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  #1  
Old 02/05/07, 07:02 PM
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How do I use a woodstove thermometer?

We have a Heartstone soapstone woodstove -

We have a Rutland thermometer that is magnetic -
we're not sure where to place it

Everything I can find online says to either place it on the stove or on the stovepipe

But we've noticed that placing on the pipe down near the stove is a lot hotter (obviously) than placing is up high on the pipe

So, where does it belong?

We were having a problem with drafting & we solved it tonight -
The screen at the top of the stack was covered in creosote - wasn't letting much smoke out

It's fixed now, but we want to be burning the stove as hot as we can, so we need to know where to put the thermometer

THANKS!!

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  #2  
Old 02/05/07, 07:33 PM
 
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Assuming I followed the instructions when I got mine...

My stove has an extra piece with vents in the front that the stovepipe fits through. The middle of my thermometer on the stove pipe measures 10" from the top of that piece, or 11 1/2" from the top of the stove itself. However, my stove is not soapstone, and I don't know if it matters.

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  #3  
Old 02/05/07, 07:43 PM
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THANKS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetick
However, my stove is not soapstone, and I don't know if it matters.
I plan to call our stove company in the morning - don't know why I haven't done that yet -
I also plan to call the thermometer manufacturer -

They should both be able to help me (I hope!)


PS - I grew up in upstate NY - just talked to my parents tonight - this is the first time in forever that I know of that it has been colder here than at their house! :baby04:
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  #4  
Old 02/05/07, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heather
We have a Heartstone soapstone woodstove -

We have a Rutland thermometer that is magnetic -
we're not sure where to place it

Everything I can find online says to either place it on the stove or on the stovepipe

But we've noticed that placing on the pipe down near the stove is a lot hotter (obviously) than placing is up high on the pipe

So, where does it belong?

We were having a problem with drafting & we solved it tonight -
The screen at the top of the stack was covered in creosote - wasn't letting much smoke out

It's fixed now, but we want to be burning the stove as hot as we can, so we need to know where to put the thermometer

THANKS!!
I mounted our thermometer at eye level and installed a one inch sheet metal screw through the center hole to conduct heat to the thermometer for a more accurate reading. Otherwise, the heat has to go through the magnetic ring.
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  #5  
Old 02/05/07, 08:32 PM
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We find ours works really well if it's not permanently attached. Once when the stovepipe got too hot the magnet lost it's 'power' and the thermometer fell off with a clatter - kinda like a smoke alarm!!!

That was back when we just 'learning' the dos and don'ts of a new stove.

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  #6  
Old 02/05/07, 08:40 PM
 
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Definitely put it on the pipe about eye level but not so it interferes with the damper. Have fun fiddling with the stove.

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  #7  
Old 02/05/07, 09:55 PM
 
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Stove thermometer

If you have a single wall stove pipe, put it about two feet up from the stove. If you have a double wall stove pipe, put it on top of the stove. This is what I have been told by a stove installer. My wood stove in the house has double wall pipe, therefore the thermometer is on the stove. In my shop I have single wall pipe and the thermometer is on the pipe. Hope this helps.

Rod<---in Appleton, WA

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  #8  
Old 02/05/07, 10:23 PM
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Yup, 18" to 2 ft above the stove on a single wall stovepipe gives you the proper ranges according to the markings on the thermometer. You can burn the new stoves HOT. Almost always hotter is better. By stove manual defines over-fire as "parts of the stove or stovepipe are glowing red." I'd say! I have my gauge on top of the stove and I regularly bury the needle, which means a stove-top temperature of 900F.

Pete

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  #9  
Old 02/06/07, 08:26 AM
 
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The thermometers will only work on singlew-walled stovepipes. Our pipe is double-walled, so we have the thermometer on top of the stove itself. But our stove is steel. Not sure about the soapstone.

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  #10  
Old 02/06/07, 12:55 PM
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There are two reasons you want to use a stovepipe thermometer: to assure against overburn and underburn temperatures.

A maintained overburn temp (>600ºF) can lead to combustibles near the stovepipe and chimney to get too hot.

A maintained underburn temp (<250ºF) can lead to creosote build up...the situation that you are having.

The BEST place to have a thermometer to guard against too cool of a chimney...is outside, at the top of the chimney....the temps of the exhaust gases should be >250ºF. Of course this is a near impossible location.

The temp of your stovepipe should be at a higher temp than what is necessary at the top of the chimney (250ºF) because the exhaust gases will cool as they move up the chimney. The rate of cooling will depend on factors such as length of chimney, whether the chimney is indoors or outdoors, and chimney material.

It really makes no difference where you but the thermometer, because it's going to take some trial and error and experience to know what temp the thermometer has to be at to keep your chimney cap from creosoting up. Once you've figured it out, maintain that or a higher temp.

