The Regency CI2600 operation thread

VA Bart

New Member
Nov 7, 2019
17
VA
how do i check this?
If it's the same as the CI2600, it's in the doghouse at the front of the firebox. You'll need a light and a mirror to see it. It should be obvious: it's a plate held in place with two bolts. If you search older CI2600 threads you'll find a better description and, I believe, photos (I asked the same question some time ago and another member helpfully mentioned the search).

I reduced the size of the secondary air intake to about a quarter of the original size. It seemed to increase my burn times considerably and also made my primary draft control less "twitchy." Like others, I initially noticed almost no difference between it being fully open and perhaps 3/4ths closed but from there to fully closed minor adjustments had a disproportionate effect on the burn and internal temperatures. Now with the box about 2/3rds full, I can set the primary draft to half open or, perhaps, a bit less and still get a solid 6+ hours of useful heat (i.e., very warm air pushed into the room and the cat thermometer reading over 500 degrees).

That said, I have not had similar experiences to others who claim that they're getting roasted out of the room or it's raising the temp of their entire house to +70 degrees when it's -6 or whatever outside. With the blower on high, the temperature in the room with the insert increases perhaps 5-6 degrees and there is no increase in other rooms. I'm in western/central VA (zone 6b). We've only owned this house for five years, but to put it in perspective, I spend about $700 a year to heat it with an oil furnace, which leads me to believe it's reasonably well insulated.

I like the insert. It certainly makes the sitting room cozy, but I am curious how people are getting this unit to heat something like a 2,000 sqft house with cathedral ceilings to something like 70+ degrees. I've gotten reasonable burn times, the internal temps are comparable to what other people report, the fan seems to work well, and plenty of warm air gets pushed into the room. The one thing I haven't done is heat it continuously for days on end. Is that the difference? In other words, if I get a 5-degree pop with the initial burn, then reload when the cat sensor drops to about 500 degrees, will I get another couple degree pop, and then another with the next load and so on?

Needless to say, this is my first experience with an insert. I do have an old wood stove as well. My experience with it is the exact opposite. With a full load, within an hour the room will be in the mid-70s or warmer. Unfortunately, when I push the air out of that room, it flows across our thermostat, so the furnace never turns on and the addition, which is on the opposite end of the house, becomes too cold.
 
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JRFarmer

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
16
Hatfield, PA
I like the insert. It certainly makes the sitting room cozy, but I am curious how people are getting this unit to heat something like a 2,000 sqft house with cathedral ceilings to something like 70+ degrees. I've gotten reasonable burn times, the internal temps are comparable to what other people report, the fan seems to work well, and plenty of warm air gets pushed into the room. The one thing I haven't done is heat it continuously for days on end. Is that the difference?
I definitely believe this stove could heat a 2000 sqft house. An open floor plan would really help, but there are other things you can do...

I live in a very typical colonial in the Philly suburbs. Over 2000 sqft, and the floor plan is not open. I think I have about 1400 sqft downstairs, and 1000 sqft upstairs. This stove really does a great job heating the first floor. I use a floor fan to blow air from one side of the house to the other (blows cold air toward the stove). After a few hours of burning, the thermostat on the other side of the house rises 3-4F.

I'm typically burning a fire only a few hours every weeknight, which does not heat the second floor. On the weekends, I'm keeping the fire burning all day Sat and Sun, and the heat does leak up to the second floor. If I were burning this stove continuously, and blowing cold air down the stairs, I'm certain it would heat the whole house.
 

VA Bart

New Member
Nov 7, 2019
17
VA
I use a floor fan to blow air from one side of the house to the other (blows cold air toward the stove). After a few hours of burning, the thermostat on the other side of the house rises 3-4F.
I hadn't thought of using a fan to blow the cold air toward the stove rather than the opposite (blowing hot air away from the stove). I'll have to try that. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

JRFarmer

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
16
Hatfield, PA
I hadn't thought of using a fan to blow the cold air toward the stove rather than the opposite (blowing hot air away from the stove). I'll have to try that. Thanks for the suggestion!
Get ready to be blown away (pun intended). In my experience there is a HUGE difference between blowing hot air away from the stove and blowing cold air toward the stove. I think there are two reasons for this: (1) cold air is denser, so you can accomplish more by moving cold air vs moving warm air, and (2) I'm using a floor fan, and the cold air pools at the floor. You can't push the warm air if it's not there ("It's like trying to find gold in a silver mine / It's like trying to drink whisky, from a bottle of wine").
 

