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 Post subject: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 11, 2016 10:57 pm 
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holy cow i see all these topics i've never seen before so please redirect if needed...

i'm almost at wit's end in getting heat from my wood stove. it's in the basement, but it's a walkout basement w/ a doggy door open mostly fulltime (don't tell any wannabe burglars). i realize smokey starts are common in our area, but is there a way to circumvent the problem, considering it's not TOTALLY a basement?

i hav now taped the chimney joints since it's a very old setup - helped tremendously!! then taped the plate btw the chimney and stove. now see i need to tape the last joint - btw the chimney pipe and the stove (plate into the stove). details, details, ....

anyhow, not so sure this will be the cure-all, even tho i've recently raised the horizontal plane to the incline vs the decline it had settled into. should i now plan on starting when there is plenty of time to desmoke the basement, and ensure i never add wood if not a totally HOT coalbed going? i've had great warm times, and desperate smoky times (smoke & CO monitors needing to be disabled) trying to get heat going. all-electric baseboard heat is NOT the way to go when you're in-between jobs!! any ideas very welcome!!


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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 12, 2016 12:04 am 
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mtnhsmama, Cold air falls and hot air rises. Your starting a fire which inherently will put off smoke and the cold air coming down your stove pipe is pushing that smoke back in the house. You have to heat up your chimney pipe so you reverse the flow of the air. You can make a torch out of some newspaper and light it and hold it as close to the inside of your stove pipe opening for a minute or two to heat up the air in the stove pipe and then light you fire, it should minimize smoke. Even better is a little Bernz o Matic propane torch, light that and hold the up the pipe for a couple of minutes to heat the air and then start your fire. The propane torch is better because it won't give off any smoke like the newspaper would.


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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 12, 2016 10:21 am 
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i had the same issue due to the amount of draw the air needed to rise on the outside of the house (as explained by last light)? code requires to be above roof line and i ended up taking everything down selling the lopi wood burning stove and installing a pellet stove. this greatly simplified where the chimney could be located which only requires a 24" separation from the exit of the pipe and exterior wall...


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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 12, 2016 10:54 am 
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Both are good advice above. Our fireplace did the same thing and we had the chase extended a couple of feet and that took care of it. It was expensive but fixed the problem.

zcchopper is right also - a pellet stove doesn't need that.

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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 12, 2016 11:06 am 
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don't play around with this stuff, get it serviced by someone who knows how to service it.


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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 12, 2016 11:36 am 
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How many bends are in the flue system? When was the last time it was swept? Do you have an issue with wind requiring a high wind cap (I do in Bailey, on the top of a mountain)? Have you always has this smoke issue and if so, how long have you lived there?

Flue gas exhausting can be complex, as there are a lot of variables such as the ones I mentioned


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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 13, 2016 1:24 am 
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thx all for some ideas. there are 2 90-degree bends, one being outside. i've thought it'd b great if i could lite a little bonfire under the outside bend, but that may ruin the sweep/ash access. not to mention being a cold, dangerous proposition. the chimney is to code as far as the cap and the distance above roof.

yes wind is an issue. i'm in my own little vortex here, and i've seen much poofing in-house on gusty days. i need to look into a high wind cap - didn't kno that existed - since this new cap hasn't shown any improvements.

i'm into my 3rd year here, and now that i have stockpiled a good amount of wood (my new obsession!), i'm trying to use my wood-heat option more. my first attempts were dismal since i've never dealt w/ a basement stove, and now that i have wood to play w/, so to speak, i've taken a scientific turn to pinpoint the problem. and very glad i hav a place to sleep upstairs when it's too 'polluted' in the basement. interestingly - after the smoke is cleared out, that's when the CO monitor likes to go off. so yes, in the interest of waking up in the morning vs taking the long nap, i've spent a few nites upstairs! ;-)

i like the idea of a heater into the chimney access. it was suggested doing that w/ a hair blowdryer, but this is a cast iron stove and it'd take forever to warm up. i'll look into a propane 'torch', as that's what it will take to warm up the cold mass that has sunk into the outside bend. i've had minimal success w/ liting newspaper swabs in the stove-to-chimney play, but smoke and ashes are an issue there.

a pellet stove is not an option, at least not now. i need to have heating options should the power go out (all electric house), and a cast iron stove also offers a cooking surface.

as far as maintenance, yes i've had the chimney swept w/in the year, which was a waste of time/money other than the huge peace-of-mind aspect, since there was little prior usage (not much wood accumulation at the time). so all's good there. it's simply a matter of below-surface placement. it acts like there's a blockage, but w/ the new cap in place and the fact that lotsa smoke escapes thru the chimney even w/ the in-house smoking, it's simply a matter of cold air density vs warm air power at startup. i see a propane (or sumpn) torch w/ my name on it very soon!

thx again for the suggestions!


