jotul F 3 CB

Lookout Mountain, TN

We have had a Jotul woodstove for 2 years and I have had it!!! It smokes up our house EVERY SINGLE START. I feel certain our friends wonder why we always smell like smoke. We have tried ALL of the advice given and we are not knew to woodstoves. Our wood is seasoned, dried, we have a tall stove pipe and I have tried numerous times to preheat the flu. NOTHING WORKS!! I am so frustrated because we paid a ton for this stove and it is a waste of money and we cannot get it back. AND to make matters worse, it burns at most 3 hours, not the 6 hours we were told. I think I am going to roll it off the bluff, consider it a loss and start over with another brand. Maybe a Vermont Castings. Anyone else have trouble with their Jotul?

Cascade Mtns, WA(Zone 6a)

WOW... we had a Jotul in our cabin in northern WI.
Unfortunately the cabin fell on top of it and we sold the land and never
recovered the Jotul.
It was a fantastic stove and have always regretted not diggin it out.
We had NO problem with it and it heated the cabin in sub zero weather more than fine!
We usually had to open windows.

Sounds like you had a 'lemon'.

Odessa, DE

I have a jotul cb f3. It is the best investment I ever made aside from my house and my white lab. My best burn time was 12 hours with a big chunck of black locust on a big bed of embers that just fit in the stove. my average burn is 6 to 8 hours if using oak and locust mixed. it is rated for 1300 sq. ft. and my house is 1500. It keeps my house between 70 to 80 f. with two windows open in the room the stove is in. My house is very well insulated. I only had one kick back problem in the two years I have had the stove and it was due to the hat on top of my chimney got clogged in the mesh screen from soil build up. This just happened about two weeks ago. I think it clogged because I milk this thing for those long burns and I have a real high chimney made of steel with a T in the pipe. My pipe up top doesn't get very hot on slow burns. The hat is from my fire place and has a spark arrester type screen in it. I was told to make the holes bigger in the screen just so a bird cannot fit in it and not smaller. Also I should clean the chimney two times a year because of the bend in the pipe. The T make for a very easy cleaning (about 20 minutes total clean up). Is your pipe coming out the top or back of the stove? Mine is in the back. I had to add a damper plate in my pipe because my draft is so good. Your stove should be the same as mine, so I would say your problem is in your chimney or draft and not your stove. I don't think jotul can make a lemon if they make a stove with a cast. It would be cheaper to fix your chimney problem before wasting money on another stove. Since it sounds like your problem will still be there if you ever got a new stove. Let me know what happens!
Good luck! Jim

"People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results." Albert Einstein

Thumbnail by beaver2wood
Odessa, DE

Oh yeah! another thing, Has the stove always smoked and does it smoke every time?

Thumbnail by beaver2wood
Farmington, ME(Zone 4b)

We've had a Jotul #8 for many years and love it!! Just recently we had a problem with it smoking. We found out the gasket around the top needed to be replaced. We replaced that and it worked great again, until yesterday. I heard glass braking and the glass on the door cracked from top to bottom. I called a local glass dealer this morning and it can be replaced for $80. Considering how many years we have had the Jotul and only had to replace the door gasket once, I'd say the Jotul is a Great stove!

Cincinnati, OH

My Jotul fireplace insert has been in place for nearly three months, and I have only had a smoke problem on starting one time. What happened is that the room wasn't very warm, and there was a high pressure system outdoors with a stiff breeze blowing. This fairly unusual combination of factors cause a downdraft, which was apparent when I opened the door to the fireplace and felt the air coming in from above.
Since I had never before experienced a problem, I went ahead and lit the fire anyway. Smoke soon started coming out into the room, but it only lasted about a minute or two. Then I tossed in a few crumpled sheets of newspaper to quickly get some flames, and the chimney started warming up. That let the normal updraft get going, and no more smoke.
One key I've found is that you always want the airflow lever to be all the way open for at least the first half hour.

