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Progress Hybrid cat question / smoke smell

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by 3fordasho, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I've never had a thing on that side of it either.:)

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  2. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    That's flipped over. ;). Both sides look the same.
  3. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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  4. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    rideau

    Don't you bypass the cat when emptying the box? I'm not sure what you are saying here. You should bypass when stirring the ashes. I think the best think you can do is try raking the coals after each fire and eliminate as much ash possible for a week or so. See if the clogging is eliminated. Seems machria does this using the ash pan and has a really clean cat. Looks like 24/7 burning is done for the next week/year in North East MA.
  5. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Yes. Tony, you're right. Someone picked up on this before. I was being stupid, it is bypassed then. It's just general fly ash blowing around with the strong draft when the stove is operating in cold weather, I expect. And, I could indeed try that. Have thought of it. But I'm going to try the damper first, because that's not acceptable to me as a lonmg term was to deal with a problem. I want to fix the problem, which I really am convinced is my draft.
  6. alex johnson

    alex johnson New Member

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    Just a thought, could the catalyst not have the correct amount of platinum, and such metals on it. I could see this causing such problems.
  7. alex johnson

    alex johnson New Member

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    I seen were a guy, was using lava rocks, in replacement of catalytic elements. Seen his videos on youtube, it worked for waht I could see.
  8. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

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    Hi alex, its not the cat itself plugging up inside of it, it is the build up of what looks like fly ash on the face of the cells, surface caping the cells off to restrict flow, brushes off like powder super easy with no sticking to the cat. Sorta like a air filter with a dirty surface and clean vains.
  9. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Hmm... better call WS and suggest they get right on it, I'm sure they will :)
  10. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Any update? Did it work? Did you try it?
  11. Boiler74

    Boiler74 Member

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    No, I'm sorry to say, it didn't. And I'm starting to get frustrated, and I think Woodstock is getting frustrated with me.

    To recap, I have a smell on the door side. At this point I honestly don't know if it's coming from the cooktop or the door. I still suspect the door. I have done Binko's gasket job, and have re-gasketed the door a couple of other times too. I'm probably going to do it one last time tonight.

    This smell is like a fume, if that makes sense. I can smell it when the stove gets up to temp, but it takes a day to become noticeable in the house. But once it does, I get a headache, my eyes can burn a little.... that's why I say it's like a fume smell. I often will air out the house and then warm it back up with the stove, only to do it again a day or two later. The stove has run a lot, and I ran it hot for a couple hours thinking it was the paint curing. Didn't help.

    Woodstock replaced my first cooktop because it was warped pretty bad. Thought that would fix the problem. Nope. I have also:

    1.) Re-gasketed the cooktop twice. Replace the cooktop once.
    2.) Re-gasketed the door four times now I think
    3.) took the door frame off and res-bonded it per instructions from WS.
    4.) I used stove cement to attach gasket to try and fill that triangle void in the door frame.
    5.) Filled the roll pins under the top with cement and confirmed with an inspection camera
    6.) Cleaned and inspected the flue a couple of times
    7.) stuffed gasket material all around the cooktop to see if the smell was coming from there
    8.) stuffed gasket material in the door frame channels to add an extra layer of gasket to the door
    9.) Bugged the hell out of Lorin at WS.

    All these have been done incrementally. I've also thrown all sorts of different variables at the stove. Open windows/closed windows. OAK on/off. chimney cap on/off. I have shut any and all fans/exhausts/etc off many times and most times.

    My CAT doesn't get hardly anything on it. I have a 20' insulated liner on an exterior chimney. I also have an OAK and an ash pan.

    I'm honestly on my last nerve with the smell. Being inside the 6 month return period, it will go back if I can't find a solution. I do not want to send it back.... I love how it heats. But, I also can't have this smell. I wish WS would just send me a whole new stove, but with my luck, it would do the same thing.

    My house is tight, I will admit that. That's why I have the OAK. The stove is also in a room with cathedral ceilings. I don't know if that plays into this. But I can't change my house.

