Not getting enough heat - New Drolet 1800 - Do I need a flue damper?

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Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
224
Northern Illinois
This is my communications with SBI regarding the stainless steel sheet. This is from an email thread in April of 2021.

Me:
One other question. There is a steel sheet welded to the underside of the stove top. You can see the edges of it in the attached picture. It extends to within one inch of the left and right sides of the stove top. And fully front to back. Could you please tell me the purpose of this piece? See Picture. ( I attached a picture similar to the one above.)

SBI:
Hello,
This sheet is a top protector.
It create an air shield between the stainless metal plate and the top of the stove.
Thank you.

Me:
Does this prevent my stove top from reaching the expected temperatures??
I do not get the expected temperatures from my stove. Is this the reason?


SBI:
Hello,
No this metal sheet is not the problem that is 100 % sure.
If your not getting the expected result with your stove you should contact the technical support, they will help you understand what is going on with your stove.
The # is 1-877-356-6663
Thank you.


===========
I also am thinking that the stainless steel sheet impacts the STT in a negative way. I am not ready to remove it...or a portion of it...as I would like to keep the stove 'stock'. I only have experience with wood stoves for 60 months...SBI has 60 years. But......
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,535
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
This is my communications with SBI regarding the stainless steel sheet. This is from an email thread in April of 2021.

Me:
One other question. There is a steel sheet welded to the underside of the stove top. You can see the edges of it in the attached picture. It extends to within one inch of the left and right sides of the stove top. And fully front to back. Could you please tell me the purpose of this piece? See Picture. ( I attached a picture similar to the one above.)

SBI:
Hello,
This sheet is a top protector.
It create an air shield between the stainless metal plate and the top of the stove.
Thank you.

Me:
Does this prevent my stove top from reaching the expected temperatures??
I do not get the expected temperatures from my stove. Is this the reason?


SBI:
Hello,
No this metal sheet is not the problem that is 100 % sure.
If your not getting the expected result with your stove you should contact the technical support, they will help you understand what is going on with your stove.
The # is 1-877-356-6663
Thank you.


===========
I also am thinking that the stainless steel sheet impacts the STT in a negative way. I am not ready to remove it...or a portion of it...as I would like to keep the stove 'stock'. I only have experience with wood stoves for 60 months...SBI has 60 years. But......

That's disappointing. Maybe someone should explain to them the principle behind single vs double pane windows, the air gap definitely has an insulating effect.
 

MR. GLO

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2021
352
Massachusetts
Before the damper, I did not have those lazy flames. Air from secondary tubes was rushing to front of stove and up flue.
My manometer is connected to my stove pipe. It reads continuously. I am always looking at it. I reviewed my notes. Drolet recommended .03 - .05 " Water Column. If I stated something else, I was mistaken. I let the draft run when I am starting up a fire. As the fire builds I start to adjust my damper to control the draft. I do not always have it between .03 - .05. Once fire is going well then I can adjust to that range. Using damper and primary air control, I can get draft to stay at one setting. For you, it will just take some trial and error. It is the learning process. You also can begin to 'read' the flames. Are they being sucked up the flue? What color are they? Are they lazy or intense? etc.

I rarely get to 600F. I can get to 540F easily. But I have only seen over 570F when the 'air wash air' ignites the unburned gas. I am trying to figure out how to get that elusive 625 without that happening. I am sure it will make the room warm up much quicker. I am not satisfied at 540F.
If I ran my damper to .06 from .14 the stove pipe temp drops too much and fast.

It amazing you can run your 2 damper that low and not get creosote in chimney top. Can you tell us the temps of the pipe when you shut it down and then stove pipe temp 30 to 60 minutes later?

Thanks for all the info...


Your stove video has great flames.
 

WinterinWI

Burning Hunk
Dec 6, 2018
196
Wisconsin
Yes, mine is the 2020 compliant 1500.
I do not have the c-cast piece. Some one else asked about that last year. I do have a thin sheet of metal that is tack welded to the bottom surface of the stove top. Is there something like this on your 1800?
The stove generates heat. It just does not transfer it to the stove top. If I place my hand about 2 inches from the glass in the door, I can not hold my hand there for 2 seconds. If I place my hand 2 inches above the stove top I can hold it there until I get bored.

Do you have the same shaped deflector as I have on my 1500? By deflector I am referring to the \___/ shaped piece in the pictures.

View attachment 292607 View attachment 292608

Yes my pre-2020 Escape has the deflector, but not that stainless sheet. I agree with some of the others that chimed in that this sheet would likely contribute to lower stove top temps.
 

macgyverman

New Member
Feb 4, 2022
42
Ontario
That's measured right in the middle of the stove top. I'm sure it's cooler near the edges. I use the Escape to heat a shop, so when I use it I'm usually looking for a rapid warm up, I try to peak the flue temps at 900. It's easy to overshoot though depending on the particular load of wood. That's where a flue damper comes in handy, at least you have some recourse if a load takes off faster than you thought.

