Vermont Casting Aspen C3 - How hot should it run

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wjohn

Member
Jul 27, 2021
228
KS
I think the steel top hit 900-950 easily at the hottest point, but the glass top hits above 1000f. My Morso gets up to 800 sometimes, but I've stopped measuring STT and just go by flue temps now, and I don't measure anything on my cooker. The Morso has an insulated blanket over the whole length of the firebox, so I'm not surprised I have a bit lower temps despite having such a similar design.
The Aspen C3 has a single piece cast stovetop. There is an insulation blanket under it except for the front, where it has a cutout that matches the shape and size of the cooktop circle, so that area gets direct heat as it comes up around the baffle. Your 800 on your 2B lines up pretty nicely with the hottest stovetop temp I have measured over the insulated area.

Sounds like maybe the temps aren't unreasonable when compared to what you have seen on your stoves. It would still be good for us Aspen C3 owners if we could get confirmation from VC/HHT on where to measure stovetop temps and what is acceptable.
 

Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,871
NW Wisconsin
My little 602 has seen hot plate temps of 900+ and is usually 100-150 degrees less between it and the flue collar.
 
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72Rover

Member
Dec 29, 2011
59
East VA
While I have no knowledge of the Aspen and it's operating temps, 750 seems pretty hot. I have been using a VC Resolute for 42+ years and by my estimates, it has consumed 80+ cords of wood. (It stands inside my fireplace, with a little VC-branded 'muffin' fan moving air around the firebox. The still-working fan is also 42 years old....) More important would be the stack temp - or even the areas behind the insulation, as opposed to the cooktop itself.

What were the fuel and draft conditions when running hot? Small, very dry wood with a brisk breeze increasing draft? From what I gather from a cursory search of the web is that the Aspen's major complaint is that the air damper came improperly adjusted *from the factory*. Only a few factors can cause any stove to run too hot: an increased draft, too much air or tinder-dry wood. Many folks bought their Aspens when the original owner had no idea how to adjust/fix the draft issue. The automatic air damper on my Resolute is it's *best* feature. When properly 'tuned', I only see wiggles of heat vapors and an occasional wisp of smoke exiting the stack. I've got 20+ feet of stainless pipe inside a tile-lined brick chimney, so draft is outstanding....

Other than my '72 Land-Rover, the Resolute is the best purchase I have even made. Bought it even before I closed on the house. I did have to do a major rebuild three years ago, but I'd expect it would be good for another 40 years. Me, not so much....

Cheers
 

wjohn

Member
Jul 27, 2021
228
KS
While I have no knowledge of the Aspen and it's operating temps, 750 seems pretty hot. I have been using a VC Resolute for 42+ years and by my estimates, it has consumed 80+ cords of wood. (It stands inside my fireplace, with a little VC-branded 'muffin' fan moving air around the firebox. The still-working fan is also 42 years old....) More important would be the stack temp - or even the areas behind the insulation, as opposed to the cooktop itself.

What were the fuel and draft conditions when running hot? Small, very dry wood with a brisk breeze increasing draft? From what I gather from a cursory search of the web is that the Aspen's major complaint is that the air damper came improperly adjusted *from the factory*. Only a few factors can cause any stove to run too hot: an increased draft, too much air or tinder-dry wood. Many folks bought their Aspens when the original owner had no idea how to adjust/fix the draft issue. The automatic air damper on my Resolute is it's *best* feature. When properly 'tuned', I only see wiggles of heat vapors and an occasional wisp of smoke exiting the stack. I've got 20+ feet of stainless pipe inside a tile-lined brick chimney, so draft is outstanding....

Other than my '72 Land-Rover, the Resolute is the best purchase I have even made. Bought it even before I closed on the house. I did have to do a major rebuild three years ago, but I'd expect it would be good for another 40 years. Me, not so much....

Cheers
72Rover, you can read back through the posts to see the conditions. Nothing that should've caused this if it is indeed too high of a temp - low wind, actually short on flue length, etc. for my setup and it's even happened with some ~30% MC wood I tried just for kicks to see if it made a difference. There are two other guys who also posted on here who have different setups than I do.

But, hearing how hot the Jotul F602 and Morso 2B are getting from the above posts makes me think this may not be totally out of line. Maybe these small NS loading cast stoves are just designed for it?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,223
Downeast Maine
The Aspen C3 has a single piece cast stovetop. There is an insulation blanket under it except for the front, where it has a cutout that matches the shape and size of the cooktop circle, so that area gets direct heat as it comes up around the baffle. Your 800 on your 2B lines up pretty nicely with the hottest stovetop temp I have measured over the insulated area.

