Newbie... How do I use my new soapstone stove?

KellyA

New Member
Oct 29, 2018
4
Vermont
Hi! I’m new here. We just got ourselves a new Hearthstone Homestead soapstone stove. We did our two break in burns. So today I wanted to start cranking up the heat. Got everything fired up and ready and I realized I was stupid and didn’t quite understand how the stove worked. I get the secondary burn and stuff but if someone could clarify some things for me that would be great...
It’s an insert so does the pipe temp can’t really be monitored. Correct?

I’ve seen varying temp levels the soapstone can take. The manual says no higher than 600*. Is there a sweet spot I should aim for? I keep our Vermont castings stove at 475* (tell me if that’s wrong too!) to keep it feeling good on one side of our house.
Also, when do I start to close the air control lever? When the wood catches?
What does the air air control lever actually control? Like the mechanism.
I will continue to search for my own answers but any help would be appreciated!
Thanks!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,216
South Puget Sound, WA
Looks like it's the Homestead. Start closing down the air as soon as the wood starts burning robustly. As the primary air is closed the draft forms a vacuum in the firebox. This draws air from the secondary air intake through the tubes. That air turbulates hot gases at the top of the firebox and reburns them.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,216
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks @begreen ! Ok so should I close it as close to closed as I can go and then go from there? Like open it more?
I suspect if you close it all the way the fire will snuff out. You don't want that. Everyone's setup and draft is slightly different. You will have to experiment a bit. Try closing it down 50% and see how it burns. If no change move it 75% closed and see how the fire responds. If the fire regains strength you may be able to close it all the way, or maybe not. On our stove I can not close it all the way until it gets cold outside.
 

KellyA

New Member
Oct 29, 2018
4
Vermont
I suspect if you close it all the way the fire will snuff out. You don't want that. Everyone's setup and draft is slightly different. You will have to experiment a bit. Try closing it down 50% and see how it burns. If no change move it 75% closed and see how the fire responds. If the fire regains strength you may be able to close it all the way, or maybe not. On our stove I can not close it all the way until it gets cold outside.
Yes, I understand not to close it all the way. I'm understanding doing it the way you just explained. Thanks!
 

Jay857

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
7
NH
I am in the same situation, trying to learn the tricks to using the Homestead. My biggest problem is smoke spilling out when I open the door to reload. I did need to ovalize the liner to get it through the damper so i am hoping it's not that causing a draft problem.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,216
South Puget Sound, WA
Smoke spillage is more common on shallow bodied stoves. Good draft helps overcome this problem. How tall is the liner on the stove? How is the stove connected to the liner? tee, elbow or directly connected?
 

Jay857

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
7
NH
Smoke spillage is more common on shallow bodied stoves. Good draft helps overcome this problem. How tall is the liner on the stove? How is the stove connected to the liner? tee, elbow or directly connected?
The liner is around 16ft or 17ft and is connected directly to the stove with an appliance adapter. The wood is was using is definitely not bone dry but i dont know if that matters.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,216
South Puget Sound, WA
Dry wood makes a difference, but you'll still need to open the door slowly to let pressures equalize. Open up the air fully a few seconds before opening up the door, then open the door an inch. Wait another few seconds and then open the door slowly.

What floor is the stove located on, or is there only one level?
 

Jay857

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
7
NH
Dry wood makes a difference, but you'll still need to open the door slowly to let pressures equalize. Open up the air fully a few seconds before opening up the door, then open the door an inch. Wait another few seconds and then open the door slowly.

What floor is the stove located on, or is there only one level?
I did see a few posts that recommended that method. However, once the door is an inch or two open I get smoke spilling out.

It is located on the first floor.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,216
South Puget Sound, WA
Is there a second floor? If so, look for any possible leakage points upstairs like slightly open windows, attic vents, doors or hatches. Also check to see if anything is exhausting air from the house at that time (bath or kitchen fan, dryer, etc.)

If none, then the ovalized liner may be the issue.
 

Jay857

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
7
NH
There is a second floor so i will need to look around for leaks. The house is very leaky in general because it is older and not very well insulated.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,216
South Puget Sound, WA
There is a second floor so i will need to look around for leaks. The house is very leaky in general because it is older and not very well insulated.
Second story leaks can create negative pressure in the floor below. If this is the case, sealing up those leaks can make a big difference. Attic ceiling vents and attic doors are the most common leakers.
 

KellyA

New Member
Oct 29, 2018
4
Vermont
I am in the same situation, trying to learn the tricks to using the Homestead. My biggest problem is smoke spilling out when I open the door to reload. I did need to ovalize the liner to get it through the damper so i am hoping it's not that causing a draft problem.
Jay857, so after having this stove or a bit, I can say we are pretty darn good at running it. It's easier to light that our cast iron stove and we have been heating a lot of our house with it. From what I have read, smoke spillage is going to happen. When I light my Vermont castings, I light a roll of newspaper and heat the pipe to help pull the smoke up when the kindling catches and get no smoke in the house. You can't do that with the Homestead. I have seen videos of people throwing in maybe 3-4 pieces of rolled up newspaper and closing the door to heat things up a bit and create the draft needed to pull the smoke up through the pipe. I haven't tried this though. We make sure we have a nice bed of newspaper (about 6 double pages), 6- 10 pieces of kindling (usually the kindling we buy and some split from logs we have). Light the paper and then close the door with the baffle all the way open. We wouldn't be able to do that in our castings, but it work super well with the Homestead. After the kindling has caught really well, open the door about an inch, count to five, then SLOWLY open the door all the way. There will be SOME smoke but it shouldn't be a lot. If your wood is too wet or you still have paper burning, you will get smoke. I barely get any, but usually have some during the kindling stage. I toss more logs in, let it catch for 20 minutes with the baffle fully open, then close it 50%-90% (depends on how the fire looks) to get my heat up. Daily, we increase our downstairs temperature by 11 degrees and more on the second floor. I'm no expert, I'm the one who started this post haha, but that is what has been working really well for us. If you still get smoking after trying all that, you may want to contact your dealer and see if they can help you problem solve.
 

Jay857

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
7
NH
I really appreciate the information. I just had the stove hooked up last weekend and have been away since so haven't had much time to use the stove. I plan on getting some dry wood and using your suggestions. Thanks.
 

Jay857

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
7
NH
The stove works really well with dry wood. I think that may have been my issue. I have been able to open the door with out much smoke spilling out. I think a little is to be expected.