New Lopi woodstove - question

sagewizardOctober 23, 2006

This is our first year with our Lopi Endevor woodstove. Hubby and I are both new at this. We have a thermometer on the flat stove top, about 2 inches from the front edge, and another thermometer on the back of the stove top next to where the chimney comes out of the stove. What is the right temp for a good burn? I've read a chimney thermometer is supposed to be between 250-400 to prevent creosote, but the front thermometer gets to about 600F and the back one only hits 250F. Which should we be going by? I'm afraid to overfire and damage something... and I'm afraid to underfire and get creosote. Ugh.

Sue

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lkplatow

Your user's manual should show exactly where to put the thermometer and exactly what the reading should be. We have a Jotul and the user's manual shows a specific spot on the top of the stove and specifies a range higher than the usual. I think the 250-400 degree range is for when you have the thermometer on the stovepipe, not the stove itself. I would check the manual that came with your stove or call Lopi customer service and ask, since every stove is a little bit different. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 6:07PM
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dunadan

We just recently installed a Lopi Revere. That's the insert version of the Endeavor. I have a thermometer on my cooktop that's been near the back edge of the box (not sure if it substantially changes temps compared to front edge - which is where the manual says to place it - so I'll be trying that going forward).

The manual for my Revere says anything over 800 degrees is considered overfiring. My temp varies, but when it's going really good, it gets up to 600-700 pretty quick. I don't like it going up to 700 so if it gets there I dial back on the air. Generally I find a get a really good burn, including great secondary combustion when the temp is above 450. Right now it's 385 outside, my main living floor is around 80 (wife was cranking it while I was at work), upstairs is around 74, and the fire is slowing down, temp on stovetop is around 450. Not much secondary combustion as my wood is pretty spent.

I can't comment on the creosote issue. My dealer told me so long as my glass wasn't turning black during normal use, I shouldn't be worried about a poor burn. When I turn the air down at night so air is about 1" out (I've been getting an 8 hour burn overnight with lots of hot coals first thing in the morning). I'm finindg loading splits straight in is getting me a much better burn time than cross ways and packing splits in the back). If you are interested in hearing more on that let me know.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 8:05PM
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dunadan

Just a quick update. Just moved some unburnt wood around in my stove but didn't add anymore due to a ton of hot coals. My secondary burn is going crazy and the temp at front edge of stove (above door) is about 400-425.

Attached is a link to pic of secondary burn. It's that wispy fire that "floats" through the air.

One other thing, which didn't sound right when my dealer told me, but has proved correct. The air control does not control how much air enters the stove, but where the air goes. On the Lopi, with air control all the way out (full open), most of the air is being directed right into the firebox down near the coals. This leads to a very hot burn. To get good secondary combustion/burn, once your firebox gets hot (for me usually about 500) you need to push the air control in, which will redirect the air away from the fire and through the burn tubes. More air coming through the burn tubes will lead to better secondary burn, assuming your stove is hot enough. You want secondary burn, using a low air level (air pushed in to some degree) because then you are no longer just burning wood, you are also burning gasses. This will lead to more heat, longer burns on the same amount of wood, and a cleaner burn. I can tell when I'm burning efficiently not only be seeing secondary burn, but also because there is little or no visible smoke coming out of my chimney. Lots of smoke means you are not burning hot enough.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 8:22PM
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sagewizard

lkplatow -
I checked the users manual and there's no diagram that shows where to put the thermometer. It says to put it "above the door" and anything over 800F is overfire. I'm still a little confused if they mean 'above the door' as in - lying on the cooktop? or magnetically attached to the front? Right now our thermometer is on the cooktop near the front edge - like where you'd set a kettle or steamer. I hope that's right. Other than that, it says "if any part of the stove glows, you're overfiring". Um... I'd rather not get to that point, thanksverymuch! Everything I can find for Lopi says 'contact the dealer', like there's no direct customer service. Guess I'm winging it. Thanks for the reply!

dunadan -
I've seen the Revere, nice stove! Our Endeavor has a step-top (the back is higher level than the front), which is probably why I'm not getting as high a temp on the back, as the front edge. The Revere and Endeavor have the same specs, so I'd assume we should get the same results. We've been running the stove at 500-600F, by the front edge thermometer, and getting good secondary burn. Haven't hit 700F yet, by that front thermometer. The whispy fire at the top gets going only after the stove has been burning a while. Does yours have fire that curves up and around- right inside the door - when the back damper is closed? I've seen that a few times. Not sure if that's a good thing. I've backed off the air when that happens.

I didn't know that about the air control/burn tubes. I thought it was intake control, instead of directional. We usually burn with the air control halfway in, and push it all the way in at night. So far, haven't had a single fire that's lasted until morning. Not sure if it's our wood (cured 3 yrs outside) or how we're loading it. I don't like to stuff the firebox full of fresh wood when there's hot coals... afraid of getting it going too hot. Maybe I should quit worrying? Yeah, please share if you know the secret.

The glass does get dirty sometimes, but clears during a hotter burn. From what I've seen out the chimney, we only get visable smoke when we start from a cold stove.

