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Woodburner Draw

Discussion in 'General DIY' started by subzero, 21 Jan 2020.

  1. subzero

    subzero

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    Posting this here as there doesn't seem to be a category for stoves and chimneys.

    We have a Charnwood Country 4 woodburner connected to a flexible liner, installed by a HETAS chap a few years back. Always worked perfectly. Until recently, when we noticed that it's not drawing like it used to. Once a fire has been started, normally you can leave the door very slightly ajar to increase the initial burn, but instead smoke just floods out now.

    This would seem to indicate a problem in the flue.

    We swept the liner, and cleared about 2 ashpans worth of debris. This made no difference the problem.

    Any suggestions what to look at next?

    Thanks in advance
     
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  3. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Or it could be a problem with the supply of air into the room where the stove is to replace the air that is drawn up the flue.

    Has the room been altered in any way that would reduce the air flow into the room ?
     
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  4. subzero

    subzero

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    Thanks Bernard

    Nothing has changed in the room itself, and you'd think that sweeping the flue would have at least improved things, but no difference.
    There is a bird cowl on top of the pot, so can't be an issue with anything having got into the flue and blocked it, but that's what I perceive the problem to be. Can't think of any other reason?
     
  5. Nige F

    Nige F

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    A possibility is outside weather conditions ? Maybe trees nearby that have grown taller ?
     
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  6. subzero

    subzero

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    Thanks Nige, however this is a constant problem and the smoke being pushed out into the room is so bad that we can't even use the burner anymore. It doesn't seem to matter what the weather conditions are outside.

    No changes in trees outside.
     
  7. jj4091

    jj4091

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    If there is a cowl fitted how do you know it was swept right to the top, could there be an blockage/obstruction/ build up of soot that has just been pushed to the top?
     
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  8. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    As above......don’t assume the flue is clear until you see the brushes at the top!
    Can you also check that the liner hasn’t become detached from the stove pipe, just above the register plate?
    John :)
     
  9. subzero

    subzero

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    Good point. Luckily there is a sweeping hatch, so yes - I can verify that the connection is good.
     
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  11. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Have a wood burner , I have never opened the door to obtain initial burn , must be imbalanced if you need to do that .
     
  12. Lower

    Lower

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    Our woodburner specifically says to leave the door open slightly to increase the draft if required when starting the a fire. All woodburners are not the same.

    Have you had a significantly sized extractor fan fitted elsewhere in the house?
     
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  13. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Our burners (Morso Squirrels x 2) require you to open the lower ash pan door to allow the fire to establish after lighting and to be closed after 10 mins or whatever.
    Wondering if the OP is removing the hinged baffle for cleaning.
    John :)
     
  14. foxhole

    foxhole

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    Have A total of 5 extractor fans in the house , why is that significant?
     
  15. JBR

    JBR

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    When we had a new gas fire installed earlier this year they found a wasp nest near the top of the chimney.
    Perhaps that's your problem, as a bird cowl won't stop wasps setting up home.
     
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  16. cwhaley

    cwhaley

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    Leaving the door ajar to obtain a good draw is what anybody who has a burner knows about -- it's important because the rush of air sends heat up the flue to heat it, especially important in the Winter. It's the same as how you may use a sheet of newspaper in front of an open fire to get a good draw, which I do sometimes if needed.

    If your stove is blowing smoke back into the room it could be any of the below:

    - Blockage in the flue as already suggested
    - Baffle plate has slipped/moved during repeated burning/cooling and is now blocking a good draw
    - Flue is very cold and outside air is sinking down the flue when you're trying to light it (had this happen before)

    The first two problems have obvious solutions but for the last, all I can suggest (if the flue is not blocked) is to use more newspaper and more kindling that you usually may do (perhaps with a firelighter) to give that extra boost of heat to the flue forcing the cold air out.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2020
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  17. cwhaley

    cwhaley

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    Think about it... extractor fans extract air from rooms. Stoves do the same. If there's an extractor fan or 5 running, then the stove is competing with that to get a draw -- you will get smoke pulled into the room if it's a strong enough force. I have noticed over the last few years that having the kitchen door open (into the living room where the stove is), having the extractor fan on and lighting the stove results in a poorer draw.

    Any Google search on this will pull up stories of people sharing the same experience.
     
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