VA Bart

New Member
Nov 7, 2019
17
VA
(1) cold air is denser, so you can accomplish more by moving cold air vs moving warm air, and (2) I'm using a floor fan, and the cold air pools at the floor. You can't push the warm air if it's not there.
Yep. That sounds reasonable.

I'm installing a few ceiling fans and also have floor vents for the HVAC. I'll have to play with a few combinations and settings to see what works best, but I think I may start by also simply setting up two floor fans at the far corners of the farthest rooms and see how that works. Thanks again.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN
I reduced the size of the secondary air intake to about a quarter of the original size. It seemed to increase my burn times considerably....That said, I have not had similar experiences to others who claim that they're getting roasted out of the room or it's raising the temp of their entire house to +70 degrees when it's -6 or whatever outside. With the blower on high, the temperature in the room with the insert increases perhaps 5-6 degrees and there is no increase in other rooms. I'm in western/central VA (zone 6b).
I'm thinking of doing an air control tweak to a stove within my 'sphere of influence' but I may first try cutting the total air, not just a component of it such as the secondary only. My fear is that I may inhibit the secondary from burning as efficiently as it could, throughout the entire burn. The result could be more smoke out of the stack at some point in the burn, and less heat into the room (the second being what you are noticing, maybe?)
I hadn't thought of using a fan to blow the cold air toward the stove rather than the opposite (blowing hot air away from the stove). I'll have to try that. Thanks for the suggestion!
The idea here is to use a small 8" fan, on low so as not to disrupt the natural convection loop that is already trying to move heat from the stove room to cooler areas. You can feel this if you stand at the stove room door, first holding your hand in the bottom of the doorway..you'll feel cool air flowing in. Now hold your hand in the top of the doorway and you'll feel warm air flowing out.
You want to augment that loop by moving cool air along the floor, back toward the stove room. You could place the fan just outside the stove room door, or way back in the hallway where the bedrooms are, if you are trying to move the warm air there. You'll just have to experiment and find what works best. You can tape tissue paper in the tops of doorways to help you see how the air is flowing..
is this the reduction plate? is it installed?
Looks like you may have had to dig it out to see it. That's gonna let even more air into the box..cover it back up ;lol until you can figure out a better solution to the over-draft problem.
 

VA Bart

New Member
Nov 7, 2019
17
VA
...I may first try cutting the total air, not just a component of it such as the secondary only. My fear is that I may inhibit the secondary from burning as efficiently as it could, throughout the entire burn. The result could be more smoke out of the stack at some point in the burn, and less heat into the room (the second being what you are noticing, maybe?)
By "inhibit the secondary," you mean the cat burn of smoke, right? Do you think that air from the secondary intake affects the secondary burn differently? I would have thought that the secondary intake determines the minimum amount of air that enters the firebox when the primary control is closed and also the maximum amount of air when the primary is fully open (all other things being equal). The total amount of air that enters the box between those extremes can be achieved simply by opening the primary a bit more to compensate for the partial closure of the secondary, right? Given that, shouldn't the secondary burn should be the same in all of intermediate positions as well? I don't really have the cat engaged for long when the primary fully open. At most it seems I may have to wait a minute or two longer before backing it off. And I never have the primary fully closed.

My gut says the secondary burn I'm getting is fine. My temps are consistent with what others have posted. My burns times are solid. And I'm definitely not experiencing the glass blackening that others had. I did initially when I shut down the primary after narrowing the secondary intake, but I learned my lesson.

