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Author Topic: smoking STRATFORD SEB 20  (Read 9524 times)
keithj
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« on: March 26, 2010, 03:17:38 PM »

Has anyone had trouble with smoke coming out of the fire door when loading wood into a stratford seb20 stove? I have tried opening the door slowly and also with a window open but i still get smoke coming out of the door.As smoke is reputed to be carcinogenic this is not an acceptable situation.The stove burns quite well apart from this problem.Has anyone a remedy to cure or decrease the smoking?KEITH.
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dhaslam
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2010, 03:23:01 PM »

Is the chimney clean?
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DHW 250 litre cylinder  60 X 47mm tubes
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keithj
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2010, 03:27:16 PM »

The chimney was swept when i installed the stove about six months ago.It has been like that from being installed.KEITH.
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dhaslam
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2010, 03:43:59 PM »

When smoke doesn't go up a chimney  it usually means that the chimney is too cold.  The other  less likely problem would be  negative air pressure in the room.   The   stove has a fairly large boiler which could be cooling the  flue gases too much also the stove  seems to be one of those designed to only work properly with very high flue gas temperatures.  Is the problem less evident when the stove is very hot?   
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DHW 250 litre cylinder  60 X 47mm tubes
Heating  180,000 litre straw insulated seasonal store, 90X58mm tubes + 7 sqm flat collectors, 1 kW VAWT, 3 kW heatpump plus Walltherm gasifying stove
ecogeorge
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2010, 11:02:08 PM »

Is this a new problem ?
Have you a lined chimney, does the flue exit too low, when it was installed did you (or hetas installer  Wink) check for draw on the unconnected chimney, do the joints between the fire and chimney need sealing with fire cement to block air leakage?
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ecogeorge
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2010, 11:30:42 PM »

Has the smoke killed Keithj ?
Any news?
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keithj
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2010, 11:12:30 AM »

DHASLAM,Thanks for your informative reply.The problem is less evident when the stove is very hot and as you say the large boiler could be cooling the flue gases quite a lot.I shall have to try keeping the stove well stoked up.Thanks,KEITH.
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keithj
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2010, 11:27:00 AM »

ECOGEORGE,No the smoke has not killed me.I have not got my own computer and use the library ones about every two weeks.The problem is not a new one and as DHASLAM has pointed out i think that the large boiler is cooling the flue gases quite considerably.The chimney is not lined,the flue exit is about 28 feet high.The draw was not checked as the previous open fire worked o.k.The joints are all sealed with fire cement as required by the instructions.I will try keeping the stove well stoked up.Thanks,KEITH.
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Brandon
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2010, 10:15:14 PM »

do you have a stat on the return?
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Baz
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2010, 03:58:18 PM »

It probably depends somewhat on wind direction depending on where the airfeed gets into your house, and whether you also have the room door closed to further restrict the flow. You presumably do open all stove vents fully before opening the door and giving it a few seconds to get an upward momentum to the increased flow in the chimney.
If it is just a puff as you open the door, rather than continued belching then that is normal and happens even if it is invisible gas and not laden with smoke particles.
If it is more continuous then perhaps a bird has taken up residence, or at least tried to and left it partly blocked. Ten minutes with the rods should sort that out and if you don't sweep your own it's dead easy.
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County 4x4
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2010, 10:03:17 PM »

I've been having a conversation on another forum on exactly the same matter - as a customer of mine is having identical problems.

I've also spoken with an installer who won't touch these stoves now as the manufacturers have been rather less than helpful!

Briefly - my customer only has a fairly short flue - which is lined, but only 5 metres or so tall.

According to the installer I've spoken to, the manufacturer recommends 4.5m as a minimum flue height for this stove - BUT - one of their technical guys has apparently said that not all installations will work with this height, and in many cases a 6.5m minimum will be required for the stove to work properly - they just avoid mentioning the fact! The installer had put one of these stoves in, with a flue to the correct spec, and above the minimum recommended length, and the customer was unhappy with the smoke coming back into the room each time the door was opened. Installer then contacted the manufacturer for advice and was told that the chimney would probably need a few more metres adding to it - and suggested he may like to amend his T&C's to basically say

"here's the quote for installing this stove - however, it may well not work, and if it doesn't I'll be asking for another 1500 plus VAT to make the chimney look ridiculous by adding ten feet to the top of it, re-line the whole thing and re-install the stove"

His relationship with the manufacturer ended just about there!

