Hearthstone Manchester - a few weeks in

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CTSoxFan

Member
Nov 16, 2011
10
Northern CT
I had my Manchester installed a few weeks back, and so far I'm loving it. Many thanks to everyone here that provided very helpful advice and feedback when I was making my decision. As this is a relatively new stove design, I thought I'd use this thread as a bit of a catch-all for my observations, questions, etc.

As for my install, the Manchester is in the main living area on the first floor of my roughly 1500 sq ft Cape Cod in northern CT. It's vented with double wall pipe into a central masonry chimney, about 18 ft in height. Un-insulated 6" flex liner.

Some observations so far:

1) It takes some time to heat up all that cast iron and soapstone, but once it's been running a while, the stove is more than plenty to heat our whole house. We've mostly been running it on evenings and weekends. This weekend it ran continuously from Friday night to Sunday evening, and we loved the heat it produced.

2) We've had no trouble getting burn times in the 10-12 hour range. We can load the stove before bed, or sometimes even more like 8 pm, and have plenty of hot coals in the morning.

3) We're getting some black water dripping from the stove on cold starts, around the back two legs. I thought this was probably due to some moisture in the soapstone bricks, but it's still happening after a dozen or so full fires. It doesn't happen on reloads, and my wood isn't wet. Will this stop eventually, or should I put a call in to my dealer?

4) It likes to run hot - hotter than I'd like, and I'm not sure what to do about it. As an example, on Saturday morning I added a load of about five medium sized splits to the stove. Stove top was under 200F. I raked the remaining coals forward, loaded the stove, turned up the air all the way. Once the wood was blazing, I started turning down the air in increments; the stove top was just under 300. Had it fully closed down within 15 minutes or so. An hour and a half later, with the air all the way closed, I had a ton of secondaries at the top of the firebox, and the temp peaked at 720F, measured through the center hole in the convective top with my IR gun. It didn't stay there long; it cooled off and settled in between 600-650, but it made me nervous. This happened to me once before also. I'm assuming that this is too hot - but what can I do differently? Do I need a pipe damper? Could it be solely a result of how I'm loading the firebox, i.e. too much air space?

I haven't had any problem keeping the temps between 400 and 550 on smaller loads, but I'd really like to be able to use the full 3 cubic feet of firebox if I can for longer burn times. Any suggestions? What are other Manchester owners seeing for temperatures?
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,901
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks for the update. It sounds pretty normal. You can slow it down by packing the wood tightly, not crisscrossed, so that there is minimal air gaps between the splits. Larger splits also help. And try closing down the air earlier. A flue thermometer is a better guide than stove top temp for this purpose.

720F is not going to hurt the stove. If it settles down to 600-650F you should have more success at a slower takeoff by trying the above suggestions.
 
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Tenn Dave

Minister of Fire
I had my Manchester installed a few weeks back, and so far I'm loving it. Many thanks to everyone here that provided very helpful advice and feedback when I was making my decision. As this is a relatively new stove design, I thought I'd use this thread as a bit of a catch-all for my observations, questions, etc.

As for my install, the Manchester is in the main living area on the first floor of my roughly 1500 sq ft Cape Cod in northern CT. It's vented with double wall pipe into a central masonry chimney, about 18 ft in height. Un-insulated 6" flex liner.

Some observations so far:

1) It takes some time to heat up all that cast iron and soapstone, but once it's been running a while, the stove is more than plenty to heat our whole house. We've mostly been running it on evenings and weekends. This weekend it ran continuously from Friday night to Sunday evening, and we loved the heat it produced.

2) We've had no trouble getting burn times in the 10-12 hour range. We can load the stove before bed, or sometimes even more like 8 pm, and have plenty of hot coals in the morning.

3) We're getting some black water dripping from the stove on cold starts, around the back two legs. I thought this was probably due to some moisture in the soapstone bricks, but it's still happening after a dozen or so full fires. It doesn't happen on reloads, and my wood isn't wet. Will this stop eventually, or should I put a call in to my dealer?

