Smoke spilling on reload of a new stove.

Monty67

New Member
Feb 19, 2021
20
Vancouver island, BC
I recently replaced, last week, my old Pacific Energy super series 27 wood stove, (I believe), likely an early 90s model. Replaced with a brand new Regency 2450 wood stove. I had the installers put in a new stainless steel flex liner, as I was told during a previous inspection that the old clay flue liner was Starting to show some cracks. I was thinking a new stove and a new liner and I’d be set for years to come.

With the new stove I have a heck of a time reloading wood fast enough to prevent smoke from coming into the room. I never had an issue with the old stove, if there was any warmth in there it would suck any smoke and fumes right out. If the stove was hot you could hear it sucking the air out of the room when the door was open.

I feel like I’ve tried everything right. Opening up the air control, cracking the door to the stove briefly before opening slowly. Making sure any exhaust fans in the house are off. Cracking a nearby window. Opening an outside door in the same room as the wood stove. We do have a 2 story house and the wood stove is on the first floor, slab on grade. And yes we do appear to have some negative air pressure issues with the stove being on the main level. But I don’t understand how I could have burned 7years with the old stove and never had a problem and now I get smoke on most reloads.
I have tried only reloading on coals, but if I’m adding more than 1 piece the first piece I add starts to smoke before I can add the rest of the wood and I get smoke in the house. So I thought I would try to load when the box was really hot with some flame, thinking it would be drawing hard with that heat. But I still got smoke rolling out of the top of the stove opening, as well as flames coming well out of the stove. I had opened the door on the old stove when it was raging many times and it would suck the flames straight up the top of the stove.
Do these new EPA stoves just not draft very well? Or is the stainless steel liner somehow hurting us? I was told it would make the stove draft better. I’d be more than happy to have my old stove back at this point in sacrifice of an hour or 2 of burn time and a couple extra pieces of firewood every day.
 

bigealta

Member
May 22, 2010
87
Utah, NJ
Yup same deal with my new Jotul f400 which replaced an old Jotul 3 from the 1980’s. The smoke pushes out on top at the hinge side of the door. The old Jotul 3 never did that. So I reload when coals are pretty low as they don’t produce too much smoke/fumes. Or I really prefer to just burn in full cycles. I restart cold almost every morning.
Both stoves have the exact same install. Single wall into clay lined flue with lots of masonry mass fireplace.
 
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Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,203
Northern IL
Not all stoves are created equal in regards to draft. The old pe 27 was a pretty tried and true stove. It could simply be that the 27 had more "breathing" room than the new stove does.
Not knowing the specifics of your new liner and hearing that you are aware of a negative pressure issue, you may want to try a short 2 or 4 foot extension to the top of the pipe.
 

bigealta

Member
May 22, 2010
87
Utah, NJ
I should clarify though. Once the door is fully open and the puff of smoke flows out, I’m pretty sure it then adjusts and can burn with the door open without continuing to push smoke into the room. But I never run it open so not really sure if it does completely stop pushing smoke in?
 

KindredSpiritzz

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
790
appleton, wi
I have the same problem, smoke just billows out if im not quick enough loading it. My chimney is only 13 ft so i suspect thats a big part of the problem. My stove has a bypass damper i can open but i never do because i always forget to shut the damn thing and then i get the chimney to hot. Might try throwing just 2 pieces of wood in on the reload, letting them get going good and then loading the rest after that.
I have limited success doing that sometimes
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,667
Iowa
Welcome to Hearth. Can you post pics of your install and describe the length of chimney? Can you get a good pic of the cap? Is the stove pedestal mounted, or on legs? Did the installer remove the combustion air blank plate from the heat shield or pedestal (page 8 in the manual)?
 
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Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
671
Massachusetts
I think a little more info on the install would be helpful. Its likely a not enough chimney situation but let's troubleshoot it!

My Osburn 1600 can have the door open and amount and smoke billowing off the wood and it it goes straight up the chimney. I have a 24' straight shot up vertical chimney though.

Only time I ever get smoke inside the house is if I'm moving coals around and there's a partially unburnt log I dig up. Moving that around sometimes causes a little puff or two of smoke to come out but it's very brief.
 
