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Was hating my F3100, had first stages of a chimney fire last night

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by pearlgirl, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'm really glad you are ok. Good call on 911. This scenario has happened before, even to some pros. It's easy to get distracted and forget about the fire. I strongly recommend getting a clip on kitchen timer that has a persistent alarm. Set it for 10 minutes after a reload and clip it on you. This has saved me multiple times.

    Note, we've seen clogged stacks happening in a month here. It all depends on the wood, the flue, outside temps and how the stove is run. Your setup looks ok, but have it checked. Note that this is why we insist on safe installations. Chit happens. The flue system did its job and protected your house and family.
    PapaDave likes this.

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Staff Member

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    First of all congrats on handling your situation in the manner that you did. You put the safety of your family FIRST.
    secondly, nowhere do I see that you actually checked the wood with a moisture meter, so it may be a "seasoned" by it may not be at the proper moisture content. My younger sister burned the 3100L insert for about the same length of time as you - LESS than two months - & called me to say that she was getting all kinds of blowback smoke when she tried to add wood to the burn. I scampered up on her snowy roof in the middle of February - VERY COLD in these here parts - & found that her 6" liner had about a 1" diameter hole thru the creosote she had built up. TWO MONTHS of burning undried wood & "cold" fires. She never let the damn thing get hot enough (unlike you) & always shut the primary air down right after closing the door. I had NEVER seen that much build-up in a chimney (or liner)...Anyway, I'd make sure you KNOW the mosture content of your wood & I GUARANTEE that you now have a very clean chimney...
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like your basic load/reload practice is pretty normal. Just a note, but you don't have to see rolling flames at the secondary tubes for them to be working. "no smoke" is a better indicator.

    Is the outside portion of your pipe insulated?
  4. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    Have not read all replies but +1 on good job getting everyone out and calling the fd, esp when sick. Flu is here too and I've been up for days with sick kids but not gotten it myself. However it's like a newborn and I try to snatch naps when they are asleep. SO I have been leaning a bit more on pellets and oil, knowin that my faculties are not the best right now and my attention is divided.

    On a good day I set and re-set the kitchen timer until the air is down and the cat engaged.
  5. pearlgirl

    pearlgirl Member

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    The outside portion is not insulated.

    Good to know about the not seeing the rolling flames. I feel like we do not have a lot of smoke out the chimney. I will start looking when I think it should be doing a 2ndary burn and it doesn't look like it is, and see what's coming out up there. We drive up our (very rural) road and see these places with tons of white smoke just pouring out and shake our heads! And then this happens to us!
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Ding, Ding, Ding. We have a winner (or loser in this case). That is too much stack sticking into the air without being insulated (at least in my opinion).
  7. pearlgirl

    pearlgirl Member

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    Thank you! Your dogs are beautiful. :) I am sorry there is the flu at your house too. I was one of the last to get it, I guess so I could take care of everyone else first. I am definitely going to do a timer. I am glad you all are mentioning it! It's a great idea, so simple, but it will help a lot.
  8. pearlgirl

    pearlgirl Member

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    From my limited (though currently growing exponentially) knowledge I think you are right on.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You would have to run crazy stack temps to keep the top portion of that pipe above creosote making temps.
  10. pearlgirl

    pearlgirl Member

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    Ok, any ideas on how many feet of insulated we'd need? You probably need to know the whole height? Hopefully if we have a professional come out and inspect etc they can make recommendations? I am gonna get on the phone and see who I can get to come out.
  11. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    What about people how go straight out the wall and up the side of their house? It is extremely common around here since most people don't want to poke through bedrooms and build chases through their houses.

    Had I done this when I was planning my install I would have ended up with close to 28ft of chimney pipe....all outside. Would I have had to sweep my chimney weekly? (Sarcasm)
  12. pearlgirl

    pearlgirl Member

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    I do wonder about this too honestly. I have seen what you are talking about. One local dealer has a whole wall of them, one for every display stove they have running along the inside of that wall of their store.
  13. southbalto

    southbalto Feeling the Heat

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    [​IMG]

    It looks like insulated class A pipe on the exterior...........
    Dune and PapaDave like this.
  14. pearlgirl

    pearlgirl Member

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    Oh! Maybe it is! Thank you, now that you say that I feel so stupid. It is. Is that why it's more expensive? I know the stuff on the outside is more expensive.
  15. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    I read through your previous thread quickly and saw that you replaced the single wall stove pipe with double wall. I'm pretty sure the answer is yes but is the exterior portion of the chimney pipe double wall as well?

    If yes than it makes me worry about the >50% installs around here that have 25+ft of double wall going up the side of the house.

    ***Edit - people typed faster than me again. Same worry applies though. Heck....I've got 10ft of double wall stainless sticking out of my roof.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It is insulated Class A pipe.
  17. pearlgirl

    pearlgirl Member

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    Just blame the flu. ;)
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Well, at least the flue did it's job. :)
  19. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Do you have a thermometer on the pipe in the house?
  20. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Staff Member

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    You are correct in that many chimneys are located along the outside wall of homes, but that doesn't make them better functioning systems. Our forefathers all built their homes around central chimneys, because they drafted well since they tended to be warmer. As inefficient as those central fireplaces were, the location also helped heat the surrounding walls in their houses. Then somebody decided that "Hey! We can have more room if we put the fireplaces on the ends of our home..." Not as good as central. Rooms at the far end get no heat. Chimneys on the ends of houses have drafting issues, simply because they have turns in them. Turns (elbows) = restrictions to draft. Straight runs work much better than elbows do, but not everybody wants to sacrifice the interior space to run a chimney thru their home. Your chimney IS insulated - to a point. All Class A has insulation in it. That's the way it is built. Shielding your chimney from the elements will definitely help you, but it won't eliminate problems if your firewood has too much moisture in it.
  21. pearlgirl

    pearlgirl Member

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    No
  22. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Its a good practice to have one there also, that way if the pipe is too cool you know you are not burning correctly.
  23. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I remember your previous thread. You had been trying to get by with fairly wet wood as I recall and were having difficulty getting the secondaries to do their job. I think it's possible you built up a bit of creosote in your flue which ignited when you got the fire rolling with the draft full open. If it checks out OK now, I bet you will run a much cleaner chimney from now on with dry wood to burn (I also remember you had a bunch split and stack already for next year).

    You could also check that you don't have any air leaks in the stovepipe section as that can cause a buildup of creosote down low where it is easily ignited from a hot stove (trust me on this one).
  24. pearlgirl

    pearlgirl Member

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    Thanks Waulie, we were really struggling before with subpar wood. I have contacted a certified chimney cleaner, inspector, and repair person. He had me send him some photos and I am waiting to hear back.
  25. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I trust BG's and Bob's eyes.

    Okay - so insulated - it is as good as that part of the system is gonna get.

    Now we are back to the rest of the system and practices. You got a moisture meter?? Or know anybody that does? Or are willing to spend 20 bucks on one??

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