Sounds like maybe the temps aren't unreasonable when compared to what you have seen on your stoves. It would still be good for us Aspen C3 owners if we could get confirmation from VC/HHT on where to measure stovetop temps and what is acceptable.
When I first installed the Morso I was hitting it with my IR laser and checking magnetic thermos constantly. I even emailed the customer support at Morso NA and they gave me basically the same answer as HHT gave you.

I do think our narrow box stoves are just going to burn hotter than a larger stove. I think that is also part of the higher efficiency our small stoves enjoy over larger stoves, especially cat stoves. I can't recall exactly, but I think the Aspen C3 is rated 80% for efficiency, and my 2b classic is 85%, I think because of the large heat exchanger.

My stove also has the single piece cast top, albeit with holes on either end for the arch. My stove peaks right where the flames go around the baffle, usually a good 50-100f hotter than even just a few inches closer to the back of the stove. Unless you see it glowing I think you are good to go.

Speaking of glowing, my adapter from the double wall chimney pipe to my appliance collar on my cookstove was glowing in a few spots not long ago. With the high wind some embers set the film of creosote on the inside of the pipe alight. I'm glad I cleaned my chimney last week and installed everything to code!
 
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wjohn

Member
Jul 27, 2021
228
KS
I can't find the 2020 2B Classic in the EPA database, or least not any test recent enough to have an efficiency value listed. The 2B Standard shows 80% HHV vs. 75% for the Aspen C3. Definitely impressive values for non-cat stoves. I bet the LHV lined up with the numbers you're remembering. I wouldn't doubt that the Classic could be even higher. I don't regret getting the Aspen C3 but would've loved to take a look at a 2B standard if we'd had a dealer around here.

The Aspen C3 manual just says stop if things start to glow. Guess I will keep on burning.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,223
Downeast Maine
I can't find the 2020 2B Classic in the EPA database, or least not any test recent enough to have an efficiency value listed. The 2B Standard shows 80% HHV vs. 75% for the Aspen C3. Definitely impressive values for non-cat stoves. I bet the LHV lined up with the numbers you're remembering. I wouldn't doubt that the Classic could be even higher. I don't regret getting the Aspen C3 but would've loved to take a look at a 2B standard if we'd had a dealer around here.

The Aspen C3 manual just says stop if things start to glow. Guess I will keep on burning.

I love the vagueness in a manual for a box that holds literal fire.
 
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wjohn

Member
Jul 27, 2021
228
KS
I am at the winding down stage of "hitting it constantly with the IR thermometer" and saw 920 at the cooktop last night and 475 on the exterior of the stove pipe. We had 25 MPH sustained winds with 50 MPH gusts, so obviously I expect the stove to be cranking and I was keeping a close eye on things. I shut the blast gate I added on the intake down totally at that point until it dropped to 800 and then cracked it back open.

At 900 plus degrees at night with all other lights off, you can just barely make out a faint orange/red glow from the cooktop area. Everything else is ~800 or less and not glowing at that point. I think I'd prefer to keep it under 900 (and therefore not starting to glow) so that may be what I target as my max temp there going forward.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,223
Downeast Maine
I am at the winding down stage of "hitting it constantly with the IR thermometer" and saw 920 at the cooktop last night and 475 on the exterior of the stove pipe. We had 25 MPH sustained winds with 50 MPH gusts, so obviously I expect the stove to be cranking and I was keeping a close eye on things. I shut the blast gate I added on the intake down totally at that point until it dropped to 800 and then cracked it back open.

At 900 plus degrees at night with all other lights off, you can just barely make out a faint orange/red glow from the cooktop area. Everything else is ~800 or less and not glowing at that point. I think I'd prefer to keep it under 900 (and therefore not starting to glow) so that may be what I target as my max temp there going forward.
It was a windy night and it's just now calming down a bit. This morning I got distracted after reloading the stove and the flue got a bit hotter than I normally like. It's hard to manage a stove when it's constantly pushing 25 mph for hours on end. Sounds like you have a good system with the blast gate preventing the thermostat from letting things go too crazy. At least you get a quick response from adjusting the gate.
 
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wjohn

Member
Jul 27, 2021
228
KS
I had some time to dig around and found the Jotul F 602 V2 EPA test report. They measured top temps of just over 1000 degrees. Plenty of the report is illegible due to poor quality scanning, so I can't see all the runs. Page 25 was readable and where I saw 1000.

Jotul F 602 V2 EPA Test Report

It's just an interesting reference point, not necessarily what is okay for an Aspen C3... But I would think they should be in the same ballpark at least, both being small cast iron stoves. Maybe this is further confirmation that the 920 degrees I have seen on my Aspen C3 is fine, and none of us should be that concerned, lining up with SpaceBus' and Todd's thoughts and input.

