Strange wind sound after chimney cleaned

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basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Hello, I had my chimney cleaned by a person I hired (retired guy doing odd jobs, not a professional) 2 days ago. He used a sweep from the roof top and was up there only a minute. Fine black powder was left in the wood stove box (no heavy creosote and barely needed cleaning). Now every fire I've had since then I notice two things are different: 1) There is a strange and constant "wind in a tunnel" kind of noise. Hard to describe, it sounds like wind whirring/swireling around and is hard to pinpoint location, sounds near the ceiling or up inside the ceiling. It starts as soon as the fire gets going good and does not stop until the flue has fully cooled down - so it makes the sound even when there are only coals left. It is not loud (TV easily drowns it out) but definitely audible. Every thing I can "see" appears normal. 2) My magnet thermometer on the flue is much cooler than I've ever seen it in 5 years of using it and this stove. Usually it gets nice a near the hot zone when I am first starting the fire or when it's really going, but it is now staying in the lower end of the yellow/ideal zone when I think it should be much warmer (based on past fires).
My fear is something was dislodged in the portion of chimney I can't see? If that were the case, would these symptoms make sense?
Any ideas here what might have changed? This is all a result of the chimney cleaning (which I get yearly) as everything seemed normal before it was done.
Thank you!
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
What is the setup? Is this a freestanding woodstove? Is there a liner in the chimney? It's possible that either a connection was broken or a liner tore, but we need more details on the installation.
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
What is the setup? Is this a freestanding woodstove? Is there a liner in the chimney? It's possible that either a connection was broken or a liner tore, but we need more details on the installation.
Hi, it is a freestanding woodstove. I don't know if there is a liner, my guess is no. The flue appears to be single wall. I will try to post pics, not sure if that will help. Is it possible something as simple as the insert from inside the stove is not fitting quite right?

chim2.jpg chim1.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, there's no liner in that system. Is there an offset in the attic or does the chimney pipe go straight up?

It looks like the stovepipe goes from 6" to 8" with an increaser. Are there 3 screws per each pipe section joint holding it together? Is the top section secured to the ceiling support box with 3 screws?
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Yes, there's no liner in that system. Is there an offset in the attic or does the chimney pipe go straight up?

It looks like the stovepipe goes from 6" to 8" with an increaser. Are there 3 screws per each pipe section joint holding it together? Is the top section secured to the ceiling support box with 3 screws?
99% sure it goes straight up. One level home. I will just add that the draw seems normal, no smell of smoke inside my home at all...
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
Based on the concern described, it sounds like air might be getting pulled in through a joint. That bears inspection to find out where and why and to fix the situation.

There are two things in the original post that are confusing. One is that the noise is reported to be overhead and the other is that the magnetic thermometer is reading much lower, which would indicate air being pulled in below the thermometer. Have you checked the baffle to assert that it is properly in place and undamaged?

The system needs to be checked. I would start with making sure that the chimney pipe is locked in securely to the chimney support box based on where you are hearing the noise.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,424
Colorado
Being new at this and will light my free standing stove for the first time in the next few weeks just by instinct it sure sounds like there is some kind of an air leak making that noise..maybe some of the stuff that seals the pipes together got loose or something--hope you solve the problem and sure hope when I light my stove I do not have a problem like that--let us know...old clancey
 
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basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
I'm trying to find an inspector now, but it is very hard to do where I live. Also trying to find the old manual so I can check the components better, like what the baffle and other inside pieces are supposed to look like. In answer to the moderators other questions, there are not 3 screws holding the flue to the main base plate at the ceiling, though I doubt that is what is different (but needs attention regardless). In the meantime, it's snowing today and getting colder by the day...
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Based on the concern described, it sounds like air might be getting pulled in through a joint. That bears inspection to find out where and why and to fix the situation.

There are two things in the original post that are confusing. One is that the noise is reported to be overhead and the other is that the magnetic thermometer is reading much lower, which would indicate air being pulled in below the thermometer. Have you checked the baffle to assert that it is properly in place and undamaged?

The system needs to be checked. I would start with making sure that the chimney pipe is locked in securely to the chimney support box based on where you are hearing the noise.
Here are some pics of the inside, looks normal to me, does it to you?

b2.jpg b1.jpg
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, the baffle is ok. I suspected you had a PE stove, but wasn't sure. Did the fellow remove the baffle when cleaning? If yes, did he stuff a rag down the secondary tube before sweeping and then put a new gasket on the secondary tube before putting it back in?
 
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basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Yes, the baffle is ok. I suspected you had a PE stove, but wasn't sure. Did the fellow remove the baffle when cleaning? If yes, did he stuff a rag down the secondary tube before sweeping and then put a new gasket on the secondary tube before putting it back in?
Yes he removed the baffle (the thing with the holes on top right?) but struggled with it for a while (wasn't sure how to remove it). When I felt it later, I moved it towards the back of the stove a bit (there was about 2 inches) but that did nothing to reduce the noise. He did not stuff a rag in there for sure. And no gaskets for sure. I've never seen anyone do these things you mention, not even the usual guy (who is an apparent pro) I get yearly. Is there something I could try myself?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
OK, it sounds like he messed up in several ways. My guess is that crap went down the secondary tube. Then, there is no gasket for the baffle, but at this point it could be irrelevant if the baffle is not properly seated on the secondary tube feed to the baffle. And the baffle pin is missing.

