Woodstove smoke issues

NC, United States   

Pipe joint leak

I bought a new wood stove and new chimney liner fall 2013, burned it all winter, and it worked beautifully.

Starting it up again this past October, it was smoking into the house pretty bad, even with the damper fully open, but was bearable at first. I had the chimney checked out and cleaned in November (knocked a bunch of pine needles out, but otherwise it was fine), and that seemed to help for two or three weeks, but it still wasn’t performing like last year.

It’s gotten so bad now that I can’t use the stove at all.

I can start a fire and get it really well established(albeit smoky) as long as the door is open, but the fire dies within 15-20 seconds of my closing the stove door. Damper seems to have no effect on this (in October, once a fire was a couple hours underway, the damper seemed to affect the air flow, but I can’t get the stove to that point anymore).

I’ve tried preheating the stove with paper and firestarters, I’ve used those EnviroLogs,

I’ve had flames shooting out the door…

And nothing, as soon as the door is closed.

And when I open the door to try to restart the fire, the smoke pouring out is unbearable and fills my living room. The only thing that has changed about the houses insulation/various air flow devices was a new heat pump put in at the other end of the house. (Large sq. footage so two heat pumps, as well as high ceilings and lots of windows.)

We see smoke coming out the chimney, so there’s some air flow apparently.

Only other clue is increased smoke leakage around the joint of my stove to the pipe. (I have about 18” of horizontal pipe before the chimney elbow.)

Any ideas? I’m leaning toward faulty damper, except for the increased smoke leakage around the pipe join,

After getting past the damper. I’ve pulled the stove out and see no blockage, at least up to the elbow.

I’m at a loss, and Cold!


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by ChimneyChick | February 27, 2015 ChimneyChick's avatar
Midland, Ontario

Hello North Carolina
try removing all the top baffle bricks in the stove and and insulation blanket so that you have a direct opening from firebox to chimney and see if that helps.
If that works then you know it is not the chimney but the stove that is the issue.

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