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Monty67

New Member
Feb 19, 2021
20
Vancouver island, BC
Welcome to Hearth. Can you post pics of your install and describe the length of chimney? Can you get a good pic of the cap? Is the stove pedestal mounted, or on legs? Did the installer remove the combustion air blank plate from the heat shield or pedestal (page 8 in the manual)?
The chimney is conservatively 25’ probably closer to 26’ or 27’. 60 rows of 5x8 block plus a little extra for the old clay flue liner sticking up and now the new steel liner and cap. They connected it to the OAK as my old stove was. 34” rise from top of stove to the elbow with double wall pipe from the stove to the chimney. The horizontal section is pretty short at about 10” of exposed.
 

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Monty67

New Member
Feb 19, 2021
20
Vancouver island, BC
I just reloaded 2 pieces of well seasoned maple on a hot coal bed. Stove top reading 400F. Left the outside door to the room open for a couple minutes. Shut off the bathroom fan upstairs. Opened the air up full. The first piece of wood had some dry stringy maple bark hanging off that caught fire almost immediately. And by the time I could get that second piece in and the door shut there was a steady stream of smoke coming into the room from under the top lip of the door opening. If I wanted to load 5 or 6 splits of wood I would be smoked out of the house.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
671
Massachusetts
@Monty67 I love the baby gates, good idea to keep the kids safe. My stove is out of the way a bit otherwise I think I'd consider that too.

Also 400 ::F seems awfully high for reloading. I'm not surprised it's catching almost instantly. Is there a reason you are loading when its so hot? Also increasing your risk of over firing.

I tend to load around 250-300 when the wood is good. Gives me 30-60 seconds to load it up before stuff starts catching.

I took a video of me poking around a log here. I just got home and unearthed a partially unburnt split and had it moved forward burning down. Wife turned the air down but didn't re check on it :( ...wasn't too bad though. Anyways just showing how it doesn't smoke. 24' exterior masonry chimney, non insulated liner, straight shot up no elbows. It drafts pretty strongly. I really suspect that's your issue...what I just did (especially moving the log originally) would smoke a ton with poor draft. Didn't smoke at all here.

 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,667
Iowa
Nice looking place. Something you may consider trying would be to replace your 90* connector pipe with two 45's to reduce the severity of bend in the smoke path. I was going to suggest removing your cap to confirm the design/installation has nothing to do with your issue but..... Getting up to the cap looks rather dicey right now. Guessing your not spiderman!

Can you get the heat you need by cold loading the stove initially and burning that full batch until the stove top is down to around 200? By then your coals may be reduced enough that you have plenty of time to reload without anything firing up and smoking. This is my routine in a nutshell. I simply never open the stove at 400 like you mentioned. It only gets opened for full loads at a very low temp and normally a very reduced amount of coals that aren't producing smoke. Your reloads will take some extra time to get going but it may be worth trying. If anything burning by the batch will greatly reduce your loading door openings/frequency. Dunno.
Believe I would inspect the OAK and confirm it's clear from end to end.
 

bigealta

Member
May 22, 2010
87
Utah, NJ
I do the same as moresnow, to keep the smoke out of my house.
 

Monty67

New Member
Feb 19, 2021
20
Vancouver island, BC
Maybe I’m just not cut out for these new stoves. I liked being able to walk by and throw a couple pieces of wood into a hot stove every few hours, with just enough air going to keep the fire alive and keeping the house nice and warm. By the time the stove top is down to 200F the stove isn’t really putting out much heat. And the air temperature in the house upstairs, where we live, has likely already dropped several degrees F on a cold evening. It’ll take an hour or two to regain that drop in house temperature. Also if I load up a fire at say 7pm then I have to wait till midnight or 1am for the stove to cool down enough to be able to reload it for the night? I’ll go back to the dealer again today and see what he says. He thought I should be able to open the door while there is fire in the box, without getting smoke in the house. For 4500 bucks for liner and stove and installation hopefully he can do something for me.

I’m kicking myself for not going with a Pacific Energy stove again as they are made right here in town. Although maybe I’d have had similar results with a new PE stove. The PE super LE looks pretty similar to my old stove with the steel baffle system. The shop that sells PE in town here wasn’t very helpful when I was in looking so I went to the other shop who doesn’t sell PE and they sold me on the regency.

We are replacing all our windows in May this spring as well as one exterior door that doesn’t seal well. If that ends up tightening up our house, do you guys and gals think that is going to make my situation worse, better, or not much different. (Assuming it’s a lack of draft in the chimney that’s my issue).
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
671
Massachusetts
Have you considered a cat stove? They aren't for everyone but it sounds like you enjoy regular even heat and don't want to worry much about burn times. Just set the thermostat and let it do its thing. If you aren't running your regency hard all the time it might be worth considering.