Are those temps when you are running a blower or not?
Agreed. That's why I've purchased a damper. Even if it doesn't help getting more heat out of the stove, it will help me control the stove when it starts to run away. Unfortunately, ICC ultra black has a stupid damper design which has a huge hole in it. I'm hoping it will still be sufficient, if not, I'll weld some steel over it. Very frustrating given the price of the chimney.

I've measured both with and without the blower on. The blower seems to drop the temp by about 50F. Best I've ever hit with the blower was 730F and that was with the chimney creeping and moaning at 1400+F. Luckily, it didn't last long.
 

macgyverman

New Member
Feb 4, 2022
42
Ontario
Are you still planning on getting a manometer so that you can measure your draft? IMO it is important to know what you have and then make decisions based on those numbers.
I was considering it, but the manometer will run me 75$, not counting the install. The damper, even the ICC one, is 130$, and gives me the peace of mind that I can damp down the fire if it ever runs away.

I picked up the damper last night. Now I just need to figure out how to install it. It seems you're not allowed to put it above a slip section. That means I either need to replace the brand new 24" pipe I have coming off the stove, or put the damper right onto the stove itself.
 

WinterinWI

Burning Hunk
Dec 6, 2018
196
Wisconsin
This is my communications with SBI regarding the stainless steel sheet. This is from an email thread in April of 2021.

Me:
One other question. There is a steel sheet welded to the underside of the stove top. You can see the edges of it in the attached picture. It extends to within one inch of the left and right sides of the stove top. And fully front to back. Could you please tell me the purpose of this piece? See Picture. ( I attached a picture similar to the one above.)

SBI:
Hello,
This sheet is a top protector.
It create an air shield between the stainless metal plate and the top of the stove.
Thank you.

Me:
Does this prevent my stove top from reaching the expected temperatures??
I do not get the expected temperatures from my stove. Is this the reason?


SBI:
Hello,
No this metal sheet is not the problem that is 100 % sure.
If your not getting the expected result with your stove you should contact the technical support, they will help you understand what is going on with your stove.
The # is 1-877-356-6663
Thank you.


===========
I also am thinking that the stainless steel sheet impacts the STT in a negative way. I am not ready to remove it...or a portion of it...as I would like to keep the stove 'stock'. I only have experience with wood stoves for 60 months...SBI has 60 years. But......

I suppose they aren't lying if their "expected" stove top temps are lower. They admit it's purpose is to create an "air shield" though, which will obviously cause lower stove top temps than if it wasn't there.

Understood not wanting to modify the stove. It's too bad that it's welded in. On my SBI Legend, removing the c-cast piece was super easy, slide it forward an inch and it drops down and out. Almost like they designed it to be easy to remove...
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,237
NE Ohio
SBI has a couple reps that are members here, if y'all wanted to bring them into this convo...
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,686
SE North Carolina
I was considering it, but the manometer will run me 75$, not counting the install. The damper, even the ICC one, is 130$, and gives me the peace of mind that I can damp down the fire if it ever runs away.

I picked up the damper last night. Now I just need to figure out how to install it. It seems you're not allowed to put it above a slip section. That means I either need to replace the brand new 24" pipe I have coming off the stove, or put the damper right onto the stove itself.
I got a used mangahelic for 35$. It will monitor hvac filter restrictions in summer and will get it hooked to the stove (but not sure how as the damper in the the adapter) in the winter.
 

T-roy_

Burning Hunk
Dec 30, 2015
200
Central Minnesota
Edit: I got some of the posts mixed up, I'm referring to woodcutter Tom's low STT temps.

With my Escape 1800 I can hit 800 stove top without much effort. It would likely be at 800 or higher if my flue temps were as high as you describe for any length of time. My Escape is a pre-2020.

Yours is a 2020 compliant Escape right? Look up at the stovetop from underneath. Is there any insulation (i.e. piece of c-cast) under the stove top? My pre-2020 Escape there is nothing, just the bottom side of the steel. Just to clarify, I'm not talking about the baffle, look above the baffle at the stove top.

Reason I ask is because with the 2020 Drolet Legend, it has 1/2" c-cast insulation directly under the entire stove top. When I got my Legend it behaved much like you have described, I could run flue temps up well over 1000 and never break 600 in the center of the stovetop (much cooler on the edges). Keeping flue temps in the safer range (below 900) I'd barely break 500 STT in the center. With the c-cast piece removed the STT behaves much more like the pre-2020 Escape. It's also much easier to keep the flue temp in the safe range.
I am seeing the same thing in my austral II. It has the 1/2” baffle directly under the top. SST rarely
hit 600. But there are spots on the sides of the stove that routinely measure 700+. This stove doesn’t hold a candle to the output of my old HT-2000…God I miss that stove.

