Smoke comes out of door when open

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

skarybat

New Member
Sep 24, 2019
23
Gatineau
Hi all,

I just got my new Regency i1150 insert installed and I've ben using it for the last 48 hours almost non-stop. It's the first time I use an an insert but not the first time I use a wood stove. I'm quite impressed with the heat coming out of this small and beautiful device.

The problem is I am surprised by the awareness required to avoid smoke spillage into the house when I open the door to refuel it. The only moment there is no smoke spillage is at the end of the burning cycle (only red coals, no flames). There is a significant amount of smoke coming out of the door when I start a kindling fire and when I do the first load it with logs. For now, I try to wait until the fire almost dies before to add more logs. Otherwise, I add the logs very quickly, with the door slightly open.

I read many threads on this forum about this issue, read articles, read the manual, watched videos, etc.

The insert has been installed by professionals. They installed a liner inside my 20 feet tall masonry chimney. They installed a new chimney cap. I live in a bungalow and the fireplace is at the floor level. The top of the chimney is higher than anything surrounding it, except a deciduous tree (no leaves in it right now) that's about 10 feet far from it and about the same height as the chimney. Could it be a problem?

The house is in a relatively flat neighborhood, with no hills around. The outside temp has been around 30 F. Not windy. I burn seasoned softwood. It's been cut down 1 year ago.

I tried all the basic tricks such as opening windows near the fireplace, stopping the blower and air extractors of the house, opening the fireplace door slowly, opening both the air intake and bypass, etc. It's still spilling smoke every time I open the door except at the end of burning cycle. Is it normal ?

Could the installer have made a mistake ?

I will contact the dealer on Monday, but I thought some of you here could help me even better.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
E0775BA7-3F89-4F6A-B89B-3262F1C3CA5A.jpeg
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,638
South Puget Sound, WA
Was the liner insulated?
 
  • Like
Reactions: skarybat

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,335
Long Island NY
You can check that the baffle is correctly positioned.
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,437
PA
Before you open the door, open the air wide open for a few minutes. Then just crack the latch for a moment before opening the door slowly. If I just open the door with the air turned down on coals mine will dump smoke too. You have to get the velocity up in the stack before opening the door. Plain and simple.
 

skarybat

New Member
Sep 24, 2019
23
Gatineau
Before you open the door, open the air wide open for a few minutes. Then just crack the latch for a moment before opening the door slowly. If I just open the door with the air turned down on coals mine will dump smoke too. You have to get the velocity up in the stack before opening the door. Plain and simple.
Thanks. I guess I’ll get to know my stove better.
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,335
Long Island NY
Thanks. I think it is. There is a passage for the smoke near at the front but not in the rear of the stove. Is that right?
The manual has info on proper placement of the baffle.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skarybat

skarybat

New Member
Sep 24, 2019
23
Gatineau
Both of my stoves are like this. What was your previous stove experience?
I used many different wood stoves that are found in backcountry cabins and yurts. I use to just put wood any time I want and often keeping the door open for enjoying the view. Most of the time, i didn’t see much smoke. I realise my new insert is not like that at all.
 

mcdougy

Minister of Fire
Apr 15, 2014
674
ontario
I would think you must try as stated above by Ludlow. Open the air intake all the way and give it 5 mins for the fire to react. Crack the door, that should produce smoke in the firebox or the flames to fire. Once you see the smoke or flames heading up it will indicate a strong draft. Open the door slowly at this point and hopefully you will have no smoke. If this doesn't work, try it again with a close window cracked. If that don't work, then you may be out of options if the stove is indeed operating as it should.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skarybat

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,132
Downeast Maine
I used many different wood stoves that are found in backcountry cabins and yurts. I use to just put wood any time I want and often keeping the door open for enjoying the view. Most of the time, i didn’t see much smoke. I realise my new insert is not like that at all.
Well, old stoves don't usually have baffles, so they tend to breathe quite well. If I'm smooth an open up the air before I open the door I'm OK. If I'm in a rush I tend to get a small burp of smoke, maybe even more if the cooker isn't up to temp yet.
 

