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Smokin' up the house...(video)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by loudog, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. loudog

    loudog Member

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    I know this a relatively common issue, but am looking for any advice.

    Started our first real fire last night in the Hearthstone Clydesdale insert. Installed in a masonry fireplace, with a full liner, and an insulated block-off plate. Outside chimney, 16-20 feet tall. Not exactly sure.

    We had it going pretty well, but the house was smoking up nevertheless. It was probably 40F+ outside. I wasn't sure if I started to choke the stove down before or after the smoke was coming in, so I lit another fire this morning for testing.

    This morning: a few splits (roughly 20-23%, some is 18% and some central portions of fresh splits is 25%..first season burning woes), two bio-bricks to help with greenish wood, primary wide open, stove-top temp between 500-550. Measured under the grille, where HS recommends temp doesn't regularly exceed 600. Looked like I had good secondary burn and it was 35-40F outside throughout this burn. Cick photo for video:

    [​IMG]

    Soooooo, smoke was still coming in the house. WHY!? I know draft is the likely culprit, but with a hot fire and relatively low outside temps, what more can I do? When we open an outside door it helps clear the smoke, but I'm not sure if that's from draft improvement or if we're just letting the smoke out.

    Also, wife notices a correlation between the blower operating the amount of smoke in the house.

    Thanks for any help.

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  2. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Are you sure the connection to the liner is good?
    You have something going on for sure.
  3. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I think you need to pull that surround off and take a look! Something is not right. It looks like ash flying around, is that what I see?
  4. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I seen the same thing,looks like ash.
    Either the liner is not connected good or there is another exhaust leak somewhere it seems.
  5. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    is the blower on in that vid?
  6. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Thanks guys. The blower is on in that video. Yup, that's ash and dust tyou see...the video exaggerates it a bit, but it is there.

    I pulled the surround off and took some photos. I'm working on uploading them now. Photobucket acting up.
  7. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Do you get any back puffing?
  8. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Ha! I'm such a rook I don't even know what that means. I'm guessing it means puffs of smoke that come back into the house? If so, no. It seems to be a light stream that eventually fills the room/house.
  9. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    You can upload directly to the forum, no need to use photobucket. Should be a button that says "Upload a file".
  10. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Good to know. I keep forgetting this forum platform is more evolved than others I deal with.

    Here are the photos. The last two show a gap in the sealant used. Not sure if there is ANY sealant in there or not, can't tell without looking from above.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  11. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    With the surround off do you see any smoke back there?
  12. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Not right now, but the fire is currently reduced to embers. There is no smoke coming in the house at this point. Wondering if we should take one for the team and light another fire to check it out. Smoking ourselves out on Thanksgiving!
  13. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I think that's the only way to rule out the connection issue.
    The fifth pic down looks like there are two pipes?
    Maybe just a optical illusion?
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That sealant doesn't look like furnace cement. Is the smoke smell somewhat chemical in nature? Ask the installer exactly what compound they used there. I'm wondering if that is silicone? If so, it doesn't belong on a flue collar, even if it is "high-temp" silicone.

    Second question: How many hot fires have you had in this insert? Have you had the insert up to 550-600F for a few hours yet? If not, and the smoke may be the paint baking in.
    Joful likes this.
  15. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Got any small pieces of 1x4 pine or maybe a little newspaper would work? Anything that will produce some smoke w/o heating up too much so you can look around while it operates.
  16. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Good call. I'll do that now.
  17. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Only other thing that maybe there is a defect in the stove..welds or something and the smoke is getting by the shell?
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Was the insert professionally installed or is this a DIY install? If it wasn't a DIY, then I'd be a very annoyed customer on the phone with the installer.

    Begreen, in the video, the blower was discharging bits of ash!
  19. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    If you don't see any signs of ash back there or where smoke stains are not seen I would really start to think something is not right with the stove itself.
    No way should there be any ash flying about with the door shut.
    If you don't find any smoke back there with your test I don't think I would burn that stove till it was checked by the dealer or installer or some professional.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I saw that and wonder if there is ash spilled somewhere near the fan intake or if a paper label was left on top of the stove? Or is that where the manual went? :eek: ==c J/K
    milleo and MasterMech like this.
  21. loudog

    loudog Member

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    I've had one hot fire in there last night and then this one in the morning. I was thinking about the off-gassing thing too. Though, the manual states any off-gassing should cease after 10-20 minutes of the break-in fire. But, I guess they're not accounting for any liner/cement stuff.

    Hmmm, not furnace cement. I don't like that at all.

    Wife says, who is pregnant and has a great nose, that the smell is not chemical in nature.

    It was installed by a professional.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Stay calm. The installer may have used mil-pac as the flue sealant. That's why I said to ask them. Usually it takes 2-3 hot fires to bake in the stove paints and burn off oils etc.. Keep a window open a bit and let the stove get up to 600F for an extended period. If the smells go away by tomorrow or the next day then I wouldn't worry about it. If not, call the installer and demonstrate the problem for them.

    PS: Do you know why the ash was floating around in the video? Let us know if that was temporary or continues to happen.
  23. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Well the pregnant wife says it smells like smoke.
    But it is a idea to leave a window open and try it out and see if it clears up.
    For sure I would not leave it run overnight till this issue is resolved.
  24. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Thanks. Not sure why the ash was floating around. Still some small debris in the airflow, but far less substantial than shown in the video.

    Yeah, not taking any chances. We have the house opened up.

    So, we threw some pine in as recommended and got a nice little fire.

    [​IMG]

    No visible smoke from any of the liner joints. However, the house did smell like smoke during that fire.

    Also, I noticed the draft sample port in the manual. We have the matte version of the stove, but apparently have the enamled version plug. But, there is no lock nut on ours as pictured in the manual.

    Manual:

    [​IMG]

    Ours:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Should this thing be screwed all the way in? It's loose right now.

    Thanks for all the quick help.
  25. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    I dunno..but you would think it should be tight.
    She is sure it's not just the paint curing?
    Maybe the ash was just laying on the stove waiting to be blown off?
    BTW..a pic farther up shows what looks to be the same plug but has a nut on it also?

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