BK Ashford 30 Install

ValleyCottageSplitter Posted By ValleyCottageSplitter, Dec 1, 2018 at 11:16 PM

  1. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    Phew, the cat can breathe again! Is it normal to get that much buildup and clogging? There is a gap about 1/4" in my cat guard plate. I checked about a month ago and did not see any buildup like that, maybe something to do with the slower oak burns?
    That at least makes sense with my recent problems in the past two weeks. Just ordered the 45s as well...
     

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  2. AlbergSteve

    AlbergSteve
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    I had that gap on mine, I think it was heat induced so I straightened it out.
     
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  3. MissMac

    MissMac
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    Dec 4, 2017
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    Your cat looks like it’s popped out a smidge. If you haven’t done so already, gently push on those tabs and set it back in place as far back as it will go. I get fly ash accumulate on my cat as well. Just brush it off or gently vacuum.
     
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  4. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover
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    Looks like the buildup was on the upper part of the cat, and the gap was on the bottom?
    Until you get the 45s in, anything that cuts draft (liked a clogged cat) is going to let the stove emit more odor.
    Not sure if Oak is worse for ash but it's what Ashful mainly burns, I think, and he talks about brushing the cat rather often...
    My stove has a screen for a flame shield, and it seems to catch some of the ash. I have to brush it a few times a season, and the cat maybe twice. 16' stack, rear-vent.
     
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  5. moresnow

    moresnow
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    Jan 13, 2015
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    I have noticed that burning at higher settings seems to send more particulates up through the Cat. Rarely a issue for my setup but I have seen it.
    I've been leaving the stat closed much further than recommended while opening the loading door and removing ash also. Not sure if that is making a huge difference but it seems to reduce floating flyash.
    Occasionally the face of my cat gets vac'd. The rear does as well. Probably 3 times this season so far. Takes seconds.
    Never had as much buildup as you have pictured. Yet! Good luck and nice to hear you are working through the setup/learning curve challenges and details to get this setup buttoned up.
     
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  6. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Mar 7, 2012
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    I’ve been having problems with ash buildup and clogging on one of my Ashfords, only when burning on a high setting. My other Ashford is on a shorter chimney, and never, ever, ever burned high, so no issues with that one.

    Yours doesn’t look that bad, I can do that amount of damage in just a single load. I’ve had them plugged completely solid once or twice, to where the fire dies every time I engage the cat.

    My solution: keep interam gasket on-hand, pull cat and vacuum it whenever it gets plugged. It’s too hard to get a vacuum nozzle up to the face of the cat in the Ashford, and I usually want to vacuum the chamber behind it anyway, rather than sucking the crap back there into the back of the cat.

    I did try compressed air to blow it clean, while installed in the stove once, but will never make that mistake again! I’ll probably be finding dust in crevices about the house for the next ten years, after that bone-headed move.

    Installing a key damper to control draft has really helped with the problem, in my case, as I have a very tall chimney that sucks like... well, never mind. However, I do something bone-headed and let it run too hard a few times each year, defeating the advantage.

    Woodstock Fireviews had the same problem, but they resolved it by placing a screen in front of the cat. Lots of posts on this forum ca.2012/13 about users removing and vacuuming that screen as part of their weekly cleaning routine, although most of those users and posts were deleted in the great Exodus of 2013.
     
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  7. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    Not easy to see from the pics but the top two corners were fully jammed, about 1/3 of the area blocked. It was putting out the flame when I closed the bypass unless there was a big blazing fire of small splits. It's been on inactive a lot, about 2-3 times a day because I'm not getting good enough burn times to make it overnight and during the day. I can't load it up without it getting above 80°F downstairs when in the 40's outside.

    After cat cleaning there is certainly better airflow through the stove but the typical creo smell is no different. Just a little bit slower draft or too low flame and we are getting some smell upstairs. Depending on what is going on in the box that could be at 75-90% air setting.
     
  8. Dave K

    Dave K
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    Sep 26, 2013
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    I just had my Ashford 30 installed 2 weeks ago and I've had nothing but a great experience so far. I'm sorry that you're going through all of this, but its amazing how the same stove in 2 different set ups acts so differently. I hope you get it straightened out and really start to enjoy this stove. I am thrilled with mine after coming from an old smoke dragon. Good luck~
     
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  9. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    Glad to hear it. Good you're chimney layout was optimal and you didn't up with a $4K new smoke dragon.
     
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  10. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    Great, to make things worse I came home tonight and the stove was cold, relit with 4 or 5 small logs with the bypass closed. I got it going, but my next overnight load just started dying after 20 min with air on full. When I open the bypass the air started rushing through. <>

    Guess I'm going to have to cool down the stove again tomorrow to reclean.

    Has anyone had a more painful experience with a BK than what I'm dealing with?
     