4) It likes to run hot - hotter than I'd like, and I'm not sure what to do about it. As an example, on Saturday morning I added a load of about five medium sized splits to the stove. Stove top was under 200F. I raked the remaining coals forward, loaded the stove, turned up the air all the way. Once the wood was blazing, I started turning down the air in increments; the stove top was just under 300. Had it fully closed down within 15 minutes or so. An hour and a half later, with the air all the way closed, I had a ton of secondaries at the top of the firebox, and the temp peaked at 720F, measured through the center hole in the convective top with my IR gun. It didn't stay there long; it cooled off and settled in between 600-650, but it made me nervous. This happened to me once before also. I'm assuming that this is too hot - but what can I do differently? Do I need a pipe damper? Could it be solely a result of how I'm loading the firebox, i.e. too much air space?

I haven't had any problem keeping the temps between 400 and 550 on smaller loads, but I'd really like to be able to use the full 3 cubic feet of firebox if I can for longer burn times. Any suggestions? What are other Manchester owners seeing for temperatures?
Congratulations on a very handsome stove.. You are going to love that soapstone heat.
 

DMB

Member
Nov 4, 2013
44
Southwestern Indiana
I had my Manchester installed a few weeks back, and so far I'm loving it. Many thanks to everyone here that provided very helpful advice and feedback when I was making my decision. As this is a relatively new stove design, I thought I'd use this thread as a bit of a catch-all for my observations, questions, etc.

As for my install, the Manchester is in the main living area on the first floor of my roughly 1500 sq ft Cape Cod in northern CT. It's vented with double wall pipe into a central masonry chimney, about 18 ft in height. Un-insulated 6" flex liner.

Some observations so far:

1) It takes some time to heat up all that cast iron and soapstone, but once it's been running a while, the stove is more than plenty to heat our whole house. We've mostly been running it on evenings and weekends. This weekend it ran continuously from Friday night to Sunday evening, and we loved the heat it produced.

2) We've had no trouble getting burn times in the 10-12 hour range. We can load the stove before bed, or sometimes even more like 8 pm, and have plenty of hot coals in the morning.

3) We're getting some black water dripping from the stove on cold starts, around the back two legs. I thought this was probably due to some moisture in the soapstone bricks, but it's still happening after a dozen or so full fires. It doesn't happen on reloads, and my wood isn't wet. Will this stop eventually, or should I put a call in to my dealer?

4) It likes to run hot - hotter than I'd like, and I'm not sure what to do about it. As an example, on Saturday morning I added a load of about five medium sized splits to the stove. Stove top was under 200F. I raked the remaining coals forward, loaded the stove, turned up the air all the way. Once the wood was blazing, I started turning down the air in increments; the stove top was just under 300. Had it fully closed down within 15 minutes or so. An hour and a half later, with the air all the way closed, I had a ton of secondaries at the top of the firebox, and the temp peaked at 720F, measured through the center hole in the convective top with my IR gun. It didn't stay there long; it cooled off and settled in between 600-650, but it made me nervous. This happened to me once before also. I'm assuming that this is too hot - but what can I do differently? Do I need a pipe damper? Could it be solely a result of how I'm loading the firebox, i.e. too much air space?

I haven't had any problem keeping the temps between 400 and 550 on smaller loads, but I'd really like to be able to use the full 3 cubic feet of firebox if I can for longer burn times. Any suggestions? What are other Manchester owners seeing for temperatures?
I had the same issue with the black water. It did stop. I was told by the dealer that is was some product the manufacturer used to put the cast iron together. I guess the cement. Not really sure if he was feeding me a line, but since the problem stopped I dropped it. The bad thing is that black water stains pretty good.

As far as the temps go I usually get mine around 600-650 on a reload...never had it over 700 but like begreen said the stove is massive and I don't think its gonna hurt anything. It would still make me nervous though.

There is no doubt this stove was designed to burn continiously or at least for long periods of time. I burn like you in the evenings and weekends. Takes a long time to really get going. Sometimes if I can only burn it for one night I don't even bother since it seems to me like a waste of wood.

Glad you like the stove. I love mine...no real complaints.
 

DMB

Member
Nov 4, 2013
44
Southwestern Indiana
I had the same issue with the black water. It did stop. I was told by the dealer that is was some product the manufacturer used to put the cast iron together. I guess the cement. Not really sure if he was feeding me a line, but since the problem stopped I dropped it. The bad thing is that black water stains pretty good.