I personally prefer a tube stove because I run it pretty full most of the time. I have an insert and I can't fit anything huge so a low and slow BK princess for example wouldn't be enough BTUs. I also enjoy the quick heat when I need it and looking at the flames. I dont mind reloading every 6 hours.

You have a freestander and what looks like plenty of room to go as big as you want. You may run into similar draft issues but you definitely won't wouldn't need to fiddle with it nearly as much.
 

Monty67

New Member
Feb 19, 2021
20
Vancouver island, BC
@Monty67 I love the baby gates, good idea to keep the kids safe. My stove is out of the way a bit otherwise I think I'd consider that too.

Also 400 ::F seems awfully high for reloading. I'm not surprised it's catching almost instantly. Is there a reason you are loading when its so hot? Also increasing your risk of over firing.

I tend to load around 250-300 when the wood is good. Gives me 30-60 seconds to load it up before stuff starts catching.

I took a video of me poking around a log here. I just got home and unearthed a partially unburnt split and had it moved forward burning down. Wife turned the air down but didn't re check on it :( ...wasn't too bad though. Anyways just showing how it doesn't smoke. 24' exterior masonry chimney, non insulated liner, straight shot up no elbows. It drafts pretty strongly. I really suspect that's your issue...what I just did (especially moving the log originally) would smoke a ton with poor draft. Didn't smoke at all here.

View attachment 274941
Yea. That would smoke me out for sure.
 

Monty67

New Member
Feb 19, 2021
20
Vancouver island, BC
Have you considered a cat stove? They aren't for everyone but it sounds like you enjoy regular even heat and don't want to worry much about burn times. Just set the thermostat and let it do its thing. If you aren't running your regency hard all the time it might be worth considering.

I personally prefer a tube stove because I run it pretty full most of the time. I have an insert and I can't fit anything huge so a low and slow BK princess for example wouldn't be enough BTUs. I also enjoy the quick heat when I need it and looking at the flames. I dont mind reloading every 6 hours.

You have a freestander and what looks like plenty of room to go as big as you want. You may run into similar draft issues but you definitely won't wouldn't need to fiddle with it nearly as much.
Yes. We have lots of room. Could have and maybe should have gone bigger. It’s a pretty big house ~2400 sq ft. The regency was rated for similar Btu’s as the old PE and that would easily keep the downstairs very warm 75+ and up stairs 72-74F. We don’t get a lot of cold weather here although we had 20” of snow on the weekend.

I stayed away from the cat stove because my wife and the occasional time a family member will light a nice smoky fire when I’m at work. I usually walk through the door and turn the air up to get some heat going so we don’t smoke out the neighborhood. But my understanding was this type of practice on a cat stove would possibly plug it up.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
671
Massachusetts
I mean that's not good practice for any stove but with a big cat stove you'd reload it before work and not need to touch it again until bed time.....or even the next day before work again. No need for your wife or family members to even touch it! Win win! ;lol

Again I'm a tube stove guy though so I'm the wrong one to ask about the details. I think it would be good to talk with some of the big cat guys here like @stoveliker and others for their opinion.

I'm still concerned about the draft though. Cat stoves aren't the easiest breathers and I think that's the crux of the problem.
 

bigealta

Member
May 22, 2010
87
Utah, NJ
If it was me I would not give up yet. You burn very differently than you do in those old stoves. The reward to relearning is lots of heat and Much less smoke because it is now getting burned and turned into heat, that reburning was never utilized in the old stove. Relearn how to start a Fire Top Down, you can light, close the door and never reopen it until you reload or restart cold. Here is a vid I made on how to set it up. Simple and easy. Hope this can help.
 
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bigealta

Member
May 22, 2010
87
Utah, NJ
I stopped randomly throwing in a couple splits like I used to do with the old stove. Just does not work well now. Full reloads work the best by far.
 
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MR. GLO

New Member
Jan 26, 2021
91
Massachusetts
Weather, rain temp flue temp at startup etc have a lot to do with draft and smoke spillage . Once I put the draft gauge on the stove pipe I learned more. I would leave the pipes alone or at least until your first cleaning.

I m starting to think the epa secondary air pushes the smoke out . The best advice I got so far from someone on Hearth.com was only to reload after it burns down near 300 stove top. Sometimes 350. If I leave the door open too long I will get smoke. If I turn the air inlet down on windy days to much I get smoke smell from outside due to the fresh air ventilators. If I want to play the game of just throwing wood in every two hours I open the door as you say but load quick and close the door to 1/2 or even just close it depending on coals.
 

