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Old 04-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
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Down draft issues - woodstove


Greetings Forum Friends!!

I have a wood stove that I can't use due to a major down draft problem. I checked around on here and haven't really found an answer??

I read somewhere there is a formula that says something like the chimney should be 10 feet from any structure and 2 feet above the roof. Don't know if that's true or not?

A friend said that I should just add to the chimney and that will take care of the problem?

I've attached some pics to show the set up on the house.

Does anyone know how to fix this problem?

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 04-03-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
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Down draft issues - woodstove


is the vent the same size as the outlet on the stove ?? Venting looks good from outside. Neg. draft in the home will csuse drafting issues. Exhaust fans , etc, will pull against the nat. draft effect of the heater. If you have any windows in the same room as the heater. Open a window & try using the heater

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Old 04-03-2011, 08:41 PM   #3
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Down draft issues - woodstove


Quote:
Originally Posted by kenmac
is the vent the same size as the outlet on the stove ?? Venting looks good from outside. Neg. draft in the home will csuse drafting issues. Exhaust fans , etc, will pull against the nat. draft effect of the heater. If you have any windows in the same room as the heater. Open a window & try using the heater
I'm not sure what you mean? So I took a pic of the stove(if that even helps?)

I've tried opening the window and windows as well as the doors. One time it started to vent normally (as in up not down) but then changed and my house filled with smoke! Check the pic
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:31 PM   #4
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Down draft issues - woodstove


Is that a damper on the pipe attached to the wood stove? Is that pipe clean? Sometimes creosote will build up on a damper and plug the pipe.
Is there a cleanout tee after the pipe goes through the wall and makes the turn to the roof? If yes see if it is clean if no you need to install one with a removable cap for cleaning.
Is the cap on the top designed for the material you are burning it may not be correct to naturally vent off the flue gases.

When i had a wood stove i had to light news paper in the burner box to start a natural draft because the all fuel pipe when not burning gets really cold and has a tendency to smoke before the fire gets hot enough to start the natural rise of heat (draft) through it. (when its cold air drops)

there is also problems later on when the wood started to burn out and the flue started to get cold again it would loose the natural draft and cause the stove to start smoking and smelling in the house.

You may need to install a draft inducer if you don't continually feed the box with fuel.

Another thing i had to do was install a make up air pipe next to my oil burner. I noticed when the burner would fire it requires make-up air and it gets it from where ever it can and down that flue was the easiest path.
I hope some of these ideas help you.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:46 AM   #5
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Down draft issues - woodstove


From the pics, its high enough. As above, are you sure your damper is staying open?

Since that flue length outside is so long, it takes a lot of heat to start and keep the draft up. Once draft is established, don't throttle the heat down. See if it maintains draft then.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:06 AM   #6
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Beenthere makes a very good point, as all your stack is outside it will cool down so quickly when the fire get lower, this would demand constant tending, I bet if you insulated the part from the point it exits the house to the underside of the eave it would improve dramatically.

This would be a bigger job than you may want to do, but I would think it would sure help if not cure the problem.

Box in the riser, insulate and add siding, I don't know if power venting is even an option.

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Old 04-04-2011, 07:14 PM   #7
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Down draft issues - woodstove


I've tried burning a chunk of cardboard as it gets hot quickly to start the up draft but no luck I've even put a small electric heater inside the stove for 30 mins on high to see if that would work but it didn't.

I had a chimney sweep here to clean thinking it was dirty/clogged but it was virtually spotless. He actually only charged me for half as it was so clean.

Is it possible the trees to the west/right (in pic#1) are causing a down wind that hits the chimney causing the down draft? Wind comes from that side.

And in pic#2 I labelled what somethings are on my stove to clarify.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:42 PM   #8
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Down draft issues - woodstove


Try removing the cap temporarily and see if that resolves the smoke.
You may need a different type cap.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:45 PM   #9
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I'll bet it will work fine when it warms up outside, there is just too much surface area to heat up on that flue before it starts to draft.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:10 PM   #10
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Down draft issues - woodstove


Jack--you are right, i had the same problem, but removing the cap and trying it may work.
If he is lighting cardboard and not actually putting the cardboard or paper directly in the flue pipe where it connects to the furnace, you have to reach in and stuff the flue or it won't work to create a natural draft.
I sometimes had to use almost a whole news paper before it would start drafting good.

My pipe was 6 inch dia. And about 20 feet high (colonial house with wood stove in the basement)

then the other problem is when the fire starts to die out and the cold starts to drop in the pipe the same problem occurs.
Constant feed after it lights is necessary
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:13 PM   #11
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Down draft issues - woodstove


Quote:
Originally Posted by Artco View Post
Jack--you are right, i had the same problem, but removing the cap and trying it may work.
If he is lighting cardboard and not actually putting the cardboard or paper directly in the flue pipe where it connects to the furnace, you have to reach in and stuff the flue or it won't work to create a natural draft.
I sometimes had to use almost a whole news paper before it would start drafting good.

My pipe was 6 inch dia. And about 20 feet high (colonial house with wood stove in the basement)

then the other problem is when the fire starts to die out and the cold starts to drop in the pipe the same problem occurs.
Constant feed after it lights is necessary
Is your flue completely exposed as the depicted is?
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:18 PM   #12
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Down draft issues - woodstove


It was and then i built a room and part of the pipe was then inside and it did help a little but the slight smoke and odor was always there. I finally got discusted and put in a pellet stove and that worked.
I know the frustration he is going thru.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:30 PM   #13
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Down draft issues - woodstove


Yes, years ago I had a stove, but it was a ranch style home with the flue encased in stone, once the draft was started it would remain, until almost the very end, then the smell of the fire box would drift in, not bad, but you could smell it.

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Old 04-04-2011, 08:38 PM   #14
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An electric heater won't make enough heat to warm that chimney up.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:44 PM   #15
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10/4, he needs to pack the pipe with paper light it, and get a quick fire going.
A wood stove like this can never be lit if you plan on going out for a long time because when it starts to burn out --same problem comes back.

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