Smoke Smell in the House

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Swampmouse

New Member
Jul 28, 2020
1
GA
Hey Guys,
I'm new here, but have read a good bit of articles here about smoke smells coming into the house form the fireplace / chimney, so i have pretty decent understanding as to why we get those smells periodically.

Let me give you a little background on our setup and some questions.....We bought a home that had an old wood stove with a blower...was just a slammer installation. We had the chimney cleaners come out and they said that maybe she had never had it cleaned before because it was so dirty...it was REALLY amazing how much creosote they took out of there. They said the flue looked good.

My problem: We do get a smoky smell every so often when we are having low pressure rainy days.

Our setup: We replaced that old stove with a Lopi Large Hybrid Fyre insert that we bought off a display sale at a local dealer. (Probably more money than i should have spent given the scope of my project)

We have been rennovating that house for 2 years now, and adding on, so we do not live in the house yet. However, i used that insert almost everyday last winter to keep a little warmth going while we replaced the hvac units. There are some things i like about it, and some i don't like, but that's a different post for another day. Currently, i have it in there as a slammer with the intention of doing a full liner at some point in the near future before we move in.

Also, when i "installed" the insert, i poured some concrete into the bottom of the old fireplace, so as to be able to use the existing surround plate and not have to buy another one or have one custom made. When i did this, i had to make it a little tall inside the fireplace with the concrete. More on that in a second...

Since i am remodeling and building, i called our chimney guys to come see what they would charge me to do my liner, so as to save time for myself. When they came out, he is saying that its so close in there that he will not have room enough to get his hands in there to attach the liner. (I knew that would be a tight fit but still think it should be doable. ). What they are suggesting instead is to parge the entire smoke chamber with high temp cement, and clean the smoke shelf and the flue all the way up. Cost: $800. Of course they cant guarantee that it will eliminate the smoky smell perhaps the way a full liner with a block off plate siliconed into place would. However, i also understand that to connect a liner to this insert will be a pain due to lack of space.

Questions:
1) what do yall think about the parge idea?? I am personally a little skeptical, knowing that clay flue that had not been cleaned very often, if ever, in 40 years, will inherently hold a smoke smell itself

2) Would it be possible during the "Non-fire" seasons from Spring to fall to silicone some sort of cap on the top of the flue at the top of the chimney so as to make it airtight and prevent any air from coming down the chimney?? I am wondering if the standing air in the chimney that would be there would also sink on low pressure days and give me the same problem??? (Not sure if it matters but the chimney is about 17' tall from the fireplace to top of chimney)

3) I COULD, but don't necessarily want to decrease the height of the cement (demo) inside the fireplace opening and make more room in there to hook up a liner.... what do you think?? Of course, this would lead to probably having to have a surround plate custom made for our fireplace.

I also realize that i could try to go ahead and get a connection to a liner onto my stove, but given the other list of things still under construction, i havent tried that option just yet.

I know i have thrown out a LOT of info and questions, but am grateful to all feed back.

thanks,
SM
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,681
South Puget Sound, WA
Installing the Hybrid Fire as a slammer is totally wrong. It is not only against installation instructions and code, it's also potentially life-threatenting . This is also probably gunking up the chimney all over again due to improper combustion as a result of diluted draft.

Remove the insert, then have the chimney professionally and thoroughly cleaned again, then install an insulated liner and an insulated blockoff plate in the damper area and properly tie in the insert to the liner. You will probably need an RLH Chim-Flex Starter Section to attach the liner from the inside of the insert. The manual covers this on page 13.
 
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DAKSY

Full Time RVer
Staff member
Dec 2, 2008
9,016
Wherever we're parked
You might try one of these. It may be possible to remove the baffle & pull the liner into the flue opening & securing from onside the firebox.
BTW, the info is copied from a Lopi Large Flush Wood Insert Manual...

RLH Chim-Flex Starter Sections RLH manufactures starter sections in straight or angled configurations to suit your application. They are secured from inside the firebox, making installation much easier. Contact RLH for additional details:

www.chim-flex.com