Hearthstone Heritage not producing enough heat

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GreenLiving57

Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
Hi,

I have a new Hearthstone Heritage, that I have been operating for about 6 weeks now. I'm at 8500 feet, in a cold forested mountain canyon, in Northern NM near the Colorado border. I'm sitting here after cranking this darn stove all day, at a cool 59 degrees, about 15' from the stove.

This is going to be a detailed post - but my main two questions are going to be, should I take a bath financially and replace this stove with a larger, steel type stove that will CRANK the heat out. And if so, looking for advice on what to get for my situation. A large Lopi maybe?

I'm having problems keeping the Temps above 350 degrees - picture attached of my current Temp, mid afternoon, after feeding and messing with the stove ALL DAY and still under 400....... I'm having a problem heating my rammed earth home with it. I admittingly have a home that would be very tough for any wood stove - this is due to the 6' (that's SIX FEET) thick rammed earth wall on one side, a thick cold uninsulated stone floor on the bottom, and a 3' thick rammed earth wall on another side - meaning much of the heat from ANY wood stove is going to be sucked away into all this mass. To add to this equation, I have tons of glass on my south side which is great when the sun shines, not so great during cold cloudy weather.

However, my previous stove, was a small, less than a grand new cheapo steel stove, and it actually performed BETTER than this Heritage does. And this is after me spending nearly 4K with delivery and tax. OUCH!

I have read countless threads on this forum with other people with similar issues. Have tried a lot of their advice. Nothing has worked so far.

I'm not a new to wood stoves, I have lived with wood heat my entire life. I'm a total newbie to EPA soapstone type stoves.
All my wood is completely dry seasoned, verified WELL under 17% moisture - checked with a meter, although, like most folks who have been doing this for a while, I can pretty much tell seasoned wood by the look, feel, smell, sound, etc......

I have tried many different varieties of wood the past month, the typical woods of my area of the Southwest, Ponderosa, Aspen, Spruce, Fir, Cedar and the best local wood Pinon, - and my latest expense, I bought a cord of dry White Oak - which definitely increases the burn time, but has done nothing to help get this stove up to say 500 degrees, and stay there.

I have to laugh when I recall several people told me this Heritage would "cook me" out of my small home - around 800 square feet interior. I wish. Today we are having a record breaking, January type cold spell - temps supposed to fall below zero tonight, I have been carefully loading, and reloading all day, to try and keep the stove above 350. I'm struggling to keep this home above 60 degrees. I have tried seemingly every combination of the air lever, keeping the "dog house" clean, using small splits, getting it hot with door cracked first etc etc......nothing has worked for me yet.

So anyway, after 6 weeks of constant tweaking with this stove, I'm at my wits end, and just wondering if I made a huge error, in not getting a large Steel type stove that will CRANK out the heat - not this slow stuff mellow stuff I'm getting out of my Heritage.....

I so recall the wood stoves of my youth, pre-EPA, that would get blazingly hot, with any and all wood, and were a CINCH to operate compared to this Heritage which I have yet to figure out.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts, comments, or advice.
 

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DAKSY

Full Time RVer
Staff member
Dec 2, 2008
9,244
Wherever we're parked
Is your baffle in the correct location?
If it's not, all your heat is escaping the firebox
before it can be absorbed by the soapstone...
 

GreenLiving57

Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
Is your baffle in the correct location?
If it's not, all your heat is escaping the firebox
before it can be absorbed by the soapstone...

