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Wood stove back puffing

Posted by danbodan (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 2, 09 at 2:47

I have a consolidated dutchman north west (something like that) wood stove Sequia model...probably 20 plus years old. It came with the house. We are using it to heat our home in spring and fall and boost the gas furnace in the winter using birchwood. Last year I ran it 24-7-250 days... Winter is long here in Alaska.

Its in the basement and the chimney is interior 2 1/2 stories up out the roof...its a double insulated 6" pipe.

I cleaned it and double checked and cleaned it again...yep its clean. But the stove seems to back puff often if that is the right word. Its like the draw is definitely pulling up the chimney but then it coughs a smoke puff through the joints in the chimney pipe (the first 4 feet is not double insulated) sending smoke into the room.

It easily can over heat and I have trouble slowing it down. I crank down all vents to the stove and then close the stove pipe dampner.

With in minutes is when the puffing starts...and goes off and on and I can not control it or even predict it very much.

What do you think?

Peace Dan


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wood stove back puffing

Hi Dan. I submitted a lengthy answer on Monday but I don't see it here so I guess it didn't go through for some reason. As for the puffing problem I just sent you to a site that talks about drafting problems (see URL below). But the more serious problem is the one having to do with over heating and not being able to control the rate of burn. This may be due to the fact that your installation does not include a negative draft pressure relief valve. As I explained in my last post, this device is nothing more that a short section of pipe that goes in series with your stovepipe and allows fresh air to enter the stovepipe under circumstances where wind creates negative pressure in the pipe. Negative pressure will pull air through your firebox and cause the fire to burn faster than you expect or desire. I am not sure exactly what this type of vent is called, but I have one on my basement furnace and it is required by code. It consists of a Tee with a round door that is hinged to swing inward to let air in but has stops to keep it from swinging outward. It is weighted with an adjustable weight to allow you to set the amount of pressure it takes to swing open. Maybe someone else can add more detail to this. Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Chimney Drafting Problems Article


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RE: Wood stove back puffing

I have a stove in my workshop that puffs fire and smoke. When I get the fire stirred up very hot and close the door, fire jumps out the front air vents.

I shot a short video of this fire-breathing stove. I think it is pretty neato. The pulsing sound is exciting. I am guessing the fire is so starved for fresh air it is 'reaching' out the front.

Here is a link that might be useful: Puffing wood stove video and photos


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RE: Wood stove back puffing

Cutting back the intake air too much causes the flames to snuff and reignite causing that back puff. I find that leaving the fresh air damper open a little and closing the stove pipe damper some minimizes the problem.


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RE: Wood stove back puffing

There is a metal restrictor plate attached to the bottom of the combustor. I tried extending the plate down with longer bolts and washers, more smoke is able to get into the combustor that way. my back puffing is far better but not completely gone, my draft isnt the best though. The stove runs alot better. Im thinking a modified plate with bigger holes might be the way to go.


Oak Splits Dutchwest Cat Stove
Happy Burning

This post was edited by QuarkMark on Sun, Dec 29, 13 at 23:05


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