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Do they make a left handed smoke bender? seriously I could use help

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by infinitymike, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. arngnick

    arngnick Member

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    So an update on what I found...

    5 mins after I got up on the roof and I could see a little smoke and witin 10ft I could smell normal woodsmoke odor.

    15 mins later I ran back up and I was able to smell it when I held my head over the chimney. Very faint smoke.

    45 min semi heavy white smoke that felt moist when I put my hand in the vapor. Still slight odor ( I am standing

    1 hr I checked again and there was just the heat shimering. The exhaust does have some odor but I nearly have to stick my head in the chimney.

    It is smokeless until it goes out.

    This is with burning wood that average MC of about 25%. (I know not ideal)
    This fire was started with a cold chimney so it took a little while to warm things up. Normally I burn 2 fires a day and everything is still warm.

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  2. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the report. Sounds like you got it working well for you.
  3. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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  4. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    NE WOOD,
    Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.
    Thats why I continue to come back to this forum, it's full of very helpful and experienced people.

    What I'm confused about is how more draft will help the combustion in the WG.
    It has a powerful fan right at the bottom of the unit that pulls smoke in from the top air intake but also pushes exhaust out into the cyclone ash collector.
    I would think that with my short stack that the fan is pushing it right out of the top.
    But hey what do I know, I've only been burning wood to heat my house for two years, I am greener then the grass in the summertime.
    Like I said thats why I keep coming here, so that I can get more seasoned. HA HA I said green and seasoned HA HA
  5. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    This is why I live in B.F.E. Hope that helped. LOL
  6. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    It did, I want to move to BFE even if I don't know what the E stands for. I assume Bum F... E?
  7. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    E = Egypt
    Recently heard someone say "tall fences make good neighbors", but in your case that wouldn't help much.
  8. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like a de-cap-itation is in short-term order....
  9. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I pulled the cap off.
    I shut the boiler off at 7am because there was no need for heat today.
    The use of the DHW brought the water temp in the WG down to 110*
    At 7:30pm I relight the small amount of coals left from the last burn.
    I added some oak kindling and she was gasifing almost immediately.
    There was no visible smoke or smell. I went right up to the stack and it just smelled like hot air, if that can even smell.
    About 15 mins into the burn I added a dozen solid wood pallet blocks. They are a little bigger then a rubix cube.
    Still no smoke or smell.
    About 25 mins into the burn I added some of the oak scraps from splitting. You know the stuff that is created when splitting.
    It's all thin shavings and splits.
    Also threw in 8 more blocks.
    Here's where the problem began.
    Even though there was a good bed of coals and she was gasifing, there was to much dry wood and it began to produce a light grey smoke and a slight smell.
    Removing the cap made no visible difference in the dispersion of the smoke.
    The light breeze moved it any which way it wanted.
    I cracked open the fire box door which would be like having a primary air adjustment and the chamber was full of smoke and kind of dark. But in seconds, with introduction of more O2, the fire began to roar like thunder and the smoke in the firebox began to disappear as did the stack smoke.
    AHS said they are in the experimental stages of primary/secondary air controls.
    Since I can't sit around with the door open, I closed it and the stack smoke increased again, but was gone in less then 10 mins.
    By this time I had a need for DHW and turned the zones back on to bring the house back to temp also.
    She burned clean and some what odor free for another 20 mins untill she reached the high limit and shut down.

    All that to say that removing the cap didn't make a difference.
    I think that adding 10' more stack MAY help.
    But I think that careful and slow loading will help even more.
  10. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    You are burning to much small stuff. You can not get enough oxygen into the fire box to get complete combustion.To much surface area trying to ignite.The greenwoods were famous for this if you tried to burn splits.
  11. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

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    Agreed. My WG like wood like an OWB. I had a splitting party yesterday, and the guys helping are all EPA stove guys. They made me so much kindling I'm not even sure what to do with it!

    I split my wood to 7" girth.

    ac
  12. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Yes.

