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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. Boiler74

    Boiler74 Member

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    My wood tests below 20% with a Delmhorst J-lite tester.

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  2. charly

    charly Guest

    Has Woodstock been able to reproduce the wood smoke smell at all in that door area? What do they think?
  3. binko

    binko Member

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    I don't think that my wood is particularly well seasoned. It really shouldn't matter as far as the smoke smell goes. Well seasoned wood determines how much heat you get and the content of the gases going out the chimney. The key is "out the chimney" and not leaking back into the house. Logic dictates that if there is a leak in the stove, it should be leaking inward, however there may be DEAD spots in some areas where there is little or no airflow allowing smoke to ooze out. I am only speculating-the Woodstock folks would know best.
    Again no matter how attractive or how much heat output there may be, if there is an unsolvable smoke smell-it's a show stopper in my mind.
  4. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I think it's as simple as a draft issue with most of the stoves having the issue. Slow draft allows the smell to come out of the stove instead of going up the chimney. I'd be curious how the stoves having issues vs not compare on a manometer.
  5. binko

    binko Member

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    I tend to agree on the slow draft issue. I have an Exhausto fan on the top of my chimney because a have a less than ideal set-up. When I first installed our Progress and had the smoke smell, I could get rid of it by turning the Exhausto to a higher setting to induce greater draft. This however was just a false solution. For me fixing the door gasket allowed me to turn the fan all the way to idle which results in a draft range that Woodstock recommends. It appears that the Progress is less tolerant of a marginal draft installation than other models.
  6. Boiler74

    Boiler74 Member

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    Woodstock has looked at my setup via video and said they don't think it's a draft issue.
  7. 3fordasho

    3fordasho Feeling the Heat

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    I described my flue set up and they (Woodstock) didn't think it is a draft issue in my case either. However I am thinking of trying an additional 3' section of class A. Also have considered adding an outside air kit - just because I want to reduce the existing negitive pressure in the house and I suspect it will help the draft as well.
    My house is not near as tight as new construction, but open a window and the air rushes in.

    I also suspect at this point the PH flue is more gunked up than it should be (judging the looks of the cap). Also the same build up that has been plugging the cat is also present in the short section of horizontal connector pipe from the back of the stove to the start of the class A.

    I think Iam going to ask/order a new cat, clean the flue and then see what the situation is like. The cat just does not fire off like the one in the Fireview, and that flue appears to have stayed cleaner burning the exact same wood.




  8. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I had a tiny wood burning smell a couple times last year but haven't noticed it since. Here's my thoughts on it.

    Since it seems like everything has been tried in terms of gaskets and leaks it seems like it must be a fundamental design issue. But, since it only affects some people I'm guessing it has to be either draft or wood related.

    Speculating here, but I'm imaging when the bypass is closed the exhaust path begins filling with smoke just upstream of the cat when it encounters the restricted flow at the cat. The Progress has two main air inlets with the secondary air on the left and the primary on the right. Everyone reports the smell from the right side. What if the smell is actually coming out of the primary air inlet? Perhaps if there is not enough draft to pull the smoke fast enough through the cat the pressure build up in the stove causes a bit of smoke to go out the primary inlet? Since the stove is probably drawing the majority of the air from the secondary inlet when the bypassed in the closed the the draft mostly closed, maybe the primary inlet can reverse due to the pressure build up?
  9. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Waulie,

    That makes sense, and it may well be the smell is coming from that area. I think we have to say "smell" since it does not seem like anyone ever sees any actual smoke, and the comment has been made that it is a wood-burning smell as opposed to a smoke smell (? not too sure what that means).

    I had been thinking along the same lines during the past twentyfour hours, more or less. I was comparing the Fireview and PH, thinking about what is different. Fundamentally, the Fireview has a screen with large holes, so totally unobstructed air flow when the bypass is closed. And the draft path when closed is through the screen and right into the cat, so there is no distance traveled by the gases from the stove before the cat burns the particulates and volatile gases. So there is no time when the smoke and volatile gases are out of the firebox or flue.

    Contrarily, with the PH there is a deliberate tortuous path that the smoke and volatile gases follow in the chamber above the firebox before they flow through the cat and into the flue. I definitely see fly ash in that area, just as fly ash blocks the upstream side of my cat. So I have a really strong draft that pulls lots of ash along with the gases. Because my draft is strong, unless the cat gets blocked, I have no smell. However, if my draft was at all sluggish and the gases went through the chamber slowly, then there would be time for smoke and volatile gases to meander into areas. I was trying to figure out whether there was a seam where the smell could filter through the stove. Your theory for where the smell migrates from the stove makes a lot of sense.

    I wonder if there is a non-combustible air filter? One would think such a thing must exist. Perhaps one could be fitted to mitigate the problem. Problem is, it would have to permit free flow of air in, as well....

