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Solving Basic Chimney Problems....

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by webbie, Nov 28, 2005.

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  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,381
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I just answered this question to a gentleman and figured it might help some here - feel free to print out, edit, etc. - Posting elsewhere is oK with credits.:

    Well, stack effect is just a catch-all!

    Let't break it down:

    1. Chimney smokes when starting
    This is classic "flow reversal" which means the chimney draws down instead of up when not is use. This can happen either ALL the time or part of the time.
    In general, the solution to this one is easy. It has mostly to do with the technique in starting a fire.

    see the last paragraph at:
    http://hearth.com/what/chimney.html

    and the article on starting a fire that it links to.

    2. Chimney Smokes all the time
    In general, this is too short of a chimney, or too big of a fireplace! Chimneys should have at least 14 feet of height, and preferably more, above the damper.

    Numerous ways to solve this and it is usually good to do more than one fix.
    a. raise chimney
    b. lower opening a little (called a "smoke guard")
    c. Use grate and keep grate near rear wall.

    3. Fireplace smokes on windy days - This usually means chimney is in cross winds. Raising the chimney or putting on a special "wind helper" cap can help this.

    4. Two or more chimneys in the same structure, but house smells when one is used.
    This can be "smoke crossover" from one flue to the other - smoke comes out one flue and is sucked down the other - you can easily solve this by raising one flue as per the URL below:
    http://www.extendacap.com

    --
    Craig Issod
    ExtendaFlue Corporation
    http://www.extendaflue.com
    http://www.extendacap.com
    extend@hearth.com

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    #2. A. Chimney cross- section area too large to support the draft from a much smaller flue collar appliance
    #2.. B. Chimneys exposed to the outside draft poorer. Full lenght insulated liners may be need for proper drafts
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