Something to keep the heat inside the pipe longer

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Old 02-04-14, 05:11 AM
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Something to keep the heat inside the pipe longer

Hi everyone,

So I've about had it up to here with the downstairs stove pipe. Every morning when I wake up I have to get the fire going again and smoke fills the entire house. Not only is that not healthy but I don't care for going out smelling like a smokehouse. So I need some help. The problem is that the single walled pipe I have going from the stove to the outside cools before I can wake up and put some more wood in there. Is there anything I can do to keep that pipe warm longer? I shut off all the dampers except for the pipe damper so that the wood doesn't burn up as fast but that doesn't work. I turn off the blower to keep the heat in the stove longer but that doesn't always work.

When I go to start the stove I always open a window downstairs in order to combat the cross-draft. Depending on how cold that blasted pipe is this will only work about 50% of the time.

The temps outside are around 20's at night right now with the occasional 15.

Please help. Not only is this infuriating but its also how I have to dry my cloths now since my drier went down so now I get the lovely scent of burned wood on ALL my clothes.
 
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Old 02-04-14, 05:17 AM
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Does your stove pipe go out the wall or up thru the roof?

Is the fire completely out when you get up in the morning? My wood stove has a good size fire box so my fire doesn't go out over night. I rarely get smoke in the house although I do have a masonry chimney that I clean most every month. Would it be a big inconvenience to get up in the middle of the night to throw a few logs in the stove?
 
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Old 02-04-14, 05:32 AM
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Opening a window is a temporary patch and not a real solution, but right now any fix is what you need.

The lower the opening the better, even if it is a basement window. The more the opening functions as a source of infiltration the more pressure it will put on the fireplace to be a location for exfiltration.

As for keeping the chimney warmer, a double walled or a high mass chimney would help. Also, keeping the fire going longer, been there done that. I always selected a large round piece of wood, even some that were not fully dry. Be sure there is a good bed of coals and don't clean out all of the ash. In fact a lot of ash in the bottom will keep some coals going for many extra hours.

The down side to a poor draft in a fireplace or wood stove is the potential for CO backdrafting into the house so ultimately you will want a long term fix.

Bud
 
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Old 02-04-14, 06:46 AM
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Could you not start in the morning by lighting a small roll of newspaper and sticking it in the hole for the pipe and thus heating it up. Would be similar to starting any fireplace from cold scratch. First thing is to heat the flue. If you are just stuffing the box with wood it will smoke first before it catches.
 
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Old 02-04-14, 09:42 AM
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Thank you for the responses.

@czizzi - I tried that but normally the downdraft is blows the flame onto my hand or just blows it out.

@bud - Thanks, I'd been wondering if a double wall pipe would stay warmer longer. As for the ash I normally clean it out in the morning so maybe I'll wait until mid day or so. I did a search for a high mass chimney but didn't see any results. Could you explain that? Also, what were some of the long term solutions that you said needed to be done?

@marksr - The stovepipe goes out through the wall so it goes straight up for about 4 feet or so then 90degree and another 3 -4Ft into the wall. The fire is completely out in that the only thing left are ashes which when the door is opened I'm able to get to turn into a few coals which I try to light the next fire with. And to show my complete lack of knowledge - by firebox did you mean the stove itself which I put wood in? If so, then the stove is about 4 feet deep and maybe 2 - 2 1/2 ft wide. Getting up in the middle of the night wouldn't be a problem, if I woke up in the middle of the night. Normally I don't wake up until the alarm goes off. I'm afraid if I set an alarm for the middle of the night that smoke in the house because of the fireplace might be the least of my worries with my wife next to me.
 
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Old 02-04-14, 12:52 PM
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A high mass chimney would be a masonry chimney.

A double wall insulates the chimney from any combustibles, but would also stay a little warmer. But that will not help much if the fire goes out.

I usually remove only some of the ash every 3 or 4 days. When I start a fire I push the ashes to each side to use the height to keep my first pieces of wood off of the bottom. Helps to provide air down low. But the deep ash will hold more of those coals you dig out and provide some slow heat.

But yours sounds like it is getting very cold. Is this an air tight stove that uses very little air?

If this stove has an air source, when you fill it for the night, place a round log in front of the air source to block the inflow of air. You will need to play with this so as to not put the fire out, but it can limit the fire and hold the wood longer.

I'm lazy, so when starting mine I slice off a 1" piece of those fire logs, stack my wood and light the fire log disc and close the door. Mine is an inside masonry chimney that drafts very well so not worried about a backdraft.

If you have a window fan you can try setting it to blow cold air into the house and then test to see if that is forcing the chimney to draft out. If it drafts properly that might keep the smoke going the right way long enough to warm the chimney, then turn the fan off of course. They do make fans for the top of the chimney to guarantee a positive draft.

Bud
 
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Old 02-04-14, 01:19 PM
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The stove has 3 different air sources. I can completely shut off 2 of them. Those are the slits on the side of the stove that allows air to come in. I only open those when I am trying to get the fire going, otherwise they stay closed. The third is the damper on the stove itself. I can close that but it was designed to allow about 2/3" or so of an opening that will still allow smoke to exit...when the draft is going up.

I will definitely have to look into the fan that makes positive up draft.
 
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Old 02-04-14, 02:10 PM
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It sounds like the firebox on your stove is close to the size of mine. I rarely have a problem with all the wood burning up during the night. I do close the damper on the stove so it burns slow. I don't have one on the stove pipe. A slow burn does mean you need to clean the chimney more often. You might try sticking bigger sized logs in the stove before you go to bed.
 
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Old 02-16-14, 12:49 PM
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Propane torch aimed into woodstove toward flue. No smoke, lots of heat.
 
 

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