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my stove pipe leaks smoke into my house

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by heather purton, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. heather purton

    heather purton New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Messages:
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    we just bought our home 3 years ago and every winter when we go to start a fire in our wood stove it leaks smoke from the bend, we clean our chimney quite often but it seems it gets clogged up quickly, the glass on the front goes completely black after a couple hours of burning, we are using seasoned wood but the smoke still comes out of the bend,

    can I seal that crack with high temperature cement/sealant? will that stop the creosote from building up?
    I really need to fix this please help

    thanks
    Heather

    I have attached so pictures to help explain
    that last one is what we control the air with, not sure how it works :/ IMG_0926.JPG IMG_0927.JPG View attachment 81273 IMG_0929.jpg IMG_0930.JPG IMG_0926.JPG IMG_0927.JPG IMG_0932.jpg

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  2. rijim

    rijim Member

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    Chimney needing cleaning often, blackened glass, smoke leaking at seam; first thoughts are stove being run too low, wet wood, poor draft or a combination of these. If you post the type of stove you have, the type and size of chimney and stove top temps when at cruising temps, get a basic understanding of the primary and secondary air controls, then there are many here that can probably help. Seasoned wood means something different to many people; having wood with a moisture content less that 20% is what you need for good clean burn. If this is a new EPA type stove, cruising temps will be somewhere between 450 and 600 deg.
    Don't take the excessive creosote buildup in the chimney lightly, chimney fires are a scary thing.
  3. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Yes you can seal it...and do so soon.

    Definitely not the solution to all your problems though.
  4. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Short answer: Yes. If you can seal the seams that are leaking then it will not leak into your home. Bigger issue is: why the smoke and why limited draw from your flue? If could be something as simple as run it hotter and longer before you close down the air.
  5. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    From your picture, 6" into 8" then into masonary chimney? If this is the case the whole flue system is not getting hot enough. At start up you might need to pre warm the chimney as it sounds like a bit down draft at start up. You also might need to raise the flue exit higher above your roof line. More details on the the system would help with judgement calls from our remote vantage points.
  6. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Many factors could be coming into play here...You say your wood is seasoned. Have you checked to moisture content to verify that it is under 18% moisture content? When you say you clean your chimney often, does that include taking apart the elbow in question & brushing the horizontal run into the chimney & down into the stove? How far into the chimney does te horizontal run go? Is there a liner in the chimney? How high is the chimney from where the horizontal run penetrates? Is there a spark arrestor on the cap?
  7. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    The stuff you want is called "furnace cement."
    My Home Depot stocks it with other hearth supplies at this time of year.
    ~ $4 for a 10-oz caulking tube by Rutland.

    Doh! LoL. ==c
    You need to know that!

    Generally, primary air is to burn the wood, and secondary air is to burn the smoke. Contact PE for an instruction manual for your stove, and look for a stovetop/pipe thermometer(s) while you're looking for cement. Thermometers help to optimize burning.

    http://www.pacificenergy.net
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Based on the picture of the air controls it looks like the fire might be set to smolder instead of burn. I would try giving the fire more air. If the wood is poorly seasoned it may need a lot more. Do you have the operation manual for the stove?

    What stove is this? By the label it looks like a very old Pacific Energy design. Can you post a picture of the stove itself?
  9. heather purton

    heather purton New Member

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    the size of the pipe, is 6" pipe from fireplace and it goes to a 4" pipe in the chimney, from what i can tell when i take the elbow off, i thought that was weird,

    yes we do clean out the elbow just as often as cleaning the chimney, we also empty it out at the bottom and make sure the chimney sweep goes all the way down.
    apparently according to all the warranties and booklets we received when we bought the house, the stove was installed 2007

    maybe our wood isn't as seasoned as it should be?
    IMG_0933.jpg
  10. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Hrm. that is one black stove glass. I think the wood is not properly seasoned and the stove is not running hot enough (as a consequence of non-seasoned wood).

    Do you have access to some eco-logs or a pallet to try burning some dry wood? I would clean the glass and try running a fire nice and hot.

    What kind of stove do you have?

    Andrew
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I have to say without a doubt your wood is not ready to burn. My guess is you have purchased this wood and the seller told you it was seasoned and ready to burn. Very typical story here. To know if your wood is properly dried, you need to know what type of wood it is and how long has it been stacked outside AFTER it was split. Most wood needs a year and some need up to 3 years.
  12. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    The flue should be 6" all the way up. Increasing to 8" might be okay; decreasing to 4" is not.

    Fuel quality is always an issue, but if you don't know how to operate the air controls to get a good burn, there isn't much point in looking for other issues.

    Is one of the booklets you received the instruction manual?
  13. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I s'pose you can slather the pipe seams with some sort of sealant, but that in no way addresses the root cause of the problem, which is insufficient draft. If the flue system is functioning as it should, no flue gases (smoke) should ever leak out of the small gaps at the pipe joints...rather, room air will be drawn into the flue because a properly drawing flue will run at a pressure slightly below that in the room. I recommend addressing the draft issue thoroughly. You say you've got a 6" stovepipe going into a 4" pipe in the chimney...that doesn't bode well at all for good draft...ideally the entire flue from appliance to daylight would be the same diameter as the appliance flue collar. Tell us about this chimney...does it have a liner installed? (I'm sort of doubting that). What are the interior dimensions of the masonry flue? Is the chimney on an outside wall, or contained entirely within the home? This system has some problems...solve the problems and the smoke escaping will stop. Sealing the stovepipe would be a band-aid which would actually fix nothing. This smoke intrusion into the living space is more than a nuisance, it's a safety issue. Rick
  14. heather purton

    heather purton New Member

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    Thank you for your responds,
    I do believe that the chimney is insulated, I have always thought that since the chimney has only a 4" pipe it is not right,

    I prefer not to seal up the crack since I will not be able to clean the elbow,

    the chimney is set in our garage so it is indeed inside

    now that I am thinking the wood has not been seasoned enough, though it sure does feel like our stove is burning hot,
    I am going out to get a thermometer today just to make sure it's not too hot,
    my husband knows how to work the knobs, I just don't understand how they work in letting the air in/out
  15. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    :eek: ;lol

    If he hasn't read the manual, he may not. Engaging the secondary combustion air at the appropriate time in the burn cycle can be tricky, difficult at best without a thermometer. Dual air controls is not the norm, so it's tough for us to give you pointers.

    Dry wood is important, but you may be worrying about your fuel before you know how to drive.;)

    If you don't have the manual, get it. Read it.

    http://www.pacificenergy.net/pacificenergy/tech_support.php
    milleo likes this.

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