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Advice on using an EPA stove?

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Mustang71, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. moresnow

    moresnow ArboristSite Operative

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    Don't get to frustrated. You will get this ironed out before you know it!

    A little caution on leaving the loading door cracked open on reload for 10-15 minutes! Many times that would be a awful long time with exceptionally huge stove temps! I would rather only use the open door method long enough to get the new load involved. Close the door snugly and let it burn on high for the duration of your initial high burn time. Much safer. Hate to hear of somebody over firing a new unit.

    Your excessive coaling is from constant reloading and/or a combination of damp wood and to much reloading. Try mounding the excessive coal pile near the front of the stove. Now try laying a small dry split on top of the coals. Close the loading door. Leave the primary air wide open while this split burns down. Normally it will take a pile of coals down with it. Repeat as necessary if required and you have the time. Something to try.
     
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  2. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    No it's an add on furnace but has the one 8 inch hot air outlet. I put a plenum and twin blowers on my daka.
     
  3. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The coals are from me adding wood trying to make heat because I have no idea what I'm doing lol.
     
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  4. moresnow

    moresnow ArboristSite Operative

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    Good sir! Your continued good humor is refreshing to say the least:yes: Unlike some who ask for help. Then fight and argue every bit of advice!
     
  5. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    It was almost 40 degrees put and I kept putting wood on with no results I knew I was doing something wrong lol. I cant blame it on the wood yet. Once I get the heating part figured out I'll figure out something to take care of the circulation part.

    I was very excited for this furnace and it has been very disappointing. I feel like I made a mistake but I will keep trying and after all I can always buy more propane. It took me a few years to get the daka to heat good and the wife reminds me of that. After a few weeks with the daka I plugged the chimney cap soild...

    I grew up with a fire place then went to a non EPA furnace now I'm at EPA furnace each one is very different.
     
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  6. JRHAWK9

    JRHAWK9 ArboristSite Operative

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    Also take notice of your duct static pressure and your supply volume. I got much better results out of mine after I played around with different blower speeds. In a nutshell, I am pulling my return air off the basement ceiling and -slowly- moving it through the furnaces air jacket into the house. My blower is also speed controlled, so it speeds up/slows down based on plenum temps. You may or may not see better results by slowing your blower down, but I know I did. First thing is first though, figure out how to keep a good fire going, then you can move onto the delivery of the heat being produced. I never had to deal with any issues regarding the fire, the computer took care of that for me. I just had to optimize how the heat was being delivered to the house.
     
  7. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    My house was built in the 70s and it had a heat pump also giant ductwork that's insulated. The furnace is at one end of the house. It's a nightmare to tie a wood furnace into. Trying to pressurize 57 feet of ductwork is hard with one 8 inch pipe no matter what size blower. My main issue is that when my power goes out my generator wont run my furnace so relying on that blower for heat bothers me. But I used to get 200+ degree air and now I have a hard time getting above 120 degrees so I need to learn the furnace first lol. I didnt get the drolet because I wanted this control so now I have to figure out how to use it. This year might end costing me a second tank of propane but hopefully next year I'll be ready to go.
     
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  8. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    This seems much like quiting nicotine usage. It seems like a great idea until you actually do it then you feel worse off but in the end it should work out... I already threatened to put the daka back in the wife said give it more time.
     
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  9. Streblerm

    Streblerm Addicted to ArboristSite

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    This is a long explanation so I decided to bottom line it at the top. I would try to load more volume of wood into the stove and leave the draft open longer until the temp comes up to 500ish before you close it down.

    I’ve been reading this thread from the beginning and it also sounds to me like the problem may be the wood. although all is not lost. That’s exactly how my stove burns with dryish wood. I can still get heat out of dryish wood, it just takes longer and uses more. Most likely the secondaries are going out out from moisture. I can say that closing the draft below 400 degrees on my stove doesn’t keep the secondaries going well no matter how dry the wood. Keep in mind I have a stove so I can’t say how the forced air moving over your furnace may affect it. I doubt it’s a draft issue as it doesn’t sound like you’re having any problems keeping it going.

    I don’t think wood drys much until it is cut/split/stacked. Depending on species it may take 2 yrs c/s/s to really be dry like 10-15% moisture At least in my part of the country. I would consider Dryish to be c/s/s for 6-12 months and around 20ish% and anything that hasn’t been split for at least 6 months or 30% and over to be a waste of wood. It’s taken me ten years to figure this out and get far enough ahead on firewood to have constant access to really dry wood. This year I’m burning 3yr c/s/s wood and I have never burned less, had better heat, or spent less time fussing with the stove.

    Once you get the hang of things you shouldn’t have to shovel out coals. I only shovel ashes out of mine once a week burning 24/7 or whenever I let the fire burn down and have an opportunity.

    Start a fire from cold. Get a good load of wood in there with a good mix of sizes but make sure at least a couple of them are bigger pieces. Bigger pieces help prevent excessive coaling. 4 or 5 pieces if you can. Load as much as you feel comfortable. The manual says not above the firebrick, I try not to have anything touching the secondary tubes but use your judgement. As long as it isn’t going out, which it doesn’t sound like it is, I don’t think leaving the door open longer is the answer. I think leaving the draft wide open longer before you close it down will help. Leave the draft open until you get good and hot, like 5-600 degrees before you close the draft down. Once it reaches that temp, if you need to, toss another big piece in just before you close down the draft. It may take an hour or so to reach that temp if the wood is dryish. If it’s really dry it should only take 15 minutes and if it isn’t dry well, you’ll never see 500 degrees until everything is almost burned up. Once it gets up to temp then close the draft down and it should stay around 4-500. The bigger the pieces you can get in there the longer it will be before everything collapses into a pile of coals.

