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

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macgyverman

New Member
Feb 4, 2022
42
Ontario
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.

View attachment 292673 View attachment 292674 View attachment 292675 View attachment 292676
Sort of regret getting the ICC damper for 135$, when I could have drilled the chimney like you did. :(

Regardless, the results are interesting.

The icc damper has quite a few holes in it (they claim only 80% restriction)

However, it’s certainly doing something.

I’ve got the air inlet open all the way on the stove and the damper fully closed and here are the results:

I’d normally be running at 1400+F to get this STT

FEC58138-08D7-413E-8B0E-AFF2D715B61F.jpeg 0C2379F6-34B5-4C55-8BAC-C98976D203A0.jpeg
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,535
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Sort of regret getting the ICC damper for 135$, when I could have drilled the chimney like you did. :(

Regardless, the results are interesting.

The icc damper has quite a few holes in it (they claim only 80% restriction)

However, it’s certainly doing something.

I’ve got the air inlet open all the way on the stove and the damper fully closed and here are the results:

I’d normally be running at 1400+F to get this STT

View attachment 292726 View attachment 292727

Go to the hardware store and pickup some hardware, for less than $5 you can make the damper far more effective.

My chimney cap is 36 vertical feet above my flue collar and this works well for me:

PXL_20210221_210636441.jpg PXL_20210221_210643279.jpg
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,236
NE Ohio
Go to the hardware store and pickup some hardware, for less than $5 you can make the damper far more effective.

My chimney cap is 36 vertical feet above my flue collar and this works well for me:

View attachment 292729

View attachment 292730
Nice solution...I'd double nut that though so it doesn't loosen up and fall off over time. If it was something that you wanted to get apart again, the bolt would twist off before the nut ever moved...but you want it to stay in place, it'll work right loose! :mad:
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,535
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Nice solution...I'd double nut that though so it doesn't loosen up and fall off over time. If it was something that you wanted to get apart again, the bolt would twist off before the nut ever moved...but you want it to stay in place, it'll work right loose! :mad:

So far it's been fine, I installed those a year ago and checked them a week ago.

It see's enough heat that if they don't work themselves loose on the first use they likely never will, I'm sure those bolts are well seized at this point.
 
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macgyverman

New Member
Feb 4, 2022
42
Ontario
Go to the hardware store and pickup some hardware, for less than $5 you can make the damper far more effective.

My chimney cap is 36 vertical feet above my flue collar and this works well for me:

View attachment 292729

View attachment 292730
Good idea! I was planning on welding something on the damper, but that works just as well. Mine will be a bit more of a challenge since the air channels they left spell out ICC in big letters. I’ll need to find a few huge washers.

Been running the stove with the damper closed full for 2 h.

So far:
- seems to run about 100F higher STT
- seems to use less wood
- I can let the stove run on high without the flue temps exceeding 900F
- For the first time, I’ve had to turn the stove down because it was too hot in the basement. Granted, it’s only -2C out.

Final remark: must remember to open the damper before I open the door to add a load in. Had the wife screaming that the house smelt like it was on fire, in no time
 
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ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,535
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Good idea! I was planning on welding something on the damper, but that works just as well. Mine will be a bit more of a challenge since the air channels they left spell out ICC in big letters. I’ll need to find a few huge washers.

Been running the stove with the damper closed full for 2 h.

So far:
- seems to run about 100F higher STT
- seems to use less wood
- I can let the stove run on high without the flue temps exceeding 900F
- For the first time, I’ve had to turn the stove down because it was too hot in the basement. Granted, it’s only -2C out.

Final remark: must remember to open the damper before I open the door to add a load in. Had the wife screaming that the house smelt like it was on fire, in no time

I have the exact same ICC damper as you, I used the washers to block out the "ICC" cutout.

Yes, always open the flue damper prior to opening the stove door.
 

Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
224
Northern Illinois
Sort of regret getting the ICC damper for 135$, when I could have drilled the chimney like you did. :(

Regardless, the results are interesting.

The icc damper has quite a few holes in it (they claim only 80% restriction)

However, it’s certainly doing something.