Monty67

New Member
Feb 19, 2021
20
Vancouver island, BC
If it was me I would not give up yet. You burn very differently than you do in those old stoves. The reward to relearning is lots of heat and Much less smoke because it is now getting burned and turned into heat, that rebutting was never utilized in the old stove. Relearn how to start a Fire Top Down, you can light, close the door and never reopen it until you reload or restart cold. Here is a vid I made on how to set it up. Simple and easy. Hope this can help.
I did the top down start the other day. I liked it. Worked good no smoke in the house.

Its the opening of the door when it’s hot that’s the issue. Maybe it’s just the way these things are now. I’ll keep trying and see the dealer to see what he thinks. I’m not convinced I’m getting a longer burn time out of this stove at this point.(compared to the early 90s super series). The shape of that fire box allowed me to add some big heavy chunks of knotty wood (or even better Arbutus wood) before bed or before work and I’d usually have coals for restarting in the morning. This new stove is much wider but with less height in the fire box. Just looking at my wood pile and I’m seeing a lot of wood that is going to need to be re split.
 

Monty67

New Member
Feb 19, 2021
20
Vancouver island, BC
Weather, rain temp flue temp at startup etc have a lot to do with draft and smoke spillage . Once I put the draft gauge on the stove pipe I learned more. I would leave the pipes alone or at least until your first cleaning.

I m starting to think the epa secondary air pushes the smoke out . The best advice I got so far from someone on Hearth.com was only to reload after it burns down near 300 stove top. Sometimes 350. If I leave the door open too long I will get smoke. If I turn the air inlet down on windy days to much I get smoke smell from outside due to the fresh air ventilators. If I want to play the game of just throwing wood in every two hours I open the door as you say but load quick and close the door to 1/2 or even just close it depending on coals.
If you know the climate out here you know we specialize in cold rain. We had 35F rain all day yesterday.

it certainly seems like the air tubes at the top (I’m assuming this is epa secondary) are pushing the air and smoke if present out of the stove. With a hot coal bed I checked the air flow around the door opening with the door open. Using a full sized flame on a lighter you can clearly see the stove drawing the flame into the stove for the bottom 3/4 of the opening. But when you get to the top of the door opening the air is clearly rushing out of the stove. Actually blowing the lighter flame out at times.
 

bigealta

Member
May 22, 2010
87
Utah, NJ
Yes I don’t really get longer burn times either. Probably shorter, but I would choke down the old stove down so much it would just smolder. I’ve given up on trying to get to absolute longest burn. Rather I’m focusing on getting and running with the best secondaries. This in the long run puts out the most overall heat for me. ( which is much more than the old stove).

and now cutting longer splits to fill the firebox lengthwise. 18” is perfect for the f400.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
553
Eastern Long Island NY
I did not read all above, but for now I'd refrain from considering a cat stove (but I'm not all the expert that @Caw makes me out to be...); they may have the same (or worse) draft problems. You have a new and good stove, you seem used to burning a certain way that worked, your flue height should be sufficient (unless your stove needs an 8" flue...?) - and while it might be possible to burn more efficient than your mode, it should in a good set up not lead to your smoke problem. So it's best to figure out what's wrong in your current set up.

If your flue is good (height, dia), then I concur with @moresnow about the 45's.

Other than that, have you checked the stove pipe and chimney (partial blockage)? (Have you changed wood supply recently?) I'm asking because such partial blockages can allow you to burn almost normally, but leave you just at the edge for when you open the door: the cross sectional area of the door is large, and to keep sufficient airflow INTO the stove for that full area (rather than smoky air coming out), it needs to flow fast through your flue - and a partial blockage may put you under that minimum, but may keep you in proper flow for fairly normal burning when the flow requirements are actually lower (given variability in weather and wood).
Is you cap clean or clogged (binoculars - or maybe you can't judge this from the ground, judging by your pic)?
 

MR. GLO

New Member
Jan 26, 2021
91
Massachusetts
when the stove is not hot and coals empty


take newspaper and tape a full sheet over door opening ...tape the top only as hinges....just watch it during the day and try it on rainy windy days


as you open doors windows fans etc....you will see the paper swing out slightly or suck in up against the frame.

also if your wood is not two full years covered...thats a problem.