Another "Chimney Not Drawing" question

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dublin

Member
Dec 12, 2014
12
Angel Fire NM
Hiya Folks,
Been quite a while since I last posted. I ended up installing an RSF Focus 250 for my 1000sf cabin in Northern NM. It has worked very well for me for over a year now. But I'm a bit bewildered by what happened this evening. This cabin has sat unoccupied for the past 2 weeks (it's a vacation cabin). Tonight we came up for a long weekend. Got in around 10pm. Temp outside is 19F. I have a propane furnace so turned that on remotely and cabin was a balmy 61F when we arrived. After getting the vehicles unloaded, I proceeded to get a fire set up. Left the door open while I wadded up paper and stacked the kindling/wood. I'm using 15% MC Pinon which has always burned well in this stove. Anyway, lit it up and the smoke just came right back into the house. I put some newpaper up above the vent tubes and lit that on the advice of the sellers of the stove (although I've never had to do this before) with zero effect. Even held a blow torch up there for about a minute in the hopes the draw would get going....nope. I haven't looked at the inside of the chimney but just cleaned it in Nov. Considering this is a vacation spot, we've probably had no more than 15-20 fires since. Tomorrow when it's light, I'll take a look outside to see if something is blocking the chimney (17" of new snow) but doubtful I'll see anything. To inspect the chimney, I need to remove all of the refractory so probably won't get to that until tomorrow or even the next day as my 8 YO is dragging me down the black runs at the local ski area. Anyway, here are some of the other bits of information I'm sure would be helpful in understanding my problem: Chimney is 23' tall, Straight with no bends; Has a cap but I can't inspect it at the moment (ie. night time) but it has never clogged up even with the previous fireplace; Outside pressure is 30.28 inches. As I said, wood is good and dry and has burned well (and hot). I've not had this problem before at much warmer outdoor temps and at much colder. Tried opening a window....did nothing. Made sure my Forced Air furnace was not blowing....no effect. I've not had this problem before so am puzzled as to what might be the issue. I appreciate any ideas. I suppose I can't move very far forward until I get a look inside the chimney itself but other ideas are most appreciated.
Cheers.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,694
South Puget Sound, WA
If there is a screen in the cap, check it. If there is no screen, check for a critter building a nest in the pipe.
 

dublin

Member
Dec 12, 2014
12
Angel Fire NM
Thanks. As an update, an hour or so later, I've just tried lighting again. It's drawing like a beast. I'm figuring it's got to have something do to with the temp in the house (warm) and the chimney just being too cold but am open to all suggestions. Going to get it going good and hot and then to bed.
 

mark cline

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2012
710
Cattaraugus, NY
Just leaving the stove door open , allowing the warm inside air warm the chimney to the point of creating a good draw. Draw increases as chimney warms. My theory and 2 cents.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,129
07462
your draft was more or less air locked
 

dublin

Member
Dec 12, 2014
12
Angel Fire NM
your draft was more or less air locked
What does that mean? I usually turn on the furnace to warm the place up before I get there and have historically just started a fire pretty much after I get the car unloaded. Really no difference this time. It's been working great ever since (but has pretty had a fire going non stop since we got here)
Cheers.