Wood stove leak detection w/vacuum

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zmender

Member
Dec 27, 2021
127
CT
Hey everyone, first year stove burner here with a VC Monteplier stove insert. Found myself a trick for detecting leaks around edges.

Symptom that stove exhibiting is (what I consider) short burn time for a 2.6cu ft box. With ~20% MC red oak + birch, lasts about 6~8hrs from kindling to just some small coals. With ~15%MC fuel goes down to about 5~7hrs based on starting coal bed. No smoke leak.

With the stove mostly in coal stage with just small strands of very slow flame, I hovered the household vacuum wand about 1in away from edges around stove. This is not enough to draw out any smoke. Flame didn't seem to move much at all except for a particular spot near bottom right hand corner of the door where the seal seemed compressed. Flame shape seemed to be drawn towards where the leak was. Once the temperature goes back into 40s I'll cool the stove down to replace the seal.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,777
South Puget Sound, WA
That's an interesting approach. Do you see any darkening of the glass in that corner or soot trail there on the inside of the door?
 

zmender

Member
Dec 27, 2021
127
CT
Around edges, yes there's soot trails around hinges and door knob. The location I found leak had pretty bad soot at start of season but an hot fire later most of it was burnt off. The soot trail changes based on how I load - my logs are cut to 16in so I always have room on either left or right hand side. I put biobricks into those spaces to counter the high MC wood, and alternative left/right.