Napoleon 1600C

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funnyfingers

New Member
Hearth Supporter
Jan 21, 2010
16
MD
I just replaced my Vermont Wood Stove Company DownDrafter (1978 ish) with a Napoleon 1600C. The old one had 3.0 cubic feet of firebox (at least) though seems much bigger than the 1.46 cubic feet that the 1600C says it has.

I was surprised that every single part of the 1600C is cast iron. Even the ash pan cover and the collar are cast iron.

Even though the 1600C is easily half the physical size of the DD, it may actually weigh more, though me and my brother did move the DD without the grates and doors.

Install went like this:
Put a 6" sheet metal decorative collar over the 8 inch thimble with DAP fire block calk. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, put a hair dryer to it for that time as well as it needs heat to set.
Put a 24" long 6" black pipe into the thimble 12" so it was set just before the terracotta lined brick chimney.
Set the wood stove 12" from the hearth.
Configured the wood stove flue collar to horizontal. This is the main reason I went with the 1600C. I needed the reversible collar.

Starting it for the first time:
I have a very strong draft. Even cold it sucks up through the stove. So used some cardboard to get it going more added some wood and watched it while I left the ash door open.
It heated up pretty quickly and starting the fuming that it warms you about.
Let that go for about 30 minutes and heated it up some more where the stove pipe was smoking and set off the alarm.
Set everything up so we could go out for dinner.
Came back and the blower was making noise, so I turned it off and sent an email to Obadiah's.

The glass is all dirty, I think mostly from the initial starting. I am thinking of taking one door off at a time and letting it cool to then clean it. I will then put it on with the stove hot. Maybe warm it up some how first, not sure how sensitive it it.

Using an internal temperature grill probe drilled in the flue temp is 400F.

I know this thing won't pump out the heat like the DD would, but I can put it on low and burn about a quarter of the wood I did over night.

So with the tax credit and the wood savings, I probably will recoup the loss in less than 5 years and less of a hassle stacking and moving wood in the house!
 
Congrats on your new stove. What finish did you get on the iron? I have the 1400PL and the glass stays real clean using nice dry wood, even after an overnight burn on low--I was genuinely surprised by that. Starting with a top down fire does minimize the smoke that could fog your glass on the onset, but if you do get some, a nice hot fire will burn it right off. You also may want to to stay with your new stove for a least a few cycles to monitor it (though understand why you wanted to escape from the fumes!). I found I had a much bigger learning curve with my new one even after having another EPA type before--took me at least of month of playing...and admittedly still tweaking it after four months. The Napoleons gets fed a fair amount of air even on low (both primary and secondary air are controlled together) so it needs to be cut down as those temps rise for that initial peaking of temperature. I have both a magnetic top and a probe thermostat so I know whats going on...more or less. I start from full on then keep halving it as the fire stabilizes. I am then able to literally close it down to either #1 or minimal air for the overnight. So good luck with your new stove and I am sure you'll find the best way to tweak the performance out of it in no time!
 
I have the magnetic stove top one as well, but it is broke. It isn't moving past 200.

I took out the glass and cleaned it with non fuming easy off oven cleaner and it melted the stuff right off. There was a little still on one of the glasses and the can seemed to clog up so I used a magic eraser to get that off.

I reinstalled the glass and it fogged up a little so I licked a paper towel to clean it off the glass which worked fine. Took 3 cycles of closing and cleaning and looking good so far.

This is the third day and seems to burn less than half the wood and has left about a cup of ash in the pan so far. Of course not as much heat as the old stove, but I haven't tried it on high for too long either and the blower needs replacing.
 

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The glass turned black again. It is burning plenty hot, but happened from stacking the logs too close to the glass. I don't really have much of a choice though as for an over night burn I really need that extra log in there.

I have been burning only black locust, which I now understand why people don't rate it higher than oak. It was fantastic in my old wood stove, but I guess the draw back for it having more heat total and lasting longer is that the heat is put out a little slower than oak. So you aren't going to get the maximum heat output with it. That is my guess anyway.
 
I just got home late this evening and wanted to reply. I never burned locus so I am not familiar with its burning characteristics. But genuinely dry wood should leave your glass clean assuming all else is right, so why don't you try another species of hardwood that you know is bone dry as an experiment? Even a little moisture can add lots of haze to your glass. When I am burning nice wood at hot enough temps, my interior of my firebox remains nice and clean--dark sooty bricks means you're likely burning dirty (wet wood or too cool).

In preparation for my overnight burn, I also do not load it all at once so it smolders. I first add one row of splits and get it going good, then I add my second row. There's nowhere near the smoke if I had piled it all in at once. One final and important thought, if you are turning the air down too fast after your loading for the overnight, that can certainly smother the fire if it didn't have a chance to heat up quite enough. I usually make sure I have a nice hot fire for 15-20 minutes or so before turning it down incrementally by halves. Just some ideas to try.

Eric
 
Even though the model numbers sound similar, I think your stove is quite different and probably keeps a lot hotter interior. Yours is a lot more insulated than mine is a believe. The 1600C does not have any firebricks in it. I've never seen it smolder yet actually. Also overnight I set it to a little less than half the air inlet and get 6 hour burn to coals. Even if I set it all the way to low, I don't see any smoke. I think if I clean it again and just load less wood, it may work out. I will see if I have any oak to see what it does, though.
 
Just would like to say that I have been burning poplar in this stove and it has been running great. From cold I start it with the ash door open adding some wood as needed until the fan kicks on. Then I set it to the high setting and add wood as needed. At night I set it to low and add more wood in the middle of the night and in the morning set it to high and add more wood.

It wasn't as easy with the locust and oak and burns quicker/hotter on high, which I like.
 
That sounds like great news that you’re figuring out what works and what doesn't in your new stove. So you can relax and just enjoy that fire! Ash doors are an "alien technology" to me, but that topic has been discussed on this site by those who live with them. With all these storms this winter, its nice to have heat when you want it...keeps the family nice and warm when all goes dark...and with a good looking stove you got there too. When I was a kid, my dad was my hero when he kept us warm with no power for a week from a major ice storm in the late 1970s...and that was with a fireplace with a built-in steel heatilator!
 
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