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My wood stove smokes like crazy when I open the door.

Charlotte, VT

My wood stove seems to be drawing just fine when the door is closed, but when I open it to add wood, smoke just billows out the door. I've had the stove pipe cleaned, and it's plenty cold out these days, and in the previous 10 years, I've never had this happen. In fact, in the past, there were times when I liked to leave the door open to get a more direct heat, and it would keep burning and drawing just fine, but not this year.

My connector pipe from the stove to the vertical is about 3 feet long and it runs at a 45 degree angle. It's made up of 4 sections of flexible elbow pipe. I replaced those this year. Might that have anything to do with it? Any other ideas or suggestions?


Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I'm not a stove expert by any means, but since it worked fine for 10 yrs before you replaced the 4 sections of flexible elbow pipe, and now after you replaced those you are having problems (assuming you haven't changed anything else of course) it seems to me that it's highly likely the pipe replacement is to blame (either the pipes themselves or how you installed them). Any differences you're aware of between new & old (materials, size, angles, way they're connected, etc)? A close inspection of the new pipes might also help you find where the problem is.

Beaumont, Canada

We used to have a similar problem especially when it was very cold or damp outside until we came up with a very simple solution. Our indoor flue is about five feet vertically with a 60 degree bend connecting it to the outside pipe. Nothing was blocked but we figured that the inside flue wasn't heating up enough to sustain the air flow upwards when we opened the door. It was sometimes hard getting the fire to start and keep going enough to draw well. The thermometer at the bottom of the flue near the stove wasn't registering a high enough temperature The damper opening on our stove is underneath at the front. We simply opened this, kept the stove door shut and blew hot air in with a hair dryer. The flue heated up very fast and there was no more smoking. Never had a problem since!

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