How Can I tell the Actual Temperature of My Stove?

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www_godzilla

Member
Oct 24, 2008
196
Portland,Maine
I have a Quadrafire Sante Fe stand up stove. I keep hearing how people say that their stove is burning at a certain temperature with certain pellets. How can you tell the actual temperature? I know on wood stoves,they use temperature gauges on their stove pipe. There's also IR sensors that can be purchased. I hear they aren't that accurate. Does anyone have a suggestion for me. And where to put it. I know what some of you are thinking too....LOL !!!! Thanks guys and gals.....have a good day !!!!!
 

56 chevtruck

New Member
Jan 14, 2008
114
nova scotia canada
my enviro ef 3 has a removable grille on top of stove i put thermometer on top of this as the heat exchanger tubes are located right below this. some use digital cooking thermometer as shown in pic below and put probe in tubes on some stoves.i got pics from gutterboy on this site it came in handy testing pellet brands for heat output .not sure if your stove will have similar access for testing my stove same as one in pics.
 

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BJN644

Feeling the Heat
Nov 4, 2007
352
Maine
You can get yourself an inexpensive infrared laser pointer type thermometer. Just point and shoot all over the stove until you find the hottest spot and use that same spot every time for your reference point when you are making changes such as different pellets or settings. You can also get a magnetic wood stove thermometer too and do the same thing, although the laser one is much more fun.
 

www_godzilla

Member
Oct 24, 2008
196
Portland,Maine
Hey 56 Chevytruk......Who makes that and where can you get that?
 

www_godzilla

Member
Oct 24, 2008
196
Portland,Maine
BJN.....Where do you buy that? I tried looking online at Lowes. Couldn't findone. Maybe I wasn't putting the correct name in.
 

BJN644

Feeling the Heat
Nov 4, 2007
352
Maine
www_godzilla said:
BJN.....Where do you buy that? I tried looking online at Lowes. Couldn't findone. Maybe I wasn't putting the correct name in.
Here's one for you, and it won't break the bank.

click here
 

BDPVT

Member
Sep 26, 2008
147
Vermont
56 chevtruck said:
my enviro ef 3 has a removable grille on top of stove i put thermometer on top of this as the heat exchanger tubes are located right below this. some use digital cooking thermometer as shown in pic below and put probe in tubes on some stoves.i got pics from gutterboy on this site it came in handy testing pellet brands for heat output .not sure if your stove will have similar access for testing my stove same as one in pics.
eev

chevtruck has the right idea. Best to measure the air temp at the heat exchangers to get a true reading of heat output vs. surface temp. After all, pellet stoves are designed to heat air and not radiant like a wood stove.
 

jtakeman

Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2008
13,497
Northwestern CT.
www.facebook.com
You can get the air temp with the IR too. The IR needs a surface to reflect off of to get the temp.

You just need to hang or hold a piece of metal in front of the heat exchanger. Let the air warm it up and then check the temp.

I have a rod I hold (or prop) in front of the stove with a thin wire and piece of steel. Wife thinks I'm fishing. I am making a magnetic holder for the rod.

If you are going to get the probe type. Don't let the probe make contact with the stove surface. Otherwise its would be the same as the IR.

jay
 

orangecrushcj7

Feeling the Heat
Jun 30, 2008
352
Barre MA
realistically though, if you get a surface temp reading from an laser thermometer from the same spot everytime it will be just as effective. all you really want to do it find the temp difference from changes in pellets or draft settings. The actual temperate is arbitrary. If the surface of the stove is hotter in any given location, the air coming out should be proportionally higher. I actually just picked up a $20 Harborfreight IR laser thermometer today. It only goes up to 434*, but so far I don't need anything that reads higher than that.

Here's the link:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=93984

at the bottom of that page there is a link to similar items... there is also a $13 one, but that only goes up to 230*
 

BDPVT

Member
Sep 26, 2008
147
Vermont
Orange Crush CJ-7 said:
realistically though, if you get a surface temp reading from an laser thermometer from the same spot everytime it will be just as effective. all you really want to do it find the temp difference from changes in pellets or draft settings. The actual temperate is arbitrary. If the surface of the stove is hotter in any given location, the air coming out should be proportionally higher. I actually just picked up a $20 Harborfreight IR laser thermometer today. It only goes up to 434*, but so far I don't need anything that reads higher than that.

Here's the link:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/c/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=93984

at the bottom of that page there is a link to similar items... there is also a $13 one, but that only goes up to 230*
I disagree. If the goal is to measure differences in heat output that is what you must measure. Pellet stoves are designed to exchange combustion heat with distributed air. Changes in stove settings or fuel type can be measured in how efficiently the stove converts energy into heated air. Your pellet stove is not a radiant heater so surface temps are a poor indicator of heat output.
 

donbryce

Member
Jan 8, 2009
110
NB Canada
BDPVT said:
I disagree. If the goal is to measure differences in heat output that is what you must measure. Pellet stoves are designed to exchange combustion heat with distributed air. Changes in stove settings or fuel type can be measured in how efficiently the stove converts energy into heated air. Your pellet stove is not a radiant heater so surface temps are a poor indicator of heat output.
Well, sorry, but I have to disagree with your disagree, I concur with Orangecrush, as long as the intent is to measure a temperature difference, all that counts is taking the reading from the same source, be it the steel housing on the stove or the air. And the stove is a radiant heater as well as a forced air heater. The whole thing gets hot and radiates heat from the steel surface.
 