I checked the Morso 2B STT as well but it seemed to be much lower during testing - 770 degrees was the highest I could find (converted from 410 C in the report).
 

MikeGraz

New Member
Oct 31, 2021
15
NY
Interesting reading. Its too bad that VC support is so unresponsive.

I am happy with my Aspen C3, although I use the blast gate on the outside air intake to control the stove top temp to 600 - 650 degrees. At these temps the stove throws off a lot of heat and the glass stays clean. If I let the stove control itself, as other have indicated, it gets much hotter and my room overheats. Have had a couple of -20 nights and the stove has done well. Load it up, let it reach 600-650 then close the blast gate most of the way . It will run overnight and still be warm in the am.
 
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wjohn

Member
Jul 27, 2021
228
KS
I wanted to add something to at least check off the list for anyone that is experiencing very hot burns. Pull up your stove pipe and make sure your temp probe is not buried in ash/creosote. It will take longer to get up to temp because it's effectively insulating it, and therefore close the air intake later in the burn. Pics below show the accumulation that had flaked off the inside of my flue (and this was before any cleaning). I attribute this to my early cool break-in fires, an occasional piece of honey locust that probably had higher MC than I initially thought, and my general learning curve getting used to how to run the stove.

The stove will still sometimes briefly run up to around 900 on the cooktop but not for long and I don't worry about it, from the prior discussion in this thread. After cleaning this stuff up, it is noticeably quicker to shut the air down as the flue temp comes up when starting a fire.

I'd also note you probably don't want to vacuum this stuff out as that would probably destroy the insulation blanket. I carefully scooped it out with a narrow putty knife.

20220130_112332.jpg 20220130_122134.jpg
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
7,223
Downeast Maine
I wanted to add something to at least check off the list for anyone that is experiencing very hot burns. Pull up your stove pipe and make sure your temp probe is not buried in ash/creosote. It will take longer to get up to temp because it's effectively insulating it, and therefore close the air intake later in the burn. Pics below show the accumulation that had flaked off the inside of my flue (and this was before any cleaning). I attribute this to my early cool break-in fires, an occasional piece of honey locust that probably had higher MC than I initially thought, and my general learning curve getting used to how to run the stove.

The stove will still sometimes briefly run up to around 900 on the cooktop but not for long and I don't worry about it, from the prior discussion in this thread. After cleaning this stuff up, it is noticeably quicker to shut the air down as the flue temp comes up when starting a fire.

I'd also note you probably don't want to vacuum this stuff out as that would probably destroy the insulation blanket. I carefully scooped it out with a narrow putty knife.

View attachment 291541 View attachment 291542
I use a very gentle ash vac on my insulation blankets and such. A shop vac would definitely be too much.
 
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switepine

New Member
Feb 28, 2022
57
heJinx22
Just installed a VC Aspen C3. With a full load of wood the stove seems to run very hot. The Center of the cook top area measures over 750 Degrees ( limit of my IR thermometer) The rest of the cook top is measuring 700 - 750. Have about 20 ft of stovepipe with 2 90 degree bends. Have the outside air intake installed. Wood is stored outside and does not seem overly dry. Did not have this problem with my previous stove, on which I could control the air intake. I have only loaded the stove up twice. Now I am only burning small fires and I am afraid to load it up, if its not controlling.

Any idea if these are normal temperatures for this stove ?

I contacted VC and asked if they could tell me what temp range the thermostat should control the stovetop to. Instead of answering, they referred me back to the dealer. Sent the dealer an email and never heard back from them. Not happy with VC customer service
Yeah I had a simple question. No response from VC called dealer locally. Non response. I just did not understand the heat blanket inside flue collar. Seems it would quickly get gunned up
With ash and creosote? Dumb design.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
97,848
South Puget Sound, WA
Yeah I had a simple question. No response from VC called dealer locally. Non response. I just did not understand the heat blanket inside flue collar. Seems it would quickly get gunned up
With ash and creosote? Dumb design.
Insulation blankets on top of the baffle are common on many stoves. It is to keep the firebox hotter for more complete combustion. They do get ash on them, but that's an insulator too.
 

EddyB

New Member
Jun 7, 2021
24
NB Canada
Nothing new being said here. WJohn made some excellent points. I had the same issues whenever I got the stove a year ago. Having said that, later this week, I am going to post a comprehensive feedback about my experiences with the Aspen since I had it a year ago, and my recent maintenance to it for this season’s burn. In the meantime, yes, the blanket is important and will not be a problem if you’re burning dry wood.
(Avoid vacuuming the blanket if possible. When the chimney is being cleaned, pull up the flu from the stove and put a bag under the flu opening. It will catch all the crud falling down.)

