Ashford 30 Smoke Smell, again

BKVP

Minister of Fire
Actually, if he's going to be in town, he offers to buy for anyone interested!
Leaving Fairbanks Monday...off to KOP PA next week....
 

liquidskin

Member
Nov 7, 2014
64
NJ
Bumping this thread. Got my Ashford 30 installed today. Little susprised by the manufactured date of March 2015. Anything I should be concerned about from the units that were produced around this time?
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
840
n
Bumping this thread. Got my Ashford 30 installed today. Little susprised by the manufactured date of March 2015. Anything I should be concerned about from the units that were produced around this time?
The ash plug may not line up with the ash drawer.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,015
Indiana
Bumping this thread. Got my Ashford 30 installed today. Little susprised by the manufactured date of March 2015. Anything I should be concerned about from the units that were produced around this time?
That’s not uncommon at all. Stoves get shipped from a distributors warehouse to a retailers warehouse, sometimes certain stoves move a little slower.
There was a very small production run a few years back that had some misalignment with the ash pan, just make sure the plug is over the pan.
 
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liquidskin

Member
Nov 7, 2014
64
NJ
That’s not uncommon at all. Stoves get shipped from a distributors warehouse to a retailers warehouse, sometimes certain stoves move a little slower.
There was a very small production run a few years back that had some misalignment with the ash pan, just make sure the plug is over the pan.
Thanks, I’ll check that. In terms of the smoke issue that some folks had, should I be checking any potential problematic welds or something else?
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Thanks, I’ll check that. In terms of the smoke issue that some folks had, should I be checking any potential problematic welds or something else?
My memory is not perfect, but I believe there was only ever one of those cases attributed to a bad weld. If I recall, there were 10-12 cases, and each was resolved differently. The most common fix, if one could be called out, was a high-density door gasket.

Run it, and if you’re like 99% of us, you’ll never have an issue. On the off chance you do, contact BKVP, and he’ll get you sorted out.

2015 was the date of my Ashford 30.1’s, and they had the ash plug issue. There is a fix, which involves swapping the pan tray for one with longer slides, if your stove has the plug issue and you want it resolved. Pull the plug and look down into the pan. If the back edge of the hole is right on the back edge of the pan, then it will spill some hot coals on the floor when you try to empty ashes using the pan. The longer slide drawer moves the pan back about 2 inches, so that the plug is almost centered over the pan.
 

liquidskin

Member
Nov 7, 2014
64
NJ
Wow, this post got really long. Just a positive rant about my BK experience so far - enjoy it if you're into that kind of thing!


I just wanted to post a followup now that I've gotten the chance to burn with the Ashford 30 a bit since we've had some colder weather in NJ past week or so. It's warmed up, so I've let the stove go cold after about a week of letting it cruise low.

Before I get into the details, some history may be helpful. I discovered this forum when I moved into my house 4 years ago. The house had a Blaze King princess insert in the downstairs room. This forum was very helpful for learning how to properly use the stove. Over the years I changed the cat, the gasket and was overall quite pleased with the performance. Only problem (at no fault of the BK) is the downstairs room is not the main living space. The BK insert served to heat our guest bedroom up nicely, but that warm air never really made a huge difference upstairs, so I tended to use the old 1970's earth stove to heat the main living room and upstairs bedrooms. That old stove sure did heat the room up quickly, but overnight burns were barely achievable and I would have to feed the stove so much wood that it really did feel like a chore. I did it, because i love burning and using my oil furnace as little as possible. However, I work a full time job 50 miles away from home and my wife does the same. It simply wasn't realistic to start a fire at 6am before leaving for work and return 6pm at night to start another. The furance would kick on before we got home to get the place to a decent temperature, I'd come home and start a fire and the cycle would continue. Weekends were better because I could constantly feed the old Earth stove.

Fast forward to August 2018 I got a new job after a year of pounding the pavement. In the hottest month I decided my treat would be a new wood stove for the upstairs living room. I knew it had to be BK. Not only was I satisfied with my princess insert, but the enthusiasm on this forum that I've read over the years had to mean something. I was confident that the stoves were the best and I wanted another one. I reached out to the local dealer, got a quote for a BK King. The dealer came to scope out my space and said the King would be way too big, and to come to the shop and look over some other options. I went and checked out the Ashford, Sirocco, but the dealer was steering me towards Jotul; a brand of stove I really knew nothing about. The showroom was clearly a bit more Jotul-focused, and from what I gather they are quality stoves, but I was sticking to my guns, it had to be a BK. We landed on the Ashford 30 and it was installed in October, having its first fire not long after.