    I usually let it burn down pretty good before reloading. If there are a lot of coals I rake them toward the primary air outlet and toss one good sized piece on top with the draft open. That makes good heat and will burn a pretty big bed of coals down in an hour. Now with burning really dry wood I have zero over coaling issues. I just rake the coals forward and load 3 splits and I’m off. When I start a fire from cold it is like a two step process. Build a smaller fire to get everything hot then load the stove to the brim for the long burn. Once you have a right size bed of coals - not too big, not too small, the first step is unnecessary.
     
  10. NSMaple1

    NSMaple1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You got a 28-4000 - I think?

    I just looked quickly at a web page on that unit. 850 cfm blower. Claiming to be able to heat 3000 sq. ft., and it only has a single 8" outlet? IMO there is something hokey in that - I don't see how you could move enough heat out of a single 8" hole to heat 3000 sq.ft.. Just for a quick comparison, the Tundra II has ratings of 1000-2500 sq.ft. using a 1400 cfm blower, out of up to 10 6" holes.

    Of course every 3000 sq.ft. will be different - hopefully you can make it work for your sq. ft., however many you have. But I'd have to say that 3000 sq.ft. 'rating' is getting close to BS territory.
     
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  11. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    It's an add on wood furnace so its ment to use your existing blower and ductwork to circulate the air and mix in the air from the wood furnace. I was hoping I wouldn't have to use my furnace blower but that's for another day of messing around.
     
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  12. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I got it up to 400 and before I messed with the primary air. And started shutting it down. I got it up to 500 on the one thermometer and 450 on the other with my peak air output at 150. I put 5 splits on after I started it. 2 splits split real small on the bottom and then once they were going 3 full size splits. The house has come up a couple degrees and the temp was 18 and has dropped to 16. Seems like I'm not getting much of a burn time. I shut the primary down little by little and then it seems like I over did it so I start over. Still trying to figure that out and I wonder if I put to small of splits on the bottom.
     
  13. U&A

    U&A ArboristSite Guru

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    I know i do not have the same stove but ill just share my strategy assuming dry wood and a small bed of coals.

    I have a new last year Pacific Energy Summit with a blower.

    Bring the wood inside 30 min before burning to warm up. Cold wood will suck the heat out of your stove.

    I fill the firebox up about 70% Arranged as tight fitting as i can.

    Air control full open, door pushed closed but not latched.

    Depending on the mixture of wood, Door stays unlatched until I either see a lot of flame or my STT reaches 400-450. This can take around 15 min, again depending on the wood mixture.

    Once the door is latched the air control stays full open until i reach 500 STT.

    Then i go down to half open and gradually close it trying to keep 550ish.

    Most of the time i close it 80% or the way and can leave it there all night. About 30 min after i close it 80% it may drop about 50 degrees or so. So down to 500 or even high 400’s.

    About 2 hours in to 80% closed it is the hottest. STT my reach 600.

    Load it at 9:00PM and by 4:15AM (wake up time) there are PLENTY of large coals.

    I put a small load of skinny stuff in to burn down the coals for the wife to fill up in 3 hours.







    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm curious about something, first, I don't think you're gonna get much heat into the house unless you're running some kind of blower. And second, without a blower, the air in the ducts should be pretty dang hot. I thought you said it was in the low 120s or something. How can that be, if the air is only circulating with gravity?
     
  15. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thats the thing I noticed is when I closed the primary a bit the burn looked better but the temp would drop. But clearly a 2 to 3 hour burn time is not enough. Seems like I'm allowing to much air but idk. I started it from no coals so maybe I needed to get it hotter and burn down a lot of what I used to start it then load it up. I split a split in half and had 17% moisture.
     
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  16. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm currently running my lp furnace fan to circulate the air. Once I figure out the burn situation I'll address the air delivery situation.
     
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  17. U&A

    U&A ArboristSite Guru

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    But it should not drop much and should get hotter pretty soon. It my look livelier but that is because the flames are chasing you air supply in the front of the stove


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    It seems like the stove temp responds positively but the output temp does not. So I wonder since, the output pipe is right above the front of the concrete board, if the reading is based on the exhaust temp and what that has to do with the actual stove temp.
     
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  19. pauljoseph

    pauljoseph ArboristSite Lurker

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    I’ve been reading this thread since it started. I think you’ll get this figured out, just might take a couple seasons. This forum is good place to bounce ideas around.
     
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  20. Highbeam

    Highbeam ArboristSite Operative

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    I run an NC30 really hard to heat a shop building. Added a convection deck and bigger blower. I think you're babying it. I like to run this thing at Stove top temps of 700-750 with full loads of dry PNW softwoods that only last about three hours. I measure flue surface temperatures on my single wall flue and like to hold 300-400 when I want heat.

    The NC30 is a 3.5 cubic foot firebox which is about the same as the drolet tundra furnace.

    Fill the thing to the roof with 3-5" splits of dry fuel and run it hard. I am never able to fully close the intake damper. Mostly it's at about 50%.
     
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