1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Air Leak Checking Tricks ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by downeast, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. downeast

    downeast Guest

    Our Jotul Oslo on its 2nd winter of 24/7 heating has recently developed some minor air leaking.
    Done:
    1. Gaskets replaced last fall: there is some dollar bill barely slipping in small sections of the side door and the ash pan.
    I will re-gasket them during our next warm-up just to be sure.
    2. The clear ceramic "glass" on the front door was out of place; tightened the brackets and repositioned the ceramic plate.
    The gaskets between the ceramic and door look OK.
    3. Smoke from a "punk stick" does not get pulled into the stove anywhere except into the air intake in the lower rear.
    4. The "dog box" air control operates perfectly. It was opened and checked.
    5. Light inside the stove shows no leaks--dark room method.
    6. Mystery- the ash pan door has a shiny creosote coating, yet closes perfectly.
    7. I have not tightened the bolts inside the Oslo yet, or lit a smoke pellet in the stove with the flue closed off.

    I'm looking for more ideas and techniques for finding air leaks from the experienced and/or dealers for checking those tricky air leaks on wood stoves. Not necessarily from Jotul owners.

    THX.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,204
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    What evidence is there of air leaking? Be specific, if possible right to the location of how it is affecting burning.
  3. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    6,848
    Loc:
    Next to nuke plant Berwick, PA.
    Sure sign of a door leak is creosote build up on the glass that never seems to burn off. I have heard others say they get it in the corners, might be normal for their particular stove. I had it when I first got the insert. After adjusting door, no more buildup. Stove will also be hard to control if door is leaking. Don't have an ash door on the Summit. And haven't installed the Englander yet.
  4. downeast

    downeast Guest

    Specifics not necessary. In any case, I'm looking for techniques used to check for air leaks. How do you do it ?
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,204
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Huh? - "Our Jotul Oslo on its 2nd winter of 24/7 heating has recently developed some minor air leaking."

    It's a bit unusual in a young stove so I'm asking how this has been determined? What are the signs?

    Shining a bright light while another person on the other side looks for light leaks sometimes works. Blowing a strong jet of compressed air at the seams can expose leaks. An open flame near a leak will waver sometimes.
  6. downeast

    downeast Guest

    Worth repeating from the original post:
    "Our Jotul Oslo on its 2nd winter of 24/7 heating has recently developed some minor air leaking.
    Done:
    1. Gaskets replaced last fall: there is some dollar bill barely slipping in small sections of the side door and the ash pan.
    I will re-gasket them during our next warm-up just to be sure.
    2. The clear ceramic “glass” on the front door was out of place; tightened the brackets and repositioned the ceramic plate.
    The gaskets between the ceramic and door look OK.
    3. Smoke from a “punk stick” does not get pulled into the stove anywhere except into the air intake in the lower rear.
    4. The “dog box” air control operates perfectly. It was opened and checked.
    5. Light inside the stove shows no leaks--dark room method.
    6. Mystery- the ash pan door has a shiny creosote coating, yet closes perfectly.
    7. I have not tightened the bolts inside the Oslo yet, or lit a smoke pellet in the stove with the flue closed off.

    I’m looking for more ideas and techniques for finding air leaks from the experienced and/or dealers for checking those tricky air leaks on wood stoves. Not necessarily from Jotul owners.

    THX."
  7. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    It sounds like you have already covered everything. As BeGreen said... what makes you think you even have an air leak?
  8. downeast

    downeast Guest

    ...and with the air control fully shut down, stove behaving normally up to the lack of air control, what else could create an increase in heat in a non-cat wood stove ? Draft same, wood size and species same, owners same...............
    How do you check for air leaks ?
    :blank:
  9. reaperman

    reaperman Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    168
    Loc:
    Central Minn
    Maybe if you want input from a professional/dealer, ask the dude who sold you the stove. Sounds like the people here are willing to help, but for some reason you are resisting. There is a lot of informed posters on this site, sometimes you just have to be a bit patient until someone comes along with the answer that will fit your need.
  10. downeast

    downeast Guest

    The question: " How do you--experienced with wood stoves and heating with wood--check for air leaks? "
    Do not want "help" here--just how the experienced with wood heating do it. Who are "dudes" ?

    Here goes --the vitae of stoves actually used and my experience over years of harvesting and wood heating in New England:
    Ashley, Fisher, Morso 2BO, Lange, Tempwood, Jotul 118, Frankin "Fireplace" stove, VC tiny stove , Jotul 602, original VC Vigilant, VC Encores (3), barrel stove "kit", Jotul Oslo, Snorkel.
    Used the definitive book on wood heat and seminars by Jay Sheldon of UMass, Amherst (ask Webmaster for details) and others for programs on wood heating for programs for Audubon Society and Adult Ed in Mass and NH.
    Rebuilt and repaired wood stoves for ourselves and others ---hobby while working a "real" career.
    Ran chainsaw programs here.

