Fireplace use causes heavy smoke odor

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by dborns, Jan 23, 2020.

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  1. Jan 23, 2020 #1

    dborns

    dborns

    dborns

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    We’ve been in our house for a couple months now, and have run in to a fireplace issue. It’s a dual fireplace setup, one upstairs and one down with separate flues. We haven’t used the downstairs one yet, so I’m not sure if it’ll have the same problem.
    I had a sweep clean both flues when we moved in. The first time we used the upstairs FP, it smoked up the house enough to set off the smoke alarms. I had them come back out and he put sheet metal on both of the chimneys at the top in case it was pulling air from the basement flue and down drafting. That helped a little, but it still smoked up the house and the bedroom smelled really bad. They came back and put an extension on the chimney at the top to make it higher than the lower. He also dropped a piece of metal down to make sure it wasn’t clogged and put heat tape on the glass to seal it. Still stinks... So yesterday I got a piece of sheet metal and screwed it on the bedroom side to close it off and we still had a smoke odor just in the bedroom. I noticed smoke stain on the bedroom side from past issues so I know smoke has been coming back into the bedroom. Again, the odor is only on the bedroom side, and I’m not really seeing any actual smoke, just the odor.
    The first pic is the living room side that doesn’t have an odor, 2nd is the bedroom side smoke stain, and 3rd is bedroom side.

    Any further suggestions?
     

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  2. Jan 23, 2020 #2

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

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    Try cracking a downstairs window to create a better draw.
     
  3. Jan 23, 2020 #3

    dborns

    dborns

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    I’ll try that, thank you
     
  4. Jan 27, 2020 #4

    dborns

    dborns

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    We had another fire last night to do what you suggested. I also taped the seams in the glass on the bedroom side. I opened the main level garage door and left the man door to the garage open. I didn’t do the basement like you suggested because there’s only an exterior door, and a lower garage. The windows don’t open. I had a fire going for about an hour with no issues. No smell anywhere in the house. For some reason, all of a sudden the house filled with heavy smoke in about two minutes.... It was like the flue had been shut, but it was open. No idea what happened. There was visible smoke rolling out the top of the fireplace. I’m about to just shut this down for good.
    Any other suggestions before I give it up?
     
  5. Jan 28, 2020 #5

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

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    Are you using real firewood, or those paper wrapped, oil soaked logs?
     
  6. Jan 28, 2020 #6

    dborns

    dborns

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    Its dried firewood. I was initially wondering if the smell was due to the type of wood I was using, but it’s not the wood that would cause a backflow like that. And the winds were calm.
     
  7. Jan 28, 2020 #7

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

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    I'd recommend to get a chimney repair person to camera the entire firebox and chimney before using again.
     
  8. Feb 5, 2020 #8

    dborns

    dborns

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    “I'd recommend to get a chimney repair person to camera the entire firebox and chimney before using again.”

    Yeah after our last issue, all fireplace use has been nixed by the Boss of the house.....

    I did call a different Sweep for a second opinion, and he said he’d come scope the chimney, but would feel bad charging me after all the work the first guy has put in.
    He said that it’s a common issue with how tight homes are built now, and his suggestion was to open up a window on the first floor to see if that helps draw better.
     

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