Ashford 30 Smoke Smell, again

lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,673
San Ysidro, New Mexico
I know he said no oak. will be good to know if the condition is when fans are on of off.
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
840
n
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.
I did mine cold and removed the top and sides, not ideal but helped straighten the path a bit.
 
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BlazeKingSaddles

New Member
Nov 18, 2018
18
Northeast
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.
Prior to having the new “gasket kit”—the one that’s supposed to remedy the smoke smell issue—installed, my door did NOT pass the dollar bill test on the latch (right) side. It was tight on the top & bottom, however.
 
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wooduser

Minister of Fire
Nov 12, 2018
679
seattle, wa
Some of you may remember I had trouble with my old Ashford and spent quite a bit of time and money getting a better draft, changing bolts under the gasket, trying different gaskets, etc. to try to get rid of the smell. Well, I now have a new Ashford in my new home and have the same issue, this time, draft is NOT the issue.

I think I have it at least narrowed down to the hinge on the door. I have read that other BK owners also complain of the smell coming from the left front. With the top off, I can really isolate exactly where it’s emitting from laterally and it’s different than with the top on, obviously. As it rises up, it gets pulled in whatever direction and can lead us to believe its coming from elsewhere. With the top off, it’s right over the hinge and nowhere else. As the fire burns back and away from that area, the smell goes away.

Another interesting new observation on this brand new stove is that after my first few warm up fires, I was giving the stove a once over and noticed the door, when latched, could be pressed upon and there was give indicating that the latch was not that tight. So, l tightened it very slightly which brought the latch to a more secure feel. No play when pressing on the door. Would you guess that the smell got worse!? My theory is that since the latch pulled the door more tightly closed on the latch side, it exasperates the issue with the hinge, bowing it further out from the knife edge causing the release of the smell.

I just wanted to let everyone know my experience. I obviously love the stove enough to rebuy it, but God I hate this smell. My new neighbor actually loves the stove and is in the market but he can smell it so is turned off. If anyone has a fix that isn’t the same old draft argument, Id be very grateful. My new setup is as follows: 25’ straight up, double wall, OAK, no fan kit, yet. I burn everything from cedar to white oak, MC 15-18% with most everything, sometimes lower. I burn every load for at least 10mins before I engage the cat, sometimes longer if my chimney isn’t getting too hot. House is 2200sf. Stay warm everyone!
 

wooduser

Minister of Fire
Nov 12, 2018
679
seattle, wa
Generally speaking, I would expect that a wood stove with the door closed would be at a negative pressure with respect to the air the stove is sitting in. So any leak would draw air into the stove, and prevent combustion gasses inside the stove from getting out.

So I would expect a negative pressure in the stove and no leaking. An odor from the stove into the surrounding air suggest a positive pressure inside the stove.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Generally speaking, I would expect that a wood stove with the door closed would be at a negative pressure with respect to the air the stove is sitting in. So any leak would draw air into the stove, and prevent combustion gasses inside the stove from getting out.

So I would expect a negative pressure in the stove and no leaking. An odor from the stove into the surrounding air suggest a positive pressure inside the stove.
You have a good handle on the static pressure situation, but surprising things can happen when it’s all put into motion. Think of a Venturi vacuum pump, and how it can create vacuum from the application of positive air pressure. It has been theorized that the air wash system, which is more effective or aggressive in the Ashford than in the Princess or King, might provide a localized high pressure at the door gasket.

This seems unlikely, given the large open volume of the firebox, but so far it is the theory that’s hardest to refute in my mind.
 
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pernox

Burning Hunk
Oct 10, 2015
105
Hills of Western MA
As an unabashed Woodstock fanboy, I can say that after reading all nine pages of this thread and seeing how Blaze King takes care of their customers, I would run a BK in a cocaine heartbeat. No company has ever released only perfect products - what separates the men from the boys is how they step up to make things right when they start off wrong.
 

