First year with wood insert, not really helping . . . please help!

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Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
I have a laser thermometer so that’s where I’m getting the temps. I just open the door and point it at the logs.

Overall, It’s quite a difference for sure. It’s 23 here right now and with my thermostat on the other side of the house it’s currently at 66 degrees. The room that the fireplace is in is rather hot and walking towards the room you definitely feel the temp rise considerably. Better than before. I may get a fan and blow the cold air from the other side of the house into the fireplace room. I hear these stories of people get 75+ degree temps in their whole house when it’s -0 outside. I’m still not there yet so a little disappointed. I just think I need a bigger insert??? 1.5 cu ft is tiny. A guy buy me was selling a CW2900 but I was too late. 2.4 cu ft fire box is huge compared to what I have now!

Anyways. I removed the insulation from directly around the insert based on your comments so thank you all for the replies. When I removed it it was very hot to the touch (fire was going) so hopefully the heat absorbed by the insulation will now come out past the shroud into the room? Hopefully get some extra heat.
Good to see you are getting some positive results. Most that have issues with cold drafts &/or lack of heated air coming from the firebox, first thing stated is no block off plate. Most that install the block off plate notice an immediate difference.

Sorry to say, your present 1.5 firebox is just not going to give you the results you seek. It would be great for a smaller house, with a better convection loop, but you do not have the luxury of that set up. You may also find if you get another insert with a larger firebox, it may help with the other side of the house some, but may also make the room it is in very warm to say the least. The next step would be to attempt to created some kind of convection loop as best as you can.

I personally keep my upstairs bedroom door closed, as I like to sleep in colder temps. It can easily be high 50s in there and I love it LOL. The minute I open the door in the morning and walk out to the loft I can feel the wall of warm air, that is nice too.

You're on the right path.
 
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Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,146
Michigan
I have a laser thermometer so that’s where I’m getting the temps. I just open the door and point it at the logs.

Overall, It’s quite a difference for sure. It’s 23 here right now and with my thermostat on the other side of the house it’s currently at 66 degrees. The room that the fireplace is in is rather hot and walking towards the room you definitely feel the temp rise considerably. Better than before. I may get a fan and blow the cold air from the other side of the house into the fireplace room. I hear these stories of people get 75+ degree temps in their whole house when it’s -0 outside. I’m still not there yet so a little disappointed. I just think I need a bigger insert??? 1.5 cu ft is tiny. A guy buy me was selling a CW2900 but I was too late. 2.4 cu ft fire box is huge compared to what I have now!

Anyways. I removed the insulation from directly around the insert based on your comments so thank you all for the replies. When I removed it it was very hot to the touch (fire was going) so hopefully the heat absorbed by the insulation will now come out past the shroud into the room? Hopefully get some extra heat.

I have a laser thermometer so that’s where I’m getting the temps. I just open the door and point it at the logs.

You don't want to take your temps that way, you need to measure the top of the insert, not on the burning logs. Shoot for 500-600 degrees.
 
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JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
I’m going to get a fan with a stand today and put it on high where the bedrooms are at on the other side of the house where the bedrooms are. Should I blow the air towards the fireplace room or towards the bedrooms?
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,017
Nova Scotia
I’m going to get a fan with a stand today and put it on high where the bedrooms are at on the other side of the house where the bedrooms are. Should I blow the air towards the fireplace room or towards the bedrooms?
Best potential for moving more air and heat around by using the fan on the floor & pushing cold air towards the stove.

Some would contend the difference would be negligible.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,221
NE Ohio
Best potential for moving more air and heat around by using the fan on the floor & pushing cold air towards the stove.

Some would contend the difference would be negligible.
Yes, many have experimented with this already and found that the best results come from a small fan, sitting on the floor, running on low, blowing air down the hallway (or wherever) back toward the stove. Doesn't take much air movement to do the job...the less "wind" you make, the less cold/drafty the house will feel. You just want to encourage the cold air toward the stove...then the warm air will come in to replace it...
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,221
NE Ohio
You'll be amazed how little air you need to move to make this lil trick work...a tiny fan will do it
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,351
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Good to see you are getting some positive results. Most that have issues with cold drafts &/or lack of heated air coming from the firebox, first thing stated is no block off plate. Most that install the block off plate notice an immediate difference.

