New Door Gasket- Fails Dollar Bill Test

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Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
I have been trying to get a better seal between my stove door and body. I seem to leak air from the bottom. I have done 4 replacements in the last 6 weeks. Some OEM, some aftermarket gaskets. Here is my latest with a brand new OEM gasket. The video shows how easy the bill pulls out. The pictures show the new gasket installed. I did not stretch it; I did not bunch it up (as I did in one attempt). I did not twist it. Also pictured is the gap between door and stove body without a gasket.
I have made two types of adjustments in an effort to get the gasket to seal. The first is to rotate the door handle one turn counter clockwise. This brings the door frame closer to the stove body. But, when I attempt to lock the door handle, it binds up. The handle starts to engage the locking mechanism when the handle is straight up. (In the 12 o'clock position). It is fully locked when in the 10 o'clock position. There is a lot of resistance right away ---at the 12 o'clock position. I have pushed with all the pressure that I feel is appropriate..before I feel something might break or warp. I can add more pressure to shutting the handle; it is just that I do not feel that is the right thing. I have contacted the manufacture regarding the amount of pressure that can be applied to the door handle.

I also adjusted the hinge side pins. These rotate which allows for the hinge side to be brought closer to the stove body. There is about .060" travel that can be used to bring the door closer. I tried various positions up to the .060" and the seal still fails the test. (The pins can only be rotated up to 1/2 way. Any more and the sections of the door that slide over the pins makes contact with the stove body and the door will not fully open.)
I also tried only rotating the bottom pin. No luck.

The bottom left corner is where the bill slides out. The other areas (top and sides) are ok. I do not see a bend in the stove body or the door that would overcome that much gasket material.

For those of you that have successfully replaced door gaskets on Drolet stoves, any thoughts? Escape 1500 Door gasket 2.jpg Escape 1500 Door gasket 3.jpg Stove - door gap- hinge side.jpg Stove - door gap.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Dollar bill test -failure.mp4
    9.9 MB

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,993
SE North Carolina
New my Drolet had almost no resistance moving the latch handle to the the full latched position from the open position. I was concerned that it wasn’t closing tight enough. It passed the $ bill test all the way around.

Where is it making first / most contact? Can you /have you confirmed that the latch is working correctly? Not interfering with anything?

From factory mine came with both pins in the what I will call the forward position. And I have what appears to be a much larger gap between stove and door. It almost sounds like it’s binding at the hinge side not allowing the door to swing far enough closed leaving a gap near the latch side. Only thing I can think of.

Evan

image.jpg image.jpg
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
Evan,

This is a video of me closing the door, then rotating the handle one turn counter clock wise and trying to shut the handle again. You can see how it latches the first time. Then it binds up the second time. I have quite a bit of force on the handle. I can put more pressure if I grab the handle and the stove and really give it a big shove, but I have concerns about the side effects. You can see the latch works properly in the first attempt.

My door to stove gap in the above pictures measures about .200 inches. Looks like the same as yours.
My hinge pins measure .905 inches from outer edge to the stove body when in the factory setting.....furthest away from body. I moved them in increments to .842 inches. Dollar bill test failed at all points. .842 is the closest I can move the pins before the door binds when opening.
 

Attachments

  • Escape 1500 door latch 2.mp4
    15.4 MB
Last edited:

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
Does the stove run hot? Can you control it or not really?
It effects the performance. Leak is possible cause of primary 'air wash air' igniting, resulting in half of glass covered in soot and creosote.
 

Attachments

  • Possible Air leak II.mp4
    14.7 MB

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,993
SE North Carolina
Have you contacted SBI/Drolet for support? Only other thing I could think of was loosen the set screws on the hinge pins and try to set the the latch first letting the pins freely “float”. Then see if you can seal the bottom left. Then set the pins.

After that I’m triple checking door and frame flatness
Evan
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,176
Sand Lake, NY
I did this. I might've needed a redo. That would've been easy, but the season is almost over.
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
I did this. I might've needed a redo. That would've been easy, but the season is almost over.
I saw this. But did not see followup about it working or not. And you were worried about jinxing it.
I actually tired a 'back up' behind the gasket on the lower side. Used a piece of window gasket material. Did not work.
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
Have you contacted SBI/Drolet for support? Only other thing I could think of was loosen the set screws on the hinge pins and try to set the the latch first letting the pins freely “float”. Then see if you can seal the bottom left. Then set the pins.

