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Seeking advice on EPA wood stove use

U&A

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Oh, and your stove pipe is also upside down.
You guys and you eye balls catching this stuff.

Gee wizz.


O.P.

If you’re not sure exactly how to make one find somebody in your area that’s willing to let you check out their stove. Take lots and lots of pictures take a notepad and sketch it up with dimensions. Will not be that hard..


Or simply go to a dealer and look at them. It’s literally a steel box with some sheet metal on the outside to make it look pretty provide an air gap.



Sent while firmly grasping my redline lubed RAM
 
EastoutWest

EastoutWest

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@woodfarmer , i took those curtains down. Good call. They had some mold so I was drying them but then never took them down till now. As far as clearance to combustibles; clearance to the bamboo flooring isn't up to manufacturer specs. Would need to move the stove, put down something over the tile, cover with a fire board then put the stove back. I don't think it's technically far enough from the chimney either. Small house. Been trying to improve some of the shoddy things/work that came with the house over time.

What do you mean the stove pipe is upside down? The riser out of the flue? The lip that currently butts up to the elbow should be on the stove side?
 
woodfarmer

woodfarmer

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The crimped end points down so that creosote drains into the stove. Have you ever seen pictures where it runs down the outside of the pipe?
I’m a wood stove inspector so I tend to notice those types of things...job hazard.
 
EastoutWest

EastoutWest

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The crimped end points down so that creosote drains into the stove. Have you ever seen pictures where it runs down the outside of the pipe?
I’m a wood stove inspector so I tend to notice those types of things...job hazard.
Thank you for your insight! I'll flip it in the morning when I open it up to clean.
 

sb47

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Thank you for your insight! I'll flip it in the morning when I open it up to clean.
Make sure you clean the holes in the secondary re burner and use a high pressure air to blow out the soot that may have built up over the years. It might improve the air flow. If you don't have an air compressor, you can use a shop vac and put the hose on the exhaust side and use it as a blower. If it's bolted on instead of welded on, I would put some good penetrating oil on the bolts and see if you can remove it for a proper cleaning. Small restrictions in several locations can add up to have a drafting issue witch I suspect it's the biggest issue your having. The less bends in the stove pipe will improve the draft and a taller stack will also help for better drafting. Also try opening a window when you open the door so the outside air can be drawn in from out side and go up the pipe.
If the house is air tight, the draft can't pull air in from the intake and cause a vacuum pressure in the house. But old homes are generally not air tight, but it would be an easy test to do.
 

sb47

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Take note of the wind direction and wind speed when you open the door to load more wood. If it's windy it may be pushing the air in reverse back down the pipe and reversing your air flow. The smoke is going to follow the least path of resistance. You might try a temporary wind shield on the primary wind direction side on the top of the stack. Just a simple piece of aluminum foil on one side of the output at the top of the stack, might help, then again it may not make any difference, but it would be an easy test.
Stuff some aluminum foil in the intake holes to see if you can restrict some of the the intake holes and see if it slows the burn time down. Again another easy test. Leave the pipe damper fully open and see if it works better restricting the intake vs the exhaust damper.
Like I said earlier my stove has no pipe damper, only an intake damper, and I can adjust it down till the fire goes out. A good cleaning and a few cheap test may tell you all you need to know before you spend money doing more expensive mods. that may not work.
 

sb47

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If a hotter fire makes less smoke come out the door, try slowly opening the door and throw in some small pieces of wood in and close the door and wait a bit till the temp rises enough so get a better draft, then you can open it up and load in more wood.
 
EastoutWest

EastoutWest

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@woodfarmer and @sb47 , Thanks for your attention and support. This stove doesn't have pipes with holes for secondary burn. Instead it is this weird baffle thing:


Installed, it looks like this:

It is warped so I put a scrap piece of stainless pipe on the left side to lift it to somewhat even:

I removed it for the first time today and there was a fair amount of white ash in it. I'm wondering how removing it altogether would improve my draft but also maybe reduce the stove's efficiency. With this baffle removed there is another small baffle just below the pipe outlet:


Would it be a bad idea to use the stove without the big warped baffle installed?

Also, the janky flue damper I mentioned before is even more janky than I remembered. Bolts in the collar make it confusing. If I install the damper with one side below a bolt (how it was), it will open completely but not close completely:

"Closed":

If I install the damper on top of the bolts, it won't move at all but is completely closed so clearly, this isn't how it's supposed to go:

I don't get it. Is my "closed" photo above really as closed as it's supposed to be? Or is this the wrong damper for this collar?
 

