What’s wrong with this picture?

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Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
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Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
I have been trying to work out the rest of the kinks in my wood stove system.

The problem I’m still having is i am running my pipe temp too low. I think my burn looks good and I think my stove top temp is good???

Also no matter what I do I can’t get rid of the smoke.

Moisture meter says my wood is very dry.

Also once the stove settles the stack temp is around 150 degrees. Pic above was when I was rights after I turned the stove down.

Any thoughts?
 
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Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
389
Eastern Alps, Italy
Just my 0.02$
Single wall pipe, 90 deg bend, cold masonry chimney (maybe a bit on the short side) usually equals poor draft.
Poor draft means not enough fresh air enters the stove, causing smoke (usually thick and dark).
Since it is indeed white, if it disappears within a couple of meters from chimney exit, it might well be just water vapor. Can you check wood moisture with somebody else's moisture meter? Did you check moisture content on the freshly split side of wood?
Again, just my two cents
 

Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
Just my 0.02$
Single wall pipe, 90 deg bend, cold masonry chimney (maybe a bit on the short side) usually equals poor draft.
Poor draft means not enough fresh air enters the stove, causing smoke (usually thick and dark).
Since it is indeed white, if it disappears within a couple of meters from chimney exit, it might well be just water vapor. Can you check wood moisture with somebody else's moisture meter? Did you check moisture content on the freshly split side of wood?
Again, just my two cents
I tried 2 meters. Both were real close to each other. Also wood is 3-4 years old and well seasoned. The hardest wood we have is paper birch and our humidity is always real low so the wood gets dry pretty quick.

My main concern is the stack temp being so low all the time? Secondary concern is the white smoke which may be the same reason the stack temp is so low?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,795
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Some ideas.

Your moisture meter is broken or you aren't using it right. Your glass is dirty. This stove is very good at keeping glass clean unless you are running it too cold or are burning wet wood. Those chimney emissions at that temperature scream wet wood too.

Try swapping those thermometers to be sure. What I've found with a very similar setup is that the surface temperature of the single wall flue will be half of the stove top temperature. So you aren't too far off. The cold/good/hot ranges on the meter don't apply to flue temps, just stove top temps.

Oh and as for what is wrong. You need three screws at each joint. I don't see any screws at the joint with the ragged tin snip cut above the flue meter.
 

Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
Some ideas.

Your moisture meter is broken or you aren't using it right. Your glass is dirty. This stove is very good at keeping glass clean unless you are running it too cold or are burning wet wood. Those chimney emissions at that temperature scream wet wood too.

Try swapping those thermometers to be sure. What I've found with a very similar setup is that the surface temperature of the single wall flue will be half of the stove top temperature. So you aren't too far off. The cold/good/hot ranges on the meter don't apply to flue temps, just stove top temps.

Oh and as for what is wrong. You need three screws at each joint. I don't see any screws at the joint with the ragged tin snip cut above the flue meter.
You are correct about the screws. I have them out as I’ve been making adjustments to stove pipe. I had a longer horizontal run and also a slight downhill instead of uphill on the the horizontal pipe. They are usually in place. I will get them back in ASAP.

Also check out the pics I’m about to post
 

Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
191393EE-CEEA-4FE9-AE76-DD9307E9F4EF.jpeg C75D23F3-C46F-4691-9848-0D30BCA7080E.jpeg
 
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Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
I just this second went out and split a piece of wood to check it. The dark wood in the photo is a yard Norway maple. Other then that I only have birch, fir and pine.
 

Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
Also the absolute wettest I could find in my pile is just over 14%. I tested some wood not in my pile and it’s well over 30% but that’s wood that will dry for 3 more years.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,795
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Is that reading 3.4%? Yeah, I don't even know if that is possible! Try on a full size split that has been freshly resplit.

Let's assume your wood is awesome and in the 14% range. The stove temp is over 600, flue temps around 300. Just like the photo. It even looks like your firebox has some nice secondary combustion going on.

