Jotul 550 Rockland Comments

Jdowdle

New Member
Jan 9, 2019
47
Snow Camp, NC
Hi, folks, I'm new to this forum, at least as far as joining and posting, although I have been visiting it for a while. I want to post some thoughts about my Jotul 550 Rockland and see if others might share these observations or have comments of their own.

By way of background, I've heated with wood for about 30 years. This 550 is my fourth stove, after two free-standing stoves and one previous insert. I think I'm pretty dialed in on heating with wood. I cut my own, generally all oak and hickory but occasionally some maple and a few other hardwood varieties. I cut it in the spring and split and stack it out of the weather. It seasons through the summer and fall, and is dry and ready by early winter. I also mix in significant amounts of last year's leftover wood.

My house is very old, 1850's, but well restored and insulated, with about 1800 sf that I'm heating. I had my new Rockland professionally installed this past fall, with a stainless liner and chimney cap. They also blocked off the flue above the masonry firebox to prevent air traveling up the flue. The chimney is about 22' tall, and has a substantial draft.

So here are the good parts. The stove is attractive. It also seems to be very well made. I have no doubt it will last for years. The large glass door allows great viewing of the fire and stays clean because of the internal airflow. The fire is very controllable, from a slow burn with minimal flame up to a big dancing fire. It is easy to load, easy to clean, and pretty quiet, even with the blowers on high. All in all, very pleasant to live with.

Here are the downsides. I really only have one major requirement from a stove, and that is that the stove produce heat, and produce it economically from the amount of wood I burn, since I cut, split, and stack it myself. I have to say, this stove burns a lot of wood and only produces a fairly modest amount of heat. Based on previous stoves, this one is substantially less efficient that several others I have owned, which is disappointing. Previous stoves would heat my house on the coldest of nights, say 10f degrees, while this one requires back-up heat anywhere below 20f.

Here's another issue. The air adjuster is just stupidly small. It is a little pointy piece of metal that pokes out about 1/4". It requires critical adjustment, which is just about impossible, given its size. Not only that, if the stove is at operating temperature, that tiny piece of metal gets too hot to touch. Really a poor design. Why couldn't they just attach a small knob or lever to it to give you something to get a grip on and make slight adjustments?

And another. The blowers, while quiet, are woefully inadequate. Despite the claims to the contrary, this stove does not move a lot of air. My previous insert, a 40 year old Squire, moved twice as much air, at least, and thus produced substantially more heat. I've thought about adding a third blower to it to increase the air volume moved, although it probably wouldn't help, because...

On the internal design side, here's another issue. The air channel, whereby the room air enters the stove jacket to be heated, is miniscule. The air goes in under the firebox, but then travels up to the top of the stove through a single small passage at the back of the stove a few inches wide, before it travels along the top of the stove and exits into the room. Thus virtually none of the heat radiating horizontally from the fire is collected by the air. The only chance it has to collect heat is during its brief travel along the top of the stove. Most of the heat from my wood is going up my chimney because there is little way for it to be transferred to the air of my room.

As an example of how this could be done better, consider my old Squire. It had a double wall all around the firebox - bottom, sides, back, and top - and it circulated air through all of this. It had probably 14 square feet of firebox metal that was heated by the fire and over which air circulated to collect heat. This new stove has maybe a third of that area. And it produces probably a third the heat for the amount of wood burned.

Finally, burn time. I didn't expect anything different from what I got. I only comment because I have heard some pretty exaggerated claims. Here's what I've found, burning top-quality seasoned hardwood. If I stuff the firebox in the evening, over a very hot bed of coals, and leave the air control cracked slightly open maybe 1/8", which gives the best longterm burn, the stove will produce good heat, within its capabilities, for about four hours. After that it falls off substantially. So, on cold nights, I get up halfway through the night and reload the stove if I want anything other than a cold house in the morning.

That's not to say the fire goes out. It doesn't. If I leave it all night, when I get up in the morning there are plenty of coals left and it is easy to rebuild a new fire. But that is not the same as an 8-hour burn. This stove will do a 4-5 hour burn. After that, if you still want heat you had better put more wood in it.

