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That was weird.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by BrianN, May 26, 2013.

  1. BrianN

    BrianN Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2012
    Messages:
    242
    Loc:
    Central BC
    Got up this morning to an 18::C house. So, the wife asked me to start a fire.
    I happily obliged :)
    I got the wood stacked in the stove, put the lighter to it, and smoke started coming out the door. For a moment, I thought the bypass was closed, but, it was not.
    Then, smoke started coming out of the flu right at the 90 (2 - 45's) going out the wall to the Tee.
    I then thought that there may be an animal taking up residence in the chimney. So, I went to the Tee and looked up, nothing. All clean and clear.
    Back in the house, in the stove, the fire had gone out, so, I took a chance and started it again. All went well this time, smoke went where it was supposed to go, fire is burning hot and house is getting warm.
    Just another weird thing that happened to me this morning.
    Oh, and the smoke that came out, didn't rise to the ceiling. In fact, it all sank to the floor, and hovered down there. I had about a foot of smoke billowing on the floor. Looked kind of cool, in a scary sort of way.

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  2. chimneylinerjames

    chimneylinerjames Feeling the Heat

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    Nov 26, 2012
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    371
    Just seems like the flue needed warmed up. Probably wasn't that cold outside, so next time try lighting a piece op rolled up newspaper first to warm up the flue, get the draft going, then start your wood.
  3. BrianN

    BrianN Member

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    Loc:
    Central BC
    It was about 6::C out.
    Makes sense. I will do that next time.
  4. chimneylinerjames

    chimneylinerjames Feeling the Heat

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    371
    Yeah, 6 isn't that cold for a wood stove. That was almost definitely your issue. You can even put a blow dryer up the chimney flue to warm it up and start the draft.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good suggestions. Top down lighting of the fire helps get draft going in mild weather too.
  6. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Northern ON
    Good tip - I'll have to try that - I had a similar experience a couple times in the past, and again this past weekend - definitely not a lot of smoke but it did start to creep out the door a bit when I lit it before it got sucked up the chimney). I'll try the top down next time (but I'm hoping it's too warm next weekend to even worry about heat....)
    ScotO likes this.
  7. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    878
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    Mass north of Boston
    Need to establish draft,try a propane torch, direct the flame upwards to preheat the flue, then use it to light your fire starter, paper, kindling etc. Nothing better IMO.
    ScotO likes this.
  8. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Mine did the same thing last night, and I expected it to. What I do is go outside to the clean-out, take off the cleanout stub, put a propane torch in the flue at the Tee, and hold it there for 20 seconds. Works like a charm. I've only ever had to do this a handful of times. Come to think of it, I've only started a cold stove in this house probably 20-30 times EVER. Once she is going, we keep it going except for extreme warm-ups outside.....
  9. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Northern ON
    Being a weekend burner (with a few weekdays tossed in) and with the long heating season, I do 30 - 40 cold starts every season.

    In a few years on this stove, maybe 3 or 4 starts produced a bit of smoke, with the draft taking a minute to get moving. Conditions as described above, a bit milder, and/or the air is a bit "heavy" that day. It does kinda sit you back a bit, when the last 30 starts were non-issues, then 1 decides to be a bit stubborn.
    ScotO likes this.
  10. Holiday

    Holiday Member

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    Loc:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    That happened to me once and then I realized I had the dryer going. Opened the window and it started drafting right away. It's a leaky house so I wasn't expecting it at all. I also use a propane torch for some quick heat and lighting.
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Top down forever! It was 68 in the house and 68 outside last night when I lit the stove as a sympathy fire for all of those still burning. And because the temp outside was falling fast at sundown. Top down heated the pipe fast as usual and draft kicked off in minutes.

    Quick draft is the best part of top down and the next best thing is any smoke has to pass up through flame and burn.
  12. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Stop loading the stove with dry ice. Use firewood. :rolleyes:
    alforit likes this.
  13. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    Clio Michigan
    I had this happen before as well with my insert, I took my chunk of fire starter and put it on my shovel lit and held it towards the top of the insert on the inside once the draft pulled the flame towards the liner all was good.
  14. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Like Holiday suggested, I've found that cracking a nearby window open helps get things started when it's not that cold out.
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Northern IL
    Last night was the first time in 3 years that I had an issue. Some wadded up newspaper on top fixed that reverse draft. House was 62.:mad:
  16. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    8,855
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    All vertical inside flue here and last night I lit the fire when it was 60 degrees outside and 60 degrees inside. No problems with backdrafting flue. I do believe that a good OAK feeding from below the house helps with this.

    80 degrees inside before bed but the concrete floors, insulated from below, were still chilly. Stinks to take vacations away from home during the burn season.

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