Smoke Smell King KE40

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New Member
Jan 8, 2023
Hey guys!

I have been on this site reading all about blaze king for about a year before I decided to get a King. Everyone says it's a great stove and is for the serious wood burners. I got my stove exactly a week ago and installed it myself. Here is a little info about my set up-
King KE 40 w/ glass door, legs, ash pan and dual fans.
5' double wall interior stove pipe
strait threw attic 12' 8 inch chimney pipe
3' above peak of my house
about 6' of chimney pipe in attic, about 6' of chimney pipe above roof line.
All of this setup is new, I replaced my shingles last month and did a new chimney while I was there.
Wood is tested to be at 16-19% MC on a fresh split at roof temp. I even built a covered "Shed" in preparation of getting the stove. It's just a lean to off my block wall in my yard so it's open on 3 sides. Wood is stacked on pallets.
Not a new wood burner- this stove replaces a pre- EPA Hurricane stove. I used that to heat my house for the last 7 winters.
Took my interior pipe apart last night wondering if something was wrong there but everything is good to go with the pipe. Hardly has anything on the inside of it after a week of burning.

So here is the problem. I am getting some smoke smell on my stove when I turn it up to high. I was pretty nervous about it at first because the only complaint I found on these stoves was about smoke smell. But that seemed all due to inadequate chimney setup and was extremely rare in my readings. But looking more into it most of the complaints seem to come from a smell on low. I am getting mine on high, haven't smelt anything below about 50% on the thermometer. Stove seems to draft really well; no smoke comes into the room when I open the door on reloads. A couple questions-

How long does it take to initially burn off the stove and cure the paint?

Would I need to adjust the door gasket on a new stove? Is too tight a problem on the gasket? It was tough to close the door initially but feels snug now.

Let me know what you guys think! I thought it could be a shoulder season issue, but it was 28 degrees F outside this morning when I reloaded and turned up to high for the initial burn off. Still did it. It's a great stove! Got 38 hours on my first test to see how long it would go. I think I could have got over 40 if I packed the stove in with smaller pieces. Coming from a pre-epa stove I'm extremely excited to use the king all winter. So far it seems like it's using less than half the wood but time will tell. Even if I burned the same amount of wood (which I won't) the burn times alone are worth it. I couldn't get an overnight burn with my last stove and now I'm getting multi- day. Hoping to get a 24 hour reload schedule figured out when it gets colder but even a 16 hour reload will be amazing compared to what I came from.

When I get home, I'll try the dollar bill test if the stove is burnt out. Ill also smell around and see if I can tell where its coming from. Just weird that it's on high for me and most others I have read the problems on low. Thanks!
I think you’re probably still curing the new paint. It’ll cure a bit each time you reach a new temp.
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I think you’re probably still curing the new paint. It’ll cure a bit each time you reach a new temp.

I agree. It's a big stove and takes a long time at high temperature to bake out every bit of paint. The smells a modern stove makes, with modern paint, are going to be different than the old pre-epa stove. Also, the new stovepipe will smell as it bakes in. Double wall included.

Also correct that the usual problems with smoke smell leakage are at low stove temperatures and mostly with other model(s).
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Okay. Thanks guys. Next week it’s supposed to cool down so I’ll run it on high for 6 hours or so. I’ll let you know after that if I still have the smell. Also, when I get a chance and the stove is cool I’ll do the dollar bill test.
The paint will cure when the stove top gets over 500ºF. Open a nearby window and put a fan blowing out of it to suck out the fumes.
When I first got my King last year I found that once I took it up around 700, just a little hotter than I would ever need to the rest of it's life, it pretty much finished giving off a smell going forward.

I did notice this season that a new smell came off on the 1st run. Because we cook with propane, I assumed it was some of the residuals that come from using LP. Kind of reminded me of turning on one of those electric heaters after you had put them away for the summer. It did not have the same strength of sent that the original paint gave off when it was new, and it definitely did not smell like smoke. I did not expect it to smell at all. Wonder if others find they get a 1st fire of season smell each year, or is it just me?
Yes, we get a fresh dust burning smell with the first of the season burn too. It's much less obnoxious and is gone soon after the stove and stovepipe heat up.
I get the smell of drying wet mud from the fireplace in my summer kitchen, on the first fire after any break in our burning. Mud-stacked stone walls, and here I'm not using "mud" as slang for "mortar", the bedding mortar is quite literally sandy clay dug up from our yard in 1775. It goes away as soon as things are warmed up and dried out, perhaps an hour into the first load after an extended break from burning.

The other stove/fireplace also has its own unique smell in the first few days of each season. I've never placed it, not the usual burning dust you'll smell from an electric space heater, something more unique but not unpleasant.