I’ve got the air inlet open all the way on the stove and the damper fully closed and here are the results:

I’d normally be running at 1400+F to get this STT

View attachment 292726 View attachment 292727
It is good to see that something is different. The more you use it and make adjustments the smarter you get.

What are your flames in the firebox doing at these temps? Do you get the 'air wash air' igniting the unburned gas? Anything similar to what I posted in #53 of the thread?

Oh ya, always open the damper before opening the door. Well try to anyways.
 

macgyverman

New Member
Feb 4, 2022
42
Ontario
It is good to see that something is different. The more you use it and make adjustments the smarter you get.

What are your flames in the firebox doing at these temps? Do you get the 'air wash air' igniting the unburned gas? Anything similar to what I posted in #53 of the thread?

Oh ya, always open the damper before opening the door. Well try to anyways.
Hi again,

I can get slow flames if I cut the air intake on the stove down. Right now, I tend to run it with full air and the damper closed completely. This has resulted in some rather spectacular STTs with reasonable flue temps.

Exemple : I had forgotten to turn the blower on and noticed the house smelled like « hot stove pipe » yesterday (odour I was getting the first days while the stove pipe was burning off the VOCs)…ends up the flue temp was at about 1000F but the STT had hit 820F!

I’m still learning to play with the settings. It seems to give the best output with the damper closed and the air intake a bit under full open. This results in 700F STT and a flue temp around 900F. I figure I can do even better if I close off the ICC a bit with washers.
 
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Woodcutter Tom

Burning Hunk
Apr 28, 2019
224
Northern Illinois
Hi again,

I can get slow flames if I cut the air intake on the stove down. Right now, I tend to run it with full air and the damper closed completely. This has resulted in some rather spectacular STTs with reasonable flue temps.

Exemple : I had forgotten to turn the blower on and noticed the house smelled like « hot stove pipe » yesterday (odour I was getting the first days while the stove pipe was burning off the VOCs)…ends up the flue temp was at about 1000F but the STT had hit 820F!

I’m still learning to play with the settings. It seems to give the best output with the damper closed and the air intake a bit under full open. This results in 700F STT and a flue temp around 900F. I figure I can do even better if I close off the ICC a bit with washers.
But do you get the air that flows over the front glass ('air wash air') igniting the unburned gas?

The result is that the bottom of the front glass does not get the clean hot 'air wash air' and it becomes dirty with soot and creosote.

Or does the air from the secondary tubes burn all the gas and your front glass stays clean?
 

macgyverman

New Member
Feb 4, 2022
42
Ontario
But do you get the air that flows over the front glass ('air wash air') igniting the unburned gas?

The result is that the bottom of the front glass does not get the clean hot 'air wash air' and it becomes dirty with soot and creosote.

Or does the air from the secondary tubes burn all the gas and your front glass stays clean?
No problem with the door fowling up as of yet, but, to be honest, I'm nearly always running the stove with the air inlet open all the way, so my flames are usually quite vigorous. I would imagine that I would get fowling if I filled up the stove and shut the air inlet off.
 
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macgyverman

New Member
Feb 4, 2022
42
Ontario
Blocked a bit more of the damper using some washers this weekend. I'm still not getting much heat out of the stove, but it's a bit better.

It's interesting that the damper doesn't have much of an impact on the burn. Even at full close, the burn seems unaffected. The only symptom I have of a closed damper is smoke escaping from the door if I open it with the damper closed.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,686
SE North Carolina
Blocked a bit more of the damper using some washers this weekend. I'm still not getting much heat out of the stove, but it's a bit better.

It's interesting that the damper doesn't have much of an impact on the burn. Even at full close, the burn seems unaffected. The only symptom I have of a closed damper is smoke escaping from the door if I open it with the damper closed.
Where is your air setting? By impact do you mean stove top, temps flue gas temps visual appearance, burn time ect?

I can see the vigor of the secondary flames slow down as I close the damper. If you are burning air full open and damper closed I still don’t think this is the most efficient way. This is what mine looks like full closed air control damper 85 % closed. One of three primary air holes blocked with a screw.