All in all, I have to say that I'm seriously disappointed with this stove, which cost $3500, and is substantially less efficient than the 40 year old Squire which it replaced. I wonder if anyone else here has had a similar experience, or a different experience with this stove. If different, perhaps you might make some suggestions about what I might do differently in order to increase my satisfaction with it. Because as it stands right now, I can't recommend this stove to anyone who really wants to heat their house with an insert.

This is a stove for amateurs who want an occasional fire for charming ambiance, and maybe a little heat. It's not for heating your house. The only thing positive I can say is that it makes a pretty fire and looks nice.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,511
central pa
Hi, folks, I'm new to this forum, at least as far as joining and posting, although I have been visiting it for a while. I want to post some thoughts about my Jotul 550 Rockland and see if others might share these observations or have comments of their own.

By way of background, I've heated with wood for about 30 years. This 550 is my fourth stove, after two free-standing stoves and one previous insert. I think I'm pretty dialed in on heating with wood. I cut my own, generally all oak and hickory but occasionally some maple and a few other hardwood varieties. I cut it in the spring and split and stack it out of the weather. It seasons through the summer and fall, and is dry and ready by early winter. I also mix in significant amounts of last year's leftover wood.

My house is very old, 1850's, but well restored and insulated, with about 1800 sf that I'm heating. I had my new Rockland professionally installed this past fall, with a stainless liner and chimney cap. They also blocked off the flue above the masonry firebox to prevent air traveling up the flue. The chimney is about 22' tall, and has a substantial draft.

So here are the good parts. The stove is attractive. It also seems to be very well made. I have no doubt it will last for years. The large glass door allows great viewing of the fire and stays clean because of the internal airflow. The fire is very controllable, from a slow burn with minimal flame up to a big dancing fire. It is easy to load, easy to clean, and pretty quiet, even with the blowers on high. All in all, very pleasant to live with.

Here are the downsides. I really only have one major requirement from a stove, and that is that the stove produce heat, and produce it economically from the amount of wood I burn, since I cut, split, and stack it myself. I have to say, this stove burns a lot of wood and only produces a fairly modest amount of heat. Based on previous stoves, this one is substantially less efficient that several others I have owned, which is disappointing. Previous stoves would heat my house on the coldest of nights, say 10f degrees, while this one requires back-up heat anywhere below 20f.

Here's another issue. The air adjuster is just stupidly small. It is a little pointy piece of metal that pokes out about 1/4". It requires critical adjustment, which is just about impossible, given its size. Not only that, if the stove is at operating temperature, that tiny piece of metal gets too hot to touch. Really a poor design. Why couldn't they just attach a small knob or lever to it to give you something to get a grip on and make slight adjustments?

And another. The blowers, while quiet, are woefully inadequate. Despite the claims to the contrary, this stove does not move a lot of air. My previous insert, a 40 year old Squire, moved twice as much air, at least, and thus produced substantially more heat. I've thought about adding a third blower to it to increase the air volume moved, although it probably wouldn't help, because...

On the internal design side, here's another issue. The air channel, whereby the room air enters the stove jacket to be heated, is miniscule. The air goes in under the firebox, but then travels up to the top of the stove through a single small passage at the back of the stove a few inches wide, before it travels along the top of the stove and exits into the room. Thus virtually none of the heat radiating horizontally from the fire is collected by the air. The only chance it has to collect heat is during its brief travel along the top of the stove. Most of the heat from my wood is going up my chimney because there is little way for it to be transferred to the air of my room.

As an example of how this could be done better, consider my old Squire. It had a double wall all around the firebox - bottom, sides, back, and top - and it circulated air through all of this. It had probably 14 square feet of firebox metal that was heated by the fire and over which air circulated to collect heat. This new stove has maybe a third of that area. And it produces probably a third the heat for the amount of wood burned.

