New to Burning an EPA stove, seeking Drolet Escape 1800 operation advice

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Buck Miller

New Member
Dec 6, 2021
17
Penna.
I've Been Burning Wood For 35 Years, Mostly in a Riteway Stove Made in Virginia, Awesome Heater But Eventually It Burned out inside, Which Led Me To Look At The New EPA Woodstoves. I Ended up Buying a Drolet Escape 1800 Model, I Also Have the Blower Installed On The Back. It Is Installed in My Basement of Our Cape Cod Home. The Basement is unfinished with the walls being painted with Dryloc Sealer. And I Have 2 Vents in the Floor Above Stove, One right Above it and The Other over about 6 ft away Both of these have 6in. Fans installed in them to carry heat upstairs also i Leave the door open to the basement and alot of heat goes upstairs through their. My Main Floor is Approx 1000 Sq.Ft. and My Upstairs is 600 Sq.Ft. However one of the rooms upstairs I have shut off so Only about 350 Sq.Ft. upstairs to heat, My Wood Is Mainly 2 Year cut White Ash and 3 year cut oak. I'm looking for any Suggestions to get the best and longest Heating out of this Stove. I Have burned it 5 or 6 times Now So I'm still Learning about its Personality. Thanks For Your Help
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,798
South Puget Sound, WA
The best heating and greatest reduction of wood consumption will come from insulating the basement walls. About a third of the heat is currently being sucked out the uninsulated basement walls. That's one out of every 3 cords burned.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
The best and longest heat would be after the basement is insulated; you're loosing about 30% of the heat right off the bat here...

I have done the fan thing the other way around: I suck cold air from the main living room floor thru a register I made. I added a flex duct (and a fire-damper on the boot with a metal link that melts, closing it when it gets too hot), and I blow the cold air onto the floor of the basement. Then the warm air rises through the stairs in the middle of my home.

I know you can't have HVAC duct returns within 10 ft of the stove. Not sure what code says about other fans sucking air.


Second: do you have wood with a moisture content <20%? Your stove will perform far better if you feed it good wood. Get a moisture meter if you don't have one, and read the manual so you operate it correctly. Most wood needs 1-2 year drying to reach that (split, preferably covered, and off the ground). Oak might need more.

Regarding the stove operation, I'll defer to others as I don't have experience with your stove.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,798
South Puget Sound, WA
For some general guidance, burn only dry, fully seasoned wood. Pack the stove full, top-down start (if cold) and turn down the air incrementally as soon as possible without smoldering the fire to promote good secondary burning.

This thread may be helpful:
This is a good site. Watch the "Efficient stove operation" video here:
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,445
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Dry wood is a must, trying to get a clean, consistent burn out of that stove with wood over 22% is going to be frustrating at best. Personally I like wood under 18% as it is so much more consistent and cleaner burning.

Being in the basement keep a close eye on the stove the first few times you load it right full, these stoves do breathe easily and you might have enough draft height to allow the store to overfire even with the air control fully shut.
 

kborndale

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2008
374
LI
You said your ash was cut 2 years ago and your oak 3 years. Were they split and stacked at the same time? If yes then your wood should be fine. Insulate the walls and floor is your best bet. I heat from my basement and it works well but I have drywall with (only r6) insulation behind it and carpet tiles with padding under them. Made a HUGE difference in getting heat upstairs. A fan blowing cold air down the stairs helps a lot too.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,225
SE North Carolina
I have about 10 load in my 1800 insert. Is in a basement with 25’ of insulated liner. I am measuring flue gas temps at the outlet. I have found that I believe it is over drafting. I need a damper.

How tall is your chimney? And do you have a damper?
 
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Buck Miller

New Member
Dec 6, 2021
17
Penna.
I have about 10 load in my 1800 insert. Is in a basement with 25’ of insulated liner. I am measuring flue gas temps at the outlet. I have found that I believe it is over drafting. I need a damper.

How tall is your chimney? And do you have a damper?
My Chimney is About23 or 25 ft only the top 4 ft is sticking outside The rest is going up inside my garage and junk room over the garage it's a traditional flue block with The flu liners and a Single wall s.steel liner inside of that no damper, But when the stove is cruising at 500 to 600 deg the flu gauge is only reading around 300 or so
 

Buck Miller

New Member
Dec 6, 2021
17
Penna.
My Chimney is About23 or 25 ft only the top 4 ft is sticking outside The rest is going up inside my garage and junk room over the garage it's a traditional flue block with The flu liners and a Single wall s.steel liner inside of that no damper, But when the stove is cruising at 500 to 600 deg the flu gauge is only reading around 300 or so

20211107_160555.jpg 20211107_160634.jpg
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
that seems fine to me; you don't want to get significantly lower in the flue to avoid condensation.
 

Buck Miller

New Member
Dec 6, 2021
17
Penna.
You said your ash was cut 2 years ago and your oak 3 years. Were they split and stacked at the same time? If yes then your wood should be fine. Insulate the walls and floor is your best bet. I heat from my basement and it works well but I have drywall with (only r6) insulation behind it and carpet tiles with padding under them. Made a HUGE difference in getting heat upstairs. A fan blowing cold air down the stairs helps a lot too.
Yes all Split and stacked 2 and 3 Years ago, I Will get a Meter Although I Dont think Theres anything Wrong with the Wood, Moisture Level. The wood is covered with tarps on the top and sides, Air gets through on the ends. I checked the Walls with a Gun and they are only 3 to 4 deg warmer than when the stove isnt running, they are coated 3 times with dryloc sealer so I think That helps Some. Also the basement is totally underground.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
The walls being only 3 deg warmer when the air there is so much more warmer when the stove runs indicates the walls are being cooled very well. I.e. you have a huge amount of heat leaking out thru those walls...
 
