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Suggestions for diverting vent soot from vinyl siding

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by stripedbass, Mar 21, 2013.

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  1. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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    I think the pipe is 4 inches wide. But I'll have to confirm this.

    In the meantime, I carefully read the manual for my stove yesterday. I noticed something I had not seen before. There's a diagram for the right flame pattern. The only difference between the diagram and the flames in my stove is the size. The diagram flames are much smaller. Ever since I've had this stove, even before the work on the vent, the flames have been large.

    There is also a diagram for how the logs are supposed to be set up. It matches my logs.

    In any case, I have located a fireplace repair and maintenance company. I've just contacted them and hope to hear back soon, though we're now getting into the busy season, unfortunately. I want them to check out my conversion kit which is propane to natural gas (whether the correct one was used. If not, I located a company online that claims to have the original kit for my stove), the soot problem, and how a wall thermostat can work with my stove as opposed to the remote control which has a number of features. The manual states that the stove can run on a thermostat and gives instructions and a diagram on how to make the connections and the wire/gauge needed. All this thermostat info matches what some of you on this forum informed me a while back. I was really grateful for the advice.
    DAKSY likes this.

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  2. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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    I've confirmed that the pipe on the vent is 4 inches in diameter.

    And this is what I've located on the Web in terms of a possible solution for capping the pipe on its two ends to keep birds from nesting in the spring and summer:

    http://www.thehardwarehut.com/catalog-product.php?p_ref=260941

    They are called louvers (had never heard of them before). I think they can simply be screwed onto the pipe. The ones above are meant to go into a 4" hole so they are 3.98" on the side that goes into the pipe and 5.95" on the side that faces outside.
  3. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Worth a shot, but I'd keep an eye on them. If your ATF gets out of whack again, they're gonna soot up pretty quickly, & you'll be right back to square one...
  4. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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    DAKSY,

    You saved me from the cold tonight! It's quite nippy in the Boston area today. It was also very windy earlier on.

    When I came home after work and tried to turn on my heater, it wouldn't go on. At first I thought it was the batteries on my remote control that were dead. But even with new batteries the heater wouldn't go on. Then I remembered something you told me recently, regarding the recent modification on my vent. You said:

    "If the wind blows the pilot out or if the flames start to act erratically, then maybe there's an issue."

    Well, I checked my pilot light, sure enough, it was off. I lit it and the heater is now working well with the remote.

    Today was quite windy and I'm thinking that this is what caused the pilot to be blown out since this has never happened before. Even though I'm not an HVAC technician I find it hard to think that the wind can travel from the outside and turn off the pilot, give the shape of the vent pipe that was added. Can this really be the case? Or is there another route?

    Questions:

    1) Someone from DuraVent (which is the maker of my vent) told me that my heater is a sealed unit so that if there's a problem, any bad gas backs out through the vent outside and not into my home. Is this correct?

    2) When the pilot light is blown out, is there any danger of any kind?

    3) Would the louvers (http://www.thehardwarehut.com/catalog-product.php?p_ref=260941) that I intend to install on vent pipe prevent the pilot light from being blown out? The original purpose in installing them was to prevent birds from nesting in the vent pipe during the spring or summer. If the louvers won't work is their a venting thing that I can install onto the vent that would vent but prevent the wind from blowing out the pilot?

    The earliest that a fireplace technician can come to check out my heater is the 22nd of this month and this is assuming I'm not working on that day (I'll know for sure a week beforehand) since September to December is the busiest season in my line of work.

    I would appreciate any feedback that a kind soul can offer me.
  5. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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  6. Heatsource

    Heatsource Minister of Fire

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    I'd highly recommend getting the proper cap and just installing a simple sheet metal diverter above the cap, or de-rating the appliances' main burner.

    the plumbers "creative" solution seems to be causing more problems than it solves

    maybe hire someone who knows what they are doing to help you?! Vermont castings dealer or other hearth professional.
    DAKSY likes this.
  7. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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    Dave,

    Today (Tuesday) was a really windy day and the flames in my stove kept getting blown off. But at night, they stayed on.

    What I cannot understand is how the flames are getting blown off. 1) Does the wind actually travel down the vent to the stove? 2) Are you saying that there is no way to save my plumber's solution? There is nothing that can be sealed to prevent the flames from being blown off when it's really windy? 3) Do you think the louvers (http://www.thehardwarehut.com/catalog-product.php?p_ref=260941) that I intend to install may prevent the flames from being blown off? Incidentally, they arrived today.

    4) Also, excuse me but what do you mean by "de-rating the appliances' main burner"?

    I'm having a hearth professional come out to check out the heater. I ordered a conversion kit today (propane to natural gas) from Vermont Castings through a dealer. The part number is 0005011. The reason I ordered is because I have no way of really knowing whether the kit that's in right now is the real one.

