nothing but problems with a hearthstone heritage

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new burner

New Member
Oct 31, 2009
northern illinois
dealer installed on Tuesday
installer did a nice job
door handles not working right on install, but I knew that ahead of time, because I bought the floor model.
the dealer said he would fix the handles before install. They were not fixed. I called to let him know and he then ordered rebuild kits for them.
I didnt see the tag in the back of the stove at the store. After the install the tag in the back says it was made in 2005.
I didnt think much of it, since it seems to be new.
Other than a few scratches, and some white smuges, everything seemed to be ok.

Started a small fire for break in, and let the stove cool down.

The next day started anothe small fire, just a couple small pieces of oak.
it was a little smokey in the house and fumey, I just took it for burn off.

Same thing the next day, smokey and more fumes. Had about three pieces of oak burning.

The next day I started a fire with just a few small pieces of wood to get it going, and smoke started coming out of everywhere, the back, the sides, everywhere stone meets cast iron.

I will be going back to the dealer in the morning, because in my eyes there is something really wrong with this stove.

So my question is : is it just a defect, or is it because it old and was sitting for so long.
Or because it had white smudges on the outside of it, the dealer tried to fix it, and was messy about it?
Either way I am not very happy about this whole situation.
Okay, first question: how dry is this oak? This year, one year, two year's old? These stoves need very dry/seasoned wood. Quite different from burning in an older stove.

And what were outdoor temps? As mentioned in earlier replies, that can be a factor, as can your chimney/flue setup. Give as many details on the setup as you can and some folks who know this stove will be along with advice on helping you get to know it. Be patient for a few days and try a few suggestions and things should work out (except the handles - that's in your dealer's hands).

It sounds like a draft problem which is more likely the chimney than the stove itself.
Yup a draft problem or a plugged chimney. go in the basement or where ever the clean out is and mirror the chimney. Could be a birds nest preventing a good draft.
the stove was installed four days ago so i dont think it is pluged.
i have double wall pipe comming off the stove, going straight up, through the attic,and to the roof.
About six feet in the house, another 3 or 4 feet in the attic, and about six feet out the roof.

Are these stoves suppose to have a sealed fire box?

i bought a cord of oak, I believe it to be at least a year old, it is very dry and lites pretty easy.
i have no problems starting a fire.
I have had issues in the past with a Hearthstone stove smoking out of everywhere with a customer. Hearthstone told me that it was a draft/negative pressure issue. This can be the case. Any stove if you start a fire and plug the chimney, has plenty of places smoke can come out of. I knew of course the Hearthstone in my showroom never smoked where the customer was telling me his smoked from. So I started a fire, sent my installer on the roof and told him to stick a drop cloth in the chimney. Bingo, same thing that was happening with my customer. So we extended his chimney three feet, installed an outside air kit and showed him how to warm up the flue on his outside chimney with gel before lighting his fire. Happy customer.

If you wanted to try to see if it is negative pressure, crack a window open a few inches in the room where you have the stove. If your weather is like it is in NY, (60 degrees and muggy) you may have to work a little harder getting your chimney warm. You can use the gel fire starter used for lighting pellets. Build your fire with some dry kindling and put a few small splits on top. dump an ounce or two of the gel on TOP of the splits and light that. The stuff doest burn hot enough to ignite the splits right away and is smokeless/odorless. It should help you get the air moving up the chimney by the time the kindling catches and the logs start burning.

Stay on them about the handle

I wouldnt care if it was from 2005. A great stove is a great stove. Keep us posted.
arent the fire boxes suppose to be sealed though, I could understand smoke comming out of a door when trying to lite the fire, but not the sides of the box.

I think it would be hard to control burn temp if the whole box has leaks.
Had this floor model stove been lit ever in the showroom? i agree it'd surprise me to see it leaking smoke "everywhere" but it's also a bit warmish still. i got lots of smoke intrusion last year on some early burns. i do question the wood - it's nearly impossible to buy wood - esp oak! - and have it be truly dry enough for the stove to not smoulder it.
new burner said:
arent the fire boxes suppose to be sealed though, I could understand smoke comming out of a door when trying to lite the fire, but not the sides of the box.

I think it would be hard to control burn temp if the whole box has leaks.

The fire box is sealed, but there is an combustion air hole in the lower rear of the unit.
If you do not have a good draft started, the negative pressure in your home will
cause this opening to allow smoke out thru it.
You may have a situation where the outside air attachment will prevent this problem...
Totally agree with Ed on the wood issue. I burn pretty much exclusively oak three years covered before I use it. That way if for some reason one year I can't cut wood, still good to go. I'm in the second month using my new heritage. Two turns in my chimney to a total height of only 15 feet with tall pines surrounding and have had no inside smoking or draft issues even on warmer damp days. If someone is going to sell truly seasoned dry wood they have to stack it, preferrably cover it, store it and handle it a couple more times. All this extra effort = more $.
i believe the oak is pretty dry.
Smoke did come out the back once, but mostly it seeps out the top corners and between the soapstone seems.

So is the fire box suppose to be seeled, and if so, would this be a defect or brokken stove?
Before lighting your next fire stick your head inside the box and check the seams for refractory cement. A lot of guys here have said there was a lot of it oozing out of the seams upon install.

