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Taller pot: solution?

Discussion in 'Roofing and Guttering' started by amfisted, 10 Nov 2019.

  1. amfisted

    amfisted

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    Hi All

    We had a multifuel (DEFRA exempt) stove fitted in our lounge in 2016. Since then we've used it quite happily and without any obvious problems, until a few days ago when a neighbour informed me that smoke was drifting from our chimney and entering his house through open windows. My first instinct was to tell him to shut the windows, but instead I promised that I would seek a solution.

    We had a new pot fitted when the stove was installed, and it has a bird guard "cage" device on the top. I reckon the pot is about 300mm in height excluding the guard, though I haven't actually measured it. We live in a bungalow on a steep hill, and our neighbour's windows ( he is next door and downhill from our property) are about 25 feet or so below the level of the pot, perhaps slightly more.

    A couple of builders have informed me that a taller pot would take the smoke away more efficiently. Is that likely to be sound advice? I don't want to spend money having a taller pot fitted if it won't solve the problem. I suppose a cheaper option would be to burn smokeless coal instead of wood, but I do like a log fire.

    The location we live in is pretty windy, and to my mind the problem probably only occurs when the air is still.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    amfisted, good evening.

    An off the wall thought???

    How many other properties around you, especially "below" your complaining neighbour have log / coal burning devices?

    In still air I would have imagined that Flue gas would "tend" to rise?? warm / hot air rises??

    When did the "complaint" from your neighbour occur? given that you have been using your device from 2016 ?

    Is this the first time in 4 years of use that your neighbour has "complained"?

    Ken.
     
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  3. amfisted

    amfisted

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    Hi Ken, to answer your questions:

    There are 2 or 3 properties with stoves within a radius of 200m or so, but without checking I don’t think they use their fires regularly. There are no properties above our level, so the others with stoves are below us.

    I’m similarly confused about the downward movement of the hot gases, but the neighbours are decent people and I tend to believe that their account of what’s happening is truthful. He told me about 2 weeks ago that it’s been happening since the stove was first put in, so I don’t know why the issue has been raised at this point in time, and not before. Presumably it’s not a particularly serious ingress of smoke, not least because he did say something along the lines of “if it’s going to cost loads to fix it, don’t bother”.

    However, I feel obliged to make some sort of effort to rectify the problem.
     
  4. Leofric

    Leofric

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    - and how much taller do they think the pot would need to be to solve the problem :?::!:
     
  5. amfisted

    amfisted

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    Hopefully one of those builders will be coming to have a look at the situation half an hour from now, at around 930am, so I might have an answer for you then. :D
     
  6. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    A slightly higher pot won't make any difference, but a Rotorvent type cowl from Colt or whatever could help.....very much trial by experimentation I'm afraid!
    John :)
     
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  7. amfisted

    amfisted

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    The builder said more or less the same thing, John. He’s talking about a 300cm pot with the bird guard/cowl on top,and said it would slightly improve the chimney “draw”, but because of the wind conditions here and the limited opportunities for raising the flue due to this being a bungalow,it might not solve the problem of smoke drifting downwards towards my neighbour. Gonna have to consider my options, one of which is “change to coal”.
     
  8. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Hmm not the best outcome, unfortunately.....Im surprised that you dont suffer from down draught yourselves, on occasion.
    Anyway, the best fuel for stoves is called smokeless ovoids....used with timber they dont flare much at all due to the very low bitumen content but the heat output is high and the smoke volume low.
    Worth a try!
    John :)
     
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  9. amfisted

    amfisted

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    Well, my missus has been banging on about changing to coal for quite some time, so now might be a good moment to reassess our burning options.

    Thanks again all for your responses. (y)
     
  10. scbk

    scbk

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    I'm not an expert on weather etc.
    But I've defiantly seen it, on a still/cold/damp afternoon, the smoke from the fire will go up and then come back down following the hillside.

    Visible smoke is always worse when first lighting the fire, or if it's not burning hot enough, or the wood is wet.

    Changing to coal won't really make the problem go away, just means it will be coal smoke instead of wood smoke
     
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  11. amfisted

    amfisted

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    We do make a point of buying dry, well seasoned wood, though I find kiln dried logs rather too expensive for regular use.

    Does smokeless coal produce as much smoke as wood logs?
     
  12. lostinthelight

    lostinthelight

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    Last edited: 11 Nov 2019 at 7:08 PM
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  13. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    I agree, if downdraught is an issue smoke comes out of the pot and then ‘crawls’ back down the roof.
    Hotter fires help, and smokeless fuel is pretty close to its name...its all you can do. Cowls are available which may help the household using the wood stove, but wont affect others!
    John :)
     
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  14. lostinthelight

    lostinthelight

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    In days of open fires when most of the heat went up the chimney with plenty of oomph the smoke had a good start at getting away but now with very efficient appliances the gasses are a lot cooler so more likely to be affected by downdraft.
     
  15. Leofric

    Leofric

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    Can you get a turbo charged flue and blast the smoke up out of the chimney :?::D
     
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