Mason McGregor

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since Nov 04, 2017
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Maple Falls, WA
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Recent posts by Mason McGregor

Too much soap in a HE machine can cause mildew. Because over-sudsing doesn't allow the water to clean properly. It also makes it difficult for the soap to rinse all the way out. In my full sized front loading Bosch I find 2-3 Tablespoons detergent gives the cleanest results. My water is slightly harder than full soft. If you have hard water add 3 Tablespoons 20 Mule Team Borax to each load. Works wonders for brightness/odors and doesn't impair the rinsing like additional detergent would.

I've found that 1-2 Tablespoons of liquid bleach/load is safe on ALL clothes. Just dilute it well before it's added. This small amount of bleach will stop mildew dead in it's tracks. It's not cost effective to wash on hot to kill germs when this little trick works so well.
1 year ago
Hi Patrick,

I'm more of a woodstove guy, not a big fan of fireplaces and inserts. But if you have the budget, definitely consider Renaissance Rumford 1000. It heats mostly by radiant heat and, for a fireplace, is clean and efficient. I'm not an expert on codes but I thought pre-manufactured homes were regulated differently than mobile homes. I do know the fireplace I'm talking about is not certified for mobile homes, you'll have to check to see if it works for a pre-manufactured home:

http://renaissancefireplaces.com/en/rumford-1000-woodburning-fireplace

1 year ago

Tony Davidson wrote:I'm tinkering with mass inside my stove, and overall I like it. But it does smoke more when the door is open.
Three of eight bricks used as a ceiling have cracked this fall, fire bricks might last longer. There is a two inch gap between my ceiling and the stove ceiling and a six inch plus hole in my ceiling to allow smoke to pass.



Ideally the thermal mass is outside the firebox because otherwise the thermal mass will maintain a lower temperature in your firebox which will hinder complete combustion and you will go through 2-3 times as much wood through the winter trying to stay warm. And when your fire does burn out, all the heat in your thermal mass will go up the chimney. Well, not all of it, but most of it. Thermal mass works both directions. It might take a long time to cool down but it also takes a long time to reach high temperatures which is what you want in your firebox.

Secondary combustion works best when the top of the firebox can reach 900-1200 degrees F which is why modern stoves tend to have insulating rigid mineral board and/or ceramic insulating blankets for smoke shelves. It increases the heat output per cord dramatically and reduces hazardous (and inconvenient) build up of creosote. Less time spent cleaning your chimney, cutting wood, packing wood in the house and stacking wood = more time to read, drink beer, eat, have sex, hunt, etc. = more happy!  
1 year ago
Nicole, the amount of thermal mass you would need to be effective would certainly necessitate structural upgrades. Because you would need tons to store significant amount of heat. But your problem is common with woodstoves in smaller houses. The best solution (if money were not an issue) would be to replace your stove with a catalytic model like the Blaze King Ashford, Chinook or Sirocco. These stoves can burn cleanly at much lower BTU output levels and burn many more hours on the same load of wood.

If you don't want to buy a new wood stove, I suggest that your problem could be improved somewhat by optimizing what you have. If you could make your stove burn cleanly at lower burn rates you could maintain a more comfortable home by reducing temperature swings. You would also need to load the stove less often and would burn less wood while staying more comfortable. The problem will still exist but to a lesser degree.

To achieve this make sure your stove is in optimum working condition. Check your door gasket for air leaks by shutting the loading door on a dollar bill. If the bill can be pulled out too easily that indicates you either need to adjust your door latch or replace the door gasket. Neither job is difficult. The door on your stove is adjusted by using a suitable "cheater" bar to bend the inside portion of the door handle closer to the door. If the dollar bill is not held tightly all the way around the door frame then you need a new door gasket. You can check your window gasket for leaks with a burning match when you have a good fire going. The flame will bend towards the air leak.

Your stove has high temperature baffle boards and insulation batts installed above the secondary burn air tubes. If these are in poor condition or not placed properly it will not allow your stove to burn efficiently and cleanly at low burn levels. Reposition correctly or replace the boards and insulation to factory specs. More information can be found in your Owner's Manual:

http://ironstrike.us.com/system/document_files/files/000/000/359/original/900126-00_B_IRN_S160_Wood_Stove_EN_IICO.pdf?1480966436

I love heating with carbon neutral wood heat and it's even more of a pleasure if you have a stove that can burn cleanly at low burn rates.
1 year ago
If your wood is being consumed too quickly it's because too much air is getting in your firebox.

Check that your air control is closing down properly. It may be necessary to disassemble the stove to do this, I'm not familiar with the construction of your particular stove.

Before you do that, you can check the condition of the gasket around the loading door. Air leaking here can reduce efficiency and cause very short burns. To check, close the stove door on a dollar bill and check that you cannot easily slide the dollar bill out. Do this at all points around the door gasket. If it's loose on side by the door latch, you may be able to adjust the latch to close more tightly. If it's loose on the side with the hinges, you need to replace the door gasket. Consult the owner's manual for the proper gasket diameter.
1 year ago