  11. moresnow

    moresnow
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    Jan 13, 2015
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    Sooooo? Why would you try to relight with the bypass closed? Completely incorrect procedure. On a cold stove relight are you not running the stove with the bypass open until your cat gauge reaches active? Then closing the bypass on that fresh full load leaving the stat on full air for BK's recommended 20-30 minutes before reducing air to your normal cruise spot. Fire dying at the 20 min mark indicates a real problem with either your setup, procedure or fuel in my opinion. Is there any local experienced BK users near you that can stop by to trouble shoot? Gotta be somebody nearby who can give it a look. Believe I'd swallow my pride and start a new thread asking for a local experienced BK user to come give me help.

    Might want to re read this page from your Op Man.
    https://www.blazeking.com/EN/PDF/manuals/OM-AF30-E.pdf
     
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  12. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    @moresnow
    No no, let me rephrase. Before I got home, a certain someone had reloaded a cold stove and immediately closed the bypass. There were smouldering half burnt logs left. I opened the bypass and cracked the door and got a flame going. Then I threw on about 5 small ash logs that got it up to active temp to get ready for the overnight load.

    I'm about to check, but I think the cat is replugged. If you read the last 5-10 posts they were about how when the cat is plugged the flame can go out when the bypass is closed.
     
  13. moresnow

    moresnow
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    Ahhhh, the certain someone situation! That can be remedied with time, teaching and patience;lol My certain someone is completely capable of running ours. It took awhile to get her there!

    I have been monitoring your progress the entire journey. Including the plugging cat issue. Your rough road seems like it has to have a reasonable explanation/solution. Like I have mentioned it may be time for a fresh set of eyes/hands to help you out. Or confirm there is something out of the ordinary happening. Just a thought. Best of luck.
     
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  14. MissMac

    MissMac
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    Why did you start a fire from cold with the bypass closed? That's not the proper procedure for a cold start - your bypass should be open until your cat is active. It's not surprising that your fire was sluggish in this instance. Follow the manual.
     
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  15. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    @MissMac , read the next two posts.

    So now I went to go remove and inspect the cat, it was clean... but in the process I disintegrated the cat gasket. So I have a bunch of material on order and stove is down..

    I'm a little worried the cat is decaying. It looked okay but I do see a lot of red powder. There was a lot when I ran the stove on high trying to cure the paint. It's possible I may have hit some wet spots in this oak stash, most of it was ~18%. There was about 2 cups of coals and it was about 20° on the dial above the active mark when I filled the E-W 25lb oak load and threw one 1lb oak stick on the coal. Might have been a little too low of a start. The chimney may be a little clogged too.
     
  16. Ashful

    Ashful
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    BK sells thousands of stoves per year, and very few setups are “optimal”, but they work. I’m running two BK’s in this house, one on a 15 foot chimney and the other on 30 feet, and both run just fine. There is likely no reason your setup shouldn’t work, in the right hands.

    There have been a few, mostly self-inflicted. That’s not a dig at you, I honestly haven’t been paying enough attention to the history of this thread to have a solid mental picture of what you’ve been through. But I can say I’ve seen many life-long smoke dragon burners come to this forum, way past the point of frustration, get straightened out pretty quickly. Almost all of them will tell you today that they’d never go back, once they finally saw the light.

    Then there are a few that were just too stubborn to listen, insisting on doing things “their way”, rather than taking the advice given here. You just can’t help some folks.

    What I’d like to do, and ask others here to do, is go back and read through your posts. Let’s see if we can help you get this thing burning right. I’m going to make it my homework for later tonight.
     
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  17. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    @Ashful
    That would be great. I really think there some inherent problems due to my install causing poor draft and very high stall point. Mainly stemming from:
    -90degree 2ft above stove
    -Tee and wall exit
    -Exterior chimney without a chase.

    As far as performance I think I was able to get about a 15hr burn earlier in smoke mode, just that it was releasing lots of smoke into the house. Mostly the goal is to get consistent 10-12hr lower heat burns and not get smoke in the house without the stars being perfectly aligned.

    I had no idea that "recommended/preferred" in the manual was recommending/preferring you prevent smoke spraying into your house. Otherwise I would have been super stringent about those requirements.
     
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  18. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    Also, quick question. So only the bottom cat gasket edge stayed intact. I was able to stuff the crumbs around the other three edges but it's not perfect. Could this damage the combustor if the gasket is not perfect? Any tips for securing the gasket material before inserting the cat? Replacements normally comes with a paper band...
     
  19. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Just got to reading your thread through, but this one is easy:

    1. No, it will not harm your cat to run it with an imperfect gasket, it will only diminish performance. You should get to replacing it, sooner than later, but don't let a damaged cat gasket keep you from burning while you await the arrival of a new one.

    2. Gasket is disposable, to be replaced each time you pull it. It only costs $2 per foot, and you need 2.5 feet per installation, so it's a $5/per cat pull type thing. Order 10 or 20 feet of it from an online stove shop, or pick it up locally. It's called "interam" gasket, and it's 2" wide.

