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55 mph wind and reverse draft in stove(smokin bad)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Bub381, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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    Had this stove hooked up since spring and had no problems,prob 15'to 17'of pipe with prob 10' from roof up.just threw 2 small splits in to help burn off the coal bed and the draft and bypass were open.Smoke alarm went off and i walked into the stoveroom and the air was pouring in through the primary like it does on some cold starts but really bad.Burned in this wind before with no problems but just wondering what combination i had that was wrong for the moment.The splits hadn't ignited yet so it was real smokey in stove and thinking with the bypass and draft wide open that it just simply had low resistance in the pipe with a stovetop at 200.Nothing near house to redirect wind and the top of pipe is easily 2' above our highest obstruction etc.Closed stove completely down for 30 secs then opened it to get the fire roaring and that negative draft in roaring shape again.All fine on the home front now.Just wondering if anyone else has any ideas or do i have this thing figured.Hate to have it go on during the night.That smoke was billowing in and i mean billowing.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Is the wind coming from a location where there is an adjacent structure or hill creating a downward pressure on the chimney area? I'm curious, why is there a damper on 16' of flue pipe?
  3. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    First, the obvious questions- any bathroom or cookstove exhaust fans running? Clothes drier? Windows or doors on the leeward side of the house cracked open?
  4. charly

    charly Guest

    Maybe you need one of these....

    [​IMG]
  5. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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    There is no damper just the primary intake.I listed draft and primary but it is meant as the same,i'll correct it.The house next door is about 20 ft from this pipe and 6ft from this house and it is higher than this house.No doors or vents or such running.Wind NW as it has been most of the winter and the house next door lies ESE of the pipe.It's doing it again now and i can see the flame in the stove go to a lazy flame as the wind gusts and right back to a roaring fire when it lets up.I have the primary open quite well to burn this load of wood down before nightfall. Not liking it.
  6. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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    I'm thinking as Charly is.I just rechecked and this is not above the peak it's just about level with.It is however 10' from the peak measured horizontally.


    [​IMG]
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    The wing was just right... Sometimes it causes a problem when the flue is cold like on a reload. I had one that had a tough time lighting off today.

    Matt
  8. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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    This is doing it repeatedly now,think i'll let it go out tonight and look for the swiveling cap.Sorry don't know the name of them.
  9. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like it's 2' shorter than it should be. The rule is, 2' above anything in a 10' circle, no?
  10. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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    I'm glad someone is thinking because i sure haven't got my head on straight today.I believe you're right it may be level but not 2' higher but other than this having to be done to meet reg's,will it possibly cure my problem and believe me it will be done to reg's.This is 2 things i've found wrong with this installer.This pipe is gonna be awfully high,prob need another set of braces.
  11. Casrep

    Casrep New Member

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    Before you spend any money, check the screen on your cap. I had the same problem until I removed the clogged screen.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, start with the simple solution first. If you find the cap screen and pipe are pretty clean and this is a frequent problem, I would consider getting a revolving rain cap like this:

    ERRC_Thumb.jpg
  13. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Seems like at least the second thread we've had about a flue reversal in strong wind. I can only add a couple observations:

    A stove which has burned down to coals will have a cooler firebox and flue and be easier to get a flue reversal in this stage vs having a raging hot fire going where the stove and flue are hot - which creates a stronger natural draft.

    Lucky you had the splits in the stove to add smoke. If this condition would happen with just coals, you might not have noticed anything as the coals emit mainly clear/odorless gasses - including carbon monoxide. This also stresses the importance of a working CO detector.

    In both threads, it seems people focus on 'how did the wind blow down my flue' But it's also important to look at the house as a whole. Is there something special with the geometry of the house, the local terrain, or the specific direction of the wind which might act to create a negative pressure in the house and 'pull' the flue gasses back into the room (vs air hitting the flue and pushing them in?) Perhaps you opened a door on the leeward side, or maybe have a garage or other large opening facing that way, or maybe the arrangement of gable roof ends / roof vents which may have created a momentary vacuum/low pressure in the house? The directional flue cap may help band aid the symptoms, though there may be something else which is the actual cause.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  15. Matt Ruggeri

