Q&A Chimney draft the problem?

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 30, 2007 at 4:26 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    We have a Fireplace Extraordinaire insert which will only burn for 4 hours max. In addition, it only puts out heat when the blower is working which precludes it putting any heat out when the power is out! We have decided to scrap it and put a freestanding stove in the fireplace's spot. I am concerned that part of the performance problem may be our tall straight chimney. I read an e-mail which referred to a draft gage but so far no heating retailer has heard of one! What is the proper amount of draft, how is it properly measured and how can it be corrected if it is drafting too much?


    You didn't mention whether it was wood or gas. I'm guessing wood since you mentioned the burn time.

    Although there are ways to measure draft exactly, common sense and some firing of the stove will tell you a lot. If that unit tends to run away on you (burn hot when the air is turned down), then you may have an overdraft.

    Keep in mind that the FPX you have is designed to use the blower to extract heat, so it is not supposed to heat well without it.

    There are many ways to slow the draft including the installation of partial blockages (dampers or similar objects) in the piping above the stove or insert.

    So, in summary: 1. The unit is operating correctly re: heat output - being that it is a stove designed for a blower.

    2. You very well might have an overdraft, which can be remedied by talking to some fireplace experts.

    Seems like an expensive proposition to replace the unit. If it were me, I'd try to work to dampen down the draft.

    Other things:

    Make sure the doors and gaskets fit tightly. If it has a catalytic converter, check the element and the bypass damper. Check the draft inlet bar for tightness and alignment.

    You never know...could be something simple.
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