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Please Help: New Installation of P61A and Experiencing a Lot of Smoke

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by pellet_neophyte, Jan 16, 2009.

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  1. Raven20

    Raven20 New Member

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    I would also seal around the wall thimble........Just my 2 cents...

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  2. pellet_neophyte

    pellet_neophyte New Member

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    Smoke:
    Right after the install, we too had some smoke getting into the house.
    During the install, I asked about sealing the exhaust pipe but the installer
    said that he typically doesn't that the ash will fill them in.
    Wow... the ash filling in -- how interesting. Will still pursue silicon sealant approach as suggested by others but I found it interesting to hear that the installer said that ash will fill in the gaps.

    Mode:
    After having some issues with room temp mode, we ran it in stove temp.
    After putting the room temp sensor on the opposite wall, we switched back
    to room temp mode and works great. Holds the temp within 1 degree!!

    Our installer placed our room temp sensor on the wall behind the stove. When they come by to check us out tomorrow, I will revisit this with them.

    Adjustment:
    I have adjusted the combustion blower speed to max speed while burning Athens pellets.
    Also I adjusted the feed rate down to 3 to allow more burn time in the pot.

    Very helpful.
  3. pellet_neophyte

    pellet_neophyte New Member

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    What is a wall thimble?
  4. Raven20

    Raven20 New Member

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    The square on the wall where the pipe goes to the outside....
  5. pellet_neophyte

    pellet_neophyte New Member

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    FWIW -- the smells that came the first few days -- decidedly different than what we had last night/this morning. The smell in the house this morning was that of like a campfire. The smells the first few days were decidedly chemically. I have a very sensitive sense of smell -- often good; often a challenge. Since the stove has been on stove temp, because there's been no reigniting, I am assuming, there has been no new infusion of smoke into the house. Still a lot of it billowing out the back, tho.

    The more information I get, the better I feel -- or the more obsessed I get about our new stove. !
  6. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Now I don't run a humidifier and my elephant's trunk has frost for the first three feet.

    I wouldn't stop the humidifier. I'd get some thin foil faced fiberglass pipe insulation and wrap the OAK with it if the water is going to be an issue. You need to be certain that what ever you use isn't combustible (an OAK is technically part of the exhaust system [ I also get a chuckle out of that, since if you don't have one your house is then .... ]) . Mine can drip (which it does, but not that much) on my slate hearth.
  7. tkrock

    tkrock New Member

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    2 things for the dealer to do for you. Have them come out and recaulk the joints on the outside of your pipe. The other would be have them insulate your outside air pipe with the frost. That will stop the sweating and frost affect, it will also stop robbing your house of additional heat. Its like leaving the fridge door open.

    My 2 cents. Otherwise looks great!!!!!
  8. Dr_Drum

    Dr_Drum Feeling the Heat

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    I believe from your pictures that you have ICC Excel venting which uses high temperature rubber-like gaskets. You can confirm this with your dealer/installer. Don't try to seal them if it's Excel pipe. I seriously doubt you are leaking any exhaust from the venting pipes. However, the appliance adapter could be leaking where it seals to the actual stove. Check there. The smoke coming from my outside vent pipe looks exactly like yours, and I believe it is do to the extreme cold, hot exhaust hitting cold air, normal operation. It's not black smoke. All my neighbors have pellet stoves and all of our exhaust appears the same. If I increase the fan speed (into the room) it lowers the exhaust temperature and I can see less smoke/vapor outside. If I lower the heat setting, less smoke/vapor outside.
    Mike -
    p.s. My smoke alarm was also going off even though I couldn't smell any smoke. I researched and found it was also a heat detector.
  9. pellet_neophyte

    pellet_neophyte New Member

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    Thank you so much for this post. I coincidently had increased the fan speed a while ago and have noted a HUGE differences in the smoke outside -- virtually none.
  10. Dr_Drum

    Dr_Drum Feeling the Heat

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    You are very welcome, glad I could help.
    Mike -
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    What you are seeing outside is condensing moisture and occurs whenever you have an exhaust system and the outside air is cold enough to condense whatever moisture is in the exhaust. Pellets are not moisture free, neither is most below zero air let alone any indoor air used for combustion, in addition to that one of the byproducts of burning wood is also water.

    As for the Excel venting (which I have) , it certainly does have high temperature gaskets and just to add a bit of information, they can in fact develop leaks as the gasket can move out of proper position when joining the pipe sections together.

    Dr_Drum is correct about the adapter being a possible spot for a leak. However even that is covered by the folks here saying to seal every interior exhaust system joint.

    Which I also think is code in most places.
  12. Dr_Drum

    Dr_Drum Feeling the Heat

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    Hey Smokey, cold this morning huh? I think if the gasket shifted position they wouldn't have any trouble spotting the leak.
    Mike -
  13. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Mike,

    It isn't swimming weather, but cold naw, now if some of that stuff that hit Tok in Alaska makes it here then it'll be cold.

    The problem with shifting gaskets (and any other method of sealing) is that they don't always present a visible leak when there is air flow in the system.

