Q&A Overnight burn in potbelly stove?

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 29, 2007 at 4:59 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    I posted a message a while ago on this forum, and I made some changes since then and some new problems arose. First, for those who didn't catch the last one, I use a potbelly stove to heat my small greenhouse, and the stove is over 100 years old. I used to have a chimney with two bends in it, but I had to move my stove out of the room it was in because I needed more space. As a result I was able to put in a straight chimney however, I have a fair amount of creosote dripping from a joint, even though I sealed it with furnace cement. My question is how can I have an overnight burn but reduce the creosote, and why is it leaking from a sealed joint? I regasketed the doors and added a damper to control the fire, but now instead of it burning too hot, it burns too slow. Thanks in advance for any input.


    Most potbellies were made for either coal or decorative use. They are not designed for long burns with wood. The result is that you are operating a distillery, not a stove. Wood contains about 25% moisture, and this is condensing in the relatively cool smoke pipe and turning into black water and tar.

    Bottom line is that this stove will cause you trouble with long burns no matter what you do.

    11/2007 A possible cause for creosote or condensation leaking out of stove pipe is that the stove pipe has been installed with the male end up. Common logic tells us that if the female end of the stove pipe is facing down then smoke won't leak out. However the water vapor that condensated on the interior walls of the chimney does.
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