I also think it could be a draft issue even though it is a new install. If you can get up on the roof, pop the cap off and check it. You might be surprised at how fast little birds will make a nest. Then take a flashlight and look down the flue for obstructions.
I don't know if the stove is to be completely air tight so that when there is NO DRAFT, causing the firebox to become pressuized and full of smoke, that smoke would exit at places other than the door(s) or air inlets.

I don't see where anyone here yet has said "yes, the stove is to be completely airtight".

I'm simply not certain myself.

These newer EPA rated stoves can be a little difficult to get used to.

Have you ever burned one before?

When I make a fire from a cold start, especially on a 55 to 60 degree day, I use ample balled up newspaper, topped with 8 or 10 pieces of pine 2x4 split to a half inch or so, topped with some loose fitting small, dry splits, and then I shove 3 pieces of balled up newspaper on top, in front. I light that stuff on top in front first and that burns off real fast to help establish a draft, then I light up the paper underneath, and keep the side door open an inch for the next 15 or 20 minutes til the whole mess gets rollin' real good, then close her up but keep the air control lever wide open til she takes off....this process can take a half hour or 45 minutes to do....

Let us know how you make out....
By the description of 16' of flue, straight up, it should draft reasonably well. Is the flue pipe new and 6" ID? What is the outdoor temp?

I like the idea of testing with a near by window open an inch or so and try running the stove with a batch of known dry wood. Maybe get a bundle from the local store. Start the fire with known dry wood kindling like carpentry or cabinetry scraps and get a good kindling fire going, then add a couple of 2-3" splits of the store bought dry wood. Don't start reducing the air supply until the wood is burning well. Then reduce it gradually, but not to the point of snuffing out the flame.
I dont think so guys are completely understanding me, I can start a fire just fine, when the fire is going, its still leaking smoke out the sides.
Once the fire is going good, its a lot less smoke, but still slowly fills the house.
why would is seep from the box? It is suppose to be sealed.
I used a pre epa smoke dragon the last couple of years and didn't have any smoke coming into the room when the fire was going and the doors were shut. When you opened the doors you could have a little spill out for a second or two before the smoke started going in the right direction again. The rope gasket didn't seal perfectly and you could see the fire where the two doors met if you looked at the right angle. My point is, its sounds like a draft problem. You should look at your chimney. My old stove would get the chimney so hot you could hear the air being sucked out of the stove by the chimney when it was cold out. If your stove starts working a lot better when the weather gets cold, it reinforces what I'm thinking.
I dont really think its a draft problem, but I could be wrong. This is my first stove.
I started a fire this morning, I have a nice bed of coals right now, the temp is a little over 300.
If I throw another log on is will smolder a few minutes then catch fire. The little bit of smoke in there, will then come out the sides, not the doors.
This does not seem right. Isnt the box suppose to be sealed. how could it be efficient if its not sealed?
So Im I to believe whenever there is smoke it will come into the house, from the seams of the stove?
I think you do have a draft problem, if you had good draft the smoke would be sucked up the 6" flue, since to me it seems you have negtive draft the smoke is being forced out of the stove. I agree with you that smoke should not come out of the seams but maybe it just appears that way? is smoke coming out the air intake? out of the flue connection?
Tell the guy at the store you bought it from to get his a** over there and check it out to see whats wrong.
If you are not satisfied..something is probably wrong. ALSO...from my experience...if you buy split wood from
someone in the summer and they say it is seasoned...they are most of the you a ton of crap!
Especially with oak...which needs 2 years split and stacked if not 3 years to season correctly.
Something isn't right, there shouldn't be smoke coming out the seams. Did you check the inside of the fire box to see if the mortar between the soapstone panels aren't cracked or missing in spots? If the stove has leaky seams it should be sucking that air into the box not pushing it out unless there's a draft problem. Is the smoke a wood smell or more of a paint smell? I've seen smoke come off new stoves and pipe while the paint cures for the first few fires but you shouldn't get wood smoke unless you have a serious draft problem.
It is windy here, and we do get some strong gusts, the smoke does goes up, but sometimes it also seeps in.


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stove up to 350 right now and it smells like burning plastic.
One other thing I did notice is, from the outside lleft upper seam, where it is leaking in the picture.
YOu can see that rope stuff, that is used to seal around the doors.

Do they use this to seal the box?
Hey new burner, how many fires have you had in this stove?

When stoves are brand new they can burn off some stuff the first couple fires and stink things up pretty bad.

So, how many fires so far total? And what's the hottest you've had the stove? Each time you get a new stove a little hotter you can maybe smell the new stove smell again.

Otherwise, do what's been said here, get the installer over to look at it a.s.a.p.
I took a second look at the photo (enhanced and enlarged here). That does seem like a fair amount of smoke coming out of the upper right top of the stove. It may be that you need another 2' section of pipe on the flue and perhaps a cap that deals with strong wind. How strong are the gusts you are getting now and what temp is it outside?


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Do you live near Peoria? I'm thinking it is just too warm and windy to get good draft without more pipe.


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