1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Napoleon 1402 baffle/smoke issue?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Planethill, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. Planethill

    Planethill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    New York
    Hi everyone,

    First post! Looks like I found a great forum. I am on my third season with my Napoleon 1402 insert and am having an issue you experts might be able to help me with.

    SMOKE...and lots of it. I cant open the door more than a crack and it just pours out. The odd thing is that when the door is closed, it seems to burns just fine. This all started happening around the time I replaced the factory baffles that were starting to fall out in pieces. The new baffles are much thicker. They are 2"+ and the old ones were more like 3/4ish.

    I have a "chimney guy" who gives me a good cleaning every season, so the pipe is clean. I have a tall stack (37ft+) and being an insert its 6" SS liner/pipe inside the masonry chimney. He is saying that I "used a ford part on a chevy" since they are obviously thicker and the reduced airspace is causing the backup since the pipe is clean. I explained that the original baffles are no longer available and these are the replacement, bought from a Napoleon distributor, but he still thinks they are the wrong ones.

    I am wondering if there is something going on up at the top as he cleans the flue from the bottom. This is a 150yr old farmhouse with a steep roof pitch and very tall chimney...I don't have a ladder nearly big enough to get up there myself. From the ground it does look like there is some creosote on the cap, but I wouldn't call it clogged. It's a large cap as well since it's on the masonry and not the pipe itself (about 2-1/2ft x 1ft square).

    Soooo....my questions is: Does his hypothesis sound right? Could the new baffles be causing this? My wife suggested we take one baffle out completely for one load just to see if it keeps smoking. Good idea?

    Thanks!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It sounds like the smoke path above the baffles has been reduced by 1.25". I could see where this could have an effect on draft. Yet they appear to be the correct replacement part according to Obidiah's website. Have you contacted Napoleon about this issue? Here's the message from Obidiah's on the new baffles. Note the mention of removing the rear bricks first. You might check there to see if the back of the baffle is sitting too high on the rear bricks?

    Attached Files:

  3. Battleaxe

    Battleaxe New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Messages:
    43
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Yes, I was wondering about using 1" skamol instead.
  5. Planethill

    Planethill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    New York
    I have...awaiting a reply.

    Thanks! I will double check, but if memory serves the baffles just rests on a metal lip above the brick.

    I would think this would be a universal problem if it truly is the baffles causing the issue. So odd.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Agreed it does seem odd for this to happen with a factory endorsed replacement part. Do you have a telescoping pipe connection that can be lifted off the flue collar for inspection? Check to make sure there is no obstruction or pile of cleanout debris sitting there. There should still be a good clear smoke passage across the top of the baffles.
  7. Planethill

    Planethill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    New York
    Honestly I don't remember, as I did not install it myself. I could remove the surround and see though. I believe it's just SS flexpipe directly connected.
  8. Jacklake2003

    Jacklake2003 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    34
    Loc:
    Woodstock, GA
    I have a 1401 insert (the previous generation) and I too recently changed-out the baffles to the new thicker ones. If you look at my first post on here, I had (and still having) the opposite problem; too much draft (although I had that before the change-out). The only thing the new baffles did for me is to provide a little better insulating resulting in slightly cooler stove-top running temperatures.

    Your problem may be (this has happened to me) that the baffles are not pushed all the way to the back of the stove. This results in a reduced air-gap just above the door. When I've experimented with this in the past by moving the baffles forward a bit, I experienced poor draft and lots of smoke. Per my 1401 manual, there should be at least a 1-inch gap in front of the baffles. With the new baffles, the gap appears to be closer to 2-inches. So, you may want to check and make sure the new baffles are pushed all the way to the back (resting on top of the back bricks. Check your gap in the front and make sure it's at least 1-inch. Good luck! -Chris
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,541
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Great suggestion. It could be that when the baffle was replaced that the rear bricks were not removed and therefore the baffle is up against their faces and not all the way back. I'd pull the rear bricks, push the baffles back, then replace the bricks.
  10. Planethill

    Planethill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    New York
    UPDATE:

    I checked all your suggestions. The baffles are pushed back all the way, on top of the bricks. They are exactly 2" thick. There is a 1-3/4" gap in the front. I heard back from Napoleon and they said "The fact the baffles are slightly thicker does not in any way reduce the smoke path in the fireplace. It sounds like the baffles need to be pushed completely to the back of the fireplace. If the baffles are too far forward they will reduce the exhaust of the fireplace and cause the symptoms you have described."

    So here I am, stuck. They are pushed back correctly, Napoleon says the baffles are right, my chimney guy says they aren't, my chimney & cap are clean and I am still smoking.

    I got to thinking, maybe I have them installed wrong? Look at the pics below. Notice there is a raised lip. Where should that be? (The old baffles had no lip).

    Should the "vortex" writing be visible (down)? Or facing the stack (up)? I had them installed with the writing & lip UP, with the lip of the two baffles on the inside, closest to each other. Does that make sense?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  11. Jacklake2003

    Jacklake2003 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    34
    Loc:
    Woodstock, GA
    The "Vortex" text should be facing down and the lips against the side bricks. I just installed these in my 1401 a few weeks ago and they work great.
  12. Planethill

    Planethill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    New York
    Well there you go. Perhaps it was just my incorrect installation. I will flip them and report back.

