Wonderwood questions. Never thought I would be here

adschreifels Posted By adschreifels, Nov 20, 2018 at 9:52 PM

  1. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    Hi everyone, my name is Alex and I purchased a home two years ago, and it came with a wonderwood stove. The chimney is roughly 15 feet, straight up from the stove, with a 90 degree bend at the stove back. It is a 6 in single wall pipe in 3 sections. The previous owner said they used the stove to heat because the electric here costs too dang much. Well I didn’t trust the stove because I never had one as a kid, no one had one in the extended family either. I have always wanted one tho. Last weekend I tested it out to see if it was in decent shape, I unhooked it brought it outside to see if it leaked anywhere. She ran great, heated up my bbq put quite nicely. I wanted to replace the stove piping anyway because it is old and seems brittle.

    Here starts my questions. I will be using this wonderwood for this season(we can’t afford 500 a month to heat this season again). Is there anything I NEED to know before I use it?

    What is the Max temp I should bring it to?
    Do I need a damper in the flue above the stove and if so what height do I need it at?
    How do I figure out what chimney I have? (If that makes sense)
    Once I figure out this chimney set up and it works proplerly I am eyeballing either a Englander 13nc or a 30, will this current set up work with those stoves?

    Any info will be appreciated I have a 2 year old and the safety issue is all I’m thinking about.


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  2. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Aug 21, 2013
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    Max temp...700, 800* MAX!
    Damper in pipe, yes, for sure.
    Need pics of chimney...
     
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  3. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    Do you need pics of the part of the chimney in the attic? Or the roof?


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  4. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Either way I would guess...you said you needed help to ID what type it is, right?
    Is it metal or masonry?
     
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  5. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    Metal definitely. I’ll grab some pictures tomorrow in the am, I understand this question has more than likely been asked a bunch but I still thank you all for the help.


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  6. redktmrider

    redktmrider
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    Jan 21, 2012
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    Do you have seasoned firewood? Burning wet wood is the one mistake new wood burners make most often. Wet wood doesn't put out much heat and leads to rapid creosote buildup in the chimney system. Seasoned firewood has a moisture content of around 20% when measured at room temperature of the face of a fresh split piece of wood. If you do not have seasoned firewood, begin looking for bio bricks or some other processed wood product for this season and buy wood now to start seasoning it for next year.
     
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  7. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    I have a substantial amount of wood, well for a city boy who moved to the middle of nowhere. I am also going to buy a few cords. I have had some split and stacked for a little over a year now. Also once I purchase a wood moisture tester thing (sorry I’m new) I’ll make sure I use it right. Safety is my main concern because it’s just me my wife and my two year old, I’ll spend the money to make sure I’m not lighting a bomb in my house.


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  8. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    This is what I could get, chimney looks good in my novice opinion. I’m getting a brush and stuff to clean it tomorrow and I’ll be putting new pipe to the ceiling. I was just going to use single wall pipe unless you guys think I should use double. Where should I put my thermometer on the stove? Or should I just have it in the flue pipe?

    IMG_0257.jpg IMG_0258.jpg IMG_0259.jpg
     
  9. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Looks like class A pipe. Good.
    Single wall should be fine as long as you have 18" (iirc) clearance to combustibles. Doublewall might allow a lil better draft, and stay a little cleaner, but that stove should waste enough heat up the stack to not really need it.
    I'd put a mag type thermometer on the stove top and a probe type in the pipe a foot or two above the stove, but below the damper...but that's me, you could do one or the other.
     
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  10. mellow

    mellow
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  11. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    Ok so I had a buddies dad come and inspect my chimney for free he was a certified inspector in the past. He said it was good, I purchased some wood and replaced the pipe to the chimney in the ceiling. Got the stove to around 500 and burned cured the new pipe, which smoked out my house and set fire alarms off. I have been going up into the attic to check on the ceiling and watching my chimney outside and everything looks good. No smoke from the chimney just the wavy heated air. Is it normal for me to be more anxious than when on a deployment? Haha


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  12. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    House is toasty tho, I’m not sure how to keep the temps at 400-500, it eats wood far too fast. I know I can’t heat over night with it. So I don’t know how to properly load this thing, it’s obviously a side loader. If I stack a few logs in it to get it to the top of the firebrick it SHOOTS to 600 and higher, even if I crank down the air. And how am I supposed to use the damper? I have had it halfway closed this entire time, except when loading of course.


