Fisher mama bear 6inch damper

Tyelliott

New Member
Mar 9, 2021
6
Warren county
Hey everyone, I recently bought my house and it has a Fisher mama bear in the basement. It has two manual dampers on the door, but a circle pipe damper sitting on top. I can’t find out if the previous owner pulled it out or if it was just laying around. Can anyone tell me if it’s supposed to be in the pipe? It’s driving me crazy. I would really appreciate any help.

F06C99E5-3126-447E-B57E-4D330C75C827.jpeg 5CF4A2CD-FF48-4FEF-A20E-8933AAAD9752.jpeg 27FFE87F-59C1-482E-A1C2-64472025B42C.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man
Dec 14, 2020
156
Lisburn, PA
Hey everyone, I recently bought my house and it has a Fisher mama bear in the basement. It has two manual dampers on the door, but a circle pipe damper sitting on top. I can’t find out if the previous owner pulled it out or if it was just laying around. Can anyone tell me if it’s supposed to be in the pipe? It’s driving me crazy. I would really appreciate any help.

View attachment 276150 View attachment 276151 View attachment 276152
I'll take a swing since @coaly isn't here yet. You should not need the pipe damper to control draft if your doors seal. But I think it could be added to help if you have an over fire. But there is a piece missing...
Nice looking Fisher.
You'll get lots of help here. Welcome aboard!
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
Boy that looks like a formidable stove and old too...Can you fix that thing up because it looks like it would heat a housing development..
Might come in handy..clancey
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man

Tyelliott

New Member
Mar 9, 2021
6
Warren county
I'll take a swing since @coaly isn't here yet. You should not need the pipe damper to control draft if your doors seal. But I think it could be added to help if you have an over fire. But there is a piece missing...
Nice looking Fisher.
You'll get lots of help here. Welcome aboard!
I really appreciate the help. I cleaned everything and have been running it without the damper in the pipe. It makes perfect sense about the over fire though because if It gets going really good I can see the fire getting sucked up into the chimney which I now shut the door and crank down the manual dampers in the front which calms the fire down really fast and efficiently
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man

Tyelliott

New Member
Mar 9, 2021
6
Warren county
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
I really appreciate the help. I cleaned everything and have been running it without the damper in the pipe. It makes perfect sense about the over fire though because if It gets going really good I can see the fire getting sucked up into the chimney which I now shut the door and crank down the manual dampers in the front which calms the fire down really fast and efficiently
Did you have the whole system inspected by a pro for safety?
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,179
NE PA
Going from 6 to 8 inch chimney you’re not going to need the flue damper much.
The flue damper is a chimney control that affects the stove. It is used for an over drafting chimney. It is a variable resistance in the pipe that slows velocity of rising gases. Slowing the rising gases in the flue results in slowing the air coming into the stove. You want to control the air with the intake air dampers. Over use of a flue pipe damper results in rapid creosote formation.

The pipe thermometer is what you base the controls on. When smoke is present, the inner flue temp must stay above 250* to the top of chimney. Below that critical temperature water vapor from combustion condenses on flue walls allowing smoke particles to stick. This forms creosote. The thermometer reads pipe surface temperature, which is about 1/2 the actual inside flue gas temp. The thermometer graduations are only a guide, so the cool zone below 250* assumes the gases cool by the time they reach the top of chimney from where they are being measured. (inside temp being twice as high as surface temp) So it is a guess how much cooling you get with different chimneys.

Here is the problem with your set up; The increase in diameter allows the hot gases to cool by approximately 1/2 as they expand. So you need the thermometer on the larger 8 inch pipe just before it enters chimney. That will read much lower, so you have to run the stove with air open more to keep I tin the normal burn zone when smoke is present. Adding a flue damper slows the flow and slows the fire, basically keeping it too cool. Then it's a guess as to how much it cools to the top without an IR thermometer actually checking it near the top.
This is the reason for insulating the flue with a liner to keep it hotter, and using less waste heat up the chimney to keep it clean. That gives you more heat inside to radiate into the room, and makes the stove more efficient.