The idea here is to use a small 8" fan, on low so as not to disrupt the natural convection loop that is already trying to move heat from the stove room to cooler areas. You can feel this if you stand at the stove room door, first holding your hand in the bottom of the doorway..you'll feel cool air flowing in. Now hold your hand in the top of the doorway and you'll feel warm air flowing out.
You want to augment that loop by moving cool air along the floor, back toward the stove room. You could place the fan just outside the stove room door, or way back in the hallway where the bedrooms are, if you are trying to move the warm air there. You'll just have to experiment and find what works best. You can tape tissue paper in the tops of doorways to help you see how the air is flowing..
Thanks! That's very helpful. I particularly like the idea of the tissue paper to see how the rate of flow changes. Excellent suggestion.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN
By "inhibit the secondary," you mean the cat burn of smoke, right?
Sorry, I didn't try to think through how restricting secondary air would affect your burn, since I don't know how the air is routed in your stove; I was speaking more from the point of view of what I need to do on my SIL's stove which is straight secondary, no cat. I'm not sure how much of it would apply in your case, but maybe some would. The primary and secondary are linked by a rod in my case, so the ratio of primary air to secondary remains constant over any primary setting, I'd think. The new model incorporates "EBT2" which separates primary and secondary air, and the secondary works with a flap according to chimney draft.
Anyway, what I'm trying to do is get more low-end control in case I need to shut the burn down, which I can't do now. The first thing I will try is to allow the primary to close further, keeping the relation of primary to secondary air as it presently is, and leaving the boost air alone. So I'm not restricting the secondary air intake only, as it sounds like you've done. I'm not sure how what you've done will affect the different aspects of your burn. Would blocking some secondary air supply less to the tube and the cat or does the cat get mostly air wash or boost air, etc?
I don't guess we can figure out the details, not being stove scientists with a bunch of measuring equipment. all we can do is experiment and see if we notice any real-world effect. That can be hard to quantify..
As far as moving warm air, I would try the small fan (or fans) first since that would be easiest. Ceiling fans might disrupt the natural convection loop and make the seating position hotter in the stove room, but might help if you have a high cathedral ceiling in the stove room. I've read that trying to move heat with the HVAC ducting can work sometimes, but other times just succeeds in heating the metal ducts and not helping in the other areas.
 
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VA Bart

New Member
Nov 7, 2019
17
VA
As far as moving warm air, I would try the small fan (or fans) first since that would be easiest. Ceiling fans might disrupt the natural convection loop and make the seating position hotter in the stove room, but might help if you have a high cathedral ceiling in the stove room. I've read that trying to move heat with the HVAC ducting can work sometimes, but other times just succeeds in heating the metal ducts and not helping in the other areas.
I was going to ask what your thoughts are on ceiling fans. At the outer edge of the room with the insert is a stairwell with a high ceiling. Clearly lots of warm air is rising into this area, so I was thinking about putting in a ceiling fan to force some down. I also haven't run the HVAC fan to circulate air.

It seems there are quite a few variables. I'm interested to see what works and what doesn't. I'll post some observations as I have them.

One thing I can say is that the CI2600 throws out a lot of hot air, even with the fan on low. The useful burn has exceeded my expectations and the amount of ash is astonishingly little. I think my challenge is figuring out how to distribute the warm air because, as I noted, I'm only spending $700 per year as it is to heat the house with oil, so I think additional insulation in the attic or wherever will only yield marginal benefits.

Thanks again for you thoughts/feedback. I appreciate it.
 

Mbcik

Member
Dec 30, 2017
22
Oregon
is this the reduction plate? is it installed?

View attachment 255930 View attachment 255931
Hi sleepingtiger, in my opinion this has to be an issue with too much air. I have a CI2600 and I rarely close down the air intake all the way. And there’s no way I could start a fire with it closed down all the way. At night time when I want to get a long burn, I set it down to about 1/3 or 1/4. Anything lower and it really Blackens the window and seems to smother the fire unless I have really really dry wood.
 
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Mbcik

Member
Dec 30, 2017
22
Oregon
I was going to ask what your thoughts are on ceiling fans. At the outer edge of the room with the insert is a stairwell with a high ceiling. Clearly lots of warm air is rising into this area, so I was thinking about putting in a ceiling fan to force some down. I also haven't run the HVAC fan to circulate air.

It seems there are quite a few variables. I'm interested to see what works and what doesn't. I'll post some observations as I have them.

One thing I can say is that the CI2600 throws out a lot of hot air, even with the fan on low. The useful burn has exceeded my expectations and the amount of ash is astonishingly little. I think my challenge is figuring out how to distribute the warm air because, as I noted, I'm only spending $700 per year as it is to heat the house with oil, so I think additional insulation in the attic or wherever will only yield marginal benefits.

