me the willies.

I am no way suggesting this stove is junk, just for myself, I have experienced to many issues and would like a refund or some form of compensation.

I think I would make that suggestion.
 
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STIHLY DAN

Minister of Fire
Jan 15, 2013
1,429
So NH
Seems to me that you should operate this like the crappy tundra. When starting or reloading turn the t-stat up so the combustion air turns on. There is a link in the tundra forum of a kitchen timer to help. This will give combustion air until a hot fire is going which increases draft. This will also help if wet wood is present, It cant hurt to try.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,081
NE Ohio
Seems to me that you should operate this like the crappy tundra. When starting or reloading turn the t-stat up so the combustion air turns on. There is a link in the tundra forum of a kitchen timer to help. This will give combustion air until a hot fire is going which increases draft. This will also help if wet wood is present, It cant hurt to try.
!!!
Hope Drolet doesn't try to sue you for defamation for comparing the Tundra to these things ;lol
Tundra may have been a little rough around the edges the first couple model years...but at least they work well and burn pretty clean when set up right! Mine purrs like a kitten now...partially thanks to you and your blower speed control idea ==c
 

Medic21

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2017
492
Northern Indiana
Seems to me that you should operate this like the crappy tundra. When starting or reloading turn the t-stat up so the combustion air turns on. There is a link in the tundra forum of a kitchen timer to help. This will give combustion air until a hot fire is going which increases draft. This will also help if wet wood is present, It cant hurt to try.
The instructions tell you to set the tstat to 90 when starting or reloading just for this purpose.
 

Mrpelletburner

Minister of Fire
Jan 20, 2011
528
Mass
The instructions tell you to set the tstat to 90 when starting or reloading just for this purpose.
@Medic21 Please don't take this as trying to prove anyone wrong, the last thing I am trying to do is piss off anyone.

I just re-read the manual that was shipped with my unit to see if I misread the instructions. According to the online manual and the one shipped, the only time the manual states to set the tstat to 90 is only for the "first fire". Also, according to the manual, when using the moisture meter, wood under 30% moisture content is acceptable.

As I recall, just about every back flash (puff from the stove pipe), the draft blower was running. Might have been every time, but would have to review my notes.

Another Interesting item the point out... the manual never states if you should leave the load door open or close it when starting the fire (crumpled newspapers and dry kidling step).

General Operation

Types of Wood to Use:
We advise using only dry, seasoned hardwoods in your Fire Chief Furnace rather than high resin woods such as pine. Firewood should be cut at least one full season prior to the time of its intended use, for optimum heat output. Firewood should be stacked to provide a free flow of air between the logs, thus allowing more rapid seasoning of the wood. If wood is stored outdoors, it should be completely covered year round to protect it from moisture and exposure to the elements.

FUEL RECOMMENDATIONS: FC1000 – 20 inch maximum log length

Follow instructions included with the moisture meter that was supplied with this unit to make sure that you are using seasoned wood to achieve the cleanest burn and highest efficiency possible. When using the moisture meter, in addition to following the manufacturer’s instructions, look for readings under 30% moisture content. Also seasoned wood will be noticeably lighter weight than green wood, generally has darker ends with cracks or splits visible.

Use extreme caution when opening the door during operation, temperatures can exceed 300°F. Wait at least 10 seconds after releasing the latch, and then proceed to the fully open position. Opening the door in this manner is designed to eliminate the possibility of gaseous ignition. Heat resistant gloves are recommended when opening the fuel door, emptying the ash pan.
First Fire:

Set the wall thermostat to 90°F.

Place several crumpled newspapers on the grate with some dry kindling layered on top of the papers, then ignite the newspaper. When the kindling is burning, add several small pieces of wood, allow wood to fully ignite. After about 20 minutes the fire should be established, allowing you to add more wood – do not overload which would smother the fire. Add more wood slowly, so the flames have time to engulf the fresh wood. Once the fire is burning and there is a glowing ember bed, set the wall thermostat to the desired home temperature.

Do not over-fire the furnace. Over-firing by overloading/over fueling the furnace causes the metal to superheat and expand, then cool rapidly, which causes cracking, therefore voiding the warranty. Over-firing or abuse can easily be determined upon inspection.

It will take about 40 minutes to establish a bed of hot embers. Once you have achieved the hot ember bed, add larger pieces of firewood. Finally adjust the wall thermostat. Ash pan must remain out of furnace during operation.
 

Medic21

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2017
492
Northern Indiana
@Medic21 Please don't take this as trying to prove anyone wrong, the last thing I am trying to do is piss off anyone.

I just re-read the manual that was shipped with my unit to see if I misread the instructions. According to the online manual and the one shipped, the only time the manual states to set the tstat to 90 is only for the "first fire". Also, according to the manual, when using the moisture meter, wood under 30% moisture content is acceptable.

As I recall, just about every back flash (puff from the stove pipe), the draft blower was running. Might have been every time, but would have to review my notes.

Another Interesting item the point out... the manual never states if you should leave the load door open or close it when starting the fire (crumpled newspapers and dry kidling step).

