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Stove not hot enough?

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by JNap, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. JNap

    JNap ArboristSite Member

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    Let me start this off with Yes, I am a newbie and this is my first stove. It's an Avalon 996 insert. Came with the house. Got a Rutland thermometer for it and while burning for about 8 hours the highest I got was 200 degrees. Keep in mind the only place I could mount the thing was on the top front edge of the insert, directly beneath that is the outer steel, then inside the firebox is a smoke plate, I'm not sure if that plate cuts down on the heat transmitted. It could also be a wood issue, mixed hardwoods, bunch of ash, well seasoned but not protected too good. It's a small firebox to begin with but I'm also a little gun shy filling it to the brim so I usually only have 3 splits in at a time. Trying different air intake settings made minor temperature changes. I'm definitely concerned with creosote build up from not burning hot enough. Suggestions?
     
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  2. Foxfire

    Foxfire ArboristSite Operative

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    I'm not familiar with inserts and I'm pretty new to wood stoves myself, but I've read that if you can see smoke coming out of the chimney than you're not burning hot enough. I can't say if it's true but it's been working for me.
     
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  3. Mac88

    Mac88 Addicted to ArboristSite

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  4. BigDaddyR

    BigDaddyR Addicted to ArboristSite

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    As he said if you have smoke coming out of the chimney or smoke coming out of the firebox when you open the door then it's not hot enough. My neighbor has one with the sleeve and his never seems hot to me and it reads low also. Mine doesn't have the jacket and gets nice and hot.

    If you open the door and it's hot inside with not smoke then it's burning hot enough but not sure how to translate that into usable heat with the jacketed kind. Does it have a blower? Some with the jacket do if they're newer.

    Pictures of the stove, firebox while burning would help.

    I'm sure someone here has experince with this model or line and can be of better help.
     
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  5. Foxfire

    Foxfire ArboristSite Operative

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    You could always use a tea kettle full of water to get a better idea...
     
  6. JNap

    JNap ArboristSite Member

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  7. JNap

    JNap ArboristSite Member

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    Stove insert is early 90's, very minimal smoke with about 2-3" deep glowing embers covering the whole bottom of the firebox. It does have an earlier version of the blower set up, no thermostat and plugs into the wall. From what I remember and educated guessing I would say it has the jacket for the blower to push the heat through. (For those not familiar with this blower set up the blower is mounted on the floor under the door, draws air in from the floor, pushes it around the box and the heated air exits the top of the box above the door into the room)
     
  8. CTYank

    CTYank Peripatetic Sawyer

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    I take it you mean to use that to check temps above/below boiling. At least, I hope so. :D

    Speed things up on the data-taking, a lot. Get an IR thermometer. You can check temp of points all over the unit, in seconds. KISS, I tell myself. :msp_tongue:

    For complete combustion, per instrumented experiment at UVM, firebox temps should be above 1000 deg F. You can find out real quick where you stand with IR thermometer. From HF, MPJones, whomever you wish.
     
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  9. Wagnerwerks

    Wagnerwerks The underdog..

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    Cheap ir thermometers can be had on amazon. I use one all the time and its fantastic. I think it was 16 bucks.
     
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  10. Ironworker

    Ironworker Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You can fill that stove up with as much wood as possible.I don't think 3 splits is gonna do much to heat your house.
     
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  11. dave_376

    dave_376 ArboristSite Operative

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    I have a similar model Avalon 1196. I don't believe you have a bypass damper in your stove but I do so I will tell you. Assuming that the stove is complete, all air tubes are still in the stove and the firebrick baffles are above the reburn air tubes, you need to start off with a hot fire made up of small wood (kindling) and burn it wide open until the stove gets hot. I burn mine like that until the stove is around 300 then I spread the coal burning logs around and load in as much wood as I can. The wood goes in North South, front to back not side ways (East West). I use 16" wood and that gives me about an inch before if touches the glass. I load as much wood as I can and close the door. Watch the fire and keep an eye on the temp. Once it hits 600-650 I turn the air down to low and the air from the reburn tubes burns off the gasses and cranks out a lot of heat for a long time. If I'm at home for the day once the flames are gone and the wood has become coals I will open the air all the way and the stove will stay above 300 for a few hours.
    Wet wood and splits that are oversized have a tough time bringing my stove up to temp, you may be having this issue.
    One important thing to understand about these stoves is they need to be hot to run right. its best to keep the stove hot all the time to get the most out of it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  12. Preston

    Preston Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I would think a fire is a fire. Well seasoned wood will burn hot. I burned some seasoned birch and magnolia so far this year in my fire place and those do burn hot. But I'm still partial to red oak, white oak and hickory.
     
  13. brewmonster

    brewmonster ArboristSite Operative

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    I'm surprised no one has suggested that you recheck the dryness of your wood. My first year with an insert was very disappointing, all because of my wood not being dry enough. Got a moisture meter? Like IR thermometers, they're cheap now. Got a woodburning neighbor who's fanatic about burning dry wood? (Everyone here fits that description and you will too, very soon.) Get him to spot you an armful of really good dry stuff and see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised.
     
  14. Preston

    Preston Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Wow. I thought well seasoned wood had the moisture content in check. Not so?
     
  15. brewmonster

    brewmonster ArboristSite Operative

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    To me, "seasoning" is meaningless. People, especially firewood sellers, will tell you that wood that has been sitting in the round for a few months, then is split just before delivery is "seasoned." Wood can sit for years in the round, in the rain, and be almost as moisture laden as fresh-cut. I don't care about "seasoning," I don't care about the length of time involved, or any other irrelevant factor; I only care about how much water is in the wood.
     
  16. Preston

    Preston Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Okay.
     
  17. MotorSeven

    MotorSeven Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Jnap how is the draft? did you check your flue for creosote? A flue that needs cleaning does not draw good which equals a crappy burn. Get a mirror and a flashlight & inspect it.
     
  18. bing

    bing ArboristSite Lurker

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    I second this and being a new house to you I would buy a brush, get up on the roof and sweep the chimney pipe, or pay to have it done.

    I personally wouldn't burn before this was done.

    Who knows, maybe they don't even have a chimney pipe on it?
     
  19. dave_376

    dave_376 ArboristSite Operative

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    I would be willing to bet that it is a slammer install considering the age of the insert. That would mean that it is probably venting into a basic chimney with a clay liner.


    Once you have determined that the chimney is clean try a bunch of small stuff and see if that gets the temp up. Nothing over 3". Also don't let you ash/coal get too deep. make sure that they don't block the air feed inside the stove, rectangle box bottom center just in front of the glass (at least that is how it is on the 1196).
     
  20. JNap

    JNap ArboristSite Member

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    I never thought of putting it in north to south, I'll have to cut all the splits down. What the previous owner left me is definitely on the larger side. Funny you should mention reburn tubes as I just got a message from the previous owner letting me know he left a box containing the reburn tubes down the basement for me. I haven't gotten to it yet as I am still cleaning out all the crap the previous owners left me. (30 yard dumpster 1/2 full and I'm not done yet)
     

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