Gosh, heck if I know! When the stove is cool tomorrow morning, I will study the manual and stick my head in there to check it out! The dealer delivered the stove, wrapped, directly from Hearthstone. It had never been on the showroom floor. So I will need to look into this baffle issue you bring up! Thank you for the advice.
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
Is your baffle in the correct location?
If it's not, all your heat is escaping the firebox
before it can be absorbed by the soapstone...
Yeah, sure seems that something isn't right if you can only get 400 stovetop. I'd suspect the wood, but dry wood is easy to have in NM.
That uninsulated floor is going to suck away heat. What about the walls, any interior insulation? Do you have the blower for the stove? If the walls are absorbing the radiation from the soapstone, perhaps a more convective stove with a blower (heats air, rather than heating room contents with radiation) would work better.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,922
Iowa
Zero knowledge of what a "rammed earth" home is? However. Are the walls fully insulated or are you living in a concrete basement essentially? If they are not insulated I could believe your issue to a degree. Hope some Hearthstone Heritage users can get you up to speed. Now I'm off to research (rammed earth home).:cool: Best of luck.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,550
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
It has nothing to do with the house. Your inability to get this stove up to 500-550 is the problem. Once up to temperature it doesn’t matter what the stove is made out of, it will make heat.

So what’s going on? I burned a heritage for many years and it performed well. What does your chimney consist of? At 8500 feet you need a tall chimney to provide sufficient draft.
 

Winged Pig

Member
Oct 25, 2013
18
Southern MD
Oh crap!!! I've had a Heritage stove for about eight years now and when we first got it it ran great. Then I replaced the ceramic baffle about two or three seasons ago and I thought I had some lame wood. After reading this thread I see that my baffle support is laying down. I had a fire last night (about 30 degrees here then) and the fire barely got above 350. Now I see why! Hopefully positioning the baffle upright will bring my stove back to where it should be. I will check it tomorrow night as it's supposed to be back down to 30 or so. Thanks for posting that.
 

GreenLiving57

Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
Yeah, sure seems that something isn't right if you can only get 400 stovetop. I'd suspect the wood, but dry wood is easy to have in NM.
That uninsulated floor is going to suck away heat. What about the walls, any interior insulation? Do you have the blower for the stove? If the walls are absorbing the radiation from the soapstone, perhaps a more convective stove with a blower (heats air, rather than heating room contents with radiation) would work better.

Hi, I'm off the grid - solar power, so no blowers for me!

The walls, and floor are uninsulated, but very thick with tons of thermal mass, they are sucking most of the heat, but if I could get that darn stove hot enough.......?? My ceiling is super-insulated, R-80. The structure, when 20 below outside, will never get under 50 degrees or so, but it "wants" to stay at that temp. I believe I should have gone with a large steel stove, that now, in after thought would have performed better than any soapstone stove. I don't fault Hearthstone, as much as my specific needs, and huge SCREW UP in going wiht this stove. Live and learn......
 

GreenLiving57

Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
It has nothing to do with the house. Your inability to get this stove up to 500-550 is the problem. Once up to temperature it doesn’t matter what the stove is made out of, it will make heat.

So what’s going on? I burned a heritage for many years and it performed well. What does your chimney consist of? At 8500 feet you need a tall chimney to provide sufficient draft.

Hi, I suspected this might be the issue, my straight up from my stove chimney was 13', and I recently added 3' to bring it to 16', measured from the top of the stove. Possibly adding another few feet would help? I do know, although the draft seems ok, cracking the door of the stove, really gets it going, but straight up the pipe goes my heat!
I
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,550
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I can see by the black color in your firebox that you are not getting a clean burn or a hot burn. You need dry wood, and smaller wood (3-5" wide), and then stuff the firebox to the roof with splits. Like the pictured load.

Then, I fear that your home might possibly be quite well sealed so crack open a window a couple of inches to let air into the home. If the home is sealed too well it can actually prevent air from feeding the fire. Kind of creates a vacuum.

16' is pretty tall. All vertical, 6" pipe I assume? No stupid screen on the cap plugged with creosote? It can clog really fast and limit flow through the system.

Where are you setting the draft lever when you're trying to get it to heat up?
 

