smoke getting into my room

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bigealta

Feeling the Heat
May 22, 2010
325
Utah, NJ
So seems like the moral to this story is - Just needed to burn hotter. The fact that you just started to burn off the new paint on the pipes shows that the previous burns were never very hot.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,132
Sand Lake, NY
Excellent progress! Still no IR thermometer gun?
I leave my door open until it gets going good.
Careful on that ladder!

I can also tell what temperature the stove is running by how far away Carmella is.

IMG_20211122_190119844_LL.jpg
 
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john81

New Member
Oct 30, 2021
50
Netherlands
@velvetfoot: no I don't have an IR thermometer gun.

Unfortunately things have worsened last two weeks: after putting the flue extension pipe on the chimney, I discovered rain dripping sounds in my flue. The bottom of the t-piece has a removable cap and after removing that cap it contained about 2 cm's of water...

I'm not 100% sure if this also happened before mounting the extension flue pipe. I can think of 2 ways for rain to enter the flue: at the outlet / end of the flue, where I have this piece mounted: (don't know the English name for it)

https://cdn.myonlinestore.eu/93cf55.../d0e48040b4a1f2b041984d1d7fa2d09b96150105.jpg

The other option would be the bottom of the extension flue pipe as I made about 8 vertical cuts, 5-10 cm in length, to make it fit onto the top plate. On the bottom connection of this top place the double walled flexible flue liner is connected, on the top of this plate the extension pipe is mounted. Even though the bottom of the extension pipe is on the outward-side of the plate connection, maybe rain can get through the vertical cuts, although I fastened this extension pipe using a metal tie-wrap.

To me it seems most likely that rain gets in through the part at the end of the flue pipe (see link above). So I think I have to get on mhy roof again and I will cover it with a plastic bag and monitor for rain coming in my t-connection piece. If not, the extension flue pipe connection is waterproof.

Apart from this problem, I experience problems getting the stove hot: I changed from using pine wood to ash. Even when filling the stove box with small pieces it takes more time to reach 500F. Temperature tends to drop quickly to 400F and it is more difficult to keep it at 500F now, even when quickly refilling. I have to open the primary air inlet more often. When doiiing the first refill, I get smoke in my room again. Not that much, but it clearly visible when opening the stove door. Temperature is around 400F when refilling and to me it seems there is enough draft as I can hear a continuous blowing noise in my firebox.

I expected ash to be the better wood type compared to pine and birch which I used previously with better results. But I have to admit I changed two things in the same period: putting an extension flue pipe on my chimney and using different type of wood. Is it normal for ash wood to produce less heat than pine and birch? I expected longer burning times, but this seems not to be the case either. It feels like it burns just as fast, but less hot. I measured moisture content and this is similar to my birch wood at around 17% which should be fine. The pine wood is around 11% which is very dry.

So I'm a bit disappointed at the moment. I will keep you updated about progress.
 

MR. GLO

Member
Jan 26, 2021
235
Massachusetts
@velvetfoot: no I don't have an IR thermometer gun.

Unfortunately things have worsened last two weeks: after putting the flue extension pipe on the chimney, I discovered rain dripping sounds in my flue. The bottom of the t-piece has a removable cap and after removing that cap it contained about 2 cm's of water...

I'm not 100% sure if this also happened before mounting the extension flue pipe. I can think of 2 ways for rain to enter the flue: at the outlet / end of the flue, where I have this piece mounted: (don't know the English name for it)

https://cdn.myonlinestore.eu/93cf55.../d0e48040b4a1f2b041984d1d7fa2d09b96150105.jpg

The other option would be the bottom of the extension flue pipe as I made about 8 vertical cuts, 5-10 cm in length, to make it fit onto the top plate. On the bottom connection of this top place the double walled flexible flue liner is connected, on the top of this plate the extension pipe is mounted. Even though the bottom of the extension pipe is on the outward-side of the plate connection, maybe rain can get through the vertical cuts, although I fastened this extension pipe using a metal tie-wrap.

To me it seems most likely that rain gets in through the part at the end of the flue pipe (see link above). So I think I have to get on mhy roof again and I will cover it with a plastic bag and monitor for rain coming in my t-connection piece. If not, the extension flue pipe connection is waterproof.

