RSF Opel3, smoking upon start.

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smokdout

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
3
Ohio
Hi all, new to the site. Thanks for the add.
So I built our current home in Eastern Ohio 8 years ago, 2 story with basement (open stairwell to basement.) I clean the chimney once a year from the bottom and clean the cap as well. I can visually verify that the pipe is clear from the bottom. The stove has worked flawlessly until mid burning season last year. When I open the door for a cold start, I feel a constant downdraft from the outside. I know some may say that this is somewhat normal, but I have never felt it like this before. Stove is drawing combustion air from the inside, no outside air, and the intake damper is in the correct position.
Nothing has changed (nor have there been any changes to the construction of our house.) I establish a small fire to preheat the chimney (and with this new problem, I have tried various types of fires for a preheat of the pipe) but once started, smoke rolls out of the bottom grate of the unit. Once the pipe heats up (7" Excel) it drafts as it should.
I started to track outside air temp, humidity, barometric pressure...but the weather patterns have not changed so much over the past 8 years to cause performance issues to this degree and so quickly.
Is there anything internal that can be causing this? I have had various types of woodburners in the past and am familiar with the operation of then, but this is my first zero clearance unit. Any help is appreciated. Thanks
 

MR. GLO

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2021
256
Massachusetts
preheat the stove/pipe with a heat gun or small electric heater and clean firebox, to reduce ash in the air. Stick it in the fireboz somehow and close the door as much as you can.... Then you should see no smoke upon startup if you use good kindlin and dry seasoned wood. Try it for 10-15 minutes or even try to heat the room up to 75 degrees with a room heater and then try lighting the fire... Let us know if it solves your problem. Today my pipe inside is 55 degrees and if I try lighting it without preheat I will get smoke.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Have you or your neighbors taken any trees down that might have been blocking wind?
 

smokdout

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
3
Ohio
I spoke to the owner at the place of purchase, and after all it sounds like a preheat issue. We are in the middle of an open field, so no environmental impacts/issues with trees or structures. I will preheat as suggested in this upcoming week. Thank you all.
 
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