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FPX36 Carbon Monoxide?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by artfink, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. artfink

    artfink Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    Pacific Northwest
    Hello all,

    Had a little scare the other day when two of our three carbon monoxide testers went off. Fire department and gas company confirmed the presence. The last 5 days has been spent diagnosing the cause. Furnace? Fireplace (FPX36)? The combination?

    Had the heat exchanger examined, no issues of concern. Thought the FPX36, once the fan is blowing in, could cause the furnace to have an issue (ran both of them on some cold morning to keep the house at the same temp while the fireplace got going). Not so. So I've come to the fireplace.

    Little background....I'm the poster a couple month ago that was having issues with smoky starts because of air coming down the chimney. I solved that by burning a medium size piece of paper up on the shelf just under the chimney hole. I pose these question...

    1) On colder mornings, could the draft be reversing early in the morning once the fire has cooled down enough?

    2) If so, does pushing the air control all the way to the right COMPLETELY shut air off or does it leave it slightly open.

    3) If it leaves it slightly open, then what do I do?

    Thanks for any help as I love the fireplace but if I can't solve this issue (I haven't confirmed this is the issue yet) then I need to fix it.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,754
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    All I can tell ya is that last year a CO detector registered for the first time ever in this place. I eventually, after contemplation, attributed it to the fact that I was letting the stove burn down to clean the chimney that day and was also doing a bunch of cooking in the microwave oven which is also the over range vent fan. On a day when we had a pressure change in the environment. A perfect storm for pushing CO out of the stove. Cool chimney, coals in the stove, lower pressure in the house than outside and the exhaust fan running over the stove pulling air down the chimney into the manse.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,334
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Sure sounds like you have a marginal draft situation. How tall is the chimney on the fireplace? Does it have an outside air supply?
  4. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    759
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    Do some research on stack effect. Some affordable solutions. I'd be more concerned if the furnace was the source than a woodstove, but it certainly warrants attention. We battled chimney odor from our open fireplace until making some insulation additions and some minor interior sealing. Never with hot coals, but similar concept.
  5. artfink

    artfink Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    Loc:
    Pacific Northwest
    OK, so it is the wood stove (FPX36) causing the Carbon Monoxide. They added 3 ft to the chimney this week. That made it harder to start because of the increased down draft. LOL Thanks for that one. I'm going to look for a handheld fan or something to blow up the chimney for a minute or two to reverse the draft. I stoked the fire at about 9:30 last night. Had a good bed of coals at 5:30 this morning but let them burn as I wanted to see if the draft would reverse. At 10:30 am the draft reversed into the house. AND my very sensitive CO meter (borrowed from work) told me that the coals were still emitting CO which was now coming straight into the living space. This continued for about 5 hours before everything was finally burnt out.

    SO, what is the next step OR is this a normal phenomenon but people just don't realize it?

    Questions??

    1) When you are not burning fires, is the draft coming DOWN your chimney into the living space?
    2) Where do you leave the flu and air controls when leaving a fire for the night?
    3) Should I open the air in the morning to let the coals burn down quicker AND maybe continue to pull warm air from the room up the chimney? Or would that not help

    Thanks for any advice as I really want to use this fireplace as much as I can but if I have an ongoing safety issue it will be impossible.

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