I wish we could get the same house temps you're getting. Our house is "L" shaped, and it's proving difficult to circulate the heat. The stove room (North end of the "L") can get up to 85F (250 sq.foot room, 9' ceiling), while the other end of the "L" holds at about 65F... with 2 fans going to push the hot air out of the stoveroom. The second floor usually holds at about 65F too.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 9:34PM
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lkplatow

Have you called the dealer you bought the stove from? They should be able to tell you where to put the thermometer.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 1:05PM
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sagewizard

Yes, I talked to the dealer. They said the same as the manual said. Didn't elaborate. Will have to call them and get them to be more specific. Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 9:57PM
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lopi_user

Sagewizard,

I've had an Endevor for 7 years now. NICE STOVE. As for temp, I never place one on the upper step top, as that is way cooler and not a good indicator of how hot the actual stove is. I start to get good secondary burn at about 450-500 at a thermostat placed about in the middle of the lower cooktop area. I've had it as hot as 875, but don't like to go there as the air tubes in the fire area are glowing red pretty good at that point. I normally like to burn between 500 and 650 at the stove top, as the secondary burn seems like the most efficient way to operate the stove. When it cools to 400 I always add wood if I'm around.

I also have a magnetic thermometer right on the stove pipe, up about 1.5 or 2 feet. It runs about 1/2 the temp of the stove top one. The scale on it has 475 as the overfire point, and I get there at about 850 stove top, so again I keep it under that point. (Use a wire to attach this one as magnets loose there power when hot and hate to drop a 400deg thermostat on the surrounding floor...)

Also, I have the flame that goes up and around by the door. I think that is a good thing, as Lopi place an air intake tube right there to help combust any unburned gasses.

Also I have have my stove lit at Thanksgiving and kept it running right through to Christmas one year, with only 1 match used at Thanksgiving. SO obviously I get all night burns. The secret could be in the wood. I use maple with a little birch for firing back up in the morning. Here is what I do:
1. Get home at 6-7 PM from work. Scoop out coolish, dead coal from the front and dispose of properly.
2. Dig up and pull the glowing coals and any hot spots to the front and place them into a pile. (If you have no coals after 8 hrs you have too soft of wood). (Stove top is still about 200 at this point. Below 150, I have to restart with paper and kindling.) (As long as the stove top is over 150 and the chiminy is still warm with some coals in the back, the stove will re-fire very easily as it will draft well...)
3. Thow on some small birch and finely chopped hardwood. Leave bypass open and pull front control full out. Should start within a minute on the coals.
4. I leave the door cracked open a bit for 5 minutes as this really gets the fire going. BUT BE CAREFULL. THIS WILL overheat the stove pipe as the bypass is open and all heat is going mostly up the chiminy.
5. Once get stove pipe upto 400 I close the door. With the door closed, even with the bypass open the stove is hard to overheat with this small wood on it.
6. Get the stove top upto 400-500 and close the bypass.
7. The small wood is probably gone, so thow on some larger wood. Keep working up to larger pieces of split wood.
8. Keep fire going until bed time.
9. Stove top temp before thow on final wood of the night is important. Too cool and large logs wont start. Too hot and TOO much of the logs start and burns out too quickly.
10. Get stove top to about 450-500 right before bed with only large pieces of coals, no real flame in the fireplace. Pull as much of the hot coal bed to the front, as you want the wood to burn front-to-back and leave coals in the back for the morning. Throw on 3 larger pieces of maple. Size is such that take up most of the bottom, but not be stacked up. Do NOT leave door open or use bypass to get started, as a hot stove of 450-500 with most of the coals in the front will ignite the large logs AT THE FRONT right way.
11. Bottom damper: I only close all the way if I have overfired. For a night burn, damper is opened about the thickness of my ring finger. Maybe a little smaller. During start up , open fully and a "normal burn" when home to stoke is opened about the thickness of 2 fingers as this holds a nice 500-650 temp as I build a good coal bed.
12. In the morning (7-8 hours later) I repeat from step 2, but don't have time to get over about 500, so I get to that with small wood , pull all coals to the front and thow on 3 large pieces and throttle back bottom damper to 1 finger wide for the day when I go to work. at 7:30.
13. Come home at 6 and start cyle at step 1 over again. until 11 at night......repeat.... repeat....

I hope this helps.

Long time Endevor user.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 9:30PM
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fespo

I have a Lopi liberity. To get a good over night burn I stuff that sucker full. I fill it as tight as i can. Then i open the air all the way. I let it burn for 10 to 20 mins. then i slow the air down once its starts to get around 500 or so. It will still get hotter then I shut the air down more. Once I get a even burn then I slow it down more. I watch my temp for a 30 mins or so after that I feel fine to leave it. I try to burn around 550 to 600 for me it works great. I burn all oak also.

To move the heat try pushing the cool air from your rooms instead of trying to move the hot air.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 8:12PM
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ellaris

I just moved into a house with a Lopi Answer for primary heat, and all of this is very helpful, thank you!

I do have a question: we accidentally overfired (the top of the stove--not the outer "envelope" but the inner layer) glowed red-hot. Is there anything we should check for safety or integrity once it cools off?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 5:15PM
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