Why would any fire you start, whether cold or reloading, be any different from the first fire?

Some of this is common sense in my opinion. Maybe we have came across the key as to why we are having a very different experience.

Regardless of what that manual says moisture content should never be higher than 20%. I won't burn oak over 15%. Again another difference.

This stove is far from perfect but, it will work.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
9,879
Nova Scotia
Why would any fire you start, whether cold or reloading, be any different from the first fire?
I am taking the above instructions to mean first fire = cold start. And reload is a reload, on hot coals and a warm chimney. So they would have very different conditions - the stat being turned up being a need of the different conditions at cold start. So if you are also turning the stat up at a reload, that would be contrary to the operating instructions. Which in turn, seems to be meaning that the common sense approach mentioned above is clashing with the operating instructions or how it was designed & intended to be used - which seems to again point to shortcomings in the design of this rig, or at the very least shortcomings in the instructions for unexplained reasons. Like, maybe they didn't burn this thing very much before they started selling them?
 
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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
9,879
Nova Scotia
@Medic21 Please don't take this as trying to prove anyone wrong, the last thing I am trying to do is piss off anyone.

I just re-read the manual that was shipped with my unit to see if I misread the instructions. According to the online manual and the one shipped, the only time the manual states to set the tstat to 90 is only for the "first fire". Also, according to the manual, when using the moisture meter, wood under 30% moisture content is acceptable.

As I recall, just about every back flash (puff from the stove pipe), the draft blower was running. Might have been every time, but would have to review my notes.

Another Interesting item the point out... the manual never states if you should leave the load door open or close it when starting the fire (crumpled newspapers and dry kidling step).
Ash pan must remain out of furnace during operation.

That is the first time I have seen an instruction like that in a manual. Is that a common thing - all you burners of other devices? :)
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,138
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Ash pan must remain out of furnace during operation.

That is the first time I have seen an instruction like that in a manual. Is that a common thing - all you burners of other devices? :)

ah, that would be a no. ;lol
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,081
NE Ohio
Ash pan must remain out of furnace during operation.

That is the first time I have seen an instruction like that in a manual. Is that a common thing - all you burners of other devices? :)
First time for me too...
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
9,879
Nova Scotia
Sooooo, I wonder - would ash pan being in or out affect internal combustion air flow any? Thinking not much, or that it shouldn't - but hard to say with this rig, from way over here where I can't see it.

Aside from that - why would they want it out when burning? Since it seems I wasn't alone in my thoughts...
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,138
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Why would any fire you start, whether cold or reloading, be any different from the first fire?
When I load on a bed of coals I load the wood, close the door and walk away. When I put wood in my -cold- Kuuma, close the door and walk away nothing happens. ;lol :p
 

Mrpelletburner

Minister of Fire
Jan 20, 2011
528
Mass
Sooooo, I wonder - would ash pan being in or out affect internal combustion air flow any? Thinking not much, or that it shouldn't - but hard to say with this rig, from way over here where I can't see it.

Aside from that - why would they want it out when burning? Since it seems I wasn't alone in my thoughts...
I really need to do a good into video of this stove.

The ash pan area doesn't have an air inlet channel. Therefore I don't believe this is any impact to internal combustion. Assuming the reason to remove the ash pan is so it does't warp during stove use, the internal temps can reach 1200F. Not really a big deal scooping out the ashes as the ash pan is more like a flat shovel.
 

Mrpelletburner

Minister of Fire
Jan 20, 2011
528
Mass
Man did it get hot outside!!

Anyways, wanted to touch base with this thread.

The other day a HVAC person did visit to look into options for a return air duct. Also, yesterday 2 representatives from HY-C (folks that I have spoken with many times on the phone) flew out to review my setup. I have hope that we are heading in the right direction.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
9,879
Nova Scotia
Also, yesterday 2 representatives from HY-C (folks that I have spoken with many times on the phone) flew out to review my setup.

That sounds promising, don't think that happens too often. Maybe they will compensate you for your testing time. :)
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,081
NE Ohio
Also, yesterday 2 representatives from HY-C (folks that I have spoken with many times on the phone) flew out to review my setup. I have hope that we are heading in the right direction.
Yup, that's the first I have ever heard that one! Maybe we have these guys figured all wrong...hopefully, for your sake.
I still think this furnace is a terrible design, but maybe, just maybe their CS doesn't suck too...
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,138
Wisconsin Dells, WI
ahhh, a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. Cool they are doing this, but ask yourself this question; if it weren't for this thread do you really think they would be doing this? I think this is more of a case of them trying to save face on a public forum than anything else. Feel bad for all the others who won't be doing any squawking on a public forum who will never get anybody to fly out to them. Real customer service shouldn't require full exposure on a public message board in order to get things accomplished.
 

Mrpelletburner

Minister of Fire
Jan 20, 2011
528
Mass
I am still not over 2008 & 2012.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,081
NE Ohio

Mrpelletburner

Minister of Fire
Jan 20, 2011
528
Mass
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