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Category: Wood or coal burning stove
  1. What is draft ? What is combustion air?
  2. Why does my Wonderwood have holes in the doors?
  3. Why do I have smoke spillage when I refuel my stove or furnace?
  4. What is creosote? How is it produced? How can I prevent it?
  5. How can I prevent grate burn out and warpage of cast iron parts?
  6. The heater I want says it may not be used in mobile homes. Why not?
  7. How do I get my coal to burn?
  8. What is draft ? What is combustion air?
  9. I purchased Wonderwood model 2941 but I cant find a draft regulator Model DR6 any help you can give me will be appreciated.
  10. I have a Wonderwood model 2941.I need to change some bricks in it.I would like the instructions on how to do it.
  11. Why does the EPA not permit burning wood in a Wondercoal stove?
  12. What is the difference between wood stoves and coal? Can you safely burn wood in a coal stove?
  13. I have a Magnolia 2015 and have a hard time getting a fire started, why is this? It only works if I leave the door open. What can I do to help it?
  14. I have a King 2007, do I need a grate for the logs or do they just sit on the fire brick?
  15. Why did my old stove work in my chimney, but my new stove has a hard time drafting?
  16. I have a new stove. Can I vent directly into my masonry, clay lined, or terracotta chimney?
  17. Does the Magnolia 2015 need a damper in the flue pipe?



  1. What is draft ? What is combustion air?
    An adequate chimney is actually more important for successful wood or coal burning than the quality of a stove or fireplace. In other words, without a properly functioning chimney, the best solid fuel burning appliance money could buy would be useless. Problematic chimneys usually expose themselves in a variety of ways. A stove smokes into the room, an inadequate chimney is the most likely cause - Creosote problems, often caused by poor chimney construction or stove installation. Even low heating efficiencies can also be traced to poor chimney draft. In short, 90% of all wood and coal burning problems can be traced to draft and chimneys. Chimney Fundamentals The function of a chimney is to provide important needs. First, to supply the draft for combustion air into the firebox. And secondly, to carry the products of combustion (smoke) out of the home. The draft of a chimney is created when the air temperature inside the flue is greater than the outside flue temperatures. Since hot air rises, the greater the difference between the inside flue temperatures and outside temperatures, the faster the gases flow or stronger the draft. Also, several other factors play important roles in determining chimney draft quality. Chimney Height -A taller chimney will have the ability to produce more draft than a shorter chimney of equal flue size. Also, it is easy to decrease the draft in a chimney which is too strong, but improving the draft on a short chimney usually results in added cost. Chimney Diameter- Chimney diameter also has an effect on the draft of your chimney. In cases were the chimney is much wider than the flue outlet on the stove, the stove may have a problem sufficiently heating the flue walls. This will allow the gases to cool, thereby slowing the draft down. If possible, the chimney diameter should be similar to the diameter of the flue outlet on the stove. If your chimney is much larger than desired, you may consider relining it with a smaller diameter flue. Chimney Construction - A round chimney flue drafts better than a square or rectangular one. In addition, an insulated chimney (either a metal one or properly constructed masonry chimney) will get warm and stay warm easier, making it easier for the chimney to draft properly. Also, locating the chimney inside will help insulate and reduce the problems of a cool chimney. Combustion Air - All solid fuel appliances need air to support combustion. A house that is too tight may not allow enough air to feed the fire, and a smoking stove or fireplace can result. Adding a fresh air vent or simply cracking a window may correct the situation. Chimney Down Draft - The most common complaint, "I'm trying to light my stove and the whole house is filling up with smoke". The problem is not with the stove or fireplace, but with a chimney that has reversed. Cold air falls and warm air rises, so when the chimney is it's not in use, the cold air from outdoors falls down the chimney and tries to enter the house. Clothes dryers, other vented products and bathroom/kitchen exhaust fans aggravate the problem further since they suck air from the home and push it outside. You may even need to inspect the cleanout door, make sure it seals well. Remember, draft is a function of heat and when starting a cool chimney, you must gradually increase the size of the fuel bed until sufficient draft is created. The time it takes to complete this cooking process varies, depending on the size and construction of the chimney. Also, should the chimney ever cool down, you will need to repeat this process. NOTE: Always read the Operators Manual before starting a fire in your appliance.
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  2. Why does my Wonderwood have holes in the doors?
