Draft Problem with fireplace woodstove insert.

New Brunswick, Canada   

Having problems maintaining a good fire.

Stays burning if I leave the door cracked open slightly. As soon as I close the door it dies out! Also each time I open the door to add a piece of wood it back drafts big time!

I removed the cap from the chimney and this has allowed me to now close the door and maintain a decent fire, however still have the issue with back drafts each time I open the door!

Wondering if I may possibly need to extend my chimney height? This is a new woodstove insert along with new stainless steel liner recently installed.


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by ChimneyChick | October 28, 2015 ChimneyChick's avatar
Midland, Ontario

Sounds like you need some Make Up Air introduced to the insert.
A few questions…
1/ is it in the basement? negative pressure zone, harder to light a fire
2/ is your make and model of insert able to accept an outside air source?
3/ is the chimney cap screened and clogged??
4/ are you near the coast?? sometimes winds can affect the drafting of a fireplace or stove or insert.

several simple questions, you should ask your installer and then call a Certified Sweep in your area to investigate. http://www.wettinc.ca will find you one

by 2020 | October 28, 2015
Santa Fe, New Mexico

No contractor worth his/her salt, certified or not, would install a new insert and stainless steel liner and leave you with a stove that backpuffs.  Check with the installer to make sure the liner diameter is correct for the stove requirements. They should have performed a simple draft test before handing you the bill.  And the system should draft WITH the cap. You could be right about the chimney height, as well.  And perhaps the liner should have been insulated.  Then, there’s always your wood.  Is it seasoned and dry? (Cut, split, and stacked for at least six months?)

by Tim Howell | October 29, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland

Assuming the liner is the correct size and has been installed properly, the chimney height may be an issue. The rule of thumb for chimney height in relation to home/roof, is called the 3-2-10 rule. The rule states that chimney must terminate at least 3’ of roofline, where the chimney passes through the roof, and 2’ above anything within 10’ that is combustible, i.e. asphalt shingles, wood soffits. So if the chimney does not meet these requirements it can reduce the draw that the chimney can have. Adjacent structures and foliage may be contributing to the problem as well. If there are very tall trees or homes surrounding the chimney, that can reduce air flow. Another issue may be the path of the prevailing winds around home which may be blocked by any of the above mentioned possibilities.

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