Sorry to say, your present 1.5 firebox is just not going to give you the results you seek. It would be great for a smaller house, with a better convection loop, but you do not have the luxury of that set up. You may also find if you get another insert with a larger firebox, it may help with the other side of the house some, but may also make the room it is in very warm to say the least. The next step would be to attempt to created some kind of convection loop as best as you can.

I personally keep my upstairs bedroom door closed, as I like to sleep in colder temps. It can easily be high 50s in there and I love it LOL. The minute I open the door in the morning and walk out to the loft I can feel the wall of warm air, that is nice too.

You're on the right path.
Just read the whole thread and the only “ bk enthusiast” that came in was you hog! Twice you brought up the BK! You had more fun with the Woodstock gang.

I too call bs on the maximum output numbers put out by companies and/or the epa. I think the biggest trick is that they publish instantaneous “peak” output which is actually useless in this application. Firebox size, assuming reasonable efficiency, is far more useful.
 
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JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
Okay, the fan is in place. Let's see if it helps! Thanks everyone for the help. I've been searching Craigslist and facebook classifieds within a 100 mile radius for a good used insert. There's a used Pacific Energy Super Insert for sale about 1.5 hours from me (Cincinnati) for $500. Seems like great quality but only a 2.1 cu ft fire box. Is that a good deal or should I wait for the CW2900 or Osburn 2400?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,221
NE Ohio
Okay, the fan is in place. Let's see if it helps! Thanks everyone for the help. I've been searching Craigslist and facebook classifieds within a 100 mile radius for a good used insert. There's a used Pacific Energy Super Insert for sale about 1.5 hours from me (Cincinnati) for $500. Seems like great quality but only a 2.1 cu ft fire box. Is that a good deal or should I wait for the CW2900 or Osburn 2400?
Don't forget the Drolet 1800i
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,221
NE Ohio

JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
You don't want to take your temps that way, you need to measure the top of the insert, not on the burning logs. Shoot for 500-600 degrees.
Okay, so help me out here please. When I take the surround off and point the reader in the middle of the top of the insert, It's about 200 degrees. When I point it at the stainless steele 6" liner coming out the back of the insert it's about 220 degrees. When I point it at the glass, I'm getting 450-500. The insert has a front air control and we always keep that wide open except when we go to bed. Is my stove running too cool?
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,093
Schenectady, NY
The super is a great stove. At least the free standing one is. And the insert should have the same firebox.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,146
Michigan
Okay, so help me out here please. When I take the surround off and point the reader in the middle of the top of the insert, It's about 200 degrees. When I point it at the stainless steele 6" liner coming out the back of the insert it's about 220 degrees. When I point it at the glass, I'm getting 450-500. The insert has a front air control and we always keep that wide open except when we go to bed. Is my stove running too cool?
That's too cold; should be at minimum 400 degrees. I suspect your wood isn't as dry as you think. When you measure the moisture content, you need to split a log, then measure in the middle, is that what you are doing? When I had my inserts, I made the surround out of expanded metal, painted black, that way it didn't block any heat. Keeping your air control wide open may be contributing to your lack of heat, what happens if you try to shut down the air?
 
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JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
I just went out to the garage and split a piece of black walnut I've been using and it's 9% at the ends and 16% at the middle. According to the manual, in order to get the highest BTU output, the air control needs to be all the way open. I moved the air control to the middle and the temps went down by about 50 degrees. This is where I get confused with inserts vs stoves. My insert has an air jacket all the way around it.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,489
SEPA
I just went out to the garage and split a piece of black walnut I've been using and it's 9% at the ends and 16% at the middle. According to the manual, in order to get the highest BTU output, the air control needs to be all the way open. I moved the air control to the middle and the temps went down by about 50 degrees. This is where I get confused with inserts vs stoves. My insert has an air jacket all the way around it.
Can you take a picture of the laserbeam on the stove when you are reading?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,151
South Puget Sound, WA
Excellent, will do, thank you. That 2.4 is .9 bigger than I have now!
I think the actual usable area is a bit less. More like 2.0 cu ft. The PE Super you mentioned is also an excellent insert. As with anything used, look for any signs of abuse or overfiring.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,151
South Puget Sound, WA
So readings off the glass are somewhat useless, same with the ashlip temp. Your surface flue temp is ok, it will be about 500º inside the flue. The top of the insert temps may be low because there is a convective top over the actual stove top. Is there a blower air exit slot just under the top? The door temp be ok to read. Or on the face of the stove just above the door corners.
 

ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
253
Nor Cal
I just went out to the garage and split a piece of black walnut I've been using and it's 9% at the ends and 16% at the middle. According to the manual, in order to get the highest BTU output, the air control needs to be all the way open. I moved the air control to the middle and the temps went down by about 50 degrees. This is where I get confused with inserts vs stoves. My insert has an air jacket all the way around it.
The method of operation is the same with your stove insert and a free standing stove with the same type of air adjustments. The method of measuring stove temps is different because your insert has a jacket and you can not measure the flu pipe 18"s above stove top.

How tall is your liner/chimney measured from top of stove to rain cap? Top of stove is how Drolet measures with a 12' min height.

400+ on the door seems about right as the actual stove top, underneath the jacketed shell, would be more then that.

Do you see smoke coming out the chimney cap? If at good temp, no smoke should be visible.

Drolet support is very good. Call them for suggestions.


Just read the whole thread and the only “ bk enthusiast” that came in was you hog! Twice you brought up the BK! You had more fun with the Woodstock gang, or at least the ones remaining since the exodus.

I too call bs on the maximum output numbers put out by companies and/or the epa. I think the biggest trick is that they publish instantaneous “peak” output which is actually useless in this application. Firebox size, assuming reasonable efficiency, is far more useful.
Much respect to Hog for his non-cult like attitude.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,221
NE Ohio
Pic 1, on the surround plate means nothing for the firebox temp.
Pic 3 is on the air jacket, doesn't mean much for the fire either.
The last one same.
With most inserts its really hard to get a good STT reading, and even more so with that particular model, with the way the air jacket is made.

Running the air completely open makes the most heat, for a bit. But you are sending a ton of BTUs up the stack doing that...and the fire doesn't last near as long either.
Funny thing about these newer EPA (tube type) fireboxes, they can and will run almost as high STT with the air turned down (once the firebox is up to full temp and the secondary burn is well established) as it will with the air open.
Try turning the air down 25% once the fire is going good...then let it recover, do another 25%, recover. Do it again. Generally you should be able to run somewhere between 25% and closed if you have good dry wood and the weather is cold enough to have good draft.
Oh, and the operation of an insert and a free standing stove is the same...some inserts may have a manual blower switch that needs turned on/off, which is pretty much a necessity on to get any real heat from an insert, but optional on free standers.
 
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JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
Is there a blower air exit slot just under the top? The door temp be ok to read. Or on the face of the stove just above the door corners.
Yes, the blower air exit is just under the top and we always have it going full high. It was on high when taking the picture temps.

Funny thing about these newer EPA (tube type) fireboxes, they can and will run almost as high STT with the air turned down (once the firebox is up to full temp and the secondary burn is well established) as it will with the air open.
Try turning the air down 25% once the fire is going good...then let it recover, do another 25%, recover. Do it again. Generally you should be able to run somewhere between 25% and closed if you have good dry wood and the weather is cold enough to have good draft.
Oh, and the operation of an insert and a free standing stove is the same...some inserts may have a manual blower switch that needs turned on/off, which is pretty much a necessity on to get any real heat from an insert, but optional on free standers.
This is excellent information, thank you. I'll try this right now. Thank you.

As far as the chimney height measurement, I'd need to go measure it. We just have a single story ranch I want to say around 16 foot?

Also, the only time we see or smell smoke coming out from the chimney is when we just start it up or put more wood in.
 

ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
253
Nor Cal
Yes, the blower air exit is just under the top and we always have it going full high. It was on high when taking the picture temps.



This is excellent information, thank you. I'll try this right now. Thank you.

As far as the chimney height measurement, I'd need to go measure it. We just have a single story ranch I want to say around 16 foot?

Also, the only time we see or smell smoke coming out from the chimney is when we just start it up or put more wood in.
Looks like youre good to go. Try adjusting the air control as others explained. If your wood is dry, you should be able to keep high temps with air control low.
 

JMBoriss

New Member
Feb 10, 2019
42
Columbus, Indiana
Looks like youre good to go. Try adjusting the air control as others explained. If your wood is dry, you should be able to keep high temps with air control low.
It's at 25% open right now and seem to be going somewhat strong, not as with it all the way open, a lot less flames. So when I need to put in more wood, do I open the air control back up or just leave it as is and just throw more wood in there?
 
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