Apart from this problem, I experience problems getting the stove hot: I changed from using pine wood to ash. Even when filling the stove box with small pieces it takes more time to reach 500F. Temperature tends to drop quickly to 400F and it is more difficult to keep it at 500F now, even when quickly refilling. I have to open the primary air inlet more often. When doiiing the first refill, I get smoke in my room again. Not that much, but it clearly visible when opening the stove door. Temperature is around 400F when refilling and to me it seems there is enough draft as I can hear a continuous blowing noise in my firebox.

I expected ash to be the better wood type compared to pine and birch which I used previously with better results. But I have to admit I changed two things in the same period: putting an extension flue pipe on my chimney and using different type of wood. Is it normal for ash wood to produce less heat than pine and birch? I expected longer burning times, but this seems not to be the case either. It feels like it burns just as fast, but less hot. I measured moisture content and this is similar to my birch wood at around 17% which should be fine. The pine wood is around 11% which is very dry.

So I'm a bit disappointed at the moment. I will keep you updated about progress.

@velvetfoot: no I don't have an IR thermometer gun.

Unfortunately things have worsened last two weeks: after putting the flue extension pipe on the chimney, I discovered rain dripping sounds in my flue. The bottom of the t-piece has a removable cap and after removing that cap it contained about 2 cm's of water...

I'm not 100% sure if this also happened before mounting the extension flue pipe. I can think of 2 ways for rain to enter the flue: at the outlet / end of the flue, where I have this piece mounted: (don't know the English name for it)

https://cdn.myonlinestore.eu/93cf55.../d0e48040b4a1f2b041984d1d7fa2d09b96150105.jpg

The other option would be the bottom of the extension flue pipe as I made about 8 vertical cuts, 5-10 cm in length, to make it fit onto the top plate. On the bottom connection of this top place the double walled flexible flue liner is connected, on the top of this plate the extension pipe is mounted. Even though the bottom of the extension pipe is on the outward-side of the plate connection, maybe rain can get through the vertical cuts, although I fastened this extension pipe using a metal tie-wrap.

To me it seems most likely that rain gets in through the part at the end of the flue pipe (see link above). So I think I have to get on mhy roof again and I will cover it with a plastic bag and monitor for rain coming in my t-connection piece. If not, the extension flue pipe connection is waterproof.

Apart from this problem, I experience problems getting the stove hot: I changed from using pine wood to ash. Even when filling the stove box with small pieces it takes more time to reach 500F. Temperature tends to drop quickly to 400F and it is more difficult to keep it at 500F now, even when quickly refilling. I have to open the primary air inlet more often. When doiiing the first refill, I get smoke in my room again. Not that much, but it clearly visible when opening the stove door. Temperature is around 400F when refilling and to me it seems there is enough draft as I can hear a continuous blowing noise in my firebox.

I expected ash to be the better wood type compared to pine and birch which I used previously with better results. But I have to admit I changed two things in the same period: putting an extension flue pipe on my chimney and using different type of wood. Is it normal for ash wood to produce less heat than pine and birch? I expected longer burning times, but this seems not to be the case either. It feels like it burns just as fast, but less hot. I measured moisture content and this is similar to my birch wood at around 17% which should be fine. The pine wood is around 11% which is very dry.

So I'm a bit disappointed at the moment. I will keep you updated about progress.
The chimney cap do you have a storm collar too?
 

MR. GLO

Member
Jan 26, 2021
235
Massachusetts

john81

New Member
Oct 30, 2021
50
Netherlands
Hi, I removed the extension pipe and did another burn. I don't see a big difference...

According to the seller, importer and manufacturer, it is not the stove but the chimney which causes the smoke problems. But they have not been at my house yet. At a few online places I can read about how modern "eco" stove, which have a baffle for secondary combustion, need more draft compared to older types of stoves which don't have the baffle plate. According to the seller, this shouldn't make a difference (the extra baffle). But to mee it feels like it can have a big influence on draft as smoke has to turn almost 180 degrees to "fold" around the baffle.

Any ideas about the baffle and it's influence on draft?

I think I will call the seller again because I'm out of ideas. Maybe I will let a certified company check the system to be sure about the exact cause of the problem...
 

MR. GLO

Member
Jan 26, 2021
235
Massachusetts
"I don't see a big difference..." Please explain

I would take a step back and determine when are you getting smoke. I might be repeating some comments so I apologize.

Opening the door during a reload.. what is the temp? and are you waiting for coals or stove temp 300. Do you have any other vents or appliances or chimneys running when reloading...throwing big logs or unseasoned wood on a coals will cause smoke, try adding kindlin in the mix 1st and smaller pieces.... Have you tried during a reload to leave the door open the least open it will stay open until it starts relighting good?

