tfaath wrote:I also agree with Jeff in that I think we all need to experiment to determine the best ratio of damper and inlet air position to max output of heat. I’m not convinced that having the “dancing ladies” is the most efficient way to maximize the heat output of the insert.
I should have been more specific about the blue ladies. When doing the ash pan door trick, I look for the blue ladies to start going good. That's what tells me it's time to shut the ash pan door. As for their heating ability, I don't think they do much in the way of generating heat. They're just volatiles burning off. The trick is to get air to the fire to feed it. Coal fires need air, and lots of it (from below, of course) to get hot. When you see the blue ladies, you know it's burning, not just idling. At least that's what I've seen happening.
Greg (LsFarm) had a good notion in a PM he sent to me. It could very well be that one of the reasons our 503s aren't pumping out heat periodically is that they are surrounded by a whole lot of masonry, which could be soaking up the heat. That might also explain the three-hour lag from startup to a really hot stove. I think he's onto something.
Jeff if I recall correctly your chimney is tall, 2 floors and you ran a liner in it. If that’s the case, you should have plenty of draft. I only have one floor and when the vents are open, you can hear the air rushing in.
Nope, mine is just 15 feet of flex pipe from stove to chimney top. I can hear air rushing into the air wash damper under the loading door, but not so much into the ash pan dampers. I think my restrictor settings tell the story--my draft is okay but not super, hence the need for me to run with the restrictor 1/2 open or more. I close it off more when it's windy, but if it's calm and I shut it more than 1/2 way, temps drop enough that my back bedroom gets much cooler. Well, not that much cooler. It goes from 68* to 64* or so. But that's too much for me. I like it about 66-68* if possible.
I'm interested to see if Van experiments a bit with the restrictor and, if he does, what his results are.