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Puffing from the secondary air damper

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by prplehaze, Mar 1, 2006.

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  1. prplehaze

    prplehaze New Member

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    Hi!

    I wasn't sure where to post this question, so I'm sorry if this is off topic.

    I have an old Consolidated DutchWest Federal Airtight FA 288 wood stove. When I close my bypass gate and open the primary air supply, I can get a pretty good fire going. When I try to switch the air intake to the secondary air intake (on the side loading door), I can see gasses collect near the damper and then smoke puffs out. So, I have to close the secondary and have all air come through the primary, which is a lot less efficient.

    I have a very tall lined concrete block chimney which worked fine last year. This seems to be a new issue this year.

    I just had my chimney cleaned about two weeks ago and I couldn't find anything in the Q&A about this. I thank you in advance for help

    - Sean

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    "I just had my chimney cleaned about two weeks ago"

    Did the cleaner or sweeps remove the connector pipe first?
    I suspect they did not and debris fell into your stove and is now blocking the secondaey air passage.
    When they cleanned it did they also clean the stove and connector pipes?
  3. prplehaze

    prplehaze New Member

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    He did clean out the stovepipe, but not the stove itself.

    The secondary air control is not a passage. It is a damper in the side loading door. It isn't obstructed; I can see into the firebox when the damper is opened.

    I was having related problems before the sweep's visit. While the chimney was experiencing blockage, not all of the problems are fixed now.

    Also, this is a catalytic stove (I'm not sure if that were clear when I mentioned the bypass gate).
  4. roac

    roac New Member

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    When was the last time you cleaned or replaced your cat?
  5. prplehaze

    prplehaze New Member

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    I bought the stove last year and have never cleaned the cat.

    If you think this is the issue, how do I clean the cat?
  6. roac

    roac New Member

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    The owners manual should have directions for taking it out and cleaning it but It might need replaced. Being that we are at the end of the heating season I would try to clean it and buy a new one for next season. You can get one here...

    http://www.stovecombustors.com/pages/1/index.htm
  7. roac

    roac New Member

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  8. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I'm sure your cat is clogged with ash. You can simply vacuum it off, from the input side, if you have access.

    Do the big clean this spring.
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Cats should be cleaned to start the season and half way threw the minimum. I detailed in cat post yesterday how to do this
    If you hav wet or unseasoned wood they will gum up quickly.
    I would check your connector pipe and clean the cat. It is also possible that while cleanning the chimney crap
    fell into the cat as well. Good luck
  10. roac

    roac New Member

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    Today being March 1st I was sorta thinking spring is about here. I know back east it is still cold but spring seems to come earlier around here. Right around St. Patty's day is when potatoes, peas, carrots and radishes get planted in the garden here. I've got my tomatoes growing indoors already, sprouted a few days ago!!! Woo Hooo!! :)
  11. roac

    roac New Member

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    Just don't use compressed air unless your manual says it is ok. The manufacturer I referenced earlier warned against it.
  12. prplehaze

    prplehaze New Member

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    Many thanks!

    The problem was ash in the cat. I vaccuumed the cat and the surrounding area and used a q-tip to get the stubborn ash out and everything is back to normal.

    I'm in Pennsylvania and we got some more snow today. The tomatoes will have to wait! :)
    Thanks again!
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