    It seems no matter what I do, I can't win. Lorin at Woodstock has been great, but she is out of ideas too. And I think she's sick of dealing with the problem. And I know it's hard for them to try to diagnose a problem like this, especially not knowing me or my skill set. It's probably easy to think I'm a moron and can't do anything right, and that's why there is still this smell. They don't know that I have been running student rental properties for 20 years, can fix most anything electrical, plumbing, or structural. I built my own house, remodeled countless others. I'm pretty handy. WS just can't understand that smell comes out. Hot stoves are supposed to suck air IN right?

    Sorry, I'm venting. This has just sorta' consumed my thoughts lately. Sitting and staring at the stove, trying to image what the heck could cause this, has become a nightly routine.
  12. charly

    charly Guest

    Could there be a piece of plastic or something of that nature stuck behind a stone during assembly of the stove , maybe used during the shipping of stones to keep them from chipping.. Maybe something became impregnated into the soapstone, a chemical spilled and dried itself into the stone? Then it slowly off gases as the pores of the stone get hot? Sounds like you've been all over the stove with new gaskets... Just trying to think outside the book.. I feel bad that your going through something like that...hope you can get that resolved...
  13. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    hmmmmmm..... interesting.

    Let me describe what I am seeing/smelling, tell me if you have the same:

    When a fire is hot and going, I do not smell a fire or wood burning smell at all in my house (excluding the few minutes after opening the door to re-load....). BUT, if I put my nose and sniff above and around the stove, I will smell a strong wood buring smell (NOT a smoke smell, it's that distinct wood burning smell), but I will ONLY smell it on the right back corner of the stove (I have right side door) just above the back corner of the door. The close to the stove I put my nose, the stronger it is, an I mean 1" from the stove off that back corner. If I put my nose just aboe the top vent/flue, I smell nothing. Anywhere else on the stove, nothing. But that top back corner above the door it is very strong.

    It's definitely leaking somewhere right around that top corner of the door. I'd swear it has something to do with that small triangle part coverd on the inside of the door. I see a bit of creosote built up on the inside of the door opposite of where that triangle is on the inside. The gasket around the door looks a bit more "browned" at that spot than the rest of the area's as well. However, the "browned" area on the gasket does NOT go all the way thru the gasket. In otherwords, there is a line in the middle of the gasket (where it seals against the door frame) where the browning stops, and the rest of the gasket is bright white(gray) as if it were brand new. So it doesn't "look" like smoke is passing there. But I still think that is where the problem is, something to do with that little triangle area on the top back inside of the door. Maybe there is a vacume being created in that little spot behind the door and triangle or something....?


    I can't figure out what you mean by "Roll Pins"? Where are these and what are they?
  14. 3fordasho

    3fordasho Feeling the Heat

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    I installed an extra piece of gasket to seal up the area that others were noticing creosote build up. Easy to install and it seems to seal but sorry to say it has not affected the smoke smell. :-(

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  15. 3fordasho

    3fordasho Feeling the Heat

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    I have to say your description of the smell and your experience pretty much mirror mine except I do get the cat build up and the smell gets worse as the build up increases. The cat build up I can deal with but I have to agree that the smell is quite irritating and at times I want to reinstall my old fireview.





  16. charly

    charly Guest

    I'm very interested to see what you finally figure out. .Absolutely something is going on there , especially that more then one stove is exhibiting the exact same issue,, smell coming from the same upper corner..
  17. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    Drat! I was really hoping that would cure the smoke smell (the res-bonding thing). I have it in exactly the same place and Machria describes it very well. It does get worse when my cat needs cleaning, which makes me wonder if that would indicate that its coming from the cat chamber. But, now that I think on it, as the cat plugs, the smoke exit from the stove chamber slows, right? Not from the cat chamber. Can't remember how the air flows through now. It is frustrating, I keep hoping someone will figure it out :(
  18. Boiler74

    Boiler74 Member

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    Thanks.
  19. Boiler74

    Boiler74 Member

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    I do feel like the smell is stronger the further back I go towards the corner on the door side.

    As for the roll pins, try this.