Absolutely critical for this little stove compared to the robustness of larger typical stoves. Also, although some people have loaded up this stove to the max area it can take, I do not recommend it. Lots of idiosyncrasies that I will get into when I make my post. However, slow and steady is the key, monitor flu temps for the first few hours and do not push it. Once you have a solid bed of coals and things have stabilized, you’ll realize this little cast iron stove has a very nice heat and simple (again, once you have a solid bed of coals).
Even though it’s been pushed during testing, temps running into the 900s is not really conducive for this little stove. Keep in mind, this stove is not the same as typical larger stoves . If you have the same expectations in terms of operating it, it would be the wrong approach to take. I have a temp gauge inserted in the flu about 20” above the stove, a surface guage on the top of the stove clear to the flu, and an IR handheld mainly to check the cooktop area. I can start the fire snd keep it going until there’s a good bed of coals and not once have it up into those extreme temps. I don’t overload it during that time at all. It’s about building up that need of coals, not getting this huge roaring going as soon as possible. You can get away with that with a larger typical stove, not this one, especially with the automatic air intake system. Slow and steady. My temps can reach 750-800 max, no more now, and the primary air is visibly doing a great job. A year ago, it was the same as you. Also, my wood wasn’t as dry as it is this year. Much better now.

By the way, I did a significant overhaul last week before I fired it up for this season. I removed all the bricks, baffle, and blanket. Cleaned it up inside. Removed surface rust inside. Repainted it (the outside was still perfect so no need for any there). Replaced the old baffle with a new one because I was concerned about the high temps last year and when I took it out, it fell apart in a few places. (I’m gentle with handling the stove so it wasn’t from me hitting it or the like). I put in a new blanket, made sure it was aligned perfectly, good gap above it to the flu opening, put the brackets back on, bricks in. I did a few small test burns. I’ve had 3 full extended fires since then, and it has performed better than I was expecting. I know this sounds repetitive with what everyone would say, but it means even more with this stove- dry dry wood, good draft, temp guage inserted in the flu, some kindling on the bottom with your chunks on top of those, and it just hums along. Before I go to sleep, I do the same with some extra pieces on top, watch it for a bit, and go to bed. Unfortunately, in the morning, it will take a bit of a fresh restart, but it’s good to go not long after. Reality is that it’s a small stove. Apples to oranges.
You may want to just get another blanket and replace the old one if you think it’s been damaged at all.

That’s my take and I’ll have more to say later this week when I get a chance to post. Remember, it’s just my take and someone else will have a different experience with different opinions. That’s ok. It’s how I learned alot about this stove. If it had a manual draft, it would be better (just my opinion and some others’ as well based on all the feedback from people).
 

switepine

New Member
Feb 28, 2022
57
heJinx22
Nothing new being said here. WJohn made some excellent points. I had the same issues whenever I got the stove a year ago. Having said that, later this week, I am going to post a comprehensive feedback about my experiences with the Aspen since I had it a year ago, and my recent maintenance to it for this season’s burn. In the meantime, yes, the blanket is important and will not be a problem if you’re burning dry wood.
(Avoid vacuuming the blanket if possible. When the chimney is being cleaned, pull up the flu from the stove and put a bag under the flu opening. It will catch all the crud falling down.)

Absolutely critical for this little stove compared to the robustness of larger typical stoves. Also, although some people have loaded up this stove to the max area it can take, I do not recommend it. Lots of idiosyncrasies that I will get into when I make my post. However, slow and steady is the key, monitor flu temps for the first few hours and do not push it. Once you have a solid bed of coals and things have stabilized, you’ll realize this little cast iron stove has a very nice heat and simple (again, once you have a solid bed of coals).
Even though it’s been pushed during testing, temps running into the 900s is not really conducive for this little stove. Keep in mind, this stove is not the same as typical larger stoves . If you have the same expectations in terms of operating it, it would be the wrong approach to take. I have a temp gauge inserted in the flu about 20” above the stove, a surface guage on the top of the stove clear to the flu, and an IR handheld mainly to check the cooktop area. I can start the fire snd keep it going until there’s a good bed of coals and not once have it up into those extreme temps. I don’t overload it during that time at all. It’s about building up that need of coals, not getting this huge roaring going as soon as possible. You can get away with that with a larger typical stove, not this one, especially with the automatic air intake system. Slow and steady. My temps can reach 750-800 max, no more now, and the primary air is visibly doing a great job. A year ago, it was the same as you. Also, my wood wasn’t as dry as it is this year. Much better now.