Ryan723

Member
Oct 14, 2018
59
Layton, NJ
...after reading all nine pages of this thread and seeing how Blaze King takes care of their customers, I would run a BK in a cocaine heartbeat...
Reading similar threads on here a few years ago is EXACTLY the reason I have a BK heating the house right now. I know there are other good stoves out there, but between the user support, company support (nothing like getting actual answers from the company on a public forum!), and the burn times, I was sold!
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
As an unabashed Woodstock fanboy, I can say that after reading all nine pages of this thread and seeing how Blaze King takes care of their customers, I would run a BK in a cocaine heartbeat. No company has ever released only perfect products - what separates the men from the boys is how they step up to make things right when they start off wrong.
This is exactly why I'm also a big fan of Woodstock. Both of these companies are at the top of the heap, in terms of technology, product quality, and customer support.
 

wooduser

Minister of Fire
Nov 12, 2018
679
seattle, wa
You have a good handle on the static pressure situation, but surprising things can happen when it’s all put into motion. Think of a Venturi vacuum pump, and how it can create vacuum from the application of positive air pressure. It has been theorized that the air wash system, which is more effective or aggressive in the Ashford than in the Princess or King, might provide a localized high pressure at the door gasket.

This seems unlikely, given the large open volume of the firebox, but so far it is the theory that’s hardest to refute in my mind.


Interesting idea. Can you plug off the airwash system temporarily to see if that makes a difference?


A second possibility might be to use an electronic gas detector, designed to find gas leaks ----I used these for years to locate natural gas leakage and they are VERY sensitive. They also are sensitive to a wide variety of other combustible gasses.

I'd be inclined to try that kind of gas detector around the window of the stove, and other parts of the stove to find a buzzing noise indicating the presence of a combustible gas. You might find your leakage from the combustion chamber that way.
 
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aaronk25

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2017
176
Rochester
Hi all that was me with the high draft smoke smell issue. My theory was that the excess draft was creating a larger pressure differential at the air wash angle. Instead of the air rolling down the glass nicely, creating s boundary between the smoke and glass the air was being pulled directly off the wedge back to the cat, due to the higher then normal vacuum created by the flu.

Another contributing factor may be that when laminar flow air is pulled away it can get very turbulent pounding against then glass pushing smoke out past the gasket.
 
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Calentarse

Feeling the Heat
Feb 25, 2011
444
MD
Hi all that was me with the high draft smoke smell issue. My theory was that the excess draft was creating a larger pressure differential at the air wash angle. Instead of the air rolling down the glass nicely, creating s boundary between the smoke and glass the air was being pulled directly off the wedge back to the cat, due to the higher then normal vacuum created by the flu.

Another contributing factor may be that when laminar flow air is pulled away it can get very turbulent pounding against then glass pushing smoke out past the gasket.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Very interesting! The high draft smoke smell is not as big of a concern for me since I rarely need to operate the stove at this temperature, but I can see where it would be a concern for people who frequently need to run their stove really hot. I also do not have a fan kit and I realize most people do, so this may change my experience relative to others as well. I'm just happy the high density gasket and the copper silicone took care of nearly all the smell on low burns, and that meant the world to me!
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,562
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Very interesting! The high draft smoke smell is not as big of a concern for me since I rarely need to operate the stove at this temperature, but I can see where it would be a concern for people who frequently need to run their stove really hot. I also do not have a fan kit and I realize most people do, so this may change my experience relative to others as well. I'm just happy the high density gasket and the copper silicone took care of nearly all the smell on low burns, and that meant the world to me!
I believe Aaron was talking about high chimney draft strength more than his particular intake damper setting. A weak draft would allow intake air from any intake damper setting to just roll into the stove gently but when a tall chimney sucking like a Hoover is pulling in that intake damper things might enter the stove differently. Like making a kissy sound with your mouth vs. taking in the same air volume with an open mouth.

I don’t know if the theory is right but at least we want to understand the theory.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Do kids today say “suck like a Dyson” or Roomba, or does the Hoover reference hold?
 
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aaronk25

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2017
176
Rochester
Ya I was referring to low heat damper settings. The lower the heat setting the more shut the damper which increases creates the greatest pressure drop inside the box. Remember the damper is before the stove, the chimney is on the other side and the airwash is in the middle.

The only smoke smell I have is on low and it’s barely detectable, but made worse by having wood close to the loading door.

In a aircraft a wing stalls at a certain angle of attack to the oncoming air, the air wash is a wing in which is job is only to smoothly move the air on to the glass. Suck to hard against it and the air wash “stalls” and air goes directly off the wash straight for the cat.

