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Chimney smoke spills down to ground level!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Rick1, Mar 31, 2009.

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  1. Rick1

    Rick1 New Member

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    Hello, I just installed a wood burning stove and everything works great. The stove heats up the house perfectly. The only problem is when it is windy out the smoke spills down to the ground and on to the neighbors houses. I have had no complaints from neighbors yet, but want to fix the problem and be respectful to all my neighbors. My chimney is up to code for height. As it exists now the chimney is 6' above the roof but is about the same elevation as the roof peak that is 12' horizontal from the chimney cap. Im wondering if a couple more feet of chimney pipe added on to the height would stop the smoke from spilling off the roof to the ground on windy days. If anyone has experience and can help in this matter I would like to hear from you!

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure a slight extension will help.......
    My first question concerns the stove - and he chimney.

    Did you buy an EPA approved clean stove?
    Is the chimney of the right diameter inside?

    What I am getting at is whether you should be creating visible smoke in the first place....

    As I mentioned, it seems doubtful that a foot or two could make the difference, but maybe some other actions could.
  3. Rick1

    Rick1 New Member

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    The stove is a good quality Drolet EPA stove. I am burning Red Oak that is poorly seasoned, but still burns very well and hot except for moderate smoke (its all i have to wrap up the burning season). The chimney is 6'' insulated stainless that I inspect and clean when necessary. I guess my question is: If i were raise the chimney height above the roof peak, will the added height stop any smoke from spilling off the roof line on windy days. Next year i will have well seasoned oak that will be a great fuel, but still am concerned about smoke whether it be visable or not irritating my neighbors.
  4. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Once the smoke leaves the chimney cap, it's gonna go wherever the prevailing wind takes it. Adding a couple of feet of chimney probably isn't gonna have the desired effect. I imagine it'll just find its way down there from a little higher up. Best to burn nice seasoned wood, then it'll only smoke for a bit after initial startup and for a few minutes after reloads in a good stove. But, whether or not you can see it, the flue gas stream is still taking that path, and will be "smellable". Not a heck of a lot you can do about that. Rick
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you're burning wet wood, this may happen even with another 6 ft of flue. And you will get a lot of creosote. In order to not bother the (nearby) neighbors, you'll need to either burn well seasoned wood or get an 80' chimney, which most likely will require a very serious draft damper - and may bother the neighbors for other reasons.

    Just curious, what Drolet model is this Rick? Can you add it to your signature?
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    If it easy enough to get you, you can test the theory with a quickie sheet metal extension or a piece of pipe (if chimney is lined or prefab). Then, if that works, you can do it right.

    In general, I would agree that - in this case - the small increase in height will not make a drastic difference. One reason I asked about the chimney is that a chimney which is too large in relation to the stove collar can cool the smoke, therefore causing a poorer draft and less speed out the top of the chimney, etc.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    So much depends upon the lay of the land and surrounding buildings and/or trees. Where we live we get a lot of that. Naturally we see it only when adding new wood but if you go outdoors you can certainly smell it. With our old stove we could always see it.

    We live right in the woods but the trees on the south and west are lower than the trees on the north and east. No matter which direction the wind, we get the smoke or smell on one side of the house. Fortunately, we do not get it into the house.
  8. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

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    Rick,once you're completely familiar with operating that stove and burning dry wood,you likely won't emit enough smoke to bother anybody.Enjoy your stove.
  9. Rick1

    Rick1 New Member

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    Thanks to all, what a great group of guys. I thinking that once my wood gets seasoned good the smoke concern may be minimized or go away. I may experiment with sheet metal and put an extension on to see if anything changes. Thanks.
  10. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Burn good wood and the problem will go away two fold. First of all there will be ZERO visible smoke coming out of the stack, secondly the flue gasses will be much hotter and the heat will carry any exhaust up and away.

    The poorly seasoned wood is creating low flue gas temps and the cooler flue gasses are sinking to the ground.
  11. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    I second that the problem is with the unseasoned wood. What are the stove top and/or flue temps? It sounds like your wood has too much moisture in it leading to flue exhaust that is too cold to really carry well above the chimney. I've had this problem when I get a load of wood in the stove that is not well seasoned.
  12. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

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    Besides the other good information you received, try giving the fire more air, don't damper it down to much, or to fast, and see if the stove doesn't smoke so bad.
  13. rowerwet

    rowerwet Minister of Fire

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    try taking the cap off, caps tend to turn the smoke to horizontal.
  14. snowtime

    snowtime Minister of Fire

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    I agree that wet wood is the big factor but if your prevailing wind is from the other side of the roof from the chimney it might do some good to raise the height. Wind comes over the roof and falls down the lee side based upon speed of wind and pitch of roof. If the chimney is in the path of the downward falling wind [on windy days only] then an increase in height will move it above the prevailing problem. I would try 3' and see how it does. This does not remove the main problem of wet wood.
  15. Rick1

    Rick1 New Member

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    Great response SNOWTIME. I will look into raising the chimney above the roof line to get it out of the disturbed airflow of the wind as it blows over and around my home. Logically this would work and it would be neat to know if anyone has tried this with success.
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