By the way, I did a significant overhaul last week before I fired it up for this season. I removed all the bricks, baffle, and blanket. Cleaned it up inside. Removed surface rust inside. Repainted it (the outside was still perfect so no need for any there). Replaced the old baffle with a new one because I was concerned about the high temps last year and when I took it out, it fell apart in a few places. (I’m gentle with handling the stove so it wasn’t from me hitting it or the like). I put in a new blanket, made sure it was aligned perfectly, good gap above it to the flu opening, put the brackets back on, bricks in. I did a few small test burns. I’ve had 3 full extended fires since then, and it has performed better than I was expecting. I know this sounds repetitive with what everyone would say, but it means even more with this stove- dry dry wood, good draft, temp guage inserted in the flu, some kindling on the bottom with your chunks on top of those, and it just hums along. Before I go to sleep, I do the same with some extra pieces on top, watch it for a bit, and go to bed. Unfortunately, in the morning, it will take a bit of a fresh restart, but it’s good to go not long after. Reality is that it’s a small stove. Apples to oranges.
You may want to just get another blanket and replace the old one if you think it’s been damaged at all.

That’s my take and I’ll have more to say later this week when I get a chance to post. Remember, it’s just my take and someone else will have a different experience with different opinions. That’s ok. It’s how I learned alot about this stove. If it had a manual draft, it would be better (just my opinion and some others’ as well based on all the feedback from people).
Hey Bro! You have said so much and given good straight Op! No condescending blather and nothingness. No scolding. I would trust you above all I have heard here tho I may have missed a lot. Below is a email I just sent to a Woodstove company 3 hours away who service this area and are fair and good snd well respected. It may give insight into my situation. Sorry it’s so long.

Hello! First off you guys come highly recommended as a efficient honest company. Second I apologize for the long email but as you will see it would be impossible to describe over the phone.
So.
I bought a V.C Aspen C3 woodstove because it was a size and shape I could retrofit to our Secondary Kiva Fireplace (long story lol) a contractor friend and I installed a 6 in smooth wall stainless liner into our 7-1/2-7 3/4” Ceramic tile liner (Tight fit!!!) inside a adobe chimney which is Very thick 20 ft from chimtop to damper (which I painstakingly removed. fun job) area connected the existing outside air which was a bit smaller than the 4inch stove air intake. Prob about 1-3/4”x3-1/2-4” thru wall to outside. Connected liner with one adjustable elbow very securely. The two kivas are in a half circle really kinda back to back (the smaller kiva is holding the Woodstove) and the individual chimneys terminate on roof right next to each other at close to same height. woodstove chim is about 3-4 inches lower than the open large Kiva. They terminate at only about 24-26” from the Parapet on the flat roof. So all that said here are our issues.
Also the buffer closing off the liner 12-16 inches above stove where damper shelf was/is is probably the weak link. The area around liner stack was stuffed with ceramic glass insulation then a kinda poorly cut tin closing it all off. Probably NOT airtight the top of the chimney also is wrapped with this insulation. Prior to sealing w a proper airtight/water tight stack cap.

1- the stove as you may know has now draft control it’s all automatic inside stove. Nice idea but leaves us helpless regarding controlling draft. It is quite difficult to start the fire as per draft issues and it takes quite a while to get it to take off. Then we must wait till the coals are completely burned down too a “Perfect point” of super hot still standing and glowing to open stove or we are overcome by smoke pouring out of the front of stove while loading. That’s all good to some extent now that I have learned the trick of waiting for perfect reload coaling. I have burned wood all my life but not with a fancy stove like this lol. Big Standard Oil barrels stove mostly. Love those beasts lol. Miss em.

2-Last night we decided to have a fire in the in the large open kiva. It’s was great for a while then it started gentle back drafting and kept it up no matter what I did. Very subtle but so we were totally miserable to the point I had to cool with water a larger log I had burning and throw it out in the driveway and shut the kiva fire down and let coals burn out. Really fun.
3- we had tried burning the two kivas once when we had company to show off lol. Same thing happened. Not possible but I could not figure out why? Both have individual outside air intakes.
4- stove burns slow and steady and when it is really cooking at a medium high heat there is little to zero heat coming out of the stack on top. Though there is some sign of hard glassy creosote on exterior of stack so I imagine the inside is building more of the same telling me we have a poor burn going on. I burn very dry dead down dinosaur bone dry Oak using pine kindling.
We thought about extending the chimneys a foot or so just to see if it needs more height.
So this all said we would love your opinion and would love and happy to pay for a phone consultation if ya think there are things I can do prior to a possible in house inspection which may result in pulling stove and inspection auto draft chain adjustment or measuring for a better draft buffer above stove. Here are some photos showing the stove/kiva on left and large open kiva on right. I may add that we heated last year with the large kiva maintains fires that heated the whole kiva mass adding g to keeping house warm.
Photos. You can see elbow connection circled yellow. You can see glass is continually blackened even more than this photo which is about as hot as it gets.
Thanks so much. “
 

switepine

New Member
Feb 28, 2022
57
heJinx22
Nothing new being said here. WJohn made some excellent points. I had the same issues whenever I got the stove a year ago. Having said that, later this week, I am going to post a comprehensive feedback about my experiences with the Aspen since I had it a year ago, and my recent maintenance to it for this season’s burn. In the meantime, yes, the blanket is important and will not be a problem if you’re burning dry wood.
(Avoid vacuuming the blanket if possible. When the chimney is being cleaned, pull up the flu from the stove and put a bag under the flu opening. It will catch all the crud falling down.)

