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Smoke entering house - Issue with Lopi Revere insert

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by ADK, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. ADK

    ADK New Member

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    Dec 18, 2012
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    I am having a weird issue with a Lopi Revere insert. Once the wood is burning at a good rate (getting the second burn) I push in the intake control - not all the way and the bypass is pushed in. After an hour or so from pushing in the intake control we smell smoke in the house. I have noticed over that period of an hour the fire is reduced to a small flame and the result is somewhat like rolling flashes of fire. Almost like the smoke is super heated and igniting in an explosive manor. Could this be causing some sort of back draft or negative air pressure forcing a burst of smoke out the intake or where the stove pipe connects to the stove?

    Some additional info...this has happened only a handful of times this year, bought this stove 6 years ago and have never experienced this (why now?), the door gasket was replaced this year by a Lopi dealer and the chimney and stove are cleaned yearly.

    Any insight or thoughts on this is extremely appreciative.

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  2. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forums.

    Are you sure the smoke is coming directly from the stove? Are there multiple flues in your chimney? Could negative pressure where a second flue ends be causing back draft down that flue sucking some smoke with it?

    Next time you notice it happening darken the room with the insert. Shine a bright flashlight across the front of the insert. Move the beam up and down parallel to the floor and insert to see where the smoke is coming from.

    The small back-puffs usually indicate not enough airflow through the stove, possible due to a weak draft. The fire starves a little then enough air gets in to make it ignite. Many things can change the draft. Any new exhaust fans in the house? New insulation that has tightened up the house a little? Changes to your roof line or new building nearby that is affecting your draft? Did the service tech change or modify anything other than the gasket? Anything partly blocking the stove's air inlet?

    KaptJaq
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  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like back puffing to me. How is the stove connected to the chimney? How tall is the chimney?
    ADK likes this.
  4. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    OP said it burned good for 6 years and only started back puffing now. Something changed?
  5. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

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    Could be a combination of things. A new gasket makes the stove tighter. Perhaps the house itself was tightened up...
  6. chimneylinerjames

    chimneylinerjames Feeling the Heat

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    It does seem like it isn't getting enough air. Could the air intake be blocked somehow and it was getting air thru the leaky gasket? Now that it is replaced it isn't getting enough air.
    ADK likes this.
  7. A1Stoves.com

    A1Stoves.com Minister of Fire

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    or the furnace ducting loosened up?
    i had a customer recently with a smoking stove, traced to a disconnected duct in the crawl space

    is the primary air inlet clear of ash and debris?
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I still want to know if the draft has always been on the edge or generous. Also want to know more about the chimney. In particular if it's masonry and has a clean out door at the bottom. If so, check that it is tightly sealed shut.
  9. ADK

    ADK New Member

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    Thank you all for the plethora of questions and ideas. I will try my best to address them all here in order of posted reply...see below:
    1. It seems as if the smoke is coming directly from the stove however it has not happened since my OP so I have not been able to do the flash light test to really verify.
    2. Yes there are two flues, one for stove and one for hot air furnace that the hot water heater also shares. Never thought of this not sure how to check for the negative pressure from the second flue / liner.
    3. No new exhaust fans, no insulation, no changes to the roof line or nearby houses within the past 3 years anyway. The service tech did not modify anything else except the gasket. After the question on the air inlet I did vacuum that out and did see a little ash come out.
    4. The stove is connected to a liner that was pulled through the entire length of the chimney. I do not have the chimney height and will get back to you on that...you are asking for the roof line to the top of the chimney correct?
    5. Nothing changed that I can think of, house was tightened up however to be clear I did tighten it up 3+ years ago and I didn't have this issue between then and the start of this years burning season.
    6. I did clean the air intake since kaptjaq's original post and question...I have not been able to replicate it since my OP so not sure if this resolved the issue.
    7. The draft - though i have nothing to compare it to always seemed to be pretty good. When there is a vast difference in temperature between inside/outside i need to use a hair dryer to push out the cold air before starting from a cold stove.
    8. It is a masonry chimney with liner pulled in when stove insert was installed. There is a chimney clean out in the basement which i decided to clean out last winter. Not sure why I did since it hasn't been used for some time. How do you seal this off? Just tape up the edges of the door?
    Thanks again!!
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like #7 could be the clue. Usually when it gets colder, draft improves. But in this case I think you are dealing with a cold exterior chimney and marginal draft. I am going to guess that the liner was not insulated. Is that correct?

    If you have a liner directly connected then the cleanout door should be irrelevant.
  11. ADK

    ADK New Member

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    Correct the liner is not insulated thought I didn't realize that there is such a thing.
  12. chimneylinerjames

    chimneylinerjames Feeling the Heat

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    Yep, insulated chimney liners make all the difference in draft. Especially on cold starts.

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