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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 13, 2016 12:10 pm 
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The two 90* bends can be an issue. The way I did mine, is I came out of my stove, into a 45 and into another 45 after having drafting issues with one 90. I also have one outside in the cleanout tee. If that doesn't work, you can add another section of triple wall to the stack to increase draft. The rule is, the top of the stack needs to be 2ft higher than the anything within 10ft of stack including the roof. I should add another piece of pipe to mine, but it's so close I don't worry about it and it drafts great with this cap http://www.luxurymetals.com/wind_direct ... fgodkMUEbg

If that cap doesn't help, you can load your newspaper and kindling (or whatever you use to light it initially) into the stove, then take a crumpled up piece of newspaper and stick it in the stove next to the flue pipe and light it. This puts heat directly into the pipe rather than depending on a good draft to heat the pipe, and starts the draft manually so to speak. When the draft is good, you should hear it, it will sound a lot like a blow torch. Then light your base of newspaper and kindling and it should take off without the smoke spillout.

Just FYI, CO is lighter than O2, and will be upstairs just as it is downstairs

One other question I didn't ask, how long is your stack? Needs to be at least 20ft on the exterior and be triple wall. Also, how big is you flue pipe, 6" or 8"?

My stove is also in the basement and I have 21ft of pipe OUTSIDE

Would it be too much trouble to take some pics of the things I've talked about?


PS I think wood collecting becomes every wood burners obsession, LOL


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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 13, 2016 12:27 pm 
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Gods Country wrote:
Just FYI, CO is lighter than O2, and will be upstairs just as it is downstairs


I have a comment on the above. Although CO is only very slightly lighter than air, I believe the bigger issue is the density of warm vs. cold air. As the wood stove is burning, the CO will rise with the corresponding warm air. Although it will eventually diffuse with the surrounding air, it will concentrate in the warmer air from the wood stove...whether that's upstairs or downstairs. Just something to consider when mounting your CO detector.


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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 13, 2016 1:31 pm 
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Would love to know if you get it fixed as I have the same issue with my wood stove, 2-90 degree elbows, one inside the house and one outside just as yours. I don't use mine much so I don't try to play with it.
I do have a pellet stove I could replace it with but, like you mentioned, it will not work without electricity. I'll be watching this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 13, 2016 1:47 pm 
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thx GC for the link. very interesting - never seen anything like it before. i've also wondered about a couple 45-degree spots, but that would mean a new hole in the wall, etc. i also think my chimney could b higher, as it's not above the peak of the roof, but was told it's code by the experts.

yes i get a decent roar at times from my inefficient fireplace, so i'm thinking a taller chimney will help lots for the basement stove. both chimneys are 8", and my stove piping is triple-walled i believe, since it never gets above 180-degree on the surface.

i do hav some pix, but i'll need to research to see how to load them for a post. i'd like to see how your 45's work?

as for the CO, i've only played w/ the stove recently (since it got colder) when i'm home for hours, and able to keep it warm overnite to prevent any surprises. i've succeeded in keeping the smoke in the baseemnt, i.e. the smoke alarm upstairs isn't going off. but i really should get another CO monitor for upstairs instead of moving the basement unit around.

nothingbutdarts, it's awesome when it's working, but rite now it's WAY too much work/effort and possible health danger. i'll work in the ideas and welcome getting more use out of it again!


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 Post subject: Re: basement woodstove
Post Posted: Dec 13, 2016 2:16 pm 
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Every house exchanges its air every x hours. At the top of the house it exhales as that is where the pressure is highest. At the bottom it inhales air because that is the low pressure zone. Making the house more airtight at the top or letting more air in lower down could effect your problem.

Here is something to try. On a windless day crack a door open and hold a lighter to the crack. Run the lighter up and down. At the top the flame will bend out, at the bottom the flame will bend in. Where it changes direction is where the house changes from inhaling to exhaling.

Try to move that point to below the stove. that can be very difficult in the basement.

I am sure there are clearer explanations. Try "stack effect" to find them.

For wind problems.
http://www.chimneycaps.com/Final%20imag ... shoot.pdfF

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Last edited by Blazer Bob on Dec 13, 2016 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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