    Pertaining to the draft control assembly assumed missing from the Ashley model EC95 and Wonderwood 2941. These particular models have been approved, as a wood burning appliance, by meeting certain standards required by the Environmental Protection Agency. One of which, is the air inlet system located in the ash door or feed door. This feature will promote a cleaner burning fire without the assistance of costly converters. It is recommended, if your venting system (i.e. chimney) is producing draft above the recommended allowance, as outlined in your owner’s manual, you install a Barometric Draft Regulator along with the solid cast iron damper supplied with the unit. This addition, along with the bi-metal thermostat included with the unit, will assure safe and optimum operation. -->
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  3. Why do I have smoke spillage when I refuel my stove or furnace?
    Smoke spillage is attributable to a problem with the chimney or connector pipe - relating to poor draft. If you want to absolutely prevent smoke spillage and a related condition called back puffing, you should do the following: 1) Check the chimney and connectors for obstructions, and clean the chimney as necessary. Bird nests, animals and creosote are possible causes of blockage. Over hanging trees may also cause down drafts; remove limbs within ten feet of the top of the chimney 2) Make sure the connector pipe to the chimney is not inserted too far into the flue. 3) Make sure all openings into the chimney, such as a clean out doors, are tightly sealed. 4) Try to eliminate elbows in the connection from the flue collar to the chimney. The more elbows, the less potential for draft. 5) Consider increasing the height of the chimney. Remember the higher it is, the better it will draft. 6) Your flue, inside the chimney, may be too large for the appliance. The old rule of thumb certainly applies here - the chimney flue should be sized to the flue collar on the appliance and should never be more than 33% greater than the flue collar size. For example, a flue liner diameter should never be more than 8" for use with a 6" collared appliance. Back puffing is similar to the problem with smoke spillage, as it relates to insufficient draft and can occur even in a good chimney with good draft, when the air to fuel ratio becomes too lean - and especially if it occurs immediately after refueling. The cure is to open the air inlets until the fire bed has stabilized and is burning properly. Only then can the appliance be safely "throttled back."
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  4. What is creosote? How is it produced? How can I prevent it?
    A) This may seem a "no-brainier" question. But, you would be surprised how few people really understand the subject. You should familiarize yourself with our booklet: "Hold it! Wait! Before you buy." We won an HPA award for this book. And if you give one to the novice wood burner - he may thank you. Briefly, though, creosote is a natural by product of the incomplete combustion of wood. The main objective for the home owner is to make sure any creosote he may produce is carried away from the home and not allowed to condense in connector pipes or the chimney. Creosote is a truly hazardous substance; it is flammable and when ignited can burn violently and produce extremely dangerous temperatures in the chimney - in excess of 2,000_F. Creosote has many forms - from a watery consistency, to a sticky tar-like substance, to the final form which is glazed, baked-on and difficult to remove. Creosote is best prevented by avoiding the addition of large fuel loads with low air settings and failure to have the appliance properly vented. The worst creosote "stills" are masonry chimneys; and the worst chimneys are those which are installed on the exterior of the home. If the consumer insists on using his masonry chimney and won’t up grade to a factory built model, you might suggest he consider a reline with insulation. Again, your blue book gives a thorough explanation. 6) This is related to the previous - what are the advantages of a "factory built chimney" and, why should I consider the extra expense when I already have a good one in the house? A) Again, refer to the blue book for a detailed answer. In a word, factory built chimneys are safer, more efficient, better designed and more adapted to heating with wood than 90% of all masonry chimneys.
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  5. How can I prevent grate burn out and warpage of cast iron parts?
    All grates are constructed of cast iron which can "burn out" or oxidize rapidly - or warp so severely the grate becomes immobile. The only way to prevent such problems is really quite basic: 1) never over fire your furnace or stove, either accidentally or deliberately, by leaving the feed or (more importantly) the ash door open during operation. A lot of folks will be tempted to do this if they have a weak flue and/or chimney - or, are overly anxious to heat the home. It’s very easy to open the ash door to provide a lot of combustion air to kick off the process and really get things moving. The danger lies in leaving it open for more than a few minutes, because the phone may ring or the home owner just plain forgets. When this happens temperatures in excess of 1300_ are common, resulting in scorched cabinet paint, thermal shock and breakage, and warpage of cast iron parts - even the splitting of welded seams; 2) failure to empty the ash pan and allowing ashes/cinders to accumulate to the point of contact with the grate can quickly warp or burn out the grate. To function properly - and endure for years as intended - grates rely on the flow of cooling air to prevent warpage or burn out. Rapid deterioration is a sign of abuse. Original cast iron parts are unconditionally warranted for a full year from date of purchase. And, we have a good habit of replacing, without question, such a part the first time. Beyond that, though, the consumer is responsible and should be cautioned; lastly, consumer failure to maintain gaskets will contribute to early failure of such components by allowing too much combustion air. Again, the customer should be cautioned to always check the integrity of the gaskets and pay particular attention to those on the ash door.
