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)

Defiant smokes at end of burn

Post in 'Vermont Castings & CDW Dutchwest older Models' started by GSPdog, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. GSPdog

    GSPdog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Vermont
    My Defiant leaks smoke into our home only at the tail end of a burn cycle. I notice it when I return home from work in the afternoon, but not generally in the AM before departure to work.

    Stove history:

    I've been using this Defiant 1A stove for 10 years as the primary source of heat from the first floor of our two story raised ranch. I personally rebuilt the stove four years ago with the fireback kit from a VC dealer. Two years ago, after a chimney fire in flue 1 of 2, we installed an insulated 8" SS flexible liner inside the 12"x12" tile of flue 2 (which went to the fireplace upstairs), broke though the masonry floor of the fireplace, and connected to the Defiant downstairs. Flue 1 was abandoned and capped; the fireplace opening upstairs was bricked in. Now we have one 90 degree stovepipe bend over the stove to the thimble and the SS tee at the outside cleanout and then 22' of straight vertical liner to the cap.

    The draft was appreciably better than before and we can use the horizontal damper function where we couldn't pre-liner. Last season was our first year with this setup and things seemed fine, to me. My wife now says there was some smoke inside at times and more dust overall. This year I notice the smoke almost daily as I'm allergic and feel symptoms, and slight haze on a sunny day, in the afternoon when the AM fire is almost out. The dust on furniture is also noticeably worse than before.

    Anyway, I've resealed the griddle seal and caulked all crevices in stovepipe joints. Still smoked today. I have no idea why or where its coming from? The stove is in great shape as I completely rebuilt it 4 years ago.

    As part of my problem solving process this winter, and because my house is pretty tight, i installed a 3" fresh air intake to provide some outside air to the area around the thermostat damper and secondary air port. I'm certain there is no smoke coming in from that port...just fresh, cold air. The other reason for the fresh air intake is because the draft is so good with the liner it can suck sewer vapor from the garage floor drain. That problem was fixed by a vapor gas plug and the fresh air intake.

    Has anyone had this issue before after a liner was installed? Is the draft being stalled by a cold chimney and liner while the stove is still warm? Why did this not happen pre-liner?

    Confused.

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,665
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    hi gsp
    i've had the problem mine and it was the seam of the stove. the corner just above the primary air intake on the back. that leak went away when i rebuilt the stove. even thou you rebuilt it 4 years ago you still could have lost a chunk of cement some where. what i did to find it was take a flashlight with a narrow beam if you can get one and run a beam of light across the stove top from as many angles as you can. if it is smoking you see it. i forgot to say do this in the pitch black. the only light on will be the flashlight. here is another possibility, the front doors. mine leaks the smell of smoke only after the stove is up to temperature and the primary air is closed and or secondary is running and the stove is up to temp. i had a strong odor but never could find the leak. but i did notice after a while of burning and ash buildup it would be better so i piled up ash against the whole bottom of the front doors and it's way better. give that a try and see if it doesn't help. those doors tend to warp with no lock holding the doors closed at the bottom. mine smells but not bad enough to see it in the air and not to set off the smoke detector or the carbon monoxide detector. doesn't matter if it's windy or not it smells on a calm night.

    welcome to the forum

    frank
  3. GSPdog

    GSPdog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Vermont
    Thanks
    Thanks Frank. You were correct. I sealed the top section and 4 vertical corner seams with Rutland Seal It Right HT sealant and that solved the problem! Up until now I've been pullin my hair out. I'll have to re-cement everything this summer. During the rebuild, I remember the cement tubes seamed to be not mixed too well and a bit watery. Now I know there was a problem.... Thanks again.
  4. GSPdog

    GSPdog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Vermont
  5. GSPdog

    GSPdog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Vermont
  6. GSPdog

    GSPdog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Vermont
    FYI, the sealant I used was temporary...got 3 days of a fix before the sealant got stiff and cracked. A few days ago I completely disassembled the old Defiant and put the Rutland furnace cement to each joint. Problem solved. Just hated to burn oil during the two day process. No more smoke.
  7. GSPdog

