We have a Jotul Woodburning stove on which we burn dry, well seasoned wood. Gases go up through a stainless steel flexible chimney liner and the stove draws well and burns well. The chimney is capped with a metal cowl to keep birds out and prevent rain pouring down.We find that bits of black debris drop down the steel liner and need emptying frequently from the base of the liner. This is easy to do, but the big problem is that sometimes if the stove has not been lit for a few days there is also an accumulation of black liquid at the base of the liner which smells of tar. The house smells dreadful. This happenend recently when we were away, and neighbours tell us there was no rain during our absence.The chimney through which the liner passes is built of thick stone. We have tried three different designs of cowl covers in the belief that driving rain may have been the problem. None have fixed the problem. Gases exit the burner at the rear and then pass through a right angled bend to rise vertically through the liner. Water and debris collect in the sump at the base of this right angled connection. Can anyone suggest what is wrong?
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Re: Water and debris in flue liner of Jotul Stove
You should have a swept T connector at the base, with the sweep going from the stove upwards, but the other end of the T going into a removable cap - or very short length of pipe. If you only have a standard bend - replace it with the T.
This is actually normal for wood burners. In an unlined chimney, the lighter "tar" fractions from the wood would soak into the brickwork, and show through the wall in a few years. In a lined system - they have to go somewhere, and usually condense inside the flue - running back down to the base.
The "chinese hat" style cap is actually very good for everything except sideways hail.
Sorry - but it's the nature of the fuel. It is possible to use a clay based absorbent at the base - Cat litter is actually fine.
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To burn properly, it needs proper combustion air and proper draft. Draft is effected by the size and height of the flue the appliance is connected to and by how much combustion air is available. The appliance flue connection should not be reduced to fit a smaller chimney size. That is, an 8" flue should not have an 8 x 6 reducer to vent it into a 6" chimney.
The wood you are burning could contribute to a poorly burning fire. To burn properly, the wood needs to have been "seasoned" for a minimum of 1 year or close to it. Two years is even better. "Green"
or freshly cut wood contains an unbelieveable amount of moisture in it and a tremendous amount of the heat is wasted just "preheating" the wood to the temperature that causes it to release gasses for ignition.
I don't know the style or model of your Buck, but all wood burning appliances should have combustion air dampers of either a sliding design, rotating round design or hinged design with handle at the bottom front of the firebox. I'm sure there are some fancy new designs that have air piped in from outside the structure.
Every wood fired stove, fireplace or furnace has its own idiosyncrasies and its up to the user to determine what's required for making it operate as designed.
Creosote consists of combustion byproducts,[smoke] that gradually builds up in the stove & chimney.MOISTURE in the wood,and slow burning greatly increase build-up. 1/4 '' of creosote is considered a hazard. Consult a professional chimney sweep,then burn only 'seasoned' dry hardwood,and when you start or re-kindle the fire,burn it hot enough to thoroughly heat the flue; this will draw the smoke up the chimney faster,decreasing the time build-up can occur. Stay Warm!
To regulate air flow, there are damper devices built into the stove, flue and stove pipes. Keeping the air flowing correctly through a wood-burning stove is essential for safe and efficient operation of the stove. Fresh air needs to enter the wood compartment to provide oxygen fuel for the fire; as the fire burns, the smoke must be allowed to rise through the stove pipes, and exit through the chimney.
Build small, hot fires instead of large, smoldering ones.
Don't "bed the fire down" for the night. Holding a fire overnight is
a fire hazard and can create serious indoor and outdoor air
Open your damper if the smoke is dark. Dark smoke indicates more
pollution is being produced and fuel is being wasted.
Keep your stove clean and well-maintained. Follow manufacturer
guidelines; replace catalytic stove filters every 1-4 years. Have
your chimney checked and cleaned at least once a year.
Use seasoned wood
The best fuel for woodstoves is dry, "seasoned" wood. Seasoned wood
has a moisture content of about 20% or less. It tends to be dark in
color, cracked on the ends, light in weight and has bark that is easily
broken or peeled. Here are some tips for preparing seasoned wood:
Split the wood to help it dry. Wood will dry out more
quickly and burn best if the wood is cut to about 3 1/2 inches to 6
inches in diameter.
Cover the split firewood to protect it from the weather
and stack it loosely in alternating layers, at least 6 inches off
Time must be given to allow the wood to reach 20% or less
moisture required for seasoned wood. This process takes
approximately 6-12 months. Think ahead and buy next winter's wood
well in advance.
It is recommended an annual chimney cleaning to remove creosote build up
and to identify potential problems. Things to consider:
The Chimney cap may be plugged by debris.
Catalytic combustor and baffles are exposed to very high heat
and deteriorate as used. Replace every 1-4 years depending on use.
Stovepipe angles and bolts are subject to corrosion.
Gaskets on airtight stove doors need replacement every few
years. Gaskets and seals are used by the appliance designer to
control the location and flow of air into the appliance.
Check seams on stoves sealed with furnace cement. Seams may leak
and cause you to loose valuable heat and reduce the efficiency of
Replace broken or missing firebricks.
Keep the floor of your stove clean of debris and ash.
You will need to install a flue liner ( i know its a nuisance) to allow the products of combustion to escape as quickly and as safely as possible.
If you installed a gas appliance without a liner, due to the temperature of the flue gases (lower than solid fuel) the emissions would struggle to exit via the flue terminal.
If you install the appliance following the manufacturers instructions, you cannot go wrong. The other recommendation is get a 'Gas Safe' engineer to carry out the commssioning/testing.(house insurance void if not certified)