NOOB seeking advice for Jotul 602 operation

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New Member
Jul 19, 2020
We just installed out wood burner in our cabin this weekend (602 Jotul, air intake wheel on door, no glass). Chimney runs straight up through cabin, no offsets. This is my first time running a wood burner and have a few questions.

I have a damper installed in the stove pipe about 18" from the stove top. Can someone explain to me how the primary air inlet and the chimney damper work with one another during a burn?

When I get the fire started how do I know if it is burning well enough to close the door and adjust the air inlet? I think I may be shutting the door too soon before it really gets going. I don't want to get the stove too hot because everyone says that these little guys can get away from you.

Finally, when I look through the openings of the air inlet in the door while the fire is going what should I see? Rolling flames, slow flickering flames? I do know that this thing drafts! With the air intake open all the way with a fire going, the draft sounds like a gas forge! I of course shut the down the intake almost all the way, but not sure if I am shutting it down too much.

Thank you in advance for all your help and input.


Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, we still have the old 602 in the greenhouse. It doesn't see much use these days with warmer winters.
Running this little stove is an art, but not magic. Having instruments to guide you is a big help. I had a stovetop thermometer and a flue thermometer at about 18" above the stovetop (and above the key damper). The stovetop thermometer can be about 4" in front of the flue if the stove is top vented or 6" from the back if rear vented. Keep the stovetop under 800ºF.

What you are seeing with the air control open is right. The fire will be roaring. At that stage, you can close it down at least 75% and watch the stovetop temp. Experiment at this point and try closing down the key damper in the stovepipe at least 75% too. See how this affects the fire. Wait about 5 minutes. Is the fire starting to roar again? If so, close both down some more. With dry wood, the air will need to be shut down almost all the way. You can still see a little crack of light showing the fire is burning and the thermometers will show it is too. Close down the key damper at this stage too. A good operational temp for the stovetop is around 650º. I'm guessing the stove pipe reading, will be around 300º, if this is single-wall stovepipe,

Moving this thread to the Classics forum. This is a pre-EPA stove.
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