    Thanks for the quick reply!
  13. Planethill

    Planethill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    New York
    UPDATE:

    Flipped the baffles so they are installed correctly and no change.

    Calling a different company tomorrow for a second opinion. I am convinced there is a restriction at the top.

    I wish my stack wasn't so damn high (37 feet of pipe) or I would check it out myself. I generally don't have a problem with heights...but this is up there!
  14. Planethill

    Planethill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    New York
    Another update:

    While I am waiting for another chimney company to come inspect the top of my stack, I experimented by removing one baffle entirely. Still smokes like hell, so the newer/thicker baffles have nothing to do with my problem.

    I am truly "baffled" by this and curious to see what it looks like up top. The only thing I can figure is that there is smaller (now clogged) cap directly on the flex-pipe, hidden underneath the large masonry cap that I cant see from the ground. I wish I had a big enough ladder to just do it myself.
  15. usner21

    usner21 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    122
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    Rent a large ladder maybe? Probably cost less than a sweep coming out. Only thing is if you can't fin an issue you will probably need a sweep to come out anyways!
  16. Firefighter

    Firefighter New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    NJ
    I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I am having a similar problem.

    I have the EPI 1101 insert, which we bought new and had installed in November and have used a total of about 40-50hours. The stove generally works fine, but last night and at least twice before when we start a fire, we cannot get a fire going and smoke backs up into the room. We are using plenty of newspaper, dry and small kindling wood, and the bottom knob is pulled all the way out. Last night was particularly frustrating, and we could not get a draft. I tried again this morning, and fire started no problem.

    I have a 6" diameter insulated liner, a fairly straight shot, 27' of liner in a terra-cotta lined chimney. There is a cap on the terra cotta chimney with a screen, so no animals or birds can get in.

    Any ideas on why I would be seeing such varying results. Again, we always use the same type/size kindling. This usually happens when we have not lit a fire for a while.

    Thanks.
  17. usner21

    usner21 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    122
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    I am no expert on draft but I know there are a lot of posts on here about the draft reversing itself when not in use depending on your setup. That may be what's happening to you.
  18. Firefighter

    Firefighter New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    NJ
    Thank you usner21, I think that may be the problem. I read some other threads, and I will do a simple test before loading the kindling--light a match to ensure I have an updraft. If not, open a window near my insert until I get an updraft. So simple, now that you pointed it out.
  19. usner21

    usner21 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    122
    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    No problem glad I could help! I know the weather in the North East has been crazy this year. Burn for a few days and then it's 60*'s out for a day or two. Hard to keep a constant burn cycle going.
  20. Planethill

    Planethill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    New York
    FIXED!

    Well, as I had suspected, my liner was practically plugged shut at the very top three inches.

    The problem was twofold and a "Day 1" problem. First, the guy who installed my liner ran it up past the top of the masonry chimney, right up to the solid flat copper cap. This only gave the pipe about 3/4 of an inch of breathing room. Because of this, anyone cleaning the pipe from the bottom couldn't get their brush to completely exit the liner at the top. When cleaners ran their brush up, they assumed they were hitting the cap when in fact they were hitting the plug of creosote. The result was a clean liner, with about a three inch plug at the top, which had constricted down to a hole about the size of a tennis ball.

    My new chimney guy chipped out the plug in big chunks, then cut the liner down to the top plate (a good 5-6 inches) so it can breathe like it should. Now my draft is awesome, I have zero smoke issues and future bottom cleanings will actually be possible.


    The moral of the story? You have to periodically get up there and inspect the cap! Because of my tall roof, steep pitch and even taller stack (over 40 feet from the ground) sweeps (and myself) didn't want to climb it, so they cleaned from the bottom and never gave the top a true inspection/cleaning. Luckily the guy I found is a firefighter with no problems getting on tall roofs.

    Here is one of the smaller chunks. Out of curiosity I threw it onto the bed of coals to see what burning creosote looks like and WOW. I can see why chimney fires are so hot and dangerous. This piece burst into flames and burnt like a meteor for a good 20 minutes.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  21. Firefighter

    Firefighter New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    NJ
    Wow. Your original installer should be ashamed of himself.
  22. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Wow that will DEFINATELY do it....I would be flamin mad at the original installer and I would be contacting him to let him know. When I first started reading this thread I was "baffled"...lol. I, too, had to install new baffles in my Napoleon 1900 and they are the newer style. It increased the performance of my stove, and the new style baffles look like they can take a lot more abuse than the old style. I've had my new ones in practially the whole season and it is cruizing right along. I clean my flue several times a year (more often this season, because of the mild temps I have NOT been burning as hot of fires as I would usually do in the winter). The cap is the outermost spot on a flue, and your's being 37 feet up would definately need to be monitored because of the distance from the fire, and the fact that it has been so mild this year.
  23. Planethill

    Planethill New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    New York
    Agreed, but they went out of business about a year after the install. Gee, I wonder why!

Share This Page