Who the hell knows, it’s the best I can come up with. BK is a great stove and keep in mind no other stove goes into turn down mode as far as a Bk and it’s only in turndown mode that a few of these things smell. I mean we are slow cooking creosote black oozy stuff inside the box. Step up a bit and it’s gone...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Calentarse

Feeling the Heat
Feb 25, 2011
444
MD
Ya I was referring to low heat damper settings. The lower the heat setting the more shut the damper which increases creates the greatest pressure drop inside the box. Remember the damper is before the stove, the chimney is on the other side and the airwash is in the middle.

The only smoke smell I have is on low and it’s barely detectable, but made worse by having wood close to the loading door.

In a aircraft a wing stalls at a certain angle of attack to the oncoming air, the air wash is a wing in which is job is only to smoothly move the air on to the glass. Suck to hard against it and the air wash “stalls” and air goes directly off the wash straight for the cat.

Who the hell knows, it’s the best I can come up with. BK is a great stove and keep in mind no other stove goes into turn down mode as far as a Bk and it’s only in turndown mode that a few of these things smell. I mean we are slow cooking creosote black oozy stuff inside the box. Step up a bit and it’s gone...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
I thought you were referring to the damper setting, but in this house with the taller stack I have the higher draft variable at play as well. Your theory certainly makes sense to me! At any rate, Im a happy man with a nice drafting stove and practically no smoke smell. Gotta save up for a fan kit now and put away this ugly box fan.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
@Calentarse, can you save me some back reading, and remind me what the fix was for your situation? I remember yours being persistent.
 

Calentarse

Feeling the Heat
Feb 25, 2011
444
MD
@Calentarse, can you save me some back reading, and remind me what the fix was for your situation? I remember yours being persistent.
Yep, Bk sent me a new style gasket and some copper silicone. Fixed me right up!
 
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Parallax

Minister of Fire
Dec 2, 2013
766
Bellingham, WA
We've had our Ashford 30 for five or so years and I honestly wish we hadn't bought it. Had major smoke leak problems. The company that installed it could not figure it out. They were guided by Blaze King and, at one point, the stove was sent back, checked out and then returned. Blaze King made a significant effort but then, at some point, just sought of dropped us (as did the company that had installed it). We were living with major wood smoke all winter.

Finally, I called down a local chimney sweep. He saw the smoke leak and took care of it by adding an extra gasket, a real large one, around the Blaze King gasket. That was five years ago. Now it's started to leak again and the chimney sweep has retired so we're kind of on our own. I'll see if I can replace both gaskets. Hoping that will do the trick. But I don't expect Blaze King to step up. If I ever buy another stove, it won't be a Blaze King.
 
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BKVP

Minister of Fire
When we were first contacted about this issue we requested images of the stove and installation. This is SOP. We made contact and immediately asked that the stove stop being used as it was not installed to the proper clearances. As we recall, the back of the stove was nearly against a combustible wall. The dealer did not install the stove correctly.

The dealer moved the stove away from the combustible surface and added correcting elbows for a completed vertical termination. The smoke smell persisted. We then had the dealer examine the stove and installation and could find no problems. The stove was removed, crated and returned to our factory.

We were in the middle of multiple test runs for the new KE40 but stopped and began working on a solution for this unit,. We cleaned up the stove, connected to one of three chimney systems we operate in our facility. The stove was burned repeatedly for several fires without any smoke smell whatsoever. This first chimney is attached to a dilution tunnel, where we can control the influence of draft. Even when slowed significantly, we could not detect a smoke smell.

Next, we pulled the stove, replaced all gaskets, glass gasket, door and bypass. We then connected the stove to a normally (externally) aspirated chimney. The stove was then fired under high, medium and low burns. We repeated the process, without any detection of smoke smell.

It should be noted that the second chimney system is in an isolated room, measuring 30 x 20. With multiple windows and additional control measures and equipment. After several days of continued testing, gasket tensions were verified, stove cleaned and detailed and returned to the dealer.

We did in fact step up. It is unfortunate the stove has not worked out for your home and for that we apologize, but we were unable to find any problem with the stove itself. We appreciate the patience and cordial manner in which the OP handled himself during the process and we did all we could do to verify it was not an issue with the stove itself.

BKVP
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
502
Eastern Long Island NY
And evidently you keep quite detailed records too - or you have a memory that deserves to be examined for its exceptional capabilities