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Smoke coming out the flue bypass handle hole...HELP!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by emt1581, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    My wife woke me up earlier this morning and told me that smoke was coming in whenever she closed the flu handle. Sure enough when I came down to check it out, that is what was happening. There and around the top opening where you load the wood but that is an easy fix I'll just replace the gasketing tonight.

    But I've never seen smoke come out of the flu handle area...is there a gasket in there to?

    Something else that was weird is that, when I did close the handle and then let the smoke come out of the handle hole, and then opened the handle, a small puff of smoke came out of the thimble area.

    Now the obvious answer might be a chimney/pipe obstruction, but I swept it two weeks ago so it's wide open!

    EDIT: The other thing I'm going to check out is the cat area to see if that is clogged up anywhere and not letting smoke through. How do I clean that area though?? Not the cat itself but the area...?

    What about the handle hole though?? Any ideas?

    I'm going to call my stove shop today to see what they say. In the mean time I'll get some kerosene heaters going so my house doesn't turn into an ice box.

    Thanks in advance!

    -Emt1581

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  2. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    That would still be my guess. Have you checked the spark arrestor screen from outside?
  3. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    I assume by "Flue" handle you're talking about the in-line damper in the connector pipe. If that's correct, I'd re-sweep, or at least check where the connector goes into your chimney. Sure sounds like a blockage. Normally in a free-flowing chimney system, the loose hole around the damper handle will suck air IN, not exhaust any smoke. Yours doesn't sound like it's still free flowing...
  4. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    No, not the damper. It's the larger handle on the left side of the stove itself that allows you to load wood without smoke coming in the house. Then you close it when you're done to prevent heat/gas from escaping.

    Thanks

    -Emt1581
  5. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Assuming your stove is basically the same as the one VC is currently calling the 'Encore FlexBurn,' that's the damper. It's labeled as such on page 20 of the manual.

    If you regularly have to fiddle with the damper to prevent smoke from coming in, that's more evidence that you have a draft problem.
  6. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    My guess.

    1) Obstruction somewhere in the chimney or stove pipe . . . Fix: Check and sweep if need be

    2) If it is warm where you are you are and the house temp was close to the outside temp and if this was starting a fire from a cold start you might have a reverse draft . . . Fix: Pre-warm the chimney, open up a nearby window a crack, etc.
  7. CHeath

    CHeath Member

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    My englander 25-3800 did this last week. I had both drafts shut off and went down and opened the door and smoke just unusually bellowed out the door which never has happened. I shut the door and opened the drafts. They started pulling I'm air so I closed it back and when I did it blew at me like a deer that I startled in the woods! Smoke came out of the draft hole. It lasted about 2 seconds and was quite powerful. I still can't explain it. No blockage was found in the chimney. Good luck ill watch this thread.
  8. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Nope, not warm here in PA yet.

    I'll check everything out when I get home. I did just clean all the ash out and there was a lot built up so maybe the smoke just couldn't escape through the cat area due to being obstructed by ash so it found the place of lowest pressure to escape...it's been going for a few minutes and no smoke so maybe that did it. We'll see.

    Thanks

    -Emt1581
  9. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Well it's been 10-15mins and no smoke so I'm guessing that was it. Too much ash built up which was my fault. I usually clean the pan every few days but I forgot. That won't happen again!

    Still curious if there is a gasket on the handle though...?

    Thanks

    -Emt1581
  10. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Shouldn't need one. Gaskets on stoves are meant to keep excess air out, not to keep smoke in.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That would be the bypass handle. Sounds like an obstruction, check the flue cap.

    How is the stove connected? Describe the flue system from stove to flue cap.

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