Absolutely critical for this little stove compared to the robustness of larger typical stoves. Also, although some people have loaded up this stove to the max area it can take, I do not recommend it. Lots of idiosyncrasies that I will get into when I make my post. However, slow and steady is the key, monitor flu temps for the first few hours and do not push it. Once you have a solid bed of coals and things have stabilized, you’ll realize this little cast iron stove has a very nice heat and simple (again, once you have a solid bed of coals).
Even though it’s been pushed during testing, temps running into the 900s is not really conducive for this little stove. Keep in mind, this stove is not the same as typical larger stoves . If you have the same expectations in terms of operating it, it would be the wrong approach to take. I have a temp gauge inserted in the flu about 20” above the stove, a surface guage on the top of the stove clear to the flu, and an IR handheld mainly to check the cooktop area. I can start the fire snd keep it going until there’s a good bed of coals and not once have it up into those extreme temps. I don’t overload it during that time at all. It’s about building up that need of coals, not getting this huge roaring going as soon as possible. You can get away with that with a larger typical stove, not this one, especially with the automatic air intake system. Slow and steady. My temps can reach 750-800 max, no more now, and the primary air is visibly doing a great job. A year ago, it was the same as you. Also, my wood wasn’t as dry as it is this year. Much better now.

By the way, I did a significant overhaul last week before I fired it up for this season. I removed all the bricks, baffle, and blanket. Cleaned it up inside. Removed surface rust inside. Repainted it (the outside was still perfect so no need for any there). Replaced the old baffle with a new one because I was concerned about the high temps last year and when I took it out, it fell apart in a few places. (I’m gentle with handling the stove so it wasn’t from me hitting it or the like). I put in a new blanket, made sure it was aligned perfectly, good gap above it to the flu opening, put the brackets back on, bricks in. I did a few small test burns. I’ve had 3 full extended fires since then, and it has performed better than I was expecting. I know this sounds repetitive with what everyone would say, but it means even more with this stove- dry dry wood, good draft, temp guage inserted in the flu, some kindling on the bottom with your chunks on top of those, and it just hums along. Before I go to sleep, I do the same with some extra pieces on top, watch it for a bit, and go to bed. Unfortunately, in the morning, it will take a bit of a fresh restart, but it’s good to go not long after. Reality is that it’s a small stove. Apples to oranges.
You may want to just get another blanket and replace the old one if you think it’s been damaged at all.

That’s my take and I’ll have more to say later this week when I get a chance to post. Remember, it’s just my take and someone else will have a different experience with different opinions. That’s ok. It’s how I learned alot about this stove. If it had a manual draft, it would be better (just my opinion and some others’ as well based on all the feedback from people).
Forgot to add arrangement photos

41BBB70B-601C-4C6C-8E0C-746DD39D9704.jpeg 2D068685-9AC7-4F93-BA52-61C58B07B40C.jpeg
 

switepine

New Member
Feb 28, 2022
57
heJinx22
Hey Bro! You have said so much and given good straight Op! No condescending blather and nothingness. No scolding. I would trust you above all I have heard here tho I may have missed a lot. Below is a email I just sent to a Woodstove company 3 hours away who service this area and are fair and good snd well respected. It may give insight into my situation. Sorry it’s so long.

Hello! First off you guys come highly recommended as a efficient honest company. Second I apologize for the long email but as you will see it would be impossible to describe over the phone.
So.
I bought a V.C Aspen C3 woodstove because it was a size and shape I could retrofit to our Secondary Kiva Fireplace (long story lol) a contractor friend and I installed a 6 in smooth wall stainless liner into our 7-1/2-7 3/4” Ceramic tile liner (Tight fit!!!) inside a adobe chimney which is Very thick 20 ft from chimtop to damper (which I painstakingly removed. fun job) area connected the existing outside air which was a bit smaller than the 4inch stove air intake. Prob about 1-3/4”x3-1/2-4” thru wall to outside. Connected liner with one adjustable elbow very securely. The two kivas are in a half circle really kinda back to back (the smaller kiva is holding the Woodstove) and the individual chimneys terminate on roof right next to each other at close to same height. woodstove chim is about 3-4 inches lower than the open large Kiva. They terminate at only about 24-26” from the Parapet on the flat roof. So all that said here are our issues.
Also the buffer closing off the liner 12-16 inches above stove where damper shelf was/is is probably the weak link. The area around liner stack was stuffed with ceramic glass insulation then a kinda poorly cut tin closing it all off. Probably NOT airtight the top of the chimney also is wrapped with this insulation. Prior to sealing w a proper airtight/water tight stack cap.

