Pellet stove leaks smoke...pipe installation right?

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merr

New Member
Oct 30, 2011
24
Western Maine
Hi Again folks,
(I created a new thread as I really have a different subject here so sorry if you have already read this)
So, I (and my husband) cleaned the stove following the maintenance manual instructions. Thank you for those! The stove was definitely NOT CLEAN despite the fact that a professional came and cleaned it at the end of last year. It does seem to be running a lot better. It has not overheated again. However, it still emits a very strong smoke smell through the house. Enough to make your eyes water and give you a headache. So, I am thinking it is definitely the venting that is the problem. A few questions with regard to the venting. Our pipe is definitely not 4 inches, it is 6. And since I am going to probably just get new pipe, should I go with 3 or 4 inches, or stick with 6? The manual say 3 or 4, but seems like that would be harder to clean out? I am going to attempt to take a picture with my kindle, we'll see how that goes. Also is it normal for the pipe that goes from the stove into the wall to attach to the pipe piece that curves downward on the outside in the middle of the wall? When cleaning the chimney we just go outside and pull it off, which seems weird to me ( both where the pipes attach to each other, and the fact that all you have to do is pull on the end of the pipe and it comes right out of the wall.) Thanks,
Meredith
 

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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
A photo would help immensely. I don't own or follow pellet stoves, but in a wood stove rig, it's very common to run out thru the wall, into a tee. One side of the tee is the flue, going up the wall, while the low side of the tee is capped off. That cap can be pulled off for cleaning, particularly useful for homeowner "bottom-up" cleaning.

As far as flue diameter, your stove manual will usually list a preferred and max size, such as:

flue: 3" (4" maximum)

If installing a new flue, I would choose the preferred size, unless that size is going to preclude a possible future replacement of this stove with another.
 

merr

New Member
Oct 30, 2011
24
Western Maine
There are a few pictures I added above. I also took a picture of the wall so you can see the smoke stains, :oops: which we just cleaned off before running again after cleaning stove, so these are new from last three times we ran it , and we only ran it briefly. Clearly it is leaking. Kind of hard to see in the picture, but Def there.
 

briansol

Minister of Fire
Jan 18, 2009
1,916
central ct
make sure you have a co meter in your house. if you're getting headaches, shut it off, open windows immediately.

3" is all you need for that short of a run. 6" is for wood stoves. The seams should be sealed with duct tape (not the mcgyver stuff.... real ducting work tape) and/or silicone rated for 500+ degrees.
 

ChandlerR

Minister of Fire
Jan 28, 2009
718
Hampton, NH
Hi merr, welcome to the forum! I think you may be misunderstanding the measurement of the pipe. You measured on the outside, right? It is a double walled pipe so the 3 or 4 inch measurement is for the inner pipe, not the outer. It was hard to see by the pictures, but it looks to be leaking where the pipe goes through the wall, correct? To be sure, you can turn the lights off at night and use a flashlight. The smoke should show up. You have the same pipe as I do (3 inch) and there is a single piece going through the wall. If it's leaking there, there has to be a joint there, or a hole in the pipe. It is easy to check because the pipe comes apart by twisting it a quarter turn then just wiggle it apart. You can see the dimple on the pipe and it rides in a groove on the pipe it connects to. There is a slot that the dimple slides into then when you twist it, it pulls the pipes together and should seal. That said, if everything looks good, you can apply some high temp silicone to the joints (assuming it's leaking there) There are many more experienced people than me and I am sure they will chime in shortly.
 

MountainSean

Credo Quia Absurdum
Sep 29, 2011
342
Tonopah, NV
That does look like 6 inch pipe, though it is hard to tell without a point of reference like a measuring tape. Pellet venting adds about 5/8" to the OD of the pipe so a 3" vent would be 3 5/8" OD on the exterior pipe. If that is 6" diameter pull it off and make sure it is pellet vent which as far as I know wasn't made in a 6", if someone installed that stove and used B vent or wood stove venting that would absolutely explain the problem and need to be changed right now. As for 3" or 4" venting, go with whoever the stove manufacturer recommends.
 

Bioburner

Moderator
Aug 4, 2012
7,317
West central Mn
OAKed pipe? Pain in the butt for short length
 

ChandlerR

Minister of Fire
Jan 28, 2009
718
Hampton, NH
That does look like 6 inch pipe, though it is hard to tell without a point of reference like a measuring tape. Pellet venting adds about 5/8" to the OD of the pipe so a 3" vent would be 3 5/8" OD on the exterior pipe. If that is 6" diameter pull it off and make sure it is pellet vent which as far as I know wasn't made in a 6", if someone installed that stove and used B vent or wood stove venting that would absolutely explain the problem and need to be changed right now. As for 3" or 4" venting, go with whoever the stove manufacturer recommends.
I just measured my Dura Vent. You're right Sean, it is 4" id and under 5" outside. Looked bigger than that :)
 

merr

New Member
Oct 30, 2011
24
Western Maine
Thanks for the replies. I am going to give it some vertical rise when I fix it as the instruction manual for install says three feet minimum vertical rise for draft purposes. The manufacturer says 3 inch for less than 15 ft of total run, so I think 3 will be fine. The place that I bought this stove from went out of business immediately after we bought it, or I would go yell at them for installing wrong. <> Guess we probably should have checked to make sure ourselves though. And the pipe for pellet stoves is expensive. Maybe that's why not the right kind? Either way, I will be fixing this weekend. Oh, and about the joints...the joint connecting the inside pipe with the outside pipe is in the middle of the wall, and it is not sealed or fastened at all, just sort of shoved together. And easily pulled apart. Anyway I guess this week's paycheck is spent. Thanks again.
Merr
 

