Biomass Stove Tips

See our Biomass Stove tips below from our in-house product expert to get the most out of your Sedore Multi-Fuel Biomass Stove purchase from TransNorth.

Tip One - Lighting the Sedore Stove

Burn only solid fuel directly on the bottom of the stove, do not elevate the fire in any way (ie. no grate is required).

STEP ONE: Mount the Thermometer
Place the magnetic thermometer, on the stovepipe 18-24 inches above the top of the stove. The reading on this thermometer will be referred to below as the external stack temperature or just the ‘stack temperature’. Internal stack temperature should not be confused with external. Typically the internal stack temperature (ie. if you use a probe-style thermometer) will be double the measurement taken with an external (magnetic) thermometer.

STEP TWO: Prepare the front chamber
If you have an ash-pan, ensure that the ash shaker-grate is fully in (towards the stove) such that the openings to the ash pan at the bottom of the front chamber are blocked. Also, ensure that the ash-pan is fully in, sealed tightly to the gasket, and clipped in place. Open the stove lid and spread out approximately 2” of ash on the floor of the front chamber.
Open the adjustable draft bar until it is fully open. Place 2 or 3 pieces of small dry, split wood horizontally on top of the ash creating one loose row of wood across the bottom. Place plenty of dry kindling on top of the wood in a criss-cross pattern of layers about 8 inches deep (no higher than the nuts on the back baffle). Place some cardboard and about 4 pieces of crumpled newspaper on top of the kindling. Close the lid. The front chamber is now prepared.

STEP THREE: Prepare and light the back chamber
Open one of the side ash clean-out doors and place two or three pieces of crumpled newspaper into the rear chamber. Light the newspaper and close the ash door. (This step is very important, as it pre-heats the chimney and starts an upward draft). When the stack temperature reaches at least 100 F, you are ready to light the front chamber.

STEP FOUR: Light the front chamber
Have your hoe-poker easily at hand. Raise the stove lid. Light the newspaper you placed in the front chamber. Stand your poker on the floor in front of the stove and turn the handle inward to-wards the stove. Bring the lid down gently resting it on the poker. (The poker has been perfectly sized to keep the lid propped open to create an air gap during start-up.)
Always stay near your stove when you have your lid propped open. Now, watch the stack temperature rise. With proper draft (meaning your chimney height is correct, see section on chimneys) you will reach a stack temperature of 550F in about 5 minutes. If it takes longer to reach a stack temperature of 550F, either you put wet wood on the bottom under the kindling or your draft is insufficient.

STEP FIVE: Add fuel
When the stack temperature has reached 550F, and has started to fall, it is time to add more fuel. You can fill the front chamber right to the top as long as the lid will close completely. When re-loading the stove while it is still hot and a bed of hot embers still exists, follow this reloading procedure:
 Always wear insulated fire-retardant gloves when tending to the stove.
 Push the air control lever to the full open position (far right).
 Wait a few seconds before opening the lid.
 Use a poker to distribute the hot embers equally around the firebox.
 Load the fuel, usually with smaller logs first.
 Wipe off the ledge to ensure any debris is cleared off to ensure a tight seal.
 Close the door. Be sure to latch the door tightly.
 Wait 5-10 minutes to ensure the new fuel has fully ignited before adjusting the air to the de-sired heat setting.

CAUTION: Leaving the Sedore stove lid &/or the ash-pan (on models with this feature) open can cause over-firing of the stove resulting in injury, damage to the stove, and voiding of the manufacturer’s warranty.

STEP SIX: Optimize the Burn
The stack temperature will start dropping as soon as you close the lid. Allow it to drop at least 50 degrees on its own, then you can close down the draft bar.
Your stack temperature will continue to drop and after about 15 minutes it will settle down to the target of 150-200F. If after 15 minutes your stack temperature has not dropped below 200 F, you will know that you are giving too much air for the fuel you are burning, and you will need to close the draft bar a little. If your stack temperature settles down to below 150 F after the lid has been down for a length of time, you are giving too little air, and need to open your draft bar a little.
The following are approximate settings for the draft bar for different fuels:
1/2 Open – Hardwood
1/4 Open – Cob Corn, Sunflower Tops
1/8 Open – Wood Pellets, Treesaver Firewood, Recycled Hardwood Cubes

CONGRATULATIONS! You have just started your stove from a cold start all on your own. If you are burning wood you can expect your load to last from 10-14 hours. However, sometimes your first load may burn through a little quicker as a good bed of coals must be established to have the SEDORE operate to maximum efficiency.

Tip Two - Preventing Smoke from Entering the Room when Opening the Lid

Smoke will definitely come into the room if you just lift the lid up. What you must do is change the order of the draft in the front chamber. This is easy to do by following these three simple steps:

1. Open the draft bar completely.

2 Crack the lid about 1/2”. Count to ten slowly (this allows the draft to suck the smoke out of the burning chamber and up the chimney).

3. Now, open the lid up the rest of the way very slowly, so you don’t cause a suction that will pull the smoke back.

These three simple steps will allow you to clear the burning chamber of smoke and allow you to open the lid whenever you want.

