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What can I do if my wetback develops a thick coating on it?
The wetback can develop a coating of crusty creosote when the wood fuel is not being burnt in the most efficient way. Firewood can play a major role in the performance of a wood fire. The species is part of the picture but the most significant thing is that whatever the type of wood it must be well seasoned and dry. Best performance cannot be achieved without the best fuel.
So back to the question...
Burning wood at low temperature causes incomplete combustion of the oils in the wood, which are off-gassed as volatiles in the smoke. As the smoke rises through the chimney it cools, causing water, carbon, and volatiles to condense on the interior surfaces of the chimney flue. The black oily residue that builds up is referred to as creosote, which is similar in composition to the commercial products by the same name, but with a higher content of carbon black. Over the course of a season, creosote deposits can become several inches thick. This creates a compounding problem, because the creosote deposits reduce the draft (airflow through the flue) which increases the probability the wood fire is not getting enough air to burn at high temperature. Since creosote is highly combustible, a thick accumulation creates a fire hazard. If a hot fire is built in the stove or fireplace and the air control left wide open, this may allow hot oxygen into the chimney where it comes in contact with the creosote which then ignites—causing a flue fire.
The easiest way to clean the flue is by placing a deep baking tray or similar under the base of the flue and sweep the flue down into this. This stops all the debris from falling into the top chamber and requiring vacuuming out. The build-up around the wetback is best removed by hand and the rest can be carefully removed by a vacuum cleaner.
The wetback can be knocked out of alignment if it is moved when the creosote is being cleaned off. This can cause the constant rise to be knocked out of alignment and can result in water hammer developing in the system so be careful. The wetback can develop a coating of crusty creosote when the wood fuel is not being burnt in the most efficient way. Firewood can play a major role in the performance of a wood fire. The species is part of the picture but the most significant thing is that whatever the type of wood it must be well seasoned and dry. Best performance cannot be achieved without the best fuel.
Why are gases and smoke entering the room when the door is opened?
The most likely reason for this is that your flue is clogged and may require sweeping.
Other possible causes:
- You could have a very cold flue temperature. Allow initial start up fire to warm flue pipes.
- Loading door opened during maximum degassing of fuel. Wait until flames disappear.
Can I use a heat transfer kit?
The simple answer is yes.
The thing with heat transfer kits is they work well with excess heat. The Pyroclassic IV produces a different kind of heat than your traditional 'black box' style wood fire. The black box fires spit out heat almost instantly as long as you keep refueling it regularly so will therefore provide you with excess heat which is why heat transfer kits are useful for these kind of fires. The Pyro on the other hand takes longer to heat up but once up to temperature retains this heat like a kiln and gives off a lovely, warm more consistent heat with less fuel needed once the cylindrical ceramic fire chamber is hot.
Many Pyro customers find this as the biggest advantage of a Pyro and have it going for 2-3 months solid during winter. However, it won't necessarily provide lots of excess heat for use in a transfer system. Our recommendation is to install the Pyro first before the transfer system as you may likely find you don't require one.
It is worth noting that in newer homes which have much better seals around doors and windows these kits can cause a negative pressure to build up in the room the fire is in as all the air is being sucked out. This results in the fire being starved of air and in some cases has even caused smoke from the starving fire being drawn back into the room. This same effect can also be caused by powerful range hoods and other fan forced systems in newer, more airtight housing.
If you are building a very airtight home, we recommend you put in an air vent, approximately the size of a fire brick. The Pyroclassic IV needs 3.6 cubic metres of air per kilogram of wood to operate effectively.
How do I remove the ash from my Pyroclassic?
Remove the ash when the fire chamber is relatively cool. Use the Pyroclassic curved shovel to slowly empty the fire chamber. Ash almost always contains some hot ember.
Never use a vacuum cleaner. Obtain a metal (non-combustible) ash container with a lid. Store outside on concrete or bare ground.
Pot ash can be great for your garden if your soils are acidic, use only ash from a cooled fire which used good quality wood.
How can I test if I am getting a good heat output from my Pyroclassic fire?
As you will note in the operating instructions for the Pyroclassic IV, the fire will not give its full performance for the first few uses until the unit has fully cured and heat tempered.
A couple of quick checks to measure the approximate output levels is to hold your hand 10cm off the centre of the top plate when the fire is running. If you can’t keep it there for 5 seconds then the fire is cranking along. If you can between 5 - 10 seconds then the unit is performing well in its expected typical output range. If you can hold it there for more than 10 seconds then you can probably hold it there indefinitely and so depending on the heat required you could load a fresh fuel charge in and begin the cycle again.
The side panels are also a good indicator of when a Pyroclassic is fully heat cycled. If the bottom back corner of the side panel is warmer than skin temp then the whole cylinder is hot, if it’s not warmer than your hand then it is still warming up.
Why is my door knob charred?
This will naturally happen slowly over years of use. However, this process can be accelerated by burning with the Turboslide open continuously and having the fire right up the front near the door. Please read our operating instructions again so you can use the Pyroclassic® IV correctly.
If you need a replacement doorknob, you can purchase one from our Parts Shop.
How do I fix down draft?
Download our down draft troubleshooting tips HERE.
How to replace the door to glass sealing gasket
Download the instructions here - Replacing-Door-to-Glass-Sealing-Gasket.pdf
Why have Pyroclassic fires dropped from No.1 on Consumer NZ tests on their last report?
Consumer Magazine recently changed the way fires are rated. This has caused some issues across the industry as what were considered the 'best' fires are now not rated near the top...like the Pyroclassic IV. They have changed the weightings of their review to focus more on price for output over emissions and efficiency as they believe this is more in line with what the customer wants.
This has resulted in a list which is more about heat output for dollars spent rather than which fires actually perform the best. It also makes no provision for servicing costs, warranty duration or expected life of the appliance and its components.
The statement we have printed in our marketing material - 'Consistently chosen as the top pick for wood fires in all Consumer reviews' refers to the consumer reviews across various formats in NZ, Australia and the UK over the last 30 plus years including true consumer feedback.
What are the technical specifications of the Pyroclassic IV?
Please see the last page of the Pyroclassic IV brochure, which can be downloaded HERE.