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Smell in basement

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by sowers25, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. sowers25

    sowers25 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    69
    Loc:
    NE West Virginia
    I installed a 30 nc in my basement and let it go out after a couple day burn. Now my basement stinks like soot horribly, and not the normal wood smoke smell, it's potent. I did/do have a problem with creosote I believe, probably from burning wet wood, at least that's what I've gathered from a previous post. I can open the stove and feel a bit of a down draft with the stove shut down. Is that y I am getting this pungent odor? Any ideas how I can correct?

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  2. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,206
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    Sounds like creosote to me as well.. The only fix is to burn dry wood however you should get that chimney cleaned asap. The reason you smell it is you have a downdraft problem which will go away once the flue is heated it will reverse this and the smell will go away however your creosote will not go away until your flue is cleaned and you burn dry wood or risk a chimney fire..

    Good Luck!
    Ray
    corey21 and ScotO like this.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Sorry to hear that sowers. One thing you can do is when you are not going to use the stove, stuff some insulation into the flue to stop the downdraft and also make certain your draft is closed. Then make yourself a reminder and fasten it onto the firebox door to remind to remove said insulation before starting a new fire.

    When starting a new fire, this will get worse as the outside air gets colder. You may have to pre-warm the flue before attempting to start a fire. Some do this with hair driers, some with newspapers or even place a Super Cedar in the flue and light it. Anything to get the warm air going up and stop the cold from coming down. Good luck.
  4. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    418
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Hi 25, What type chimney are you venting into ? construction, liner size, height, 2-3 ft above peak of roof ?
    Unseasoned wood is a creosote maker, but your down draft when not burning is what I was wondering about.

    Todd 2
  5. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    6,206
    Loc:
    Carver, MA.
    Todd a heating system or dryer could create a negative pressure in a basement install. An OAK could correct the downdrafting and could be simulated by opening a window or door to the outside to see if the downdraft is reduced or eliminated..

    Ray
  6. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    418
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Good point Ray, My stove is in the basement and cold flue, warm out, no matter what really, it always has and updraft ( thankfully ) I could see where a tight home with something to create a down draft could cause the problem he has. And OAK would seem to be the fix with a view simple tests you noted. Todd
  7. fishinpa

    fishinpa Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    170
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Okay, I think it is time I can give some input based on MY OAK experiment gone permanent.

    Last year (3rd season with the stove) I decided that due to my stove being in the basement, and the crazy drafts I was getting throughout the house (believed due to the stove) that I started experimenting with an OAK. I researched and read posts that covered both side of the fence. (Yes you should / No, you should not) I needed to make up my own mind if this was something that I could benefit from or not so the experimentation began!
    Last winter season’s experiment (I do not have pictures of, sorry) so I’ll try to explain using the pictures from this year’s permanent OAK install
    In the first picture you can see a small window. I took a piece of insulation board and cut it to replace the window, and found/mounted a 4” toilet flange to it.
    - To that I connected 2 x 4’ x 4” flex tubes to reach the 4” input hoie underneath my Quadra-Fire 4300 step-top wood stove.
    - In between those 2 x flex-tubes I installed a 4” “blast gate” used for wood-working dust collection systems, so I could dampen the input air as needed. This also allows me to shut that input air hole completely in the summer. You can see this blast gate in the pictures between the pvc & flex tubing.
    I ran with that setup all season and loved the results.
    I found the OAK to be soo successful in my case that well… I made it permanent! The pic’s are a little fuzzy, but hopefully you can get the gist of it.

    Attached Files:

    Todd 2, raybonz and Backwoods Savage like this.

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