    GSPdog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Vermont

    The smoke is back and really notice it when the sun beats on the chimney all day and the morning fire is dying down around 2-3pm. I'm starting to think the smoke is escaping the ss liner and coming through the brick. Anyone have other thoughts?
  8. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,665
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    i would think if your chimney is being heated by the sun it would have more pull than without it. i still get the smell of smoke but i think it's the front doors. no matter how much i look i can't see smoke from anywhere but can smell it. it only happens when the stove is up to temp and the primary air is closed. i think it's my doors because it is a lot better when i have a bunch of ashes built up in front of the doors. but i still see no smoke. i'm guessing doors also because if i put my nose at the front edge of the stove directly above the doors i smell a faint smell and only when the stove is full and loaded for bear. i gave up because it's not to bad after plugging the corner where yours was leaking.

    how old is your ss liner? maybe it's got a hole?????????
    might be time for getting a fire going then shut the stove down tight and smolder it for a few and use the flashlight again. a piece of cement my have not taken hold and fell out when the stove was doing a heat expansion. i can here this on mine when i just rebuilt it the excess cement comes off after a few weeks.

    if you don't have a good carbon monoxide detector now is the time when your going to need it.
  9. GSPdog

    GSPdog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Vermont
    As my last ditch effort to solve the smoke problem before calling a professional, I finally got the chance to get on the roof and clean the liner. The snow and ice made it too dangerous earlier. I've not seen soo much debris in the liner since it was installed 2 years ago. It took plenty of effort to get the brush through two locations in the liner. But, no smoke since the cleaning. I notice a better draft while bringing the stove up to initial burning temp and no dust or smoke is visible. I also installed a new CO detector downstairs and an additional smoke detector. Thanks for the help.
    On another note, i bought a second old Defiant 1a which I just restored for a future camp. Upon initial inspection I verified whether or not the front right door was warped; it wasn't and the doors shut nice and tight all the way around. After the restore I installed new gaskets and noticed the front door appeared warped and wouldn't shut flush. It's my belief that the 5/16" gasket is too big for the hinge side vertical groove. Fine for the other three sides but not for that one side. I ended up reducing the size of the cement bead, reinserting the gasket, then closing the doors and standing on the door to get the proper alignment. It works great now. I had the front panel laying on the ground which made it practical to stand on the front doors. So, i don't know if these doors warp or if the gaskets are simply not installed correctly.

    Thanks again.
  10. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,665
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    that will happen with to much cement. use very little so as to keep the gasket soft. if to much is used the gasket get a little to much cement forced inside of it and get to stiff to do it's job. since you changed the gasket size did you try the dollar bill test? those front doors have no sense of humor:)
  11. GSPdog

    GSPdog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Vermont

    Yes, I did the dollar bill test which passed with no problem.

    So I think i've concluded that I've been burning the stove too hot and the cement continues to crack and open up. I've recently moistened the areas where the cement showed small cracks and reapplied more furnace cement from the outside of the stove. Since the cement was applied and by keeping the woodstove thermometer within the burn zone, I've had no problems with smoke in the house. I put the thermometer on the front face of the stove and monitor it frequently rather than 18" above the stove on the stove pipe.
    As I type this reply, I also wonder if maybe the tie-rods do not have enough tension as the cement cracks are only found in the top section of the stove where it meets each wall. Something for me to research after this burning season...if it ever ends.

    Thanks again for your help.
  12. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,665
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    as long as you have the tie rods snug you should be ok in that dept. if you tighten to much you'll strip out the top nut that is on top of the stove they are made of soft brass. where the top meets the wall will lose the excess cement that comes out on the outside and every now and again you'll hear it drop on the inside too, but where the top meets the wall in that groove in the top the cement stays put.
  13. HotLogs

    HotLogs New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Loc:
    Indianer
    What does 1A stand for?
  14. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,665
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    i'm not sure. little improvements i guess
  15. GSPdog

    GSPdog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Vermont
    IA model has a 2 piece fireback and one piece baffle. The next version is the 1A1 which has the 2 piece fireback and 2 piece baffle. They all look the same from the outside.
  16. HotLogs

    HotLogs New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Loc:
    Indianer

Share This Page