sb47

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It a shame the stove doesn't have an intake damper cause that fluke damper looks restricting even when wide open. I would think about fabricating some kind of intake damper and remove the fluke damper and not use it.
My stove has about a 2''x2 1/2'' rectangle hole at the bottom located at the back with a simple mechanical cover made of sheet metal that works off a lever from the front. It goes up the back of the stove on the inside and feed air to the catalyst at the top of the stove. The catalyst in my stove has 1/4'' holes in it with a slit at the front above the door. Air comes in from under the back on the bottom, then up a channel the the catalyst and washes down the door in the front. No pipe damper at all. I can shut the intake damper and make the fire go completely out.I can easily adjust burn rate just by adjusting the one intake damper. It's very simple but works real good. My pipe is strait up from stove all the way to the top with no bends. I have about 4 and a half feet to the ceiling then about 8 feet double wall stainless on the roof. My whole pipe is only about 12 feet long. I open the damper all the way before I slowly open the door. I get very little smoke coming out the door. If I have just coals, I get no smoke at all coming out the door.
I later moved the stove about a foot closer the the wall so I had to put a 1 foot 90* turn at the top near the ceiling and that did make some difference in how well it drafts but even with that turn in the pipe it still works fine.
I tried a pipe damper once and the heat melted the little bar that holds it in and it warped to the point I couldn't move it, so I took it out and don't use one at all anymore.
I would be looking at fabricating an intake baffle of some kind and removing the one in the pipe. You need some way of controlling air flow so you don't have a run away stove that you can't shut down.

Are those slots above the door the intake? If they are I would try removing the damper and stuffing aluminum foil in the slots and try adjusting it by adding or removing the foil on one or two of the slots. If that works, I would then try welding some kind of channel for a strip of sheet metal to slide across the holes to adjust the intake. But that seems like a lot of air slots for intake air. My stove only has one and it's only about 2''x 2 and a half inches so it's way smaller the all those slots added up together on your stove.

I have no idea why they built a stove without an intake damper at all. Seems odd.
 

sb47

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My whole intake slot is no bigger then 2 of those slots on the front of your stove put together. At night I close the lever on my damper and it has a very small slot that sips air. The slot is so small it's almost just a crack rather then a open slot.Wide open it's only about 2x2 inch square and it gets plenty of air in just that small area.
 

sb47

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While you have the baffle out you might try drilling a few small holes in it and re install it and see how it works.
You could leave it out and try a small fire to see what happens. You can always put the baffle back in and weld up the holes if there is no improvement or a problem of some kind. Just make sure you have some way to shut it down.
 
EastoutWest

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I have no idea why they built a stove without an intake damper at all. Seems odd.
I agree wholeheartedly. When I've got small pieces of good wood in there, the entire firebox is plasma flame and "closing" the flue damper does very little to slow it down. So the only consistent way to control the fire temp is with perfectly sized pieces of wood (of course that is difficult because moisture content and species plays a huge role in burn rate for a given size of wood). I like your idea to fabricate a sliding intake damper and eliminate the flue damper.

I tested a paper grocery bag in there without the big baffle in place. It drafted great with the door open but the flames went out the flue. Doesn't seem safe to run it without the baffle. But that pretty much confirms my theory that the draft problem is probably more of a stove design issue than chimney.
 
EastoutWest

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BTW, in the past, opening a door has done nothing to improve the billowing smoke.

Drilling holes in the baffle is an interesting idea. I may do that. And maybe try to un-warp it a bit while I'm at it.
 

sb47

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I agree wholeheartedly. When I've got small pieces of good wood in there, the entire firebox is plasma flame and "closing" the flue damper does very little to slow it down. So the only consistent way to control the fire temp is with perfectly sized pieces of wood (of course that is difficult because moisture content and species plays a huge role in burn rate for a given size of wood). I like your idea to fabricate a sliding intake damper and eliminate the flue damper.

I tested a paper grocery bag in there without the big baffle in place. It drafted great with the door open but the flames went out the flue. Doesn't seem safe to run it without the baffle. But that pretty much confirms my theory that the draft problem is probably more of a stove design issue than chimney.

Then try drilling some holes in the baffle and run it with the baffle installed. It will block flames from going up the chimney and may increase air flow. If it doesn't work, just weld up the holes and you would be back to square one. no harm no foul.
 

sb47

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My baffle has rows of 1/8th inch holes in it about 2'' apart and the rest washes out a slot in front of the top of the door. There are about 5 rows of holes about 2'' apart. The holes seem to help the secondary burn by giving it just a little air across the top, the rest washes the door.
 

sb47

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When I open the intake before opening the door I give it a few min for heat to build up in the pipe to improve draft before I open the door. You might try that, give the pipe a chance to heat up and create more draft before you open the door.
 

sb47

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I had to come back in because I wanted to worn you that if you haven cleaned the pipe in a while you may have some creosote build up and if fire gets up the pipe you could end up with a chemistry fire, witch can be scary and depending on how old the pipes are you may cause damage by overheating them. Or worse if there is a leak it the pipe you set the house on fire. So use caution ether way. Experiment but use caution and stay safe.:)
 
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