So when you understand what the flue damper does and what temp you need to run a chimney, you can see a 6 inch insulated chimney straight up can use a flue damper, but adding resistance to the vent system with elbows or increasing in size may not need one.

Do you know what is behind that wall, clearance to chimney of framing members if it is a masonry chimney?

For the smaller Mama Bear to heat a large area it needs an efficient chimney the same size as the stove outlet to be efficient.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,179
NE PA
Boy that looks like a formidable stove and old too...Can you fix that thing up because it looks like it would heat a housing development..
Might come in handy..clancey
That stove is probably a 1978 or '79 with older air dampers. (it has newer spring handles and notice the handle is bent forward, an indication of just prior to 1980) The first ones were made in 1974.

The Mama Bear is actually a down sized stove from the first Fisher built which was the Papa made for heating up to 2000 square feet. Many people needed a smaller stove, so the Mama was designed for 1500 square feet, and later the Baby Bear for 1000 square feet. These approximate heating areas were calculated for Seattle Washington area with common building materials used in the late 70's to early 80's. So more insulation, tighter homes and better insulating windows allow the stoves to heat more, as well as the factor of heating in southern zones where much less heat is needed.

Here is a good picture of the Fisher line up showing a Papa Bear on the left, the largest XL next to it, a Grandpa, Grandma, then a Mama Bear. (the smallest in the picture) Far right is an older Grandpa.

 XL $3000.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,179
NE PA
You have the whole line up and they can be addicting and look at this baby one so cute..
They stole that picture of my early Baby Bear door! It was ready for paint, and I propped it up on the quart can I brushed it with. You can just see the can under it at the top. All the info you find on the net came from here. Most of it is inaccurate, they can't even copy things right.

Baby Bear Idaho 4.JPG I had it shipped from Idaho to PA. Here it is when it arrived wrapped in a baby blanket.

Baby Bear Brush Painted.JPG The finished door, note plywood floor all the pics were taken on.