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  #11  
Old 02/06/07, 01:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedneckPete
Yup, 18" to 2 ft above the stove on a single wall stovepipe gives you the proper ranges according to the markings on the thermometer. You can burn the new stoves HOT. Pete
Yep, my newer stoves operating manual says 600-800 is operating temp.

In addition to the regular magnet thermometer I use my non-contact laser thermometer as well to track temps. Interesting to stand on the ground and be able to establish stack temps every foot or so as the pipe makes it way to the ceiling. Amazing how much the temp drops for every X amount of pipe traveled.

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Instantly measure temperatures in automobile engines or other machinery by simply pointing the laser.
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Resolution: 1 degree
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  #12  
Old 02/06/07, 04:47 PM
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Well, I talked to Hearthstone today -

They told me to place the thermometer on the center stone of the stovetop
(optimal under 600 degree burn)

I will do this, but it doesn't make sense to me -

We've had the thermometer on the stove pipe, so the stove is even hotter

So, now we'll be burning it cooler than we were


ugh

Anyway, we are drafting much better & burning up more wood now that we have a clean chimney top

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  #13  
Old 02/06/07, 05:29 PM
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As Cabin said, the purpose of the thermometer is to monitor the chimney pipe. Put it there, not on the stove. If you have your damper open, the pipe will tend to get hotter than the stove, for instance. Place it eye level ont he pipe so you can check it often and get a feel for your stove.

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  #14  
Old 02/06/07, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heather
So, now we'll be burning it cooler than we were
Are they going to insure your house when your chimney ----s up and catches on fire?

I don't think so. I wouldn't take their advise. Likely they don't burn wood as a primary heat source, but learned their "craft" from a book. Almost every casual user burns too cool. If creosote is forming in your chimney and you are burning decently dry wood, you are burning too cool.

If your stove is over-firing in order to keep your chimney clear, you need a bigger stove that produces more hot exhaust.

Pete
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  #15  
Old 02/06/07, 06:24 PM
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I'm so confused -

I'm inviting you all to come stay with me for a month & help me out with this one

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  #16  
Old 02/06/07, 07:30 PM
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Don’t take this as insulting because I don’t mean it that way.

When wood burns completely it produces ash, water vapor and carbon dioxide. Ideally the ash remains in your stove, and the carbon dioxide and water vapor float out of your chimney.

If you cool the exhaust too much, the water reverts to liquid and starts to run back towards your stove.

Add to this that when you damp down the stove you prevent ideal burning conditions in your stove. Your stove starts to produce unburned hydrocarbons, which combine in your chimney with the water vapor to produce creosote on the inside of your pipes.

Thus, to prevent creosote, add as little unburned hydrocarbons and as little water vapor as you can to your exhaust. This means, burn dry wood, and burn it hot.

There is nothing else to know. A little practice and a little knowledge will go a long way.

Pete

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  #17  
Old 02/06/07, 08:20 PM
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no, i'm not insulted at all

this is the 1st woodstove i've ever had

i do know to burn dry wood (we have burned some damp - no more!) and burn it hot

the woodstove manual says not to burn over 600 degrees for an extended time

So, if I put the thermometer on the stove (like the manufacturer tells me to) - the air going out the pipe is a lot cooler than if I put the thermometer on the pipe & measure it that way

that's why I'm confused

Obviously, since we've had creosote build up, we're burning it too cool

Now, moving the thermometer down will make us burn it even cooler

So, I guess I ignore the manufacturer (EEK) and put the thermometer back up on the pipe :baby04:

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  #18  
Old 02/06/07, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heather
We have a Heartstone soapstone woodstove -

We have a Rutland thermometer that is magnetic -
we're not sure where to place it

Everything I can find online says to either place it on the stove or on the stovepipe

But we've noticed that placing on the pipe down near the stove is a lot hotter (obviously) than placing is up high on the pipe

So, where does it belong?

We were having a problem with drafting & we solved it tonight -
The screen at the top of the stack was covered in creosote - wasn't letting much smoke out

It's fixed now, but we want to be burning the stove as hot as we can, so we need to know where to put the thermometer

THANKS!!
We have a Hearthstone Bennington cast iron without the soapstone. I have my thermometer on the pipe just above the collar that is part of the stove. I have it down as close to the stove as I can get. I can't put it on the top surface because it's a false top with a heat sink under it.
The stove shop runs there thermometers on top of their stove in the shop.
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Last edited by Rockin'B; 02/06/07 at 08:36 PM.
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  #19  
Old 02/06/07, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heather
So, I guess I ignore the manufacturer (EEK) and put the thermometer back up on the pipe :baby04:
YES!!!

Burn your stove so you don't create creosote!

What manufacturer in this world makes a wood stove that must be used in a way that will inevitably plug your chimney and burn down your house? None! If you are creating creosote, you are burning wet wood or you are burning too cool. Fix the problem, never mind what the manufacturer says!

Pete
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  #20  
Old 02/07/07, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedneckPete
YES!!!

Burn your stove so you don't create creosote!

