Down Draft Smoking Cook Stove

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by veme, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. veme

    veme Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,446
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Hi all! :)
    I’m having down draft problems with my new cook stove. :grump:
    Stove puffs when the wind gusts more than 30 miles per hr. or so. It sets off the smoke detectors.

    Got so bad 2 weeks ago we had to open all the windows & doors & pull the wood from the fire box because is was choking us ( high winds)! :help:

    The mason ( my husband’s cousin) who built the chimney says he can’t really go any higher. In fact the chimney started to pitch on the last few blocks he laid.
    I was reading about draft diverters and wonder if we need to get one. The chimney faces the prevailing wind (of course). Wayne (the mason) says draft diverters creosote really bad. Any ideas? Any suggestions. Two pics are outside view of the chimney & a smokey lunch!

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    veme
     
  2. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,731
    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Location:
    No. Cent. AR
    the tops of chimneys and stove pipes ALWAYS need to be ABOVE the ridge of the roof to avoid downdrafts. Can you add stove pipe to the top of that brick chimney? Look at that old chimney in the picture - that's the correct height. The mason SHOULD have known that and informed you of the potential problem before he undertook the job - if he knows his profession or has any experience building chimneys.
     

  3. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

    Messages:
    2,198
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Morganton, NC
    Or at least 2ft higher than the roof 10ft away horizantally. I would try to add chimney (not stove) pipe. stove pipe is not insulated and will allow the smoke to cool too much, creating tons of creosote. You might have to place some stays against the roof to hold it stable, especially if you get a lot of 30mph winds. Good luck, that is a beautiful cook stove!

    A proper chimney cap may help as well...
     
  4. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,731
    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Location:
    No. Cent. AR
    Since their mason already said the chimney could not be made higher and it's already leaning at it's present height, AND you can purchase insulated or double or triple wall stove pipe...That seems a solution from my perspective.
     
  5. lodestar

    lodestar Alternative Realities

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Minnesota
    I've used the rule 3' higher than anything within 10 feet.

    Maybe a stupid question...but do you have the stove in kindle operation? There should be a lever to toggle it from kindle (going straight out the chimney pipe from the fire box) to oven (taking a circuitous route around the oven and then out the pipe)...

    Start in kindle until you get a good bed of coals and charcoal...then toggle to oven...if you add wood, be certain to switch to kindle before opening the firebox door...add some wood, let er rip for awhile until you've burnt off the moisture and gases from the newly added wood...then flip the lever back to oven.
     
  6. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    10,153
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    East Tenn.
    With the pitch of the roof the wind is probably rolling up the roof and doing a back flip and coming down the chimney.(turbulence)(sideways mini tornado??)(thats the best way I can explain it) If you can put a T at the top of the chimney so the smoke escapes parallel with the house it may stop. Or some kind of cap so that the wind is diverted from coming straight down.. You could cobble something up and see if it works. I don't have a lot of confidence in your mason. He should have known

    How does it work on a calm day
     
  7. js2743

    js2743 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    845
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Location:
    scott county, virginia
  8. veme

    veme Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,446
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I think that is exactly what is happening. :grump: The mason is my husband's cousin an is considered to be the best mason in 3 counties. I'm going to have a talk with him this week-end about installing a diverter cap.
    The stove is a pure pleasure on most days - just back puffs on windy days. We get lots of windy days here.
    Thanks for all the input.

    veme
     
  9. Delinda

    Delinda Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    967
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Hello! I have never posted here before but I saw your post and had to respond-we had the same problem this year=our stove pipe is on the north side of the house, the way the strong wind comes in. And our roof is just like yours, with a very high pitch to it. We would build a fire and the winds would whip the smoke back in our house also, we also were opening all the doors and windows to clear it out. My husband added 2 more links of stovepipe, making our flue 26 feet high, now it draws like you would not believe, absolutly no smoke at all! I believe you are going to have to clear your roof, it worked for us. I hope you get it fixed, their is no better heat than a wood stove.
     
  10. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,303
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    northcentral MN
    They make a swiveling pipe cap too. The cap is sloped 45 degrees and it has a fin on the top to orient it so the cap always faces wind. This helps create negative pressure underneath the cap drawing smoke up the pipe and out.
     