Baby Bear Completed.JPG The finished stove. (The floors in my house still aren't done) The doors without trees were the very first stoves with 3 piece tops, not bent tops. Only a few fabricators made them out West before licenses were sold moving eastward. By then changes had taken place with their development, so these are not found on the East Coast.
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
Your baby bear did not have the trees on it and a broken cap of some kind and do you still have it and is it working today? These wood heaters are really from 50 years ago and do they burn coal too. ? There was a lot of jumping around with the different companies ownership and something bad went on there long ago and its sad that they had those "knock offs" but I am sure "even I could tell the difference because of the quality of the iron stuff"..They are beautiful stoves and I just bet they did a hell of a job especially last lasting burns and I also bet if they were hooked up right with fortitude they could heat a mansion...I want one---especially that baby so cute and I just love the blanket that it was wrapped up in---looks like a precious baby...Thanks for the adventure..clancey..
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
Your baby bear did not have the trees on it and a broken cap of some kind and do you still have it and is it working today? These wood heaters are really from 50 years ago and do they burn coal too. ? There was a lot of jumping around with the different companies ownership and something bad went on there long ago and its sad that they had those "knock offs" but I am sure "even I could tell the difference because of the quality of the iron stuff"..They are beautiful stoves and I just bet they did a hell of a job especially last lasting burns and I also bet if they were hooked up right with fortitude they could heat a mansion...I want one---especially that baby so cute and I just love the blanket that it was wrapped up in---looks like a precious baby...Thanks for the adventure..clancey..
Many of the "knockoffs" were every bit as good and some better than the fishers. Yes for what they are they are good stoves but honestly performance wise they can't compete with modern stoves at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
A lot items in our society are better ones instance would be the electrical wires that are used today are so much better because in the old days they had material electrical wires placed inside of metal tubes but its the nostalgia of the thing in question that makes it valuable it kind of makes history alive or something. I would not use those cloth wires of yesteryear but you should have saw my face when my wonderful electrician (rest his soul) told me that I would have to have the whole house rewired.. But those wrappings inside those tubes were a thing of artwork--I tell you and nobody has ever agreed with me on anything even my electrician.. But it sure was a fun experience to experience a real life thing from long ago. When I bought my house in 92 the only thing it had working was a light bulb hanging by a cloth and everybody told me don't buy that ugly house of course I bought it and started a brand new history in the making---one that never ends and so many people I met because of this house and now I am on another adventure--a little wood burning stove and a education with it in keeping a house warm in emergency circumstances...It had been enjoyable and those baby stoves are just precious especially with their history and I will do more research them ..Its fun...thank you...One day they will take a bull dozer to this whole area but if I am still alive I can tell them all about living in a 1926 house and the walls tell you stories especially when you tear them down to drywall them and the floors tell you if the person had money or not that's because if they had red oak it meant something other then the cheaper stuff..lol lol..My house has red oak...I love it...but have it covered to protect it a little bit although I had it refinished one time but I will never go through that again..
Thanks everybody I am enjoying this well tended to forum with a excellent design...clancey
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
A lot items in our society are better ones instance would be the electrical wires that are used today are so much better because in the old days they had material electrical wires placed inside of metal tubes but its the nostalgia of the thing in question that makes it valuable it kind of makes history alive or something. I would not use those cloth wires of yesteryear but you should have saw my face when my wonderful electrician (rest his soul) told me that I would have to have the whole house rewired.. But those wrappings inside those tubes were a thing of artwork--I tell you and nobody has ever agreed with me on anything even my electrician.. But it sure was a fun experience to experience a real life thing from long ago. When I bought my house in 92 the only thing it had working was a light bulb hanging by a cloth and everybody told me don't buy that ugly house of course I bought it and started a brand new history in the making---one that never ends and so many people I met because of this house and now I am on another adventure--a little wood burning stove and a education with it in keeping a house warm in emergency circumstances...It had been enjoyable and those baby stoves are just precious especially with their history and I will do more research them ..Its fun...thank you...One day they will take a bull dozer to this whole area but if I am still alive I can tell them all about living in a 1926 house and the walls tell you stories especially when you tear them down to drywall them and the floors tell you if the person had money or not that's because if they had red oak it meant something other then the cheaper stuff..lol lol..My house has red oak...I love it...but have it covered to protect it a little bit although I had it refinished one time but I will never go through that again..
Thanks everybody I am enjoying this well tended to forum with a excellent design...clancey
Metal tubes? Are you sure they weren't ceramic? The only knob and tube I have seen was ceramic. I actually worked in a place in Philly that had bare wire running through the tubes they put an insulation sleeve around it once it hit the knob.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
Good advice.
Since the stove was in place when you bought the house, was there an inspection performed as condition of sale?
As Coaly points out, you have a condition that could be setting you up for a chimney fire with creosote buildup.
And that inspection should have been done by a chimney guy not just a home inspector
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
