Hampton HI300 Owners, Help!

johnnyiDecember 7, 2007

Hi - we own a 1600 sq ft cape with an add-on room to the side. Since the house has electric baseboard heat, and since we have a new baby, we decided to purchase a wood insert for the fireplace and settled on the Hampton HI300 (with blower) in effort to reduce and/or eliminate the need for the electric heat and keep the entire house toasty. Well, we have been running the HI300 for two weeks straight now, and cannot get the room that it's in to heat above 67 degrees (the nearest thermostat is 7' away from the unit!). Furthermore, the electric heat in the other rooms continues to kick on even when set low to 60. The heat just isn't coming out of the unit as much as I expected it to. I was hoping that the room the fireplace is in would be very hot - and read several reviews which lead me to buy the unit ledd me to believe it would - and that the ceiling fan in the far room [set at the winter setting] would circulate that heat throughout the house. Unfortunately this is just not happening. As I type this, the unit is stuffed, full damper open, auto fan on high, I'm in the next room and my feet are freezing. I have even draft sealed all the windows and un-used doors in the house in effort to block out drafts.

I went back to the dealer and they said to try different wood - so I ordered a cord of seasoned wood, have been burning it exclusively for 4 days and there still hasn't been any difference. I feel like all I am doing is burning wood - not producing heat into the house. I can stand 1' in front of the unit and feel the heat. Move 2' away and it's just warm... much more than 4' away from the unit and I don't feel the heat.

Are there any tips someone could provide to get the maximum amount of heat from this unit? We're desparately in need of some help and trying to avoid another $600 electric bill this month.

Thanks

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genstuff

I hope you are still monitoring this. I just had the Hampton HI300 installed the day before Christmas. I web'd this thing to death, both on the Hampton side and the Regency side, since it is a Regency box. I could not find 1 negative comment.

I have it in a 24' x 26' room, and I can't get that room higher than 64 / 65 deg. I'm buring oil, seems to not make much sense to have my furnace and fire running at the same time. My goal was to just keep that room warm, since it is the family room. I run a Dutchwest wood stove in the basement, same wood (2 year old Ash), and I have no issue getting the whole basement to 75 or 80 if I want it. I can even use a fan and get my unheated garage to 68.

I went to the dealer today, he is going to call the rep. I have been buring for many years, this make no sense.

I'm in New Engalnd, Mass.

Keep me posted as will I if I hear anything.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 2:39PM
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fivemoons

Have the HI300 as well, installed 12/6/07. Beautiful unit. $4,600 installed. I felt that I really did my homework before this purchase as well. Found alot of very positive information about this unit, with little to no true negative. I don't consider too small of a heat box a negative. You should have bought a larger unit. Anyway, I have an open floor plan log home with 30 foot ceilings in the room where the insert is. Dealer said the unit would be blowing us out with heat on the coldest of days. Ceilings fans are set to circulate the heat up to the ceiling and then down the walls to spread about the house. When the outside temps are in the 30-40 range and I keep the stove stoked and cranked up, blower on high and damper wide open it keeps the house warm, not hot. Any colder than that and it just can't keep up. When the outside temps dipped this week to teens with some wind, the area right in front of the unit was warm and the rest of the house was downright cold at 60 where the thermostate is set. I am not sure if this unit is not right due to my layout with the high ceilings or if something is wrong. Burning good seasoned hardwood cut myself.

Also not getting much more than 3-4 hours at best of burn time with the damper only cracked open, but then it doesn't throw the neccessary heat as well.

So I need some advice, any thing you floks can provide would be appreciated.

Thanks.

5moons

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 1:27PM
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genstuff

5moons, and Johnnyi if you ever come back.
I still have not heard from the rep, but here are a couple things the dealer told me to try.

1. Since there is no ash pan, you need to pull the dead ash from under the hot coal bed. This is a brutle task as the coal bed burns your face off. I wish I could get this air into the room. You need a good amount of heat to transfer down into the air tubes. So you move the red coals to one side, scoop the gray dusty stuff, then place to coal back on the brick. Do one side at a time.

2. Seal off the old clean out in the base of the chimney so that no cold air is pulled thru. (if you have one)

I know there is not good place to put a wood stove thermostat on this unit, but just to get an idea, I took the one off my woodstove flu pipe, and put in on the Hampton top tray, just above where the air comes out. Before the clean out, temp = 200, after the clean out it was 250, but seems to have settled at 225. I would love to see what temp you guys get.

5moons, you have 30' ceiling, I've got 16, but my chimney top is 30' (had to buy the big liner), plus another 9' under to the basement. One of the question for the rep is "Is there just too much draft?" I too experience about 3-4 burn times max, maybe due to too much draft. On a day like today, 35-40 deg outside, I put a single log on the coal bed every 3 hours, damper 80% closed, fan on low, 2 paddle ceiling fans on low, house stayed 70-71.

I have a book next to the stove and one of those indoor/outdoor thermometers, I am charting, Time, 3 Temps Room Inside / Outside / Top Plate, and number of logs. I plan to give this to the rep.

I talked to the dealer about free standing stoves vs inserts, since my basement stove rocks. He gave me a big speach on gradual heat by convection(insert), vs radiant(Stove). Theory is great, but I need heat when it's really cold out, not when it's only cool.