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ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,445
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
I have about 10 load in my 1800 insert. Is in a basement with 25’ of insulated liner. I am measuring flue gas temps at the outlet. I have found that I believe it is over drafting. I need a damper.

How tall is your chimney? And do you have a damper?

What are you getting for flue temps?

Without a damper mine would run 600f all day long on the flue, the stove top would be about the same 600-650f. Burning hotter would get me 700f stove top and 700f flue temps. Now with a damper my flue runs 400-550f and gets 700f on the stove top, uses less wood and burns more consistent.

My setup is 36ft vertical flue collar to cap, 39ft total including the 90 on the stove pipe and the cleanout tee outside.

Mine is the 2015 model, yours is the 2020 and I believe the secondaries flow about twice as much air as mine.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,225
SE North Carolina
What are you getting for flue temps?

Without a damper mine would run 600f all day long on the flue, the stove top would be about the same 600-650f. Burning hotter would get me 700f stove top and 700f flue temps. Now with a damper my flue runs 400-550f and gets 700f on the stove top, uses less wood and burns more consistent.

My setup is 36ft vertical flue collar to cap, 39ft total including the 90 on the stove pipe and the cleanout tee outside.

Mine is the 2015 model, yours is the 2020 and I believe the secondaries flow about twice as much air as mine.
I have the 2020 model. No restrictions I passed 1200 and it was still going up. Now I can cruise at 800-950. My guess is about 5:1 secondary to primary inlet area full open and somewhere 10-15:1 when closed. It’s harder to measure stove top with the insert but at the center before the jacket I’m running 600-650 with the gas temps 800-900 at the collar. I really don’t have any reference for the flue gas temps at the collar. It’s controllable now but I may have gone too far with the restrictions and am not burning clean enough. It’s been to warm to run it the last few weeks. I need to get the damper installed and some cold weather.
 

Buck Miller

New Member
Dec 6, 2021
17
Penna.
Dry wood is a must, trying to get a clean, consistent burn out of that stove with wood over 22% is going to be frustrating at best. Personally I like wood under 18% as it is so much more consistent and cleaner burning.

Being in the basement keep a close eye on the stove the first few times you load it right full, these stoves do breathe easily and you might have enough draft height to allow the store to overfire even with the air control fully shut.
Just Got a Moisture Meter its 8 to10 percent on the oak, and 16 to 17% for the ash.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Did you resplit a piece and measure it on the freshly exposed (and room temperature) surface? Parallel to the grain?

8-10 pct on oak is near impo imo...
 

Buck Miller

New Member
Dec 6, 2021
17
Penna.
Yes I Split a Piece of oak and ash At room temp in basement ,Now I did make one Misteak The oak Is Now 4 yrs old I Know Because I Cut It It's Looking Pretty Gray and Yes 8 to 10 % Is what my Digital Meter is Yelling Me, When I Get Home I'll Send You A Picture Of the Ash and Oak Readings, So I Know I've got Dry Wood
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Fair enough. Lucky you; <10% oak has to be fantastic.

We can safely rule out the wood.
 
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Buck Miller

New Member
Dec 6, 2021
17
Penna.
The walls being only 3 deg warmer when the air there is so much more warmer when the stove runs indicates the walls are being cooled very well. I.e. you have a huge amount of heat leaking out thru those walls...
I Was Wrong about the Temps on the walls, I Checked with the laser after getting the stove up and running for 3-4 hours and they went from 68 or so to 76-80 , But I'm Sure I'm Loosing some heat through the walls
 

Buck Miller

New Member
Dec 6, 2021
17
Penna.
I Did Just Yesterday Start Running the Stove a Little Harder, And the result was alot More Heat, Hurray I'm Happy with the results . All I'm Diong is Not Closing the Damper All The Way Down, Basically Leaving it Open 1/3rd or so, This took Temps Up To The 600 to 725 range on stove top or measured on the viewing window on the door, right in the middle is where temp is the highest. So Im finding that cruising the stove at these temps makes good heat, with My Blower and vents Im getting Good heat Upstairs Now. Thanks for Everyones Imput.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,798
South Puget Sound, WA
Update, I'm Installing the 2 Inch insulation board in the basement this summer as well as sealing up the area where the walls to upstairs start. , I think I'll get more heat to stay in the house this way!!
Without a doubt. Insulation is a good investment.
But when the stove is cruising at 500 to 600 deg the flu gauge is only reading around 300 or so
Is this surface temp on single-wall stovepipe or with a probe thermometer on double-wall stovepipe?
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,798
South Puget Sound, WA
If the reading of 300ºF is on single-wall stove pipe with a magnetic surface thermometer, then that is a normal burn temp. Inside the stove pipe the flue gases are 1.5 to 2x hotter.

chimgard-flat.jpg
 
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