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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
I'm at 8500 feet....my previous stove, was a small, less than a grand new cheapo steel stove, and it actually performed BETTER than this Heritage does....wondering if I made a huge error, in not getting a large Steel type stove that will CRANK out the heat - not this slow stuff mellow stuff I'm getting out of my Heritage....
So, this "cheap, under $1K stove," did you have that running in the same house and chimney setup? If so, what stovetop temps were you getting with it? You said you are getting a vigorous fire with the Heritage door open...what happens with the door closed and the air open? Still got a vigorous fire, and good secondary burn (flames coming off the burn tubes?)
Reason I ask is that even though you have 16' of stack, at 8500' altitude your effective draft is probably only 3/4 of that, or 12'. That may not be enough to get a strong burn out of that particular stove, I don't know. Maybe @Highbeam can tell us what his chimney specs were when ran his Heritage and got 500+ stovetop.
I believe I should have gone with a large steel stove, that now, in after thought would have performed better than any soapstone stove.
I have a cat soapstone stove and when it's cruising with a bit of flame in the box, it throws off a lot of radiation which will warm us even when the room temp is a little cool. I think radiant heat and sitting close to the stove is your best bet, since you'll never raise the room air temp very much (I know about thermal mass; We have 1"+ of concrete wallboard stuff that's hard to heat up.) I don't know if a secondary-burn soapstone stove or a secondary steel stove would be a lot different than my cat soapstone in terms of radiation production..
First you need to get that Heritage up to temp and cranking out some radiation, then see where you stand.
 
Last edited:

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,550
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Reason I ask is that even though you have 16' of stack, at 8500' altitude your effective draft is probably only 3/4 of that, or 12'. That may not be enough to get a strong burn out of that particular stove, I don't know. Maybe @Highbeam can tell us what his chimney specs were when ran his Heritage and got 500+ stovetop.

My stack is all vertical, 12', and I'm at just under 1000' ASL. That hearthstone would rip and send tons of heat up the stack. No problem running with the air fully shut and ripping secondaries.

I don't like how black that firebox is. It will clean up with heat but it got black from cold combustion which is usually a wet wood issue. Same with low stove temperatures.

Also, my heritage had an actual stainless steel thing on the front tube that wrapped around the baffle board. Held on with a cotter pin. You can see the empty cotter pin hole in the photo. My heritage was from 2007 though, and not the most current model.
 

DAKSY

Full Time RVer
Staff member
Dec 2, 2008
9,244
Wherever we're parked
The Baffle appears to be just fine - picture attached!

It doesn't look centered, like there's a gap on the right side that will allow the heat
to go up your flue, but that may be the camera angle & flash shadowing.
The baffle needs to be centered on the air tubes & pushed ALL the way to the rear.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
my heritage had an actual stainless steel thing on the front tube that wrapped around the baffle board. Held on with a cotter pin. You can see the empty cotter pin hole in the photo. My heritage was from 2007 though, and not the most current model.
I see a cotter pin in the second tube... What about that gap along the right edge of the board, that shouldn't be there, should it? Maybe center the board better?
I hope somebody with a new Heritage chimes in and gives us some pics. Here is the baffle part # for the Heritage III (8023) which he probably (?) has. There's no parts list link on their website for the newest model, though. I can't really see in this ebay pic, if that's a cotter pin or what? It is the right part number shown in the manual. https://www.ebay.com/p/Hearthstone-Heritage-90-76220-Baffle-Board-Kit-Amp-2438a/2045533600
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
Maybe the dealer has that model assembled on the sales floor, with the baffle in, and can take a pic?
 

blacktop37

Member
Jan 4, 2009
83
S. central Ks.
that gap on the side is your problem
 

GreenLiving57

Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
I can see by the black color in your firebox that you are not getting a clean burn or a hot burn. You need dry wood, and smaller wood (3-5" wide), and then stuff the firebox to the roof with splits. Like the pictured load.

Then, I fear that your home might possibly be quite well sealed so crack open a window a couple of inches to let air into the home. If the home is sealed too well it can actually prevent air from feeding the fire. Kind of creates a vacuum.

