Further issues with old Meridian stove

Tango papa

May 2, 2016
Peterborough, ON Canada
i posted the other day about the door gasket in my 1980's Meridian ceramic tile covered woodstove. I got a Home Hardware gasket kit, added a couple of washers to the door pins so the door seal is more even all around, and have used it for three nights. Now, my wood is wet -- we just moved in and someone gave us a load face cord or so of mixed hardwood, but it sizzled in the fireplace before we moved upstairs and started using the stove.

Here is my problem. The first two times we used the stove, before the gasket starts to char and melt, the window stayed quite clear. Since I put in the gasket, which has to fit better than the small one that was in there, and we have a good seal, the window quickly blackens. I mean opaque.

The stove is designed so that the air ports in the rear of the combustion chamber "wash" the glass on the front. So says the literature someone has posts on the classic forum here. My wife assures me that I caused the problem when I put in the seal. It is a smokey fire when you open the door.

Was my new door seal a step in the wrong direction?
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Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
The stove is going to be more sensitive to wet wood than the fireplace. Can you get a good quality compressed fuel log in your area or something like ECO bricks?

Lake Girl

Nov 12, 2011
NW Ontario
I know there are warnings about over-loading a wood stove using the compressed logs ... read the directions for use!


Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2010
No. NH
Gasket is good, fire just needs to have sufficient temperature to get airwash to work. Not happening with the green wood. By the way, if the stove gets all blackened up, just think wkat your chimney may look like! Creosote build up can become a real hazard! Burn some brix or something and let the wood dry. Seal is not the problem.

Tango papa

May 2, 2016
Peterborough, ON Canada
Well, now into the first winter and we had a better gasket installed by taking the door in to a wood stove store in town. I've had to touch up the gasket -to-door adhesion once, just used some high temp sealant, no problem. But I wanted to get back on the window blackening. I'm sure it was the wet wood. With much better wood, even if the newspaper used to get the kindling started leaves some smoke on the glass, once it gets good and hot it clears up.

I like the stove, but we were told that we would need two full cords for the winter (I had just over 2-1/2 stacked and driving) and we will run out probably in 6 weeks. I think we use more wood than people with a more modern stove. Part of issue is that when the stove has just coals, we can quickly get a new fire going, say in the morning, but it takes 1-2 hours to heat up all of that refractory. It is a big heat sink and it is ha d to overheat the room. Never had it above 22C, that is heating the whole ground floor and two upstairs bedrooms. On the other hand, it puts out heat after the fire dies, but by then we are down in our bedroom, the only room we electrically heat, so that has less value, although it means the propane heater doesn't need to come on.

Some refractory has fallen off on the inside where some repairs were obviously done by previous home owner. I will look for advice in the spring on how to make sure the new patches adhere and last better. Thanks for all the help. In the end, we have been snug and warm with this stove.


Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
Pacific NW Washington
In the end, we have been snug and warm with this stove.
Those ceramic Meridians are excellent stoves. It's not inexpensive to cast those refractory ceramic fireboxes! Like any stove they need properly seasoned wood and a proper install. They are constructed of two domed halves, like a clam, so it's important that the center seam is well sealed. Since ceramic has negligible expansion/contraction, even under extreme heat,the seam tends to be trouble free if done properly to begin with. Then they kick ass! The magic lies in the spherical shape of the combustion chamber and the fact that ceramic is a decent insulator (and the insulation is continuous and even). This means all the heat of the fire is continually reflected back onto itself allowing efficient combustion temps to build very quickly from a cold start as well as the ability to cleanly burn low and slow. Additionally, the ceramic firebox is very resistant to over firing so they can also be run very hot without going through too much wood (since they naturally have very good secondary burn).

My father-in law has had one for about 30 years (his is custom installed in a masonry wall with fan vents) and he uses it every week about 8 months/year. The ceramic firebox stays a brilliant white color even though he burns low and slow most of the time. After establishing a fire with two or three small splits he just waits for it to turn to hot coals and adds one piece at a time (every two plus hours). His wood is well seasoned but nothing special otherwise (primarily PNW softwoods). I've never seen a woodstove that was so easy to burn so cleanly at low levels. His glass stays extra clean with hardly any effort and it's very cool to see one split glowing by itself with secondary flames dancing above in an otherwise empty firebox. The clean white walls reflect a lot of the firelight back into the room.

I've spoken with the original inventor/founder of Meridian (same guy who was the first to bring American made Komodo style BBQ's to the North American market). He's a genius and a very nice person. Unfortunately, he may not be the most cutthroat businessman and he has had trouble with past business partners/financiers/patent protection and they are no longer available. I have no doubt it would be easy to get the design to pass current EPA emissions.