smoke blowing back through wood stove

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SW Ohio, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. SW Ohio

    SW Ohio Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    126
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Strong, swirling wind from the south last night and for the first time I really had trouble with smoke in the house. Smoke blew back through the damper in the stove flu as well as through the firebox and out through the door.

    We stoked up the fire to get it hotter and that helped some. But did not correct the problem entirely. So we let the fire dy down and re-lit it this morning. This morning it looked like the smoke was being blown back down across the roof (and into the attic vents).

    Please advise.

    Thanks, Brian.

    Details:
    -Jotul stove, model 602C (the really small one)
    -single wall black stove pipe up to the ceiling box, approx. 10 feet
    -double wall stainless from the ceiling box through the roof to a height above the roof peak.
    -burning seasoned, dry hardwoods
    -installation is according to manufacture specs and was inspected by the county
     
  2. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

    Messages:
    2,140
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    Morganton, NC
    Make sure you have a cap, if you do, maybe change types. Make your chimney taller. Crack a window near the stove 1/4 inch, it may help the draw.
     

  3. scorpian5

    scorpian5 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    235
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    Southwest Wisconsin
    sounds like a plugged up chimey to me. When is the last time you cleaned it?
     
  4. SW Ohio

    SW Ohio Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    126
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    It is a new install and this is the first season. It has seen plenty of use from October 2007 and kept us from having to fire up the furnace until Thanksgiving.

    So I figure you are right and it may need to be cleaned already.

    The pipe is well above the roof peak and has a cap. Would changing the cap type improve things?

    Thanks, Brian.
     
  5. SW Ohio

    SW Ohio Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    126
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    New question:

    There is a plate in the stove that rests on cast hangers. This appears to have been pushed back during loading and is now almost to the back of the stove box.

    Should I pull this piece forward towards the door?
     
  6. vancom

    vancom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    451
    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    my Jotul insert in the front was installed in May, and not lit until October. We had the back woodstove cleaned a few weeks ago and the sweep did the front one, too. It really did need it even after just a few months since we burn 4-5 days a week. We burn only wood seasoned for one year or more --we have a great woodlot--but he said that a high hot burn for 10 minutes every Saturday will keep her humming along. He also said the newer stoves and inserts are almost too fuel efficient and a long slow burn clogs the chimney pipe faster.
     
  7. RoseGarden

    RoseGarden Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,492
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Location:
    Southeast
    I don't know what you mean by a 'plate', so I can't address that question. Is it the damper?

    One thing you might be able to check quickly is the cap. I burn seasoned oak only but still have to take the cap off and scrape the creosote buildup off the screen and inside of the cap because the stove witll back-puff when the screen gets too clogged. You can probably walk outside iwth a flashlight and look aat it and tell if it's clogged or not.
     
  8. Your chimney may not be long enough. If I understand right, the longer the chimney flue the better the upward draft. If that's the case you may need to add another 3' section on top.
     
  9. praise4him

    praise4him Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    110
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Beautiful North Idaho
    Ours has a screen on the top the the cap to catch any sparks. I hate it!! It catches everything and clogs alot. We have to clean ours off at least once a month. Sometimes more. That would be my first guess because that is exactly what our stove does when it is clogged. Just get up there with a metal brush and brush it off all the way around.
    Blessings,
    Jennifer
     
  10. tamsam

    tamsam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,321
    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    Location:
    north central wv
    Not knowing what kind of stove it is but if the plate you are speaking of is blocking the stove pipe then I would move it forward or where ever it needs to be to open the pipe. Hope you get it fixed. Sam
     
  11. Thoughthound

    Thoughthound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    Is your chimney several feet above the peak of your roof? It needs to be.
     
  12. SW Ohio

    SW Ohio Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    126
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Thanks so much for all the replies.

    I am blessed that I was burning cherry when it smoked back and I can discontinue use while I figure this out.

    No, the plate is not a damper, or at least I think it isn't. I thought it was to direct the smoke through the combustion chamber to reduce particulate. It is a cement like piece and I will move it forward to open the stove under where the pipe is. That will put the coals, as I bank them, directly under the stove pipe exit at the top of the stove.

