Smoke escapes from Jotul 602 in certain conditions: OK??

staceyneilFebruary 25, 2010

We recently installed a Jotul 602. it's about 5 years old and in beautiful condition; I don't believe the previous owner used it more than a handful of times.

We've been using it daily for about 6 weeks, and most of the time it's great. Sometimes, on starting up from cold, a wee bit of smoke drifts out of the back corner, where the two "walls" of the firebox join, but as soon as the fire gets going, this stops.

Lately the weather has been warmer (40s) and rainy/windy. Last night I tried to start a fire, and did not have enough kindling. I tried anyway, but the combination of the outside temps, lack of kindling, and possibly wind direction caused a huge smoky mess. When I gave up and closed tamped the damper all the way shut (closed the stove up to the best of my ability) smoke still came gushing out of the stove at all the side joints, AND from around the "burner" on the top of the stove (not sure what you call it: the round cast iron thingy that can be lifted off. It just sits there, has no gasketing or anything...)

I'm wondering if this is OK, or if it means there's something unsafe going on with this stove.

As I said, it behaves perfectly fine when the fire's going. We have a CO detector in the room and its never gone off.

Thanks!

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olychic

I've been burning wood in various woodstoves for years and years. Sometimes if the chimney isn't tall enough to get a good draft (or if it is too close to a peak of the roof, or if there is an elbow/bend in it instead of going strait up, etc. and the wind is coming from a certain direction it is hard to get the draft sucking the smoke up the stove. Also if your house is too air tight, there is not enough air to get the smoke up the chimney (I don't know what the technical term is for this) and cracking a window during the fire building stage can help. One stove we had, we'd take newspaper and make a torch, light it and stick it in the stove right under the chimney opening. It was kind of a clean burning draft booster, then we'd light the fire.
I can't tell from your description if the smoke is actually coming out a seam in the stove, which would be bad, or if it might be curling down from the burner on the top, or from out of the draft opening or?? I'd sure contact Jotul and tell them what is happening if it is really coming thru a seam and see what they suggest.Maybe a repair with stove cement. When the stove gets hot and all the gasses get sucked up the chimney, then you wouldn't be getting enough co to set off your alarm. But as the stove burns down, and the heat is less intense, it seems like if there was really a seam problem the gas would also leak out and set off your alarm.

Hope this helps

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 2:47AM
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mainegrower

If your stove is really only 5 years old, its the 602 CB model. These stoves do not use stove cement. Instead they employ bolts, gaskets and insulating blankets. If you go to www.jotulus.com you'll be able to download the correct owner's manual which contains a diagram of all the stove's internal parts.

The amount of smoke you describe is really excessive, so the first thing to do is check your chimney for blockage from creosote or something else. Chances are that shutting down the stove as you described it, would have cut off whatever draft there was. The smoke has to go someplace, so it leaked out of any possible seam. For your own safety though, check the chimney.

I'm not sure what you mean by "lack of kindling" but all modern wood stoves which meet EPA emissions standards require very dry wood to operate correctly. They need to be started slowly with dry kindling to establish the fire with maximum air before adding larger pieces of wood or decreasing the amount of air going to the fire.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 8:55AM
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MNunes8_hahoo_com

I DONT OWN ONE OF THOSE STOVES BUT TO ME IT SEMS LIKE YOU HAVE A DRAFT ISSUE NOT A STOVE ISSUE .ITS ALWAYS SAFE PRACTACE TO SEE IF YOU HAVE NEGATIVE DRAFT OR POSITIVE DRAFT BEFORE STARTING A FIRE. DEPENDING IF YOUR STOVE IS INSIDE VERSES OUTSIDE MAKES A HUGE DIFERENCE .I USE A SMALL AMOUNT OF NEWS PAPER LIGHT IT AND PLACE IT NEAR YOUR FLUE IN YOUR STOVE IF THE SMOKE COMES BACK TO YOU THAT MEANS YOU HAVE NEGATIVE DRAFT.WHEN THIS HAPPENS BEFORE PLACEING ANY WOOD OR PAPER GO BUY A PLUMMERS TORCH AND LIGHT IT UP AND PLACE IT AS CLOSE TO THE FLUE AS POSSIBLE FOR A FEW MINUTES THIS WILL WORM YOUR CHIMMNEY UP TO GET GOOD DRAFT. THAN CEAK FOR DRAFT IF OK THAN START YOUR FIRE .GOOD LUCK STAY WORM

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 2:03PM
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