Strange wind sound after chimney cleaned

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
At this time of year, most sweeps and installers are booked for months ahead, even in densely populated areas.

There is a whooshing of air with many stoves including PE when the air is almost closed off. This is the sound of air rushing past the narrowed opening at the primary air port.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
1,035
MA
I, too. was wondering if the missing gasket is contributing to the sound now that it is clean.

What pin are you missing? Is it a roll pin?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
The pin is about 1/4" thick and Z shaped.
 
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MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
173
Wisconsin
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.

I found the thread where Hogwildz made his gasket. If you can't get a factory gasket, you can make one of these. You just need some 3/8" fiberglass rope gasket. Your stove shop will surely have that. He shows his gasket a little ways down this thread:


Looking back through the thread, begreen mentioned that it sounds like air could be being drawn in somewhere. That makes sense. The draft goes up when the stove gets hot, and starts sucking in some air. Do you have access to an attic? Can you get up on a chair or ladder near the stove pipe to give it a listen? It would be good if you could try to pinpoint where the sound originates.

Close up pictures of where the stove pipe enters the chimney at the ceiling might help, too.

If it were in my house, I'd grab my mechanic's stethoscope. It has a metal probe that you touch to things to help you figure out where a sound comes from. If the town you mention is Whitehorse, Canadian Tire sells mechanics stethoscopes. It might help you figure out what is going on.


I know the Yukon is big so you could be a LONG ways from Whitehorse. I rode my motorcycle through it on my way to Inuvik. I figure there's at least a 50% chance you are close to Whitehorse since that one city has about half the population of the Yukon.
 
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MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
173
Wisconsin
1633729699339.png
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
I found the thread where Hogwildz made his gasket. If you can't get a factory gasket, you can make one of these. You just need some 3/8" fiberglass rope gasket. Your stove shop will surely have that. He shows his gasket a little ways down this thread:


Looking back through the thread, begreen mentioned that it sounds like air could be being drawn in somewhere. That makes sense. The draft goes up when the stove gets hot, and starts sucking in some air. Do you have access to an attic? Can you get up on a chair or ladder near the stove pipe to give it a listen? It would be good if you could try to pinpoint where the sound originates.

Close up pictures of where the stove pipe enters the chimney at the ceiling might help, too.

If it were in my house, I'd grab my mechanic's stethoscope. It has a metal probe that you touch to things to help you figure out where a sound comes from. If the town you mention is Whitehorse, Canadian Tire sells mechanics stethoscopes. It might help you figure out what is going on.


I know the Yukon is big so you could be a LONG ways from Whitehorse. I rode my motorcycle through it on my way to Inuvik. I figure there's at least a 50% chance you are close to Whitehorse since that one city has about half the population of the Yukon.
So the draft getting pulled in when hot, is that normal? I just have not heard this sound before until right after the cleaning.
Yes, I AM close to Whitehorse! Under an hour from town, so no big deal. There is also a store that sells PE's, so I will stop in on Tuesday and see if they have anything to say, maybe.. I can even take an audio sample to them.
The attic.. oh boy I will be doing more things I've never done before! I've never looked up there, I know I know, it's about time. Great idea to have a listen up there. I just don't want to see what horrors are up there :)
And.. cool mechanics tool! It's cheap too, hmmmm....
I can take photos of the chimney attached to the ceiling, I can see there are a number of screws missing. That was on my list for next week's shopping.
Thank you!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
I am wondering if the fellow unscrewed the chimney pipe from the ceiling support box. This is a twist lock fit for most chimney pipe. Did he have to undo any sections above the roof to get the broom down the chimney?
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Hello, attached one pic from the base of the stove to the pipe, looks secure with all appropriate bolts. The rest are of the chimney to the base of the ceiling, I see only two bolts there and a number of empty holes (some of the fluff looks like bolts but are not). The guy only removed the chimney cap when on the roof. I was really surprised how little time he spent up there, and I only heard a few sweeps up/down and I highly doubt he made it far down the chimney at all, but I'm not sure. He definitely did not take apart any of the chimney sections. I'm nearly certain the missing bolts on the inside have been like that for years...
Maybe in the morning I will take some zoom shots of the chimney cap on the roof to see if it was put back on correctly, I heard a power tool when we was putting it back on.

c5.jpg c3.jpg c2.jpg c1.jpg
 

marty319

Feeling the Heat
Nov 17, 2014
348
Belair mb
I guess you are getting into burning season right now in the yukon.are you in whitehorse?beautiful time of the year up there with the fall colors. Happy Thanksgiving
 
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marty319

Feeling the Heat
Nov 17, 2014
348
Belair mb
Beautifull place I'm jealous. I was in whitehorse in 1975 .the yukon is a very nice part of the country.would like to make a trip up there again one day.good luck with your stove.
 