After that I’m triple checking door and frame flatness
Evan
I did contact them. Not 100% sure I used the right form, so I tried again this morning. I check for flatness again. The bottom of the door could be flat side to side; that does not mean it is flat and square across the whole door. mmmm?? Thanks.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,176
Sand Lake, NY
I saw this. But did not see followup about it working or not. And you were worried about jinxing it.
I actually tired a 'back up' behind the gasket on the lower side. Used a piece of window gasket material. Did not work.
I'd give this stuff a whirl. It's not that compressible and withstands high temperature. Does wear with contact from shovel, coals, etc,
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,993
SE North Carolina
I keep a role of this handy for temporary fixes. I double it up for big gaps. They sell some that is adhesive backed. Not sure I have a good idea on how to use in a permanent manner for you. Could it be RTVd on top of existing gasket. Not pretty but nought be functional.

Midwest Hearth Wood Stove Replacement Gasket for Woodburning Stoves - Graphite Impregnated Fiberglass Gaskets (5/8" x 1/8" x 84" Flat) Amazon product
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,486
South Puget Sound, WA
If the gap is 1/16" or less then you may be able to do a thicker build up of RTV in the gasket channel so that the gasket projects a little further out at the bottom of the door.
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
If the gap is 1/16" or less then you may be able to do a thicker build up of RTV in the gasket channel so that the gasket projects a little further out at the bottom of the door.
Looking at the dollar bill test video, would you say that is a pass or fail? I would like your thoughts.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,486
South Puget Sound, WA
Looking at the dollar bill test video, would you say that is a pass or fail? I would like your thoughts.
Looks a little loose, though the video can't show the tension on the bill. If it's only 1/32" that can be made up with a bit more RTV in the channel before the gasket is seated. Don't mush it out too much.
 
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snobuilder

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2021
432
WI
Is that latch rod threaded like a bolt? Never saw one like that. In your video you tightened it one turn and it changed the rotation backwards about 1/4 turn. What if you loosen it a full turn and latch it. The handle would be tight at about the 7 oclock position.

OR....is there a lock nut or double nut on the inside that came loose?

also it looked fairly tight where you had the dollar bill on the video. Is it that tight at the corner where your flames were present on the hinge side?
 
Last edited:

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
Is that latch rod threaded like a bolt? Never saw one like that. In your video you tightened it one turn and it changed the rotation backwards about 1/4 turn. What if you loosen it a full turn and latch it. The handle would be tight at about the 7 oclock position.

OR....is there a lock nut or double nut on the inside that came loose?

also it looked fairly tight where you had the dollar bill on the video. Is it that tight at the corner where your flames were present on the hinge side?
The rod is threaded like a bolt. In the video, when the handle is at the 12 o'clock position, the roller is just starting to engage the latch housing. When moved to the 10 o'clock position, it is fully latched. When tightened 1 turn, I can not get the handle past the 12 o'clock position. The gasket will not compress anymore.....at the top and sides of the door. See next posting

The bill is not tight in the video. It slides out quite easily.

Door Latch Roller.jpg Escape 1500 latch housing.jpg
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
If you look at the pictures in the 1st posting you will see a fresh new gasket installed in my door. It is round, plump, and soft all away around the door. This gasket has been in the door with the door shut and latched for 24 hours. It is still round, plump, and soft.

SBI saw this and stated that it was installed correctly. They stated they thought the dollar bill test might be ok; they were not sure of the tension that I was applying. They stated that there needs to be compression; but it does not have to be like pliers are holding the bill.

Over the weekend I started a few small fires in the stove. I had flames gravitate toward the bottom of the door and had a build up of soot on the door. Upon taking the door off and looking at the gasket again, I saw that the top and the sides were compressed, flat and hard. The gasket at the bottom of the door was still round, plump, and soft. This tells me that the gasket was not compressing the same along it's entire length. The heat effects the gasket when it is compressed. It retains the compressed shape and gets hard.

I did a lot of measuring and checking for straight and squareness. Eventually I found this: The section of the stove at the bottom of the door is not on the same plane as the section of the stove above the door. The lower section is angled away from the door as it gets lower. This results in a larger gap between the door/gasket and the stove body. The gasket does not meet the stove body at the edge of the fire box opening. The gasket meets the stove body about 1 3/4 inches below the firebox opening. The attached pictures show the backward angle. Look at the bubble in the level.

