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  1. nellraq

    nellraq New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
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    Loc:
    Coldstream, BC, Canada
    Got the new BK Chinook installed last Saturday.

    The install:

    New 6" rigid SS liner in a masonry chimney - it's an interior chimney.

    Stove is in the partly finished basement. Stove pipe goes vertically for about 34 " - then 2 45 degree elbows - then a 1 ' piece into an excel insulated thimble - into the ss liner which is 21 feet.

    So far so good: I get 12 hour burns without even trying! Am trying for a 24 hr burn right now - am about 10 hours into it and looks like almost 1/2 the wood is gone. Tsat is at 1.5 and the stovetop is maintaining just under 300.

    The wood: fir and Larch which has been split and stacked for 3 years. Nothing tests more than about 15%.

    Question: I have a thermometer on the stove top - but it's really a convection deck. The actual stove top is 2" below. My readings obviously are from the deck, do does anyone know how to convert from deck temp to st temp? eg. my stove is cruising right now at 300 on the deck - what is the actual stovetop temp?

    Smoke issue: Boy does this baby smoke!! After a reload I go out to look at the chimney and it looks like a steam locomotive spewing smoke! - smells bad too! I'll try to get some pics up for you.
    I used the same chimney setup with another EPA stove for about 5 or 6 fires. It acted just like my other chimney does with my Oslo - a little smoke on reload but none after the secondaries are engaged.

    Even after closing the by pass, it smokes really badly for awhile --then slowly cleans up. Takes about 5 hours before it's clean

    I spoke to the tech at the BK plant in Penticton...good guy and really helpful. I asked how the smoke gets by the combuter and spews out the chimney. He said that all the smoke will be definitely going through the combuster...but if the chimney has excessive draft the smoke will be going so fast that there won't be time for the combuster to "catch" all of it.

    He suggested that I install a key damper to slow down the draft a little. Haven't tried that yet - will likely do that tomorrow.

    Any other BK owners have this problem?

    Also, today - about 4 hours into the burn - I went up on the roof to check out the smoke--only a small amount drifting out by that time. Honestly, it was more like water vapour than smoke. Very little smell to it, and I put my hand into the chimney and it was barely warm. What alarmed me was that the inside if the chimney was quite wet, and also it was dripping down the side of the SS onto the masonry cap. Not really creasote - just a slightly brown liquid! What gives here? Condensation?

    Any input will be appreciated. Sorry for such a long post!

    (got 1 pic up - buts it's probably 1mg!! Something else to figure out!!)

    Attached Files:

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  2. nellraq

    nellraq New Member

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    Loc:
    Coldstream, BC, Canada
    Posting pics wasn't too hard. Here's some more. The last few are with the bypass closed, roaring fire, stack at 400+ degrees and probe at about 3 o'clock

    Attached Files:

  3. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Is the liner insulated?
    If not the condensation maybe from the temp diff from the inside the liner and the outside of it..maybe?
    Maybe some of the smoke is water vapor because of the condensation?
    I would think if you are getting 300 on the deck you must be near 500 on the stove top.
    Is the deck hard to take off?
  4. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I get a lot of smoke at the beginning too, not for 4-5 hours, maybe 1/2 hour or so, same problem, my draft is super strong, 26 feet, inside chimney, only problem is I have to go knock cresote off the cap about halfway through the burning season, first year it got plugged up and I was getting smoke in the house. Since I have an insert Im not sure how I could slow it down.
  5. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    What are your outside temps like?
  6. nellraq

    nellraq New Member

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    Loc:
    Coldstream, BC, Canada
    Thanks for the quick responses!

    1. Outside temps are hovering around freezing -- minus 1C (31F?) last night and about 3C (38F?) today.

    2. The liner is sealed off at top and bottom with insulation, so I guess you could say that the liner is insulated by air!?! The chimney comes up through the house - the only place that it's out of the building envelope is the 4' out the roof.

    3. The convection sides are easy to take off; but I'm not sure about the top - will check tomorrow.
  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I don't think a damper is needed in this case. You chimney isn't extremely tall. 21' seems just right. Nothing wrong with installing one, but I just don't think you will need it.
  8. nellraq

    nellraq New Member

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    Loc:
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    The key damper seemed to be the only way to "slow the smoke down" enough that the combuster can do it's job. (ie. eat all the smoke!)
    Do you have any other suggestions? I really need to solve this. I have always been the guy who burns clean and gives his friends and neighbours a bad time for burning the old smoke dragons. It's embarrassing for me to be producing 2 to 3 times as much smoke as they are!! I guess I could always do my startups in the dark so no one can see my smoke!!!
  9. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Have a leak anywhere? Air in=air out. There is no reason you should need a key damper with that chimney setup.

    You're seeing 300° on the convection deck? Assuming that is with the blower off. I know they're different stoves, but my stove top is at 550°, and I can hold my hand on the deck in most places. I can touch it around the flue collar, but it's kinda warm.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Your burning at too high of a t-stat setting. Turn it down more til you see the flames slow down or even go out and the smoke will clear up. My BK smokes at higher settings and big flame fires as well. The tech is right, the cat needs time to burn the smoke and these stoves are throttled down to deliver a super low slow efficient burn.
    DexterDay likes this.
  11. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Also check your door gasket, door may need tightening.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What the heck? How can that be? What do you do in winter when you open up that thermostat and want more heat? It's hard to believe that would pass EPA testing when smoking like that.
  13. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    The test is on a low burn with all of them as far as I know.
    Maybe that's why Woodstock made the hybrid...tougher standards on the way?
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    BK stoves are made in and for WA state market with EPA phase 2 minimums. I find it very hard to believe that this would pass phase 2 emission standards. Are all of you BK owners seeing this when you open up the air control?
  15. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I see some when I open her up..but not much.
    For sure after halfway through the burn not much.
    I should try it after only a hour or so into a new load.
  16. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I honestly only open it up on reloads. Just a wisp of flame will get my stove top temps in the 600-650 range, so I rarely run it much above a medium setting, once the load is charred and hot.

