Heatilator WS22 install pictures/performance troubleshooting

Generalminor

New Member
Nov 28, 2019
8
97702
Hello all, I recently had a heatilator ws22 installed in my home and have a couple question about how its performing. I have done a large amount of reading and searching through old threads but was hoping I could get some thoughts on my specific setup. I am having an issue with excessive coaling and maybe drafting. When my stove burn control lever is set on high it seems to be more equivalent to a medium low setting. Even when loading wood on to a lively coal bed I am still have to crack the door for 3-10 mins to really get the wood to take off. And if I am loading it for an overnight burn with hardwood I usually have to run it for a full hour on high before I can start to reduce the air control lever.
THE WOOD
First things first the wood I am burning is well seasoned. Everything I have is 2+ years and much of it is 4+ years. Everything is reading below 18% mc with the majority reading in the 12 to 15% range. I even have some juniper and lodge pole that reads down to the the single digits. I wanted to get this question out of the way first because I know moisture content can cause the symptoms I am describing.
THE STOVE
I bought the stove used for $800 and it came with a piece of extendable duravent double wall pipe and two 36" pieces of duravent of triple wall pipe. Everything was in good condition and the stove only had two seasons of use. I did replace the baffle boards and ceramic blanket. I used the factory baffle boards which are shared with a quadrafire stove because heatilator is owned by home and heart tech. The dealer sold me a generic blanket that was 1" thick instead of 1/2" thick and said it wouldn't make a difference. Everything else on the stove appears to be in excellent condition.
THE SETUP (SEE PICTURES)
From the base of the appliance (which is the measurement the manual recommends) my total chimney system is right about 14 feet. The recommended chimney is 14-16 feet. However the installer had to do a 45 degree offset in order to fit between the trusses. All the manual says is to not use offsets over 4000 ft elevation and chimney length should be increases 3% per 1000 feet in elevation. My home is at 3600 ft so I barely make the no offset request. From the base of the appliance to the ceiling it is 8 feet, the attic space is only about 18" and then I have 5 feet of chimney located above the roof and exceed any requirements of the 10-2-3 rule. I am wondering if I am left a little short on the chimney because of the offsets and elevation. I have an outside air kit installed with 6-8' feet of flexi hose running to the exterior wall.
THE GOOD
I am loving heating with wood it is so much better than the forced air furnace in my home. I seem to be getting pretty clean burns. My glass is staying fairly clear with only a little light grey build up, I am not having an issue with smoke spilling into the room when the door is open. Also I've been amazed by how little smoke come out the chimney once the fire is going, I burned an old smoke dragon craft stove insert last year and its night and day.
THE BAD
Excessive coaling, I have been using small kindling size splits to try and help reduce the pile of coals but it takes hours of continually raking the coal to the front/adding small splits and I am regularly cracking the door to liven up the coal pile.
It takes a long time for a full load to take off and I am again left cracking the door more than I wished (3-10 minutes depending on load and soft or hardwood).
High setting does not seem to be burning as hot as I would hope. Flames are pretty lazy.

Open to any thought, suggestion or things I should be checking. Could it really be as simple as adding another 3 foot piece of triple wall? I already have the extended roof brace so that would be pretty easy fix overall (though i would have 8 feet of chimney above the rood which seems like a lot ). But I was wondering what else I should be checking before spending the money. I know there was an individual from north pole Alaska who used to own this stove and post on the forum. Thank you so much for your time.
 

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
20,213
central pa
The install looks pretty good. The symptoms you are having really sound like wet wood. How are you testing moisture content? It is also possible your draft is to weak. Possibly from the chimney being on the short side but the blanket being to thick could be a major contributor as well.

I would recheck the wood on a room temp fresh split face and try pulling the blanket to see if it changes anything
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
80,734
South Puget Sound, WA
Sounds like both the wood and the draft maybe marginal. To help burn down the coal bed put 2-3 dry, skinny splits (2-3" thick) on top of the coals and open the air about 50%. A 2x4 cut off will also work. Adding a few feet of chimney pipe may also help if you are at a higher altitude. Extend the brace on the pipe up a foot if added.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,605
07462
Try cutting the air control a little after the wood takes off, my reasoning, if your splits are below 18% and between 2 -4 yrs the wood might be off gassing to fast, try pushing the air control in at a quarter interval at a time and do a wait and see, make sure your maintaining stove top temps between 550 and 650 and adjust according
 

Generalminor

New Member
Nov 28, 2019
8
97702
Thank you for the advice all. I will try and burn it without the blanket to see if there is a difference. Do I risk damage by running without the blanket.