1- the stove as you may know has now draft control it’s all automatic inside stove. Nice idea but leaves us helpless regarding controlling draft. It is quite difficult to start the fire as per draft issues and it takes quite a while to get it to take off. Then we must wait till the coals are completely burned down too a “Perfect point” of super hot still standing and glowing to open stove or we are overcome by smoke pouring out of the front of stove while loading. That’s all good to some extent now that I have learned the trick of waiting for perfect reload coaling. I have burned wood all my life but not with a fancy stove like this lol. Big Standard Oil barrels stove mostly. Love those beasts lol. Miss em.

2-Last night we decided to have a fire in the in the large open kiva. It’s was great for a while then it started gentle back drafting and kept it up no matter what I did. Very subtle but so we were totally miserable to the point I had to cool with water a larger log I had burning and throw it out in the driveway and shut the kiva fire down and let coals burn out. Really fun.
3- we had tried burning the two kivas once when we had company to show off lol. Same thing happened. Not possible but I could not figure out why? Both have individual outside air intakes.
4- stove burns slow and steady and when it is really cooking at a medium high heat there is little to zero heat coming out of the stack on top. Though there is some sign of hard glassy creosote on exterior of stack so I imagine the inside is building more of the same telling me we have a poor burn going on. I burn very dry dead down dinosaur bone dry Oak using pine kindling.
We thought about extending the chimneys a foot or so just to see if it needs more height.
So this all said we would love your opinion and would love and happy to pay for a phone consultation if ya think there are things I can do prior to a possible in house inspection which may result in pulling stove and inspection auto draft chain adjustment or measuring for a better draft buffer above stove. Here are some photos showing the stove/kiva on left and large open kiva on right. I may add that we heated last year with the large kiva maintains fires that heated the whole kiva mass adding g to keeping house warm.
Photos. You can see elbow connection circled yellow. You can see glass is continually blackened even more than this photo which is about as hot as it gets.
Thanks so much. “
Two more

8240FBAF-96AA-4851-9065-72FFE093106C.jpeg BCCABCF7-5F32-45D4-B34B-83C40B64CAF4.jpeg
 

EddyB

New Member
Jun 7, 2021
24
NB Canada
Hey Bro! You have said so much and given good straight Op! No condescending blather and nothingness. No scolding. I would trust you above all I have heard here tho I may have missed a lot. Below is a email I just sent to a Woodstove company 3 hours away who service this area and are fair and good snd well respected. It may give insight into my situation. Sorry it’s so long.

Hello! First off you guys come highly recommended as a efficient honest company. Second I apologize for the long email but as you will see it would be impossible to describe over the phone.
So.
I bought a V.C Aspen C3 woodstove because it was a size and shape I could retrofit to our Secondary Kiva Fireplace (long story lol) a contractor friend and I installed a 6 in smooth wall stainless liner into our 7-1/2-7 3/4” Ceramic tile liner (Tight fit!!!) inside a adobe chimney which is Very thick 20 ft from chimtop to damper (which I painstakingly removed. fun job) area connected the existing outside air which was a bit smaller than the 4inch stove air intake. Prob about 1-3/4”x3-1/2-4” thru wall to outside. Connected liner with one adjustable elbow very securely. The two kivas are in a half circle really kinda back to back (the smaller kiva is holding the Woodstove) and the individual chimneys terminate on roof right next to each other at close to same height. woodstove chim is about 3-4 inches lower than the open large Kiva. They terminate at only about 24-26” from the Parapet on the flat roof. So all that said here are our issues.
Also the buffer closing off the liner 12-16 inches above stove where damper shelf was/is is probably the weak link. The area around liner stack was stuffed with ceramic glass insulation then a kinda poorly cut tin closing it all off. Probably NOT airtight the top of the chimney also is wrapped with this insulation. Prior to sealing w a proper airtight/water tight stack cap.

1- the stove as you may know has now draft control it’s all automatic inside stove. Nice idea but leaves us helpless regarding controlling draft. It is quite difficult to start the fire as per draft issues and it takes quite a while to get it to take off. Then we must wait till the coals are completely burned down too a “Perfect point” of super hot still standing and glowing to open stove or we are overcome by smoke pouring out of the front of stove while loading. That’s all good to some extent now that I have learned the trick of waiting for perfect reload coaling. I have burned wood all my life but not with a fancy stove like this lol. Big Standard Oil barrels stove mostly. Love those beasts lol. Miss em.

