Congratulations... your new wood stove will become the one purchase your kids will talk about for years to come
Like any new product - there are some things experience teaches you – and other things you really need to know
Before you light your stove
Being a new stove - it has instructions / tools / manuals inside the cooker - make sure you take a moment to remove all these
Check in ALL the ovens to make sure you remove the little bag used for absorbing moisture
The hot plates, hot plate hinges & ovens may have plastic protection on these - make sure you take a moment to ensure you haven't missed removing any of these
Couple of very basic rules
1. Your stove (if its set up with hot water or with radiators) MUST be connected to the water before you light your stove!!!
2. If your stove is designed for radiators - and you are not hooking them up: your stove will not operate correctly...if your stove is designed and sold with radiators (Hydronic Heating) its important to make sure its all hooked up and commissioned before lighting your stove - this includes the Thermostats for the pumps
3. The flue – most wood stoves work much much better with 15’ or 4.5mtrs of working flue
The Initial lighting
OK – now lets light your stove
1. The flue damper – this needs to be in the open position
2. The air controls to your stove – also in the open position
Once you have established a nice fire (this will be at least 20min after the wood has ignited) - NOW put the Flue box damper (or oven damper) to the closed position
This will be at least 60 min after you initially light your stove.
Adjust the air control to slow down (control) your fire.
What you are trying to do is slowly build up the heat in your stove – take your time…
What you want in this initial lighting / heating of your stove to take 4 – 6 hours…
You are "burning in" the stove – any moisture and oils you are burning off the stove…And any paint you are curing….
Never run the stove with the fire door open, this is dangerous and the door could become distorted and no longer fit the frame of the firebox.
Couple of pointers...
Your Hot Plate
All hot plates are heavily covered in oils
These will not only smoke a lot in the first lighting - but will also change colour - even go blue tinge
Seasoning your hot plates
You will want to season your hot plates, this will make cleaning much easier
Yes, you will get a face full of smoke when you are doing this, but by seasoning your hot plate regularly it will help for cleaning
Rusting on Hot Plates
It is common on some models to have slight "rusting" stain to the hot plates upon opening up your new stove, or if it hasn't been used for many months: although rare - this does happen
The best way to address this is:
Knowing your stove
All wood stoves make noises as the water guggles away, and the metals expand and contract...
Its known as your stove "talking to you"
Noises and smells from a wood stove is normal - the trick is to get to know them
Grandma never used a cook book or the thermostat - she opened the oven door - put her hand in ; and just knew it was the right temp for her cake.
You will get to you your stove - you will know when you do once you name "her"
BUT if you are getting massive BANGING from your stove - this is NOT normal and you need to contact your installer asap - this noise is normally caused by water hammer, or an issue with the way your pipes are installed
What dont you want to do...
You do not want a roaring fire - but a slow start up
Take your time - you can load up the firebox - but you do not want the fire to be roaring ....
What will happen?
On the first lighting – your stove will smoke… a lot
This Smoke is all the oils on the metal and cast burning off
This initial lighting – is very important NOT to get a massive roaring fire until your stove has been burnt in…
This initial burning in will take 4 to 6 hours at least.
Opening a window is actually not a good idea inthe room of your stove..it may make the smoke worse..
But try a window up the other end of the house...
Q – I have water coming out of my stove – underneath the oven…?
A – this is normal – it’s the moisture around the oven dripping out - even flowing out when you light your stove for the 1st time : its all the trapped moisture during the storage and shipping of your stove : it may look black in colour
This may also re-occur if you live in a humid climate and hacvent used your stove for a long period of time
This Leakage can occur up to 4 hours... but will stop
Q - How do i know if its my hot water jacket causing this ?
A - if it is a faulty hot wter connection, or even a faulty hot water jacket, it ill continue for days and the amount of water leakage can be substantiale - call your installer if it continues
Q - When do i know my stove is cured?
A - It takes 4 -6 hours...but when your stove has no more "New Smell" is a good way of knowing
Q - I did what you said - but the next time I light my stove - the smell come back?
A - This is common if the stove was not hot enough on the first lighting... some stoves also take up to 3 initial heating up cycles for a true curing...
Q - What if I light my stove with the hot water not connected?
A - You will void the warranty
Q - I lit my stove and now I have massive boiling and hammering noise. Whats going on?
A - Check your hot water set up, if there is not enough flow in the pipes then the water temperature will build up in your stove and it will boil. You will need to get your plumber back ASAP
Q - Can I use Pine Cones to light my stove?
A - I wouldn't...use nice dry kinderling - and heaps of it..
Q - Can I burn Brickets or Coal?
A - If your stove has a grate and ash tray, yes you can mix this with your wood - if you stove has an ash box, no
What Wood to Use
This is the most important thing to know
Wood stoves are NOT like wood heaters - you need to feed them correctly
Make sure your wood is right -
Couple of basic hints
This only works in this order
There are moisture meters available to help you know how much moisture is in your wood.
Cold Start up...
Trick - pre heat your flue...
What you are doing is pushing all the cold air out of the flue and creating a draught...this will make any stove light up much faster...
There are 2 "old wives tales" ways of doing this...
Trick 1... Hair Dryer...
Use a (old) hair dryer - plug into the power and turn onto the low heat setting
Remove the flue box cover and position the damper in the forward position - insert the heat end of the hair dryer into the flue box - and leave for at least 5 min
(you can use the hair dryer on a high heat setting - but you may find it can blow dust into the room)
You should be able to put your hand on the flue and feel good heat
- have your fire ready to light
Once the flue is nice and warm - remove the hair dryer - re position the flue box cover and re position the Flue damper to the open position (so its pushed back)
And light your fire...
Trick No 2.... The Flaming Paper
Using 1 x sheet of news paper : remove the flue box cover, have the damper in the forward position and lightly shove the paper into the 1st length of flue
Its important not to heavily "jam" the paper in.
- have your fire ready to light: light the paper in the flue...
What you will experience is this
It is exactly what to expect
As soon as the paper has "shot up the flue" - put the flue cover back on
Re position the Flue damper to the open position (so its pushed back)
And light your fire
Note : you will want to light your fire as soon as possible : while the heat in the flue is stiil there