New Buckstove 91 insert not drawing well

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Jenlwhi2

New Member
Nov 19, 2022
35
Oklahoma
Hello,

We recently installed a Buckstove 91 insert into our existing fireplace.

The insert has been heating great and warming our house well. However, when we engage the catalyst we get lots of smoke and the door turns thick black- especially when we have to close the air intake to keep it from getting too hot.
We first thought our issue was wet wood. But we have since been burning older logs that are several years old and should not be wet. (We have not moisture tested..but pretty confident this is not the issue)

Today I called our distributor where we purchased the insert and they said it sounds like we need to install flue pipe to help draw heat better. He said he was very confident that was our issue. It would be an additional $750.

My dad says he wouldnt spend the extra money. That we should just leave the bypass open and not use the catalyst since it seems to draw ok that way. Or remove the Catalyst altogether.

We don't really like that idea..but also don't want to spend that money if that wouldn't solve the issue. What doesn't make sense is why is it drawing ok when the bypass is open but not when it's closed?

Does anyone else have input or experience with this to help us make a well informed decision?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
Today I called our distributor where we purchased the insert and they said it sounds like we need to install flue pipe to help draw heat better. He said he was very confident that was our issue. It would be an additional $750.
Sorry, dad is wrong. How is the insert currently vented?
 

Jenlwhi2

New Member
Nov 19, 2022
35
Oklahoma
By vented what exactly do you mean?
(Pardon my ignorance! I'm learning but not the most mechanical minded).
It's currently installed directly into our existing fireplace which has a regular brick chimney. It's an older home and is definitely very airtight. We always have to Crack a window to get a fire started
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
Vented meaning how are the smoke and fumes exhausted? Is there any sort of connection between the insert and the chimney system? Or is it just pushed into place, relying on the surround for a seal?
 

Jenlwhi2

New Member
Nov 19, 2022
35
Oklahoma
Vented meaning how are the smoke and fumes exhausted? Is there any sort of connection between the insert and the chimney system? Or is it just pushed into place, relying on the surround for a seal?
The insert is designed to slide right into our fireplace and all of the fumes just go up the chimney. I'll add a couple photos of what our set up looks like and the install we did. Maybe that helps?
So yes..just pushed into place and then we added the surround mount to cover all the gaps as it said to do.
Also the glass on the picture I'd only clean(ish) now with some flame because I've been leaving the bypass open this afternoon and not engaging the catalyst.

20221121_131912.jpg 20221121_132012.jpg
 

Jenlwhi2

New Member
Nov 19, 2022
35
Oklahoma
The insert is designed to slide right into our fireplace and all of the fumes just go up the chimney. I'll add a couple photos of what our set up looks like and the install we did. Maybe that helps?
So yes..just pushed into place and then we added the surround mount to cover all the gaps as it said to do.
Also the glass on the picture I'd only clean(ish) now with some flame because I've been leaving the bypass open this afternoon and not engaging the catalyst.

View attachment 303434 View attachment 303435
I should add..we don't have that 'starter pipe' that it shows in the photo
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
This is known as a slammer install and has been illegal for several years. It is not permitted. Your distributor is correct. The insert is suffering from poor draft. With the installation of a liner, it will be a completely better and much safer experience. The chimney must be cleaned first and the liner should extend to the top of the chimney.

How tall is the chimney on the insert?

I should add..we don't have that 'starter pipe' that it shows in the photo
This is not the best way and rarely done these days. A catalytic stove will have cooler exhaust fumes. When they drop below 250º they start to condense on the cold chimney tile causing creosote buildup. A full liner is the proper way to install it.
 

Jenlwhi2

New Member
Nov 19, 2022
35
Oklahoma
This is known as a slammer install and has been illegal for several years. It is not permitted. Your distributor is correct. The insert is suffering from poor draft. With the installation of a liner, it will be a completely better and much safer experience. The chimney must be cleaned first and the liner should extend to the top of the chimney.

How tall is the chimney on the insert?


This is not the best way and rarely done these days. A catalytic stove will have cooler exhaust fumes. When they drop below 250º they start to condense on the cold chimney tile causing creosote buildup. A full liner is the proper way to install it.
😳 what exactly is a slammer install?


Our insert itself has no chimney. Our distributor told us we could install it ourselves this way so I'm a bit confused?

Your explanation of the catalyst exhaust being cooler makes a little more sense. So is that why we are seeing better draft when we leave the bypass open but smoldering and smoke when we are engaging the catalyst?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
What is the flue size in the chimney? This is important with regard to fitting a liner and operation of the insert.

Is there a clay tile liner or just brick?

Here is an article on lining a chimney
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,242
central pa
😳 what exactly is a slammer install?


Our insert itself has no chimney. Our distributor told us we could install it ourselves this way so I'm a bit confused?

Your explanation of the catalyst exhaust being cooler makes a little more sense. So is that why we are seeing better draft when we leave the bypass open but smoldering and smoke when we are engaging the catalyst?
Your distributor was absolutely wrong. Your install doesn't meet minimum safety code and won't work properly at all. Even the direct connect shown in the manual won't meet code in most cases because most existing chimneys don't meet code as is either.
 