    I will go on the roof tonight and check the pipe and remove and clean the cap. Last night we had a little rain that quickly froze as the front moved in with 55 mph winds. Just did not feel like going up on the roof in that.

    The pipe is higher than the peak by more than was required by code and manufacture recommendation since I had to add another three foot piece to get that last foot higher. Maybe it is still not enough...

    I greatly appreciate the input.

    Brian.
     
  13. Donkey

    Donkey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    i had a horrible time with smoke blow-back with the first type of cap i used.. it was the one with four squared off sides like a four leaf clover and flat on top...

    then i switched to cap-less since I've seen sooo many in use without caps. that result was the worst.

    i finally tried a cap that is slightly dome shaped (not the pointy one) and it works like a charm
     
  14. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,047
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Location:
    NY - Finger Lakes Region
    I have an older 602 (just bought it this fall, though). The plate in mine is all the way to the back. I think this is where it should be, as this causes the combustion gases to contact the bottom of the burner plate.
    Mine's cast.
    Remember that this recommendation is based on some set of data, and is really intended for a 'typical' installation.
    I suspect that this is the case.

    How many feet of double wall is up there, now?
     
  15. Macybaby

    Macybaby I love South Dakota Supporter

    Messages:
    5,321
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Location:
    South Dakota
    We've had that happen, but only a time or two. We have an old farm house, and once in a while the wind will be blowing just right to cause a back draft down the chimney (double wall metal pipe). I've never had the problem once the fire is going, only when I'm just starting it.

    I just open a window on the wind side of the house, and that has always been enough to get the flow going up the pipe. Opening a window on the other side of the house usually only makes it worse (sucking even more air out of the house).

    Our stove is close to the kitchen, and we have found running the kitchen vent can sometimes cause a down draft, but not often.

    But I've never had this problem once the fire is going.

    Cathy
     
  16. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,047
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Location:
    NY - Finger Lakes Region
    I just had another thought. Maybe it's not this chimney that's causing the back draught. Maybe some other opening is creating a negative pressure in your house. Something to consider, anyway.
     
  17. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    The plate is to make the smoke/hot gases travel a bit further before reaching the stove pipe, so the plate should be to the back or stove pipe end of the stove.
    Is the pipe 3 feet or more above the peak? How close to the peak is it? Which way does the wind come from, compared to the roof slope, the peak of the roof, and the chimney? Sometimes the combination is such that there is almost nothing you can do to prevent your problem without making the chimney impossibly tall.
     
  18. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,963
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Tennessee
    If your cap has a screen, and it is of the finer mesh, you will have to get up there every couple months and wire brush it off. The buildup on the mesh can make slow going for smoke, and then when the wind comes, it is easily forced back down the pipe. I used to have to do this, but have a bigger mesh cap now. It LOOKS good from the ground, but not so good when you get up to it.

    There is no way to completely guard against smoke blowback in severe winds. I've found the best policy is to keep a strong-burning fire in the stove to make sure there is a lot of heat drafting smoke up the chimney, or to completely close the stove vents and let the fire smolder with no way to blow the smoke back into the room.

    If you have strong winds that usually come from a particular direction, you can put up a wrap cap that is simply a piece of metal wrapped over the stove pipe in an inverted U. The metal will block wind from that direction.
     
  19. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,725
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    I had that problem last year. Every time we had a strong wind the smoke would come back into the house. I had to raise the chimney 3' above the peak of the roof. That cured the problem for my stove.

    I hope you get this figured out. It's not fun to open the doors and windows to get the smoke out of the house when the wind is blowing and it's below freezing out. {{{{burrrrr}}}}
     
  20. ricky

    ricky Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    id make sure my pipe went at least 3 feet above the roof line

    i have cleaned my pipe 3 or 4 times this winter.i use my stove for 100% heat and i think it needs to be cheacked and cleaned every month or 6 weeks