    So, how do you check air leaks ?
    %-P
  11. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,440
    Loc:
    middleborough, ma.
    Close off the primary and secondary air inlets.
    Make an adapter for the flue connection that will allow you to attatch an air hose.
    Pump in 20 lbs of air and feel where air comes out.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,204
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    downeast, it just might be possible the stove doesn't have an air leak. And some minor leaks barely affect burning. You can't shut the air off completely on a modern EPA stove.

    What you are describing "sounds" like strong draft. Humor us, what is the flue system on the stove?
  13. downeast

    downeast Guest

    "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Zen Master. It ain't draft, that has not changed.
    No it ain't draft folks. Same chimney, recent problem. As I re-read the original post, everything is there that one needs for a solution. This home ain't got no air compressor BTW.
    So, I spoke with a local dealer I know who sells the Jotul line. Here's some ideas, but you have to read "The Florida Bungalow Syndrome", by John Giulland first.
    Questions you all should have asked:
    Have I changed the wood species ? Some, possible dry, faster burning Paper Birch.
    Has anything moved in the stove? yes: ceramic plate. Re-positioned.
    Doors' gaskets secure ? Mostly, some monor dollar bill slippage.
    Ash pan unit tight and positioned correctly ? Perhaps not, will check when the stove cools. I never thought of that.
    Flue damper installed ? No, but it is not a good solution we all agree.
    More.............
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,204
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Sounds like you know all there is to know. Best of luck.
  15. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,440
    Loc:
    middleborough, ma.
    How difficult is it to rent a pancake compressor at the local Ace...........................

    Guarantee one thing, you WILL find the leak.
  16. downeast

    downeast Guest

    No, you've got to know what you don't know. No hubris in this camp.
    Then, Who you can go to with expertise and experience. Get the team together--listen.
    Then judge with your team how to solve the problem.
    Basic: corporate, military, academic, sports........oh yeah, wood stoves.
  17. Alla

    Alla New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Catskills , NY
    Hello all,
    We have 3 Jotul stoves and the more problematic one Jotul 3 is inserted in the old fireplace - there is no way to get to it from the back. It worked perfect for the first 2 years. It's hissing air now. I contacted the dealer who sold us all 3 stoves and they didn't even want to mail me gaskets (they are an hour away from us in Middletown, NY) - the owner was too busy dealing with new customers- who were buying stoves... I wanted to call and complain to Jotul but couldn't find their rep in US. The air leak is so frustrating, burns wood so fast - we have to restart the fire every morning and put logs in every 3-4 hrs during the day. We use seasoned wood and the wood is not too dry . I did get the right Jotul gasket from the different Jotul dealer in Honesdale PA - the gaskets for the glass door, ash pan and did replace them but no luck. The other dealer from PA is also too far away to come and help me to figure it out. My other 2 Jotul (3 and Oslo) started to leak air too. I have an old large stove in the basement and it's simple and doesn't require any science , also small Ford stove - no problem but we bought Jotuls so we can control them better but now it's more problematic than helpful. Thank everybody in advance,
    Alla
    p.s we did try the dollar bill ...
  18. diyfarmerbill

    diyfarmerbill New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    central ma
    Good discussion. My Jotul 3 is about 8 years old and started over firing last spring. We replaced the main door gasket, the glass gasket and the ash pan door gasket. Still getting same result - hard to control heat when any substantial amount of wood added. Have used light and found no leaks.

    Found the following with an incense smoke test when all the air input controls are closed completely:

    1. A significant amount of smoke is still being pulled into the stove through the openings at the upper front of the stove where the primary air control is.

    2. There is always a fairly strong pull of smoke behind the heat shields at the rear; I assume this smoke is headed towards the secondary air inlet.

    I haven't found anywhere else where smoke is being pulled into the stove under these conditions.

    Are my observations what is to be expected (or more importantly what someone else has observed) with a correctly functioning Jotul 3?

    Help sought and greatly appreciated!
  19. ash-man

    ash-man New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Portland OR
    I'll admit it's helpful to be given the answers when asked a question. Makes getting on to the next thread quicker.
  20. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    Had to look up the word "hubris" :
    Noun
    Excessive pride or self confidence;
    (in greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the Gods, leading to nemesis
    Origin: Greek

    Always learn something here. :)
  21. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,408
    Loc:
    41.33°N 74.18°W and 44.67°N 111.0°W
  22. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,939
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    not as familiar with Jotul's

    question. is the ash drawer seperate from the firebox with a "dump plug? if os it may be leaking allowing some smoke in during startup frm a bit of overpressure as the flue isnt heated up yet , this trapped smoke in a relatively cool place could be leaving the residue you described, also its possible (again not knowing the stove0 a leak in the ash drawer's 'compartment" could be letting cool air in to cause the creo to stick.


    if i knew the stove better maybe i could give you somthing more concrete i just dont.
  23. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,348
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    This is an old thread. I think after two years, hubris has exacted its toll.
  24. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    804
    Loc:
    Lackawaxen PA
    Thanks for looking that up. I learned something new from this thread.

Share This Page