Winterinwi, how is the baffle in question held in place? I’m considering ditching it.
 

T-roy_

Burning Hunk
Dec 30, 2015
200
Central Minnesota
I suppose they aren't lying if their "expected" stove top temps are lower. They admit it's purpose is to create an "air shield" though, which will obviously cause lower stove top temps than if it wasn't there.

Understood not wanting to modify the stove. It's too bad that it's welded in. On my SBI Legend, removing the c-cast piece was super easy, slide it forward an inch and it drops down and out. Almost like they designed it to be easy to remove...
I answered my own question lol
 

WinterinWI

Burning Hunk
Dec 6, 2018
196
Wisconsin
I am seeing the same thing in my austral II. It has the 1/2” baffle directly under the top. SST rarely
hit 600. But there are spots on the sides of the stove that routinely measure 700+. This stove doesn’t hold a candle to the output of my old HT-2000…God I miss that stove.

Winterinwi, how is the baffle in question held in place? I’m considering ditching it.
On my Legend III there are four clips that held it in place. There were corresponding cutouts in the c-cast, so all you had to do was slide it forward an inch then drop it down (baffle and tubes need to be removed first). I don't have a picture from my stove by here is a shot from the manual, red arrow pointing at one of the clips. Not sure if there is a difference between the II and III.

If you're careful you should be able to get it out without breaking it. I ended up breaking mine but that was because I was trying to do it quickly (stove was still kind of warm).

20220114_173612.jpg
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,686
SE North Carolina
My thinking is the c cast would be a better insulater than the SS sheet. So why did they make that change. Durability? Cost? Increased area to improve gas flow?

If they increased the secondary air for 2020 they are burning hotter reducing restrictions maybe they needed the extra space to flow more air. Shifting secondary combustion more to the firebox than above the baffle. I guess I don’t see the reason keep exhaust gasses hotter before they leave the stove unless you are trying to encourage combustion a above the baffle.

Put the damper in the easiest place. I’m thinking I may need two dampers or at least block some holes in the one I have.
 

T-roy_

Burning Hunk
Dec 30, 2015
200
Central Minnesota
On my Legend III there are four clips that held it in place. There were corresponding cutouts in the c-cast, so all you had to do was slide it forward an inch then drop it down (baffle and tubes need to be removed first). I don't have a picture from my stove by here is a shot from the manual, red arrow pointing at one of the clips. Not sure if there is a difference between the II and III.

If you're careful you should be able to get it out without breaking it. I ended up breaking mine but that was because I was trying to do it quickly (stove was still kind of warm).

View attachment 292650
Thanks. That is helpful information. I’ll probably wait till the burning season is over to take a look at this. I’ll be in there anyway when the chimney is swept.
 

macgyverman

New Member
Feb 4, 2022
42
Ontario
On my Legend III there are four clips that held it in place. There were corresponding cutouts in the c-cast, so all you had to do was slide it forward an inch then drop it down (baffle and tubes need to be removed first). I don't have a picture from my stove by here is a shot from the manual, red arrow pointing at one of the clips. Not sure if there is a difference between the II and III.

If you're careful you should be able to get it out without breaking it. I ended up breaking mine but that was because I was trying to do it quickly (stove was still kind of warm).

View attachment 292650
Don't want to sound too ignorant...but what does c cast mean?
 

WinterinWI

Burning Hunk
Dec 6, 2018
196
Wisconsin
My thinking is the c cast would be a better insulater than the SS sheet. So why did they make that change. Durability? Cost? Increased area to improve gas flow?
I'd think so too. Maybe the c-cast was needed to achieve emissions on the larger Legend/Myriad/Austral/Baltic but the stainless sheet was adequate for the smaller Escape? From what these guys are reporting though, the stainless sheet with air gap still seems to have a pretty big effect on STT. Might also have to do with volume/space as you suggested.

Shifting secondary combustion more to the firebox than above the baffle. I guess I don’t see the reason keep exhaust gasses hotter before they leave the stove unless you are trying to encourage combustion a above the baffle.
Encouraging further combustion above the baffle does seem to be what they're going after by having this area insulated (higher temps encouraging combustion). It seems with the insulation a lot of the heat goes up the chimney though rather than transferring to the stove top.
 

T-roy_

Burning Hunk
Dec 30, 2015
200
Central Minnesota
It is also more durable than vermiculite.
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
224
Northern Illinois
If I ran my damper to .06 from .14 the stove pipe temp drops too much and fast.