Bioburner

Moderator
Aug 4, 2012
7,317
West central Mn
Joint In the middle of wall is not at all cool. Good luck
 
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dlehneman

Member
Sep 12, 2013
239
Lakes Region, NH
Avoiding a joint in the wall is definitely the way to go, but I did also notice a gap around the outside of your wall thimble...when you fix the venting you should seal around the inside and outside of the pipe/thimble connection with silicone rated for a high temp. This will keep out any drafts and avoid any smoke from outside blowing back in.
Even the twist-lock Duravent piping needs silicone or tape on the joints or it will leak. Don't worry about the smaller diameter pipe being hard to clean, it's not bad. They sell brush heads specifically designed for cleaning it that work well and are reasonably priced.
Good luck, hope it goes smoothly!
 

stoveguy13

Minister of Fire
Dec 15, 2006
984
CT
check the pipe connection to the back of the stove and the elbow are the most likely leak spots best way to check for leaks is to turn light off and make the room as dark as you can and us a flashlight
 

ChandlerR

Minister of Fire
Jan 28, 2009
718
Hampton, NH
Sounds like you've found your problem! Even if the pipe is a Duravent, it should not just pull apart. That plus the joint in the wall is the problem for sure! The right pellet pipe is not cheap, but it's priceless if you know what I mean. It amazes me that so many installers don't seem to know what they're doing.Good luck and keep us informed, ok?
 
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merr

New Member
Oct 30, 2011
24
Western Maine
Yeah, so the pipe IS a 4" double insulated, do it is the right pipe, just looks bigger. My husband pulled that piece off and measured. But I still need to make it so the pipe doesn't just end in the wall, so I am guessing I will need to replace that section with a longer piece so it goes all the way through the wall, and can be sealed properly. Also, still need to add the vertical 3' of venting. Oh and that's not a dryer vent, it's what I believe you folks refer to as an OAK.
 

dlehneman

Member
Sep 12, 2013
239
Lakes Region, NH
I noticed your "dryer vent" also, but wondered if it was your OAK. I just added a modified dryer vent over mine so that it wouldn't take in moisture as much as in the past.
 

hyfire

Minister of Fire
Aug 3, 2013
649
Ont, Canada
You might want to buy a dwyer magnehelic gauge that measures your draft. They are on ebay might help you figure out your issues. You will want 0-.5 "W.C scale. Your pressure switch trips at .1 you should be running between .2-.3 average.
 

stoveguy2esw

Minister of Fire
im not thrilled with the "downward" exhaust. hot air doesn't like being forced down, this could create more back pressure in the pipes (especially when its farther from the blower) and magnify any leaks you may have (especially early in the fire or at startup before the pipe heats up and starts picking up a little draft in the vert section.

usually there is no more than a 45 degree angle on an exit pipe in a downward exit. this looks more like a 90. i could be wrong on it just looking at the picture
 
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hyfire

Minister of Fire
Aug 3, 2013
649
Ont, Canada
I would say its about 70-80 degrees, which is still not good as you mentioned. He really needs to get a vertical section in there somehow, even if its outdoors...
 

Bioburner

Moderator
Aug 4, 2012
7,317
West central Mn
Having a joint in the wall is not good. Will see what new exhaust the OP gets this weekend.
 

hyfire

Minister of Fire
Aug 3, 2013
649
Ont, Canada
FYI 3m makes a flue tape good to 600F I would also tape all the joints with that, but you still need the piping fixed. He should do that also. I need to pickup some for myself too...
 

merr

New Member
Oct 30, 2011
24
Western Maine
Hi all I am stuck right now in a position where I am not sure if I need to replace all the venting, or if I could use some of the existing material and maybe just get a new pipe to go from inside to outside that extends beyond the exterior wall, ant a new vertical rise pipe section. (And of course seal it off well ) I am not an expert on this stuff by any means. I tried to get advice from local installers today but that was a no go. It's just that the vent pipes are pretty expensive, so I only want to have to fix this once. My husband thinks that we might need to actually center stove on hearth pad an change where it is going through the wall, because there is not even proper clearance from the interior wall to the stove. However, that seems like it would then require changes in where the pipe goes through the wall, which won't really work. Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts on whether I can use some of what is already in place, let me know. Also, is home cheapo the place to buy materials, or is there somewhere better? Or should I hire someone to fix this for me( which I'd rather not, but if I have to because I don't really know what I am doing I will) . And by the way...I am a she ==c . And if it helps at all here are a few more pics.
 

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stoveguy2esw

Minister of Fire
And by the way...I am a she . And if it helps at all here are a few more pics.

figured that by the avatar and the mention of the hubby, lotsa female burners in here , no worries.

it is Simpson DuraVent pipe , depot does stock that brand, biggest ting is thats 4 inch pipe, which is less commonly used.

big thing is to stay with the same brand of pipe if adding as they attach differently by brand (think ford / chevy) i see also the tee is followed directly with a 90, this creates back pressure as well, look closely at the tee, the tee caps are notorious for leaking between the outer shell of the pipe and the inner "cup" filling that gap with RTV works well for that.

biggest thing is to find a way to get that joint out from inside that wall, while the pipe may well be sealed , i'd never want to take a chance on an ill fitting joint inside of a wall where i couldn't see it
 
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