West Branch, IA(Zone 5b)

I sympathize with you. This is our first season with the Jotul Oslo.Oslo is bigger than yours,but if your wood has any quality at all you should get more than 3 hour burn. I would say it is your chimney that is the problem. These new EPA non cat stoves require a strong draft.
They just don't do that well on an outside type masonary chimney.
We have heated entirely with wood forever & it took awhile to learn to run the Jotul so it doesn't smoke. If you are starting with stove fire out.,put in 3 or 4 split pieces & put your kindling on top of wood.Wad up some newspaper & light & quickly close the door. Since I expect your draft isn't the best,try & just unlatch front door & ash door.Don't walk off & leave open,tho!!!You have to have wood in & arranged from start. You can't be poking with poker & rearranging like you can with another type stove. I have been known to open door VERY slowly & careful & quickly adding another stick or 2 of wood in very cold weather & like if I'd have to go somewhere.I find when fire gets burned down to certain stage I can reload on a few coals with minimum smoke. I like the Jotul much,much better than the Vermont Castings we used for 20 years.
Why don't you ask about this over on the Wood Heat yahoo group. There are some people there dedicated to woodburning.I know when we first used this thing I about bawled. I said I'm going to get this to work! Iris

Afton, TN

Hi Splitpea,
Just joined and saw your post. I hope you have your stove problem fixed by now. However, if you decide you want to get rid of your Jotul F 3 CB, let me know. I live about an hour from you.

Penzance, United Kingdom


I am considering buying a Jotul F3 woodburner...........Any helpful tips much appreciated.

I understand it burns wood only although coal ocassionally can be used. The room dimensions are 19x11appx. with a low ceiling. Will a 7KW woodburner be sufficient to give a comfortable heat?

Any helpful tips on top or back flue, elbows etc. much appreciated.


Bellingham, WA

A lot of time has passed since the last posts, but if anyone is reading, does anyone have a suggestion between a Jotul Oslo and a Vermont Castings Resolute Acclaim? 1200 sq ft single-story home. Oslo's a little big, I know. VC is so pretty but have read about so many happy Jotul owners...? Thanks.

Somerset, NJ

LOTS of problems with our NEW Jotul f3 is USELESS!!!!

1) Doesn't stay hot (can get to 500 deg. initially then keeps going down despite new wood being put in. Opening door to put new wood in lowers heat by 30 degrees which is hard to get back).
2) Rooms don't get warm
3) Need to feed wood every 30 min.
4) with 3-4" embers, all embers gone within 3 hours if left alone...can't use overnight....
5) Had damper installed in feed wood every 30 min. as compared to every 15 min.
6) Coninually need to play with the damper to "try" and keep fire hot.
7) Can not leave home due to coming home (even 1 hour later) to see heat temp at 200 deg!!!!
8) Have used approx. 1 cord of wood in 1 1/2 months of having this stove. Have spent more money on wood than have saved from gas bill!!!!!!!

Built in 1840 - so not "tight", but not major drafts either
Total footage to warm: 2000 sq. ft
Room size (stove is in) - 170 sq. ft
Wood used: 3 different times: mixed, kiln dried, red oak
Have put up curtain to disallow heat to go upstairs( so really heating 1,000 sq ft)
Main room gets "comfortable" - adjoinging rooms "up to 70" at most!

Owner of store (Fireplace and Wood Stove store; Oakhurst, NJ) came to our house and recommended this stove for us based on our space. He is suggesting that we do not know how to make a fire or are not using the right wood.

We are SLAVES to this stove.



Issaquah, WA


Looks like Janet (last poster) and i have the same stove problem. 05 model Jotul, finally got the chimney installed this year and here it sits. Goes through three pieces of well seasoned fir every 15 minutes and creates heat 12 inches away from the front and top while i watch my frosty breath dissipate from the couch 4 feet away. Looks nice, but open the door and you won't be able to see it in 10 seconds as smoke fills the room. I have 20 feet of chimney built to code, and i still can't open the door without smoke rollout. Jotul website lists all the probable causes, and then says its always a chimney problem, never the appliance. Right. The chimney is fine, the stove is useless save decorative.


