Wood stove Q's

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OK , the stove produces massive quantities of heat - sometimes . This morning it wasn't doing so great , like it couldn't breath . I got a wire and cleaned the ashes from the grate from below , and now it's once again producing a lot of heat . I don't think I should have to go thru that every day , but don't know why it's plugging like that . I burn only oak , white and red . Unfortunately it's not well seasoned , as I didn't really plan to heat with wood . Is that maybe why it's plugging ? This is a King Circulator stove , controlled <supposedly> by a thermo spring that opens and closes an inlet damper . I plan on picking up a flue damper today to install , as I'm much more familiar with that method of control . I just know that we can't continue this overheat then freeze cycle we've been experiencing . -- Snag
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I would be cautious about a flue damper as they can cause problems. A fire that is burning well will find a way to get the smoke to get out the stove if you try closing the flue, and it may smoke out the room. I understand that a flue damper is used when cold to reduce downdrafts that result in smelly air being drawn down the chimney, or when hot to reduce a strong updraft that is causing the fire to burn excessively hot.
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EXT wrote:

This stove has gaskets on both the fire box door and on the door to access the ash pan . It seals up very well , I don't expect any smoke problems from adding a flue damper too .
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Snag



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seems the best way to control the heat is through the air supply, up through the ash box.
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RobertMacy wrote:

Well , that is the design intent , but it ain't workin' like I would think - as in close the inlet and it gets cooler . Seems that when I turn it "down" it gets hotter . I think that this might be because it's holding the heat in the stove instead of letting it out the flue pipe , but shouldn't restricting air flow also cool the fire somewhat ? This thing is oversize for our current heated area and I knew that when I bought it <great deal , 200 bucks including everything needed to hook it up> but I expected to be able to regulate the output much better . I hate opening a window to cool things off , that's just throwing heat away and I don't like cutting and splitting wood just to toss the heat out the window .
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Snag



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Hot is transitory. Long term cooler.
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On 12/27/2013 8:49 AM, Snag wrote: This thing is oversize

Did they put in a damper? Have you called them and asked them to come check it out? They are usually pretty good about that, as it covers their *** should something not be just right. Wood stoves are simple, unless something basic has been overlooked, and that is possible.
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

Bought it used from a neighbor , I did the install . The stove works fine , I just need to learn how to use it . I believe the knee of the learning curve is in sight ...
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On 12/28/2013 6:13 PM, Snag wrote:

I think you will eventually need a damper ...............
It really lets you fine tune your flame. Don't know your type of stove. Maybe it's in the directions?
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

The stove is a King Circulator , and since I got it used there are no directions . My neighbor up the hill <across the little dirt road> has one just like it , he hasn't got a flue damper either . By starting a bit earlier in the day and getting a good hot fire before stoking it up for the night I managed to keep it above 70* here all night last night . Feels good ! and the humidity that's plagued us in the camper is way down now that we're using wood .
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Snag



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The wood stove in our VT house didn't have a flue damper. I believe it's pretty common for wood stoves to be regulated on the (air) supply side.
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On Sun, 29 Dec 2013 10:17:46 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

I've been running a Vermont Casting stove for 30+ years with no damper. Properly designed, the supply side can fine tune very well. It maintains the temperature within a couple of degrees and I rarely have to change it.
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On 12/27/2013 9:26 AM, Snag wrote:

I'm sure that it does, Snag, but stop for a minute and think this through...
From where does the stove draw it's combustion air? Correct the first time, THE ROOM. It isn't drawing it down the flue and then shooting the smoke and waste gases up that same flue.
If you choke off the flue when the fire's burning, you're going to be venting those gases back into the room.
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On 12/28/2013 1:33 PM, Unquestionably Confused wrote

Right - o. Some stoves use a two pipe chimney pipe, the outer annulus brings in air for combustion, the inner takes out the exhaust. They have an adjustment so room air can be added to the fire, but it uses very little room air, hence are very efficient. I found out about them after I built a house with a two sided see through fireplace, which was a beautiful nightmare. Looked beautiful with it's Apache Paint stone, one from Arizona with blue stringers of copper ore, and some copper colored stringers of some other element. Never did get it burning right, though. Sealed up the used brick side with a glass fireplace cover, and a lot of caulking and ingenuity. The other side was too uneven with no flat surface. Had to open a window to use it, and that defeated any using of the fireplace to heat the place. Had I kept the house, I would have installed an insert that drew outside air for combustion.
Steve
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On 12/27/2013 8:26 AM, Snag wrote:

If you don't have a flue damper, get one. It will greatly improve the performance of your stove, and your firewood won't burn up as fast. Once you find the right settings, your wood will burn long and hot and slow.
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SteveB wrote:

Actually , the inlet damper does the same thing . And it's controlled by position/bimetal spring temperature .
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On 12/27/2013 7:57 AM, EXT wrote:

Partially right. Downdrafts have a cause. Identify that cause, and solve it, and you will get rid of the smoking. Sometimes, just opening a door to the outside can cause a downdraft. If enough smoke comes out to smoke out the room, you have waited too long to address the problem, the flue may be plugged, or as I said, a door or window is open somewhere. Or, could be the configuration of the house, or the height of the top of the chimney in relation to other parts of the structure that cause vortexes that can work against exhausting gases. Also, it takes a little while for the stove to get hot, and for the natural heating of air and steel to create the natural updraft of warm air.
A word of caution here. Watch your chimney cap. Birds will nest in there during the warmer months, and you won't know until you build a fire. The birds will take off, but the nest will be there, creating some blockage. I have a pipe, and I put hardware cloth around it so they can't get in there. They like nesting in there.
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

My cap has a "screen" of stainless steel , holes in a piece of thin flat stock . Small enough that I can't get a finger thru . -- Snag
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On 12/27/2013 9:42 AM, Snag wrote:

Rather than a flue damper, maybe you need a flue brush. You mention the wood is not too well seasoned. If that is the case, it may be putting some creosote in the flue and is hampering the fire from lack of circulation. If the stove is capable of generating a lot of heat, the fix is not to add a flue damper, it is to fix the real problem.
You may be getting more ash and clog because the fire is not as hot as it potentially can be. Check the flue all the way out. Keep some wood near the stove so it can dry a bit faster for the next load.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

The flue is clean all the way to the top . The used pipe was thoroughly cleaned before I installed it . Your observation that the fire isn't as hot as it should be may have merit , however . I do know the stove is capable of massive output , my neighbor up the hill has an identical stove and it heats his whole house nicely . Maybe my solution is to feed it less and more often ? I know that Patrick <neighbor> loads his up and turns the control all the way to "cool" and has no problems like the one I'm having - and night before last I did just that and we were toasty-warm all night . Last night I did the same and it was way cooler than I wanted this morning . Mama wasn't happy ... And my wood is stacked about 3 feet from the stove , for just the reason you suggested that . I just hope I get this thing under control before the wife strangles me !
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