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  6. The heater I want says it may not be used in mobile homes. Why not?
    Heaters which should be installed in mobile homes, must be specifically tested and listed for use in those homes. Primary requirement of the mobile home standard is that combustion air must be vented directly from outside via a special ductwork to the air inlet of the stove. Also, allowable clearances between the heater and the walls are substantially less. Finally, the heater must firmly attached to the floor of the mobile home.
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  7. How do I get my coal to burn?
    BULLETIN RC454 BURNING COAL IN YOUR WONDERCOAL CIRCULATOR OR HOT BLAST FURNACE Your Wondercoal or Hot Blast is capable of burning both Bituminous and Anthracite coal. Anthracite is perhaps the best coal fuel because its long even burn time, high heat output, and cleanliness make it a good choice for the home. However, keep in mind it is a much more difficult fuel to use, requires more care and patience, is not so widely available, and is usually much more expensive than Bituminous. SIZE OF COAL: Most sizes of Bituminous Coal will work in your Hot Blast Furnace or Wondercoal Circulator; for best results we recommend large nut coal to small egg coal (1-3/4" diameter to 4" diameter). When burning Anthracite, use egg or broken with sizes between 2-5/16" thru 4-3/8". Note that it is important to the long life of your stove to buy coal which has been sized and cleaned. Cleaning insures removal of rocks and other minerals. Never use coal smaller than 1" or larger than 5" in diameter. Small sized coal will smother the fire. Too large a size of coal will not burn will. STOVE OPERATION: All coal fires should be started with wood which will allow the fire to get hot enough to ignite the coal. The best ignition fires utilize dry pine or other resinous soft woods as kindling, with hard wood (oak, hickory, ash) added to increase the heat prior to addition of the coal. BURNING BITUMINOUS: Once your kindling and wood fire has produced a bed of well established coals, start adding coal in layers allowing each to ignite before adding more. Bituminous has a high volatile content and, as a result, should be fired with the "conical method" - with the highest portion of your firebed in the center of the firebox. The first flames will be long and generally orange or yellow and produce quite a bit of smoke. As the gases burn off the flames become shorter, change color and produce less smoke. CAUTION: see next page and use that statement about gasoline, etc. Once the fire is WELL ESTABLISHED add coal to the center of the firebox forming the cone. Burning in this fashion allows heat to drive off the volatile gases, and turbulence created increases the burn efficiency. You will have to experiment with your particular setup as no two chimney’s or installations are going to be the same. Just remember to allow enough secondary air to enter the firebox and keep your stove pipe damper open so that volatiles are properly burned. Before refueling, take the time to break up the cone a little with a poker, especially if it has caked over or formed a crust. But, be careful not to mix the coal as this increases the chances of forming clinkers. When shaking the grate(s) be gentle. Just a few short movements - front to rear (circulators) or a couple of "cranks" (furnaces) - is better than a lot of agitation. The objective is to remove a small amount of the ashes without disturbing the fire. Stop when you see a glow in the ashes or the first red coals fall into the ash pan. Excessive shaking wastes fuel and can expose the grate(s) to very high temperatures which can cause warpage or burnout. For overnight operation (long duration burn time) shake the fire and add coal, retaining your center cone. Once the volatiles are burned off, close the feed door and adjust your stove pipe damper. Then adjust your thermostat to the desired heat level. You will have more MAINTENANCE with bituminous than with anthracite coal as more soot will collect on heating surfaces and in pipes, requiring more frequent cleaning. ANTHRACITE: Before starting the fire open - the stove pipe damper, turn the automatic thermostat to high, open the ash pit door and feed door, place newspaper and finely split kindling on the grate, light the paper, add larger hard wood after the kindling is burning brightly. Caution: Never use gasoline, lantern fuel, kerosene, charcoal lighter fluid, or other flammable liquids to start or freshen up a fire in this heater. Place the larger pieces of wood on the fire so that they are slightly separated and form a level for the addition of coal. It will take 10 to 20 minutes before this wood is thoroughly ignited. Adding coal too soon will cut the air supply and smother the fire. Add a thin layer of coal (preferably smaller chunks) to the wood