No these tubes as I called them were like "cast iron water pipe looking things with the cloth electrical wire inside of them and they were sticking up all over the attic and what I did to make the attic for storage was had all the loose insulation vacuumed and (Bob) the electrician had to cut all these things out and lay new wiring--what a mess that is but I put a window up there as well and have plenty of extra storage with steps going up--somewhat steeper steps because of the chimney in the way but I have a handrail made out of pipe rack and it works good but I only can stand in the middle of the attic but have floor fiberboard and more fiberboard on the sides that hold blanket insulation. plus I have electricity up there too and a single bed in case I need it for a emergency like my brother visiting me--shove him up there--lol..There is like two eaves or something that extend out and has more headroom to stand. That's why I put that window up there with a emergency button on those security bars that flare open the whole side like a emergency exit ..With time we got too old to get up there but its neat for storage and made my electrician electrical work so much easier as other jobs like venting for plumbing and venting for stoves and the rest.. This house has been a trip but a learning experience as well and the wood to this house especially the roofing is so hard one can hardly take a nail out and roofing work is a full day of labor just trying to get the nails out and the roofer was cursing and I asked him if I had to lay some 4x8 plywood over the roof to put the shingles on and he looked at me and said "This wood from those days is such a quality I cannot even take nails out to get the shingle off"--we laughed.. This has been a trip...clancey
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
No these tubes as I called them were like "cast iron water pipe looking things with the cloth electrical wire inside of them and they were sticking up all over the attic and what I did to make the attic for storage was had all the loose insulation vacuumed and (Bob) the electrician had to cut all these things out and lay new wiring--what a mess that is but I put a window up there as well and have plenty of extra storage with steps going up--somewhat steeper steps because of the chimney in the way but I have a handrail made out of pipe rack and it works good but I only can stand in the middle of the attic but have floor fiberboard and more fiberboard on the sides that hold blanket insulation. plus I have electricity up there too and a single bed in case I need it for a emergency like my brother visiting me--shove him up there--lol..There is like two eaves or something that extend out and has more headroom to stand. That's why I put that window up there with a emergency button on those security bars that flare open the whole side like a emergency exit ..With time we got too old to get up there but its neat for storage and made my electrician electrical work so much easier as other jobs like venting for plumbing and venting for stoves and the rest.. This house has been a trip but a learning experience as well and the wood to this house especially the roofing is so hard one can hardly take a nail out and roofing work is a full day of labor just trying to get the nails out and the roofer was cursing and I asked him if I had to lay some 4x8 plywood over the roof to put the shingles on and he looked at me and said "This wood from those days is such a quality I cannot even take nails out to get the shingle off"--we laughed.. This has been a trip...clancey
Wow I have never seen metal tubes for knob and tube. We're they seperate wires or cloth wrapped multi wire?
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
They so called "tubes" as I called them were metal piping kind of deal like the old fashion plumbing water lines cast iron kinda and heavy--and inside was a brown material that were actually thick brown threads wrapped around and around and made like a thinner rope like the old electrical wiring on waffle makers or something like that a heavy material type of deal that the old timers fixed by electrical tape wrapping when it got thin in places..When I got this house for its lighting it had one hanging wire with a light bulb on the porch and the rest worked and were not so obvious because they were hid in the walls and ceiling these pipes all over to each electrical socket..When the electrician got done we had a pile of what looked like old plumbing cast iron piping that held the cloth wire inside and these were all outdated and out of code so the whole house had to be rewired and I put extra sockets and plugs all over while we did all of this and I am so glad that I did for now it seems in these old houses that nobody had enough of electrical sockets. The bathroom door to this house was about 24 inches and the bath room was so small one could hardly stand up in there and the tub was a sight to behold with its little feet and I still have and use that old tub...One thing about this---none of these tubs today can't compete with these old bathtubs because they were so well designed that one could take a bath in them up to their nineties and get out of them nicely because they can grab on to the top wide railing and boost their selves up and climb out in total security and safety and they are just well designed for the old as well as the young..I love my tub and I also put a large shower on the porch separate in case someone prefers a shower..But the tub action for me is where it is at lol lol....I could write a book about this old house...ha ha---you all got me started and sorry for leading your nice thread astray for a moment but its been fun....I will leave you get back to your original topic of the old fisher stove...clancey
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
415
Colorado
I do not know and all I saw was one of them intacked looking like a rope with lots of threads wrapped around held together by something..and then I saw what looked like (old fashion cast metal plumbing pipes that were sticking up into the attic surrounded by loose insulation and my electrician had them all piled in the yard for the trash..He said the way they were that they were dangerous because they could set the loose insulation on fire.. They must have been put in 1926 about and Bob the electrician strung new wires connecting everything and at times it was hard because I imagine he had to weave this wiring through the walls and these walls had lots of boards and white plaster looking stuff holding them together I guess..This was a trip and I had a large box in the bathroom and I asked him to make a smaller one to look better which he did--outlet size..I believe this house had a coal stove and it went to every room by the ways of vents and my basement was actually a coal cellar at one time I think----you should see the construction on that with thick walls about 3 feet thick or something what a trip...I made a entrance from the back yard because there was a trap door right in the kitchen with no trap and one could fall down into the coal pit --I guess...That's all I know about the tubing...clancey
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
I remember something about Edison using metal tubes in first attempt, but I think that was DC because that's what he preferred over AC
The edison hotel he lit first is 15 or 20 mins from me. And yes he used dc
 

