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Q&A Fireplace smokes

Post in 'Questions and Answers' started by QandA, May 26, 2007.

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  1. QandA

    QandA New Member Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
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    Question:

    I purchased a fixer-upper December . I had the fireplace inspected and corrected where necessary. New parts included the clean-out trap on the floor of the fireplace, the clean-out door outside and the flue control, which is a spiral type that you turn from the room side of the fireplace. Other than that I was told the masonry was intact and in good shape and built properly. The problem is the same as all the others that have written in, the fire starts fine and then smoke eventually starts backing into the room, can be a while later. I do see that the new flue does not open as wide as the old rusted one. Could that be the problem or the opposite, do I need to close the flue a little when the fire starts settling down. We have a screen but no doors. I tried opening a window or 3 and that does not relieve the symptoms. This is a custom, full stone wall, round top fireplace and the cost for new doors at this time is prohibitive. I know the former owners had the same problem because I had to have the stone wall scrubbed because it was practically black. The wall looks great now, the ambience is great, but the smoke, well you know.



    Answer:

    Assuming the problem has been there since the beginning, you may have to take drastic measures to fix it. There are different types of problems it could be:
    1. Maybe the chimney cools down when the fire is low. This makes the draft weaker
    2. Perhaps the fireplace construction is poor, and it will smoke in any case.

    First, try making certain that you start the fire VERY HOT, which allows the flus and fireplace to warm quickly and stay warm. If the problem still occurs, you can try:

    1. Install an electric draft inducer on the chimney top - A company called Field Controls makes one designed for this.
    2. Making the opening smaller - install a sheet metal baffle on the front of the fireplace which fills in the arch and effectively lowers the fireplace opening.

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