fire, being careful not to disturb it too much or cut off the draft. Then, add a second heavier layer after the coal is ignited and burning well. If necessary, add a third layer to bring the coal up to the top of the front liner (not above!). Be sure you have closed your ash door. Before adding further fuel, be sure you leave a red spot of glowing coals in the center of the firebox to insure that you have not smothered the fire and to help ignite the gases given off by the new charge. A deep charge will give a more even heat and a longer fire but it may take one to two hours before the whole bed is fully ignited. When the fire is well established and the room is becoming warm, partially close the dampers. You will have to experiment with your particular setting of all dampers and controls as your chimney provides the draft necessary to not only exhaust the smoke, but to pull combustion air into the heater as well - and no two chimney’s perform the same. Under ideal draft conditions you should be able to turn the secondary air supply on the feed door to a near closed position - but leave the ash pit damper at least partially open to prevent the fire from going out. Adjust the stove pipe damper to reduce the draft on the fire. With anthracite you will see short blue flames above the coal, except when the fire is started or a new charge is added. If, however, there is no flame then the fire needs more air from the bottom (unless it is near the end of its burn cycle and needs to be recharged). Only when the coal is burned down to half its original depth is it time to add fresh coal. When doing so, open your stove pipe damper and turn your thermostat damper to high, which will allow the fire to burn off any accumulated gases. Open the feed door, and with a small rake, hoe or hooked poker pull the glowing coals to the front of the firebox. Try not to disturb the fire too much. Next, add a fresh charge to the back being careful not to seal off the top. Close the feed door but leave the spin damper (or thermostat) open for a few minutes until the volatile gases have burned off. It is not necessary to shake down the ashes each time you refuel your Wondercoal or Hot Blast. Experience will be your best teacher. BANKING THE FIRE: For extended operation, such as overnight, you will need to bank the fire. To do so heap coal up along the sides and back of the firebox so that the fire gradually burns it over a longer period of time. You will also reduce the intensity of the fire without letting it go out. Follow the same procedure as for refueling. If possible, avoid shaking, as a heavier layer of ash will help reduce the intensity of the fire during this time. After loading let the fire establish itself for about 30 minutes. Then close your damper and automatic control to the point where the house does not become too cold. It is important that you begin banking early enough before retiring or leaving that you can make necessary adjustments after the fire is well established. To revive a coal fire that is almost out, you should (1) open the ash door and stove pipe damper and close the spin damper on the door to get a good draft through the grate. (2) place a thin layer of dry coal over the entire top of the fire. DO NOT POKE OR SHAKE THE FIRE AT THIS TIME! (3) after the fresh coal has become well ignited shake the grate (just a little) and you will be ready to refuel. DO NOT burn coke, charcoal, high volatile bituminous coal, sub bituminous, lignite or cannel coal (sometimes called channel coal or candle coal). NEVER burn wax or chemically impregnated sawdust logs - their intended use is for fireplaces only. NEVER fill your stove or furnace above the firebrick or cast iron liner. Why should I make provision for "return air" or a "cold-air return?" Why should I make provision for "return air" or a "cold-air return?" A) Return air means just that - air which is returned - and when properly located, it will greatly increase the efficiency of your furnace set up. Think how much more practical your installation would be if you "closed the loop" by providing a return of air to your furnace. Refer to the diagrams in the Owners Manual and the poster taped to the furnace. Show manual and poster. Not only does the return air provision allow furnace efficiency, it builds in a safety margin by helping to prevent a negative pressure (vacuum) in your furnace room. Keep in mind - your Hot Blast is pulling up to 1100 cubic feet of air per minute from the furnace room and sending it to heat other parts of the home. If your furnace room is shut off from the rest of the house, a partial vacuum will result which could pull smoke from the chimney back into the furnace, preventing the chimney from staying hot and causing creosote to form, and promoting smoke spillage from the furnace.
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  8. What is draft ? What is combustion air?