If your firewood was purchased the same year as your stove this will contribute to your problems....In my opinion this is #1 reason new stove operators are having issues. The 2nd is preheating the flue.

smoke during startup
- try your method and then try starting a smaller fast fire with door cracked the smallest amount. try it both ways and preheat the flue...if you haven't tried preheating the flue during a startup then you will not solve your smoke at startup issue. preheat with a heat gun and then a small fast fire with kindlin. then add small logs...

All this might all sound strange but not all stoves light, burn or run the same way. I am still learning too... But all of the stoves I have owned will smoke into the home with poor wood and cold flue and not preheating someway -its my chimney setup, exterior chimney and living near a highway. And another wrench is the weather...this will impact your stove....Just yesterday I was lighting a fast fire and didn't have enough air and starting making a repetitive puff noise...I crackled the door slightly and it went away. After it got over 200 STT I closed the door and it ran perfect. This was the first time I notice it. So now I will leave the door cracked longer during my fist light. If I close the door too soon I can get smoke...

Watch your chimney during a reload and startup...the less smoke the better.. put a nest camera on it and you will see if your starting the fire wrong or reloading wrong. Even with the stove out that far, you should be able to run it without smoke in the home. But even when things are perfect the wind can cause smoke smell into a home. A camera on the chimney will show if the smoke is dropping into your soffits or window areas.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,793
Long Island NY
Yes, modern stoves (with baffles, tubes, or cats) need more draft because the impedance in the stove is higher. However, the requirements for the chimney height that are in the manual should already have taken this into account, as they are recommended to operate that particular stove in the right parameter space.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,913
Iowa

MR. GLO

Member
Jan 26, 2021
235
Massachusetts
The traffic and the roadway creates a path for wind to pickup.....Im really close.. If the area was woods next to my home I dont think my draft would be so jumpy when burning...but Im not a wind expert. I have a draft gauge always connected to the stove. My old house about 1/2 mile way didn't have this issue.
 
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john81

New Member
Oct 30, 2021
50
Netherlands
"I don't see a big difference..." Please explain
First of all, thanks again for your help!

I can't notice any difference when it comes to draft / smoke leaking into my room while refilling, with or without extension flue pipe.
I would take a step back and determine when are you getting smoke. I might be repeating some comments so I apologize.
I only get some in my room while refilling. Not always, mostly during while refilling within the first two hours after starting the fire.

I managed to get a 100% smoke free burning / startup process using 10-11% moisture content pine wood. These are small laths which have been for about 50 years in my house. I cut these and splitted them to small pieces. I can raise top plate temperature of my stove from 0 to 500F in 8 minutens (!). This is my personal record.

As the stock of these cutted / splitted pieces is empty now (I have to cut them again, I have a huge pile of uncutted pieces), I am using ash at the moment, as birch is not on top of the pile right now. Even though I cleaved / splitted the ash into thin pieces, I have varying results: sometimes everything lights quickly, but today for instance, it took a very long time to start the fire: I put three pieces of medium sized birch at the bottom, on top of that stacked smaller ash pieces. At the top layer some cardboard to light the fire together with some alcohol to boost the start. There was just a small fire on only the right side of the firebox, only in the front. The air intakes were 100% open and the stove door as well. After 30 minutes temperature was just at 200F. Normally things go better, but today was a bad start. After about 1 hour temperature was 440F and I refilled on coals. I put 3 medium sized ash pieces on the coals and they quickly catched fire. There was a strong fire and finally I started to feel the radiation from the stove after more than one hour. Within 30 minutes these pieces were burnt and I refilled on a bed of coals at 540F. I inserted 2 bigger pieces which instantly catched fire (door closed, 2 air inlets 100% open). But there was still some smoke fume in my room, not much, but it was noticeable.

To conclude: starting a hot fire using ash is much more difficult than pine, but MC of the pine is 11% whereas ash MC is around 16%, which should still be ok (<20% should be ok according to many articles). I pre-dried the wood 1 day in my room as outdoors it is cold and rainy weather. But I can still hear a hissing noise the first minutes after starting the fire and I saw some foam coming out of the end of a piece of wood. But after 1-2 hours of starting up, stove top plate temperature raises to 550-560F using ash versus 500F using only pine (after 8 minutes).

