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Cold Chimney Draft starting

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rbrown, Oct 30, 2006.

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  1. rbrown

    rbrown New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
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    My home is a ranch with a steel plate 1979 wood stove in a finished basement. The stovepipe goes thru the concrete foundation to an outside flue lined block chimney.

    I only run the stove on week ends so getting the draft started in a cold chimney was always met with a lot of smoke coming into the room and setting off the smoke alarm.

    My solution was to purchase a weed burning propane torch for a 20lb tank from Harbor Freight and with some adapters connected it to a disposable propane cylinder. The torch has a trigger on it to create a hot blue flame. I aim the flame into the exhaust pipe inside the stove and in a very short time the draft starts and the flame is pulled out the exhaust pipe.

    When I see that the draft is going, I hit my top down built fuel load with the flame and away it goes with no smoke coming into the room.

    I thought that the disposable cylinder would empty fast but I have used the same one for over ten fire starts.

    I don’t know if the newer type stoves let you get at the exhaust pipe like my old stove but maybe enough clean heat from the torch will work.

    This works so good for me I thought it a good tip for other cold chimney fire starters.

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Nov 19, 2005
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    I use two things that seem to work...

    1. A 1/2 inch thick peice of wax fireplace log. Light that and off it goes with little smoke.
    I have a liner, so that may heat faster than a clay chimney though

    2. I dip a piece of news paper in a little motor oil That goes up VERY quickly with little smoke.
    Careful: Use very little oil. Maybe a tablespoon total.
  3. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    My aunt used to use a hair dryer to get her draft started.
  4. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Halifax, VA
    I don't know if we're lucky, but we have an external chimney too and have zero problems getting the draft started. LEss than two seconds with a lit newspaper held to the flue opening is all it takes. I guess our house is just loose.
  5. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I believe that part of the problem is house stack effect actually sucking air down the chimney.

    No concrete evidence on that yet.
  6. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Ashland OH
    We dont have any problems with our exterior masonary chimney either. If you started a fire and closed the door, Wouldn't that be enough to produce the heat to pull the draft? Maybe i'm wrong because I have never had any issues before.
  7. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
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    565
    Loc:
    Mukilteo,Washington
    This is just what makes the Super Cedar Firestarters popular. They will get that draft going fast. 1200 degrees within 3 minutes.
    Thomas
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