Jotul Firelight 12 Newbie

leopinetree Posted By leopinetree, Aug 7, 2018 at 11:03 AM

  1. leopinetree

    leopinetree
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    Hello everyone,

    New to the forum here. I will debut with many questions about my wood stove.

    We moved into this house 3 years ago, the wood stove sat in th basement unused since we had no idea if it was safe to use. I finally had the flue inspected and it looks squeaky clean, the tech said the stove looks good and other than needing a new damper gasket it should be safe to fire up.

    I am attaching some pictures of the interior of the stove. My questions:

    1. Do you guys think everything looks in order? I am specially concerned with the cat combustor.

    2.I read plenty on the wood x ecobrick dilema and wondered what would be easier for someone with zero experience heating with wood.

    3. The manual doesn’t mention the size of the gasket for the damper. Anyone would happen to know if 1/4 is the one?

    The stove seats in a basement, we plan on using as a supplement to our obscenely expensive electric heat. I plan on cuting vents of the floor for cold air return and hopefully enough heat will make it up the basement stairs.

    Thanks!

    Leo
    43ECE77A-6990-4B94-BDD9-455C8F738ED2.jpeg 35FB4E56-4ACB-44F0-90DC-1D053D13C2AE.jpeg 529BF365-FEC7-43A5-B9B4-99868C0A8D8B.jpeg 15AF8588-5001-43EC-B22C-185878455CD8.jpeg 037FD9EE-2F64-424C-ADB4-98E43DACA633.jpeg 70A1DF2D-C891-4C8C-B0DC-B66AAC3742D9.jpeg 3E60E739-1F24-4F08-8C81-F6F7436E946E.jpeg
     
  2. begreen

    begreen
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    The cat is partially plugged and needs to be gently cleaned. Try brushing with a soft brush and vacuuming.
     
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  3. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Or a soft pipe cleaner.

    Marking for later discussion. I owned three Jotul Firelights, until just a few years ago. Yours is in the later years of F12 production, as evidenced by the doghouse door.
     
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  4. leopinetree

    leopinetree
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    Thanks guys. I am going to clean the cat mechanically as suggested.
     
  5. leopinetree

    leopinetree
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    Thanks, Ashful. I don’t know much about these stoves so I might bug you in the near future.
     
  6. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Hey, got in late tonight. I was hoping to look up the combustor that some members have switched to in recent years, but I'll have to get to that another evening. These are decent stoves, but they tend to eat most of the replacement combustors. If you have an original combustor, and its still in good shape, you'll be good with that for now. But, combustors are replacement items, you'll need a new one someday.

    You're going to want good dry wood to run that thing, downdraft combustor stoves like the Firelight aren't the easiest to get into active reburn, but they work wonderfully once you're there. Dry wood is key.

    Some have had back-puffing troubles trying to run these very low and slow on shorter chimneys. I had that trouble with one of mine, the one on the shortest chimney. The one on the taller chimney never had an issue.
     
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  7. 212degrees

    212degrees
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    Hi everybody, I'm new to hearth.com too. I am in the process of looking for a used wood stove to heat my house that is 1800 square ft. I was advised to get a Vermont Castings or Jotul. The only VC or Jotul stove I can find in area is a Jotul Firelight No 12 made in 1993. Jotul's manual for that stove says that it outputs 10,500 to 32,100 BTUs/hr. But the newer version of the Firelight that has same physical dimensions (F600) outputs up to 81,500 BTUs/hr. I must be looking at something wrong, because I can't figure out how the same size stove can give such drastically different heat outputs. Does anyone have experience with how big of a house the Firelight will heat? Will the Firelight warm up my whole house? Thanks in advance.
     
  8. begreen

    begreen
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    Welcome. I would look harder and longer. The older Firelight was a complex catalytic stove. Many parts are no longer available. The new F600 has a different secondary combustion system. Note that there are different testing methods that explains the discrepency in btu output. Some list peak output and some list EPA tested output.

    I would advise you to also be careful when purchasing a VC stove. The oldest models were well built, but they are getting harder to get parts for. Some of the newer models became maintenance nightmares. If heat is the most important than maybe consider getting a new steel stove instead. It will use less fuel and burn cleaner as long as it is only fed fully seasoned, dry wood. There are several choices for under $1,000. How large an area will the stove be heating?
     
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  9. Ashful

    Ashful
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    What begreen said. Of course, this is when he’ll go back and edit his post to say Ashful is a butthead.

    1800 sq ft is well within the range of heating 100% by wood. Can you tell us anything about construction, insulation, floor plan?
     
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  10. 212degrees

    212degrees
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    i thought cast iron stoves were better then steel stoves bc no welds to crack open?
    thats a shame about VC later models. do you know about what year VC started to be a problem?
    i need a stove that will heat 1800 square feet. BTUs is most important in my choice, but ideally I would love a glass door so I can see fire.
    what stove brands would you recommend?
     