    Matt Ruggeri New Member

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    That other thread was started by me, and i was watching this one too. Looks like you are suffering the same trouble as me, but lucky for you, you were able to reverse it. I've been sitting on this all week and thinking about it. I think our first try is gonna be to extend the pipe/chimney up another 3ft, and the CDW stove is definitely getting retired after this season. It has been 35+MPH for the last 2 days, and I finally got tired of that 'cold' feeling, and fired it up today with watchful eyes. Let us know how you make out.
    Edit - Corey, my focus IS on how did this happen to this extreme, and I'm looking at the house as a whole (i know it pretty well at this point), but mainly the roof area.
  16. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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    This happened during a roaring fire too,i could see it's effect as it went from a lazy flame during gusts to a roaring flame during the wind let up.This house i believe is uninsulated being built in 1800 but is vinyl sided.Yes the insulation is going to be done but i had to get the stove when i did.No doors were opened,i was the only 1 home and was sitting on the couch as it happened repeatedly.No dryer going or anything,i opened the windows after to air the place out and it seemed to actually help.It was blowing 55 at least.It didn't happened when the wind calmed down to say 30 mph or so.Also as i said,it has blown this hard in this direction before but i will check the chimney though i cleaned it very well myself about a month ago.
  17. embers aplenty

    embers aplenty Member

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    I'd say, check screen on the cap, and maybe try the revolving rain cap or the vaccu stack deal. If that don't work, then another section of pipe would probably be in order. 55 mph wind sounds pretty stiff. I normally try to let mine go out if it's that bad. But freezing to death and having to turn on electric would be a drag too.

    Looks like if you add another section of pipe, you'll most likely be putting some more braces up higher, especially with the wind your experiencing. You sure wouldn't want it to buckle on you. You'll get through it I'm sure. :) That wind has been pretty rough lately. We got one of the worst wind storms I ever remember in these parts about a week ago. It was a fight to keep all my nicely placed metal on my wood stacks from blowing down the holler. I've been thinking about getting some 2" x 30' ratchet straps. Just hate to pay for them. I can feel your pain.
  18. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I had mega wind problems for many years on my oil burner and fireplace, I live on the water and have no protection from constant high ocean winds. The cap solved all my problems, wish somebody had told me about them many years ago.

    Read post #3 here regarding thge Vacu-stack type caps:
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/vacu-cap.105969/
  19. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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    Will do,thanks.
  20. embers aplenty

    embers aplenty Member

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    A Vacu-stack. I saw a new one of these on craigslist a few weeks ago at a deal but it was for an 8 inch.I don't have any downdraft problems any more. I use to on my old slammer install a some years back.

    My only problem is from downward smoke from outside. It doesn't happen much but sometimes when the smoke is wanting to go downward, say after a new load, or at startup, or when it's raining can be a bad time, or warming up to rain. I'll get some rolling off the back and front of the house which in turn can come in the front storm door.

    Sometimes I like to leave the window down with just the screen, "for the times when I've got it nearly too hot in the living room". Also, my wife is hot natured with thyroid problems and gets hot flashes a lot, so she most of the time leaves the fan part of the wall airconditioner running in the bedroom which can occaisionally pull smoke in from the back side.
    It's hard to win isn't it? ;hm

    Wished the Vacu-stack would cure my problem. I don't really know what would other then closing the window and turning the a/c off, in which I'd probably get into a good scrap with my wife on that. I've got rid of the garage smoke dragon and installed a new Country Hearth epa heater so hopping that will solve a lot of my smoke problems.

    Not trying hyjack your thread, just sharing some pain. I guess it's hard to have it all, ha ha:). Sounds like your narrowing it down. I'd think about giving the Vacu-stack a try. When you get up their to change it, notice and see if your screen on the old one was getting plugged. Let us know how this turns out. Looking at your picture, just wandered if the next building their being so close and higher could be adding to a negative downdraft in a wind? Just a thought.
  21. Bub381

    Bub381 Minister of Fire

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    Not hijacking at all.I know what ya mean by building next door but never has bothered but i suppose conditions could've been different.Not sure what will patch up your problem or if it can be fixed.I don't think i have a screen up there and the openings are only 1" high or so so no birds will get through it.I can't check it because it's so high off the roof.Not sure how to get 1 on up there.Hire someone i guess.

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