Finally, burn time. I didn't expect anything different from what I got. I only comment because I have heard some pretty exaggerated claims. Here's what I've found, burning top-quality seasoned hardwood. If I stuff the firebox in the evening, over a very hot bed of coals, and leave the air control cracked slightly open maybe 1/8", which gives the best longterm burn, the stove will produce good heat, within its capabilities, for about four hours. After that it falls off substantially. So, on cold nights, I get up halfway through the night and reload the stove if I want anything other than a cold house in the morning.

That's not to say the fire goes out. It doesn't. If I leave it all night, when I get up in the morning there are plenty of coals left and it is easy to rebuild a new fire. But that is not the same as an 8-hour burn. This stove will do a 4-5 hour burn. After that, if you still want heat you had better put more wood in it.

All in all, I have to say that I'm seriously disappointed with this stove, which cost $3500, and is substantially less efficient than the 40 year old Squire which it replaced. I wonder if anyone else here has had a similar experience, or a different experience with this stove. If different, perhaps you might make some suggestions about what I might do differently in order to increase my satisfaction with it. Because as it stands right now, I can't recommend this stove to anyone who really wants to heat their house with an insert.

This is a stove for amateurs who want an occasional fire for charming ambiance, and maybe a little heat. It's not for heating your house. The only thing positive I can say is that it makes a pretty fire and looks nice.
A few thing i see are what moisture content is your wood at? To get good secondary combustion you need wood that is below 20%. If you dont have that you will be disappointed

And how much are you shutting it back?
 

Jdowdle

New Member
Jan 9, 2019
47
Snow Camp, NC
A few thing i see are what moisture content is your wood at? To get good secondary combustion you need wood that is below 20%. If you dont have that you will be disappointed

And how much are you shutting it back?
I can't tell you the exact moisture content of the wood because I don't measure it, but I have a lot of experience with the wood I use. If it is two years old it generally burns too hot and too fast. If I cut it in the summer it often has too much moisture by winter to burn well. So I'm pretty careful about when I cut it to make sure it seasons all summer and it burns well. The stove burns nicely, no issues with that. As I indicated, the air control gets too hot to touch. I don't think the issue is with the wood, but with the overall design of the stove. It just doesn't collect much of the heat and transfer it to the room.
 

Jdowdle

New Member
Jan 9, 2019
47
Snow Camp, NC
Concerning how far I cut it back, for the longest burn which produces reasonable heat I close the air control completely, then open it back about 1/8". This results in a lot of red glowing embers and some dancing flames. If I close it further, the flames go away and the heat output diminishes. If I open it further the heat output increases somewhat, but the burn time is greatly reduced. The stove will go through a full load of wood in about two hours if opened more than 1/8". If I want all the heat I can get from the stove I can open it further, and it will provide enough heat even if it is 10f degrees outside, but I have to reload it every hour or two, which is a lot of wood! And I'm burning premium hardwood, seasoned oak and hickory.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,526
South Puget Sound, WA
The comparison to the C550 to Squire is kind of like comparing a newer Ford Ranger to an old F250. The smaller Jotul is a much more efficient and cleaner burner than the Squire. However, the Squire is a larger stove. More wood capacity = longer burn. The other big difference is that the Squire projected out onto the hearth by several inches. This helps it radiate heat well. With no side-firebrick the metal heated up strongly. The C550 is a flush insert which greatly constrains its radiant heat. Flush inserts are mostly convective heaters. The Squire had a big fan that moved a lot of air. Jotul chose a quieter system. Overall I can understand the disappointment, but the comparison is not exactly fair. There are other inserts that are a better match if the goal was to equal the Squire's performance, yet still burn cleanly and use less wood. These would not be flush inserts and would have another cubic ft.+ in capacity.

What other stoves have you run?
 