  11. 212degrees

    212degrees
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    the house is older- built in the 70s and then abandoned since 1986. I got ahold of it this winter and it was covered in vines and had multiple holes in roof. walls are stick frame with minimal insulation. attic insulation is going to be the bomb once i finish putting on new roof. floor plan is one big dining room/living room with one wall between it and kitchen and a long narrow hallway with bathroom and 3 bedrooms coming off of it. there are many thin, single pane windows and sliding window doors. on scale of 1-10 for holding heat with 10 being best and 1 being a tarp, this house is solid 5. I assume the hallway and rooms will not get warm, but id really like the kitchen and dining/living room to be toasty in winter. area is not that cold in winter. 49/25 degrees high/low average. but its wet so it feels a bit colder. what stoves do you recommend?
     
  12. begreen

    begreen
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    Cast iron stoves are typically good looking and usually quite radiant heaters, but very often over the long haul they will need more maintenance. A cast iron stove will often have larger clearance requirements due to the high radiance. A well made steel stove is not likely to crack welds unless it has been overfired. There are exceptions, but that is not the norm. For a durable, affordable steel stove, take a look at the Englander 30NC or Englander 50SSW01 (also sold under the Summer's Heat brand as model 50-SHSSW01), and the Drolet Myriad II or Drolet HT2000. If you have the budget there are many more choices and some are quite good looking, but they cost more. Note that the flue and hearth system may cost as much or more than the stove.

    Be careful reading marketing specs. Any of these models will produce enough heat to easily heat the space. It's typical with a ranch style house for the LR area to be the warmest and the bedrooms the coldest. There are some tricks to help distribute the heat like a ceiling fan, fan in the hallway blowing cooler air into the warm area, or if there is a basement, a ducted blower system doing likewise.

    Again note that any modern stove is going to need dry wood and it will need a good flue system for proper draft.
     
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  13. Ashful

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    Well, a stove in a leaky house without an outside air kit will always dry things out, usually too much. So, if you have high winter humidity, consider that solved. As you tighten up the house, you may want to consider an OAK, but you can evaluate that later.

    A desk fan on the floor, pushing cold air out of that long hallway, will do a reasonably good job at moving heated air along the ceiling to replace the cold air you’re moving out. It creates a nice convection loop.

    Cast iron stoves are not more durable. The iron is, but they fail at the cement seams. I had three Jotuls, prior to switching to welded steel stoves, and they required maintenance. Welded steel is the way to go, for ultimate durability and simplicity, with the caveat that you don’t distort the box by over-firing.

    With a stick-frame house, I don’t see any huge advantage in radiant vs. convective designs, other that what begreen already pointed out: some of the most radiant stoves have larger clearance requirements.
     
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  14. 212degrees

    212degrees
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    wow. i really like those 2 brands of stoves. i didn't realize I could find a brand new stove for $1000. I have a few more questions:
    1) All stoves you recommended don't have catalytic chambers. How do you feel about cats?
    2) The house has a subterranean basement that I was planning on drying out (it has a flooding issue currently) and then converting into a workshop space. To keep it warm in winter, I was going to install a stove downstairs. If I do that, can I tie the downstairs stove pipe into the upstairs stove pipe or do I have to have two pipes sticking out of roof? Or could i just get a really big stove and put it downstairs and heat the whole house? When I was looking at the stoves you recommended, I saw furnaces that heat 3000 ft. How is a furnace different from a wood stove? does the name just denote XL size?
    thanks for all your insight.
     
  15. 212degrees

    212degrees
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    I am sold on the welded steel stoves. You and begreen have completely convinced me.and yes, I am definitely going to need to set up some convection loops in the house. Is an OAK basically a hole under the floor of the wood stove? Whats the point of an OAK?
     
  16. begreen

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    I love cats. Ours likes to curl up in front of the stove all night long.

    Only one stove is permitted on a chimney. Two stoves can not share a common chimney. I may be possible to heat with one large stove in the basement, but it depends on the stove location, stairwell location, openess of the stairwell. This can be less efficient, especially if the basement is not insulated. Also, if there is no outside access to the basement, getting wood down to the stove can become a major chore.
     
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  17. 212degrees

    212degrees
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    ok. thanks.
     
  18. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Oh no you didn’t! Easily the most-debated subject on this forum.

    Cat stoves have the performance advantage, tube stoves have the maintenance and fire view advantage. But I will be quick to say that the nay-sayers on both sides vastly exaggerate the negatives of the other, they both obviously work well enough to maintain substantial market share. Cat stoves are NOT the dead black boxes that non-cat guys will try to have you believe they are, and non-cats are not the frightening run-away machines some cat guys will claim they are.

    On this forum, you’ll find a lot of folks who have switched from non-cat to cat stoves, and they give a million reasons why they’re better. But what you need to remember is that people who hang out on stove forums are the enthusiasts, not the average user who doesn’t want to maintain a properly operating catalytic stove.
     
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  19. 212degrees

    212degrees
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    ;)
     

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