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)

ugh! smoke is coming out of my wood stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Fusilli Jerry, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. Fusilli Jerry

    Fusilli Jerry New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    Hello folks,

    This is my first time on this forum and I'm hoping you can help. Even though I've been using my woodstove for years I'm kind of a newb with few skills. I'll try to add as much info as possible.

    I have a Quadra Fire woodstove insert in my fireplace. We got it installed about ten years ago. We got the insert installed a couple of years after moving into the house. Prior to installing the insert we were unable to use the fireplace because smoke would always come back into the house. A liner was installed along with the insert and we have NEVER had any problems in all the years with the insert.

    This year when I fired up the wood stove for the first time I quickly noticed the kindling was not catching as quickly as it should and soon I saw smoke coming into the house from underneath and above the insert. Ugh! I couldn't remember the last time we had the chimney cleaned (it was either last year or the year before) and I made an appointment to get it cleaned.

    Yesterday the chimney guys came and told me the chimney cap was clogged with creosote and was really too small anyway. They brought down the cap and indeed it seemed clog. They installed a new and larger cap and told when they looked down the chimney they could tell it didn't need a cleaning and that I must have been burning hot fires and I should keep up the good work.

    I asked if the clogged chimney cap could have been causing the lack of draft (or whaterver you call it when smoke comes into the house) and they said yes.

    So this morning I go to start another fire and the same thing happens. The kindling doesn't flame up like it should and smoke comes back into the house. Ugh! Help!

    I quickly perused some threads on this board before posting this one and I see there is lots of talk about cold flues and methodology for starting fires. I'm not sure if that's an issue for me simply because I've never had any problems starting a fire in the insert in the ten winters in all kinds of weather conditions and all manner of kindling and starting techniques.

    I'm attaching a picture of the insert.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    689
    Loc:
    North Alabama
    Welcome to the forum, Jerry. If the liner is clean - could it be partially disconnected at the flue exit? Smoke will take the path of least resistance - it may be traveling outside liner.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,774
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Or perhaps something has clogged the draft opening and you aren't getting air. Or maybe some linkage has become disconnected but my best guess would be to check where the air comes into the stove to see if it may have gotten clogged. Mice have been known to use that area for making a nest. Nest means they bring material in which means the air vent is clogged. Good luck.


    And welcome to the forum Jerry. We'll be watching this thread to find out the cause and the way it is corrected.
  4. Lighting Up

    Lighting Up Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Messages:
    338
    Loc:
    Roc City NY
    "They installed a new and larger cap and told when they looked down the chimney they could tell it didn’t need a cleaning and that I must have been burning hot fires and I should keep up the good work".

    couple question come to mine...If your cap was clogged you needed a chimney cleaning did then run the brush down it or just replaced the cap?
    md
  5. Fusilli Jerry

    Fusilli Jerry New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    i don't think they ran the brush down at all. i could hear stuff falling down the chimney when they were taking the cap off.

    i called the company earlier and they are coming back Monday to check it out.
  6. Lighting Up

    Lighting Up Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Messages:
    338
    Loc:
    Roc City NY

    That's good...not to say that will fix your problem but I would think a sweep would rule that out first.

    Also make sure they check the stove were the liner connects to the stove and clean that out too.

    Hope that works and keep us posted.
    md
  7. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,390
    Loc:
    41.33°N 74.18°W and 44.67°N 111.0°W
    Could the material used to start your fire, ie cardboard/paper possibly be clogging your cap? And/or accumulated ash and cap debris that has fallen down above the baffle

    Also, I imagine you know, but the position that your draft controls are shown in the picture -- are completely closed .... So if that is the position you are using to start your fires, you will get smoke in your room.