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/overfire.102759/page-2#post-1343032
  20. Boiler74

    Boiler74 Member

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    I did this same thing, although maybe not as pretty. Didn't work either.
  21. charly

    charly Guest

    Sounds like smoke over plastic or something on the stones,,, as per everyone having the same issue.. What a shame because that's such a nice stove.. Hope you guys can figure it out...
  22. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Josh,

    I don't have a smoke smell, so the following is speculation, not anything I can check.

    In the early stage of the fire, I would expect smoke to get trapped in that space by the door behind the triangle, but only for a short time before draft is well established. Since that corner is not subjected to the direct heat of the fire, the smoke that deposits on the door there doesn't get burned off. I think that is what is going on there, as opposed to creosote forming because cold air is coming into the stove there. In other words, I don't think it is something to worry about. If that corner of the door smells like creosote, then you could clean it off. It might help with a smell issue, if the stuff there smells as the stove is heated, but doesn't get hot enough to burn off.

    Looked again at the picture of your door. The gasket in the upper corner looks clean to me, which makes me doubt much smoke is escaping there. However, it appears that there is a portion of the channel that is not gasketed, and it appears as if part of the gasket there is thicker than another portion. Also appears as if the body of the stove at that corner, and perhaps the tip of the door, have a slight browning of the cast, indicating some smoke exposure. That may just be an artifact from shadow on the photo, and not a true finding. Is the gasket joint in that corner? If so, or if any of the above is so, then maybe try installing the next gasket with the joint at a bottom corner, or in the center of the bottom, cutting the gasket just a tad long and scrunching it in? Or even splicing the gasket into a circle, if you can measure it well enough?

    If that door is well gasketed, it just doesn't make any sense that smoke, or even a wood fire smell could come out during burning. It's not any different from other stove doors, or from the Fireview door. People with the problem seem pretty sure the smell is coming from the door corner itself, and not from a stove seam somewhere, and leaking out through soapstone near there? Has anyone tried lighting a candle and holding the flame near that corner at various times during a burn to see if there is any movement of the flame?

    Josh, the smoke smell seems to be more of a physical well being problem for you than for most others. Did you burn a wood stove before the PH? Asking to be sure you don't have a hypersensitivity to wood burning. Not a soluntion to the problem, but perhaps a mitigation of the problem, might be the use of an air purifier to get rid of the smell?

    There is an air space between the soapstone and the griddle. Perhaps you could put an extra, loose (not cemented)gasket in that space on the right side, just to see if it makes any difference. Would not expect it to, but anything is worth a try.

    Again on the theory that anything is worth a try, try removing the smoke shield over the door, in case it is doing the opposite of what it is designed to do, and actually keeping smoke that gets by the door early from circulating back into the stove. You can always put it back, if removing makes things worse.

    If I think of any other crazy stuff to try, I'll post.

    Good luck. Would hate to see you have to send the stove back. Am sure you fundamentally like the stove as much as I do. Otherwise you wouldn't have stuck with it so long.
  23. binko

    binko Member

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    We really enjoy our Progress. Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones who was easily able to solve the smoke problem.
    The bottom line is that although the Woodstock folks are great to work with (I agree that they are) the stove has to function as represented.
    Having a continuous smoke smell in the house is absolutely a "NO GO" in my opinion. First of all it's unpleasant and secondly it's unhealthy.
    If you're going to inhale smoke constantly, than you might as well live in the most polluted city. I feel for all of you and hope that you find a solution.
    charly likes this.
  24. charly

    charly Guest

    A stupid question? Could wood moisture content be an issue with the wood smoke smell? Perhaps cooling the gases creating that smoke smell.. In other words wood that is not ideally seasoned? Binko since you have no issues, are you burning really well seasoned wood?
  25. Boiler74

    Boiler74 Member

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    That picture was taken before the "binko" gasket job. This smell has persisted after multiple gasket jobs.

    This is my first time with a stove, but I've been around wood smoke all my life. This $3k stove shouldn't put out any smoke or smell anyway.

    The smoke shield is out. Took it out a week or so ago to see if that would help. I've also stuffed gasket material around the cooktop. Nothing has helped.

    I bought an air purifier early on. Didn't help.

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