Friday, October 21, 2011

When the Stove Won't Draw-Update and Solutions

Getting to know my little stove here has been a journey. The cutest stove in the world, still I know my installation isn't the idea set up. I was able to configure it by myself, without any permanent changes to this studio. It works perfectly, most days.

We had some torrential rains, and the rain cap was switched out from the original one shown below. That turned out to be too scanty. I now have one from Ace hardware, your standard rain cap.

We live on top a mountain, surrounded by trees. On rare days, the down draft caused some challenging lessons. The smoke normally turns this corner without any problems. But, a down draft turned it into a nightmare.

Solution! Make a smokeless fire. This has been achieved by clearing the ashes from the grate. Place one small piece of cardboard on grate, a homemade fuel tablet and small dry twigs. Gradually warm the stove by adding more twigs until it naturally rises through the pipe. This has proved successful twice, and I believe my problem is solved.

I did a youtube video on how to make these fuel cubes with wood chips and old candle wax

So far no frost on our mountain. Color is peak, and life is great!


  1. Your pipe needs to extend at least four feet above the roof line for a good draft

  2. When I used a wood stove (and fireplace) I always lit a piece of newspaper and held it at the base of the pipe, where the stove pipe or chimney attached to the stove (making sure the damper was open fully)and then moved it to light the kindling. This would always start the draft processes.

  3. Thanks guys, good points.
    I know all these trees around here, so close to the roof as well, make a downward draft more likely.

    Ideally, I will extend the chimney pipe, Stephen.
    I like your idea, Duke, it would warm the pipe and the natual rising of heat would follow.

    Appreciate the input.

  4. Hi your wood stove install is scary. Your stove pipe out the window can cause you all sort of problems. Having a singel wall stove pipe outside cause all sorts of problems. The stove pipe cools off out side causing bad draft and the cool smoke will cause creosote to form and drip down your pipe. If you extend your stove pipe the problems are only going to get worse. Ideally you do want the chimney cap to be the highest point of the house. But not with single wall stove pipe.

    I also saw inside that you did not have sheet metal screws at every joint. With heating and cooling those joints could work them self lose. Silicone is not a glue for glueing together stove pipe. Silicone will burn! A stove burning dry oak may exceed 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit! And hi temp silicone will not stand up to that.

    I hope that you might think about getting a certified expert in to give you advice on your wood stove.

    I don't mean to criticize but I am worried about your safety.


  5. Thanks Dan for your good advice. I admit I keep an eye on this stove and only use it sparingly when I am in the building. So far, the cretose is not an issue. I think being in Georgia helps. When I lived in Illinois, our wood furnace went 24-7 to keep the two story farm house toasty.
    Part of this set up is a survivalist plan, a backup should fuel become unavailable.
    Air quality is an issue, and I vent by cracking the window a bit.

    Thanks for your imput. If I was going to sleep in this building I sure would. What gets me are the wood stoves they put in canvas outfitters tents. How is that any safer?