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Liner pic, I am stumped and discouraged

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by brian89gp, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    New liner last fall, 6" stainless smooth bore flex with 1/2" insulation. Went through about 5.5 cords of dry wood. Go to clean my chimney and I see this and I am just flabbergasted. It looks like it has been partially melted and all the seams are seperating. That is insulation you see in the seam that has fully seperated up the pipe a little bit. How does this happen? Did I somehow manage to put it in upside down?

    Pic is from the stove side.

    Zero black creosote anywhere. Just white ash and this brown fluffy stuff

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  2. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Pulled the insulation I stuffed up the chase out, the parts in contact with the liner (which is insulated) had turned from pink to white and had hardened some. The liner insulation is rock hard as far as I can reach and the foil on the insulation is very crispy, thin, and completely missing in parts.
  3. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I'd guess a chimney fire or it wasn't a liner approved for a wood stove. I'm sure the experts will soon enter the room.
  4. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    It was a UL listed wood stove liner.

    There is crappy weather here till next week, after that I will climb up to the roof and take a look at how it looks up there. If there was a chimney fire I would assume I would see some evidence somewhere of it.

    I did burn the stove hot and it was a 40' liner on an inside chimney so it drafted real good. The excess heat and strong draft pull the fire into the flue? I did find a decent amount of white ash on top of the baffle plate.
  5. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    "If" the liner wasn't mislabeled or packaged incorrectly it would have to be silly hot to distort like that in my opinion. The liners are supposed to handle 2100*(I think) for a decent length of time(10 minutes?) before burning up.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Double check that. This sounds like an aluminum liner.
    raybonz, Beer Belly and jeff_t like this.
  7. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    It looks like you had many, many flue fires in that thing. With a 40' liner, you could have a fire up high in it and likely never know it. Or it's aluminum.
    Either way, it needs replaced.
    I've cleaned liner that have had flue fires on several occasions, and they never looked like yours. Bummer
  8. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Any easy way to distinguish between stainless (non magnetic) and aluminum? I am sure it was stainless but for the sake of being sure I can/will double check. The exposed part at the flue collar is blued.


    This was a pic from inside the stove, if there was a chimney fire wouldn't it have had to of been on top of the baffle plate or in the first foot of flue to cause damage right at the base of the liner? I have an insulation blanket that sits on top of the baffle plate and directly below the flue opening and all it had was ash on it.


    I was burning sweet gum and silver maple that had been cut and stacked for a year, both were around 15% moisture. Later on I was burning honeylocust that had been cut and stacked for a good 5 years with less then 20% moisture. There was about half a cord of black walnut that was less then ideal, but it was still around 24% moisture. I did burn this thing hot, like cruising at 700 and reloading at 400 (stove face) and when I checked and cleaned halfway through the season the liner was still in proper shape and I got so little stuff from the liner it wasn't worth measuring. Visual inspection at the time had zero creasote at either the top or bottom.
  9. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Who manufactured this liner?
  10. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I thought that pic was from the top looking down. There's no doubt about it, you've have some flue fires in that thing. Running hot wont cause that kind of damage.
  11. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I am with BG on this, does not look like the right product.
    Easy way to tell alum. from SS, well they have a different look and the alum. will be lighter, did you install it.
  12. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Question for those secondary burners, what does the fire look like? Mine usually had what looked like a waterfall of flame running below the baffle plate to the front then wrapping around the edge and flowing back and up the flue. Not like a trickle or flickering waterfall, but a solid and fast moving and almost liquid like. Baffle plate and secondary tubes were almost always glowing orange. Secondaries usually had 4-5" long flames if you were lucky enough to distinguish them, usually the firebox was just a solid box of fast rolling flame.


    Not disagreeing or debating, just trying to understand (well, maybe a little defensive cause I worked extra hard to only burn dry wood...sorry about that). Wouldn't there be some other evidence of a chimney fire? Creosote somewhere in the firebox of the stove, or black crunchy leftovers from the chimney fire, etc? Halfway through the burning season I got maybe 2 tablespoons of ash from the cleaning. I could wipe the ash off the inside of the flue with my finger and it was still shiny metal, right after the cleaning is when I started burning the dryer wood and also burning hotter.


    I did yes, and I have a 4' section that I cut off sitting in my basement. It feels, looks, and cuts like the 316 stainless it is supposed to be but I am willing to verify it if I know of a way to do it.
  13. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

  14. 1750

    1750 Feeling the Heat

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    I'm really sorry to see that. It must be both frustrating and at least a little frightening.

    I don't know anything about chimneys, but if you remember where you bought it and know the manufacturer, I'd start there. If it was labeled for woodstoves, it was either mislabeled or a materials/product failure. Either way, it's quite a product liability issue that they will want to address.