    I'll see a bit of a blue haze out of the pipe for a short time with a fresh load, but never anything like that. Something isn't right.
  17. realstihl

    realstihl Feeling the Heat

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    That's alot of smoke. I agree, somethings not right. Wonder if that combustor is good?
  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Water pouring off the cap when outside temps are only 32 and with a fire like that? I would be suspicious of wood quality.

    My BK makes a ton of white smoke until the cat is engaged and I throttle down. Never tried to run it for any length of time at a high setting. It gets too dang hot.

    Could it be that EPA testing at low burn rates heavily favors cat stoves?
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I with you and hoping that a large part of that is steam vapor from poorly seasoned wood. Come cold January those 20-40 hr burns will be 8 hrs as you all push the stoves for heat. There should be no additional smoke during that time if the stove is burning cleanly and efficiently.
  20. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Yep, I get smoke at a little over #2. But I think there is little need to burn it over #2, it gets pretty dang hot. Same thing with my Woodstocks, the air setting goes from 1-4 and it will smoke at higher settings because the smoke is traveling through the cat too fast. Maybe the EPA high burn test isn't full air? Wouldn't a non cat do the same?
  21. doug60

    doug60 Member

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    I wanted to chime in yesterday & begreen has already stated how can that be ?
    I didnt want start a brand war . Im content with the burn times Im getting with my Progress, 250 stove top after 11 hours with 3 to 4 inches of coals. But would like to know how BK does it.The cat must be that much smaller in the amount of air flow. And can easily be over come by opening the air inlet. And theres your smoke. As for my Progress Im doing everything I can to slow it down. With pipe damper closed & air inlet in closed position the glass still wont blacken. Todd maybe the colder temps will change the heat output of your stove while better controlling the smoke out the chimney.
    doug
  22. doug60

    doug60 Member

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    Todd as far as a non cat doing the same, My Equinox ran cleaner with the more you pushed it. Its the low output where it suffered. I think this is why hybrids are trying to bridge the gap between Cat & Secondary EPA stoves.
  23. nellraq

    nellraq New Member

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    Loc:
    Coldstream, BC, Canada
    Time for me to get back into this conversation --will try not to write another essay!! (ie. v long post)
    Knowing that I was going to put a BK in my basement, I spent a couple days going through every post I could find re. BK's.--specifically looking for a systematic method of successfully starting a new fire and reloading.
    Todd - I came upon your post and I liked the sounds of it! Very briefly, the steps were:
    1. Tstat at 3+, bypass open, load wood.
    2. Leave for 10 - 15 minutes with bypass open and tstat at 3+
    3. Close bypass -making sure that the probe is in active zone.
    4. Burn at 3+ for 10 - 15 minutes
    5. Lower tstat to 2.5 for 10 - 15 minutes
    6. Lower tstat to 1.5 -flames snuff out - good to go for 24 hours.

    I followed these steps exactly - except for the last one. I lowered to the bottom of the Normal range -as I wanted more heat.

    My smoke is at its worst in steps 1 - 5 - with 1- 4 being the worst. 5 is a bit better and 6 cleans up completely after about 5 hours!!

    The BK Tech told me to NEVER burn in bypass mode except for reloading or starting a fire. When you reload, immediately engage the combuster -as long as your probe is in the active zone. This has helped me somewhat reduce the smoke on reloads.
    In a new fire, keep the bypass open until the probe is in the active zone.

    Yesterday I installed an OAK and a key damper (as suggested by the Tech). I also cleaned the chimney again. The connector pipes had a little `fluff`in them and there was a very small amt of glazed creasote at the chimney top. The 21 feet of ss liner was completely clean.

    Jury is still out on the usefulness of the key damper. It definitely slows the fire down a little - but I saw no significant reduction of smoke.

    Update on my first attempt at a 24 hour burn -- worked like a charm. Stove top was at 250 -not very much heat - but my upstairs was still at about 74 degrees. (outside temp around freezing) I raked the coals forward and let them burn on Hi while I went to town. 3 hours later the coals were still going strong - I shovelled them out so that I could get to work on the OAK and damper!!

    Thanks for all the responses - it`s an interesting thread. Every BK owner that has posted here has mentioined `lots of smoke` at the beginning of a new burn -so I guess I`m not alone! Disappointing as this result is, I still love my BK. If I can keep myself from going outside to `check the smoke`` for the first hour or so, I will eventually calm down!!

    Whoops - sorry - another essay!

    Cheers!
  24. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Hell there is going to be smoke with any stove tube or cat on start up and reload.
    We are burning wood!
    I remember my old smoke dragons from years gone by and there is no comparison after things are settled in and that's the majority of the burn.
    That's one reason why BK says to do FULL loads all the time!
    Though I don't always do that...mostly because my wood is in the basement and at times I'm to lazy to carry up three loads of it to fill the beast..lol.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    True, if those smoke pictures were taken within a minute or so of reloading, then that is pretty normal. Usually, as long as the wood is dry and quickly ignites I will only see about a 1-2 minute puff like that.

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