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I fill the house with smoke just about everytime I light the stove!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Steveo, Oct 20, 2010.

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  1. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    I just fired up my Regency woodstove that is in my finished basement. The chimney is the stainless pipe that runs out the wall and up. Everytime I light the stove I open the vent on the bottom left of the stove all the way up and need to leave the door to the stove open to keep the fire going. Once the stove is hot the smoke goes away and I can shut the door. What do I need to do to fix this problem? Do I need to add another section of pipe to get higher for a better draft? Any help would be appreciated.

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  2. 98dingo

    98dingo New Member

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    How tall is your chimney above the roofline? Does your chimney follow the 3-2-10 rule? 3' above the roof line and 2' taller than any object within 10'?
  3. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    It is close but maybe a little shy of the 3' above the roof line.
  4. Jotulf3cb

    Jotulf3cb New Member

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  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How tall from the tee to the cap? Also how is the stove connected to the thimble? And last, when was this flue cleaned, including the cap screen?
  6. 98dingo

    98dingo New Member

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    I would start by making the chimney the correct height. Then if you still have issues with smoking, before you light another fire in the cold stove try holding a lit newspaper as clot tse to the outlet as you can get and try to warm the flue then start the fire and see if the smoking continues. The draw collar is an option to keep the chim warm and eliminate the smoking, if you dont want to hold newspaper up there during every light up.
  7. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    From the tee to the cap is about 24', I am assuming you mean wall thimble? The pipe comes out the top of the stove up 3' then goes through the wall thimble to the outside to the cleanout t and up about 24'.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Lay a bunch of kindling in the firebox. Roll up a half dozen sheets of newspaper and then tie them in knots. Pile the paper on top of the kindling and light the paper. Close the door with the air control on the stove all the way open.

    After the kindling burns down to coals load your splits on top of the coals.
  9. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    First thing that comes to my mind when you have to keep the door cracked to keep the fire going is that the wood is not dry enough.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    First thing that comes to mind is that that long cold pipe ain't hot yet.

    Happens with my 35 footer in the basement every time I get stupid and don't start it with a top down burn that warms the pipe fast before the smoke starts coming off the wood.
  11. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    agreed. if you have problems with a 24 foot pipe something other than chimney must be at fault.
  12. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

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    Crack open a window helps sometimes too. I also use top down, leave the door to the stove cracked, and have eliminated my smoke in all but the worst heavy air days. You need to get the flue warm for draft to work correctly.
  13. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I thought we had this settled yesterday with ivy's post. :lol:
  14. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Can't get the top down method to work to save my ass.
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Everybody I have ever seen that couldn't make it work says "I did it just like that except for I..."
  16. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    The smoke is pouring out with just kiln dried kindling and newspaper so it is not wet wood. I will add another section of pipe for starters and the try that out. If that does not work I will try brotherbarts method. If that still does not work I will try putting lit paper near the outlet to heat the pipe and if that fails I will install a draw collar. Hopefully all of these great suggestions gets rid of the annoying smoke! Thanks everybody for the help.
  17. bren582

    bren582 Member

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    The Draw collar sounds like a nice solution but my insert is in and it's not coming out to install one. I use a propane torch to light my fires and before putting torch to the wood I just point it up between the front lip and the baffle plate to heat the flue and get a good draw going. Seems to work pretty well most of the time, especially helpful in the shoulder season when draw is just weaker
  18. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    Oh and it is about 40 out right now and my stove is cranking.
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I think I am going to bed. Scratching my head over why you would get up there and add pipe before trying a top down start up. You have plenty of chimney. Too much in most situations. You should have an overdraft with most burns.
  20. Steveo

    Steveo Member

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    OK brotherbart I will try a top down start first, not a problem at all. I will let you know how it turns out.
  21. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    You have over 23ft of exterior pipe that becomes whatever the outside temp is. Therefore no Delta T to create the draft. What BB says to get that cold flue up to a decent temp. I dont know much about your climate, but keep an eye on that chimney for deposits frequently for the 1st year. Thats alot of exposure to cool your flue gasses off.
  22. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Sounds like a negative pressure situation to me.
    Happens A LOT in basements, no matter HOW tall your
    your chimney is.
    Open a window when you light this thing.
    If it stops the back puffing, your stove is below
    the neutral pressure plane.
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Mine does it with the basement door open. Three feet from the stove if the pipe isn't warmed up. Top down it just gets over it and starts up.
  24. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    +1

    Gotta get an up draft started.
    Cold air is heavier than warm air.
    No fire, pipe full of cold air, you have a down draft condition. , pushes cold air down into the stove, if the door is open cold air pushes the smoke out the stove.

    Adding pipe may add to your problem, more heavy cold air to move.
    Normally you only add pipe if, when it's windy & some structure is causing the wind turbulence blow air/wind down your chimney.

    When real cold here, I've had to pull the clean out plug on the "T" outside, light some paper in it to get a draft started.
    Then go back inside & start a fire. (& clear the smoke out of the basement)
    It has pushed the smoke right out the inlet air at the bottom of the stove.
    It even sometimes happens to me when -20 or colder & stove burn is almost burned out.
    Mine has to make two 90° turns to get into the outside chimney. May change one to 2 - 45°s. May help some.


    Try what Bart said. It works 99.9% of the time
    Unless reeeeeeealy cold out, you have a super high pressure area just move into your area &
    the paper fire goes out before it can lift the cold air out of the long pipe.

    Learning curve for all of us. Each stove set up, location, weather conditions, house, chimney etc are a little different.
    Once you learn your system & adapt to the conditions, all is good again.

    Don't forget that if bathroom fans are running, & you have a fairly tight house, your house is sucking in air somewhere to maintain
    pressure equilibrium. It may suck air in through the stove pipe.
    Some new "tight" homes (5 Star energy rated) require a special inlet air vent connected to the wood stove inlet air. (combustion air)
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    OK, it's not the flue as long as this is class A pipe. 24' is plenty. Is the cap clean? How is the stove connected?

    Also, what else is in the basement that could be competing for air with the stove? Dryer, gas hw heater, furnace, whole house ventilation system?
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