These stoves apparently have a very restricted outlet which helps with their efficiency rating - but it also slows down the flue gases so much that a very high draw is needed to get round the smoking problem. I also wonder about their suitability for burning wood at all given that according to the owners manual, the grate has to be kept clear for the thermostatic air control to work - wood is much better burned on a bed of ash rather than an open grate. I think "multi-fuel" in this case refers to coal AND smokeless fuel - there's no mention of burning wood in the manual.


You might also like to consider lining the flue - I've just been looking at pictures of a guys chimney breast which has creosote and tar seeping through it from the inside and running down the wall inside his house - one very good reason why many installers insist on fitting liners with a woodburner installation - though many people outside the trade can see no valid reason as "the chimney was fine before". It may well have been - but a stove and an open fire are very different animals - you may have noticed that the smoke coming from a chimney with a stove at the base of it looks a lot "lazier" than the plume from an open fire - so cr*p in the smoke has a bigger opportunity to cool and condense on the walls of the flue.

Andy
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keithj
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2010, 02:21:28 PM »

Brandon,I do have a stat. fitted on the return.I think that the manual says that it should be set at 50*but ARADA on their forum says that 40* is O.K.
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keithj
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2010, 02:30:22 PM »

Baz,I have tried it with the vent fully open and also closed.There is only one vent which is controlled by the boiler stat.It is only a puff of smoke when the door is opened,but still annoying,but if the fire is burning hard then it is negligible.Keith.
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keithj
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2010, 02:45:30 PM »

County 4x4,I will keep an eye on the tar situation and if it becomes a problem then i shall get the flue lined.What sort of flue lining would you recommend and what would be the approximate cost.I think that part of the problem could be my logs being on the damp side.They have been stored for over one year but they have been stored under a tarpaulin and i think that the condensate has been dripping back onto the logs.There has not been enough air circulating round them and so i am going to build a small barn type structure to house them under.I have tried logs that i had stored in a shed with the window open and they burn better and damp down to a nice red glowing fire.Keith.
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County 4x4
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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2010, 07:45:52 PM »

Hi Keith,

I should maybe point out that I'm not a registered stove installer - my main thing is wood fuels and that's how come I was talking about this guy with the Stratford as "a customer". So any advice I could give you is pretty much that of a layman who has taken a fair amount of interest in the subject over the years, rather than as a trained professional!

It seems to me first off that the Stratford is not perhaps ideally suited for woodburning because of the way it operates - and also due to the fact that the manufacturers make no mention at all of using wood in the owners manual.

However, I still think that lining the flue would definitely be a good idea. If you wait until you have tar leaking through the whole body of the stack then the damage will already have been done, and the mortar joints will be well on the way to being eaten away by the corrosive elements in the flue gases. I'm not sure there's a quick or easy remedy once you've reached this stage, other than cutting out the affected sections of brickwork and re-building - which sounds like being an expensive job to me! Damp wood will only increase even more the chances of this happening.

There are lots of stainless steel liners about - the slightly cheaper 316 grade should be fine unless you intend burning smokeless fuel at some stage - in which case the 904 grade is recommended. Insulating the void around the installed flue liner with vermiculite or similar material is also recommended for optimum performance - basically it keeps the whole flue hotter and helps to prevent any condensation from the gases going up it. Costwise it may depend on whereabouts you are - but you'd probably be looking at somewhere around 9 - 1200 quid. You may be able to install the liner yourself - but it would need to be inspected and signed off by building control to be legal I think. A HETAS installer would provide the proper legal certification for the job if they did it. Your house insurance may not be valid if you don't have the installation signed off properly. Don't take that as gospel though!

As far as the wood goes - it may be worth investing a few quid in a moisture meter - they're not expensive at all and will give you a much better idea of where your wood is at so to speak. If you stack the wood outside - then just cover the top of the stack and leave the sides exposed. It's also better to cut and split the wood to the right size for the fire before stacking it - the drying process will be quicker than longer lengths dried in the round. If you do have to keep it in the round, cut a score through the bark down the length of the log.

Hope that's some help!

Andy
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