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Jotul F 3 CB opinions

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by spudzone, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. spudzone

    spudzone ArboristSite Lurker

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    Greetings from Hayward WI!

    Since there is no shortage of opinions here, I'd like some opinions on the performance, burn times, and ease of use of the Jotul F 3 CB for a tight home of 1200 sq ft, with about 800-900 being heated by this stove. I have a lead on a slightly used one. It would be used daily mid-nov through april. We have plenty of good maple/oak/birch etc. for fuel.

    I'm a newbie here, so I appreciate any thoughts.

    Chris
     
  2. HillRat

    HillRat ArboristSite Operative

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    Greetings, and welcome to the site!

    I installed an F3CB in my house, a smaller ranch style in western NJ, one year ago. (See my avatar.) Imo, a very nice stove. I'm heating about the same size space as you. Here are some of my observations after using it as our sole source of heat last winter.

    The stove is very well made. Everything fits well and works properly. It puts out plenty of heat for the area I'm heating with it. The air control is easy to use. The stove is quiet, even at full burn. The door glass rarely gets dirty. When it does, a nice hot fire will clean it up quickly. If the stovepipe is installed on top (vs. rear or side) there's not much room left on top for a water pot. I recently found a small, oval-shaped one that fits ok. The ash pan seems a bit small and I end up emptying it almost daily. I can get a six or seven hour overnight burn if I load the stove with nice, seasoned Ash. Though I would like a better overnight burn, I was able to go for weeks at a time last winter without having to strike a match to get a fire going again the next morning.

    Overall I'm very happy with it and would buy another.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008
  3. spudzone

    spudzone ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks

    I think it's rated for 18" logs. Can I cut to 18" and still feed it without hassle?

    -Chris
     
  4. HillRat

    HillRat ArboristSite Operative

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    The inside width of the firebox is 19". (I just measured it. : ) 18" will fit, but if the logs aren't cut with perfectly straight ends, you may have trouble loading them in especially when adding them to a fire that's already going.

    I ended up cutting a few inches off the largest logs I cut last winter after finding out that they were difficult to fit into the stove. I cut all this year's wood to 16" so I won't have to do that again!
     
  5. myzamboni

    myzamboni ArboristSite Operative

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    Hillrat is right on the money. I would not buy the stove if you expect overnight burns. Hillrat is doing very well with 6-7 hours without a reload. This little stove does throw a lot of heat. If it is a really good price jump on it. You can always try it, and if it does not meet your needs, sell it for a profit.
     
  6. HillRat

    HillRat ArboristSite Operative

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    Yeah, let me make sure I say that overnight burns are not easy with this stove. If I use my best stuff, well seasoned Ash, it will work. Any lesser wood and the stove will be out before morning. The good stuff will leave a bed of coals that I can use to get things going again with the door open and some smaller pieces to start.

    A bigger stove would hold an overnight burn better, but with the small space I'm heating I wouldn't be able to run it hot. I'd rather run a small stove hot than a larger stove cool.

    That's true. A couple of my neighbors are looking for stoves and are finding them either sold out or quite a bit more expensive than last year. Jotul is a great name that you should be able to resell easily if you want something else.
     
  7. sredlin

    sredlin ArboristSite Operative

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    Going on my third winter with the F3 and have used nothing but wood the last two seasons---good stove heats my 1000 sq ft nicely
     
  8. pjwwjp

    pjwwjp New Member

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    Jotul F3

    Bought a Jotul F3 and had it installed on Jan. 26th. I have a tight 1,300 SF raised rance in Sussex County, NJ - it gets very cold here. All in all, I am extremely pleased with the F3. Only thing negative is that the ash pan is a bit small, but that doesn't bother me all that much - I rake the ashes a few times a day and empty it. When you run a wood stove, it's implicit that a certain amount of work comes with it and, if one is unwilling to do it, then a wood stove isn't for you. I find that 18 inch logs are a bit much - I cut them to to 15 inches. Worst thing you can do is get one stuck with the door open and the house filling with smoke. 15 works very nicely. I use short cut ends in the evening to build a nice hot firebed to tide us over till the morning. This morning, I got up at 7AM after having hit the sheets at 11PM the prevoius evening. At 7AM, I raked the embers, emptied the ash pan and loaded the stove with four 15" split logs. I cheated and opened the ash pan door for about three minutes to get a nice high burn --- IF YOU DO THIS, BE CERTAIN TO MONITOR IT CLOSELY SO YOU DON'T OVERFIRE THE STOVE. I've had this stove running 24X7 since I've had it with no matches or, for that matter, kindling. If you build a nice firebed, it produces nice hot charcoal, which will do a nice job come the cold morning. We love this stove. The main heat in our house is electric, and we not had the electric heat on once since it was installed. I'm kicking myself in the pants for not having done this years ago. Of course there's the cose of your time to be considered and other stuff (and risks). A good wood splitter will cost you, and a chain saw will also - and you better know how to use one safely, or it can cost you dearly.