So for every 50 lbs of wood you load you have 7 lbs of water. That's almost a gallon of water. The flue temps only need to drop down to 212 somewhere in your chimney to condense into that white steam. You've boiled a gallon of water on the stove for noodles right, one gallon of water makes a LOT of steam.

Is this the first fire of the year? Is the chimney colder than normal? Does the metal flue pipe dump into an oversized masonry liner?

As a test, I would run the flue temps hotter to keep the water vapor from condensing back out. This might mean stove temps of up to 700-750. Give it a shot.
 

Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
Is that reading 3.4%? Yeah, I don't even know if that is possible! Try on a full size split that has been freshly resplit.

Let's assume your wood is awesome and in the 14% range. The stove temp is over 600, flue temps around 300. Just like the photo. It even looks like your firebox has some nice secondary combustion going on.

So for every 50 lbs of wood you load you have 7 lbs of water. That's almost a gallon of water. The flue temps only need to drop down to 212 somewhere in your chimney to condense into that white steam. You've boiled a gallon of water on the stove for noodles right, one gallon of water makes a LOT of steam.

Is this the first fire of the year? Is the chimney colder than normal? Does the metal flue pipe dump into an oversized masonry liner?

As a test, I would run the flue temps hotter to keep the water vapor from condensing back out. This might mean stove temps of up to 700-750. Give it a shot.
I have been burning daily for about 2 weeks. Have not started 24 hour burning yet. It’s about 60 degrees it feels like outside so I think the chimney is fairly warm.

The metal pipe dumps into a 5x9 clay lined chimney.

If I keep the damper on the stove open then the stove does not get real hot and the flue temp gets about 400. But I don’t get any secondaries and it just burns like an old school non epa stove. As soon as I start shutting the damper down on the stove then the stove top temps climb and the flue temp drops. The only way I can’t get the flue temp hotter is if I burn a bunch of little splits of very dry light wood and leave the door cracked.

Right now my flue is 150ish and my stove top is over 500.

I appreciate all the help.

Because if this site I have fixed lots of problems that I inherited when we bought the house.
 

Merc1973

Member
Oct 14, 2016
28
MD
The overlap of the flu pipe is reversed fitting into the 90 elbow. Rookie mistake.
 

Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
The overlap of the flu pipe is reversed fitting into the 90 elbow. Rookie mistake.
If your talking about on the horizontal part that is a slip pipe that goes inside on both the 90 and the increaser side. It’s adjustable to allow for a better fit and comes from the factory that way.

Other then that every pipe goes inside the pipe below it.

Maybe I misunderstood and need to fix something else?
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
At 60 degrees outdoor temp, draft will not be the greatest. Add the elbows, which if I remember correctly, equated to a 5' deduction of stack height for each elbow? You should only need a pipe damper if you have too strong a draft, which I don't see happening in your set up. Dump all that in a slightly oversized, short clay liner, and you have a few factors into the making of your issues.

You may find this diminishes as the outdoor temps lower.
I would be checking the chimney for build up one every other week or so,m till you get an idea of what if any build up is going on.

Lastly, I once had an Imperial thermo, and it was tossed in the garbage a long time ago. IMO, anything Imperial, is junk.
 

cookin2night

Member
Jun 26, 2014
168
NW NEW JERSEY
I have been trying to work out the rest of the kinks in my wood stove system.

The problem I’m still having is i am running my pipe temp too low. I think my burn looks good and I think my stove top temp is good???

Also no matter what I do I can’t get rid of the smoke.

Moisture meter says my wood is very dry.

Also once the stove settles the stack temp is around 150 degrees. Pic above was when I was rights after I turned the stove down.

Any thoughts?
Check to see if there's something stuck in the pipe.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
I have been trying to work out the rest of the kinks in my wood stove system.

The problem I’m still having is i am running my pipe temp too low. I think my burn looks good and I think my stove top temp is good???