    Other than that what can I say.
  14. pellet_neophyte

    pellet_neophyte New Member

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    Update:

    So many variable changes that I'm not sure what has caused which changes... its a journey, right?

    -- 5 degrees outside and its sunny
    -- No smoke coming out of outside pipe
    -- Humidifiers turned off
    -- Frost on inside pipe is gone
    -- Running stove on stove temp; blower eventually turned up to high; heat turned up quite a bit, too
    -- House is cozy downstairs (that's the way its been all along since having this thing, tho)
    -- About 62 in the bedrooms upstairs

    Photo updates:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Cat is happy:
    [​IMG]
  15. crausch

    crausch New Member

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    As a note:

    I had one and was able to see smoke with a flash light. So I sealed it. Then I still had seem to have exhaust leakage. The second time I could not see smoke anywhere. They only way I discovered the leak was because I had black painted exhaust pipe and the factory seam (which was siliconed on the inside) displayed a white/grayish ash mark where the exhaust was leaking. Since I sealed that leak (all around the factory seal) I have had no oders or eye burning anymore. Yippie! Some times them buggers are just hard to spot.

    [Update] - Looks like I crossed posted again. Anyway, nice pics your posting. You should paint that exhaust purple and put eyes on it. Might look like a smoke breathing dragon to the kids :)

    PS. The cat looks comfy.
  16. pellet_neophyte

    pellet_neophyte New Member

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    I'm going to do the leak testing suggestions after husband is home. While or after dealer person comes by tomorrow morning, we'll sort out sealing. Thank you!
  17. Raven20

    Raven20 New Member

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    We didn't see you in any of the pics!!!
  18. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Ah, yes, the kitty heater you install for the real important furson of the house.
  19. Raven20

    Raven20 New Member

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    Does that flame look lazy or is it just me?
  20. Sawduster

    Sawduster New Member

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    I have the same stove as you and have burned about 125 bags of pellets with it. One of the best things I learned on this site is to scrape the burn pot 2-3 times per week with the stove running. Flip the toggle to manual, turn the temperature knob all the way down, wait about 20 minutes and give it a good scrape. I also clean the stove and empty the ash pan once a week. You may not have to do it as often, but with the pellets I burn, it is a necessity. Minus 22 degrees here this morning, nice and toasty everywhere in my 175 year old home; I love my stove!
  21. pellet_neophyte

    pellet_neophyte New Member

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    First I had to research what lazy flame meant... ;) but... I think you are right but I just don't know what to do about it.

    A few minutes ago:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    January 14 -- Day of install, ~3-4 hours after install:
    [​IMG]

    So, now what does this mean? What can I do about it?

    Thank you...
  22. pellet_neophyte

    pellet_neophyte New Member

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    I thought I needed to do something like this. Perfect description of what I need to do. Thank you!!!!
  23. Dr_Drum

    Dr_Drum Feeling the Heat

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    Add a little more air if your stove has a pull out rod style air damper? Maybe someone can post a similar picture of a proper flame? I'd be interested in seeing that as well. I think I tend to add too much air?
    Mike -
  24. cac4

    cac4 New Member

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    My setup is very similar...different stove, but a Harman. same thimble, same OAK, and installed tightly in the corner. even have a slate hearthpad...and the same train table! LOL!

    Most everything has already been covered. outside is "steam", not smoke; might be a small leak in a joint in the exhaust pipe inside. I have a different brand pipe, and I had to chase the smoke leaks quite a bit, at first. Even after I caulked it up as good as I could, I still thought I could smell a teeny bit of smoke on startup...but only then. Once I moved to burning 24/7, of course, this stopped being an issue. Now, I only shut it down occasionally for cleaning, and after starting back up from a cold start, I don't notice any more smoke. so that theory of ash plugging up the small leaks...makes sense to me.

    One thing I did want to add was about the temp probe. Most everyone says that it works fine just coiled up behind the stove, but I don't find that to be the case at all. Maybe its the corner install...maybe the color paint on my walls, or something. I don't know. But its definitely warmer behind the stove than it is in the rest of the room. There's alot of radiant heat reflecting off the sides of the stove and the walls right there. With the probe anywhere near the stove, in room temp, the stove won't bring the room above 70. (subsequently, the rest of the house is "too cold"). With that very short piece of wire they give you, you can't get the probe far enough away to get an accurate assessment of the actual room temp. I tested it with a thermometer, though, and it is sending the "correct" temp to the stove's computer. so, its "doing exactly what its told"; its just being told that its warmer than it really IS. Anyway, I got some thermostat wire from home depot, and made up an extension for it, and moved the probe a good 10 feet away from the stove along an adjacent wall...have it tucked up behind a couch, so its sticking out of the top of the couch-back. In this location, the stove maintains the exact temp thats selected on the dial.
  25. cac4

    cac4 New Member

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    That does look "lazy"; and also, looks like a LOT of ash in the pot. What is your feed adjuster set to? should be on 4.

    edit to add: mine looks like a gas-log, most of the time. very prominantly blue at the base of the flame.


    (no damper adjustment on the Harmans; its all automatic).
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