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Ctwoodtick

Minister of Fire
Jun 5, 2015
1,471
Southeast CT
With my Rockland, I use a fireplace glove to adjust air control. I keep the glove in metal pail near stove. It’s not ideal but I’ve gotten used to it. To me, the look of the stove is geared toward looks and not the practical side of operation.
Your heat output should be better and longer than you describe. “Burn time” can be subjective. Last night I filled up stove about 3/4 full with a bit of oak but mainly soft maple. 7 hours later in the morning, my stove top was about 230 degrees, which is about where “burn time ends, in my opinion. You won’t get 8 hours of flames. But definitely a good bit of coals to start from in morning.
I too would be curious about how wet your wood is.
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,334
Long Island NY
It is a very well made stove and I have had no issues so far in the 7 plus years I have owned my 550. As a flush insert it is limited and I wouldn't have bought one unless I needed it by I did not not want to run up against any code.violations with respect to the hearth.

Sounds like this is your first EPA stove. If you are turning down the air and the fire is dieing I suspect the wood is not dry enough. Typically wood temp rises as you close the air.

You may also consider adding a block off plate to maximize your output. With a few changes you may be able to get a lot closer to what you were hoping for.

You did not mention what temps you are seeing. Get a stove top thermo and put it in the vent. You can run it up to 650-700. If you are at 400 you're gonna be unhappy and def poonts to sub par wood.
 
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Nigel459

Feeling the Heat
Oct 24, 2017
341
Ontario, Canada
I can't tell you the exact moisture content of the wood because I don't measure it, but I have a lot of experience with the wood I use. If it is two years old it generally burns too hot and too fast.
I used to think that as well when using the old Fisher... now with newer stoves, two year old wood (mostly ash, maple) is juuust right, usually around 16% mc on a freshly exposed face...

All stoves benefit from dry wood, newer stoves need dryer wood.

Sounds like this is your first EPA stove. If you are turning down the air and the fire is dieing I suspect the wood is not dry enough. Typically wood temp rises as you close the air.
This is what I’m picking up on also...
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,414
Northern Maine
Once I have a good roaring fire it's not uncommon for me to close the air all the way but 25-50% is where I run it if its in the single digits outside. Yes that little bugger gets hot. I keep my lighters on the mantle so grabbing one for adjustment is quick. I have also used my poker carefully. I do not use this stove as a primary heat source because I like the RFH. If I pack it around 9 before bed and get it ripping I know I need to repack around 3 or I have nothing but coals at 8 but I don't need kindling to get it running again.
In brown enamel its a very sharp looking insert and compliments our living room very well. I had to have flush and I really didn't want a black stove.

My wood is very dry 12-18% but mostly running in the 15% range. White and yellow birch, rock maple and beech is what I burn.
 

Jdowdle

New Member
Jan 9, 2019
47
Snow Camp, NC
Wood that is still too high MC will also make more coals. IMO.
It is possible that my wood has slightly more moisture than might be optimum. However, it does burn just fine. It lights easily and burns completely, and while it is burning it produces no smoke, lively flames, and burns all away to coals and ash, and eventually just ash. It burns well, if slowly, with the air closed all the way, and with it more than about 1/4" open I worry about over-firing because the fire gets really big. Leads me to believe that I'm not trying to burn really damp wood.
 

Jdowdle

New Member
Jan 9, 2019
47
Snow Camp, NC
Once I have a good roaring fire it's not uncommon for me to close the air all the way but 25-50% is where I run it if its in the single digits outside. Yes that little bugger gets hot. I keep my lighters on the mantle so grabbing one for adjustment is quick. I have also used my poker carefully. I do not use this stove as a primary heat source because I like the RFH. If I pack it around 9 before bed and get it ripping I know I need to repack around 3 or I have nothing but coals at 8 but I don't need kindling to get it running again.
In brown enamel its a very sharp looking insert and compliments our living room very well. I had to have flush and I really didn't want a black stove.

My wood is very dry 12-18% but mostly running in the 15% range. White and yellow birch, rock maple and beech is what I burn.
That's just about my experience exactly.
 

Jdowdle

New Member
Jan 9, 2019
47
Snow Camp, NC
It is a very well made stove and I have had no issues so far in the 7 plus years I have owned my 550. As a flush insert it is limited and I wouldn't have bought one unless I needed it by I did not not want to run up against any code.violations with respect to the hearth.