    This theory also makes sense, because it appears that people who have the odor issue to not have it primarily when the stove is first lit, before the bypasss is closed, which is when there is actually the most smoke in the firebox and the least draft, and when I would expect a smell from smoke coming out of the firebox. At that point, before the bypass is closed, the smoke is going straight from the firebox to the flue.
  10. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Really good news. I just spoke with Woodstock.

    They have torn the PHs down, and have used meters to measure gases off the burning stove, and have diagnosed the problems/sources of odor. They are in the process of remediating the problem. They will figure out how to upgrade every stove, which is not going to be a simple thing, but they are committed to doing it.

    They are also correcting the issue by the bottom of the steel secondary plate, and will be correcting that when upgrading the stoves.

    Is this a great company?

    Hold onto your stoves!

    Oh - and nice theory I had. The smell, when it happens, is from gases/smoke seeping between the firebox and stone, and migrating out at the top between the stone and cast iron. Also, by the hollow roll pins.
    charly likes this.
  11. charly

    charly Guest

    You bet a great company! I'm really impressed when a company like Woodstock can truthfully admit their is an issue with one of their stove models... that honesty says it all for me! Plus they're going to provide a fix for every PH owners stove,, just wonderful people! How can you not want to deal with a company like this? That is really good news!
  12. WarmInIowa

    WarmInIowa Member

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    Oh what sweet music to my ears:)
  13. Boiler74

    Boiler74 Member

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    Problem is, this sounds like the what I have already done, by way of the ResBond under the door frame itself. Are they still concentrating on the door frame, or is this in some other place?
  14. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Actually, that's not true. The smell does not always come from the "right" side, it comes from the DOOR side which can be on either side of course. ;) In addition, mine definitely does not come from the intakes in the back. If I put my nose down by the top of the air intake, there is no smell at all. But if I put my nose at the top back corner of the stove, then I smell it strong. To me it seems to either come from the back/top of the door and/or door frame, OR from the top corner seems in the stones, where the stones meet the cast iron frame (which tends to aggree with the woodstock finding below...).


    ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! THANKS WOODSTOCK! This will make the "best stove", even BETTER and further ahead of the rest of the pack! ;)

    We shall see I guess, but the good news is they now see or should I say "smell" what we do, so I have confidence they will figure it out. I've personally have wondered about the things I've circled in the attached picture in the firebox. The 3 "bumps" in the steel frame I circled, what is behind them? The do look like they would let smoke behind them, but maybe there is nothing behind them.... ? And then the last circle in the back corner, there is that small gap between the back wall stones and the top stones.... I've wondered where that goes..... ?

    But I agree with what rideau posted about what Woodstock found. To me it does seem like the smell is "seeping" from between the stones. It's not jetting out of anything, it just slowly seeps, or meanders out slowly. I'd bet there is just one tiny little spot that needs sealed, and that will fix it. I hope anyway....


    Firebox2.JPG
  15. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Can somebody post a pic of these "Roll Pins"? I can't figure out what these are, what everyone is speakng about with them... I don't see any "pins" in there anywhere...
  16. melissa71

    melissa71 New Member

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    Machria, that's where I can smell it, too. Top, rear corner on the door side. It's not all the time, but when it does happen it's noticeable. For me, it's definitely not a deal breaker, just a minor annoyance. Hopefully WS will come up with an easy fix.
  17. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Yep, exactly. I wouldn't have even thought it was a "problem", as we are burning wood, I would guess we will smell some wood burning! ;) EXCEPT for the fact, that I can't smell it anywhere else, except that one spot, which means it's an "issue", not normal. And after burning for days, it does get a bit strong... especially if you leave the house, and then come back in.
  18. charly

    charly Guest

    I know when I talked to Jamie the other day about getting the Hybrid,, he said they are updating their inventory of Hybrids at the factory...I didn't get into the details of the smoke smell but he did say they redid the door frame area.. I believe a different type of gasket behind the door frame? Not the door gasket itself...It is nice that they are not turning their heads and telling people it's their wood or their draft, not their problem.. Just the opposite, they took everyone's feed back seriously. Again, one family taking care of another family of Hybrid owners ;)
  19. pro5oh

    pro5oh Member

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    I wonder if they will cover our 2012 stoves, mine always has a smoke smell in that area when in cat mode. Been fishing around with a 2" miror and flashlight cant find these roll pins.
  20. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    ?? Anyone?
  21. 3fordasho

    3fordasho Feeling the Heat

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    There is a picture of the roll pins in this thread: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/overfire.102759/page-3

    I should also add that some with smaller/medium sized hands have been able to plug the pins with furnace cement without having the entire top off the stove. You can get to them by "feel" with just the cook top removed. I could see them with a flashlight and inpection mirror.

    I think was able to plug them this way but still have the smell.
  22. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Can't figure out in this pic what is referred to...?

    image.jpg
  23. 3fordasho

    3fordasho Feeling the Heat

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  24. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    thanks 3ford. ;)

    THAT is NOT what is leaking.
  25. pro5oh

    pro5oh Member

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    The smell I do get tends to be around the door area, and I am on the low draft side for chimneys. Roll pins would be both sides it seems.

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