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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthortogga
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2010 edited
    I live in an Victorian end terrace & I have had 2 wood burners intstalled by a HETAS approved installer, 1 in the sitting room & 1 in the dining room. I also had flexible flue liners intalled in both chimneys as the chimney was leaking smoke into the loft after our previous open fire in the sitting room had been swept. Therefore, for safety reason decided to have flue liners & burners installed. However, I am having problems when 1 burner is going; there is a strong smell of smoke that puffs out into the other room from around then gap where the flue pipe goes through the fire board into the chimney. The installer seems to be scratching his head over what is causing the problem as he has smoke tested both burner & assures me that there is no smoke leaking from the flue pipes.

    There are rain cowls on the top of both pots & both rooms are vented. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
    • CommentAuthorevan
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2010
    Clearly there is smoke leaking from the flue pipes! Either that or the flue pipes are "dummies" and just feed into the original leaky chimneys.
    • CommentAuthortogga
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2010 edited
    No, there are flexible liners fitted into both chimneys. I am not able to see smoke, just get the occasional whiff of sooty smoke which seems to come in puffs every half hour or so. I can't understand why the smell comes from the chimney in one room when the burner in the other room is lit. Is one chimney sucking the air through from the other chimney?
    • CommentAuthorbillt
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2010
    I have a similar problem with 2 adjacent flues. If I don't get the fire going quickly the wood smoulders, producing lots of smoke and not much heat which means that the waste gases aren't flowing upwards very fast. I suspect that the lack of vertical speed allows them to fall down the adjacent cold flue. it's more likely to happen in cold weather. When the stoves are burning properly there isn't a problem.

    In my case the smoke comes out of the unused stove. Maybe your installer hasn't sealed around the top of the flue, so smoke can get into the gap between the original flue and the liner.
    • CommentAuthorevan
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2010
    Is one chimney sucking the air through from the other chimney?

    That's pretty unlikely! Did it do that when you had two open fires?

    Even if this was happening, the smoke should come out of the appliance, not out around the register plate. There must be smoke in the chimney for that to happen.

    Is there insulation around these liners, and are the liners properly sealed at the top (I think "flaunched" is the term)? If not, it's conceivable that smoke is leaking from one flue into the chimney stacks at the top, but it still sounds like a faulty installation to me.
    • CommentAuthorMartinH
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2010
    In certain wind directions we get sooty chimney smells in a room with a woodburner and lined chimney - when the woodburner is not going. The chimney void is not insulated (far too big) and sooty smelling air comes out of the chimney void through very small gaps around the register plate.

    One of our woodburners can be difficult to get going in cold stilll damp weather as there tends to be a reverse draft down the chimney. If smoke was drifting past it from the other chimney, I think that a little smoke might be pulled down the flue (enough to detect as a smoky smell)
    • CommentAuthortogga
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2010
    Thanks guys, there are a few things to work on there. It certainly looks like I'm going to have to get the installer back for a 3rd time.
    • CommentAuthorDantenz
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2010
    Is the heat from the flue liner causing the smells of unburnt tar/carbon deposits around the liner which is inside the chimney; this smell is then leaking out into the room?
    • CommentAuthortogga
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2010
    Dantenz - This is what my installer seems to think it is & has asked me to see how things go over the next few lightings.
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