Sounds like this is your first EPA stove. If you are turning down the air and the fire is dieing I suspect the wood is not dry enough. Typically wood temp rises as you close the air.

You may also consider adding a block off plate to maximize your output. With a few changes you may be able to get a lot closer to what you were hoping for.

You did not mention what temps you are seeing. Get a stove top thermo and put it in the vent. You can run it up to 650-700. If you are at 400 you're gonna be unhappy and def poonts to sub par wood.
I don't really have a way of measuring the stove temp, but for me, the best measure is how much heat is really coming into the room. It's all well and good if the stove is very hot, but if I can't get that heat off the stove it's not doing me a whole lot of good. That's probably my biggest complaint with the stove, the inadequate air circulation. If it had a bigger heat exchange area and a less restricted airflow it would be far more efficient at whatever temperature it was running.

This is actually my second EPA stove, the first being a Canadian-made free-standing stove. That was the best stove I've ever had, tons of heat, extremely efficient with the wood. Heated the whole house on about a third of the wood I burn currently. The problem was that the stove was in the kitchen, and to get the living room area comfortable the kitchen was too hot - It's all one open long space, kitchen/living room, but the stove was at the far end. I opted for the insert so the heat source would be in living room where we spend most of our time, which is much more pleasant.

When I bought this Jotul I had it professionally installed, including a block-off plate above the fireplace to close the masonry flue around the new flue liner. So nothing is going up the chimney except through the new flue liner.

The fire doesn't die when I close the air off completely, it just burns more slowly with very little active flame.
 

EJL923

Minister of Fire
Oct 29, 2009
585
Western Mass
i cant say it enough, but this is not a radiant heat stove. when your stove cools, your house cools. Its flush. Jus tlike a forced air heat home, temp will fluctuate.

I also think your understanding of the air channels is lacking, or im just lost in your looooong rant. The small inlet in the back is for your secondary air, which gets heated and comes out the tubes. The air exiting into the room goes in the front bottom, around the back, and out the top, plenty of time to heat. three entire surfaces of your stove. I have learned to burn it, and heats the entire first floor of my house.

I will add: im not a staunch defender of this stove, but it is actually very efficient. I do wish i understood better how much heat would radiate out of this stove being a flush insert before i bought it, which is basically none. Blowers are a must, 24/7.
 

Jdowdle

New Member
Jan 9, 2019
47
Snow Camp, NC
i cant say it enough, but this is not a radiant heat stove. when your stove cools, your house cools. Its flush. Jus tlike a forced air heat home, temp will fluctuate.

I also think your understanding of the air channels is lacking, or im just lost in your looooong rant. The small inlet in the back is for your secondary air, which gets heated and comes out the tubes. The air exiting into the room goes in the front bottom, around the back, and out the top, plenty of time to heat. three entire surfaces of your stove. I have learned to burn it, and heats the entire first floor of my house.

I will add: im not a staunch defender of this stove, but it is actually very efficient. I do wish i understood better how much heat would radiate out of this stove being a flush insert before i bought it, which is basically none. Blowers are a must, 24/7.

Yeah, I think my rant was a little overenthusiastic. Sorry about that!

I pretty much understood that there would be very little radiant heat from the stove. It's an insert, after all. And maybe I'm not really clear about the air circulation. I just wish it moved more air, thinking that would take more heat off it.

I'm not totally down on this stove. It's doing its job, keeping the house warm. It just seams that for the kind of money I spent on it I should get more heat, and not go through my firewood as quickly.
 

EJL923

Minister of Fire
Oct 29, 2009
585
Western Mass
if youre not happy with the heat, something else is off. One thing i can say is when my stoves cranking, air coming out the top is plenty hot. Being all hot air, the best thing i did was install a ceiling fan in the same room. The rest of the adjacent rooms got much warmer when running reverse.

This stove likes really dry wood as do most modern epa stoves.. After a couple seasons with what i thought was seasoned wood, sitting late spring through summer, i got a year ahead. Now i never hear that sizzle, all i get is heat. Hell, i've had some oak sit for two years and still sizzle.

