First fire, water dripping from stove

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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,322
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
You may get water on the first load or two every year...the firebrick seems to absorb moisture over the summer...the first load or two don't always burn the best either...
Also the complete lack of an ash bed to insulate the coals.
 

Rob_Red

Feeling the Heat
Feb 2, 2021
313
Southern New England
Hello! I have the same stove and have also had this water problem. Are you burning red oak? Have you checked the moisture content? I would bet that is the problem. I had the exact same issue with water and burning performance when I was burning wood that wasn't seasoned enough. I actually had enough water sweating out of the wood it would run down the leg exactly like that.

once I was burning properly seasoned wood there was zero issue, even with this years first fire.

Also the reason engaging your cat snuffs the fire is it's getting plugged up from fly ash. I had the same issue and it's because the wood isn't totally dry and this causes you to mess with the fire causing ash to fly up into the cat.

With this stove you occasionally need to pull the baffle out and brush off the cat with a soft brush and bam your flow will be restored.
 

Rob_Red

Feeling the Heat
Feb 2, 2021
313
Southern New England
Also I highly recommend you use the top down start method to start the fire, go on youtube and check out hearthstones video on how to do this because it works great. This will get everything ripping and up to temp quickly. From there the stove will cruise at 450-575 (off the stove top) depending on how you adjust it. and run that way for hours fuss free.

The fact that you have to crack the door like that mid burn is not normal and I can tell by your photos the fire is weak.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,953
Long Island NY
You may get water on the first load or two every year...the firebrick seems to absorb moisture over the summer...the first load or two don't always burn the best either...

Different stove here, and no experience with this issue, but what I do is to have a pot of damprid in the stove during the summer. Door closed, air closed, and taken out the telescoping piece and capped off both the chimney and the stove end of the opening. (I think most moisture comes in through the chimney.) This creates a closed volume in the stove, and the damprid keeps it dry.

Don't know if it's overkill, but at least it keeps things dry/drier.
 

Shrewboy

New Member
Oct 15, 2020
82
Eastern Pennsylvania
I’m currently losing temp and the thing is slowly dying down. Flu probe is down to 225. Stove top is down to 300. I have not used the catalyst (because that really puts it out), I have a window nearby cracked to let air in the house. Not sure what I’m missing. At this point in the fire load, moisture shouldn’t be an issue? These two photos are taken at the same point, but ones with a flash and one isn’t, so they look quite different.

View attachment 282519 View attachment 282520

I had this happen with my hearthstone as well!
There was a piece of wood that was in the corner of the stove and bubbling water out (not dry enough) and the water dripping smelled strongly of creosote.

I bet it was the wood, not the stove, smell the liquid!
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,136
central pa
It's a rule of thumb but not a law of physics. It wouldn't surprise me if it was off from that by 100 degrees or more depending on the situation.
That's why people have flue probes instead of just shooting the external temp of their double wall. Don't ditch the flue probe unless another flue probe is giving you wildly different readings.

It is a rule of thumb for single wall not double wall
 

tabner

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2019
207
Eastern CT
Would this amount of fly ash effect cat flow?
Also I’m embarrassed to admit, that the two larger oak splits I had on the bottom (in the fire referenced originally in this post) we’re at 22%~23%.
Also the wife had the clothes dryer (with exterior vent) running for half the time I was attempting to burn.
I’m guessing a small fire coupled with somewhat damp wood probably caused the issues I experienced?
(I have plenty of 15%~18% wood, I was just dumb and grabbed the wrong stuff)

C5D5B953-1208-4003-BA5A-701772D14AA4.jpeg BC1055B8-E598-43BB-B10E-7C42EC96A70B.jpeg 5017438D-FFFE-47A6-8097-49A66837D3BC.jpeg
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,953
Long Island NY
I would think that it would affect the flow if the draft is not strong (warm outside).
In deep winter it won't do much I think. Regardless, take a soft brush and brush it off. Likely most is on the surface.
 

tabner

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2019
207
Eastern CT
Had a full size fire last night. This pic is from the initial light off. throughout the evening i did two small reloads. one with two full size splits, and 1 with one full size split. Overall the stove ran awesome. No draft problems, i was actually able to fully close the air control for over an hour and had active/busy flames and good burn. I think once the temps drop i am going to be happy i put in a flue damper.
I went upstairs at 9:30pm with the stove only about half full and on low setting. Got up this morning at 6:15 and it still had red coals to light kindling with - very impressed!
Only issues are:
- getting heat from the basement upstairs (it's working OK, but the basement gets to about 85 degrees, so pretty toasty). This was a problem I expected to have, and I think will just take a little getting used to
-smoke on reloads. Because the front door of this stove is basically the entire front wall of the stove, smoke out the front door is very difficult to avoid. I think i have to be smart about timing reloads - coals need to be hot enough to create some draft, but maybe can't reload when the stove is 50% full, just too much smoke and fire.
-still thinking my flue probe is not accurate. I had the Cat cruising right in the middle of its zone. the STT per infrared laser peaked at 675 and then settled in around 550. but my flue gases were supposedly never above 450, and most of the time that gauge hovers right at 400 or even lower. Does this seem right/possible? (flue probe through the double wall exactly 20" above the stove)

