Hearthstone shelburne. 8372 air intake not working well. Fire burns well with door ajar but gets choked when door is closed

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Treeski

New Member
Sep 7, 2021
1
Plymouth nh
Brand new stove I can’t get the air intake to work well. I have had three small break in fires. But when the door is shut the fire gets starved of air. It still burns/ glows but at a really slow rate. I examined the intact hole in bottom seems okay. The air comes out the Lapo. Lower air primary port in the center bottom of the main stove. They are two openings here one circular about the size of a dime the other is a rectangular slot that is filled with gasket material. My question is should this material have been taking out during assembly or is it supposed to be there?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,216
central pa
Brand new stove I can’t get the air intake to work well. I have had three small break in fires. But when the door is shut the fire gets starved of air. It still burns/ glows but at a really slow rate. I examined the intact hole in bottom seems okay. The air comes out the Lapo. Lower air primary port in the center bottom of the main stove. They are two openings here one circular about the size of a dime the other is a rectangular slot that is filled with gasket material. My question is should this material have been taking out during assembly or is it supposed to be there?
It is most likely either wet wood or exterior temps are to high leading to low draft
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,694
South Puget Sound, WA
This complaint with a new stove is common at this time of year with new stove owners. Assume that the stove is ok.

Weak draft can be due to several factors. Tell us about the flue system. How tall is it from stovetop to chimney cap? Are there any 90º turns in the flue path? What was the outside temperature?

Have you tested the wood for moisture content? Do you know when it was split?
 

Rob_Red

Feeling the Heat
Feb 2, 2021
313
Southern New England
I can tell you that it’s a hard time of year to burn in any stove because it’s still pretty warm. We had a small fire last night and it was a chore to get the fire going and I was getting smoke in the room until I got things stoked. I really didn’t have any performance until there was quite a bit of heat in the flu.

it’s no coincidence there are lots of people with smoke issues, weak draft, and underwhelming performance this time of year.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,694
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, it's the most common complaint we see here every fall. People immediately want to blame the stove, but 99% of the time it is another issue. Higher altitude installations with shorter chimneys may have more issues than flatlanders.
 

tweakerdave

Member
Dec 8, 2012
28
New Milford, Ct
Brand new stove I can’t get the air intake to work well. I have had three small break in fires. But when the door is shut the fire gets starved of air. It still burns/ glows but at a really slow rate. I examined the intact hole in bottom seems okay. The air comes out the Lapo. Lower air primary port in the center bottom of the main stove. They are two openings here one circular about the size of a dime the other is a rectangular slot that is filled with gasket material. My question is should this material have been taking out during assembly or is it supposed to be there?
Can you show or describe where this gasket material is? I have owned a shelburne for years and have struggled with poor air intake.
As mentioned already it is tough to get a strong draft with mild temps.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,045
Woolwich nj
I agree with @begreen assume the stove is ok for now. Id check the wood supply first with a moisture meter. your wood needs to read 20% MC on a freshly split face with the pins going with the grain. Do not test on the end of split as the outside is the driest. Also light the stove on a cold morning and see how it runs instead of a warmer afternoon or evening. One of the things you need to do is start ruling out the variables before one rips apart his stove.. What your describing sounds like wet wood and or poor draft or a little of both. Having wet wood has a cooling effect. Your fires not as hot, your not heating the chimney to keep up good draft because there's alot of moisture cooling things down. People sell wood and say its seasoned. Really it was probably split 2 months before you got it and it sat in a pile and got rained on.
 

neverstop

New Member
Oct 11, 2020
88
new hampshire
Have the same stove, also new to me. I'm having my own issues but I can tell you that adding "sleepers" N/S loaded on the bottom to prop up the rest of the wood during startup allowed me to sustain a fire. Top down startup is also a must. I was loading E/W and per other's suggestions this could have been choking the fir of fresh air on startup. The sleepers leave air channels since the air inlet is in the front bottom. Since the firebox is shallow i had to purposes cut a bunch of wood short to be able to stack sleepers on the bottom then E/W medium splits, then cut large kindle N/S, then small kindling E/W, then paper on top with wood scraps on top of that and filled in openings with crumbled paper.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,045
Woolwich nj
Have the same stove, also new to me. I'm having my own issues but I can tell you that adding "sleepers" N/S loaded on the bottom to prop up the rest of the wood during startup allowed me to sustain a fire. Top down startup is also a must. I was loading E/W and per other's suggestions this could have been choking the fir of fresh air on startup. The sleepers leave air channels since the air inlet is in the front bottom. Since the firebox is shallow i had to purposes cut a bunch of wood short to be able to stack sleepers on the bottom then E/W medium splits, then cut large kindle N/S, then small kindling E/W, then paper on top with wood scraps on top of that and filled in openings with crumbled paper.

Wow.. that sounds like a PITA..
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,507
SE North Carolina
Wow.. that sounds like a PITA..
I basically start my F400 this way every time. You set the short pieces aside or I just cut my kindling in half with my ax when I split it. I don’t find it any more time consuming than when I was building a regular bottom start fire.