Thermometer placement

  • 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.
Status
Not open for further replies.

TonyP

Member
Jan 6, 2016
47
New Hartford, CT
I've read in my owners manual (VC resolute 2) that the best place for the thermometer is on the top of the right side, where the cross draft heat flows through. This is where I've placed it.

However, I've also read some stove users don't even bother with a thermometer on the stove, and only use one on the flue pipe. Others use both; what's the benefits of having a thermometer on both the flue pipe and the stove, etcetera? Will this help me manipulate it better, or just tell me why certain things are happening as they are?
 

defiant3

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2010
1,002
No. NH
First of all, thermometers are cheap, why not have 2? or 3 or 4? Second, they're not that accurate, and it's kind of fun to compare readings, esp. if you'r a little OCD like me. Finally, I feel like I really want to know what's happening in the chimney so I don't make a mess so I have one there for sure. Plus the fact that pretty much every OTHER stove company has you put it there. The stove top one is what V.C. recommends, so I have that too. It's almost recreational for me to watch and get the info. It IS the information age, rirght??
 

vasten

Member
Nov 11, 2007
205
Upstate NY
I run two one on my griddle for my vigilant and one on my stove pipe mainly for comparison. All last season I mainly used just the flue temps to set my stove by, and used th griddle temps to see if I was where I should be temp wise.

This winter I decided I wanted to play with the horizontal burn vs updraft, and I was advised to just go by the griddle temps. Think if I was only going to have one I would rather have it on the flue to make sure I am in the safe zone.

I often wondered how accurate they are because my griddle one has to get to 650 for me to start feeling heat in the room, and that puts the flue at barely 250. Right now It chugging away and the griddle claims 750 with a flue temp of only 300

Interesting note: when I was struggling to get my horizontal burn dialed in I was reading the old VC owners newspapers that the prior owner gave me with the stove. They have an ad in there for their "specially calibrated" thermometer.
 

TonyP

Member
Jan 6, 2016
47
New Hartford, CT
I have a resolute 2, which has the horizontal burn feature that your vigilante has. Due to the high temperature requirement for the transition from updraft to horizontal burn, I had the thermometer on top, above the baffle. The manufacturer says this gives the most accurate and useful reads for the type of stove I (we) have, due to the horizontal burn feature. (I had briefly put a thermometer on the flue, but this didn't really tell me anything useful; why do I care that the flue is 250? If the stove itself isn't holding 450-500, I need to stay in updraft.) Plus, reading only the flue will give you misguided information on your creosote level; if your flue is reading in the creosote zone, you're probably not in the creosote zone, since the stove below is hotter.

I actually removed my thermometer because I got a good feel of temperatures, and my friend pointed out that overly relying on reading a thermometer rather than the fire itself (and other things) is enabling myself. He's got a point, especially when he told me I wouldn't have a thermometer out in nature, and essentially that reading the fire, the coal, the draft, etc., is more natural and intelligent than just reading a damn number. He was right, I was definitely becoming a number-reader, rather than a fire-reader, which is what burning a wood stove is meant to make the operator into.

In regard to the damper-down position, I will tell you that if you have a good bed of coals, the air supply at or above 50% open, and holding a temperature of at least 450 for at least ten minutes or so, you'll be able to run that thing in crossburn beautifully. At least that's how it is in my resolute, but I can't see it being much different in your vigilante considering fire has the same requirements no matter what stove you have.

Their 'specially calibrated' thermometer doesn't have a 'Vermont Castings' label on it, does it? ...
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,322
Massachusetts
this subject is going to turn into a top down start or not. the manual on the defiant says to not run the stove above 750 and only 750 for the initial start then back it down below 700. in my way of thinking if someone is trying for a certain temp on their stove pipe and is running above what the manual dictates that would be over firing the stove and things could start to warp and melt. just my .02 cents
 
Status
Not open for further replies.