1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Steam or smoke

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Diabel, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Ottawa, ON
    Every year when it gets cold like this it simply bothers me to see this coming from the pipe. I am sure it is steam since this morning it was -20 f. Regardless, I prefer looking at at the flue as if there was no fire at all....

    One observation though, with these low temps this steam/smoke will look identical on a fresh reload and three hours into the burn...strange

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    656
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Looks like it disappears quickly, which i would take to mean steam. Smoke hangs in the air more, especially on those cold cold days it seems.
  3. ColdNH

    ColdNH Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    536
    Loc:
    Bow, NH
    I had the same thing going on this morning when the stove was in cruise control at 500. I expected clear heat waves coming out of the chimney but with a temp of -1 i saw similiar to what your seeing. i chalked it up as steam.
  4. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,215
    Loc:
    Soutwest VA
    Looks like steam to me. The only time i worry is when my smoke is gray or blue.
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    At -20f my chimney could be spewing cotton candy and bottles of liquor. I ain't checking so long as it's warm inside.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    For sure at those temperatures any warm air hitting it will cause that.
  7. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Ottawa, ON
    I guess every time a cold snap hits this "steam" question reappears.
  8. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    I actually like seeing the steam on these cold mornings, especially when I see the steam coming out of my neighbor's chimney and I know he is paying 3.80/gallon to produce it :)
  9. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Ottawa, ON
    That is it! It is the pipe that comes out the side of the house that causes the anxiety!
  10. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,920
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    Steam for sure. The last cold snap we had, for the first time ever I saw white smoke coming out the chimney after engaging the cat. went in, opened cat, heated more, clsoed cat, went our, shite smoke; rinse and repeat. After three times, called Woodstock. How long til smoke disappears...oh about ten feet. Steam not smoke. Went out to confirm, and guess what? No more steam or smoke. SO: when it it frigid out, I get steam for a fwe minutes at the beginning of the cat burn, I'm figuring until all the moisture is out of my quite dry wood. It only lasts a few minutes. Doesn't seem to be just a contact thing between hot and cold air, because if it was I'd expect the steam to last much longer.
  11. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Ottawa, ON
    My wood is pretty good and I will see this steam at least three hours into the burn.
  12. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    My neighbour thought I finally started using my wood stove 2 days ago.... :)

    He finally seen some "Smoke" from my chimney... Silly neighbours
  13. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,854
    Loc:
    Amanda, OH
    It looks like you have alot of pipe exposed to the air. I wonder if that allows the vapor to form easier and take more time and heat to get the pipe warm.
  14. Diabel

    Diabel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    866
    Loc:
    Ottawa, ON
    Potentially yes.
    It is insulated.

Share This Page