Smoke in house every time I load wood into my new stove

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Mark S. Castro

New Member
Nov 2, 2012
11
Maryland
Could use some advice. Just starting using our new Hearthstone Homestead wood stove. Can't seem to put wood in the fire box without letting smoke into my house. This has got to stop. Any advice would be appreciated. Note, I tried several things, but none of them seems to work. Your help would be appreciated.
 

Waulie

Minister of Fire
Aug 31, 2011
1,011
Nothern Lower Michigan
Welcome Mark.

There could be several things at play, but for starters can you describe your chimney size and length?

Assuming your chimney is appropriate, it could just be your outside temps. The higher the temps outside, the less draft you have. For example, in the high 40s or higher I get smoke spillage. Colder than that, nothing at all. If the problem is in fact as simple as trying to burn with higher outside temps (which is always a bit of a pain), then the smoke issue can be easily worked around by the way you build and reload your fire. In warmer temps, I simply never open my door when I have wood burning. I build the appropriate size fire including a bit of paper, kindling, and splits all together. Light it up, shut the door, and no need to reopen until the fire is down to coals.
 

DAKSY

Patriot Guard Rider Moderator
Staff member
Do you open the Primary Air first & WAIT a minute or so before opening the load door SLOWLY? When you load your wood, do you use the front or the side door? Do you rake ALL the coals towards the doghouse & load the wood towards the BACK of the stove?
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
What Daksy said.

Please provide the following:
Chimney type, diameter, and height
Reloading procedure (open air control, wait, open doors slowly?)
Outside air temp
Do you live at high elevation / unusually low barometric pressure?
 

Mark S. Castro

New Member
Nov 2, 2012
11
Maryland
Welcome Mark.

There could be several things at play, but for starters can you describe your chimney size and length?

Assuming your chimney is appropriate, it could just be your outside temps. The higher the temps outside, the less draft you have. For example, in the high 40s or higher I get smoke spillage. Colder than that, nothing at all. If the problem is in fact as simple as trying to burn with higher outside temps (which is always a bit of a pain), then the smoke issue can be easily worked around by the way you build and reload your fire. In warmer temps, I simply never open my door when I have wood burning. I build the appropriate size fire including a bit of paper, kindling, and splits all together. Light it up, shut the door, and no need to reopen until the fire is down to coals.

I'll have to get the chimney details when I get back home. But, it has worked fine for several years with our old stove. It could be a temperature issue, as you described. It has not been real cold around here. Temps generally in 40s and 50s. Just using our new stove to take the chill out of our house. I'll try your approach later today. Thank you.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,597
South Puget Sound, WA
If the prior stove was a pre-EPA unit then it probably needed a lot less draft. The Homestead is a shallow stove, with a big door. It needs strong draft. That's why the request for the complete flue details from the connector side to the chimney top. Also, EPA stoves run differently than old school stoves. Tell us what you have tried so far.

Do you remember if the stove was connected to a full liner in the chimney that runs to the top or was it just stubbed to above the damper plate?
 

pen

There are some who call me...mod.
Staff member
Aug 2, 2007
7,952
N.E. Penna
Lots of good advice, in addition, it also helps with a modern stove like this to load in cycles, versus throwing a split or two on every few hours.

I have good draft for my stove, but if I open the door when there is just a small fire burning, I'll get smoke into the house as well. To prevent that, I let the fire burn down to coals (when there is no smoke) before I reload. Putting 4 or 5 pieces of wood in, and letting it go 8 hours is better than 3 to start, then 1 or 2 every 2 hours.

pen
 
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Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,147
Northern IL
Also consider your load timing. If you are getting smoke spillage it sounds like you are not fully at the coaling stages. Hot coals have very little "smoke" left in them.

Just for giggles:
Allow fire to get fully to the coaling stage before reload. Upon reload open primary air full open for at least a minute. Crack door open for a couple of seconds (by the way, I find that doing the "crack open" sucks fine ash back into the firebox, so its a good thing to do every reload) then gently open the door for the reload.

(Pen - you suck. :p - you beat me to it)
 
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Sisu

Feeling the Heat
Sep 28, 2009
467
Ontario
Since no one asked, when did you last have your chimney and cap swept and inspected?
 
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John_M

Minister of Fire
Dec 10, 2008
614
Central NY
When quickly opening the door to my Spectrum I always have some smoke spillage into the house. When I open the door just a teensy bit I can see the disruption to the smoke path inside the stove. I wait about ten seconds for the smoke disruption to stabilize and resume its path up the chimney. Then I slowly open the door all-the-way to load wood, clear coals, etc. This procedure has successfully eliminated smoke intrusion in all weather conditions.

Good luck.
 

James02

Feeling the Heat
Aug 18, 2011
413
N.Y.S.
Do you have a fan on?
 

fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,369
North Eastern MA
I had terrible smoke spillage problems with the Progress when it was over 50 degrees out and I tried to load with flame. I insulated the flue with 1" of wrap and smoke spillage is now as insignificant at 50 degrees as it used to be at 30 degrees, which means I no longer have a problem.
 
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DianeB

Feeling the Heat
Apr 26, 2012
399
Foot Hills of the Berkshires
smoke spillage from my Castine when above 55. slowly opening the door helps but not always. my castine is shallow and wide as well. Now that temps in my area in the 40's no problem at all.
 

corey21

Minister of Fire
Oct 28, 2010
2,249
Soutwest VA
With a small fire i get a little but i just stoped opening the door till i need to.
 

Oldhippie

Minister of Fire
Dec 18, 2011
570
Since no one asked, when did you last have your chimney and cap swept and inspected?
Most basic question but it needs to be asked and answered before going any further.

If the chimney hasn't been cleaned this year, clean it or get it done as soon as possible.

Chances are a clean chimney and slow opening of the door will solve your problem.

Oh, and also open your damper, before opening the door.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,343
Schenectady, NY
Maybe he didn't light the stove?

Matt
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,597
South Puget Sound, WA
FYI, had a smoke free day. Thanks for the advice. Greatly appreciated.
Good news. It will get better as the weather gets colder and draft increases. Follow the tips suggested and your winter should remain smoke free.
 

Backwoods Savage

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2007
27,812
Michigan
Welcome to the forum Mark. Glad you got this figured out.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
Glad you got this figured out.
Welcome back, Dennis! ;lol
As long as we're on the subject, closing the primary air immediately before you open the door will pull more air into the door opening, instead of some through an open primary air inlet, with less suction on the door opening.
 
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