Can't light new Jotul F55 without filling room with smoke

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natjencks

New Member
Nov 25, 2021
22
New York
Hi all, thanks in advance for the help! We just got a new Jotul F55v2 stove, and can't seem to get a fire started without filling the whole house with smoke.

It seems like it just doesn't draw at all until the whole stove and chimney get heated up, so in the initial stages when the fire gets lit the stove completely fills with black smoke which leaks out anywhere it can including the air intake and the seam of the exhaust pipe. Then if we open the door to add more kindling or wood, huge amounts of black smoke pour out into the house.

Not good.

Once a fire has been lit and the stove and chimney etc are all going well, things seem ok, and the stove can burn with the door open while adding wood and little or no smoke comes out.

Stove is a Jotul F55v2 with a rear vent which exits the back of the stove horizontally and goes through a thimble into a lined chimney that is ~25ft high. The outside of the chimney has an access hatch for cleaning which is not airtight it just latches closed, I don't think that's the problem but I'm mentioning it.

Super frustrated and looking for any help! Thank You!
best
-N
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,228
Long Island NY
You may have to preheat the flue to establish some draft. I use a propane torch to start the fire and that can be aimed into the flue (or above.the baffle or whatever system your stove has) to heat things up. It also helps to crack a window to ensure a low impedance for air coming in to replace the air going out of the chimney.

And yes, sealing the clean out is very important. It kills draft if air goes in there, especially when draft is poor at start up.

Finally, is your wood dry enough?
 

BillBurns

New Member
Nov 11, 2022
91
PA
I agree. Warm the flue up by letting the door open for about 30 mins, or use a torch like what was said. I use a hair dryer, but I have a small space heater that fits perfectly. I let it run for about 20 mins on cold mornings ( 0-20 degrees ). I know what youre saying. It sucks to have smoke pouring into the house, then you cant decide to let it burn out or keep trying to warm the flue with the fire thats in there already. Ive been there, done that. Plus like was stated, DRY wood is your friend. Get a moisture meter. I got mine from Lowes for 28 bucks.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
2,077
Iowa
Is the horizontal connector pipe running uphill from the stove collar into the thimble?
What is the chimney lined with?
Basement or main floor install?
Happy Turkey Day all!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,342
South Puget Sound, WA
The outside of the chimney has an access hatch for cleaning which is not airtight it just latches closed, I don't think that's the problem but I'm mentioning it.
When you say lined chimney, does that mean a clay liner or is there a 6" stainless steel liner that connects at a tee to the stove? The cleanout door should not affect the chimney if the liner tee has a sealed cap on the bottom. If this is a clay liner, then the sealing of the cleanout door is important. So is the size of the clay liner in that case.

If this is properly connected to a stainless liner, then the stove may be in a negative pressure zone.
 

natjencks

New Member
Nov 25, 2021
22
New York
You may have to preheat the flue to establish some draft. I use a propane torch to start the fire and that can be aimed into the flue (or above.the baffle or whatever system your stove has) to heat things up. It also helps to crack a window to ensure a low impedance for air coming in to replace the air going out of the chimney.

And yes, sealing the clean out is very important. It kills draft if air goes in there, especially when draft is poor at start up.

Finally, is your wood dry enough?
Thanks so much for your advice I appreciate it! When you say aim a propane torch at the flue, in my setup the stove has a rear vent, so there's a 6" pipe that comes right off the back of the stove and goes horizontally right in the the chimney through a thimble in the wall. So would you warm that little section of horizontal 6" pipe with the propane torch? From the outside? Or are you saying to try and heat the stove with the torch from the inside? Thanks in advance.

Screenshot 2022-11-30 at 4.31.14 PM.png
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,342
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks so much for your advice I appreciate it! When you say aim a propane torch at the flue, in my setup the stove has a rear vent, so there's a 6" pipe that comes right off the back of the stove and goes horizontally right in the the chimney through a thimble in the wall. So would you warm that little section of horizontal 6" pipe with the propane torch? From the outside? Or are you saying to try and heat the stove with the torch from the inside? Thanks in advance.

View attachment 304167
No, not outside of the pipe. Open the stove door and point the torch above the baffle, toward the rear of the stove.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,228
Long Island NY
Yes (busy day). You want hot air going up the flue, and the best way is to do that from inside the stove.
 

Jsd245

Member
Dec 9, 2013
18
CT
sometimes opening a door or window when establishing a draft helps if the house is super tight. I have an f 55 (not a v2) that is rear exit to a tee with a liner running about 25, up the chimney. once I a while it takes a bit to start drawing on a cold stove, but I never have smoke pouring into the room. My house was built in 2002 so it’s fairly tight.

also you say a lined chimney- what do you mean by lined? It simply goes into a chimney with a clay flue tile. Or you actually have a stainless insulated liner that goes to the top of the chimney?