    Different boilers handle different fuel situations differently, but as I think I mentioned earlier I also found that too many too small too dry splits too early in my fire would produce smoke - just not enough air getting in for all the off-gassing. I also found that cracking open my main fire door would help some when that happened - but now I only start with no more than a half fire box of small stuff then reload full with larger stuff after an hour.
  13. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    MIke,
    The question I have: is the fan suppose to push all the exhaust the whole length of the chimney or is it suppose to just push it through the cylone ash collector and the chimney draft takes it from there? A question for the wood gun manufacturer.
    As the woodstock link states the air in is dependent on the draft out. the fan may well be pushing it all the way Until the chimney warms and the draft starts. Hence the need for a small initial fire. Inital start up you can control,but when the unit reignites from hybernation on its on is when I would think you will see the advantage of the natural draft aiding the fan.
    The fan is currently pushing the entire length but initially it pushes the exhaust and it hits the section by the roof that is colder and this area is basically blocked until the exhaust warms the chimney once it passes through this area wala it exits the chimney. then exhaust out = air in
    you can manually push the exhaust but I think until you get that break through you are starving for oxygen even with the fan. because the volume out needs to balance with the volume in.
    I can show you this on my fisher wood stove which exits into an outside masonary chimney. takes about 5-10 minutes to get the draft back if I don't keep air control cracked over night.
  14. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I can't see the cooler chimney being that big of a blockage to the big fan on the Gun?

    My boiler is natural draft with no fans, and I do see some of the effect you're talking about. But even with my 30ft of chimney to warm up, I get decent gassification & draft way before my chimney gets up to temp - I can light a ball of paper in my cold primary chamber and see almost instant draft on my manometer as soon as I close the door. I just need the initial action of the warm air going up, the cold chimney doesn't seem to stop that too much. The bigger hindrance to optimum gassification I think is getting the refractory warmed up in the gassification chamber - until that happens I see more orange/yellow flame than purple/blue.
  15. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    Maple1: 30 foot chimney should give you good draft to start with.
    a 10' chimney at or below all ridge lines sorrounding it probably is not drafting to well naturally then cold it would not have much if any.
    Mike would need to check the draft of the chimney Im just theorizing from what I can see and read.
  16. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    You know whats funny is I think we kinda got of track with the thread and are now focusing on the draft of the stack, when the issue still remains that this knuckle head across the street is bothered by the smell of a fire burning.
    Unless having more draft will eliminate any smell, maybe I missed that somewhere.
    I can see that I may have a more complete combustion but don't ya think there would be some sort of smell?
    Actually it was said earlier that a Garn can use a horizontal direct vent. I wonder how well that combustion is.

    EDIT. Eventually the draft would be fine after the stack heats up, but he says he can smell something for hours.
  17. Make sure not violating any excessive smoke laws and tell him to get over the smell.
  18. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    More complete combustion = greatly reduced smell & sight of smoke.

    From all the 8 pages so far, I'd say that could be accomplished either by not loading more fuel in than the air coming in can combust completely, and/or burning to storage.

    This has been an entertaining one, I must say...
  19. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I agree 100%, thats not what I normally burn during the winter.
    I want to use more of the pallet wood for quick, hot fires to heat DHW for the summer.
  20. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    It certainly has been.
  21. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    Honestly, there really isn't alot of smoke.
    I mean, there definitely is some upon a cold start or when the gremlins relight it but that is for a very short time, 5 - 8 mins.
  22. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I could see maybe, depending on local bylaws, some sort of measures could be taken with excessive smoke production. But with so little smoke, I would highly doubt there would be much ground for action against you. I mean - noise can be measured, smoke can be seen, but how could just a smell (or a report of a smell) with no or very little smoke to go with it be firm basis for some sort of bylaw infraction or the like?

    I'm kind of glad I live in the middle of nowhere at times...
  23. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I guess they could take an air quality test.
    I don't think it will go that far but I'm still looking to at least make a good faith effort to appease him.
  24. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    Mike,
    Is your air intake coming from inside or do you pull in outside air?
  25. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

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    I am pulling air form inside the garage but its almost like pulling from outside because there is an broken pane of glass in one of the two man doors I have leading into it plus there is no weather stripping in the two overhead doors and I leave one off the floor by 2". Also there is a gable vent and ridge vent that allows air to circulate around.
    The WG uses a 4" pipe for the intake which they recommend bringing down close to the floor. I have mine about 12" above the floor.

    Why? What's your thoughts in that?

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