Federal Airtight Smokes

jim piszar Posted By jim piszar, Oct 18, 2006 at 11:32 AM

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  1. jim piszar

    jim piszar
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    Oct 18, 2006
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    I just joined the forum and this is my first post. This winter will be the third season in this house. There was a Federal Airtight in the basement when I bought it and I've never had a wood burning stove before. Every time I have tried to have a fire in it, smoke pours out of the front doors and into the room. I've tried: Cleaning the flew (no obstructions), opening and closing all the vents, opening the floor grates, opening the flew pipe, opening what I think is the cat., and cracking the basement door. Nothing helps. My basement is finished and we spend a lot of time down there and it would be nice to have a fire in the winter.

    I've also attached a link to a picture.

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/jimpiszar/DSCN2743.jpg

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks

    jim
     
  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
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    Jul 12, 2006
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    Is the smoke pouring out when the doors are closed? It looks like you have new gasket on the doors, is the gasket tight to the stove when the doors are closed?

    Matt
     
  3. jim piszar

    jim piszar
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    Oct 18, 2006
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    Yes, smoke comes past the doors when they are closed. The gaskets appear to be in good shape and make contact with the stove when the doors are closed. The doors do however have some play, or movement, in them when they are latched. Is there any place to get a manual for this stove? I have searched on-line with no success.

    thanks

    jim
     
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
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    Perhaps the flue needs to be preheated. I had a similar problem the other day when it wasn't too cold outside. I burned some newspaper and it got the draft going.
     
  5. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg
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    first of all there is a door latch adjustment that can be adjusted to make the doors seal tighter. Are you sure you had the damper open and all inlet air fully open?. Your issue is not probably a stove issue but a venting issue Again confirm no blockage exist in the chimney or connector pipe the damper fully wide open you may have to pre heat the flue as suggested describe youe entire venting setup with dementions vented in to what ? what is the verticle length? Are there other combustion appliances in the imediate area like a clothes dryer hot water heater and furnace. It could be an issue of not have enough vollume of combustion air because it is already being used by other appliances To calculate combustion air vollume we need dementions or the area and BTU demands of competing appliances like for instance 50,000 BTUS hot water heater and 100,000 BTUS furnace
    Just like you we need more info. IF that is a cat stove, when has the combustor been cleaned? A clogged combustor will act as you described. Again if it is warm in the 50's stoves are pressed to draft properly what was the temp when you were starting the stove.

    Again the stove should be cleanned out prior to the season. Ash could be blocking either you exhaust or inlet ports
     
  6. jabush

    jabush
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    Jan 23, 2006
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    Ya, you may have to establish the draft independently of your kindling fire. Also, I would definitely address the "play" in the doors. If air leaks out then air can leak in once you get her blazing. This could make it hard to control the fire.
    If that was my stove I would get the front doors buttoned up and use the side loading door exclusively.

    hth...
     
  7. fbelec

    fbelec
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    also look on the metal plate on the back of the stove for model number and year built.
    go the the vermont castings web site and try to download a manual there so that you can operate and get replacement parts if needed. if you can't get a manual there go to a vermont castings dealer he might have one to make a copy of.

    and don't make a fire in that stove until you get a manual and you tighten up those doors. from the sound of it if you make a fire in that stove and get it going with the doors as loose as they are your fire will get out of control and you will over heat that stove if not worse.
     
  8. Corie

    Corie
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    Btw I don't see that anyone else said it yet, but lose the grate.
     
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg
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    Corie good find about the grate. The grate does not belong in a stove ok to use in a fire place but your stove is not engineered for its use, plus it takes up fire box vollume
     
  10. Corie

    Corie
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    Jim,

    I run one of these stoves with both wood and coal. A product manual can be found on the VC website. I'll search later and link you directly.

    Also, get the door latches tight. Its easy since they're thread rods. Twist them counterclockwise to back them out and help tighten the seams up.

    Get those tightened up and then get back to us. I have this stove pretty much figured out to a "t" so let me know once the gaskets are fixed what the situation is.

    Are you certain you have the bypass gate full open when first lighting a fire?
     
  11. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
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    I have the pre 90 owners manual in pdf, if you pm me your email I'll send it over.
     
  12. Todd

    Todd
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    Looks to me there is a reducer at the stove collar from 8" to 6". Stove requires an 8" pipe and chimney.
     
  13. jim piszar

    jim piszar
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    Oct 18, 2006
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    Thanks for all the great input everyone! Here are some answers to the questions you asked me:

    I will try to preheat the flue pipe to establish a draft.
    I will adjust the door latch to make sure the doors are tight.
    I think I have the damper open. I turn the handle so it is in line with the pipe. I can feel damper open and close.
    I am going to take the flew pipes completely apart to make sure they are open and have no obstructions.
    The flew diameter is 6".
    The vertical height of the flue pipe to the elbow is 26".
    The horizontal pipe from the elbow to the wall is 12".
    There are no other combustion appliances in the area.
    I don't know when the combustor was last cleaned. Not even sure what it looks like.
    I have attached a couple of pics of the inside and from the looks of it, it is PAST DUE for a cleaning.
    It is never higher than the 30's outside when I try to have a fire.
    I checked the metal plate on the back. Model FA2CC88L, ser. #6047. Did not see a date of manufacture.
    Schenectady, NY I sent you a PM with my email address but my outbox says 0. Not sure if you got it, will check outbox again later.
    The wood grate was there when I bought the house. I will pull it out. I assume the wood can go right on the floor.
    Bypass gate open? I think so. I have attached a pic of the inside of the stove.

    Thanks again for all the great advise. When I do all of the above and as soon as it gets a little colder out, I will let you know how my next fire goes.

    jim

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/jimpiszar/DSCN2747.jpg
    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/jimpiszar/DSCN2749.jpg
     
  14. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
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    The pdf is in your email inbox.

    Matt
     
  15. webbie

    webbie
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    Your problem sounds like flue reversal - read all about it in some of the QA and the chimney - and fire-starting articles in our info section.

    http://www.hearth.com/what/specific.html

    Yes, the grate goes.

    This has nothing to do with your stove not being tight - all small holes should such IN if there is draft. It sounds like once you get it going, it should be fine.

    Stove looks to be in decent shape.
     
  16. DavidV

    DavidV
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    Nov 20, 2005
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    I agree with Craig. stove looks good on the inside....except doesn't look like it's been burned hot enough...a lot of black stuff built up that you won't get if you are burning hot enough. But also doesn't look to have been overfired....no warping. Attend to the loose doors, have the chimney swept and then learn how to manager your draft. Good luck.
     
  17. jim piszar

    jim piszar
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    Oct 18, 2006
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    Thanks again everyone for all the advice and to Corie and Matt for help with the manual. I'm really glad I found this forum! As cold weather approaches, I will let you know how I am making out.

    jim
     
  18. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy
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    basement+stove=draft nightmare.
    You will deal with smokey startups. Once you get it hot is should work ok, if not, try to figure out how to neutralize the negative pressure in the basement.
     
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