Loading a Drolet HT2000

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Tavis

New Member
Oct 14, 2020
2
Saskatchewan
Hey guys! I am another newbie to wood stoves, and we recently installed a Drolet HT2000. The stove is in the basement of our 1200 square foot bungalow, and it connects to an external masonry chimney that we lined with a flexible stainless steel liner. We are currently burning some standing dead elm and poplar; the moisture tester reads anywhere from 12% to 17% moisture.

Yesterday was our first cold day of the year, and we woke to a nice bed of coals in the stove from the night before. I thought to load a full(ish) load and let it burn on low for the day. I raked the coals to the front of the stove and stacked in my splits. I left the door cracked until the wood had caught, and then closed the door with the air control wide open. I've read that you should let it burn wide open until the logs are all charred, but my stove pipe temps were climbing fast. We have a probe-type flue thermometer located 18" above the top of the stove (it's single-wall stove pipe, but the thermometer came with the stove). The temps sailed past 800 and were at almost 900 degrees when I started closing down the air control. I dropped it down to just barely open, and the temps dropped to around 800 and held steady. I thought all was well until I went outside the house and looked at the chimney. There was definitely some visible smoke, and it smelled horrible. Almost a chemically smell. We have had several hot fires in the stove already, so I *think* the paint should have already cured...

What went wrong/how can I do it better in the future? I see guys on here loading their stoves full, and I want to know how to load the firebox without the stove temps getting too high off the get go. How high do you guys let your flue temperature get when you first start the stove, anyway? Do you rake the coals all to one side so the wood catches slowly? Should I be closing the air control before all the logs have begun to char?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,563
South Puget Sound, WA
The wood sounds nice and dry. You need to close down the air much sooner. Here is a guide:
 
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Tavis

New Member
Oct 14, 2020
2
Saskatchewan
The wood sounds nice and dry. You need to close down the air much sooner. Here is a guide:

Thanks! I thought there must be a guide, but somehow I missed it. That is exactly what I was looking for. When you do a hot reload, do you generally rake all your coals to one side so the logs don’t all catch at once?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,563
South Puget Sound, WA
It depends on the size of the coal bed. I generally try to burn them down pretty well by opening up the air and maybe putting a couple of skinny splits or some thicker kindling pieces on top. Once they have burned down I usually rake them to the front with a N/S loading and the fire burns front to back. If I want to slow it down a little I may do an E/W loading instead.
 

T-roy_

Burning Hunk
Dec 30, 2015
183
Central Minnesota
Thanks! I thought there must be a guide, but somehow I missed it. That is exactly what I was looking for. When you do a hot reload, do you generally rake all your coals to one side so the logs don’t all catch at once?
That is what I used to do. A coal log I guess. Load wood on the side without coals and maybe one on top of your “coal log”.
 

rtrev37

Member
Aug 28, 2018
94
New York City
Hey guys! I am another newbie to wood stoves, and we recently installed a Drolet HT2000. The stove is in the basement of our 1200 square foot bungalow, and it connects to an external masonry chimney that we lined with a flexible stainless steel liner. We are currently burning some standing dead elm and poplar; the moisture tester reads anywhere from 12% to 17% moisture.

Yesterday was our first cold day of the year, and we woke to a nice bed of coals in the stove from the night before. I thought to load a full(ish) load and let it burn on low for the day. I raked the coals to the front of the stove and stacked in my splits. I left the door cracked until the wood had caught, and then closed the door with the air control wide open. I've read that you should let it burn wide open until the logs are all charred, but my stove pipe temps were climbing fast. We have a probe-type flue thermometer located 18" above the top of the stove (it's single-wall stove pipe, but the thermometer came with the stove). The temps sailed past 800 and were at almost 900 degrees when I started closing down the air control. I dropped it down to just barely open, and the temps dropped to around 800 and held steady. I thought all was well until I went outside the house and looked at the chimney. There was definitely some visible smoke, and it smelled horrible. Almost a chemically smell. We have had several hot fires in the stove already, so I *think* the paint should have already cured...

What went wrong/how can I do it better in the future? I see guys on here loading their stoves full, and I want to know how to load the firebox without the stove temps getting too high off the get go. How high do you guys let your flue temperature get when you first start the stove, anyway? Do you rake the coals all to one side so the wood catches slowly? Should I be closing the air control before all the logs have begun to char?

Hello, I have the same setup in a bungalo with same sq footage and with the same stove as you...But I use a stove top temperature gage instead. This is my second year with the HT200O from an old Fisher for 15 or more yrs, I have some dry wood below 10% but the 17% works as well.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME:
I normally split some logs to thin- wrist size logs and put about 8 pieces crossing each other. 2 N/S and 2 E/W, then 2 more N/S and 2 more E/W. I put about 3 large news paper under the log nd turn it on. I leave the door about .5 inches open or just enough to see the flames moving and spreading.

At this point, I have a few options:
- I can close it half way at 300 and close it a little more at 500. Once it reaches 600, I close it completely to the left then tap it very slightly to the right. The stove temp will continue to rise and become stable at 650-750. it will last for about 3-4 hours before reaching 300 again. However, remember that this is only 8 pieces of wrist size logs.

- The other option: Let the temp rise to 400-500 then close it half way. Then again at 600 and repeat the process from above. It works well, Depending on the house temp and how fast I want to heat the house, I would do the first normally and the second option when i want to heat the house quickly.

I reload at 300, where the coal is still red and burn with the door slightly oopen and the damper fully open then repeat as stated above,
However, i have also reloaded at 400 instead because at that temp, i can keep both the door and the damper closed and never have to touch the damper. it takes a while before the wood starts burning, which is ok because the stove is still hot.

WHAT HAS NOT WORKED FOR ME:
-Loeading and reloading while closing the damper way down at 300-500. The burn stops and the stove starts to cool down oppose to heat up.
- leaving the door over 1inch or more open does not work with first burn . too much air bows out the fire.
- reloading and keeping the damper closed when the temp is below 400.
- if you have wet wood, the chimney will smoke until the whole log is burning. in this case, open the door and let lots of air in to burn the smoke. Once the log is burning well, close the door and that will stop the smoking.
- Starting a fire with large pieces does not work too well. It takes a long time to reach 500 and nearly never passess 600 all while smoking and creating a bad smell outdoors.. i just wasted lots of wood to get only 400- 500 for the same amount of time. remedy is to open the damper fully and open the door slightly to hlep start the burn. The worst part is forgetting the door and damper is open due to slow start in burning with large pieces of wood. forgetting will either burn the wood very fast needing to reload or forgetting and the temp reaching 800-850. that's scary because bungalows dont have high ceilings.

I always rather split the wood and have it rise to 600-700 quickly then add more wood at 400 to keep it going longer. That works best with no smoking.

Smoking is just an indication that you closed down to early. However, the temp rise is nearly impossible to stop but will not go beyond 750-800 when the stove is hot and you close the damper then reopen with a slight tap to the right.

I have never fully loaded the stove due to not requiring that much heart. it does well with 8 pieces wrist size then reload every 3-4 hours or I throw 4 very large pieces while hot and last me for over 6-8 hours.

Its a great stove and hoep my experience helps. let keep sharing
 
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