Friday, February 19, 2016

Woodstove Rotating Chimney Cap

From late fall through early spring our float cabin requires heat. For that, we use our Kozi woodstove. We love it! We call it the heart of our little home. But what we don't love is smoke blowback.

The way our cabin's chimney is installed it allows wind coming from the south and east to block the flow of smoke, causing it to back up into the cabin. It's not only uncomfortable, but dangerous because it contains small suspended particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and other gases depending on what is being burned.



In 2008 we installed a rotating chimney cap that solved the problem without having to redo the chimney pipe. At least until this fall, seven years later. We clean our chimney pipe inside and out several times each burning season. On the last inspection, we noticed the metal cap was deteriorating.

Here's what time, weather, and creosote did to our previous cap. Not good, but not bad for seven years of heavy use. You can see that the fin completely departed in the last heavy wind storm. Fortunately, our regular cleaning schedule caught the problem.

The cap has a fin at the back that forces the protective portion of the cap to vane into the wind.

The back portion of the chimney cap is open to allow the smoke to flow away from pipe and keep downdrafts from occurring. Except when we light a fire in a light of breezes that isn't strong enough to move the cap, it works perfectly for us. When that happens, we move the cap manually with a long pole to prevent initial blowback when the fire is started. Once the flew is hot, the natural draw takes over.

Here's a detailed article from Mother Earth News that provides a lot of installation and safety information.

Do you use a woodstove for heat? Do you have problems with smoke blowback? You might want to consider this solution. -- Margy

21 comments:

  1. That is very interesting. The environment has sure taken a toll on the cap.
    MB

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    1. It was more from the internal creosote to make it disintegrate. - Margy

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  2. That's a great addition to the pipes on your wood stove. We used to heat by wood in our other house, but not anymore. We're very lazy now and have a natural gas furnace and a natural gas fireplace :)

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    1. I hate when smoke gets in the cabin, without it we would get smoked out. Gas is good for town, we have it in our condo. - Margy

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  3. Replies
    1. Only in spurts so we can be lazy in front of the fire. - Margy

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  4. We do part of our heating with an antique wood cook stove that we restored. We, too, get strong winds here and had to have a wind band added to our stove pipe chimney to help keep downdrafts away. We love that nice warm heat in the mornings and evenings.

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    1. They still allow wood heat in our town, and of course at the cabin it's unregulated. Some cities have banned smoke. - Margy

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  5. Seems it never ends when owning your own home, the repairs needed to keep the place functioning. I remember my dad used to work on the flue/chimney at our cottage many years ago.

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    1. Cleaning the chimney is so important. We clean ours several times each season because we use it so much. - Margy

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  6. Good for you for being so on top of maintenance. We are on the better safe than sorry plan with our stove too.

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  7. We had a fireplace in S. CA that would blow smoke back - we researched it and found that it just needed a new lintel so my son (in high school) and I put one in - what a messy job that was - but it worked.

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    1. I remember having a wood fireplace when I was a kid. It was in SoCal (Compton). After that the houses all had gas instead. - Margy

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  8. Great idea to have a rotating cap, ours is fixed but luckily we have only had 'blow back' a couple of times. Our son is a tree surgeon, so we have a great supply of logs :) x

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    1. Good for you. Getting wood at a reasonable price can be a challenge. Nothing better than a woodstove when you live on the water. - Margy

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  9. Wonderful solution. Wood heat is the best.

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    1. We love it, but keep water going to counteract the dry air. - Margy

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  10. My brother has this problem with his wood stove sometimes, will have to show him this. I like a wood burning stove.

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    1. Because of the placement of our chimney our blow back problem is worse. I'm with you, love a wood burning stove. - Margy

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  11. Thanks for linking up this week to the Homestead Blog Hop! Great post!

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