Help! It puts too much smoke in the house. What can I do to fix this?
burn with flames above the top of the short section of stove pipe, orput out unburnt(?) sweet-smelling (not acrid like smoke, but acrid smoke still has a little of this same sweet smell too) gas from the wood grain (the cross-cut or cross-section of the wood) at the top of a piece of wood
Here are my attempts so far:
1. To try to fix this problem, I first put a short section of stovepipe around the vertical metal rods which keep the pieces of wood upright in the feed tube. You can see this short section in the pictures with the kids. This worked fairly well; it prevented most of the smoke from coming into the house. But we get smoke when the wood heats up enough to either:
2. So I thought maybe the problem was that the cross-sectional area of the short piece of stovepipe is greater than the cross-sectional area of the burn tube itself. So I removed the short piece of stovepipe, and tried wrapping the vertical metal rods with aluminum foil to make the cross-sectional area about the same to a height greater than that of the pieces of wood, in the hope that would channel all the smoke downward and prevent any smoke from coming upward. The result was that smoke still came out of the feed tube, partly because the wood stove's fan blows air through the wide horizontal vent directly onto the top of the aluminum foil. So I covered part of that vent with a piece of black-painted sheet metal, which stopped the fan from blowing smoke out of the feed tube. But I still get occasional wisps of smoke and sometimes a continuous feed of a little bit of smoke coming out of the feed tube.
It makes us and our house smell like we smoke cigarettes, and hurts my throat just a bit. It's too much smoke. I think what I need to do is increase the draft.
Here's what I can try next:
3. Wrap and tape aluminum foil or something around the bottom of the external chimney, where it has rusted through around the creosote cleanout door. This might improve the draft, because the hole probably lets cold outside air get pulled up into the hot air which vents out through the top half of the chimney, and the resulting mixture of cold and hot air has less pulling power as a result of its lower temperature, and the fact that it can pull air not only out of the stove, but also out of the hole at the bottom of the chimney. If you look really closely at the picture above, you might be able to see that there's a hole in it. That hole has since gotten bigger.
4. I can try raising the height of the bottom of the plunger tube. It's currently about 4.5 inches off the bottom of stove's floor. Raising it from its original 2 inches or so to its current 4 inches increased the draft, so maybe raising it more would increase the draft further.
What do you think?
P.S. One more "pro" to add to the list in the previous post (which it seems I can't edit anymore) is that the bell does appear to be helping keep some more heat in the house than the stove's original (non-rocket) configuration did, because the bell gets hotter at the top than at the bottom, and the stovepipe above the stove no longer gets as hot as it used to, nor is it as hot as the top of the bell.