I asked about the heat space spec, 1000-2000 sqft. Seems that is based on a mid-climate area, 8'ceilings. I will hit the rep with this too. Where are located?

Good luck,
Genstuff

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 8:07PM
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fivemoons

Genstuff, thanks for the reply.

1. Amen to that, when you are trying to use the unit continually, the ash situation is a problem. And you definitely don't get the high temps you need out of it with a lot of dead ash at the bottom. I am emptying every 2 days max. I am doing it just as you recommend, but that is pretty dangerous with all that hot ash in the middle of my living room.

2. Mine is sealed off. There is a great draft with this stove, but not to the point where its a problem as far as I can tell.

I am keeping track of temps/times as well. But do not track stove temp. Maybe I'll get a stove pipe thermometer. I simply think the unit is too small for my layout. I talked to my dealer the other day he said if I wanted to heat the whole house I would need a large free standing wood stove and take advantage of the radiant heat as well as the convection blower heat. Is your basement stove for heating your basement only? Does the heat make its way upstairs? I have a 1200 sf finished basement and had the same dealer out the other day discussing a free standing stove for that area.

We are in the Cincinnati area, west side, my property borders Indiana.

Thanks again.
5moons

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 4:41PM
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chole

We just installed a Hampton HI300 and are experiencing many of the same issues as outlined in this thread. Has anyone recieved feedback from a representative? Any further suggestions (beyond those already mentioned) for the difference is great and dismal performances of this model of insert?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 10:06PM
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johnnyi

All: So sorry for the massive delay between posts - and wondering if anyone is even reading this. I'm somewhat pleased and discouraged to see that others are having this issue, too. Here's a recap since the initial installation.

We had the unit installed in November in time for us to bring our baby boy home. At about January, I noticed I would get smoke into the room when I opened the door - so I would have to open load, and close the door quickly. I had been cleaning out the ash (as genstuff recommended above) nearly every other day.

Following the season, I had a chimney sweep come to clean the (not even 1-year old) liner... and he came down with a disturbing discovery. The dealer had installed the liner straight to the chimney cap and didn't leave any room for ventilation. It was brought to within 1/8" of the chimney cap and the chimney liner had been choked off with ash in one season. It should have been cut flush to the top of the chimney leaving at least several inches to the chimney cap and it wasn't. I went on the roof to confirm, took pictures, and showed them to my uncle (who happens to be a Fire Chief). He was not happy either. I had paid the "professional" stove retailer $800 to install this and they didn't even do it correctly. They installed a fire hazard. I vented (no pun intended) and showed them the pictures, and they came out and fixed it, so you would expect the stove to run better, right?

Well, hence the reason I haven't posted in a while - we had twin boys the following winter, and my father in law bought us a used pellet stove for the opposite end of the house - which was a godsend. So we didn't run the HI300 too often during winter 2008/09.

In winter 2009/10, I would burn the HI300 only when the outside temps were below 30 and had both the pellet and woodstove going - a great supplement, but not why I bought this stove - I bought it to be a major (not main) heat source. I exclusively burned 1+ year-seasoned oak, and even tried the "Bio bricks" - those compressed sawdust logs - to no avail. The only times I noticed that the house would get hot with this stove on is at holidays (Thanksgiving/Christmas) when we had 10+ guests in the house and their body heat radiated the stove's heat.

I have never been able to burn through the night. The longest I can get a good burn is 3-4 hours.

I'm going to give it another shot this winter (2010/11) and have 3+ cord seasoned and ready to go. My intent is to use the woodstove more often than the pellet stove this season - but we'll see how well that goes.

One thing I was curious about is whether or not the liner needs to be wrapped in fiberglass insulation where it enters the flue... thoughts?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 12:02PM
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egclassic

I know this is an old post, not sure if it is still alive, but here's my .02
We just bought our HI300 on Dec 28,2011, just in time to recieve the energy tax crdit.
Upon initial use, I did as recommended and burned several small fires to condition the stove. By the third or fourth fire, I was burning full boxes.
My house is approx. 1500 Sq. ft(1st floor) + full finished basemnet, ranch.
My room layout is not exactly ideal(not an open floor plan).However, one night during January(2010), I loaded up the stove for a night burn and laid on the couch while the new load caught. I accidenttaly fell asleep with the damper fully opened. When I awoke (sweating profusly) the thermostat in the same room showed 89.9*! I knew at that point this stove is capable of producing very good heat.
Now, as I said, my layout is not ideal so to get this hot air to the bedrooms which are down the hall, I purchased a corner mount doorway fan. This fan made all the difference in the world. Before, our bedroom would barely get to 66*, even though the room the stove was in was 80 something. Now our bedroom stays at 74-75*.
The firewood you are using is perhaps the problem. I live in Cincinnati (west side) also, and let me tell you, you cannot find truly seasoned firewood around here in the winter. I searched craigslist for firewood locally and most of what these guys are trying to sell as seasoned was just cut the same fall. They don't care and will screw you!
To the other poster here that lives in Cincinnati, near Indy, the Guy on Rt 50 just ouside of Etown(mobile home) had some really good wood last winter for a good price. It was probably the best wood I bought last year.
By now, hopefully like me, you have bought, cut, scrouged or stolen this years firewood. If so, I think you will have a much better experience!!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:42AM
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