The problem is (I think) because of the small stove box I can only load a restricted amount of wood the first time, when the stove is cold. When only loading it with small pieces, it gets quickly hot (500F), but when using ash, I still get some smoke fume in my room during the first reload. When using the swiss method, by putting medium sized pieces at the bottom and stacking it with small pieces, the medium sized pieces don't burn that well. They catch fire after a while, but the stove is still too cold to let them burn well. So I would like to let the stove burn at least 1 hour without interruption at a high as possible temperature, but this seems difficult. I would think this would be much easier when the firebox was bigger.

By the way, the secondary combustion seems to only work well when temperatures are high (>400F) and primary air inlet is closed. (only secondary is opened). But for instance when burning 2 medium sized pieces when 2 hours in the burning process, stove top temperature is 550F, which is about the highest I can get at the moment, I need to open primary air intake to get nice yellow coloured flames. But there is no secondary combustion to be seen. Only when closing primary air intake I start seeiing secondary combustion. But then the flames change color from bright yellow / whitish to darker / orange, which is a sign of not enough oxygene supply.

By the way, the stove is getting really hot now - it reaches 570F now. But the room is filling with a very strong unpleasant paint smell. I have to open the windows again to vent it out. I have the chemical paint smell problem for about 3 months now, which is also a frustrating thing with this stove. But I guess after a few burns at >550F this will be gone.

I'm sorry to conclude I'm still unsatisfied with this stove. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but it feels like this is a very complicated / delicate thing to operate.


Opening the door during a reload.. what is the temp? and are you waiting for coals or stove temp 300. Do you have any other vents or appliances or chimneys running when reloading...throwing big logs or unseasoned wood on a coals will cause smoke, try adding kindlin in the mix 1st and smaller pieces.... Have you tried during a reload to leave the door open the least open it will stay open until it starts relighting good?

If your firewood was purchased the same year as your stove this will contribute to your problems....In my opinion this is #1 reason new stove operators are having issues. The 2nd is preheating the flue.

smoke during startup
- try your method and then try starting a smaller fast fire with door cracked the smallest amount. try it both ways and preheat the flue...if you haven't tried preheating the flue during a startup then you will not solve your smoke at startup issue. preheat with a heat gun and then a small fast fire with kindlin. then add small logs...

All this might all sound strange but not all stoves light, burn or run the same way. I am still learning too... But all of the stoves I have owned will smoke into the home with poor wood and cold flue and not preheating someway -its my chimney setup, exterior chimney and living near a highway. And another wrench is the weather...this will impact your stove....Just yesterday I was lighting a fast fire and didn't have enough air and starting making a repetitive puff noise...I crackled the door slightly and it went away. After it got over 200 STT I closed the door and it ran perfect. This was the first time I notice it. So now I will leave the door cracked longer during my fist light. If I close the door too soon I can get smoke...

Watch your chimney during a reload and startup...the less smoke the better.. put a nest camera on it and you will see if your starting the fire wrong or reloading wrong. Even with the stove out that far, you should be able to run it without smoke in the home. But even when things are perfect the wind can cause smoke smell into a home. A camera on the chimney will show if the smoke is dropping into your soffits or window areas.
Thats a good suggestion - about the camera to watch the chimney while being indoors!
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,793
Long Island NY
If foam comes out of the ends, your mc is not 16%.

I think we have to assess the mc of your wood again as the burning behavior is consistent with AND the hissing shows that the mc is far too high.

I know you said before you resplit and measure at room temperature, but something is going wrong because 16% never hisses, never develops dark (wet) spots on the cut ends here.
 
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MR. GLO

Member
Jan 26, 2021
235
Massachusetts
Thanks for info...

Thats good news on the startup.

With reloads I would suggest trying reloading at different temps and make note of when smoke comes...open a window see what helps....keep testing with better wood.

one bad poke, one bad log or swing door open to far or fast I haven gotten a small puff of smoke into house with every stove I've owed and in both homes I've owned. Appliances like dryers gas hotwater tanks etc suck and steal air.

When the coal stage comes my draft decreases on the guage from. 14 at full burn to .05 I tried extending chimney but it didn't change.

Or try to move stove closer or better try and test double wall pipe.

Don't get frustrated yet. You need good wood. Not first year.... so order now and cover it.
 

john81

New Member
Oct 30, 2021
50
Netherlands
Hi everyone, thanks again for your replies and contributions, this is very appreciated. I decided not to give up yet and continue testing, changing, trying.