    Most folks will tell you that you should never have to pull a cat before it's due for replacement, around 3 years for a 24/7 burner. However, I'm becoming a fan of pulling them for the yearly cleaning. It gives me a chance to inspect it, vacuum it clean, and clean the chimney sweepings out of the cat chamber without pulling my stovepipe.
     
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  20. rdust

    rdust
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    ;lol I don’t think I’ve ever heard it described that way. ;lol
     
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  21. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Okay, I read every one of your posts, and even a few of the responses. Forgive me if I'm repeating a lot of what was already said, some of that is intentional, but also some is probably because I didn't take the time to read every response already given by every contributor. In any case, some repeat, or even refutation of what has already been said, might be useful at this stage of the game.

    Plus another elbow indoors. Plus another tee on the outside of that wall. Each elbow or tee effectively reduces your chimney height. Old member @Backwoods Savage used to always quote the effective height reduction as 2 - 3 feet per 90 degree elbow, which means your original 3' inside + 19.5' outside would be an effective 12.5 feet by his estimate, although I'd bet his numbers are another subject of debate.

    Smoke spillage is a definite sign of weak draft in an Ashford 30, the one I have on a 30 foot pipe that never spills an ounce of smoke, no matter when in the burn cycle I open it. The one on the 15 foot pipe rarely spills smoke when I open the door, but it has on a few occasions.


    Usually, yes. Draft increases with chimney temperature, and chimney temperature increases with burn rate.

    A few members have reported the same, you are not alone. All but one case of smoke smell have been resolved except one that I am aware. Also all but one were user or installation issues, as far as we know on this forum, I only recall one that was an actual manufacturing issue (incomplete weld leaking creo). The point is, there is a good chance this will be resolved.

    At this point, I'd be ordering some equipment to measure the draft. I went with a 0.25"WC Magnehelic off ebay, but there are less expensive options out there.

    Following the timeline of your story, I'd have said the same thing, at this point. Four 90's is an awful lot for 22.5 feet of pipe, when you're aiming for an effective 15 feet.

    Backpuffing at low burn rates is another indicator of low draft. I used to have the same problem with one of my Jotuls on a 15 foot x 8" clay tile exterior flue. I dropped a 6" liner into that cold clay tile flue, and it was mostly resolved. I moved the stove to the 30 foot flue, and it was completely resolved. We didn't need this to think draft is too low, but this is yet one more indicator.

    I am doing it on 15 feet of fully insulated liner, straight up. Truth be told, I have had a light creo smell in the house on a few occasions, but that's been the exception. I believe each time has been under one of two conditions:

    1. I run the stove on the 15 foot pipe at a very low rate, while having another big air demand in the house, like letting the stove on the 30 foot pipe rip wide open.

    2. My house is shaped like a big "U", with a central courtyard, and one stove at either end of the "U". When wind conditions are right, smoke from one chimney can be drawn in as make-up air in windows across the courtyard. Others living in areas prone to downdrafts have reported similar issues, smoke being drawn in from outside, as make-up air. It's possible you are unknowingly resolving this by opening a window near the stove, reducing the need to bring in that make-up air from some location in the smoke path of your chimney, but this seems unlikely if you successfully burned another stove on this chimney.

    Oddly enough, one guy here (@aaronk25 ) seemed to be reporting a smell with an unusually high draft. But yes, I suspect others are related to low draft. However, most of us just see our stoves stall out when we try to run too low for our draft, the creo smell issue really has been isolated to just a fraction of the users. It has been mostly Ashford 30 users, though...

    But you still have the double jog to get around the soffit? It seems the ideal setup would be:

    1. Replace indoor 90 with dual 45's.
    2. Punch straight thru soffit, get rid of jog up there.
    3. Increase height a few feet.

    I run each of mine around 3:00, and my stall points are probably close to 2:00, just for reference. Oddly, the difference between stall point on the two is within minutes on the clock face, very small differences for a two-to-one difference in my two chimney heights.

    I'm going to stop here for the night, bed time. I read the rest, so yes... I already know you've added height, and are still having trouble. I'll respond to the rest later.
     
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  22. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    Thanks for all the time Ashful. If you haven't seen, BK has a guide in their latest manual revision that allows you to calculate effective flue height. 45=1ft, 90=2ft, tee=3ft. Horiz run= 2ft/ft horiz. According to that I'd need about 23-24ft vertical. I have about 25ft now with the extension.
     
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  23. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Cool. We can check that box, then.

    More tonight, if I get to readin’ before I get to drinkin’. :)
     
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  24. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    The installer is no longer helping either. They were asking $150 service charge min to do any additional work: applying some cement, replacing one elbow, etc. >:|
     
  25. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    Dec 11, 2016
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    Also, this corrugated Selkirk DSP is horrible pipe. It clearly provides no sealing of the air, just "directs" the smoke. Look at what came out when I blew a hair dryer up the flue.
     

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