Also no matter what I do I can’t get rid of the smoke.

Moisture meter says my wood is very dry.

Also once the stove settles the stack temp is around 150 degrees. Pic above was when I was rights after I turned the stove down.

Any thoughts?
Thermometers are, well, thermometers. Before basing a "problem" on a thermometer reading, I would like to see better thermometers that had been checked so we knew we weren't being led astray by misleading readings.

Without thermometer readings the only problem you see is a smoky flue? What I see, is that's an awfully big stove in a very small house and relatively mild temperatures. I think it's going to be hard to run that stove as hard as it's meant to run without cooking yourself out of there. I also think your draft might be slightly lacking and this is causing an imbalance between the primary and secondary air.

If the draft were stronger, you wouldn't need to close the damper, you could reduce the intake air instead. The damper is a band-aid to the low draft problem. I know that sounds counter-intuitive but I think that's what's going on. I'm guessing you don't get secondary burn until the damper is closed because there is too much secondary air (compared to primary) and therefore the temperatures at the top of the firebox are too low. The high stovetop temperature could be due to not achieving secondary combustion until the upper chamber or it could be an inaccurate thermometer.


I'm sure you could improve things a bit if there was room for an insulated chimney liner but 5"x9"? I don't think there's room. Is there anyway to modify it to change the ratio of primary/secondary air? Can you temporarily remove the rain cap to see if that offers a little improvement?
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,795
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I didn't even see that key damper in there. It looks like it's closed too. Open that thing 100% or remove it and plug the holes.

The one stove pipe connection that we can see above the flue meter is done properly. Dripless so the upper piece would dribble into the lower piece as is correct. Next time you could use a die grinder with a cutoff wheel to cut the pipe more smoothly than possible with snips, totally aesthetic.

Nothing wrong with the stove choice or with burning in these temperatures. The NC30 is the right stove for Idaho and any normal sized home.

Your one photo of the stove glass, looks like you have a small load in there. You are filling this thing to the top aren't you? I almost never burn anything but a full load.

I started a fire in the NC30 last night in my 1800 SF shop that was 58 degrees inside. It was 62 outside. Load it full and start the fire, the thing was rocking at 700 in no time with flue skin temps at 300. Yes, I had to give it more air than I would if it was 20 degrees outside but the stove works great. The NC30 is an easy breather but you've got to have a reasonable chimney.

Do you have a cleanout door on your masonry chimney? Is it sealed off well? How tall is the chimney?

If you ignored the visible smoke from the chimney. Is there any other problem? Are you staying warm.

One more thing. This stove is weird in that pushing the rod in closes the intake air. Just checking.
 
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Merc1973

Member
Oct 14, 2016
28
MD
If your talking about on the horizontal part that is a slip pipe that goes inside on both the 90 and the increaser side. It’s adjustable to allow for a better fit and comes from the factory that way.

Other then that every pipe goes inside the pipe below it.

Maybe I misunderstood and need to fix something else?

I just find it strange the dealer allowed that type of installation. It goes against code for any exhaust pipe since it may allow gases to escape the pipe due to the direction of flow of gases. I used to do HVAC while in college and thats what the inspectors looked at.
 

Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
I didn't even see that key damper in there. It looks like it's closed too. Open that thing 100% or remove it and plug the holes.

The one stove pipe connection that we can see above the flue meter is done properly. Dripless so the upper piece would dribble into the lower piece as is correct. Next time you could use a die grinder with a cutoff wheel to cut the pipe more smoothly than possible with snips, totally aesthetic.

Nothing wrong with the stove choice or with burning in these temperatures. The NC30 is the right stove for Idaho and any normal sized home.

Your one photo of the stove glass, looks like you have a small load in there. You are filling this thing to the top aren't you? I almost never burn anything but a full load.