Tyelliott

New Member
Mar 9, 2021
6
Warren county
Going from 6 to 8 inch chimney you’re not going to need the flue damper much.
The flue damper is a chimney control that affects the stove. It is used for an over drafting chimney. It is a variable resistance in the pipe that slows velocity of rising gases. Slowing the rising gases in the flue results in slowing the air coming into the stove. You want to control the air with the intake air dampers. Over use of a flue pipe damper results in rapid creosote formation.

The pipe thermometer is what you base the controls on. When smoke is present, the inner flue temp must stay above 250* to the top of chimney. Below that critical temperature water vapor from combustion condenses on flue walls allowing smoke particles to stick. This forms creosote. The thermometer reads pipe surface temperature, which is about 1/2 the actual inside flue gas temp. The thermometer graduations are only a guide, so the cool zone below 250* assumes the gases cool by the time they reach the top of chimney from where they are being measured. (inside temp being twice as high as surface temp) So it is a guess how much cooling you get with different chimneys.

Here is the problem with your set up; The increase in diameter allows the hot gases to cool by approximately 1/2 as they expand. So you need the thermometer on the larger 8 inch pipe just before it enters chimney. That will read much lower, so you have to run the stove with air open more to keep I tin the normal burn zone when smoke is present. Adding a flue damper slows the flow and slows the fire, basically keeping it too cool. Then it's a guess as to how much it cools to the top without an IR thermometer actually checking it near the top.
This is the reason for insulating the flue with a liner to keep it hotter, and using less waste heat up the chimney to keep it clean. That gives you more heat inside to radiate into the room, and makes the stove more efficient.

So when you understand what the flue damper does and what temp you need to run a chimney, you can see a 6 inch insulated chimney straight up can use a flue damper, but adding resistance to the vent system with elbows or increasing in size may not need one.

Do you know what is behind that wall, clearance to chimney of framing members if it is a masonry chimney?

For the smaller Mama Bear to heat a large area it needs an efficient chimney the same size as the stove outlet to be efficient.
I did have the home inspected by a home inspector who also inspected the stove and set up. The previous owners gave me all the paperwork of installation which was done by a professional, the house was built 10 years ago and the woodstove was put in right after. They used it every winter, had it cleaned every winter and never had any issues. I’m not saying it ran as efficiently as it could, but no problems none the less. I can send some pictures of the outside of the house. I believe it’s all triple insulated pipe outside. Im used to a woodstove to heat up the huntin shack, not my house. I cleaned it before the winter and have been using it. If I run it for day or two my house heats easily into the mid 70’s. I didn’t realize how much there was to consider. Can you tell me a little bit more about “when it’s smoking” and a good running temp for it. It is possible he modified the system after the install. I appreciate your time, I’m sure your asked these questions constantly
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,179
NE PA
Your baby bear did not have the trees on it and a broken cap of some kind and do you still have it and is it working today? These wood heaters are really from 50 years ago and do they burn coal too. ? There was a lot of jumping around with the different companies ownership and something bad went on there long ago and its sad that they had those "knock offs" but I am sure "even I could tell the difference because of the quality of the iron stuff"..They are beautiful stoves and I just bet they did a hell of a job especially last lasting burns and I also bet if they were hooked up right with fortitude they could heat a mansion...I want one---especially that baby so cute and I just love the blanket that it was wrapped up in---looks like a precious baby...Thanks for the adventure..clancey..
The stolen picture I’m referring to is the early door without trees on the plywood floor. That is my door on the stove I pictured.
Baby Bear Door.JPG Ready for paint with air damper pipe cap removed.

The first stoves were made with a 2 inch pipe cap for the air intake control. Bob Fisher's father, Baxter came up the idea of a cap with fins to turn with your foot. He patented it as the air intake damper. It was known as the EZ-Spin air damper.

The stove is in my collection and is not fired.

The only coal stove made by Fisher was the Coal Bear.

Coal Bear Painted 4.JPG Here I'm curing the paint outside.

Coal Bear Painted 2.JPG
 
  • Like
Reactions: PA Mountain Man