Point is, nearly all things are going to smell the first few times you heat them up, even after the initial process of baking-in the paint. If it's not triggering your danger senses, like something that could be burning which shouldn't, don't sweat it too much until you've gotten past the first day or three of full-time burning. It will likely go away on its own.
Thanks for the reply's, guys. I had the stove on high for 4 hours last night with the door next to the strove open to let the smell out. I had heavy flames for about 1.5 hours before the stove and room (I assume) got too hot and the thermostat started restricting the air. When I went to turn it down for the night after 4 hours, I noticed what looked like small whisps of smoke coming from the door area. Not sure if it was the door, The glass or what. I turned it down to low like normal and went to sleep. This morning I opened the dampener, turned it to high and put some wood in there then closed the door and dampener. After about 15 min I started smelling the smoke again. I left it on high and went to work. My wife is home today so I just told her to keep it on high and let it burn out. It was only a small load so I'll do the dollar bill test when I get home. Also, My cat gets pretty hot on the thermostat but everything I read on here seems to point to a hyperactive cat when its new. It can almost wrap around the gauge after being on high for a while.
Weird. If I read your OP right, it's 17 feet of pipe, straight shot, no elbows?
Checking the door gasket seal sounds like a good plan.
Ashful, it’s 17 feet no elbow in the attic. There is an interior elbow for offset of the stove but it’s a small one. I can see threw it when I was installing it so it’s not much. But the offset is all the way at the roof box so it’s a lot higher than the stove. But usually draft problems cause problems on the low end correct? This thing purrs on low.
Ashful, it’s 17 feet no elbow in the attic. There is an interior elbow for offset of the stove but it’s a small one. I can see threw it when I was installing it so it’s not much. But the offset is all the way at the roof box so it’s a lot higher than the stove. But usually draft problems cause problems on the low end correct? This thing purrs on low.
yeah. Now there was a member here (was it @Woodsplitter67 ?) , who had an interesting theory on the handful of Ashford 30's, which were exhibiting a smoke smell a few years back. Counterintuitively, it seemed those with the strongest draft were the installations most apt to exhibit this problem, and he had some good reasoning and evidence behind a theory that the strong draft was creating a localized high pressure around the top of the door gasket at higher burn rates, due to the way the air wash system introduced fresh air at the top of the door. Of course, at lower burns, you're trending toward the static situation of equalized negative pressure everywhere in the firebox, but at higher burn rates localized pressure differentials can exist.

In the case of the Ashford 30's exhibiting this problem, a gasket change did indeed resolve many or most of them. But the Ashford 30 seems to have much more aggressive airwash system than the King or Princess, we really don't typically see this problem on those models.

There were one or two Ashford 30 owners who eventually traced their smoke smell issues down to a bad weld in the firebox, but they were the exception, not a common issue.
Just noticed @BKVP hasn't chimed in on this thread. This mention should bring him around, next time he's on the forum.
Have you checked the glass in the window? I think BKVP recommends letting the stove go cold, opening the door, putting a hand on each side of the glass and trying to lift up, all the while being careful not to remove the door from the hinges. There should not be any movement.

@Ashful, I believe that it was a member called AaronK25 who had a smoke smell problem with high draft. I found an explanation he put forth a few years ago here.

@Vgk , how did the long high burn go for your wife today? When you saw the wisps of smoke earlier, was that when it was still burning on high, or had you already adjusted the thermostat when you saw them?
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I have not checked the glass window. The stove is almost cool, about another hour and I’ll check the window. It’s inactive but hot enough that I wouldn’t touch the glass. I did however do the bill test and I can pull one threw the bottom left from about the end of the blaze king on the window to the half way point.

Just thinking though- on high even if the gasket was a little loose wouldn’t that cause more air going in not coming out?

@DuaeGuttae I left it on high today till it burned out but if I had to guess there was only about 2-3 hours of fuel in there. No smoke whisps this morning only last night but I didn’t have a whole lot of time to mess with it this morning. It was on high when it was doing that
The fact that it was still on high when the smoke wisps occurred last night gives me some hope that it was a new high temperature curing some of the paint in places, but it’s definitely worth continuing to investigate. I’m not a Blaze King owner, so I’ll let others address the questions you have about the gasket. I just tend to read the threads about the smoke smells because we are hoping to put a Blaze King Sirocco in new construction next year, so I like to keep abreast of the smoke smell issue. I’m rooting for yours just to be a paint-curing situation. Good luck.
Alright I checked the glass and it seems pretty secure. My door does rock back and forth on the hinges a little though when I move it. Is that normal? Also, I tightened the door mechanism and got it to where the door handle feels extremely snug but I can still pull a dollar bill out on the bottom left corner from where the glass starts to the half way point. It’s a lot harder to do now than when I started but I can still do it. I’m probably going to leave it out tonight but I’ll start another fire tomorrow night and see if the gasket tightening and the high burn while I was at work did anything.
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Woodsplitter is a VC member, very active there. I am also following this case, plus others….holes and stuff…..
It is entirely possible that wood stoves can have delayed ignitions when burning on high. This typically will happen when the fuel load is excessively dry and can outgas the combustor or method of emissions reduction.

If the stove burps, then smoke can enter the room around the door gasket. The test for this is to burn a load of wood that is in the low 20's% mc. If the problem persists on a high burn, contact the dealer to come examine the stove.

I don't know if I have any 21%MC wood to test that. I have some pieces that I haven't split so I'll get them split and use the moisture meter to see what they are. There is a chimney damper in the stove top adapter. Its currently wide open (Don't need it) but if I didn't have any low MC wood, would closing the damper slightly result in the same test as higher MC wood? Just thinking here. Don't know if that would do the same thing or not. Thanks for all the comments guys.
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@BKVP Hoytman is not the OP I am. I am going to try another burn tonight after tightening the door gasket and ill report back. I appreciate the help and will get ahold of my dealer if that doesn't do the trick.
Update for you guys. I burned a load on high last night for about 2 hours before I turned it down then again this morning for another 2 hours. It is definitely getting better but still there which leads me to believe it’s the paint still curing or tightening the gasket helped. I’m going to burn for at least a couple more days and I’ll do a few runs on high to see if it’s getting better. Thanks for the help everyone! I’ll get back on here after the weekend and let you know if it’s better or not.