Wood furnace stovepipe
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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    Wood furnace stovepipe

    If you have a thermostatically controlled wood furnace, does it have to have one of those dampers that spins in the stove pipe? They never seem to stay where they are supposed to and end up blocking smoke, which as was the case last night started coming out the seams in the pipe. I've had about the same amount of people tell me it does need one as have said no it doesn't.
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    Corndog Hater ColonyPark's Avatar
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    When we had a wood stove, the stove had a "temperature control", it was a lever that slid from "Cooler" to "Warmer". The stove itself had 2 dampers on it, one was right where the stove pipe attached to the stove. I never had a damper in the stove pipe itself though. I am not an expert though as the wood stove was in the house when we bought it and I had to teach myself about it's use and safety. Others may have better thoughts...................



    P.S. I see now you are saying wood furnace. I read your post and had wood stove on my brain. They are two totally different beasts. Sorry!
    Last edited by ColonyPark; 03-14-2018 at 07:39 AM.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    The dampers in the stove pipe should not move by themselves. They have springs on each end that puts pressure against the stove pipe.

    Maybe I am talking about something different than you are.

    See the spring and cups on the handle side? That is what keeps it from spinning on its own.

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    Is the thermostatic control a bimetallic that controls draft air to the firebox by opening or closing a slide gate based on stove temp? Or a thermostat driven control that controls a combustion fan & draft inducer? Or something else?

    My experience with manual pipe dampers is that it is dependent on the draft of the installation. Some need one because the chimney & stove or furnace or boiler have too much draft and too much heat from the appliance gets sucked up the chimney. Others don't have as strong a draft and don't need one. You would need a manometer (for example Dwyer Mark II Model 25) to take a reading and see what the conditions require.

    As CT says it should not move its position by itself due to the spring.
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    TruckFarmer55's Avatar
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    The thermostat controls the combustion feed fan and the blower to force the air into the ductwork. The slide gate at the top is manual and so is the damper on the door for the ash pan under the firebox. The picture above is the damper in the pipe. It always sits on an angle as far as I can tell because of how the pipe runs into the wall to go up the chimney.

    It is possible between the wind and the fact the basement got water in it and hence made the wood a little wet that it hasn't been burning hot enough. Also hasn't been tremendously cold. I cleaned the chimney in case a flake of creosote flipped down and was blocking the smoke from exiting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    The dampers in the stove pipe should not move by themselves. They have springs on each end that puts pressure against the stove pipe.

    Maybe I am talking about something different than you are.

    See the spring and cups on the handle side? That is what keeps it from spinning on its own.

    Click image for larger version.†

Name:	4C9B2D3C-A018-4B81-8203-4EEEF2A6C9F0.jpg†
Views:	3†
Size:	38.9 KB†
ID:	570345
    Over the forty plus years heating with a wood stove I've had these dampers from time to time and never found they helped control a fire beyond what was on the stove . . . just my experience. Pellet stove just installed in December does not have a damper. The stove's thermostat controls the pellet feed/heat. The chimney has a powered positive air flow. I am curious to see what the build-up has been since the December install for our pellet stove.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckFarmer55 View Post
    The thermostat controls the combustion feed fan and the blower to force the air into the ductwork. The slide gate at the top is manual and so is the damper on the door for the ash pan under the firebox. The picture above is the damper in the pipe. It always sits on an angle as far as I can tell because of how the pipe runs into the wall to go up the chimney.

    It is possible between the wind and the fact the basement got water in it and hence made the wood a little wet that it hasn't been burning hot enough. Also hasn't been tremendously cold. I cleaned the chimney in case a flake of creosote flipped down and was blocking the smoke from exiting.
    Only time I ever had an issue with smoky backdraft was a real large chunk of unseasoned wood smoldering and not burning well. After failing to get a good paper fire to reverse the backdraft and I dragged that smoldering chunk of wood outside to a puddle.

    I'd open up the damper all the way until you get it figured out and set the air so it burns a little hotter. Better to send a little heat up the stack than CO in the house. I always recommend having a manometer on a solid fuel burning stove to keep an eye on your draft and make sure you aren't wasting too much heat up the chimney. It can help indicate when a flue pipe cleaning is coming up too. And of course a couple CO monitors throughout the house should be in place.

    Is your house tight or leaky? If you don't have enough make up air for what the furnace or stove is pulling out it can hurt your draft as well and it may be marginal on low burning fires and warm outside air temps. If you notice issues when running bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans or the dryer you may have a make up air issue. I have an outside air supply piped to the stove so it doesn't need to depend on the air leaks in the house for make up air.
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    332 GT w/ 50" deck, trac vac
    LT178 w/ 38" deck

    I heat my home & workshop with two coal stokers and have a vintage JD smoker!!!

    The EPA just loves me.

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlin View Post
    Over the forty plus years heating with a wood stove I've had these dampers from time to time and never found they helped control a fire beyond what was on the stove . . . just my experience. Pellet stove just installed in December does not have a damper. The stove's thermostat controls the pellet feed/heat. The chimney has a powered positive air flow. I am curious to see what the build-up has been since the December install for our pellet stove.
    I agree. I feel that they were used back in the day before air tight stoves. With the 3 woodstoves plus cook stove Iíve had Iíve never used them either - the stoves are so tight that you could actually starve them of air if you shut the intake dampers all the way.
    ~Stan~
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    I agree. I feel that they were used back in the day before air tight stoves. With the 3 woodstoves plus cook stove Iíve had Iíve never used them either - the stoves are so tight that you could actually starve them of air if you shut the intake dampers all the way.
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    Marlin

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    blue87fj60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    I agree. I feel that they were used back in the day before air tight stoves. With the 3 woodstoves plus cook stove Iíve had Iíve never used them either - the stoves are so tight that you could actually starve them of air if you shut the intake dampers all the way.
    Yeah Stan i agree.
    I can bank down my burn in the Army Cannon pot belly in the basement with one of those old school pipe dampers because it is so un-airtight.
    The soapstone upstairs doesn't have one. It has an air control lever on back of stove itself.
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