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How much smoke ok on reload?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Rich M, Nov 14, 2006.

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  1. Rich M

    Rich M New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
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    Loc:
    NW Lower Michigan
    This is my first year with my woodburning insert. When I reload after being away all day or first thing in the morning the stove has cooled considerably. I open up the damper, rake the coals to the front and let them get up to "blacksmith fire" apperance before I stuff the firebox full. Now with the door cracked for maximum air it still takes a bit for complete combustion and I get a fair amount of smoke out of the flue for the first 5 to 10 minutes or so. Is this ok?

    I'm hoping the coal raking/burning is preheating the flue so the smoke won't condensate in the flue. It's an uninsulated 6" stainless in an exterior masonry chimney. I can build a smaller and initially hotter fire but it's so much easier to just load it once. During burning cycles I'm getting nothing but clear heat out of the flue.

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  2. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Nov 19, 2005
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    Orient Point, NY
    Sounds like what I do, and yes, I'll get 5-10 minutes of smoke out the stack before the secondary combustion kicks in and eats it all up. I'll rake all the coals to the front, in front of the primary air inlet, and then pile up some splits behind it. If I want the firebox to heat up quickly, I'll just put 3 smaller splits in there, and let them take off and heat up the system before adding more in 30-45 minutes. Sometimes adding a full load of wood in the AM after the system has cooled down to 250-300 or so is asking a little much... she won't heat it all up as quickly with that mass of colder wood in there.

    Hope it helps,

    -- Mike
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Same here, but I usually toss one or two splits on first to get the stove heated up quicker in the morning, then load after breakfast.
  4. citizanken

    citizanken New Member

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    Loc:
    Smithsburg, Maryland
    I agree, try building a smaller start-up fire with a couple splits before packing the firebox full again. That should get the firebox back up to temperature much quicker
  5. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    2,430
    Loc:
    Halifax, VA
    Have about the same conditions here too. Like has been said, I like to prime the firebox with a couple small dry splits before tossing in the monsters. Usually that helps to keep things smoke free. Of course in the morning, it seems to take a couple pieces of pine because there aren't many coals left.
  6. Rich M

    Rich M New Member

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    Loc:
    NW Lower Michigan
    Thanks, guess I'll start doing the smaller hotter fire first just to be sure.
  7. Dunadan

    Dunadan New Member

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    Oct 3, 2006
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    Loc:
    Holland Patent, NY
    Ditton on the smaller fire. We just got our stove, and early on was just loading normal splits in on the coals. Lots of smoke and not a great fire were the result. Now first thing in the morning I rake the coals forward, then toss a couple small pieces in. Once those are going good and have started breaking down, I add in the normal size splits
  8. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    727
    Loc:
    Norfolk Ma
    I do the same as Dunadan. works good for me.
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