Therefore, I can not tightened the door by adjusting the latch since the gasket is fully compressed at the top of the door. The gasket at the bottom of the door can not compress enough to seal since the stove body is not close enough for proper contact. Thus air leak at the bottom.

I informed SBI of my findings late Sunday, but have not heard back yet.

Another poster on this forum took measurements on their Escape model stove and his bottom section is on the same plane as his top. His door seals satisfactorily.

Door gasket after fires.jpg Bottom of door gasket Fluffy Soft.jpg Top of door gasket Compressed Flat Hard.jpg Escape 1500 cut away 001.jpg Angle of lower stove front 2.jpg Gap where gasket should seal.jpg
 

snobuilder

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2021
432
WI
That difference the wood straight edge is showing doesn't look significant enough to cause such a leak. I wonder if the door is warped.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,486
South Puget Sound, WA
To be accurate I would use a metal straight edge like a 24" level to check both the door and the stove face for slight warpage.
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
That difference the wood straight edge is showing doesn't look significant enough to cause such a leak. I wonder if the door is warped.
Some of the measuring and checking I did over the weekend was to check the door for squareness. Laid on a solid flat surface I could not detect any warping.
The pictures make it a bit hard to tell, but the top of the door gasket has significant compression. The bottom is still uncompressed. The wood straight edge picture shows where the vertical plane should be if the above-door section and the below-door section were aligned. The gasket starts to compress as soon as it hits the above-door section which is quite a distance before the gasket touches the below-door section.
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
To be accurate I would use a metal straight edge like a 24" level to check both the door and the stove face for slight warpage.
I believe that I am accurate. A 24" metal straight edge can not be used as it is too long. The stove top and the ash tray prevent using anything longer than I used. My wood straight edge is indeed straight.
I did use a 24 inch level as a straight edge to determine if the horizontal face across the bottom section was warped.

There is a inward dip on both the left and the right side. See pictures. I felt that the amount of deviation is something that the gasket would compensate for. Then I noticed the position of the bubble in the photo for the right side. Notice how it is off center. That lead me to investigate and determine that the below-door section was angled backward...away from the door and gasket.

The stove top is even horizontally. The front side of the stove on the latch side is vertical. The below-door section is angled backward.

I could not detect any warping of the door when placing it on a solid flat surface and trying to rock it.

Stove body not straight Left side.jpg Stove body not straight Right side.jpg Angle of stove top.jpg Angle of stove body.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,486
South Puget Sound, WA
Can the door be shimmed with a thin washer at the top hinge pin to bring it out slightly?
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
Can the door be shimmed with a thin washer at the top hinge pin to bring it out slightly?
Unfortunately, no.
There is adjustment for the hinge pins. They rotate. The factory setting has them placed in the outmost position. Over the weekend I rotated the lower pin inward in a couple of steps. This was an attempt to bring the lower edge closer to the stove body. In a note today, SBI also suggested this. It was not successful. Bringing the lower right corner in did not bring the lower left corner in closer. After too much movement, the upper left corner started to move away from the stove body.

SBI stated that the information that I sent will be going to their quality group.

1500 Top pin.jpg 1500 Door offset.jpg
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,176
Sand Lake, NY
I noticed the other day that air seemed to coming in the bottom a lot. So, I scraped off the old refractory 'gasket' I mentioned before and put on a new one. Very quick. Didn't paint it this time. Not sure why the stains-flames licking it? You can see where the gasket presses against it. Passes dollar bill test.

IMG_20220325_101909422_LL.jpg
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
231
Northern Illinois
I noticed the other day that air seemed to coming in the bottom a lot. So, I scraped off the old refractory 'gasket' I mentioned before and put on a new one. Very quick. Didn't paint it this time. Not sure why the stains-flames licking it? You can see where the gasket presses against it. Passes dollar bill test.

View attachment 294025
I wonder if the three 'burn' areas (2 center; 1 to the right) are from coals falling on gasket. Not sure about the stains.
You mentioned that it does not compress very much and that is about 1/8" thick. I see the 'ledge' on the left side where the stove gasket runs vertical. I wonder if air passes thru there.
I have some stuff similar to what EbS-P mentioned in post #11 above. It is a woven fabric that will mold better to the door gasket. I had used it for a window seal. It has adhesive on the back. I may run a strip of it across the bottom as you did. But that is dependent on what I hear back from SBI and there quality group. No word yet.