BDPVT

Member
Sep 26, 2008
147
Vermont
donbryce said:
BDPVT said:
I disagree. If the goal is to measure differences in heat output that is what you must measure. Pellet stoves are designed to exchange combustion heat with distributed air. Changes in stove settings or fuel type can be measured in how efficiently the stove converts energy into heated air. Your pellet stove is not a radiant heater so surface temps are a poor indicator of heat output.
Well, sorry, but I have to disagree with your disagree, I concur with Orangecrush, as long as the intent is to measure a temperature difference, all that counts is taking the reading from the same source, be it the steel housing on the stove or the air. And the stove is a radiant heater as well as a forced air heater. The whole thing gets hot and radiates heat from the steel surface.
Believe what you like, but the transfer efficiency of the heat exchangers is far better than the heat absorbed by the stove body. There are to many variables even if you take surface readings from the same spot to rely on accurate readings. The convection air temperature is the best way to measure heat output. Just passing on what I know from many years experience designing and fabricating industrial furnaces and forges for the metalworking industry.
 

JLF001

New Member
Jan 19, 2009
34
Central Maine
donbryce said:
BDPVT said:
I disagree. If the goal is to measure differences in heat output that is what you must measure. Pellet stoves are designed to exchange combustion heat with distributed air. Changes in stove settings or fuel type can be measured in how efficiently the stove converts energy into heated air. Your pellet stove is not a radiant heater so surface temps are a poor indicator of heat output.
Well, sorry, but I have to disagree with your disagree, I concur with Orangecrush, as long as the intent is to measure a temperature difference, all that counts is taking the reading from the same source, be it the steel housing on the stove or the air. And the stove is a radiant heater as well as a forced air heater. The whole thing gets hot and radiates heat from the steel surface.
Physics tells you that the faster air moves across an object, less heat transfer that will take place in relation with the same amount of air. So if you have more combustion air the harder it is for the heat exchanger to extract the heat. To what degree this matters in a pellet stove I do not know, but I would think that the point is to know how much heat the heat exchanger is getting from the fire, not how much heat the fire is generating. You may be able to get a hotter fire with a more air, but it may cause more of it to go up the flue.

I do not design pellet stoves so I do not know how much this plays in to it. Just something to consider.
 

jtakeman

Minister of Fire
Dec 30, 2008
13,497
Northwestern CT.
www.facebook.com
I really think either way is OK. If your stove temp goes up so will the exchanged air. As long as there is a constant(nothing is changed like blower air flow), The temp rise should be parallel. I have been keeping track of both and yes the exchanged air is cooler than the stove temp. but the temp rise and fall is almost the same(within a few degrees) between the two. So it is a personal choice, I guess.

What ever works for you. either way is better than guessing if you have inprovement or not.

jay
 

www_godzilla

Member
Oct 24, 2008
196
Portland,Maine
I bought a Thermo Tech TT1610 on Ebay for $79.A littlepricey,yet it does exactly what I want it to do.
 

orangecrushcj7

Feeling the Heat
Jun 30, 2008
352
Barre MA
JLF001 said:
donbryce said:
BDPVT said:
I disagree. If the goal is to measure differences in heat output that is what you must measure. Pellet stoves are designed to exchange combustion heat with distributed air. Changes in stove settings or fuel type can be measured in how efficiently the stove converts energy into heated air. Your pellet stove is not a radiant heater so surface temps are a poor indicator of heat output.
Well, sorry, but I have to disagree with your disagree, I concur with Orangecrush, as long as the intent is to measure a temperature difference, all that counts is taking the reading from the same source, be it the steel housing on the stove or the air. And the stove is a radiant heater as well as a forced air heater. The whole thing gets hot and radiates heat from the steel surface.
Physics tells you that the faster air moves across an object, less heat transfer that will take place in relation with the same amount of air. So if you have more combustion air the harder it is for the heat exchanger to extract the heat. To what degree this matters in a pellet stove I do not know, but I would think that the point is to know how much heat the heat exchanger is getting from the fire, not how much heat the fire is generating. You may be able to get a hotter fire with a more air, but it may cause more of it to go up the flue.

I do not design pellet stoves so I do not know how much this plays in to it. Just something to consider.
Well put. you kind of go off on a tangent with the combustion air, but I posted a topic recently about "combustion air and how much is too much?" I had the thought that too much combustion air would result in pushing the heat right out of the flue before it could effectively pass thru to the heat exchangers.

The principle is the same though for convecting the heat into the house. Faster room blower speeds will result in lower air temps, but a larger aggregate volume of heated air, therefore more efficiency. However, That is not a good indicator for finding out how pellet brands or other settings compare to one another. A good location for a temperature sample to be taken is on a part of the stove where there is no air movement. That way you can see how hot the stove is, with no variables like blower speed.

Let's consider an example. Both stoves are the same model, with the same pellets, feed rate, and draft setting. Stove A has blower speed on 9, and Stove B has blower speed on 1. Stove A has an air output temp of 120 degrees, and Stove B 250 degrees. Stove B may be pushing air at 250 degress, but with only 25 cfm, stove A will more effectively heat a space with 100 cfm @ 120 degrees.
 
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