New Blaze King - Enough Draft?

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Subtle Sam

New Member
Jun 10, 2021
8
Vancouver Island
Hi there,

First time poster here. We’ve been heating with wood stoves for the last 15 years and currently have a 2200 square foot house with a 20 year old Pacific Energy Summit. We also have a mini split heat system with three zones in the house. We tend to use the mini split until end of Nov then switch to exclusively wood heat until end of March.

The Summit is starting to get worn and I’ve been filling a few small cracks with high heat cement. We are considering buying a new Blaze King Scirocco 30 or Chinook 30. Main draws to the BK are less wood, maintaining more constant temperatures and avoiding spikes.

But I’m worried about draft. If we put in a BK the double wall pipe would come up out of the stove for 26” (Just slightly more than the BK min), then 90 into a masonry chimney, then 90 up into a stainless liner that lives inside of a brick chimney. Total length of chimney is about 16’ from top of stove. The brick chimney does not have a tile liner, just a stainless pipe in the brick chimney.

The summit currently burns fairly well but I do have to clean the chimney 2-3 times per winter depending on how much we burn. Roughly every two months if we are burning 24/7. For wood we use 1-2 year seasoned Douglas fir and big leaf maple. We have a good woodshed and try to stay a year ahead of our needs.

Do you think this setup will work and provide enough draft with a blaze king? I would hate to invest $4000 CAD to find out it’s not enough draft.

Thanks for any advice!
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,023
Long Island NY
I have a Chinook 30, same vertical rise before the 90, then a double wall stainless in an outside brick chimney.
My chimney is 27' though.

Here:

you can download the manual.
You can see that it's best to have an insulated liner; flue gases are cooler for a BK (when running low), and to avoid condensation of (residual, very low if burning proper wood) creosote, not cooling down the gases any further on their way up is necessary.

You can also see you need a minimum of 15' above the top of the stove. However, bends and horizontal runs add length to this requirement that is for "straight up and out"; page 17 (CK30.2 manual) says 2 ft for each 90 deg elbow and 2 ft for each ft of horizontal length.
Your 16' will not be enough.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,023
Long Island NY
I hope that others, e.g. @begreen and @bholler may have good suggestions for a stove that breathes a bit easier and covers the same needs as your older one.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,199
central pa
You could always switch out the interior 90 for 2 45s and add some height to the chimney
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,023
Long Island NY
That would decrease the initial vertical rise (minimum 2 ft).
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,660
South Puget Sound, WA
You could always switch out the interior 90 for 2 45s and add some height to the chimney
The Summit is a real easy breather. Besides softening the 90º turn as described, insulating the liner will help if it is not already insulated. The same goes for burning drier wood. We're running the same firebox, 2008 vintage, and still only get a cup or so of soot when cleaning once a year after 3 cords burned. But our chimney is straight up with double-wall inside. Under proper conditions, Doug fir will dry in less than a year, but soft maple takes two.
 

Subtle Sam

New Member
Jun 10, 2021
8
Vancouver Island
You could always switch out the interior 90 for 2 45s and add some height to the chimney
Yeah this could be an option. I could also get a Mason to open up a hole in the brick a foot higher to get that 3’ off the top of the stove.

But I worry that my uninsulated 16’ long stainless liner in brick chimney might be the issue.
 

Subtle Sam

New Member
Jun 10, 2021
8
Vancouver Island
The Summit is a real easy breather. Besides softening the 90º turn as described, insulating the liner will help if it is not already insulated. The same goes for burning drier wood. We're running the same firebox, 2008 vintage, and still only get a cup or so of soot when cleaning once a year after 3 cords burned. But our chimney is straight up with double-wall inside. Under proper conditions, Doug fir will dry in less than a year, but soft maple takes two.
I don’t think my liner is insulated. Good to hear from another PNWer who knows about our species of wood. I agree maple needs min 2 years.

Interesting how much less soot you get than me. How long is your chimney if you don’t mind me asking?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,660
South Puget Sound, WA
If you are switching to a BK, then you definitely will want to get the liner insulated. The flue gases will be cooler with a cat stove. You might also want to consider getting a Princess which will be less draft fussy according to owners like Highbeam.
Our flue system is about 19' straight up. For the past several years I have burned doug fir exclusively, except for some hardwood like locust and cherry in very cold weather.
 

Subtle Sam

New Member
Jun 10, 2021
8
Vancouver Island
If you are switching to a BK, then you definitely will want to get the liner insulated. The flue gases will be cooler with a cat stove. You might also want to consider getting a Princess which will be less draft fussy according to owners like Highbeam.
Our flue system is about 19' straight up. For the past several years I have burned doug fir exclusively, except for some hardwood like locust and cherry in very cold weather.
Ok thanks. Seems like pulling 16’ of liner, detaching thimble and insulating would be a fairly good sized job. Plus then adding a few feet of pipe. I might not need a blaze king this badly but it is disappointing because I really think we would appreciate a catalytic stove.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,660
South Puget Sound, WA
It's not that big a deal if the liner is in good shape for an experienced sweep.

Where are the cracks you are sealing on the current stove?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,199
central pa
Yeah this could be an option. I could also get a Mason to open up a hole in the brick a foot higher to get that 3’ off the top of the stove.

But I worry that my uninsulated 16’ long stainless liner in brick chimney might be the issue.
So insulate it. It should be insulated regardless. And you can always add a little height.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,032
Massachusetts
Under proper conditions, Doug fir will dry in less than a year, but soft maple takes two.
I agree maple needs min 2 years.

I burn primarily soft maple (mostly red) and it seasons in one good summer here. Everything I stacked this winter/spring will be ready for November. I Wonder if being in the PNW wetter climate makes it slower?