    Paul





     
  9. Haywire Haywood

    Haywire Haywood Fiscal Conservative Social Retard

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    I have the F500 instead of the F3, but in regards to length, mine is supposed to take a 22" piece. It will in an ideal situation but I have started cutting to 18". It helps to have some wiggle room when you have oddly shaped pieces or small crotches at one end of a stick.

    Ian
     
  10. Jtracy

    Jtracy ArboristSite Lurker

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    Help!!!!

    We were encouraged to buy the Jotul F3CB (as compared to the Castine) by the owner of the wood stove provider (The Wood Stove & Fireplace Center; Oakhurst, NJ).
    LOCATION: Central New Jersey where the temps do not get extremely cold but can go into the "teens" on a very cold day.
    AGE: House built in 1840; as such, not really air tight but not at all really bad drafts!.
    DIMENSION: Need to heat approx. 2,000. Room size that stove is in is approximately 170 sq ft.
    OTHER:. We purchased stove in Dec., 2010. The owner of the wood stove store came to our house to see the layout prior to recommending the stove.

    We are encountering the following problems:
    1) Stove does not stay hot (can initially get up to about 500 deg. but quickly goes to a comfort level of 300 deg). We are sometimes able to maintain approx. 400 deg. with a lot of work.
    2) Every time we open door to put more wood in, we love approx. 20-30 deg. which is VERY hard to recoup the heat back into the stove.
    2) We have used approx. 1 cord of wood in the 1 1/2 months we have had the stove!!! We have tried 3 different kinds of wood including mixed, kiln dried and currently red oak (with some locus). None have made a huge difference except that the Kiln dried produced the most immediate heat!
    3) We feed the fire every 30 minutes....as the temp. drops after that time span.
    4) A damper was installed on the pipe to limit the draft, as the vendor claimed that
    perhaps there was too much draft. The damper is not stayng"in place" - opens slightly and can hear the draft. This means that we now insert wood every 30 min. as compared to every 15 min.
    5) The room that the stove is in gets "comfortable" (and it's only 170 sq ft) while the adjoining rooms "may" reach 70 degrees!...
    6) We put a curtain by the stairwell so the heat does not funnel upstairs (upstairs is "included" in the 2,000 sq feet. We block that off so total first floor is approx 1,000 sq ft.)
    6) We read the thermometer ALL the time. We are a slave to this stove!!
    7)Total burn time, until basically ALL embers are gone is up to 3 hours.
    8)We play with the dampers to produce the "right burn", but can not in any way maintain for any extended period of time.
    9)We have seen a true "blue flame" ONCE since having the stove!

    The vendor claims that we do not know how to make a correct fire and/or how to maintain.

    We need any help/suggestions, as we are NOT enjoying this stove at all!!!! ..and it is costing us more in wood than we are saving money on our PSE&G bill!!!! ugh....

    Positive about stove: It does look beautiful!!! :smile:

    Please respond!!!!!

    Janet:struggle:
     
  11. HillRat

    HillRat ArboristSite Operative

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    Sorry to hear about your troubles. The F3 is a great stove. Let's start with the simplest stuff first....

    Are there gray rope-like gaskets on the ash pan door and the firebox door? Is the door glass secure? Is the small round air control under the middle of the door glass closed (all the way to the left?)

    What type of chimney do you have? (Manufactured, existing brick, etc?) and does it run inside or outside of the the house?

    P.S. Pics would be helpful if you have any! :)
     
  12. Jtracy

    Jtracy ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks for the quick response!

    Hillrat ~THANK YOU for the quick response!!! Yes to all your initial questions about the design of the stove, the glass being secure and the air modulator being closed once we start the fire.

    We have double piping that runs up through the ceiling, through the second floor, into the attic and out the roof. There is a small bend in the piping in the attic so the pipe would not go out the apex of the roof. I can take pics and try to figure out how to post...(?)....We just got back from buying temperature thermometers so we can track how warm the room(s) get...so we can provide evidence to the vendor we bought from that the room(s) are not getting very warm. We have also sat and taken stats every 30 min. to track the decline of the temperature as per the thermometer we have on top of the stove (even after we put new wood in).