    5) You and Daksy have mentioned that I should install a diverter above the cap. The only problem with this is that if I understand both of you correctly, this diverter would have to be quite long. I live in a condo building. I need to be sensitive as to how things look to the eyes of the other 11 owners in my building. My plumber's solution, while it has the issue of the flames being blown out, has a better look than the diverter solution.

    6) What really pisses me off is that DuraVent does not have a cap that sticks out of the wall so that of there's a soot problem it doesn't go onto the vinyl siding. The cap they have is almost flush with the wall.

    7) I plan on using these guys to come and check out my stove: http://massachusettsgasfireplacerepair.com/Home.php. I'm told that they're good. Would you consider them hearth professionals?

    Please keep in mind that I'm just a layman trying to wrap my head around this cap and soot problem.

    I appreciate all the feedback I've gotten from you so far.
  8. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Bottom line, Stripedbass, is that with your unit properly tuned, there is no soot to worry about. Your air-to-fuel mixture needs to be adjusted correctly... The cap that is designed for these types of appliances works 99% of the time. The ONLY time I've seen an issue is an install like yours, where the prevailing wind blows straight in the intake. This agitates the pilot flame enough to initiate a safety shutdown. The diverter designed for this cap is just a perforated plate that that covers the entire profile of the cap. With the cob-jobbed set-up your plumber has installed, I don't know of ANYTHING that will definitely help you eliminate the problem. Maybe a shroud could be fabricated to isolate the pilot assembly from the incoming air flow, but without being on-site, I can't begin to tell you how to make it.
  9. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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    Daksy,

    Hi. Just got home from work. It was nice to find your post.

    I really wish I understood the hearth world lingo. You state:

    "The ONLY time I've seen an issue is an install like yours, where the prevailing wind blows straight in the intake."

    Are you saying that the way my plumber modified the cap left the intake exposed to the wind? If so, what part of the cap is the intake? Is it the part around the pipe that the plumber added? I'm assuming that the pipe he added is for the exhaust. Am I correct? (sorry to sound so stupid).

    At the risk of sounding really foolish, what powers the intake? In other words, I'm imagining the intake pulls air from the outside. If I'm correct, how does it do this? How does it suck in this air?

    But the most interesting part of your post is when you state:

    "The diverter designed for this cap is just a perforated plate that that covers the entire profile of the cap."

    Are you saying that there is a diverter designed for this cap? If so, I assume it's made by DuraVent since DuraVent is the manufacturer of the cap. This is news to me. I had assumed all along that there was no diverter made for this cap and that one would have to be fabricated. If you know of a link that has a photo I'd really appreciate it.

    You also state:

    "Maybe a shroud could be fabricated to isolate the pilot assembly from the incoming air flow, but without being on-site, I can't begin to tell you how to make it."

    Where is the pilot assembly?

    By the way, now that it's night and with no strong winds as I write this post, the heater is working perfectly. In other words, the flames are not being blown out.

    Thanks for your feedback!
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  10. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    [
    "The ONLY time I've seen an issue is an install like yours, where the prevailing wind blows straight in the intake."

    Are you saying that the way my plumber modified the cap left the intake exposed to the wind? If so, what part of the cap is the intake? Is it the part around the pipe that the plumber added? I'm assuming that the pipe he added is for the exhaust. Am I correct? (sorry to sound so stupid).

    At the risk of sounding really foolish, what powers the intake? In other words, I'm imagining the intake pulls air from the outside. If I'm correct, how does it do this? How does it suck in this air?

    The intake is the gap between the inner & outer diameters of the pipe. The exhaust is 4" dia. The Outside Diameter of the outermost pipe is 6-5/8", so the intake is the area between the two...When you burn the oxygen in the firebox, the by-products are exhausted OUT the 4" dia. That air has to be replaced so incoming air does just that. Nothing mechanical, It's natural draft...

    But the most interesting part of your post is when you state:

    "The diverter designed for this cap is just a perforated plate that that covers the entire profile of the cap."

    Are you saying that there is a diverter designed for this cap? If so, I assume it's made by DuraVent since DuraVent is the manufacturer of the cap. This is news to me. I had assumed all along that there was no diverter made for this cap and that one would have to be fabricated. If you know of a link that has a photo I'd really appreciate it.

    http://www.ventingpipe.com/duravent-46dva-wg-4-x-6-5-8-inner-diameter-galvanized-horizontal-windguard/p1760917

    You also state:

    "Maybe a shroud could be fabricated to isolate the pilot assembly from the incoming air flow, but without being on-site, I can't begin to tell you how to make it."

    Where is the pilot assembly?