Also some good points on draft in here. Good luck!
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,349
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I believe the 2 feet vertical above the stove is a requirement in the manual, not a recommendation.

There are other cat stove brands without a reputation for being as draft sensitive but none with a thermostat or with such a wide range of outputs. Kuma and Woodstock are good ones.

My 2012 princess is on a 12’ total chimney. All vertical. I ripped out a masonry chimney in about 2006 and upgraded to a modern class A pipe system for several reasons including superior performance.

In 2012, Bk only required 12’ of chimney so I’m good. Then, for no apparent reason they began recommending 15’. New 2020 princess stoves may have taken advantage of the 15’ stack and might need all 15’.

If you’re under 15’ then it’s a gamble.

Both of my stoves are burning right now. 50s and raining. Doug fir and I’m into some maple too. I think it’s big leaf.
 

Subtle Sam

New Member
Jun 10, 2021
8
Vancouver Island
I burn primarily soft maple (mostly red) and it seasons in one good summer here. Everything I stacked this winter/spring will be ready for November. I Wonder if being in the PNW wetter climate makes it slower?

Also some good points on draft in here. Good luck!
I think it makes a big difference. The humidity and rain days here, even in the summer, make getting big leaf maple under 20% very challenging.
 

Subtle Sam

New Member
Jun 10, 2021
8
Vancouver Island
I believe the 2 feet vertical above the stove is a requirement in the manual, not a recommendation.

There are other cat stove brands without a reputation for being as draft sensitive but none with a thermostat or with such a wide range of outputs. Kuma and Woodstock are good ones.

My 2012 princess is on a 12’ total chimney. All vertical. I ripped out a masonry chimney in about 2006 and upgraded to a modern class A pipe system for several reasons including superior performance.

In 2012, Bk only required 12’ of chimney so I’m good. Then, for no apparent reason they began recommending 15’. New 2020 princess stoves may have taken advantage of the 15’ stack and might need all 15’.

If you’re under 15’ then it’s a gamble.

Both of my stoves are burning right now. 50s and raining. Doug fir and I’m into some maple too. I think it’s big leaf.
Funny you mention removing the masonry chimney. We are replacing the roof this summer so now would be the time to do it. It would be very nice to have a vertical pipe only.

Any time I join a new forum I end up spending money!
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,385
Ottawa, ON
Funny you mention removing the masonry chimney. We are replacing the roof this summer so now would be the time to do it. It would be very nice to have a vertical pipe only.

Any time I join a new forum I end up spending money!
Welcome to the forum. And please stay out of the “gear” section of this site........! If you do not want any more toys.......that is.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,086
Western Washington
Was my first winter with the princess. Was burning a pre epa stove for many years before that. Perfect pnw stove if you ask me. Not still burning like highbeam though. Even at a low simmer = no
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,349
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Funny you mention removing the masonry chimney. We are replacing the roof this summer so now would be the time to do it. It would be very nice to have a vertical pipe only.

Any time I join a new forum I end up spending money!

It was surprisingly cheap and easy to remove the stupid pile of rocks. Cheaper than installing a liner! Unless you just love the aesthetic of a rock tower on the outside of your house I would get rid of it. You can always put brick or stone on the walls inside your home.

They say we live in earthquake country which is one of the reasons to upgrade.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,349
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Was my first winter with the princess. Was burning a pre epa stove for many years before that. Perfect pnw stove if you ask me. Not still burning like highbeam though. Even at a low simmer = no

Rain and 50s outside. How does that keep your house above 70 inside? Maybe you’re a furnace guy. If I had a heat pump I would be using it. Some day I want one. We have plans.

The way I heat with wood when it’s almost July is short, hot fires with just 6 half sized splits and a very high burn rate. Pretty much like a noncat. It’s pretty, and quickly brings temps up from 65 to 75 indoors. The dog loves it. Totally the opposite of winter burning which is to stuff the stove full and burn at low output constantly.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,086
Western Washington
Huh, I never thought about short hot fires. Might have to try that! House is pretty well insulated. I lit a small fire a while back and sent off the smoke alarms and shut it down to a low simmer and wife says nope, too hot and was about 630 am on a weekend when I lit and set off the smoke alarms lol. It was colder then but still just too much. Maybe a quick burn would do the trick. Thanks!
 
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Subtle Sam

New Member
Jun 10, 2021
8
Vancouver Island
Rain and 50s outside. How does that keep your house above 70 inside? Maybe you’re a furnace guy. If I had a heat pump I would be using it. Some day I want one. We have plans.

The way I heat with wood when it’s almost July is short, hot fires with just 6 half sized splits and a very high burn rate. Pretty much like a noncat. It’s pretty, and quickly brings temps up from 65 to 75 indoors. The dog loves it. Totally the opposite of winter burning which is to stuff the stove full and burn at low output constantly.
Our mini split heat pump/woodstove combo has been great. The install cost on the mini splits is high, but the operating costs are very low. Especially if, like us, you only run the heat pump during the fall and spring. It’s darn near free. So many other benefits too-less wood, eliminates the trickiest seasons to burn, air con in the summer.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,199
central pa
It was surprisingly cheap and easy to remove the stupid pile of rocks. Cheaper than installing a liner! Unless you just love the aesthetic of a rock tower on the outside of your house I would get rid of it. You can always put brick or stone on the walls inside your home.

They say we live in earthquake country which is one of the reasons to upgrade.
How is tear down and disposal of the masonry. Then repairs to cover where the chimney was then a class a chimney cheaper than a liner when the class a alone costs more than the liner? If the masonry needs allot of work then yeah that may be true but if not there is no way