Thanks again for you thoughts/feedback. I appreciate it.
Yup, small fans on the floor pointed towards the wood stove or at least towards the room with the wood stove. This made all the difference in my 2,500 sq ft home with tall ceilings and lots of windows.

In fact this works so we’ll, that sometimes I turn the fan off because I prefer a cool room to sleep in.

My central heater thermostat is in the hallway next to the wood stove room. When I turn the fan on, it will raise the temperature in the hallway 3-5 degrees and it keeps the bedrooms comfortable.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN
At the outer edge of the room with the insert is a stairwell with a high ceiling.
Any way you can post a pic of the layout? Doesn't have to be anything fancy, even a crude sketch will give us a better idea what's going on..
 

VA Bart

New Member
Nov 7, 2019
17
VA
Hi sleepingtiger, in my opinion this has to be an issue with too much air. I have a CI2600 and I rarely close down the air intake all the way. And there’s no way I could start a fire with it closed down all the way. At night time when I want to get a long burn, I set it down to about 1/3 or 1/4. Anything lower and it really Blackens the window and seems to smother the fire unless I have really really dry wood.
That's my experience as well: rarely adjust the primary to less than a third or quarter and couldn't start a fire with it completely closed. Even with very well seasoned wood (i.e., 4 years on a dry porch with plenty of sun and a nice cross breeze), if I close the primary completely, I'll end up with a black window. Also, internal temps will drop considerably. With the primary a third open, my useful burn times are no more than an hour less. The total burn time is probably closer to two hours shorter, but I'm really only concerned with the useful burn time.
 

gordonm1

New Member
Jun 16, 2019
5
Yakima, WA
I got a ci2600 installed this year in a dirty 70 yo chimney and have smoke problems. They used a bare stainless liner sealed at the top and the first long run on high while I took a shower the fire department was called because of smoke alarm and it being quite smoky just to get to the thing to turn it down. The installer came out and recleaned the chimney but they had to be idiots to leave it dirty the first time. It's still too smoky for me. I'm thinking if I can get the old chimney clean enough to be safe from chimney fires I can let some of the fumes go up it by making the top seal less than perfect. Any advice?

Edit- This is WA state, two story chimney (25') so good draft once it's going. Chimney had a 1980's insert pior with no liner and at least 20 chords burned over 20 years by me. Shiny stage 2 creosote evident just above the old insert. It was less smoky with the old insert.
 
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JRFarmer

New Member
Oct 3, 2019
16
Hatfield, PA
Ceiling fans might disrupt the natural convection loop and make the seating position hotter in the stove room
This forum is so great. This weekend I tried turning off the ceiling fan in the room with the stove, the results were very good. The stove room was more comfortable (cooler than usual), and the rest of the house was more comfortable (warmer than usual).

Thanks for the tip!
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN
Thanks for the tip!
In my endless bloviating in these forums, I do occasionally stumble onto something that actually works for someone. ;lol
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,157
Southern IN
This weekend I tried turning off the ceiling fan in the room with the stove, the results were very good. The stove room was more comfortable (cooler than usual), and the rest of the house was more comfortable (warmer than usual).
Vaulted ceilings, or just flat, throughout the area where you are moving the air?
 

griam01

Member
Jan 22, 2016
158
Upper Panhandle, WV
just curious. I have had mine a few years now and for the first time tonight the Cat probe registered a temp of 1450. I panicked and opened the bypass to cool it off. It settled around 1200 and then I closed the bypass again and it stay normal for me. I have never seen it go higher than 1300 before and was wondering how high your temperature has got on yours. Did I panicked too early?
 

Wolves1

Minister of Fire
Nov 15, 2014
582
Malverne ny
just curious. I have had mine a few years now and for the first time tonight the Cat probe registered a temp of 1450. I panicked and opened the bypass to cool it off. It settled around 1200 and then I closed the bypass again and it stay normal for me. I have never seen it go higher than 1300 before and was wondering how high your temperature has got on yours. Did I panicked too early?
It was most likely ok. I’ve hit those temps. Also keep in mind when the thermometer battery run low the temp number shoots up.