My first year burning i was also very disappointed, but i got it repectable. My only real problem is still the lack of radiant, but there's nothing i can do there.
  • I modified my primary air to close further,
  • Closed down the secondary air inlet in the back. This obviously has to be done with the stove out.
  • The doghouse air i placed a screw in one of the two holes. I believe this is different now as far as number and size of holes, but point is those little rocket packs really cut down on burn times, eating through wood
  • All these mods that cut down air, and still only have to clean once a year with minimal creosote. If you say you have tons of draft, you have to do something about it. I cut down air at the source.
 
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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,414
Northern Maine
Yeah, I think my rant was a little overenthusiastic. Sorry about that!

I pretty much understood that there would be very little radiant heat from the stove. It's an insert, after all. And maybe I'm not really clear about the air circulation. I just wish it moved more air, thinking that would take more heat off it.

I'm not totally down on this stove. It's doing its job, keeping the house warm. It just seams that for the kind of money I spent on it I should get more heat, and not go through my firewood as quickly.
You are going to have to remember it has a small fire box that is further limited by being a front loading only. It's sister, the 550 wood stove I believe holds are larger amount of wood and with the end loading capabilities you can fill it up a bit more. My buddy has one and it sure looks bigger to me.

The only place to grab a stack temperature is at the flue collar with an IR gun. Not an ideal place I know. I rather run it hotter than cooler. Like I said prior, we use it as a supplemental heat source with added ambiance. works great for the shoulder seasons as well when the RFH really doesn't cut it. I love the warm floors and invested heavily in a wood boiler to further enjoy them.
Its all about priorities.
 

rkofler

Burning Hunk
Nov 15, 2011
156
Long Island
I keep a small rubber flashlight near the stove and it has dual purpose. I use it to see the stovetop thermometer inside the slot where the air is blown out, and for adjusting the tiny, hot, air control slider.

I have no frame of reference, but I am very happy with the heat this stove provides. Definitely saves me a lot of money on oil, while keeping the house much warmer than if i only used oil.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,526
South Puget Sound, WA
If the air is being closed down early enough and the wood is dry, there should be quite an active amount of secondary burn above the wood. Are you seeing this?

Is/was the Canadian Tire store stove a TimberRidge 30-NC? That is a good big heater and it makes sense that it would heat better as a freestander . Did you try the fan trick to blow cooler air from the LR toward the kitchen with a fan on the floor?
 
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tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
456
Erin, WI
I liked your rant :) If your wood is cut in spring, it may not be quite ready by winter. Also, I have a flush insert and am wanting more heat out of it on days below 20F just like what were describing. I am prepping to make and install a block-off plate. It's the only thing I can really do, I already have an insulated liner, some roxul in the damper area, and my wood has been bone dry for 5 years. Since I've got the insert I've cut and stacked about 7 cords this spring and most (except some red oak) should be ready for NEXT winter.
 

Jdowdle

New Member
Jan 9, 2019
47
Snow Camp, NC
if youre not happy with the heat, something else is off. One thing i can say is when my stoves cranking, air coming out the top is plenty hot. Being all hot air, the best thing i did was install a ceiling fan in the same room. The rest of the adjacent rooms got much warmer when running reverse.

This stove likes really dry wood as do most modern epa stoves.. After a couple seasons with what i thought was seasoned wood, sitting late spring through summer, i got a year ahead. Now i never hear that sizzle, all i get is heat. Hell, i've had some oak sit for two years and still sizzle.

My first year burning i was also very disappointed, but i got it repectable. My only real problem is still the lack of radiant, but there's nothing i can do there.
  • I modified my primary air to close further,
  • Closed down the secondary air inlet in the back. This obviously has to be done with the stove out.
  • The doghouse air i placed a screw in one of the two holes. I believe this is different now as far as number and size of holes, but point is those little rocket packs really cut down on burn times, eating through wood
  • All these mods that cut down air, and still only have to clean once a year with minimal creosote. If you say you have tons of draft, you have to do something about it. I cut down air at the source.
I'm definitely hearing what you're saying. I think it is very possible that wood which was dry enough for my old stove might not be dry enough for this one. I can't do much about that this year, but I lost a couple of big hickories in the hurricanes this fall and I have already cut them up and split and stacked them. They should be pretty thoroughly dry by next fall and ought to do better. But it's pretty hard to get two seasons ahead on wood, with this stove consuming as much as it does.

