30 year old fireplace suddenly smoking

KodysGrandmaDecember 25, 2010

We have a fireplace over 30 years old that has worked flawlessly until this season. We just had it cleaned and no major problems found. Damper is open, ash cleanout door is closed. The one tall tree in front of house no longer has leaves on it so don't see how that could impact. I do wonder about the wood, it is hardwood but from 2005 when the hurricane went through and it's fairly punky. I simply cannot see it being a design problem since the thing worked for 30 years, so size of flue, chimney height etc. I have ruled out.

Any other ideas

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An easy test is to roll up a sheet of newpaper, light it, and hold it in the firebox -- with the flue open, of course. There may be a downdraft at first because cold air tends to flow downward. But then the heat from the lit newspaper should create an updraft. If that does not happen, you probably have some kind of clog in the chimney. It might have been cause by a chimney cleaning that was not done right.

If the problem started immediately after you had the chimney cleaned, it's possible that something the chimney sweep did, or didn't do, is the cause. Maybe you should have him look again or, if you're not sure of his competence and honesty, have someone else look at it.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 11:09AM
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