What manufacturer in this world makes a wood stove that must be used in a way that will inevitably plug your chimney and burn down your house? None! If you are creating creosote, you are burning wet wood or you are burning too cool. Fix the problem, never mind what the manufacturer says!

Pete
When you go to bed at night do you damp down the stove to a temp. that the thermometer says is into the creosote range?

If I didn't, my wood be consumed within a few hours.
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  #21  
Old 02/07/07, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockin'B
When you go to bed at night do you damp down the stove to a temp. that the thermometer says is into the creosote range?

If I didn't, my wood be consumed within a few hours.
I don't have a choice -

Because it's a soapstone stove, it naturally loses heat very slowly -

When we wake up in the morning, we still have lots of hot coals -
So, it's on a slow, low burn all night -

Maybe we should be re-stoking it all night to keep it hot?
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Old 02/07/07, 12:55 PM
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I cannot believe that the temp on the surface of your stove , which is on top of a stone, gives you a hotter temp reading than the temp at the single wall stovepipe.

At any rate, you can put the dern thermometer any where you want...it makes no differrence: on top of the stove is as good as 1 ft up the stove pipe which is just as good as eye level on the stove pipe. Yes, you are going to get a slightly different temp reading at these possible thermometer locations. The temp that is important is the temp of the flue gases as they leave the chimney outside. So, where ever you decide to put the thermometer, you are going to have to do some experimentation to correlate the temp of the thermometer with the temp of the flue gases as they leave the chimney.

So, lets say that you place the thermometer at eye level on the stovepipe and the reading is 350ºF. You find at this temp that your chimney cap is filling with creosote and/or icicles are hanging from your chimney. You make a mental note to yourself that a 350ºF thermometer reading is not hot enought. Burn the fire hotter, maybe to obtian a 450ºF reading. You notice that the icicles are melting or the chimney cap is not collecting creososte. Make a mental note to yourself that this is a good temp to burn the stove at.

Do you understand where I'm coming from? There are so many variables that affect the temperature and the cooling of flue gases that any one temp is not suitable for everyone (ie, one size does not fit all!). Eventually you'll gain enough experience to know your optimum temp for your situation...location of the thermometer makes little difference.

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  #23  
Old 02/07/07, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabin Fever
Do you understand where I'm coming from?
Yes, thank you -

I must be burning it hotter than I was, because I'm going through wood like crazy

I guess that's a good thing!
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  #24  
Old 02/07/07, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heather
I don't have a choice -

Because it's a soapstone stove, it naturally loses heat very slowly -

When we wake up in the morning, we still have lots of hot coals -
So, it's on a slow, low burn all night -

Maybe we should be re-stoking it all night to keep it hot?
We burn slow overnight as well. First thing early AM we stoke it up and get a very hot burn going and maintain that for awhile.
We also are vigilant about cleaning the flue and haven't noticed much buildup.

I think one of the keys is to use well seasoned wood. Burning green wood is a recipe for creosote.
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Old 02/07/07, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockin'B
We also are vigilant about cleaning the flue and haven't noticed much buildup.
How often do you clean your flue??

[sounds like I'm getting fresh with you - LOL]
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Old 02/07/07, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heather
How often do you clean your flue??

[sounds like I'm getting fresh with you - LOL]
Our stove was a total new install this fall. It's been burning 24/7 since early November with the exception of one time that I had to take the flue apart to install a in flue damper. We have had over draft problems so we put the flue damper in. This was a couple of weeks ago. When I took the flue apart I inspected it for buildup and was pleased to see very little. We ran a brush through it and didn't get much out of it.

I think burning it hot each morning makes a big difference.

Going forward, I think cleaning the flue once during the burn season and once in the spring or summer when it's not used will be sufficient.

I sure don't know how I'd be able to use this stove if I didn't damp it down at night. It would burn down to coals in a few hours and I'd not get the consistent heat performance I need and that the stove can deliver.

Perhaps I'm all wrong, but a low burn doesn't seem to be an issue here.

Do you like your Hearthstone stove? Which model did you get?
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  #27  
Old 02/08/07, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockin'B
Do you like your Hearthstone stove? Which model did you get?
Yes, we love it -
We got the Heritage model
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  #28  
Old 02/08/07, 11:41 AM
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Very nice.

We agonized over the plain cast iron Bennington and the various soapstone models. We really liked the look of the soapstone but decided a flat black cast iron would fit the look of the room better.
We also liked the size of the stove and your's is just about that size too.

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  #29  
Old 02/08/07, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockin'B
We also liked the size of the stove and your's is just about that size too.
What we really like about the size is that it can hold a 21 inch log -
less cutting - less splitting -
And the side door is very convenient -
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  #30  
Old 02/08/07, 01:45 PM
 
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We have our thermometer about 2' above the stove on the single wall pipe. We have a hearthstone soapstone. It is nice but too small. We can only put in about 15" wood. We plan on trading it on a larger stove for next year.

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