I'm not sure what you mean by "doghouse air." Can you be more specific?

So you totally closed off the secondary air? Where is the stove getting air from, without that? What are the sources for primary and secondary? I'm guessing that the air control only affects the primary. Is this correct? And is it correct that secondary is what feeds the air tubes in the top of the stove?
 

Jdowdle

New Member
Jan 9, 2019
47
Snow Camp, NC
If the air is being closed down early enough and the wood is dry, there should be quite an active amount of secondary burn above the wood. Are you seeing this?

Is/was the Canadian Tire store stove a TimberRidge 30-NC? That is a good big heater and it makes sense that it would heat better as a freestander . Did you try the fan trick to blow cooler air from the LR toward the kitchen with a fan on the floor?

With the stove totally closed down most of the flames, which are burning the smoke and gasses from the wood, go away. I only get those flames with the air control about 1/8" to 1/4" open. Totally closed down the stove makes a lot of charcoal.

We have a heat pump with air handler. I generally leave the air handler on to recirculate air through the heated area to help distribute the heat. Works pretty well, in conjunction with a couple of ceiling fans set on low, reversed to blow upward.

The freestanding stove was by CFM out of Mississauga, Ontario. Model FW300010, Certified EPA 1990. Here are a couple of photos. Installation included a Magic Heat, which was amazing!
IMG_3129.JPG IMG_3130.JPG IMG_3131.JPG
 
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Jdowdle

New Member
Jan 9, 2019
47
Snow Camp, NC
I liked your rant :) If your wood is cut in spring, it may not be quite ready by winter. Also, I have a flush insert and am wanting more heat out of it on days below 20F just like what were describing. I am prepping to make and install a block-off plate. It's the only thing I can really do, I already have an insulated liner, some roxul in the damper area, and my wood has been bone dry for 5 years. Since I've got the insert I've cut and stacked about 7 cords this spring and most (except some red oak) should be ready for NEXT winter.
I guess if I could change one thing it would be to make the stove move more air. I just think that the two blowers, while very high quality and pretty quiet, are not up to the task of moving enough air through the stove.

I also want to thank everyone who has taken the time to comment. Cheers, y'all! Looks like more cold weather coming. Time to haul some wood! Maybe followed by some hot cider - with brandy, of course! ;-)
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,334
Long Island NY
Magic Heat, a favorite around here! Get a Condar thermometer and stick it the vent a few inches back and mark it if you need to so you can read it (may need a pen light).

You want to confirm you can run it up to a good temp. When I'm cruising along it's uncomfortable to keep your hand in front of the vent. When really cranking you don't want to leave it for long at all.

Being a flush unit not saying it's the be all and end all of inserts but I'm able to get pretty good results. Just want you to get the most you can from it.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,511
central pa
I'm definitely hearing what you're saying. I think it is very possible that wood which was dry enough for my old stove might not be dry enough for this one. I can't do much about that this year, but I lost a couple of big hickories in the hurricanes this fall and I have already cut them up and split and stacked them. They should be pretty thoroughly dry by next fall and ought to do better. But it's pretty hard to get two seasons ahead on wood, with this stove consuming as much as it does.

I'm not sure what you mean by "doghouse air." Can you be more specific?

So you totally closed off the secondary air? Where is the stove getting air from, without that? What are the sources for primary and secondary? I'm guessing that the air control only affects the primary. Is this correct? And is it correct that secondary is what feeds the air tubes in the top of the stove?
Hickory will not be dry next year. If done right in the right ituation some wood can be dry in a year but that means split small stacked loosly single row and top covered with lots of air movement. Everything you are describing is typical of wet wood.