    Inside the firebox. Each DV unit is different. Generally behind the log set...

    By the way, now that it's night and with no strong winds as I write this post, the heater is working perfectly. In other words, the flames are not being blown out.

    Thanks for your feedback![/quote]
  11. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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    Daksy,

    As always, thank you very much.

    If the link you provided was for the diverter that Dave mentioned, then I don't see how it can help me. In other words, I can't see it diverting soot away from the vinlyl siding. If, on the other hand, it's to protect against wind, I don't see how it can help me now since I have a pipe sticking out of the vent.

    However, I at least now have a better idea of how the vent works, from your explanation. If I'm correct, it seems that the wind is entering in the space around the pipe that the plumber installed since this would be where the intake pipe is. If so, then the louvers will not block the wind but they will keep away the birds.
  12. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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    This is a diagram of my vent cap before the modification:

    http://www.build.com/imagebase/resized/x800/duraventimages/duravent_46dva_hc_line_image_1.jpg

    When the plumber modified the vent cap he removed 2 plates and added the pipe you see sticking out with 2 holes. He removed the plate that says "HOT" with an arrow pointing up. And he removed the plate immediately behind the plate that says "HOT."

    The question is why would the removal of these 2 plates allow the pilot to blown out on really windy days like today? Also, what can be fabricated to prevent this? These are the big questions swirling in my mind.

    I don't think the wind is entering through the pipe the plumber installed. I cannot see the wind entering any one of the 2 holes in the pipe then making a right or left turn. I think the problem has to do with the 2 plates that were removed. But that's just a hunch. :)
  13. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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  14. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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    I simply find it impossible to believe that the horizontal DuraVent termination cap is the ONLY cap in the world that can work with a Vermont Castings Stardance stove.

    Why???

    I just think that such thinking is designed to push the modest homeowner into buying only what the Big Guys (or the System) wants. This does not encourage innovation which is what made America great and encouraged immigrants like me to come here.

    Why isn't the Star-Kap a better termination cap for me than the DuraVent one???

    I'm not going to be bullied into accepting something, just to get along.

    If Consumer Reports magazine told me that the Star-Kap was not a good cap for my Vermont Castings stove then I would easily accept it since they are an independent observer.

    But no one so far has given me any real proof that DuraVent is really the only cap that can work with my stove.

    I don't mean to sound rude or ungrateful for the advice I've gotten so far but America is a great nation precisely because one is free to ask the questions I'm asking here!
  15. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Duravent may not be the only one that works. The only folks who can tell you what has been tested with your stove are the manufacturer & the lab that did the actual testing. If you decide to change the termination cap, more than likely you will have to change everything from the stove to the termination to ensure that you are both code compliant & safe.
  16. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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    DAKSY,

    Thanks and I really respect your honesty. I know you've only wanted to help me and trust me: I'm very grateful for your past advice. I'm currently utilizing the skills I picked up as a journalist (my former profession). In other words, let's just say that I'm doing some digging around. Will let you know if I uncover anything. I'm just not impressed with the DuraVent horizontal termination cap. Sorry but I need to be honest as a consumer. I think it's too close to the wall. Even if a stove is working fine, I can still picture some sort of discoloration happening on the vinyl siding above. Yes, one can attach a diverter. But why should the consumer have to do this? Can't they come up with a better cap or can't Vermont Castings find another ventilation maker who will offer a better alternative? Anyway, this is not about you but the system as it exists at the moment. I just don't feel it's fair.
  17. Heatsource

    Heatsource Minister of Fire

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    A properly installed and adjusted stove will not make any soot, i'd guess that's duravents reasoning
  18. stripedbass

    stripedbass Member

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    No offense, Dave, but looking at your website would suggest that you are not an objective observer on this issue since you have a vested interest to make sales. I don't think it's in your interest to rock the boat, if you know what I mean. You're a businessman who sells stoves, parts and does servicing. The system, as it is, works for you otherwise you would not be in business. I'm a consumer looking for a better deal than what I'm getting at the moment. Were not in the same situation.

    To me, the vent caps below would be much better for my situation. But to even think about them one gets scared off (Don't even look at them! They are not approved by the manufacturer of your stove! etc, etc).

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  19. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    OK
    OK. This one has run it's course & we're getting off track. SB, you seem to have issues that can't be resolved here. All the advice that that Dave Gault & I have given you seems to be falling on deaf ears. Bottom line is that a properly tuned stove will NOT SOOT THE SIDE OF YOUR HOUSE. Bubble gum & bailing wire repairs are not the answer. An unapproved repair may have dire consequences. Injury or even death can result. You obviously do not want to listen. Sorry man, but this thread is officially closed.
    Heatsource likes this.
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