Outdoor fireplace is not drawing smoke

Old 01-09-14, 07:53 PM
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Outdoor fireplace is not drawing smoke

We have an outdoor fireplace, and its not drawing the smoke. The firebox is 32" across and 22" high. Its 18" deep. Its 36" up to where the flue starts. It does not have an arching back. We've put in some metal sheeting to create some tapering on the sides up to the flue stack. The total height from the bottom of the firebox to the top of the flue stack is 8' 4". The flue is 10 1/2" by 10 1/2" without any metal liner.

I have a few ideas on how to make it better, but would like your opinion:

1.) make the flue stack higher -- perhaps up to 12'.

2.) taper the sides in the firebox with new fire bricks so its angled inward.

3.) put more sheet metal from the top of the firebox to the bottom of the flue stack, so all of the smoke is angled toward the flue.

4.) put a metal pipe in the 10.5" x 10.5" flue.

Already Tried:

1.) Already extended the height of the chimney by ~2 feet.

2.) Put the metal sheeting in at an angle to get the smoke to go toward the flue.

3.) Lowered the height of the firebox by ~4".

Here are a few pictures (sorry some are sideways):

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Inside metal sheeting to bottom of flue
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Side view
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Top of flue looking down
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Flue opening
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Old 01-09-14, 08:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
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You are on the right track with feeding the air smoothly into the flue. That flat area with a hole in it makes it difficult for the air to enter. Warm air does not get pulled up the chimney as we have always been taught. But the surrounding colder air creates a pressure that pushes the warm air up. Imagine pointing a fan at the bottom of that flue and the turbulence that would result.

The next step is to warm up the chimney so it isn't filled with heavy cold air. Being a masonry chimney that will take time. A metal insert would respond faster.

Some doors on the front might be an option, to be able to limit the options for the warm air. Once you get it flowing and the chimney warms up then it should be able to continue with doors open.


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