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Hack, hack, (wife growling in the background)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Fencible, Dec 9, 2005.

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  1. Fencible

    Fencible Member

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    In my last house, I burned only wood with a Nashua N-24 stove. Did a great job of heating the house.
    In my new(er) home, I have a small Woodstock (steel) wood/coal stove in my basement and I rarely light it. Probably only when it gets below zero, as I heat the house with a Harman P-68 pellet stove just fine.
    Well, in this basement rec room I also have my hot tub and it is time to change the water so I figured I'd fire up the Woodstock as I have to run the hose out the door. My Nashua ran continuously all winter so I didn't have to mess with relighting, etc.
    I know about cold air inversion with outside chimneys and I put some newspaper in the flue and lit it to get the draft reversed and flowing. Well, this time (snowing hard) it took a long time to get the draft going and of course, the smoke detectors were all singing, all the fans in the house were going including the one over the hot tub and the house had a lot of smoke in it.
    What a mess. It will take most of the day to get the smoke smell outa here I'd bet.
    Surely there is a better way. I was thinking of putting a spotlight on an extension cord and letting that heat up the flue for some time before trying to light it next time.
    Anyone have any other ideas to get the draft moving quickly?
    Dave

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  2. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    I've got an old "airtight" in a recreational property I own that has a tricky draft because the chimney is too short. (Gonna fix that someday). I place one of those little 1500 watt electric/ceramic heaters on top of the stove with the fan pointed at the stove pipe (real close) for about 10 minutes before I light. Works every time, and provides a teensy amount of heat until I get the stove going.
    Just don't forget to remove it when you light.

    Willhound
  3. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Boy if I pulled that one I would either be in full flight or dead on the spot. Personally I don't have a clue as to a better way but there surely has to be one. Other than that all I have to say is ' YOU ARE ONE VERY BRAVE IF MISGUIDED MAN" Best of luck to you and I hope you don't find any old toenail clippings in your soup. I get threatened with that a lot.
  4. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Hah! At least she's still feeding you. I know when mine is mad when she says "I'm going out for supper. There's leftovers in the fridge if you want something".
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Never heard of a Woodstock Steel stove...but who knows?

    My best advice is a tee in the stove pipe with an easily removeable cap- this should be as close to the chimney entrance as possible. Before starting, open the tee cap and stuff some loosely balled up newspaper in there...this serves double purpose.

    1. It slows the downdraft.
    2. When you light it, it warms the chimney....

    so, then, as in #2, light this piece of paper, hold the tee cap an inch or so from the pipe and pray. The paper should succeed in starting the draft upwards.

    OH, and have the fire ready to start in the stove so as soon as the chimney reverses you can light it and that heat will follow the newspaper up the chimney.

    Good night, and good luck!
  6. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I've never really had to deal with any significant "reversal" issues, but that does seem like a lot of smoke in the house. I'm curious if you had the basement door open already draining the hot tub when you tried to light the stove. It would seem like that would be one instance where you would not want to have a free path to outside air...it would make it really easy for the flow to come down the flue. If the room was all sealed off, it seems like the cold air would not want to come in and it would be easier to reverse the flow?

    Corey
  7. Fencible

    Fencible Member

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    >>>>>>>>>I place one of those little 1500 watt electric/ceramic heaters on top of the stove with the fan pointed at the stove pipe (real close) for about 10 minutes before I light. Works every time, and provides a teensy amount of heat until I get the stove going.
    Just don’t forget to remove it when you light.

    That's a great idea, thanks.

    Dave
  8. Fencible

    Fencible Member

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    >>>>>>>>>Never heard of a Woodstock Steel stove...but who knows?

    I thought they were all soapstove types myself, but That's what it is. burns coal and wood. Probably 1980's vintage.

    >>>>My best advice is a tee in the stove pipe with an easily removeable cap- this should be as close to the chimney entrance as possible. Before starting, open the tee cap and stuff some loosely balled up newspaper in there...this serves double purpose.

    1. It slows the downdraft.
    2. When you light it, it warms the chimney....


    Lots of good replies here, thanks.

    One thing about dinner though, we're so remote she wouldn't make the 40 mile trip to get something to eat. Of course, I always keep a few of those single serv pizzas in the freezer, just in case. The Microwave I can handle.. LOL

    Dave
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, I should be happy being 2 miles from the Dunkin Donuts, the Cumberland Farms and a couple of pizza joints! About 1/2 mile as the crow flies (2 miles drive) to a world class supermarket!

    Things are sort of close together here in western mass...I once lived in WV where it was about 23 miles to the grocery store, so I know what you are talking about!
  10. Fencible

    Fencible Member

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    You're right, the door was "cracked" to let the hose out when I tried to light it.
    It's impossible to get the room very tight though as there is a spiral stairway to the upstairs bedroom. I think pre-heating the flue with a heater is a good idea.
  11. Fencible

    Fencible Member

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    Uhh.. Craig, I also live in Western Mass, but there is still some rural property left out here. I'm halfway between Pittsfield & Westfield, right next to Middlefield.
  12. Fencible

    Fencible Member

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    Never heard of a Woodstock Steel stove...but who knows?



    Uh.. It's a "Woodstocker".. Model Dyna-heat3, tested November 1979.

    Not a Woodstock.
  13. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    Ever try fat sticks? I hate newspaper cuz it's so smokey and burns out too quickly. I put a fat stick under kindling, but don't light it yet. I then light another fat stick and hold it up to the chimney to get the draft going. (fat sticks make no smoke) When I see the flame really stretching up, I light the fat stick under the kindling. So far, it's been very effective. I also made a room of smoke from newspaper once which is why I switched.
  14. Fencible

    Fencible Member

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    Hmm, never heard of them. I do use firestarters (Rutland) that are little squares that you put under the wood in addition to the newspaper. I'll have to look for them.
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