To understand all the issues, what model stove is this and what year?
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Yikes. I really appreciate your time. I can't find the paperwork for this stove yet (in my stacks) but I will look in the morning. However, one their website this looks like the same model. Mine will likely be older, all I know is I've had it for 5 years, but it was here when I arrived, so would be at least a little older than that. Here is the model, it's the most basic one: https://www.pacificenergy.net/product/vista-le/
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
173
Wisconsin
There should be a sticker on the back of your stove that gives the specifics. Can you get a picture of that? That would give the year. It's probably not that critical since you know the model and it doesn't look much different inside than my 2020 Summit.
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Ok here is a bit of an update, I'll attach a photo of the sticker on the back (model Super 27, manufacture dates lists 2004-2009).
This morning I removed the baffle (after watching youtube videos). I cleaned everything out best I could, inspected the area. I understand now how it should align, but I don't have that alignment Pin anywhere, but I re-installed it so the two holes fit perfect and the baffle is flush with the hole at the back. This creates at least 2 inches of clear space at the front of the stove though, where flames go up and over the baffle (is this ok?), it's either space at the front or space at the back.
Just lit a fire, and good news is: the thermometer is now showing temps as what I would expect it to. Seems like that issue has resolved.
Bad news is, I can still hear the wind-like sound. I wish I could share audio, it is hard to describe and really hard to pinpoint where it's coming from. I'm listening to it now, it just sounds like a fast squirreling sound and is quite subtle but annoying (especially when I'm not sure if this is a safety issue or not). It might be quieter than before or maybe I'm just getting used to it. Attached pic of baffle removed in case that helps.

sticker.jpg removal.jpg
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Yes, interesting, the thermometer is exactly right back where it should be, that's a a relief. I also noticed before my place not heating up very fast at all, like it used to. And this too seems back to normal! So good news there, just left with the strange sounds. Honestly right now, it is much much lighter sounding, hmmm....
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
173
Wisconsin
Yours was made in November of 2008, see the little cutouts on the sticker over the month and year?

Was your baffle not pushed back before? The rectangular tube running up the back of the stove needs to up inside of the rectangular hole on the baffle. So, yes the pin holes need to line up, but you also need to make sure the tube is in the hole. When the baffle is in position, you should not be able to pull it towards you without first lifting it up in the back.

Similarly, you need to lift the back of the baffle when you are installing it to push it back and have it drop onto the tube.

You should have a space at the front, between the glass door and baffle, not at the back.

You will still need that gasket, but it is good to know how to install the baffle correctly before you get the gasket, so you are doing the right thing now.
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
173
Wisconsin
Yes, that one. It is very fragile after you have burned the stove for a while, so every time that baffle comes out you will probably need to replace the gasket. Consider buying more than one.

The rectangular hole in the gasket goes around the vertical tube at the back of your stove, then your baffle sits on top of it.

Here are some pictures of the underside of my baffle. You can clearly see where baffle sits on top of the gasket (the clean area around the hole on the baffle). Note that the hole in the gasket is offset from center. The "skinny" portion of the gasket goes towards the back of the stove. I don't have a picture of just my gasket installed in the stove. This is the best I can do for today, but I'm sure now that you have looked at your stove closely what these pictures show you makes sense.

When you ask for your gasket in town, make sure you tell them that you have a 2008. It looks like, from the most recent Vista manual, things have changed and it now has tubes instead of a big stainless steel baffle like your stove has.

20210227160910_IMG_3060.JPG 20210227160906_IMG_3059.JPG
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
I can't thank you enough for this help!! I imagine this thing is a pain to install - I hope i can just slip it under without removing the baffle as it was SO heavy for me to manage. However, I will ask the shop for tips. Thanks so much again to all of you for helping me!
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
173
Wisconsin
No problem. This forum has helped me quite a bit over the years. I'm glad if I can help someone else.
You MIGHT be able to get it on the tube without removing the baffle. You would have to lift the baffle off the tube, pull it as far forward as you can, then reach in the back and get the gasket in place. If I were trying to do that, I'd want to try take pics with my phone to make sure it was installed correctly. Actually, rather than pics, a video is the way to go. Start recording, stick the phone back there and move it around to see if you can get the image you want, then pull it back out and review what you recorded. If you don't have a smartphone or digital camera, a mirror and flashlight will help.

If you can't get the gasket locally, and you need it, you can make one. A user name hogwildz made one using some woven door gasket. Begreen did the same thing. You can find that info searching the forums if you need it. The door-gasket version is much less fragile, and I will probably make one someday.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, interesting, the thermometer is exactly right back where it should be, that's a a relief. I also noticed before my place not heating up very fast at all, like it used to. And this too seems back to normal! So good news there, just left with the strange sounds. Honestly right now, it is much much lighter sounding, hmmm....
Good deal. That makes sense. Was the baffle put back without a gasket? If so one should be put in or make your own out of 3/8" rope gasket.

The reason I wanted to know the model year is because on the newest units there is the EBT at the bottom of the secondary tube. This is not the case for your stove, so there is less possibility of a complication.
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Yes the baffle was put back in incorrectly, and also, without a gasket. I suspect there has been no gasket there for quite some time.
So now I'm just left with the strange noise and not knowing if it is a safety concern or not. I wonder if the missing gasket has anything to do with this sound. Tough here, the reason I went with this guy this time to clean the chimney is because when I asked my regular guy (a professional) he said it was 3 months to get out. So this will be the same for any kind of inspection and I live in Northern remote Canada where it is far too cold to be without wood heat. I am guessing no one on your end can really say if I have a safety issue on my hands?
At least the thermometer and heat output is back to normal after I reinstalled the baffle, that is great! Coming into a long weekend, so will visit the shop in town and see if I can get a gasket, more screws for the flue, a baffle pin (still missing), etc...
Really appreciate the help I've received here, thank you so much.