It amazing you can run your 2 damper that low and not get creosote in chimney top. Can you tell us the temps of the pipe when you shut it down and then stove pipe temp 30 to 60 minutes later?

Thanks for all the info...


Your stove video has great flames.
Sometimes I turn it down in increments so as to not drop the stove pipe temp too rapidly. I have dropped it to much at one time and shut down the flames.
I recently went up on the roof and cleaned my entire flue....stove pipe and chimney pipe and chimney cap. I had very little creosote on the cap. In the pipes I just had the dust.
The stove pipe temp can vary when I start to shut the damper. I guess I would say it is a combination of the stove pipe temp and the manometer reading. 750 - 800F.
After 30 and 60 minutes later I can be running in the 700 - 750 range. Manometer .04 -.05. I try to read the flames and adjust the settings based on what I see. VERY small adjustments have a BIG impact on the flames. I generally just nudge the primary air control level. Nothing happens instantly. Therefore I do not try to chase my fire. I make adjustments ans see what happens over a period of time.
I read my manometer as I shut the draft.

Those flames do look great. Unfortunately it is primary 'air wash air' that is igniting the unburnt gas and the result is creosote on the glass, high flue temps...with the high STT.
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
224
Northern Illinois
SBI has a couple reps that are members here, if y'all wanted to bring them into this convo...
I think they would be welcome to contribute here. Are they waiting for an invitation? I myself do not know who they are.

SBI reps.....please helps us out here.
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
224
Northern Illinois
I was considering it, but the manometer will run me 75$, not counting the install. The damper, even the ICC one, is 130$, and gives me the peace of mind that I can damp down the fire if it ever runs away.

I picked up the damper last night. Now I just need to figure out how to install it. It seems you're not allowed to put it above a slip section. That means I either need to replace the brand new 24" pipe I have coming off the stove, or put the damper right onto the stove itself.
Just an FYI: here are a few pictures. They will give you a better idea of the holes I placed in my double wall stove pipe. The temp probe pic is the same size as my manometer hole.

I added fender washers and small pieces of sheet metal to cover the open area along the damper shaft in the first picture. I do not have a picture of the washers installed. Also visible in that picture is the inside of my temp probe hole.

Key damper installed.jpg Key damper handle.jpg Key Damper shaft.jpg Temp Probe hole.jpg
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,686
SE North Carolina
Sometimes I turn it down in increments so as to not drop the stove pipe temp too rapidly. I have dropped it to much at one time and shut down the flames.
I recently went up on the roof and cleaned my entire flue....stove pipe and chimney pipe and chimney cap. I had very little creosote on the cap. In the pipes I just had the dust.
The stove pipe temp can vary when I start to shut the damper. I guess I would say it is a combination of the stove pipe temp and the manometer reading. 750 - 800F.
After 30 and 60 minutes later I can be running in the 700 - 750 range. Manometer .04 -.05. I try to read the flames and adjust the settings based on what I see. VERY small adjustments have a BIG impact on the flames. I generally just nudge the primary air control level. Nothing happens instantly. Therefore I do not try to chase my fire. I make adjustments ans see what happens over a period of time.
I read my manometer as I shut the draft.

Those flames do look great. Unfortunately it is primary 'air wash air' that is igniting the unburnt gas and the result is creosote on the glass, high flue temps...with the high STT.
Any ideas on air rod modifications to give a little more fine tuning?? I’ve been thinking about it but haven’t come up with any.
 

MR. GLO

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2021
352
Massachusetts
Sometimes I turn it down in increments so as to not drop the stove pipe temp too rapidly. I have dropped it to much at one time and shut down the flames.
I recently went up on the roof and cleaned my entire flue....stove pipe and chimney pipe and chimney cap. I had very little creosote on the cap. In the pipes I just had the dust.
The stove pipe temp can vary when I start to shut the damper. I guess I would say it is a combination of the stove pipe temp and the manometer reading. 750 - 800F.
After 30 and 60 minutes later I can be running in the 700 - 750 range. Manometer .04 -.05. I try to read the flames and adjust the settings based on what I see. VERY small adjustments have a BIG impact on the flames. I generally just nudge the primary air control level. Nothing happens instantly. Therefore I do not try to chase my fire. I make adjustments ans see what happens over a period of time.
I read my manometer as I shut the draft.

Those flames do look great. Unfortunately it is primary 'air wash air' that is igniting the unburnt gas and the result is creosote on the glass, high flue temps...with the high STT.
"After 30 and 60 minutes later I can be running in the 700 - 750 range. Manometer .04 -.05. "

That's great internal stove pipe temps with damper closed. I also noticed that the secondary's dont burn too good sometimes with damper. Interesting to see what your internal pipe temp is just before it leaves the room.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,237
NE Ohio