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smoke from my fireplace

Posted by eharris823 (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 12, 09 at 18:34

I tried to have my first fire in my fireplace since the house was built in 1951. The smoke from the fire backed up into my house so bad that my neighbor thought my house was on fire when I opened my windows. The flue is clear and the damper is wide open. I have tried everything I can think of including using those fake logs. I NEED HELP.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: smoke from my fireplace

IF the damper was open; and if you can put your head in the firebox, and look up - and see SKY -

Than you have a severe draft problem. The draft problem can be corrected by adding chimney height, putting in a bar across the top of your fireplace, putting in a fan on top of your chimney, controlled by a switch, etc.

But you would need to have several chimney people come on out, discuss it with them, have them look at it, and give you bids...

I'm not sure what your saying. Are you saying you've lived in this house since 1951; and that you have never had a fire in the fireplace before???

RE: smoke from my fireplace

you likely have a common "downdraft" where a cold chimney (likely built on the exterior of the house right?) is drafting down instead of up. you need to use some newspaper, stuff it up in the damper area and light it before building a fire, then build a HOT small fire initially, then you can burn your processed log etc. Unfortunately those processed logs take a bit to get hot, thus preventing your chimney from establishing draft. Use a few newspapers crumpled up stuff 2 or 3 in the damper area and light them, this will establish draft and allow you to then build a small hot fire to keep it going initially.

RE: smoke from my fireplace

In my last house, the previous owners told us that every time we lit the fire, we had to open a window near the fireplace a crack b/c of a similar problem. I don't know if that was legit or not, but we did do it every time and never had smoke in the house. They said it had something to do with the forced hot water heater.. I don't know if that is true or not and I am not sure what the window had to do with anything, but maybe give that a whirl and see if it works? good luck!

RE: smoke from my fireplace

There are a number of possible causes to your problem and multiple solutions depending on those which factors exist. What you want to have is sufficient updraft or positive pressure to vent your fireplace through your chimney. Factors that may be preventing that include excessive downdraft caused by outside wind being deflected down your chimney, especially during high winds, or when adjacent to taller buildings, trees or nearby hills - mountains or for example when a 1st floor chimney is lower than adjacent 2nd story walls. If this is the case you need to block or limit this excessive wind deflection, using a properly designed chimney cap (directional vent or an enclosed bottom vented cap). If negative pressure exists inside your home (other venting appliances can contribute to this), you might use a turbine chimney vent, install a draft inducer fan inside your chimney or crack open a window on windy side of your house while closing all windows and doors on calm side.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chimney Caps - Chimney Shrouds - Chimney Tops

RE: smoke from my fireplace - additional suggestions

Sometimes raising the chimney stack, while limiting downdraft with a chimney shroud can create the positive pressure you need to generate sufficient updraft and ventilation. Sometimes in severe situations, you may need mechanical assistance with directional vents, turbine vents or chimney fans.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chimney Shrouds - Chimney Vents

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