    I'm just glad you caught it before something worse happened.

    I'll be interested in reading what you find out, and best of luck to you.
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't imagine a 316 Stainless liner warping like that. Stainless doesn't warp, it melts into globs. I think you really do need to get to the bottom of the material that it is made from. If you are doing this to Stainless, you have some operational procedures that need some serious review. If this ISN'T stainless - thank your lucky stars that you still have a home.

    Edit: take a few pics of the unused liner you still have and post it up.
    Joful likes this.
  16. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    Gonna take a dremel to it when I get home today to see if it sparks and I will also take pictures. And Jags, if it is stainless then I probably do need to review my operating procedures and/or other options. It does make me seriously consider getting a forced air wood furnace for the basement and running a new class A chimney. The stove is too small for the house and it is the largest stove that would fit so I was constantly running it hot.

    I am in contact with the place I bought it from and am waiting for input from the manufacturer as well. I am not going to mention names of either because if this ends up being my fault either by install or operation I do not wish to slander anybodies name. Posted here to see if anybody else has seen something like it before.
    Bster13 likes this.
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a respectable approach. First, find out what you are dealing with.
  18. Holiday

    Holiday Member

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    I'd also put my money on aluminum, steel just doesn't act like that. You should be able to have a hot fire without worrying about it. My stove sounds about the same as you describe it, maybe not quite as vigorous. Flames out of the tubes often wrap around the baffle and on mine the front tube is glowing red. The actual baffle plate doesn't really get glowing for me.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The stove does sound like it was run hot. How does it look? Is there a whitening of the paint on any part, particularly the top around the flue collar?

    Good plan to test the metal and contact the seller. Do you have the original invoice? That should list the product.
  20. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    I have an insulation blanket on top of the stove to keep the radiant heat off of the old brick chimney, will pull it off and check. No paint whitening anywhere else. I did slightly warp the door part way through the season (it still seals and passes the dollar bill test just fine). It was actually somewhat hard to not burn it this hot. I either had to burn wet wood or cut the air off early so the secondary burn never got going, once the secondaries lit it was going to cruise at 650-700* no matter what I did.

    The secondary tubes and baffle plate were covered in what looked like rust or rust like deposits. Also inside the tubes was this fine grey powder, almost like iron dust, graphite in color. Probably about a teaspoon per tube.
  21. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    You had mentioned some originally "pink" insulation you had on the outside of the liner pushed against it, if I recall correctly. Was that fiberglass?
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    650 F ain't hurting that stove.
    PapaDave likes this.
  23. Holiday

    Holiday Member

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    I hope not, mine is usually between 6 and 700. The occasional 750. Although rereading the description I don't have a firebox full of fast moving flame. Just a slow lazy burn to get these temps. And only the front tube gets red. Different stove obviously.

  24. Byrond

    Byrond New Member

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    I have the model 81 buck and when running with air it stays around 685 without blower. With air open full all tubes as well as the top blates take on a glor. At that point ittl melt ure face. Deff get that liner check. It almost sounds like the old chimney wasnt cleaned completly before liner was installed and u had a fire
  25. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

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    The only two things I can think of aside from a chimney fire is either the draft was sucking the secondary burn flames up the liner a good distance or I have an air leak at the connector to the stove and it was either extending the secondary burn or creating some sort of tertiary burn in the liner itself. A chimney fire definately sounds more likely then the other two options, I just can't see how I had enough creostoe buildup to cause one considering how I was burning.



    Yes, pink fiberglass insulation. I stuffed it up the chimney chase, where it was in contact with the flue (which is insulated) it got bleached white. Looks like it melted the fiberglass in one small spot and also melted the foil backer to the liner insulation some as well. The foil is 6" up the liner from the stove and the fiberglass was 12". I'll take pictures this evening.


    Yea, all the tubes and the entire baffel plate are usually glowing bright orange on mine. The radiant heat through the door glass is enough to burn you if you are within 4-5' of it for any length of time, did that once and I had what looked and felt like a sunburn.


    I had to run the blower on high to keep it at or below 700. The blower must have some sort of thermal overload switch because occasionally the fire would get get roaring and then the blower would just turn off, if I didn't get a fan blowing on high into the blower intake area quickly (to both keep the stove cool and to cool the blower back down) it would go from 700 to much higher very quickly. Also running it at 700 is with the air closed down. 40' flue = real strong draft.

    The chimney is an old coal burner, unlined raw brick. Never any wood burned in it so no creasote. Don't think it ever had a coal fire either cause the lime mortar joints were all still white.

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