  11. js2743

    js2743 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    845
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Location:
    scott county, virginia
    is that other chimmey in the back ground working if so where it is higher it could be pulling a backdraft down the one that is smoking the house up did you check out that other thread about the outside air supply that would help i think
     
  12. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,086
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    I agree the hieght should be 2 feet higher than any part of the structure within 10 feet, but you're experiencing currential down drafting so the only solution is to go higher. A cap may help, but they ceresote up too especailly with cook stoves that run dampered down quite often to slow the fire. A possibility that might help..... a powered draft inducer. Personally I dislike them on wood stoves as they can't be interlocked. But hey you're already dealing with smoke! Here's a draft inducer, I just googled it I have never used this brand. http://www.draftinducers.com/
     
  13. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

    Messages:
    3,087
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    Western NY
    Is the damper lined up with the handle on the outside of your pipe? We had this trouble. Our's got goofed up and when the handle was in the upright positon, the damper was not completely open. And I also agree with the chimney being above your roofline.
     
  14. Pigeon Lady

    Pigeon Lady Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,750
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    I wonder if it was the same windy day ours belched smoke and I was running out with a bucket of hot cinders! About two weeks ago:)

    Ours only seems to do it when we first light it especially on windy days. We've found that if we can get a good blaze going very quickly it doesn't smoke. When the kindling is just kind of smoldering and the fire it struggling to get a hold that's when it tends to smoke.

    Put enough paper and little chips of wood that will catch fire quickly and as someone else said leave the damper open -so the smoke is going straight up the chimney until you have a good fire going.

    Our chimney's on the gable end like your other one. It's higher than the roof but the house is tucked up close to the mountainside. I think that and the wind direction have something to do with it.

    Also make sure your kindling is really dry.

    Your stove is beautiful! I hope you solve your problem. I don't know how we lived without ours now.

    Pauline
     
  15. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    403
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Location:
    Central New York
    Our set up is similar to yours with a cape cod pitched roof located on the east side. We feel part of the issues is that we have two bends in the pipe; one in the house to the outside and then another angle to go up which causes not only a back draft but no draft. We are using stove pipe, not bricks, with one set of stays. We even had someone come over with a bucket to go up and add more pipe, but it never got up over the ridge even though it is the legal and beyond from the roof. So, we bought an "auto-draft" fan which works great. We often have to put it on even when we don't have a fire because a strong east wind comes right down the pipe and stinks up the house with a bacon smell. We are however moving the stove to a porch, when we get it built, so the pipe goes straight up. Also it will be on the south side quite a distance from the house itself.
     
  16. veme

    veme Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,446
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks everyone for your input!! :)
    Talked to the mason and he says the chimney is plenty tall. He feels that the 2 trees near the house & the fact that the wind comes down the hill behind the house is a problem (photo is taken from top of the hill - house is a "Swiss Bank house".
    He thinks a cap diverter will solve the problem. I'm going to start looking at the different types.
    Thanks again.

    veme
     
  17. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    292
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Location:
    Meade Co Kentucky
  18. a1cowmilker

    a1cowmilker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    247
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    don't be too hard on the mason, it took a factory rep from lopi to fix our woodstove problem. Ours is also on the north side with a very steep roof.
    Our builder (18 months later) got a cherry picker and installed a taller pipe according to the formula mentioned before. It fixed it promptly and we have not had any problem since. We also warm up our stove pipe with a sheet of newspaper at the back of the stove before we actually start a fire and we have no smoke coming back into the house.

    We also learned that when the stove was backing up in the house we could open the window and create a draft and the smoke would usually go back up the stovepipe until it burned out.

    My vote, you have to raise the chimney some way or you will fight it forever.


    good luck, it is definitely worth it. :)
     
  19. js2743

    js2743 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    845
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2006
    Location:
    scott county, virginia
    Just Add A Outside Air Supply You House May Be To Tight To Let It Draft The Way Its Needs To This Is Done By Putting A Hole In The Floor So It Will Let A Draft Inside Or Through The Wall. Try This First
     
  20. mwhit

    mwhit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,368
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    NY
    I agree with most others-- the chimney needs to be taller, regardless of the mason stating that it is tall enough (of course he's not going to say 'I didn't make it tall enough'). Any resource you find will state that the chimney must be taller than the roof. Here is a good site that will list all the possible causes of backpuffing on windy days-- the thing is, many of the causes would probably also cause it to smoke other times as well. Just out of curiosity, have you confirmed whether the flue is the correct size for the stove?? If it's too big it could also cause problems on windy days... but that would probably cause it to smoke other times as well.

    http://www.chimneys.com/burning_secrets/chapter_7.html