Mike508

Member
Jul 17, 2017
25
MA
I have this same issue. If the door is open and there is smoke, some of it will spill out. Watching neighbors reload, it appears to be a normal occurrence. I thought all the smoke was spilling out until one of my kids ran by and created a breeze, and I found out what "all the smoke" really meant. I learned only a fraction was spilling out, although in a closed house it seems like a ton. I find if I wait till the end of the burn cycle when I have just coals opening the door generates zero smoke. I layout my pieces of wood before hand so that I minimize loading time (since new wood on a bed of coals generates smoke). I personally would not spend money on improving draft (insulating/extending your liner/chimney, etc) unless you have other performance issues due to improper draft, since I think it can be easily corrected by your loading/relighting behavior.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,132
Downeast Maine
My cookstove loves to let a bit of smoke roll out whenever I open the door, especially if I'm just getting the stove started for the day. If the air is open and bypass open for a few minutes before I just crack the door I have little to no smoke, especially if I very slowly open the door. Sometimes when lighting the cooker, especially if I'm also lighting the wood stove, I *must* open the window to prevent smoke from entering the home. Once the cooker is warmed up and the draft is well established I don't have to open the window or be super slow with the loading door. Perhaps your home is very tight and you could benefit from a window cracked when opening the stove door.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,638
South Puget Sound, WA
I have this same issue. If the door is open and there is smoke, some of it will spill out. Watching neighbors reload, it appears to be a normal occurrence. I thought all the smoke was spilling out until one of my kids ran by and created a breeze, and I found out what "all the smoke" really meant. I learned only a fraction was spilling out, although in a closed house it seems like a ton. I find if I wait till the end of the burn cycle when I have just coals opening the door generates zero smoke. I layout my pieces of wood before hand so that I minimize loading time (since new wood on a bed of coals generates smoke). I personally would not spend money on improving draft (insulating/extending your liner/chimney, etc) unless you have other performance issues due to improper draft, since I think it can be easily corrected by your loading/relighting behavior.
With decent draft it's not a normal occurrence. If it was we probably would not be burning wood. However, some homes have negative pressure where the stove is located which can cause smoke spillage. Other homes may have a short flue, which will affect draft. So will a poor installation where the insert is direct connected instead of having a full liner.

One thing to try, open a nearby window or door a crack. Then open the air control fully on the stove, wait five seconds, then open the door 1", wait another 5 seconds for pressure to equalize, then slowly open the stove door.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skarybat

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,638
South Puget Sound, WA
Just to be clear. You can open your door at any time during the burn process without smoke spillage?
Well, opening up the stove door when a fresh load of wood is taking off is not something I would normally do, but yes. I can open the door most any time and not get smoke rolling out. I have to do it slowly if the outdoor temps are above 50º, but we usually don't burn when it is that warm.
 
  • Like
Reactions: skarybat

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
I have not yet once had any smoke roll out on a door opening in the 10 weeks that I have been burning. Reload twice a day, so between 100 to 130 openings. Never, not one time. I open bypass first, let the stove sit that way for maybe 2-3 min, then crack open door, then open slowly. I have a 30' exterior chimney with an insulated liner, and really strong draft, but still no smoke spillage.
 

Zack R

Feeling the Heat
Sep 27, 2017
423
Sisters, OR
flic.kr
As others have said turn the air control all the way up about 5-10min before opening the door, then open the door very slowly. I'll sometimes get spillage even with this method but it's way less than it would be otherwise.
 

skarybat

New Member
Sep 24, 2019
23
Gatineau
Thanks for your input you all. As I tried everything you mentioned here, I assume I have poor draft. It's not so bad that I can't use my fireplace though. The fire starts well and the combustion is quite good. I only refuel at the end of the cycle and there is no smoke. I build the fire with paper, kindling and splits all at the same time so I don't have to open the door to refuel right after the fire starts.

My liner is not insulated, and the chimney lenght is only 16 feet, which could explain a lot. The tech will come check if the fireplace is all right, but I doubt they will find anything wrong.
 
Last edited:

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,132
Downeast Maine
Sounds like you have it under control. As I'm sure you guessed a taller insulated liner would go a long way in reducing smoke spill
 
  • Like
Reactions: skarybat