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Problem with Lopi Answer: Sudden loss of draft

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Rainy cold Oregon, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Rainy cold Oregon

    Rainy cold Oregon New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    I've been using a Lopi Answer insert for seven years buring at least two cords with no problems. I only burn dry wood and I clean/maintain the stove each season. I have had a sudden loss of draft - literally, one day it works like always and the next it doesn't. Even with the air intake on full open and the door cracked a tiny bit, it smokes so much it will almost put out the kindling. That's never happened before. With the door cracked like that, I could just about vaporize the kindling in a matter of seconds because it would roar and crackle to life very quickly. I did a mid-season thorough clean and inspection and couldn't find anything obvious: No obstructions and secondary air pipes seem just fine. I'm at a loss, and as far as I can tell, Lopi doesn't accept direct inquiries from the public. My local dealer is the type of place that would try to turn it into an expensive bill. I don't trust them. I would appreciate any help out there! Thanks in advance.

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  2. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    southern Indiana
    Have you cleaned the fly ash from on top of the baffle? Is the cap clean?
  3. FishKiller

    FishKiller New Member

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    Jan 25, 2013
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    considering it was so sudden, it almost has to be a mechanical blockage. like webby says, check your cap, if you don't have one maybe a critter got in there... i'm not sure how your install was done, but it could be a problem with the original fireplace damper. you could try running something small from the firebox up to the flue, see if you hit anything.
  4. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Couple years ago after burning some questionable wood we had that problem, the pipe was OK (not horribly creosoted) but right under the rain cap, the spark screen at the top of the liner was creosoted shut. it had to be knocked out of there manually, and then everything went back to normal.
  5. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    Maybe some creosote fell from the top of the chimney or the cap and blocked the flue outlet on top of the baffel
  6. Rainy cold Oregon

    Rainy cold Oregon New Member

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    Jan 27, 2013
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    2
    Thank you all for the suggestions and sorry for the delayed reply. It was the cap afterall. I had more build-up in just four months than I usually get in an entire season. We've had a lot of fog & high humidity this winter - I'm sure that had something to do with it. Thanks again!
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    South Puget Sound, WA
    Had the same thing happen to me this year. Dry wood is the answer.
  8. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    WA state
    You might want to use some of this until you can address your wood issues. It won't eliminate the creosote but it will change it into a form that is easier to sweep. If your cap is hard to reach like mine it would allow you to tap it with a long pole to clean out the screen. I speak from experience during my first year burning with my Lopi.


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  9. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Feb 21, 2008
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    1,537
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    VA
    Well glad to hear it wasn't anything major and was easily fixed! We had the exact same thing happen once!

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