0605760A-5583-4D53-86C6-EA2E9077CB63.jpeg
 

macgyverman

New Member
Feb 4, 2022
42
Ontario
Where is your air setting? By impact do you mean stove top, temps flue gas temps visual appearance, burn time ect?

I can see the vigor of the secondary flames slow down as I close the damper. If you are burning air full open and damper closed I still don’t think this is the most efficient way. This is what mine looks like full closed air control damper 85 % closed. One of three primary air holes blocked with a screw.

View attachment 293219
I have seen some flames like this when I bring the air control down, although not all the time. Sometimes the fire just dies out considerably.

I don't run the air full open anymore. I don't really notice an advantage to STT. Right now, I'm running it half open on air in full closed on the damper. It usually results in a decent heat output. What I meant about the impact is that closing the damper doesn't really seem to change the flames all that much, unless I have a really really intense burn going

I'm still playing around, but I'm finding a lot of variability in my wood. Some of it seems awfully wet, requiring lots of air to ignite (read: keeping the door cracked for an extended period of time) and other logs burn fine. All I can assume is that the wood I was sold was a mixed bag of seasoned and green. Still haven't been able to find a log that tests above 20% moisture.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,686
SE North Carolina
I have seen some flames like this when I bring the air control down, although not all the time. Sometimes the fire just dies out considerably.

I don't run the air full open anymore. I don't really notice an advantage to STT. Right now, I'm running it half open on air in full closed on the damper. It usually results in a decent heat output. What I meant about the impact is that closing the damper doesn't really seem to change the flames all that much, unless I have a really really intense burn going

I'm still playing around, but I'm finding a lot of variability in my wood. Some of it seems awfully wet, requiring lots of air to ignite (read: keeping the door cracked for an extended period of time) and other logs burn fine. All I can assume is that the wood I was sold was a mixed bag of seasoned and green. Still haven't been able to find a log that tests above 20% moisture.
If you have to keep the door open at all the wood is too wet regardless what the meter says. Can you measure a difference from the end grain of the split and the center of a room temp fresh split face? On my dry wood there is no real difference. Read that less than 3-5%. 5-8%

Edit…
 
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macgyverman

New Member
Feb 4, 2022
42
Ontario
If you have to keep the door open at all the wood is too wet regardless what the meter says. Can you measure a difference from the end grain of the split and the center of a room temp fresh split face? On my dry wood there is no real difference. Read that less than 3-5%. 5-8%

Edit…
Oh, I know the wood is wet. Some of it hisses and sometimes I've even seen bubbles. The thing is, I've never been able to measure a "guilty" log, as I only find out after putting it in.

I'm still unsure how it can be so wet. It was at a minimum a few months old when I got it (supposed to have been at least 1 year old), then it spent 5 months outside, then 1 month covered with a tarp during the rains in November, then 2 months in my garage. Plus, most of it is Ash, which, from what I am told, burns even when freshly cut.

That said, I'll certainly try another measure. The ones I have measured have come in at something like 5-8% between the middle and the ends, but I don't recall the exact values.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,236
NE Ohio
I have seen some flames like this when I bring the air control down, although not all the time. Sometimes the fire just dies out considerably.

I don't run the air full open anymore. I don't really notice an advantage to STT. Right now, I'm running it half open on air in full closed on the damper. It usually results in a decent heat output. What I meant about the impact is that closing the damper doesn't really seem to change the flames all that much, unless I have a really really intense burn going

I'm still playing around, but I'm finding a lot of variability in my wood. Some of it seems awfully wet, requiring lots of air to ignite (read: keeping the door cracked for an extended period of time) and other logs burn fine. All I can assume is that the wood I was sold was a mixed bag of seasoned and green. Still haven't been able to find a log that tests above 20% moisture.
Part of the reason the flames may not change that much is that you are not closing the air control on the stove...when you do that it shifts the air coming in from primary to secondary...closing the pipe damper doesn't do the same thing.
But its hard to learn what does what if you have variable fuel (some wet, some dry)