I've known the BK reputation - heck, I even had one and have been happy with it. That said, I haven't really "gotten it" till now. Me, with my work schedule that has me away from the house 12 hours a day, managed to keep the stove Active for about 4 days, maintaining a perfect 70 degree temp in the living room and 60s in the bedrooms. 24 hour burns every time. I really couldn't believe it. Getting home from work to a warm home and seeing that cat thermometer still Active just made my day.

It's still shoulder season and I'll learn more about the stove as the weather gets colder, but I'm just over the moon with my experience so far. I'm so happy I didn't get swayed to another brand of stove. I'm officially a believer - I "get it" now. I'm drinking the BK Kool-Aid with you all now. Thanks for making room for me in the club!
 

BlazeKingSaddles

New Member
Nov 18, 2018
18
Northeast
I had my Ashford 30 installed December 2017. Straight 32’ chimney with 2/3 of it indoors and approx 9 feet outside (a couple feet in corner of attic crawl space) great draft. Class A double wall pipe with no OAK. Did my research and worked with the only Blaze King accredited dealer in my area. I put about 3 cords of seasoned wood <=20% MC through it, essentially burned one continuous fire throughout the winter (NorthEast). Stove sits in a 2 story room in a relatively new house and I have “THE SMELL”. I ignored it for the most part last year, but decided to inquire and discovered that this is a common issue with BK. I contacted them as well as the installer and just last week had the larger door gasket installed. Sadly, it doesn’t really seem to make a difference. Sort of out of ideas. One question that I don’t believe that has been brought up is whether or not the smoldering creosote/smoke smell is hazardous. I’ve got some young lungs in the house.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,181
Southern IN
Straight 32’ chimney with 2/3 of it indoors and approx 9 feet outside (a couple feet in corner of attic crawl space) great draft.
Hard to believe any stench could be exiting the stove with that much draft. :confused:
 

Marshy

Minister of Fire
Dec 29, 2016
824
NY
I wonder if burning the stove on max output for an entire load wouldnt help by burning off the residue in the firebox that might be causing the issue.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
86,454
South Puget Sound, WA
I had my Ashford 30 installed December 2017. Straight 32’ chimney with 2/3 of it indoors and approx 9 feet outside (a couple feet in corner of attic crawl space) great draft. Class A double wall pipe with no OAK. Did my research and worked with the only Blaze King accredited dealer in my area. I put about 3 cords of seasoned wood <=20% MC through it, essentially burned one continuous fire throughout the winter (NorthEast). Stove sits in a 2 story room in a relatively new house and I have “THE SMELL”. I ignored it for the most part last year, but decided to inquire and discovered that this is a common issue with BK. I contacted them as well as the installer and just last week had the larger door gasket installed. Sadly, it doesn’t really seem to make a difference. Sort of out of ideas. One question that I don’t believe that has been brought up is whether or not the smoldering creosote/smoke smell is hazardous. I’ve got some young lungs in the house.
That's a bummer. Have you been able to pinpoint where the smell is coming from?
 

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,673
San Ysidro, New Mexico
If I remember correctly, a member here with tall chimney was having the same issues due to too much draft. And when burning low is like the excess of draf pull the intake air to quick. I think he installed a key damper and that took care the issue. Maybe somebody else remember more the details or the member that had the issue.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
If I remember correctly, a member here with tall chimney was having the same issues due to too much draft. And when burning low is like the excess of draf pull the intake air to quick. I think he installed a key damper and that took care the issue. Maybe somebody else remember more the details or the member that had the issue.
I don’t remember that one, but I can say that 32’ indoor chimney probably pulls over 0.20”WC with stove on high and bypass closed. BK specs 0.06”WC maximum, but for reasons other than smoke smell.

The smell definitely seems to be related to air velocity across inside of door, a localized positive pressure due to flow from the air wash. So, I guess it’s conceivable that very high draft = smoke smell, but it’s counterintuitive.
 
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coutufr

Feeling the Heat
Sep 16, 2017
253
Montréal
I feel your pain. The new gasket made mine almost smell free but I now believe that dryer wood helps with the problem as well. If it is feasible for you, bring in some wood and let it sit at least 1 week not too far from the stove. When you burn it, check if it decreases the smell or not. Also don’t close the air too much for the first 2 hours of the burn unless it is cold outside . Like around 3 o’clock not full throttle. I don’t have any proof that this could really help but it is what I have tried and learned so far from my experience with this stove. The smell in my case was relatively faint and now I consider it 90% solved so there is hope. In terms of toxicity I asked myself the same question. I don’t know the intensity of it in your case but in my case I think cooking and eating meat cooked on a charcoal bbq to be much more toxic .
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,181
Southern IN
If I remember correctly, a member here with tall chimney was having the same issues due to too much draft. And when burning low is like the excess of draf pull the intake air to quick. I think he installed a key damper and that took care the issue. Maybe somebody else remember more the details or the member that had the issue.
Right, he put forth a well-reasoned theory that turbulence in the box from high draft may have caused smoke to escape...now who the heck was that?? Someone who's not a real prolific poster, that I remember..
 

