No Wind... Smoked Out the Basement

Modern and vintage hand fired coal stove are similar to a wood stove and in some cases can burn either. They need to be regulated and fed by hand usually every 12 to 24 hours depending on your usage. They require no power to operate making them ideal for rural settings with long power outages.
ASHDUMP
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 6:16 pm

Like the title says.... I smoked out my basement. There is little to no wind outside however the temps are dropping. I started the stove like normal; take a piece of crumpled up newspaper and stick it near the baffle, then let that go and light the rest. Its been a proven method for me over the past month but not tonight. I should have figure this would have been a problem as when I opened up the front door I felt a backdraft right in my face of outside fresh air. ...at the time I didn't think much about it.

So, I really have no idea how to get this thing going. I took a torch and held it down the flu pipe for 5 minutes or so but that didn't really help. The smoke was just pouring out the front, sides and any other place it could find. I'm wondering if an animal is stuck in my chimney? I hope not!!!!! :mad:

I don't have the best setup nor the shortest length of run either so.... any suggestions?

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philthy
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 6:21 pm

Sounds like a blockage to me. Can you post some pics of your set up? Would help other members more knowledgable then myself figure out what's going on.

Short of a blockage I shouldn't be that hard to establish a draft.
Fortune always favors the brave,
and never helps a man who does not help himself.
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freetown fred
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 6:27 pm

Check any inside pipes--& then panic & check the chimney.
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

ASHDUMP
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 6:34 pm

Well, I just went upstairs to my fireplace and opened up the damper as if I were to make a fire.... Got blasted with fresh air from the outside... The air continued to come into the fire place so I shut it. So, the atmosphere is acting up apparently. Mother nature doesn't want me to get a fire going I guess...

I'm willing to bet I have nothing stuck in my flu/chimney... Just back draft or positive pressure coming in.

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freetown fred
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 6:39 pm

AD, I don't buy that rational for a second
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

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grumpy
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 6:46 pm

If it's coming in the house it has to be leaving the house, got a window open somewhere..

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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 6:54 pm

It could well be the chimney effect of the house itself. Open a door or window near the stove and see if it makes a difference.

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SMITTY
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 6:55 pm

Might need some extra length on that chimney up top too.

2' higher than anything 10' away ...
The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are
neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ...Such laws make things worse
for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to
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freetown fred
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 6:57 pm

Real good point SMITTY :)
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

KingCoal
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 7:00 pm

i don't get it, I think I just read that you have a positive pressure air egress in your basement too , is that so ? is there a chance pressure is building into the chimney from down there ? just thinking out loud.

how is the top of your chimney situated ? there must be something amiss, I have had some low draft issues but never actual back pressure into the stove and house from the flue.
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michaelanthony
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 7:03 pm

.....maybe now is the time to reconfigure that very long horizontal run behind the stove to the chimney. Going diagonal and adjusting the elbows you are uphill right from the get go. The shortest distance between two points is........ :idea:
never yell through a screen...you'll strain your voice.

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michaelanthony
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 7:05 pm

[quote="KingCoal"]i don't get it, I think I just read that you have a positive pressure air egress in your basement too , is that so ? is there a chance pressure is building into the chimney from down there ? just thinking out loud.

how is the top of your chimney situated ? there must be something amiss, I have had some low draft issues but never actual back pressure into the stove and house from the flue.[/quote]

Some good points to consider also. You mentioned another heating appliance in the basement, maybe fighting for oxygen. Possibly a clothes dryer?
never yell through a screen...you'll strain your voice.

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freetown fred
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 7:08 pm

Ahhhhh, that's the critter we're lookin at--something to fix ASAP--there was always the possibility of that erector set up acting as a block--that would be the first thing I reconnoitered AD--sorry I didn't put your set up together until ma mentioned it. Me bad:(
"A people that values it's privileges above it's principals, soon loses both"--Dwight D Eisenhower

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Berlin
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 7:15 pm

put a bunch of newspaper in the stove and open the ash pan a crack after it's lit. it'l reverse; also open window(s) on the lowest level of your house.

Sounds like an exterior stack that's WAY too short (much less tall than the highest point of the roof of your home).
Burning western Pennsylvania Bituminous in WNY using model 77 stoker furnace. BITUMINOUS equiptment: 2 hand fired stoves of my own design, Many Combustioneer Model 77 stokers, stokermatic furnace, Many Will-Burt stokers, & and Two Iron firemen.

ASHDUMP
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Post Sat. Dec. 07, 2013 7:16 pm

Great points everyone!

Just checked the local weather station near by and we have 3-4mph winds and the temp is 27d. Here is a pic of the back of my stove in the basement and the top of my chimney. The total length of pipe from my basement to the top of the chimney is approximately 45'. My fireplace which is on the fist floor has a length of around 30'.

It isn't uncommon for the house to smell like "fire place" every once in a while from draft coming down the chimney after a night of a fire in the fireplace.

No windows open however I do have a leaky old farm style house. There is a water heater and boiler in the basement which isn't helping the cause when they kick on... But, I also have positive pressure coming down the fireplace flue too... :?: :?: :?:

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