Russo Wood Stove 3GVR Manual

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

bondiblueos9

New Member
Mar 11, 2021
3
Bridgewater, MA
Hello everyone. I recently moved into a house with a wood stove, so I'm looking for some information about it. According to the data plate, it is from the Russo Wood Stove Mfg. Corp, model 3GVR High Heat, date tested 9/7/78, fuel approved Wood. I have had it inspected and cleaned, along with the chimney, and I have replaced some of the fire bricks and got some wood and burned some fires. This is my first wood stove, so I apologize if I use the wrong terminology. As far as I can tell, the only controls for it are the flue damper coming out of the back of the stove, and a knob on the side door that I assume controls airflow into the stove. It also has an electric fan that turns on once the stove is hot to push hot air into the room. I'm interested to find a manual for this stove to see what information the manufacturer provided; I found another manual for another Russo stove on the forums, but it is different from this one. Fortunately, I don't rely on the wood stove to heat my home, so it is not critical for me to get the most out of it, but in any case, I would like to. I've ready about secondary combustion and how that improves the efficiency of wood stoves, but I assume this stove is too old for that, unless it is designed to pull air in through the cover to the front glass. I am using seasoned ready to burn wood that I bought locally, and I got more than I need and stacked it outside so it can get good airflow and continue to season. I do have a moisture meter but have not tested the wood since I'm not going to wait to burn it, and like I said, I don't absolutely need to burn it for heat. I've figured out how to get a good draft to start fires without filling the room with smoke. I've had success getting the fire started and then closing the flue damper and closing the knob on the door most of the way, and it puts hot air into the room, but I don't know if this is the most efficient way to burn my wood, and it doesn't seem to get hot enough on the top of those to cook with (I've tried once).

Does anyone have a copy of the manual for this stove, or some tips and tricks specific to this stove? Or comments on anything I'm doing wrong?

Thanks for any guidance anyone has. I'm new to wood stoves, and I just want to know more about the one I have so I can get the most out of it.
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
216
Wisconsin
Hello everyone. I recently moved into a house with a wood stove, so I'm looking for some information about it. According to the data plate, it is from the Russo Wood Stove Mfg. Corp, model 3GVR High Heat, date tested 9/7/78, fuel approved Wood. I have had it inspected and cleaned, along with the chimney, and I have replaced some of the fire bricks and got some wood and burned some fires. This is my first wood stove, so I apologize if I use the wrong terminology. As far as I can tell, the only controls for it are the flue damper coming out of the back of the stove, and a knob on the side door that I assume controls airflow into the stove. It also has an electric fan that turns on once the stove is hot to push hot air into the room. I'm interested to find a manual for this stove to see what information the manufacturer provided; I found another manual for another Russo stove on the forums, but it is different from this one. Fortunately, I don't rely on the wood stove to heat my home, so it is not critical for me to get the most out of it, but in any case, I would like to. I've ready about secondary combustion and how that improves the efficiency of wood stoves, but I assume this stove is too old for that, unless it is designed to pull air in through the cover to the front glass. I am using seasoned ready to burn wood that I bought locally, and I got more than I need and stacked it outside so it can get good airflow and continue to season. I do have a moisture meter but have not tested the wood since I'm not going to wait to burn it, and like I said, I don't absolutely need to burn it for heat. I've figured out how to get a good draft to start fires without filling the room with smoke. I've had success getting the fire started and then closing the flue damper and closing the knob on the door most of the way, and it puts hot air into the room, but I don't know if this is the most efficient way to burn my wood, and it doesn't seem to get hot enough on the top of those to cook with (I've tried once).

Does anyone have a copy of the manual for this stove, or some tips and tricks specific to this stove? Or comments on anything I'm doing wrong?

Thanks for any guidance anyone has. I'm new to wood stoves, and I just want to know more about the one I have so I can get the most out of it.

I am not familiar with your stove, but I can type things so here I go.