Ryan723

Member
Oct 14, 2018
59
Layton, NJ
Hi all,

Don't mean to muddy the waters here, but another datapoint and suggestion:

On my 4+ year old Ashford 30, I was noticing a little bit of a smokey smell near the door....literally only detectable when i put my nose near the door/convection deck. But it was there most times if i tried to find it. I keep the air circulating pretty vigorously near the stove, so it gets dispersed before it becomes noticeable at any distance from the stove. Original door seal is still in decent condition, but i do keep up with tightening the latch.

I just put my new FireCat steel combustor in last night and when i saw this thread pop up, i've been sniffing around the stove this morning.

I don't get any smell at the moment. So, maybe too soon to say for sure, because I know this is intermittent for some folks and I haven't been trying long enough to say definitively. But it is less than it was last week on my stove.

AND, when i took my old cat out, it had a good bit of fly ash on it. It also had some fly ash or other deposits on the back, which i thought was a bit odd. The cells were mostly clear, but comparing with the new cat, it was definitely partially occluded in some of the cells.

Also interesting is that the fly ash wasn't evenly distributed.

So, if you're getting the smoke smell but your draft is otherwise fine, before doing a lot of other stuff, its worth a cat gasket to pull it out, check it real well, vacuum any fly ash you can. It is sure easier than a door gasket!

So, other than just loss of draft from lower-flowing cat causing smoke to pile up against the door a little more than it should, i wonder if uneven fly ask could cause weird circulation/turbulence that might also contribute?

Anyways, just some thoughts....
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Here’s one just for the Ashford 30 crowd, how do you perform or judge the result of your dollar bill tests, with the door casting inset into the surrounding casting? Mine feels good, but I’m not sure how much of the resistance I feel is due to gasket vs casting overlap. My latch force is definitely a lot lower on one stove than the other, and they’re both way lower than they were when new, but both stoves still prevent me from pulling a dollar thru interface between door and stove body.
 

Gotrek

Burning Hunk
Nov 20, 2014
238
Manitoba
I dont think the dollar bill test works good on a knife edge door.

I just look for a good indentation in the gasket and re-fluff the gasket if i think it needs it by gently pulling it back to its rounded shape with pliers.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
 
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Ryan723

Member
Oct 14, 2018
59
Layton, NJ
Here’s one just for the Ashford 30 crowd, how do you perform or judge the result of your dollar bill tests, with the door casting inset into the surrounding casting?

I dont think the dollar bill test works good on a knife edge door. I just look for a good indentation in the gasket and re-fluff the gasket if i think it needs it ...

I'm generally in agreement here. I use the dollar bill test (close the door on a bill and pull/wiggle) to get an idea of overall door tension and make sure there isn't substantially 'looser' pressure on one edge than another. But at least on the Ashford's knife-edge door seal, I don't really see it as a 'pass' vs 'fail' test....unless you had a VERY loose seal.

I try not to do hot-stove reloads, but I've also noticed that at least on my Ashford, the tension of the latch seems a LOT tighter when the stove is 'hot' vs when 'warm'. It isn't difficult to latch when hot, but the tension difference is well more than noticeable when latching and unlatching. For this reason, I try to keep it so it feels 'snug', but not overly tight, as I believe it tightens a little more when hot.

I don't know if that is a quirk of my stove or how most Ashfords respond when hotter.
 

Calentarse

Feeling the Heat
Feb 25, 2011
444
MD
If I remember correctly, a member here with tall chimney was having the same issues due to too much draft. And when burning low is like the excess of draf pull the intake air to quick. I think he installed a key damper and that took care the issue. Maybe somebody else remember more the details or the member that had the issue.
I remember this one. He was a west coast guy, California I think. He had a brown enamel Ashford. He and I were having the same issue at the same time.

For what it's worth, the high density gasket gave me improvement. It isn't completely gone, but it is def. tolerable now. I can also now vouch for having a smell in high draft situations. I think I posted about it once already before, but just wanted to also comment again since someone said it recently.