As far as the temps go I usually get mine around 600-650 on a reload...never had it over 700 but like begreen said the stove is massive and I don't think its gonna hurt anything. It would still make me nervous though.

There is no doubt this stove was designed to burn continiously or at least for long periods of time. I burn like you in the evenings and weekends. Takes a long time to really get going. Sometimes if I can only burn it for one night I don't even bother since it seems to me like a waste of wood.

Glad you like the stove. I love mine...no real complaints.
Well it would appear I've jinxed myself. Not long after posting this the black water started running from my back two legs again. Go figure. Ctsoxfan are you still having this issue. Do you have an opinion on what might be causing it? I'm starting to think that it's a bit of creasote running down on a cold start. Not sure why it would run out of the stove though. Any of you pros got any ideas?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,901
South Puget Sound, WA
It should be gone by now. Odd. Have you been under heavy wind driven rains lately?
 

DMB

Member
Nov 4, 2013
44
Southwestern Indiana
We have had some strong wind and rain. Had the chimney swept by my dealer this October. Is it possible they could have affected the stove in some way? I'm really puzzled by why this would happen on the first few burns in the stove...stop and then pick back up again.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,901
South Puget Sound, WA
Sometimes strong winds can blow rain into certain caps. If this goes down the chimney it may eventually show up in the stove. I would continue to watch it in drier weather. If no signs of the black liquid then rain could be the culprit.
 

DMB

Member
Nov 4, 2013
44
Southwestern Indiana
Another thing to consider...I had a new roof put on this fall. I doubt that has anything to do with it but the roofers could have messed with the cap. Probably need to head up there soon.
 

CTSoxFan

Member
Nov 16, 2011
10
Northern CT
I'm still having the same issue. I'm thinking that it's not a rain issue given my setup; I suppose it's possible for rain water to come down the flue and run back through the stove pipe, but it seems unlikely. I would think it would largely just collect in the bottom of the T. Also, it only happens for me on cold starts, and whether it's raining or not. I might have to see if I can get any information from Hearthstone on this issue.
 

DMB

Member
Nov 4, 2013
44
Southwestern Indiana
I do not have a clean out T in my setup so that kinda narrows it down for us both. My chiminey is pretty much a strait shot up. Since we are both having this problem it kinda eliminates the problem being the chimney (at least in my mind). I think I might start another thread and see if any other Hearthstone owners have experienced this.
 

shoot-straight

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2012
736
Kennedyville, MD
loved the look of the manchester. it was a toss up between that and the BK ashford. dealer had them both. glad to hear its working out except for the water issue. i would check the roof, cap and flashing for sure. we would get a little on a real driving rain that would make it into our mason chimney and drip down. i put some silicone around the chimney/liner joint and havent had an issue since.
 

DMB

Member
Nov 4, 2013
44
Southwestern Indiana
::FHey CTSoxFan...curios to see if you are still having the issue with the dripping from the back of the stove. Apparently I jinxed the hell out of myself mentioning on here that I no longer have that problem. It is definitely creasote. I took the soapstone firebricks out of the back of the fireplace and looked in the back corners. To me it just looks like its designed poorly because in the back corners the stove is cast together in such a way that if you have any creasote accumulation in the back it will run down directly and fall into a joint. The stove is air tight not liquid tight so it will run out.

Inspected my chiminey and it is very clean and the rest of the stove has zero buildup on it. There are voids behind and around the soapstone in the back. The soapstone must be such an excellent insulator that the air in and around the back is relatively cool which makes that spot a breeding ground for creasote accumulation. Once the stove gets up to temp (600 degrees) that area burns off and the problem goes away.

I realize that my wood may be a contributing factor as some of you will say I shouldn't be getting any creasote in the stove like that. When I check my splits they are usually somewhere in between 20-25% MC...some better a few worse. Isn't that the point of getting the stove hot though to burn off any accumulation? Is it possible to not have any creasote at all?

One last thing...it is important to note that the dripping is a small amount. Like a few drips for five minutes or so and then it stops.
 
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