    However, I welcome more questions, thoughts and ideas!!!

    We spoke with the place today where we bought the stove and he suggested 1) that we are losing 10% or slightly more b/c we have double piping (even though conceptually if the single piping went out the house we would receive NO heat from it), 2) that we call our local PSE&G Co. for THEM to figure out where our heat is going!

    THANK YOU for your help!!!!!

    Janet & Kevin
     
  13. Jtracy

    Jtracy ArboristSite Lurker

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    Pic downloaded

    Hillrat ~ I added an "album" that includes a pic of the stove..let me know if you can see it! Also, I replied with a post to your lasst one, but it didn't come up yet..will check again to see it comes...it addressed your post!

    Janet
     
  14. HillRat

    HillRat ArboristSite Operative

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    Yup, found the album and the pic of the stove. Nice installation!

    I don't see your other reply, which means it probably didn't post, but let's continue anyway.

    Looks like the stovepipe exits from the rear of the stove rather than the top. Where are you measuring the stove temperature?

    My F3 will easily burn 400º-500º degrees, as measured with one of those round magnetic thermometers just to the right of the stovepipe which exits my stove from the top. (An IR thermometer shows that the metal thermometer is off by about 50º.) This is where the Jotul manual recommends reading the temperature.

    My first thought while reading your post was that the problem was likely with the seasoning of your firewood or the size of the pieces. A bunch of smaller, kiln-dried pieces will burn as you described-- fast and hot and then not much.

    Larger pieces that are not fully seasoned have the opposite effect: you can crank the air open and they'll burn, but you'll never build the heat you need to make the stove throw off enough heat for the room.

    Maybe try reposting your other reply, and pics of your firewood if you have any.

    Ed
     
  15. HillRat

    HillRat ArboristSite Operative

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    Okay, now I see your reply. So, your setup is similar to mine: I have double wall stovepipe from the top of my stove to the ceiling support, then double wall chimney through about 4' of attic, three more feet after it passes through the roof, and then the chimney cap.

    I don't have any bends, and my stovepipe exits from the top of the stove.

    One thing I'll say about my setup... I can make it plenty hot in here even with the double wall stovepipe! Yes, technically, more heat may be lost with double wall vs. single for the stovepipe, but I don't think it makes much difference overall.

    The insulation in your home can make a difference. When I added insulation to my attic floor to take it from an estimated R-6 to R-38, there was a noticeable savings in wood and in the temperature stability of the house.

    So far, I haven't heard or seen anything that would make me think that the way your stove is installed is the problem, or anything about it like gaskets or air controls, etc.

    I'm still wondering if the size or condition of the firewood has something to do with it. If you are able to post pics of the different kinds of wood you're using, that might help.
     
  16. sunfish

    sunfish Addicted to ArboristSite

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    HillRat touched on something very important, adding insulation to the attic.
    We did this last summer and I'm burning about half the wood I used to.

    BTW, We got a Jotul F118CB 3 years ago and love it. Almost got the #3, but
    thought we needed just a little more stove, it's too much sometimes for our
    1200 square feet :)
     
  17. Haywire Haywood

    Haywire Haywood Fiscal Conservative Social Retard

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    My 2c about the pipe. From your description, the pipe is totally inside the house till it exits the 2nd floor ceiling and through the roof. Any heat lost due to the pipe would be lost inside the house. So.. it's not really lost.

    Ian
     
  18. coog

    coog Addicted to ArboristSite

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    This has me scratching my head. I have three different Jotuls, but not the model you have. I don't like the fact that the dealer told you to get a damper, as the stove is designed to work without it. Did the dealer check your air control and rope gaskets? It sounds like you have problems associated with both too much intake air and too little intake air. I'm not sure how this would cause your problems, but I will mention that I have seen instances where sand has accumulated during the casting process, blocking the air channel. I am also surprised that the dealer didn't try to talk you into the Oslo, given your house's size and insulation. By all means you should bring this up with Jotul USA.
     
  19. sunfish

    sunfish Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yeah, the damper thing don't make sense. I was also thinking the #3 for 2000 square feet and old house? It is a great stove but a bit small. Even that, you still should not have to add wood every 30 minutes??? You really need to have a talk with that dealer...
     
  20. Del_

    Del_ Tree Freak

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    I also don't believe the F3cb is enough wood stove for your size house and location.

    I've got four fireplaces in this old house. I brought a Jotul F3cb with me when I moved here back in 2001 but it did not have enough output for 3,000 sq. ft.

    The Firelight F600cb does great! The F3cb sits on a hearth not connected. Great little stove though but only has half the output of the F600.
     

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