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basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Well... I tried to get up where I thought access to the attic was yesterday, turns out that is not access at all (there is a covered hole in the ceiling and when I unscrewed the cover, there was a broken part of the ceiling jammed full of bagged insulation. Between the wood support beams, it would be hard to remove and/or fit in - though it may be possible. It certaintly does not appear to be a 'natural' access point). I need to ask around on neighbours to see if they know where access is, I can't see any other place. I found someone who is willing to come take a look, either next week or following. In the meantime, I will work on the missing stove pieces (pin, gasket, screws). What a pain this has become! I'm listening now and the sounds start as soon as the fire gets warm and stays until the fire nearly goes out to coals. It is a fast swirelling wind-in-a-tight-tunnel sound, that appears to come from the ceiling area, stronger on the left side than the right side, and almost stronger sounding from 20 feet away then from up close. Playing with the draft doesn't seem to do very much, it seems to have to do with the amount of heat, so a closed draft (or open) doesn't change the sound until the heat itself has reduce substantially (like the fire is almost out). So strange...
Anyway, thanks again all for your help and support. If any one has any other ideas, please give me a shout.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
Well... I tried to get up where I thought access to the attic was yesterday, turns out that is not access at all (there is a covered hole in the ceiling and when I unscrewed the cover, there was a broken part of the ceiling jammed full of bagged insulation. Between the wood support beams, it would be hard to remove and/or fit in - though it may be possible. It certaintly does not appear to be a 'natural' access point). I need to ask around on neighbours to see if they know where access is, I can't see any other place. I found someone who is willing to come take a look, either next week or following. In the meantime, I will work on the missing stove pieces (pin, gasket, screws). What a pain this has become! I'm listening now and the sounds start as soon as the fire gets warm and stays until the fire nearly goes out to coals. It is a fast swirelling wind-in-a-tight-tunnel sound, that appears to come from the ceiling area, stronger on the left side than the right side, and almost stronger sounding from 20 feet away then from up close. Playing with the draft doesn't seem to do very much, it seems to have to do with the amount of heat, so a closed draft (or open) doesn't change the sound until the heat itself has reduce substantially (like the fire is almost out). So strange...
Anyway, thanks again all for your help and support. If any one has any other ideas, please give me a shout.
A pro may spot something by dropping a camera down to inspect that area from the inside out.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,258
SE North Carolina
I keep wanting a reason for one of these.

Wireless Endoscope Camera, NIDAGE WiFi 5.5mm 1080P HD Borescope Inspection Camera for iPhone Android, 2MP Semi-Rigid Snake Camera for Inspecting Motor Engine Sewer Pipe Vehicle (33FT) Amazon product
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,611
Long Island NY
In post #34, second picture, there appears to be a gap at the connection on the right hand side. Could it be that once you have a warm flue, and draft is large, that the sound comes from air being sucked in there?
 
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ytlogger

New Member
May 16, 2021
3
Haines Junction Y.T.
Hi All. First post - I've been lurking for a little while, reading lots and learning some. basilplant, I live a hundred or so miles away. I using a PE Spectrum that I installed about 10 years ago, to replace a Vista. I have always cleaned my own chimney and lots of others. Volunteer firefighter too, so I'm an expert at nothing but experienced at a few things. No doubt that is not the original stove and chimney combination, looking at the reducer. Most likely Excel chimney, that's common around here. I'm curious as to why the sweep would have to use power tools to take the cap off as they usually just have some thumbscrews to secure the raincap to the struts on the base of the chimney cap. I'm wondering if he unscrewed the base of the chimney cap from the top section of the chimney and unknowingly rotated the chimney a bit. It seems that he didn't really know what he was doing, judging from the baffle business. Looking at some of the other deficiencies with screws etc. not 100%, I would be concerned. If I were you and I was unable to confidently inspect this chimney top to bottom, inside and out myself, I'd bite the bullet and get a well known and competent installer out. Failing that, get a building inspector in to look at it. If you live within the City of Whitehorse, the City inspectors, or if you are outside city boundaries then a YG inspector. If you call them and explain the potential risk, I'll bet they will try to get there ASAP. After all, they are under the umbrella of Protective Services. Heating season is just getting going and you don't want to be worrying about this for the next 7 months or so. I've been to lots of chimney fires and seen some pretty shoddy installations, so I hope this all works out for you.
 

basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Hi All. First post - I've been lurking for a little while, reading lots and learning some. basilplant, I live a hundred or so miles away. I using a PE Spectrum that I installed about 10 years ago, to replace a Vista. I have always cleaned my own chimney and lots of others. Volunteer firefighter too, so I'm an expert at nothing but experienced at a few things. No doubt that is not the original stove and chimney combination, looking at the reducer. Most likely Excel chimney, that's common around here. I'm curious as to why the sweep would have to use power tools to take the cap off as they usually just have some thumbscrews to secure the raincap to the struts on the base of the chimney cap. I'm wondering if he unscrewed the base of the chimney cap from the top section of the chimney and unknowingly rotated the chimney a bit. It seems that he didn't really know what he was doing, judging from the baffle business. Looking at some of the other deficiencies with screws etc. not 100%, I would be concerned. If I were you and I was unable to confidently inspect this chimney top to bottom, inside and out myself, I'd bite the bullet and get a well known and competent installer out. Failing that, get a building inspector in to look at it. If you live within the City of Whitehorse, the City inspectors, or if you are outside city boundaries then a YG inspector. If you call them and explain the potential risk, I'll bet they will try to get there ASAP. After all, they are under the umbrella of Protective Services. Heating season is just getting going and you don't want to be worrying about this for the next 7 months or so. I've been to lots of chimney fires and seen some pretty shoddy installations, so I hope this all works out for you.
Hello Neighbour! What you are saying makes sense, total sense. I contacted 3 companies last week (from an old website that listed WETT inspections I think), and one guy got back to me who can come out and take a look. I have no idea who he is, so am asking him some questions to find out more. My fear is I will get another person like the sweeper who doesn't know what he's doing. I live outside city limits, so will look into a YG inspector. Do you know how inspectors inspect a whole section of chimney that is not visible? Is it the camera route? Yes, wood burning season is just starting and I got my chimney cleaned for peace of mind, but now I will need to do a whole other process because of it. My cabin was built in the 70's and all appears to be home-made non-pro type jobs, so would not trust the chimney was ever professional installed. Appreciated your time.
 

ytlogger

New Member
May 16, 2021
3
Haines Junction Y.T.
Hello Neighbour! What you are saying makes sense, total sense. I contacted 3 companies last week (from an old website that listed WETT inspections I think), and one guy got back to me who can come out and take a look. I have no idea who he is, so am asking him some questions to find out more. My fear is I will get another person like the sweeper who doesn't know what he's doing. I live outside city limits, so will look into a YG inspector. Do you know how inspectors inspect a whole section of chimney that is not visible? Is it the camera route? Yes, wood burning season is just starting and I got my chimney cleaned for peace of mind, but now I will need to do a whole other process because of it. My cabin was built in the 70's and all appears to be home-made non-pro type jobs, so would not trust the chimney was ever professional installed. Appreciated your time.
Yeah it's tough to get tradespeople this time of year. Everybody has time sensitive projects on the go. It kind of depends on the height(length) of pipe. Getting into the attic to look at the exterior of the insulated sections is pretty important. I would guess, from your pics, that there may be a joint in there. Less height/joints, life is simpler. It looks like there is a joint just above the storm collar. Removing the uninsulated stovepipe from the stove to the flue connector and looking up, with a flashlight can reveal a lot. Using a mirror is suggested to protect your eyes, but I've looked up and down a lot of chimney just using a faceshield or safety glasses. A camera of some type would be great for a chimney with multiple joints. In any case, if you don't know the full history of that chimney, it bears a good look. "Non-pro" is kind of The Yukon way, with the whole gamut of results. Good luck with it.
 
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basilplant

New Member
Oct 7, 2021
22
Yukon
Update: Well I'm absolutely stunned! This morning I found some screws and tucked in and starting adding a few where they were missing, I also tightened the ones that existed. As well, I re-attached the heat shield - it was very loose and in one place had a screw that was not attached to the hole at all. Then I started the fire, and... NO MORE SOUND! I really didn't expect that to change what I was hearing, but so far no sound whatsoever!
I will still get an inspection, because I am learning it likely has never had an inspection.
I can't thank you all enough for your advice and support, it gave me the confidence I needed to learn more about my stove and actually fix a few of the problems I found.
 

MongoMongoson

Member
Feb 6, 2021
173
Wisconsin
I'm happy to hear you got it figured out. That just goes to show how much chimneys "suck", and they suck even more air when they get warm. Those leaks weren't just making noise. They were sucking in cold air, cooling the flue gases, and maybe promoting the formation of some creosote right where the leaks were. I'm glad you caught it early so you didn't end up with dangerous build up later in the season. Nice job!

And it sounds like you are going to get it fully inspected which is a really great idea.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,794
South Puget Sound, WA
Good news! Thanks for the update. I'm glad this worked out for you.
 
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