Chimney fires.

atlanta model 26 Posted By atlanta model 26, Nov 11, 2013 at 11:40 AM

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  1. atlanta model 26

    atlanta model 26
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    Nov 11, 2013
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    I have had two chimney fires in the last two years with my Atlanta Model 26 wood stove. Am using aged, dried hard wood and no sappy pine, get it cleaned annually, etc. The stove pipe goes through about 10 feet of uninsulated (i.e. freezing cold) attic, which I'm thinking could be a contributing factor. Am looking for helpful advice on how to avoid future chimney fires! Thanks.
     
  2. Grisu

    Grisu
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    Nov 1, 2010
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    Obvious question: How long has the wood been split and stacked with lots of wind and sun exposure? Did you actually measure the moisture content after re-splitting some of your seasoned wood?

    What kind of chimney pipe do you have? Double-walled? How tall is the chimney in total? Are you burning cardboard or any other non-wood stuff in there?
     
  3. Jags

    Jags
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    Sounds like you need a much more frequent chimney cleaning to start with. Then we need to figure out why you are building up so much goo that it lights up into a fire.
    Possible points of failure:
    Bad fuel (yeah - I know - its dry. But what does that mean)
    Too low of stack temp (smoldering fire).
    Stack getting cooled causing the smoke (which there should be very little of) to stick.

    Having a chimney fire per year is VERY alarming. We need to figure out why and correct that.

    ETA - even a smoke dragon stove can be run safely and moderately clean if some "best practices" habits can be followed.
     
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  4. Sprinter

    Sprinter
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    I can only emphasize what's already been said.

    1. Take a critical look at the wood supply. You may be surprised that it's not as dry as you think. A moisture meter can help.

    2. You may be burning too low and slow. If the flue temps are hot enough, creosote won't form. It's actually a condensation that occurs below about 250F. With a long, cold flue run, that needs to be hot all the way up.

    Whatever the problem is, it's serious.
     
  5. atlanta model 26

    atlanta model 26
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    Nov 11, 2013
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    Thanks for your responses. Yes, I am very concerned. Am planning to have chimney cleaned in Dec. and then again in March. Also, I bought the wood from a local fireman who attests to its low-moisture level. But, I did not age it myself... or test it myself. And, I keep the flu wide open always. The fire is generally got flames, unless I've gone to bed. Also, I've started using that anti-creosote spray at the start of every fire. An oldtimer friend told me that it might be condensation due to the uninsulated attic... Really don't want another chimney fire this year!!
     
  6. atlanta model 26

    atlanta model 26
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    Nov 11, 2013
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    How does one measure moisture content, after re-splitting? And I was burning the wood pretty much right after splitting it - no good? The chimney is 6 ft. to the ceiling, 8 ft. in the attic, and probably three or four feet from roof up...How can I tell if it's single or double-walled?
     
  7. fire_man

    fire_man
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    Atlanta - how did you know you had a chimney fire, was it the classic locomotive sound and sparks flying from the top?

    Is is possible you have air leaks in the pipe which are introducing cool air and causing creosote buildup?
     
  8. maple1

    maple1
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    The fire is generally got flames, unless I've gone to bed.

    What does this mean? What happens when you go to bed?
     
  9. Sprinter

    Sprinter
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    Good question. What did the chimney fire look/sound like?
     
  10. Grisu

    Grisu
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    I hope that fireman does not want to justify his job by selling unseasoned wood. ;) Joking aside, how does that wood behave when you put it on hot coals? Does it sizzle, steam a lot? Does it take a long time (>5 minutes) to catch fire? Do you have a moisture meter? If not cut a few splits and press the fresh surface against your cheek. Does it feel cold and damp? If yes, it is probably still too wet.

    Please also answer the other questions: Type of chimney pipe, length of chimney etc.
     
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  11. maple1

    maple1
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    I think you need to re-asses your burning practices.

    Wood has to season/dry AFTER it is split, for a period of months. If your local fireman buddy is doing this too, he also needs some education, I think.

    You can find moisture meters at bldg supply places - test a fresh split surface with it.

    And maybe further explain your stove operation procedures.
     
  12. Sprinter

    Sprinter
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    Yes. You make a new split, then apply the pins to the fresh face, with the grain is best.
     
  13. Sprinter

    Sprinter
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    If you're still getting bad creosote with the air fully up, that really points to the wood not being dry enough.
     
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  14. Grisu

    Grisu
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    Sorry, did not see your post earlier. Chimney length sounds ok, tall enough but not excessive. Can you post a few pictures? The stove, the pipe (also in attic), the wood you are getting?
     
  15. maple1

    maple1
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    'Flu' wide open wouldn't mean too much if the stove gets choked down.

    I'm seeing a mixture of issues - if the smoke comes out of the chimney & tries to get back in the house down low, I don't think the chimney is high enough either.

    Possibly wood quality, stove operation (didn't look like an efficient stove from the google results I saw), and chimney height.

    EDIT: Got my wires a bit crossed up with another thread - likely chimney height is not an issue. Oops. Would like to see answers to all the questions asked though.
     
  16. oldspark

    oldspark
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    "The stove pipe goes through about 10 feet of uninsulated (i.e. freezing cold) attic"
    Is that stove pipe or class A chimney pipe?
     
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  17. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe...
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    What about where or what part of the chimney is getting the build up, was your chimney sweep able to determine the location of the build up? Or would that not matter? Good luck in finding the cause...
     
  18. Jags

    Jags
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    Its your wood and possibly questionable operating technique (to be determine through more questions)

    What are the stove top and stack temps you run at?
     
  19. maple1

    maple1
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    This is a Franklin-type stove - right?

    (We have enough questions piled up yet? :) )
     
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  20. atlanta model 26

    atlanta model 26
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    Nov 11, 2013
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    Yes- classic symptoms (locomotive sound/sparks). I don't think there are leaks in the pipe...wouldn't the prof. chimney sweeps check for that when cleaning/inspecting?
     
  21. atlanta model 26

    atlanta model 26
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    Nov 11, 2013
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    I think it's a Franklin. I'm new to wood burning stoves.
     
  22. atlanta model 26

    atlanta model 26
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    Nov 11, 2013
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    I have no clue about temps.
     
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
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    Here is a Model 26

    [​IMG]
     
  24. atlanta model 26

    atlanta model 26
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    Nov 11, 2013
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    I don't know where the buildup was, but the whole thing was cleaned out thoroughly, and inspected. Thanks for the good luck wishes!
     
  25. atlanta model 26

    atlanta model 26
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    Nov 11, 2013
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    Yep, that's the one!
     
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