Tip Three - Remove Ashes Daily

You will discover your new SEDORE stove produces much less ash than a standard air-tight stove. This is because the smoke and gases are trapped in the front chamber where they are burned, instead of just going up the chimney as in a standard air-tight. The ashes are very easy to clean out.

Because of the direction of the draft from the front to the back, ashes will be automatically swept into the back chamber. If you take a scoop or two out every day from the side ash removal doors, you will seldom have to follow the below procedures.

Remember, you want to always retain a bed of ashes 2-3 inches deep in the front chamber, at all times. In fact, you don’t have to do anything about the ashes until they are interfering with the air intake holes.

For your protection always wear safety gloves when handling ashes.

A.) If you have a side clean-out model, follow these steps:
 Wait until your stove has burned down to a bed of coals.
 Bring coals to the front with your hoe-poker.
 Push extra ash through the back, under the baffle.
 Push coals back and block the passage under the baffle.
 Open the draft fully and add new fuel to the front and top of these coals.
 Scoop the ashes out of the side clean-out door and into a metal container.

B.) If you have an ash pan model, follow these steps:
 When ashes have built up to the air holes, you know you have to get rid of some.
 Simply push and pull the shaker-grate a few times and the ashes will fall through to the ash pan below.
 Never take the ash pan out until you are down to a bed of coals, and never with the lid up. (The ash pan can be extremely hot, so wear gloves).
 Dispose of ashes in a safe container until cool.
 Replace and lock the ash pan in place

Ashes should be placed in a metal container equipped with a tight sealing lid. The container should be placed on a non-combustible floor or on the ground, well away from all combustible materials, pending final disposal. If the ashes are disposed of by burial in soil or otherwise locally dispersed, they should be retained in the closed container until all cinders have thoroughly cooled.

Tip Four - Burning Green Wood

Green and wet wood will burn in the SEDORE stove as long as it is put on top of at least half a load of dry wood (or other dry fuel), as it will dry out before it reaches the bottom.

You will discover that you get more creosote when you use green or wet wood. However, this is not a problem in the SEDORE because as long as you have placed good dry fuel on the bottom of the fuel load, the rest of the load doesn’t matter much because it will dry before it reaches the fire at the bottom. The creosote from the wet wood will stay in the front chamber, on the lid and upper walls, where no harm can be done – it will simply dry and fall in by itself. Caution: When loading fuel, don’t put wet wood in at the bottom as the creosote can then go up the chimney.

Tip Five - When is a Hopper Used?

The hopper accessory is a metal basket that stands in the front chamber and contains granular fuels. Any fuel that “flows” in the burn chamber and would smother the flame requires the use of the hopper (unless you mix the granular fuels with larger fuels to allow space for air flow. For ex-ample, kernel corn can be added to wood logs). Here are some examples of fuels that require the hopper:

Hopper Required – Sawdust, Grains, Seeds, Wood Pellets, Kernel Corn, etc.

Hopper Not Required – Hardwood Logs, Softwood Logs, Scrap Wood, Corn Husks, Large Wood Chips, etc.

Tip Six - What is the Radiant Water Coil Accessory?

The water coil accessory allows you to heat water or glycol in the SEDORE woodstove and may be used for either domestic hot water or radiant heating systems. Thermal-siphoning is recommended. Installation by a qualified heating contractor is also recommended.

Thermo-siphon is a property of physics and refers to a method of passive heat exchange based on natural convection, which circulates a substance (liquid, or gas such as air) without the necessity of a mechanical pump. This circulation can either be open-loop, as when the substance in a holding tank is passed in one direction via a heated transfer tube mounted at the bottom of the tank to a distribution point – even one mounted above the originating tank – or it can be a vertical closed-loop circuit with return to the original container. Its purpose is to simplify the transfer of liquid or gas while avoiding the cost and complexity of a conventional pump.

Convective movement of the liquid starts when liquid in the loop is heated, causing it to expand and become less dense, and thus more buoyant than the cooler water in the bottom of the loop. Convection moves the heated liquid upwards in the system as it is simultaneously replaced by cooler liquid returning by gravity. Ideally, the liquid flows easily because a good thermo-siphon should have very little hydraulic resistance.

Tip Seven - Do I need an Air Manifold Accessory?

The Air Manifold accessory bolts onto the front of your Sedore Stove and allows outside air to be fed directly into the fire chamber.  The air manifold is necessary in air-tight house installations where there is little make-up air to feed the fire and create draft in the chimney.  By introducing outside air to the fire, the fire can burn without constraint and the smoke will travel up the chimney.

Tip Eight - Cleaning the Sedore Stove

From time-to-time, your Sedore Stove may get a stain or discolouration.  Here is what we recommend:

  1. When the stove is cool, use a damp rag (water only – no soap or detergent) to remove the stain.
  2. If the stain doesn’t come off with water, our paint manufacturer suggests trying window cleaner (Windex).
  3. If the stain persists, it is recommended that the stain be sanded out and the affected area repainted using the touchup paint provided.

Don’t hesitate to contact Customer Service if you still have questions.