    An adequate chimney is actually more important for successful wood or coal burning than the quality of a stove or fireplace. In other words, without a properly functioning chimney, the best solid fuel burning appliance money could buy would be useless. Problematic chimneys usually expose themselves in a variety of ways. A stove smokes into the room, an inadequate chimney is the most likely cause - Creosote problems, often caused by poor chimney construction or stove installation. Even low heating efficiencies can also be traced to poor chimney draft. In short, 90% of all wood and coal burning problems can be traced to draft and chimneys. Chimney Fundamentals The function of a chimney is to provide important needs. First, to supply the draft for combustion air into the firebox. And secondly, to carry the products of combustion (smoke) out of the home. The draft of a chimney is created when the air temperature inside the flue is greater than the outside flue temperatures. Since hot air rises, the greater the difference between the inside flue temperatures and outside temperatures, the faster the gases flow or stronger the draft. Also, several other factors play important roles in determining chimney draft quality. Chimney Height -A taller chimney will have the ability to produce more draft than a shorter chimney of equal flue size. Also, it is easy to decrease the draft in a chimney which is too strong, but improving the draft on a short chimney usually results in added cost. Chimney Diameter- Chimney diameter also has an effect on the draft of your chimney. In cases were the chimney is much wider than the flue outlet on the stove, the stove may have a problem sufficiently heating the flue walls. This will allow the gases to cool, thereby slowing the draft down. If possible, the chimney diameter should be similar to the diameter of the flue outlet on the stove. If your chimney is much larger than desired, you may consider relining it with a smaller diameter flue. Chimney Construction - A round chimney flue drafts better than a square or rectangular one. In addition, an insulated chimney (either a metal one or properly constructed masonry chimney) will get warm and stay warm easier, making it easier for the chimney to draft properly. Also, locating the chimney inside will help insulate and reduce the problems of a cool chimney. Combustion Air - All solid fuel appliances need air to support combustion. A house that is too tight may not allow enough air to feed the fire, and a smoking stove or fireplace can result. Adding a fresh air vent or simply cracking a window may correct the situation. Chimney Down Draft - The most common complaint, "I'm trying to light my stove and the whole house is filling up with smoke". The problem is not with the stove or fireplace, but with a chimney that has reversed. Cold air falls and warm air rises, so when the chimney is it's not in use, the cold air from outdoors falls down the chimney and tries to enter the house. Clothes dryers, other vented products and bathroom/kitchen exhaust fans agravate the problem further since they suck air from the home and push it outside. You may even need to inspect the cleanout door, make sure it seals well. Remember, draft is a function of heat and when starting a cool chimney, you must gradually increase the size of the fuel bed until sufficient draft is created. The time it takes to complete this cooking process varies, depending on the size and construction of the chimney. Also, should the chimney ever cool down, you will need to repeat this process. NOTE: Always read the Operators Manual before starting a fire in your appliance.
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  9. I purchased Wonderwood model 2941 but I cant find a draft regulator Model DR6 any help you can give me will be appreciated.
    The model DR6 is a Barometric Draft Regulator that is available through most dealers that also have other venting materials. (ie dampers, pipe, caps, etc.)The name DR6 is a name given to the item available in the United States Stove Products. Should you not find ours or others avialable locally, please feel free to contact our offices direct for pricing and availability.
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  10. I have a Wonderwood model 2941.I need to change some bricks in it.I would like the instructions on how to do it.
    The brick retainer brackets on the side of this unit have bolts in them that need to be taken out and the brackets will come away from the wall far enough to replace the bricks . To get to the bolts on the outside of the firebox take the screws off the bottom of unit and the whole out side shell will lift up exposing the bolts and nuts.
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  11. Why does the EPA not permit burning wood in a Wondercoal stove?
    Burning of wood is required to meet certain EPA emission standards that a coal burning appliance does not handle. It is not a safety issue, in fact, until 1990 we sold the coal burning appliances of today as wood or coal. When the EPA Clean Air Act of 1990 was enacted we had to start marketing them has coal only. The wood models either had to have a catalytic combuster added or adjust the firebox to meet a 35:1 air to fuel ratio.
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  12. What is the difference between wood stoves and coal? Can you safely burn wood in a coal stove?
    There are a few differences between wood and coal burning units. Please contact us direct to disucss this at (800)750-2723.
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  13. I have a Magnolia 2015 and have a hard time getting a fire started, why is this? It only works if I leave the door open. What can I do to help it?
    If you stove isn't lighting and only seems to stay lit if you leave the door open, then you have a drafting problem. Drafting problems are realated to the chimney. You need to have a 6" stove pipe the entire length of your chimney and it needs to be at least 12ft high. If you are having drafting problems we recommend that you have your chimney inspected to make sure that it has the correct water column pressure.
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  14. I have a King 2007, do I need a grate for the logs or do they just sit on the fire brick?
    The logs are designed to sit directly on the fire brick and we do not recommend a grate in the stove.
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  15. Why did my old stove work in my chimney, but my new stove has a hard time drafting?
    Newer stoves require more draft than older stoves, and can require a newer chimney. If there is a question as to whether the chimney will have enough draw to it, we recommend that you have it professionally tested for the proper water column pressure.
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  16. I have a new stove. Can I vent directly into my masonry, clay lined, or terracotta chimney?
    Masonry, clay lined, and terracotta chimneys are all very difficult to get warm and create a draw. When these chimneys are used there is usually a drafting problem associated with them. To avoid this we recomend that you line the chimney with the same size pipe that comes from the stove. The round shape of the stove pipe also creates a better draft than a square shaped chimney.
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  17. Does the Magnolia 2015 need a damper in the flue pipe?
    This stove doesnt require a damper.
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