I started a fire in the NC30 last night in my 1800 SF shop that was 58 degrees inside. It was 62 outside. Load it full and start the fire, the thing was rocking at 700 in no time with flue skin temps at 300. Yes, I had to give it more air than I would if it was 20 degrees outside but the stove works great. The NC30 is an easy breather but you've got to have a reasonable chimney.

Do you have a cleanout door on your masonry chimney? Is it sealed off well? How tall is the chimney?

If you ignored the visible smoke from the chimney. Is there any other problem? Are you staying warm.

One more thing. This stove is weird in that pushing the rod in closes the intake air. Just checking.
Key damper is always open 100%. This is the first year with the dampener so I’m not sure if it will help with overdraft when it gets cold. I have an overdraft problem when it gets real cold and ESW told me to put the dampener in when I called them.

I have to run small loads or it cooks us out of the house. Could this be the problem?

The main problem is the flue not getting hot enough and causing SOOO much creosote! I’m talking gallons cleaned twice a year. I am in the process of having the chimney lined so that might help the creosote being that it will be insulated. But my chimney is inside the house and it’s about 23’ from where the stove inserts to the top. Also clean out is sealed very well.
 

Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
I just find it strange the dealer allowed that type of installation. It goes against code for any exhaust pipe since it may allow gases to escape the pipe due to the direction of flow of gases. I used to do HVAC while in college and thats what the inspectors looked at.
Im fairly confident all is done correct on the pipe. I’m not an expert by any means but the State of Idaho inspector passed it and all the research I did showed this as the proper way.

My wife is an insurance broker and that is how her companies suggest it to be installed as well.

With that being said I am here to learn and am more then willing to correct anything that needs correcting. So definitely continue to let me know how to make this thing more efficient and safer.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,795
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I just find it strange the dealer allowed that type of installation. It goes against code for any exhaust pipe since it may allow gases to escape the pipe due to the direction of flow of gases. I used to do HVAC while in college and thats what the inspectors looked at.
Sorry Merc, solid fuel flue pipes are to be installed as to be dripless. Meaning the liquids that run down the inside of the pipe must be contained by having the taper go into the receiving end of the pipe below. Otherwise the liquid creosote would leak out and run down the outside of the pipe where they could collect and start a fire. This is NOT like a gas flue as might have been the majority of your HVAC experience.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
18,795
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Key damper is always open 100%. This is the first year with the dampener so I’m not sure if it will help with overdraft when it gets cold. I have an overdraft problem when it gets real cold and ESW told me to put the dampener in when I called them.

I have to run small loads or it cooks us out of the house. Could this be the problem?

The main problem is the flue not getting hot enough and causing SOOO much creosote! I’m talking gallons cleaned twice a year. I am in the process of having the chimney lined so that might help the creosote being that it will be insulated. But my chimney is inside the house and it’s about 23’ from where the stove inserts to the top. Also clean out is sealed very well.
This is a good post from you with lots of key information. Most important is that you are getting this thing lined as we speak so don't do anything until that is done. Insulated liners are best but your 5x9 is small. If they break out the tiles then an insulated liner is required. Just wait until the liner is in. Keep the damper if you've had overdraft problems but keep it full open until it's needed.

Lots of small fires will increase the amount of creosote in any chimney since most of the accumulations in a modern system occur during cold start.
 

Doc C

Minister of Fire
Jul 26, 2017
676
Bonner County Idaho
This is a good post from you with lots of key information. Most important is that you are getting this thing lined as we speak so don't do anything until that is done. Insulated liners are best but your 5x9 is small. If they break out the tiles then an insulated liner is required. Just wait until the liner is in. Keep the damper if you've had overdraft problems but keep it full open until it's needed.

Lots of small fires will increase the amount of creosote in any chimney since most of the accumulations in a modern system occur during cold start.
Ok thank you. They are not breaking out the liner. Chimney is slugged full between the brick and the liner and they think it might cause problems. They are going to oval out a 6” pipe and also insulated it.

I will hold what I have until then and try to make my fires a little bigger.
 
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