    I would have the guys or yourself get the shop vac and disassemble and clean as much as your can from within the stove and behind the stove body
  8. Edward2

    Edward2 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Starting a fire in a Pendleton Wood Stove Insert

    In my opinion, the most safe, least messy, and reliable way to start a fire in a Pendleton Wood Stove Insert requires a little patience, the proper use of procedure, and the right tools. I discovered this method over time by trial and error subsequently hoping to find the seemingly simplistic but elusive formula for starting a fire in this stove without smoking up the room. I have found this method to be safe and successful. I will list the tools first, then the procedure second. Incidentally, as I’m sure you know other methods are available from the internet which sounds workable and safe so my opinion here is based purely on my own personal success. Good luck.
    Tools:
    - Electric Charcoal Starter Wand
    - Ignite-O Firestarter Packets
    - Small slender pieces of dry wood to help start fire (around ten inch length stacked in tic-tac-toe grid fashion).
    - Dry logs that fit freely lengthwise (from left to right) inside stove – ALWAYS USE DRY WOOD TO START FIRE – Get a hot fire going if you put on wet, green, or damp wood—DRY WOOD ALWAYS RECOMMENDED.
    The Procedure:
    1) Insure no more than one inch of ash remains in stove.
    2) Place the smaller slender pieces of wood in tic-tac-toe grid fashion up to several layers and insert one Fire Starter Packet between one of the layers.
    3) Place one or two dry logs on top.
    4) Close the air vent completely. (Check cool air flow by placing your hand inside stove close to the top left corner to get an idea of air flow. If you feel cool air blowing over your hand then you know the draft requires reversing—this is usually the case. If not, just play safe and continue with this procedure.).
    5) Place the heating wand inside the stove. ( Lean the heating element end up against the top front corner of the stove on the same side as door hinges—do not lean heating element against the glass door—position element a few inches from the glass door. The heating wand won’t damage the glass but will leave a dark smoky spot. A nice clear glass door is what you want for viewing the fire.).
    6) Next, plug the wand into an A/C outlet or extension cord if you need one—I think you will. (Close the door as much as possible and leave the wand to heat up the stove for twenty minutes.).
    7) After the stove has heated for twenty minutes, slowly open the door. (Again, place your hand inside close to the top left corner as before to determine if cool air is still flowing. If cool air is not flowing then strike a match and hold the match to the top left corner to determine the direction of air flow (draft). The flame of the match should draw towards the back of the stove. Blow out the match and observe the smoke from the match. It should be sucked up toward the rear of stove indicating the draft has now been reversed. IF NOT, THEN HEAT UP THE STOVE FOR TEN MINUTES AND TRY AGAIN AND REPEAT THIS STEP.).
    8) Remove the wand from the stove.
    9) Light the Fire Starter Packet and close the door.
    10) After the wood begins burning, open the air vent just a crack to provide oxygen to the fire to promote burning and increase draft. (If smoke seems to build up too much then don’t panic, just open the air vent a little more or as much as needed to clear out the smoke and increase the fire and the draft—a proper finessing here is needed.).

    Remember, if you try and start a fire in this stove by lighting a crumpled piece of paper and the draft does not reverse then you are stuck with smoke, and that smoke has to go somewhere. With this method you will know when the draft is reversed. If the draft has not reversed then you can start again with step 7.


    In conclusion:
    Closing the air vent while heating up the stove is the key to reversing the draft—hot air builds up inside the stove until finally it’s drawn up into the flue thus reversing the draft. Yes, this is a drawn out explanation of how to start a fire but drawn out only in words. The procedure is quite simple once you go through it a few times. Again, you will need that twenty minutes of patience, maybe fifteen—you’ll have to experiment there to make this work but start with twenty minutes. I hope this helps someone. Your responses are appreciated.

    Edward Hall
    Canton, GA.

    edwthall@windstream.net

    >
  9. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,592
    Loc:
    NE PA
    Holy CRAP !!!! If I needed to go through that I would .....well... I would..... Holy CRAP!!! NO WAY I would go through all that !!!!
  10. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Loc:
    Broadstone England
    Easier to sweep the chimney properly than go through 1 - 10 above................

Share This Page