IMG_0019.jpg
 

shortys7777

Feeling the Heat
Nov 15, 2017
367
Smithfield, RI
As for smoke coming out on reloads. Try opening the damper completely and slowing crack the door a couple inches before fully opening it.
 

jotulf45v2

New Member
Sep 22, 2021
32
CT Shoreline
I tend to keep a small layer of ash in the firebox during the off season to absorb any moisture that comes in. First fire this year I had a small ~300-400* fire for a few hours and saw the fire bricks sweat slightly. Second fire, no water at all in the box and definitely no water dripping from the stove at ~600F. I live in a pretty humid environment.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,848
Iowa
It's a cat stove. Burn full loads on a schedule that permits reloading only on coals. Should reduce your smoke rollout issue tremendously. Let us know if you get to try this method. Interested in knowing the results.
 

tabner

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2019
207
Eastern CT
-still thinking my flue probe is not accurate. I had the Cat cruising right in the middle of its zone. the STT per infrared laser peaked at 675 and then settled in around 550. but my flue gases were supposedly never above 450, and most of the time that gauge hovers right at 400 or even lower. Does this seem right/possible? (flue probe through the double wall exactly 20" above the stove)
I’m still debating buying and trying another flue probe - can anyone weigh in on whether this seems like accurate/correct numbers?
I just find it hard to believe even on a hot reload I only got flue probe to 450 max. My chimney is long and uninsulated so I definitely don’t want flue temps at 350 just above the stove.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,848
Iowa
Dry wood-check
Cat running correctly in the active zone-check
STT running in specified safe zone-check (verify?)

Let er buck for a couple weeks and check your pipe. Cat stoves that I am familiar with (I have zero time with the GM60 [admittedly] ) run rather low temp emissions. Your temps don't surprise me. If you want to, get another probe and verify what you have.

I run my Cat stove with the Cat gauge and STT gauge. I have a magnetic pipe gauge on double wall that I only use as a cursory, visual reference (oh the horror!). When the needle on my mag pipe gauge is between two points I use for safe operation reference... All is good. The stove is operating in a optimal safe, clean zone.

Obviously take this opinion/experience with a grain of salt and trust your instincts.
 

Scoutmaster-Jedi

New Member
Oct 23, 2021
3
Japan
I have a Green Mountain 40 with similar problems. I got it late last spring, so this is my first season with it, and I don't use it all the time. I was surprised to get water pooling around the legs of the stove. It happened on the first break-in fires I did in the spring, and the first ones I did in the fall too. Then this past weekend after not using it for 3 weeks, I was surprised to see the same thing happen again. (And quite a bit more water than shown in the photos for this post.) I came here looking for advice and found it interesting that there's another post about this issue with the same stove! In my case, once it gets up to temperature, it seems to be okay.

Also I should add that my GM 40 has worked great overall, and I've never experienced the problems with lighting or draft that some others have reported. I use top-down burns that start quickly and easily. I always make sure I can get enough hot air to start a good draft, and then I'm able to shut the door within a minute of lighting the fire.

Sooty water pooling around the feet is the only strange issue I'm experiencing. I'm in a relatively humid environment, so I have to be very careful about the wood humidity.
 
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tabner

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2019
207
Eastern CT
I have a Green Mountain 40 with similar problems. I got it late last spring, so this is my first season with it, and I don't use it all the time. I was surprised to get water pooling around the legs of the stove. It happened on the first break-in fires I did in the spring, and the first ones I did in the fall too. Then this past weekend after not using it for 3 weeks, I was surprised to see the same thing happen again. (And quite a bit more water than shown in the photos for this post.) I came here looking for advice and found it interesting that there's another post about this issue with the same stove! In my case, once it gets up to temperature, it seems to be okay.

Also I should add that my GM 40 has worked great overall, and I've never experienced the problems with lighting or draft that some others have reported. I use top-down burns that start quickly and easily. I always make sure I can get enough hot air to start a good draft, and then I'm able to shut the door within a minute of lighting the fire.

Sooty water pooling around the feet is the only strange issue I'm experiencing. I'm in a relatively humid environment, so I have to be very careful about the wood humidity.
I experienced the water drip for probably the first 6 fires or so. Getting less each time. I’ve had ithe stove running 24/7 for the last week and no more water drip during that time. Glad to hear the stove is working well for you other than that.