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  13. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Are you using the pipe damper? Sounds like you need to be...
     
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  14. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    Yeah I am I have it closed I’m not 100% sure how to properly use it tho


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  15. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    So for the entire day it hovered around 350-450 after playing around with it. And I have to say this thing is too large for the house, says it is capable of heating up to 1800 sq ft. My house is 1244, would smaller stove say the size of an englander 13nc be more appropriate?

    The stove room was far too hot in my opinion (but I’m from MN, wife is from VA she loved it) and the bedrooms were about 65-69. So temps were good. I just don’t want to be half sweaty all day.

    Sorry for posting a lot, don’t have a lot of people to talk to about this stuff.


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  16. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    If the house gets too hot, load less often, or less wood per load. The stove room will often be "too hot" to keep the rest of the house warm. That said, ceiling fans are your friend...and a small fan setting on the floor at the back of the house (or wherever you want more heat) blowing cold air toward the stove will help to distribute the heat about as well as anything will.
    And yes, the NC13 is a good little stove and would probably do well for you...has a lot better view of the fire too!
     
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  17. mellow

    mellow
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    It will be an upgrade on many fronts, from burning cleaner to being able to have a glass door. You will however have to burn TRUE seasoned wood to get the best performance from it. I would recommend getting a moisture meter and testing your wood.

    https://www.hearth.com/talk/wiki/determine-moisture-content-of-wood/
     
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  18. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    Yes I know about the need to burn seasoned wood, I purchased a couple cords for this year and have I would say 3 stacked for next and am getting 3 more stacked currently


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  19. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    Ok so today has gone a lot better! Keeping her right around 400, no smoking from the chimney just a clean burn. I have my damper 3/4 closed. House is toasty but not too much, the only thing I hate about this stove is I can’t monitor it from the outside. I am working towards getting the 13nc or possibly a drolet. Our house has some decent insulation and it holds the heat well. Thank you all for the info and helping my along my new adventure. I’ll more than likely be posting more questions or my observations so any additional info would be greatly appreciated.


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  20. wooduser

    wooduser
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    As you can see, there is a learning curve on heating with wood you need to master. I'd concentrate on learning with what you have for a good long time before deciding that you really need to change things out.

    There is a very good chance that over time you will devise methods that allow you to heat your home as efficiently as you can with what you have, and that may prove quite satisfactory.
     
  21. Texas123

    Texas123
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    Apr 12, 2016
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    I owned a Wonder-wood from 1997 to 2015. You have one of the best pure heaters on the market. With its construction of the outer shell for convection
    you are safer from the kiddo being burned then any other stove.
    I learned to build what are called top down fires with the kindling on the top of the larger logs this worked better.
    I did not have a pipe damper but I adjusted the air using the thermostat on the front which is attached to the air intake. As you have learned, the higher the bi metallic thermostat is set, the hotter it burns.

    If United States Stove Company had made a loading door with viewing glass, similar to the modern day EPA models, I would still be using mine.

    Your Wonder-wood will serve you very well for as long as you are looking for a new stove, and as you have learned they make excellent Bar B Que cookers when outside.
     
  22. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    Ok question for you Texas, I have been keeping the air thermostat full high and just using the damper to control everything, which’s works well. Is there anyway to keep more heat inside the firebox? I saw someone put some firebricks up top, reason I’m wondering is because sometimes I want to build smaller fires and it doesn’t throw much heat with small stuff.

    Also I haven’t ran it overnight yet, what’s the best way to pack it and set it for overnight heating?

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  23. begreen

    begreen
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    Have you tried closing down the damper a bit, say 50% and then letting the thermostat regulate the stove?
     
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  24. adschreifels

    adschreifels
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    Nov 20, 2018
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    It just runs through wood, that’s the main reason I haven’t ran it overnight. And I’m nervous about a fire going while I sleep. Literally RUNS through wood like a horse in the wild. Haha


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  25. begreen

    begreen
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    You are running it with the thermostat wide open, right? How do you expect it work when doing this? Leaving the thermostat on high is calling for maximum heat. After closing the pipe damper down, also close the thermostat down to the desire room temp so that it can regulate the stove. Otherwise this is somewhat akin to running a car with one foot mashed down on the gas and the other on the brakes. That will burn up a lot of fuel quickly.
     
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