Tips/Suggestions

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BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
136
Massachusetts
New EPA user from an old Defiant. It appears that these stoves are a bit fussy with dry wood and have found that I can't keep consistent hot stove top temps for hours and end up with a boatload of coals that need to be burned down before reloading, therefore losing heat output waiting for coals to be burned down. I have primarily red oak this season but have a better mix in the next few years. The MC ranges from 18-22% so I am wondering if this may be the cause of the massive amount of coals. A bit concerned heading into cold weather. My Defiant would only burn for a few hours but if was real hot and burned down to ash. Is having a bunch of coals a problem for others with these EPA stoves? Not sure this stove will put out as much heat "pound for pound" but any suggestions would be helpful. The thing this stove has going for it over the Defiant is that I don't need to cold start everyday.
 

Rickb

Minister of Fire
Oct 24, 2012
1,181
St.Louis
Only time I have had a lot of coals was when I was using wet wood my first year. What I would do is every 4-5 days I would burn it wide open for a hour or 2 and burn off the coals.

What is your new stove?
 

BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
136
Massachusetts
This is a Osburn 3300. I may be a bit impatient with the coals as it was only about 3 hours after a partial reload. Stove top temp seems to drop from 650 down to 450 over 3 or so hours, figured it would cruise for a longer period, but again not a full load in, maybe 6 splits.

The wood catches within 30 seconds and don't think the MC is a huge problem as I have found a split a bunch and measured most under 20%.

I have burned mostly red oak over the last 10 years but have gotten my hands on some ash, cherry and hickory that I will burn in 2-3 years. I have also started to split smaller than what I was easily chucking into the Defiant. It seems like these new stoves may do better with smaller splits and holding heat in the firebox longer.
 

armanidog

Feeling the Heat
Jan 8, 2017
386
Northeast Georgia
Red oak is a good firewood.

I had the same problem with coals and that was with very dry wood. After a while I realized I needed to slow down on adding wood.
I was used to just throwing logs in when the fire started and keep loading to maintain the heat. On the older stoves this was OK because they burned so fast.
Now I load the stove, start the burning from the top of the load and let it burn down to the lower logs (top down burning). That slows the fire down and lets the top logs be consumed first.
 
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Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,501
NW Wisconsin
It will take some trial and error learning your new stove. One thing that will help with coaling is raking all the coals forward during reloading. Most modern stoves burn front to back and coals will linger at the back of your firebox for a long time.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,711
SE North Carolina
New EPA user from an old Defiant. It appears that these stoves are a bit fussy with dry wood and have found that I can't keep consistent hot stove top temps for hours and end up with a boatload of coals that need to be burned down before reloading, therefore losing heat output waiting for coals to be burned down. I have primarily red oak this season but have a better mix in the next few years. The MC ranges from 18-22% so I am wondering if this may be the cause of the massive amount of coals. A bit concerned heading into cold weather. My Defiant would only burn for a few hours but if was real hot and burned down to ash. Is having a bunch of coals a problem for others with these EPA stoves? Not sure this stove will put out as much heat "pound for pound" but any suggestions would be helpful. The thing this stove has going for it over the Defiant is that I don't need to cold start everyday.
Just confirming the was tested in the middle of a fresh split face at room temp?

My coals build up if I am running the stove with the air closed and keep reloading as soon as the flames die down. Relaod in full loads as soon as the flames die down open the air up and some times I will even toss on a single pine or poplar split to increase the draft to burn them down faster.
 

BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
136
Massachusetts
Yes, I am measuring MC in a split at room temp. The coals definitely linger when the air is closed down. I was spoiled a bit with the Defiant in the sense that the air was controlled by a auto thermostat so it allowed air to take care of the coals. Now I will need to manually open air and let coals burn down before reloading. Will be more of an exercise in timing reloads with needed heat output I guess.
 
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BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
136
Massachusetts
I am still trying to master loafing a full box and trying to get the timing down. I am using all oak and I am getting really strong secondaries and I am thinking I am not shutting the air down soon enough. I am not getting the lazy flame and have a gas grill type effect going on in the rearmost tubes with little to no primary flame. I am wondering if I am keeping air open too long causing this? After I load a pretty full box I let it catch with the door open for a minute then shut the door and let it go for 5 minutes or so before shutting the air down to about 70% open and then about 5 more minutes I shut down to about 15% open. This is reloading on a hot bed of coals spread across the bottom of the stove. What are the methods used for loading a full load of hardwood for those with tube stoves? Here is a video of really strong secondaries and primaries, I think the air was left open too long. I am looking for the balance of throwing good heat for a long time with the most efficient combustion I can. I have been just slightly closer the key damper to cut some draft as it sometime seems that the chimney sucks the air from the stove and maybe there isn't enough residence time in the box which is why I am not getting the lazy flame.
 

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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I start shutting my air down when the flames really start licking the baffle. The fire will die down a bit and start to hit the baffle again. Close the primary down a bit more. Keep going. You're building heat in the firebox and soon the secondaries are providing all of the air the firebox needs.
 

Zzyk

Member
Oct 24, 2008
76
schoharie county ny
I burn quite a bit of red oak (request it from my supplier) but also find it creates plenty of coals. My solution is to switch over to some smaller splits of other wood, usually cherry, to burn down the coal bed as needed. I tend to do this in the morning when I don't need the extra long burn times.
 

BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
136
Massachusetts
I burned down the coals leaving the door cracked and raked them all forward. I then loaded N/S with some small splits on the bottom and put about 6 medium splits on and it caught before I could finish reloading. I let this go until there were string flames and then turned down the air some. It took awhile for the stove to come up to temp but the secondaries got going pretty quick without going into an inferno. Raking the coals forward seems to be key as it only cigarette burns from front to back and doesn't touch of the whole load when I had a bunch of hot coals spread out all over the bottom. I am now trying to find the sweet spot with air intake. I took a flashlight outside and do see some smoke up at the chimney. Of coarse at night I can see me breath too, so not sure if that is a good jndicator? Here is the firebox now, active flame and good secondaries, how else to guage near complete combustion?

One other thing is I have scrapped using the key damper for now, but I do feel like heat is being lost up the chimney. Are any folks also trying to use a key damper for tube stoves or should this be a last resort on these new stoves?
 

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mcdougy

Minister of Fire
Apr 15, 2014
725
ontario
Not sure about your particular stove, but with my tube stove I shut the air completely down to tame the flames. From your videos it appears you have alot of air in the firebox and it would be beneficial if you could slow the flames down more. I read that you turn air down to 15% but didn't see where you turn it right down.....also does your stove use a oak? (Outside air kit) With some stoves (mine) I had to reduce the outside vent of the oak. I had to tape off 50% of the vent intake to slow my flames down as the Draft was too strong otherwise.
 

BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
136
Massachusetts
I have an Osburn 3300. I do not have an OAK. If I close the air all the way it will kill the flames. I just measured some splits and getting some pieces that are 20-22% so turning the air down will not help burn those pieces. I have been splitting smaller for future wood supply, but this stuff was big splits of red and white oak about 3 years old, still not enough time. I may have to resort to mixing in untreated scrap lumber or get a load of dry cherry and maple from my dad.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I generally run with the air closed down all the way and a key damper closed.
 

BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
136
Massachusetts
I just loaded up the box with some smaller splits on the bottom and then bigger on the next 2 rows criss cross pattern. I have air closed down to maybe 15% open and key damper almost fully closed. This is the only way to slow the flames down even close to "lazy". With the key damper open I can see the flames travel up over the baffle headed towards the flue collar. Is that normal? Also, will closing the key damper all the way promote creosote buildup? This is with a 3/4 load.

My next question.. my wife tend the stove when I am gone to work and would like to build shorter hotter fires a couple times during rhe way in cold weather. Any ideas on way to load to achieve that high heat output for shorter burn times? Specific load method or any other tips?
 

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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
You can burn a short, hot fire, but the fuel load may not be large enough to heat the stove,s exterior enough to throw heat like a large fire. It'll take some playing around to best figure out how to run your stove.
 

marty319

Feeling the Heat
Nov 17, 2014
423
Belair mb
That 3300 has an issue with the air control.at least mine did.if you look under the stove at the air control flap and open and close the air control you will see how much further the lever goes past the closed position.ive talked to sbi about this and it is going to the engineering dept.this does not effect the burn at all its just that the air control lever is going too far to the right after control flap is closed
 

Sailrmike

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2017
295
06371
That 3300 has an issue with the air control.at least mine did.if you look under the stove at the air control flap and open and close the air control you will see how much further the lever goes past the closed position.ive talked to sbi about this and it is going to the engineering dept.this does not effect the burn at all its just that the air control lever is going too far to the right after control flap is closed
Could you post a pic of this please? I believe that I have the same box as you and op, Drolet HT-3000, and mine moves past the closed position too, but it's also opening up a small hole (I think that is called boost air pilot, or something along those lines) at the same time. I've been very impressed with how this stove is designed.
 

Sailrmike

Feeling the Heat
Sep 20, 2017
295
06371
I just loaded up the box with some smaller splits on the bottom and then bigger on the next 2 rows criss cross pattern. I have air closed down to maybe 15% open and key damper almost fully closed. This is the only way to slow the flames down even close to "lazy". With the key damper open I can see the flames travel up over the baffle headed towards the flue collar. Is that normal? Also, will closing the key damper all the way promote creosote buildup? This is with a 3/4 load.

My next question.. my wife tend the stove when I am gone to work and would like to build shorter hotter fires a couple times during rhe way in cold weather. Any ideas on way to load to achieve that high heat output for shorter burn times? Specific load method or any other tips?
If she will be loading on hot coals:
Rake coals forward (I like to leave a low spot from front to back, down the center of the stove, to let air under the wood)
Load 2 splits e/w with a gap between them
Load 2 splits n/s on top of the first two
Let her rip!
 

BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
136
Massachusetts
That 3300 has an issue with the air control.at least mine did.if you look under the stove at the air control flap and open and close the air control you will see how much further the lever goes past the closed position.ive talked to sbi about this and it is going to the engineering dept.this does not effect the burn at all its just that the air control lever is going too far to the right after control flap is closed
I notice this too when you mentioned it. I ended up using the front 2 holes only to mount the cover and this seemed to stop the lever when the metal plate just reached the closed position. Definitely a malfunction in the design, but as you said doesn't affect stove function.
 
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BrownT10

Member
Jun 1, 2021
136
Massachusetts
If she will be loading on hot coals:
Rake coals forward (I like to leave a low spot from front to back, down the center of the stove, to let air under the wood)
Load 2 splits e/w with a gap between them
Load 2 splits n/s on top of the first two
Let her rip!
I did exactly this in the morning except did 3 e/w and 3 n/s. It worked well for her today as she kept house temp stable. She ended up only doing a few pieces, she is a bit gun shy but we will get there.
 
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