2-Last night we decided to have a fire in the in the large open kiva. It’s was great for a while then it started gentle back drafting and kept it up no matter what I did. Very subtle but so we were totally miserable to the point I had to cool with water a larger log I had burning and throw it out in the driveway and shut the kiva fire down and let coals burn out. Really fun.
3- we had tried burning the two kivas once when we had company to show off lol. Same thing happened. Not possible but I could not figure out why? Both have individual outside air intakes.
4- stove burns slow and steady and when it is really cooking at a medium high heat there is little to zero heat coming out of the stack on top. Though there is some sign of hard glassy creosote on exterior of stack so I imagine the inside is building more of the same telling me we have a poor burn going on. I burn very dry dead down dinosaur bone dry Oak using pine kindling.
We thought about extending the chimneys a foot or so just to see if it needs more height.
So this all said we would love your opinion and would love and happy to pay for a phone consultation if ya think there are things I can do prior to a possible in house inspection which may result in pulling stove and inspection auto draft chain adjustment or measuring for a better draft buffer above stove. Here are some photos showing the stove/kiva on left and large open kiva on right. I may add that we heated last year with the large kiva maintains fires that heated the whole kiva mass adding g to keeping house warm.
Photos. You can see elbow connection circled yellow. You can see glass is continually blackened even more than this photo which is about as hot as it gets.
Thanks so much. “
There’s alot in that picture you described and the chimney seems to be problematic, especially where you retrofit into an existing chimney that’s been there for awhile and having issues in itself. I know what I would be told here if in the same situation - install a new chimney completely, out the wall and up outside, or straight up through the roof. This way you know what you’re working with and it’s easily accessible. It’ll be. interesting to see what they say. One thing is certain, if you’re getting that kind of creosote with bone dry wood, that’s a red flag. Crossing fingers that you make progress on that!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
97,848
South Puget Sound, WA
If the liner was a real struggle to get in, it might be a good idea to run a camera down it or somehow inspect it to see if it has ruptured or torn.
 
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Reactions: switepine and EddyB

30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
342
North Carolina
I’ve seen a few mentions of secondary combustion. At what temps are you getting secondary combustion? I haven’t seen it yet on my stove.
I average 400-600 STT peaks, and have seen around 800 one time. Burning mostly oak, draft damper does fully close.
 

30WCF

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
342
North Carolina
The question still stands, but now that I asked the question, I had secondary combustion a little bit ago. It was 450STT.
300stt, I went to rake the coals for a reload. I found some big chunks of charred but I’m burned wood in the back of the stove. I pulled them up on the coals. They were tinder dry and lit off. I added a 10”x 1.5” limb that was rally dry. I guess it was gassing off and I got 5 minutes of secondary. But I still haven’t noticed it on a real reload of 1- 2 splits over decent coals.
I got behind last year, so my wood is mixed quality, so maybe I’m a little wet, not much, but maybe a little. I’ll see if I can find my meter if that’s a factor.
 

switepine

New Member
Feb 28, 2022
57
heJinx22
There’s alot in that picture you described and the chimney seems to be problematic, especially where you retrofit into an existing chimney that’s been there for awhile and having issues in itself. I know what I would be told here if in the same situation - install a new chimney completely, out the wall and up outside, or straight up through the roof. This way you know what you’re working with and it’s easily accessible. It’ll be. interesting to see what they say. One thing is certain, if you’re getting that kind of creosote with bone dry wood, that’s a red flag. Crossing fingers that you make progress on that!
I think you may have misunderstood. That chimney is not a 150 yr old adobe it is a rock solid 16 yr old professionally built chimney better than most all chimneys youbrun across in old homes. This house was built less than 20 yrs ago. So that said I am curious why you think the chimney is problematic? For one thing is us a amazing heat sink holder to have a 8 6 ft in diameter 75-80 degree lump of above humming for 12 hours. Curious to hear your response.
 

switepine

New Member
Feb 28, 2022
57
heJinx22
I think you may have misunderstood. That chimney is not a 150 yr old adobe it is a rock solid 16 yr old professionally built chimney better than most all chimneys youbrun across in old homes. This house was built less than 20 yrs ago. So that said I am curious why you think the chimney is problematic? For one thing is us a amazing heat sink holder to have a 8 6 ft in diameter 75-80 degree lump of above humming for 12 hours. Curious to hear your response.
And the large fireplace when burned alone never had any issues. Still burns really well when woodstove is down. It almost a Rumford style design. I have used a lot of kiva fireplaces and this one is amazing.
 
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