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Jotul 550 insert draw/cold air intake problem

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by PDX PYRO, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. PDX PYRO

    PDX PYRO New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Hello.

    I have a few questions about my Jotul 550. Comparing to my buddies Jotul 350.

    It seems my air intake and or draft is not up to par to his.

    My setup:
    Jotul 550 professionally installed.
    Outside brick and Mortar chimney with terra-cotta liner.
    17 ft stainless steel liner inside existing chimney.
    15-17% moisture in my dry wood.

    My buddies fire box has an outside cold air intake to the back of his existing firebox where his insert was installed. Mine does not. I was told by 2 installers the air intake on these Jotuls is in the front of the stove so an outside air intake line to the back side of the stove won't do any good because it draws from the front.

    Anyone know if there is an non adjustable secondary air intake on the sides or back of these jotuls? If there is, the outside air to the back of he fire box could conceivably help.

    My buddies jotul 350 insert draws in air so swiftly it actually fans his fire. When I load in wood, even after I have lots of red coals and a clean flame, I get smoke billowing in to the house if I open the door more then 3 inches. Conversely, my buddies stove can have the door open all the way and the smoke drafts up the chimney.

    Now my house is an older 1970 house and my buddies is a 2010 custom build.

    Do these jotuls have a secondary air intake in the sides or rear of the stove that can benefit from an outside cold air intake?

    What's the deal with smoke exiting my stove and into my house every time I put on a few more splits of wood? If I hadn't just visited my buddy for New Years and added wood to his fire I'd have thought it was normal.

    Thanks.
    Mike

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  2. jotulguy

    jotulguy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    334
    Loc:
    central Pa
    Sounds like a draft issue to me. What temp are you running your insert at?
  3. PDX PYRO

    PDX PYRO New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    It's at 300 now. 5 hours of burning with max air flow. Having a problems getting it really going. Comparing it to my buddies, my air flow; be it draw or some kind of air intake issue, is nowhere near his. I can hear like a jet engine when his takes off.
  4. jotulguy

    jotulguy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    334
    Loc:
    central Pa
    How did you take your measurement on the wood? from the outside or did you split it and take it from the inside? you could just need smaller splits to start and get that fire up over 400 before you consider shutting down the air.
  5. PDX PYRO

    PDX PYRO New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Jotul guy,

    How do I increase chimney draft?
  6. PDX PYRO

    PDX PYRO New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    I read a lot on these forums prior to purchasing the insert. I split a cut of my wood and measured the moisture with an electronic meter from the inside of a freshly cut open split.
  7. chimneylinerjames

    chimneylinerjames Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    348
    Install insulation around the liner. Does your buddy have an insulated liner? What is his chimney setup? run thru the middle of the house? There are other ways also, but this is one thing you did not mention.
  8. PDX PYRO

    PDX PYRO New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    My buddy's chimney is unlined and an outside chimney as is mine. I suspect because he has 6 more feet on his chimney it's pulling harder. When he slides down his damper all the way, the fire barely stifles the flame down on his fire.
    remkel likes this.
  9. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    At 17 feet you are just over the minimum 15 feet specified in the owner's manual. If there is a 90 or 45 anywhere in that run then you have effectively reduced the draw on your chimney. I would suspect that adding some additional run to that flue would help with your draw, but I am by no means an expert on this but it would make sense to me.
  10. cnice_37

    cnice_37 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Assonet MA
    Secondary air enters from the backside and is not adjustable. Someone on here is making it adjustable, member EL923 or something like that.

    Are you burning in complete cycles? If the wood is down to coals, you shouldn't have much smoke left. If I reload too soon (like throwing a few more logs on before bed) I'll crack the door slightly to let the draft start pulling stronger, and then open all the way to load. Even then, I can get a little smoke spilling out. Maybe a video of your problem would help determine if there really is an issue.

    I run a Rockland as well.
  11. EJL923

    EJL923 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    Western Mass
    As remkel said, draft is your issue. My 550 has a 23' chimney, interior, uninsulated. I only wish draft was my issue. Yes, i made the adjustable secondary (on the back side). You need to find a way to get that exterior chimney up to temp. If cracking the door wont help, then you may need to insulate the liner. Almost forgot, if cracking the door doesn't help, try cracking a window or door nearest your stove. Your house may be too tight, though i don't think this is too common.

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