Wood burner smoking

I fear that I'm making a novice mistake here.
I just installed a full double-wall insulated chimney along the outside of my house and it T's into my basement. I have a new wood burning stove down there with double walled black pipe. Everything is up to code and the building inspector has given me the nod that it's built right.
However, when I light a fire inside, the smoke billows into the room. It's not going up the chimney. I opened the damper and that doesn't appear to help. There's also a little lever on the stove itself that I don't know what it's for but I tried it both open and closed.
Any ideas for me? I'd hate to think I just put all that work into building a chimney and buying a wood burning stove only to have it not work for me. I'm $2000 into this and I've still got a cold basement.
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Our chimney was about a foot shorter than the peak of the roof and prevailing breeze caused smoky livingroom. We moved before I had a chance to find out if adding brick to chimney would cure it.
On Sun, 28 Dec 2003 16:06:12 GMT, Crescent

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Clearly, you're not getting sufficient 'draw' up the chimney. Why that is happening is unclear. You shouldn't be getting smoke into the room with any modern woodstove, because when you light it, you shut the front doors and regulate the amount of air feeding the fire via that little lever on the side of the stove you mentioned. What's the make of your stove?
Dave

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It is a Century. The smoke billows out this little hole in the back. I just put in one piece of fatwood and it smoked up the whole basement.
I'm assuming that little lever you mentioned should be all the way to the "open" setting, right?
On Sun, 28 Dec 2003 17:32:07 GMT, "David J Bockman"

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What kind of stove is it? You certainly have to open the flue damper before you light the fire. Does the vent pipe angle up towards the chimney? Where is the smoke coming out (did you leave the door open)? The little lever may be an air control to adjust fire level, but that should be obvious.

Is anything else creating low pressure in your home (furnace, clothes dryer exhaust fan, etc.). What is the source of combustion air for the stove (you may need to open a window, at least until it gets a draft going). I hope you have a CO detector in case it starts sucking air in through your furnace.
Photos (on a web site somewhere not here) might help someone spot a problem.
--
David Efflandt - All spam ignored http://www.de-srv.com /

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Yes, the damper was totally open. I will try opening a window. My furnace is a high efficiency furnace that sucks in cold air from the outside. It's a Century wood stove.
On Sun, 28 Dec 2003 18:04:19 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@xnet.com (David Efflandt) wrote:

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Two possible causes: 1. Chimney too short, so that the local air environment fails to draw air out of the top of the chimney. Your installer ought to have considered this. 2. Cold chimney flue, that fails to draw. The ancient cure for this was to shove one sheet of newspaper up into the flue and burn it, to warm up the flue, then immediately light the fire you laid earlier.
Your stove ought to have airtight doors (so that when closed the only air route is via the damper.) -- Don Phillipson Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
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I don't doubt that the chimney is cold. The flue is on the outside of the house. The black pipe exits the basement wall about 18 inches below the top of the brick. It then goes straight out the side of the house at a 90 degree angle and then 2 feet later there's another 90 degree angle that takes it straight up.
it is impossible to put a flaming newspaper in the chimney now as it is entirely sealed with that black stove caulk that's impossible to break free. Smoke comes out of a hole in the back of the stove. It's a small hole, only about the size of a dime, but perhaps I could block that somehow? Will that work?
I suppose the other option is to climb back up on the roof and screw another 3 feet of prefab chimney on but it will look like a retrofit.
On Sun, 28 Dec 2003 14:00:50 -0500, "Don Phillipson"

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Maybe I'm missing something here, but why is there a hole in the back of your stove? Try plugging it up and see what happens--how much worse off can you be? I have a coal stove and occasionally need to shove a sheet of newspaper up the opening where the stovepipe goes into the stove at the far end of the firebox. This starts hot air rising into the stovepipe (which is what I think the poster meant--not the chiminey, but the stovepipe where the smoke exausts) Also, try opening a window slightly to get a draft in the basement. This'll get sucked into the stove and help the draft. Do the cheap stuff first (then do the easy stuff. Then move out.) And get a CO2 detector and a fire alarm (FirstAlert is good, 'cause I make the electronics) and a fire extinguisher.
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BTW, your stovepipe is clear, isn't it? I mean, you can take a few of the 90 degree elbows off and look through the pipe and see daylight at one end and the basement at the other end, right? (and you should have some way to ram a brush up there to clean the stovepipe, anyway) Wonder if that dime sized hole might be some kind of venturi type thing, to increase the airflow by injecting room make up air? If you plug it up and get a draft started, try unplugging it while the stove is going and see if it still smokes or if the fire burns hotter.
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Yep, that worked. Thanks.
On 28 Dec 2003 23:55:36 GMT, "(none)" <(None)> wrote:

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Hopefuly it is just simple matter of getting the air flow going. When you first light your stove there is cold stagnant air throught the system. With the T intersection there is a little bit extra resitance at that location. What has to happen for things to get started is for the air in the pipe to warm up and the gasses to start moving along this route. It is kind of like starting your car. Once it is running it's fine but some times it may cough once or twice getting started. One way you can make sure that it gets off to a good start is to stuff a single piece of news paper up into or as close as you can get to the chimney at the back of the stove. Light it and allow it to burn compleatly, then start your fire. Your chimney will be primed and ready to conduct the smoke from the fire. Good luck.
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Isn't there some sort of smoke maker? (candle, doused match) that you could hold inside the stove to see which way the air flow goes. I understand about priming the flue with a piece of paper, but on the stove I had in another house you could feel the air being sucked into the stove, just by opening the door to the stove......guess it had a good draft.
Dave

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