Also I guess I should of elaborated more on the wood. I don't believe its the wood. I have some oak that has a little higher moisture content but is still 18% and under my father is burning it in his EPA stove (hearthstone equinox) without issue. But I have mostly pine and juniper that by the book is super dry. I am testing the wood by splitting it, letting it warm up to room temp and then testing the freshly split would faces with a general tools moisture meter. I have a hard time getting a read as high as 16% and most of the readings are in the 12-14% range with some reading as low as 9%. I also live in a very dry high desert climate we only average 12 inches of rain a year and have 158 sunny days a years and 105 days a year that are mostly sunny which definitely helps season wood. I really did try and confirm it wasn't the wood causing the issue before posting. After reading dozens of performance issue threads I realized that it seems like about 50% of all performance posts come back to wet wood. I really don't believe its the wood. I am also burning in pretty ideal weather its between 20 and 35 degrees fareheit here most days.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
80,734
South Puget Sound, WA
Thank you for the advice all. I will try and burn it without the blanket to see if there is a difference. Do I risk damage by running without the blanket.
DDT. You may not notice a major difference because of the lack of instrumentation on the stove. However, it does make a difference in the speed the firebox gets up to temperature and it helps keep the fire hotter for more complete combustion.

Bend is about 3,600' IIRC. I would try adding a 3' length of chimney to increase draft to compensate for the altitude and slight loss due to the offset.

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Generalminor

New Member
Nov 28, 2019
8
97702
Begreen Do you think that the slightly thicker blanket could be causing an issue the dealer didn't seem at all concerned? Bend is 3600 in elevation. Is it normal to have 8 feet of exterior chimney. I guess it wouldn't look as odd if I had a steep pitch roof, but my roof is 2/12 so that means it sticks pretty far above the structure.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
20,213
central pa
Begreen Do you think that the slightly thicker blanket could be causing an issue the dealer didn't seem at all concerned? Bend is 3600 in elevation. Is it normal to have 8 feet of exterior chimney. I guess it wouldn't look as odd if I had a steep pitch roof, but my roof is 2/12 so that means it sticks pretty far above the structure.
I don't know if the blanket is causing a problem or not. But it is an easy free thing to try. And no doing it short term poses no risk at all
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
80,734
South Puget Sound, WA
Begreen Do you think that the slightly thicker blanket could be causing an issue the dealer didn't seem at all concerned? Bend is 3600 in elevation. Is it normal to have 8 feet of exterior chimney. I guess it wouldn't look as odd if I had a steep pitch roof, but my roof is 2/12 so that means it sticks pretty far above the structure.
I believe in sticking with the OEM specs. It's what the stove was tested with. Chimney height is not based on looks, it's based on function and code. We have 7' poking out of the roof, but that is to meet the 10-3-2 rule. it works well.
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,305
PA
Stove hooked to an outside air supply?
 

Generalminor

New Member
Nov 28, 2019
8
97702
Hello I have made some progress. I went ahead and installed another 3 foot piece of chimney and that has significantly helped the draft. I also discovered that the installer (who I had some other issues with) didn't remove the knockout in the base of the stove that allows the outside air intake to work properly. I now have removed the knockout and the stove is working much better. I still feel like I am having a little more coaling than ideal but that is a workable thing. Last night I loaded up the stove around 10:00 and when I woke up at 4 I checked on the stove to find that the secondaries were still firing strong and the stove was throwing some good heat. I was pleasantly surprised to see the secondaries going that strong after that many hours. Thank you guys for the help trouble shooting.
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,305
PA
So your outside air drops through the bottom and under the floor?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
80,734
South Puget Sound, WA
Still don't know if there is an outside air connection or not, but it sounds like not.
 

Generalminor

New Member
Nov 28, 2019
8
97702
There is an outside air connection. It's 6-8 feet of flexi hose that runs under the house and has a vent in the outside wall/skirting.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
80,734
South Puget Sound, WA
With an outside air supply you should not have to remove the rear cover. Check to see if that air connection got kinked or flattened and that the outside air intake on the building is not plugged. (Or has a dryer vent cover with a flapper in it)
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,305
PA
I wouldnt want it hooked to an outside vent out the bottom with the back hole open. Would pour cold air into the house. Something aint right.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
80,734
South Puget Sound, WA
There is an outside air connection. It's 6-8 feet of flexi hose that runs under the house and has a vent in the outside wall/skirting.
I'm confused. How was the outside air connected with the base knockout not removed?
I also discovered that the installer (who I had some other issues with) didn't remove the knockout in the base of the stove that allows the outside air intake to work properly. I now have removed the knockout and the stove is working much better.