South Duxbury, MA

In two of our homes I've installed Jotul F3CB stoves. Over the years and several homes I've purchased Consolidated Dutchwest and Vermont Casting Stoves. I feel the Jotul has been the best out of these three with the Vermont Castings coming in a close second. I've noticed a few folks here seem to have problems with their Jotul Stoves. With regard to Split_Pea you may have several issues to deal with outside of the stove itself. My first question: Was your stove installed by a professional? If so, it sounds like the pipe venting OR chimney cap may be an issue OR be improperly sized Or installed incorrectly for this stove....? If this is your first stove(?) you may want to have a veteran come over and show you how to properly dampen the stove to slow your burn time and increase the heat output. Another issue is the seal around the door and seal around your glass, one or both may not be installed correctly OR worn out and need to be replaced? This is important and not unusual with any stove to replace the seal rope every 2 years. If either of these seals is worn and leaking air there will be NO amount of dampening with stove to slow the burn time down. I think if you can spend sometime with an experienced/ veteran wood stove owner who can show you the intricacies of how to use the stove properly this will resolve a lot of your frustration and you'll find your stove can get longer burn times in excess 8-10 hours when dampened properly. Start with checking the seals on the door and glass/replace if necessary. (Be sure to use the proper liquid bedding sealer with the rope) Have someone checkout the stove installation and the exterior chimney cap to confirm all is proper for this model and size stove. Next, have someone show you how to properly dampen the stove. One the stove is lit and is solidly burning logs I'll shut the dampener on the door and then wait until the thermometer on the top of the stove hits 600 degrees F. This may take 20 minutes +/-. I then use the dampener located on the front upper right hand corner and ease it back about halfway. After another 15-20 mins. if the thermometer is hovering around 600 degrees I may ease over the dampener splitting the distance between the the middle and the full dampened position. After another 10-15 mins. see if your maintaining the 600 deg. +/-. If so, your stove is all set. When you reload the stove you will have to open the dampener and let the newly added wood catch on fire. Then you can adjust the dampener again. If you're off to bed, just slide the dampener over to Full dampened and your stove should burn and retain heat for another 8-9 hours, possibly up to 11 hrs. Your stove will need routine maintenance about every two years depending on how much you use it. If your chimney is lined w/ a stainless pipe extending out to the chimney cap, you'll need to have the pipe inspected and swept/cleaned about every 2-3 years. Your door and glass rope seal will need to be replaced about every two years. And the door glass you can expect to replace it about every 2-5 years depending on how much punishment it takes usually from overloading OR poor loading the stove causing the glass to beak when pushing a log against the door while trying to close it. I truly believe Jotul makes a Superior stove and is among the best wood stoves that you can buy. I'd buy another one in a heartbeat!

Paauilo, HI

Aloha, I have been using a Jotul " Firelight "a rather large and beautiful stove. I do not believe it is being offered any more, to bad as we have used it for over 10 years with out any issues, aside from the occasional gasket replacements. This particular stove has the option to load from the front twin doors or step on a foot pedal and top load as well. I did the total install as a novice, feels good during our 3 to4 month burn season here on the Big Island of Hawaii.

South Kingstown, RI

Although several years have passed and Split_Pea has probably moved on, to anyone experiencing similar problems I'd like to say that I also had this happen a few times. The house was placed in a 'negative air pressure' state by me opening a window as I first lit the stove. The warmer house air 'rose' out the window and the colder outside air came down the flue to compensate dragging the smoke with it. To test this is easy enough. Simply open the stove door when it's cold and not being used and hold a tissue over the openning. If the tissue tends to be drawn into the stove then the draft is good the pressure is balanced and the warmer house air is 'rising' up the flue. If the stove (flue) is tending to blow the tissue away from the stove then the house is in a 'negative pressure' state meaning that air is escaping from other areas of the house and pulling the colder air down the flue to compensate. A good example of this, for clarity, is a friend who lit a fire then turned on his house exhaust fan to 'change the air' in the house and with all the windows closed the only way in for the air, which was balancing the 'negative pressure' state, was down the flue. Smoke filled the house in mere seconds. I think that the stoves are essentially the same and work the same...but houses are different and the positive/negative pressure has to be taken into account. I now keep windows and doors closed when firing up the Jotul and I start with paper and small kindling to 'heat' the flue before fully loading it. When fuuly loaded and closed down tight it lasts up to eight hours. I also added a Magic Heat diffuser to the 6" flue and have increased its efficiency a thousand fold. It blows the heat evenly through the house with no hotspots. Hope this helps.

Thumbnail by tomthumbs
Canton, GA

I have had the same smoke filled house problem with the Jotul 3CB. It worked fine for about four years then it started smoking like a dragon. No matter what I do I can no longer get a fire going without filling up with smoke. I tried everything, cleaning the chimney (which was fine), different wood, different weather, window open/closed, did all the recommended stove maintenance, replace the seals, anything I could think of since it did work well at one time. Can't figure out why it worked and then got so bad I can't even light a peice of newspaper in it without smoke coming out of the top damper openings. Never seen a stove do this before and I have been around many for years. It has been several years now with the stove sitting there unused because it has filled my house up with smoke too many times in attempts to get it working again. If you ever had it happen once you would want to get rid of the smoking monster because it doesn't stop unless you go in and remove everything and get it out of your house. For an expensive stove I am very disappointed and would have expected many good years out of it. Now it's just many years of a cold stove not being burned at all.

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