Smoke coming from Regency insert fireplace

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scottiealan

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
3
Vancouver, WA
This could be the dumbest question in the history of this forum but I have never had a wood burning fireplace before. I have a Regency insert.

I got the chimney cleaned about one hour ago. I thought I would take it for a spin. The flue is fully open and the draft is too.

When I open the door to add more wood, a small puff or two of smoke comes out. Nothing that I (believe) would cause levels of CO and no smoke comes out when I close the door. The house now has a campfire smell, which isn't that bad but I am concerned about the safety aspect. I assume the smell is just from the small amount of smoke and some stuck to the clothes I was wearing while working the fire. I won't be thrilled about my furniture smelling and don't really want to have to keep my windows open in the winter to air the place out.

Is this normal and an unavoidable effect of having a wood burning fireplace? Side note: The instructions say to leave the door open slightly when the fire is getting going (overall they recommend about 20 minutes). I think this may be bad advice but I did try it- didn't notice smoke except when opening to add wood?

Also is the fan supposed to be on the whole time you are burning or only once the fire has really gotten going?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,662
South Puget Sound, WA
Not dumb at all. This probably was a combination of factors. How tall is the chimney, one-story, two? With outside temps in the high 50s, draft can be weaker, especially if this is a basement installation. Draft usually improves notably when the outside temps get colder. Keeping the door slightly ajar (1/2" is enough) until the fire starts burning well is standard operating procedure. How quickly the door can be latched is dependent on the kindling, the dryness and thickness of the firewood, and the strength of the draft. This could be 5 or 10 minutes or zero minutes depending on those factors.

The blower typically is wired in series with a thermostatic switch which turns on the blower when the insert body has warmed up. Turn off the blower before opening the stove door and back on when closed.
 

scottiealan

New Member
Sep 29, 2021
3
Vancouver, WA
Not dumb at all. This probably was a combination of factors. How tall is the chimney, one-story, two? With outside temps in the high 50s, draft can be weaker, especially if this is a basement installation. Draft usually improves notably when the outside temps get colder. Keeping the door slightly ajar (1/2" is enough) until the fire starts burning well is standard operating procedure. How quickly the door can be latched is dependent on the kindling, the dryness and thickness of the firewood, and the strength of the draft. This could be 5 or 10 minutes or zero minutes depending on those factors.

The blower typically is wired in series with a thermostatic switch which turns on the blower when the insert body has warmed up. Turn off the blower before opening the stove door and back on when closed.
Great advice from everyone. One story house built in the early 70s. Yes, it is in the 50s here in Southern WA but the new house (to me) seems to be cold in the morning and I'm not a cold weather guy. There is a fan with a switch that I just had on after closing the door and it does have an auto setting- I just didn't know what triggered it. There's also a little box that seems to just be a thermometer but I need to replace the battery. I think from reading the instructions that it is just to know when the fire has reached that temp to tell you to close the door.

Oh, and the wood might be a little wetter than ideal.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,662
South Puget Sound, WA
Wet wood is no good with a modern stove. What model Regency is this? It the i2700 hybrid?
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,853
Iowa
How was the chimney cleaned? Top down, or bottom up?
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
Yes, it is in the 50s here in Southern WA but the new house (to me) seems to be cold in the morning...Oh, and the wood might be a little wetter than ideal.
Yep, when outdoor and indoor temps are somewhat close, chimney draft will suffer, as begreen mentioned. You can try pre-heating the flue with a hair dryer or heat gun. Burning crumpled newspaper in the stove may work to heat the flue but it can also smoke out the room if draft is very low.
Wet wood is no good with a modern stove.
That's your primary problem to be solved right now. I'd think there would be dead, dry beetle-kill pine available in your area, if you can go get some, either by yourself or with the help of a friend, or if you can find a reliable supplier. Beware, many wood sellers will claim their wood is "seasoned," but it may not be dry enough to operate a modern stove properly. You really need a cheap moisture meter to test any wood under consideration. They can be had here for $15. Split a large piece and test the wood on the freshly exposed wood in the center of that piece.
OK, here's the dumbest reply then..;) Should be fairly obvious;
Be careful any time you have a fire burning and the stove door open. Stay right there and pay attention. Don't "just go get a cup of coffee." Actually, you can be distracted while in the stove room, if you are on the computer or whatever. Don't ask how I know. Luckily, I don't need the door open, but I've left the air open a bit too long and glowed the stove pipe a couple times. :oops:
 

BigJ273

Feeling the Heat
Feb 15, 2015
484
Maryland
Crack the door. Give it a minute for the smoke in the stove to clear up the flue. Once it looks clear, open the door all the way, slowly.
 
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