Tomorrow I will do new splittings and MC measurements. By the way - there are 2 ways to measure MC which result in different MC level numbers:

1. moisture content "u" relative to oven dry mass:

(mass wet - mass dry) / mass dry

2. moisture content (w) relative to wet total mass:

(mass wet - mass dry) / mass wet

The manual of my MC reader tells me number 1 is the adviced option to measure MC. According to the book by Lars Mytting (recommended) which I own - one should use method #2. As method #1 gives higher MC numbers than #2, I used #1. Any idea which formula one should use to measure firewood MC? I would agree with Lars as one is interested in MC compared to wood including moisture as moisture is an very important part of the fuel.

Another thing which I consider buying is a fine particle meter:

 
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john81

New Member
Oct 30, 2021
50
Netherlands
Hi again,

I did some MC measurements today. After splitting some logs MC (moisture content (w) relative to wet total mass) reads 16 - 19%. According to my book this should be sufficiently dry to burn. I discovered that some bark is much wetter, up to 30%. Just below the bark it reads < 20%.

I cleaved a lot of bigger logs in many small pieces which I placed close to the side wall of the stove to dry. MC dropped at the surface from 16% to 10% after 1 day of drying (and using the stove), but when splitting these small laths again the core is still at 16%.

But today I tested the stove again by using these pre-dried laths (ash). I was surprised to see a very fast rise of temperature: yesterday I needed roughly 1.5 hours to get it at 540F (stove top temperature), today it took about 10 mins or less. (I didn't measure it but is was very fast). This seems similar to my personal record of 8 minutes using 10-11% MC pine wood laths.

The first reload at 500-540F was without any detectable smoke. (!) I refilled with wood that was not pre-dried indoors, but there were not any smoke issues.

It seems that indoor pre-drying the laths makes a big difference. Even though just the outer area has a lowered MC, this makes a huge difference. It seems especially important for the first load (startup).

From now on, I will keep more wood in my living room to pre-dry, and I will always keep 1 batch pre-dried for the first fill / startup of the stove.

20211207_154601_copy_800x600.jpg
 

bigealta

Feeling the Heat
May 22, 2010
325
Utah, NJ

It seems that indoor pre-drying the laths makes a big difference.

Yup for sure. Think about it like this - A wet towel over the stove dries in about 15 minutes, in the bathroom it would take all day and night in my house. I definitely notice a difference in wood straight from even my indoor storage room vs. the wood that's been next to the stove for about a day or so.
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,299
South Puget Sound, WA
But I can still hear a hissing noise the first minutes after starting the fire and I saw some foam coming out of the end of a piece of wood
This is a sign that either the wood moisture is not being correctly read or that the piece that read 16% was not typical of the rest of the pile or that the moisture meter is either incorrect or being used incorrectly. Predrying is a good plan. Do it for a week or two if possible.
 

john81

New Member
Oct 30, 2021
50
Netherlands
Hi again, thanks for your replies. I will keep an eye on readings and hissing noise.

One other problem is rain water that is leaking into my flue. I discovered that one week ago. As I recently extended the cimney / flue with a piece of aluminium pipe to have the chimney extent above the roof top, I was not sure if the rain was either dripping through the extension pipe connection or though the top part of the flue: (or both)

d0e48040b4a1f2b041984d1d7fa2d09b96150105.jpeg

So last weekend I removed the extension pipe. This morning after a night of heavy wind and rain over 1 cm of water was in the t-piece cap. (about 1 cup of water). It must have entered trough the piece in the image above. This was an expensive part which we selected because it should improve draft as it turns by windforce so it aligns itself in the correct position. But now I discovered quiete a lot of rainwater gets into my flue through this thing.

As the flue near my stove is single walled 2 mm steel which is prone to rusting, and as my newly bought stove is connected to it, I'm wondering if this is acceptable and can have a negative impact on stove lifetime (I think the rain is not directly getting into the stove because of the 90 degree t-piece) and stove start up process / reduced draft?

Is it normal / acceptable to have about 1 cup of water leaking into the flue?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,299
South Puget Sound, WA
An occasional drop or two during strong winds combined with heavy rains can happen, but a cup of water coming in is definitely not acceptable.
 
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bigealta

Feeling the Heat
May 22, 2010
325
Utah, NJ
This is what happens if water drips onto your stove by the outlet pipe and collar. Wet ash and creasote is highly corrosive.

0BDB37E3-D0FA-4E9B-A897-C10C3548B91D.jpeg 5D0FD149-8D8E-4DDA-AD99-9A5B56FD7F59.jpeg 1DC798FA-8612-4600-B509-B1F70374CC76.jpeg B365F7EB-1C23-49B1-88FF-06C9CC4543E9.jpeg
 
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