Jenlwhi2

New Member
Nov 19, 2022
35
Oklahoma
Your distributor was absolutely wrong. Your install doesn't meet minimum safety code and won't work properly at all. Even the direct connect shown in the manual won't meet code in most cases because most existing chimneys don't meet code as is either.
So which part doesn't meet minimum safety? The fact that we didn't use a starter pipe?
Since this was a picture from the installation manual I'm trying to grasp which part is considered wrong?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,242
central pa
So which part doesn't meet minimum safety? The fact that we didn't use a starter pipe?
Since this was a picture from the installation manual I'm trying to grasp which part is considered wrong?
Yes the lack of a direct connect pipe means it absolutely cannot meet code at all. But even with a direct connect it's very possible it still wouldn't meet code be safe or work properly. That would depend upon the size condition and construction of your existing chimney.
 

Jenlwhi2

New Member
Nov 19, 2022
35
Oklahoma
What is the flue size in the chimney? This is important with regard to fitting a liner and operation of the insert.

Is there a clay tile liner or just brick?

Here is an article on lining a chimney
Thank you for the article!
I'm not sure the answer to those questions..I'm asking my husband and will get back to you on size and if there is a clay liner.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,242
central pa
Thank you for the article!
I'm not sure the answer to those questions..I'm asking my husband and will get back to you on size and if there is a clay liner.
Did you have a full inspection of the chimney done with a camera run though it to check for cracks or missing mortar? If so did they check for the required clearances from the outside of the chimney structure to combustible materials?
 

Jenlwhi2

New Member
Nov 19, 2022
35
Oklahoma
Did you have a full inspection of the chimney done with a camera run though it to check for cracks or missing mortar? If so did they check for the required clearances from the outside of the chimney structure to combustible materials?
Ok my husband said it has a clay liner. Not sure the size..I think 8"?

No we didn't have a formal inspection.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,242
central pa
Ok my husband said it has a clay liner. Not sure the size..I think 8"?

No we didn't have a formal inspection.
Most common sizes for clay liners in fireplaces are either 8x12 or 12x12. Occasionally some round liners are used
 

Jenlwhi2

New Member
Nov 19, 2022
35
Oklahoma
If it's the 8x12 would u just get an 8" round pipe to put down?

What exactly is dangerous about the current set up? We are on board with getting the full pipe. Just trying to determine if in the meantime it's dangerous to be using it? Would it just be that there is most creosote build up occurring?
Most common sizes for clay liners in fireplaces are either 8x12 or 12x12. Occasionally some round liners are used
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
30,242
central pa
If it's the 8x12 would u just get an 8" round pipe to put down?

What exactly is dangerous about the current set up? We are on board with getting the full pipe. Just trying to determine if in the meantime it's dangerous to be using it? Would it just be that there is most creosote build up occurring?
More creosote. Possible carbon monoxide leaking into the house. A potential severe fire if that creosote ignites.


An 8" round liner won't fit inside 8x12 clay. They are usually 8x12 outside dimension so about 7x11 inside so you would need an oval liner in that case. You will also have to open up the fireplaces damper area to get the liner through.

You also need an inspection to check for those clearances (which are almost never there). If you don't have required clearances the liner will need insulated.
 

mellow

Resident Stove Connoisseur
Jan 19, 2008
5,453
Salisbury, MD
If your not able to use the catalytic converter in the stove your burning dirty which is just lining the chimney with creosote which is just waiting for a spark to ignite it. Trust me as I have been through 2 chimney fires burning old smoke dragons till I found this website back in 2008 that taught me how I was burning was all wrong. I had a setup just like yours, we call them slammers since you just push the stove back and WOW was I glad I didn't burn my house down.

Draft is very important to burning clean using your catalytic converter in that stove, to little and it won't ignite properly and you will just get crap on your glass and smoke out the chimney. If it is working correctly all you should see is thin white puffs coming out and heat waves.

An Insulated 8" liner will be key on that insert since the exhaust will not be as hot due to the cat reburn.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
It's a great stove and it will provide many years of good heating service, but it has to be installed safely and correctly. Don't get the liner from your supplier until you know what needs to go in, but also, don't delay in correcting this problem. Right now the stove is crippled in a potentially dangerous situation. It's like getting a new car and then putting old bald tires on it.
 
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tebenhoh

Member
May 19, 2020
58
Southern Illinois
Those are the folks I was hoping you would hear from, they’ve helped us a lot along the way also… I’m sorry to hear all of this, but also where I thought it might be going, and why I backed out without their expertise.

I can tell you, if you have an ample supply of wood, that you should be very happy with the stove’s performance once you get your install lined out correctly. Be well, be safe.
 

Jenlwhi2

New Member
Nov 19, 2022
35
Oklahoma
What is the flue size in the chimney? This is important with regard to fitting a liner and operation of the insert.

Is there a clay tile liner or just brick?

Here is an article on lining a chimney
I read over this article. So our chimney has one 45° bend where the damper is. Then it's a straight shot up. Would the flexible ss liner be what we need to get past that bend? My husband doesn't know how we would otherwise attach to our stoves chimney and get through the damper. What do yall recommend?