16' is pretty tall. All vertical, 6" pipe I assume? No stupid screen on the cap plugged with creosote? It can clog really fast and limit flow through the system.

Where are you setting the draft lever when you're trying to get it to heat up?

Hi, my home isn't sealed too tightly. Trust me on this one. ;)
I have tried a jillion combinations of the draft lever - from open all the way with door cracked, and this really gets a fire going - but I imagine most the heat goes straight up the pipe.
I will be happy to take any advice!
 

GreenLiving57

Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
So, this "cheap, under $1K stove," did you have that running in the same house and chimney setup? If so, what stovetop temps were you getting with it? You said you are getting a vigorous fire with the Heritage door open...what happens with the door closed and the air open? Still got a vigorous fire, and good secondary burn (flames coming off the burn tubes?)
Reason I ask is that even though you have 16' of stack, at 8500' altitude your effective draft is probably only 3/4 of that, or 12'. That may not be enough to get a strong burn out of that particular stove, I don't know. Maybe @Highbeam can tell us what his chimney specs were when ran his Heritage and got 500+ stovetop.
I have a cat soapstone stove and when it's cruising with a bit of flame in the box, it throws off a lot of radiation which will warm us even when the room temp is a little cool. I think radiant heat and sitting close to the stove is your best bet, since you'll never raise the room air temp very much (I know about thermal mass; We have 1"+ of concrete wallboard stuff that's hard to heat up.) I don't know if a secondary-burn soapstone stove or a secondary steel stove would be a lot different than my cat soapstone in terms of radiation production..
First you need to get that Heritage up to temp and cranking out some radiation, then see where you stand.

Hi, yes, the previous stove was in the same place - I didn't ever measure the temp on it - I wasn't living here full time at that point, I just know being a steel stove, I liked the way I could have SOME heat right away.

I think you have a point, that perhaps I need more draft, as I have to crack the door much of the time to get anything going in the stove until I really build up some coals......perhaps adding another 3' of pipe would be the easiest and cheapest solution.......
 

GreenLiving57

Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
It doesn't look centered, like there's a gap on the right side that will allow the heat
to go up your flue, but that may be the camera angle & flash shadowing.
The baffle needs to be centered on the air tubes & pushed ALL the way to the rear.

That was just the camera angle - the black is not a gap, it's the side of the stove - there is no air gap on the baffle that I can see.......
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,437
South Puget Sound, WA
Altitude may be an issue here. As a test, you can remove the cap and temporarily put a 4' length of 6" warm air duct on top of the chimney as an extension. Do this on a calm day. If it dramatically improves performance and you start seeing robust secondary combustion + a higher stove temp then make the extension proper and permanent with correct bracing.
 
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GreenLiving57

Member
Aug 3, 2018
40
Southwestern USA
Altitude may be an issue here. As a test, you can remove the cap and temporarily put a 4' length of 6" warm air duct on top of the chimney as an extension. Do this on a calm day. If it dramatically improves performance and you start seeing robust secondary combustion + a higher stove temp then make the extension proper and permanent with correct bracing.

Thanks for the advice!

My stove pipe above my roof is all triple wall stuff - I have been told I need to keep the entire chimney above the roof this way, the same way it goes through the ceiling and rood, that I can't just slap on a portion of single wall to make it higher? Pic attached of my current set-up - with the 3' extension I recently put on.
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,437
South Puget Sound, WA
The warm air pipe is just for testing, not for anything permanent. If it works then add more chimney pipe and brace it at 5' above the roof.
 
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ispinwool

Feeling the Heat
Feb 5, 2010
270
Butler County, Pa.
I just found this thread. How's the stove heating now?
Was it the baffle like @DAKSY said?

(I have a long list of errors I made with my Heritage...if you're still
having issues, I can list them so you can check them against what
you're experiencing...)