heat n glo northstar

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oldbunk

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Dec 21, 2015
21
new jersey
ive never been on a forum before. not sure what im doing yet. forgive me. lets give it a try. i just finished my install of my northstar zc fireplace. after the first four fires... each one alittle larger than the previous one. breaking it in. im noticing two small dark soot circles on each door at the top. i read on this site someone had the same problem saying they thought the two rivets holding the faceplate on maybe was blocking a tiny bit of the air wash over the glass...? does anyone remember reading that? or maybe had the same problem?
 
i have a northstar. those little dots will be there 'til you get some bigger fires going and the flames clean the glass. they will still form, though, as the fire dies out into coals. overall, i really like the unit, though find it a bit too shallow for N/S loading.
 
i have a northstar. those little dots will be there 'til you get some bigger fires going and the flames clean the glass. they will still form, though, as the fire dies out into coals. overall, i really like the unit, though find it a bit too shallow for N/S loading.
its odd though that they are right where the rivets are. i read somewhere that the airwash could be adjusted somewhat with a few allen head screws.
 
My northstar gets soot circles in the same place, and I've never figured out a way to adjust the airwash to get rid of them. I've noticed that in general, the glass soots up faster on this unit than other fireplaces I've been around, including my Quad 4300, regardless of how dry the wood is or how hot your fire burns. It's particularly bad if a log is "too close" to the glass and starts burning - you'll get a log shaped stripe of soot where it was. Clean it off (when the glass is cool) with a damp paper towel dipped in cold ashes, and you're good to go again. I tend to do this whenever I scoop the ashes out anyway, so it's not too much extra work.

Enjoy your new heater!
 
My northstar gets soot circles in the same place, and I've never figured out a way to adjust the airwash to get rid of them. I've noticed that in general, the glass soots up faster on this unit than other fireplaces I've been around, including my Quad 4300, regardless of how dry the wood is or how hot your fire burns. It's particularly bad if a log is "too close" to the glass and starts burning - you'll get a log shaped stripe of soot where it was. Clean it off (when the glass is cool) with a damp paper towel dipped in cold ashes, and you're good to go again. I tend to do this whenever I scoop the ashes out anyway, so it's not too much extra work.

Enjoy your new heater!
Yea thx. Its frustrating to see a brand new unit do this though. Im convinced theres a reason. The two spots are too symmetrical. Lining up perfectly with the rivets. I put a call in to tech. Waiting on a reply. But im sure i read on a forum that a guy who had a lot of experience installing these units said there was a way to adjust the air wash. Im trying to figure out how to post a few pics.
 
heat n glo northstar
 

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Looks exactly like mine, down to the soot spots :). If you manage to adjust the airwash, let me know - I'd love to get rid of those too.
 
stone work
Be sure to leave about a 1/4" gap around the front facia of that unit that isn't touching any stone so it has room to expand and contract with the heat.
 
yep, those dots look familiar. i would agree that something as simple as a rivet could be the cause --- much akin to any fluid dynamic model with an obstruction and an eddy.
heat n glo northstar
 
No solution. Had plenty hot fires. Its a bad design.( the rivets/spacers) in the path of the airflow that washes the glass. They are aware of the problem. I have an email from the engineer stating thats what caused the black circles. I wish they would inform customers of that problem . It would of been a big part of my decision before buying.
 
No solution. Had plenty hot fires. Its a bad design.( the rivets/spacers) in the path of the airflow that washes the glass. They are aware of the problem. I have an email from the engineer stating thats what caused the black circles. I wish they would inform customers of that problem . It would of been a big part of my decision before buying.

i'm probably going to try adding some chimney cement to those rivets. by smoothing out the abrupt edge, i think that would help. any ideas of a temporary product that one could install to test out the "smooth it out" theory that wouldn't burn up?
 
Thanks for your two updates - much appreciated.

I was pretty much decided on purchasing the Northstar, and although this prob won't change my decision, it is disappointing. But I appreciate knowing before I buy - so thanks for that.

Out of curiosity, If you could do-over, would you choose a different ZC fireplace?

Thanks again.
Matt
 
Out of curiosity, If you could do-over, would you choose a different ZC fireplace?

Thanks again.
Matt

i'd get a fireplace that has a cat. at first, i was turned off by the notion of steeper learning curve, replacing the cat, more maintenance, etc. but, after sleuthing hearth.com for awhile, and seeing the blazeking thread, the idea of a 24 hr burn sounds pretty nice. of course, 24 hr burns require big boxes, which = bigger heat. the northstar is more than adequate for heating our place (2300SF)
 
I dont follow you on your cement idea. You mean your going to try and shape it like an airplane wing? Im not sure i understand. You see whats happening to the air path correct? Its like putting a telephone pole in the middle of a flowing stream of water.
 
I dont follow you on your cement idea. You mean your going to try and shape it like an airplane wing? Im not sure i understand. You see whats happening to the air path correct? Its like putting a telephone pole in the middle of a flowing stream of water.

just apply the paste around the abrupt edges of the rivet. instead of a 1/4" diameter rivet that sticks out 1/8", you could take the cement and make a more gradual bump, maybe 1" in diameter.
 

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I still dont follow you. Sorry. Have you looked at your northstar airwash slot? Do you see the problem. ? I. Not sure were on the same page
 
see attached pics.

this was the fireplace after an overnight burn left to die out (hence the clouded glass)

you'll see a black rivet on the front of the metal frame. it looks to me to clearly have the signs of what's causing the streaks on the glass. the other pic is the backside of that rivet with a threaded end and a nut. while that side would seemingly be in the path of the air wash, it doesn't have the telltale sign of being the issue. of course, air could be getting THRU the hole for the rivet/threaded stud and that's what's causing the issue.

so, my possible solution would be to apply chimney cement on both sides of it. smooth things out. close up air leaks if there are any.

thoughts?
 

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Could the stud not be just cut quite a bit shorter? It looks like there's a lot of extra thread poking out?
 
No. The problem is not the threaded nut. The airwash air flow is between the steel plates. Look at your unit. Open the doors snd stick your head down there and look up. The air is brought into the unit through a boxed out area and directed up each side and then down and out over the glass. Its only a thin 1/8 of a gap . The rivet/spacer is through that airwash. Understand? Cement will do nothing
 
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