How tall is your chimney? With a stove of that vintage, I normally would not use the flue damper unless I had a very high draft (tall chimney) or if I wanted to burn for a while with the door open... or, maybe if you have a good draft and a leaky stove. What I mean by leaky is, if it lets a lot of air in even when the primary air (knob) is turned down all the way. Then you might need the flue damper to keep it from running too hot. Otherwise, you should just be able to use the primary air to control the intensity of the fire, and just use the flue damper in the event of some kind of unwelcome thermal incident.

I read a little about your stove model in the forums while I was trying to see if I could find a manual. One thing I read is that it has a glass door with a metal door behind it. When you have the metal door open and the glass door closed, you get an air wash over the glass. The metal door should be closed when you have a fire going and you leave the room. The glass was tempered glass from the factory, not ceramic glass like on the new stoves. If it gets too hot, tempered glass can shatter. With the new ceramic glass, I don't think a wood fire in a stove can ever get hot enough to damage it.

Pictures are always nice, so if you can attach some, please do. To be clear, I mean pictures of your stove (inside and out), stove pipes, chimney, whatever you feel like sharing.

I am sure someone will be along soon who can both type things AND provide useful information about your stove.
 
Last edited:

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
216
Wisconsin
I found a brochure for Russo stoves, including your model. It's not a manual, but maybe better than nothing.

Here's what I was referencing when I said there was a steel door behind the glass door. This is a quote from a thread I will link below. It's from webbie, who I'm pretty sure knows his stuff.
"That was one of the first Russos - back then a decent fire view was rare because the ceramic glass was not yet out in the market in bulk. Also, glass got very dirty. Russo solved it by having a large tempered piece a distance from the fire AND having a steel door which could be opened and closed behind it. When you used the stove for long burns, etc you closed the door. When you opened the door, a large amount of air could come in across the glass and keep it clean.

It worked pretty well. "


But now that I'm looking at the brochure, I'm wondering if he is referring to the steel side door... or did he mean there was a steel door directly behind the glass?
 

Attachments

  • Russo_Stoves_Brochure.pdf
    10.9 MB · Views: 176
Last edited:

bondiblueos9

New Member
Mar 11, 2021
3
Bridgewater, MA
My chimney is two stories tall. I think my draft is pretty good. If I put a match in the exhaust the flame will get sucked into it, and if not then I open a window and get it to do so. I haven't had any issues with smoke coming into the room other than a small bit when I'm starting the fire.

I assumed the use of the flue damper was to have it open for maximum airflow while starting the fire and then close it most of the way to keep the heat in the stove for longer. That's what I've been doing. I've also been closing the primary air knob most of the way in hopes of getting the fire to burn more slowly and get the most out of the wood.

The stove does have a glass front with metal doors behind it. I've never closed the metal doors because I like to see the fire (when I've cleaned the glass at least) and because the doors don't move as easily as they should since the stove is old. You have to lift a plate off that's above the glass and then reach in and unfold each door towards the center so they lay flat behind the glass. I hadn't thought about the glass potentially shattering, so now I'll be sure to close the metal doors as much as I can when I'm not right there! It will probably also help with keeping the glass cleaner; the airflow over the glass certainly doesn't help, but at least now I know it's designed to have some air come in that way.

My stove looks just like the one on page 5 of that brochure. I've attached a picture. Thank you for the tips and you did provide useful information!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_4553.JPG
    IMG_4553.JPG
    154.3 KB · Views: 69

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
216
Wisconsin
I am glad I could help some. I hope the wood behind the stove and under it is only there when you are not burning the stove. Without a manual, we do not know what the safe clearance is from the back of your stove to combustible material, so we should assume it is a 36" minimum. For under the stove, I can't remember the safe unlisted device clearance, but it is safe to say having those splits under the stove is a violation.

OK when the stove is cold, but you take the risk of forgetting one or accidentally leaving one behind the stove, which can lead to some excitement.
 

bondiblueos9

New Member
Mar 11, 2021
3
Bridgewater, MA
I keep it there to warm it up some after bringing it in from outside, so it doesn’t go into the stove cold. The wood near the stove ends up cleared before the end of the evening, either by going into the stove or going into the pile just out of the picture. I don’t leave it there unattended, and there is a fire extinguisher nearby just in case. Good point about the low visibility behind the stove.