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This is a personal question for all the fireplace guru's.[:-bigmout My house has a Country Flame fireplace with the metal doors and glass inserts. The problem I have is after a few hours of use the glass inserts in the doors get so black I can't see the flame through the glass, I know if the unit is working right the doors should not get the buildup on them. This is a really good fireplace with blowers and duct work for using with the central unit, it kept my house warm last weekend when we had the cold spell. I use several different types of wood and all seem to get the (I assume)cresote buildup on the glasses. If someone can give me a clue as to something I can do short of raising my chimney another few feet I will send a box of Oklahoma mesquite chips for the grill or smoker.[:-party]

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Thanks Mark and Bill. Unless there is a flaming fire going in the fireplace it will backdraft when the doors are opened. Tha damper does not work but is wide open and I have looked for obstructions in the chimney but it appears to be in good condition. the doors have air control valves as part of the door, so I did not think the damper would be a problem. There is a handle to pull for outside air for combustion but I am not sure how it works, After the 5-8" of snow we are supposed to get this weekend I will let it cool off and clean it out and dive back in again and see what I can find. BTW this fire place is about 20m years old and the company that built it has changed owners and when I called the company I knew as much about firepalces as the person I contacted did.

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After what Scott said I found the fresh air intake has been sealed shut, Why I do not know. I did try an experiment this weekend the fireplace has a huge ash cleanout under the firebox, I propped the cleanout door slightly open and opened the cleanout in the floor of the firebox, that helped immensely, the doors did not get nearly as much cresote buildup as before. I will get in and clean out the fireplace and see why the intake air is sealed off. Also it still backdrafts when I open the doors to add wood. The height of the chimney is slightly above the roof line and barely 2' above the 10 foot distance. I have seen a vacu-cap that is supposed to increase the draft. Has anyone seen or used one of these and do they work. Thanks Again

wildwillie

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  • 11 months later...
Originally posted by Wildwillie

After what Scott said I found the fresh air intake has been sealed shut, Why I do not know. I did try an experiment this weekend the fireplace has a huge ash cleanout under the firebox, I propped the cleanout door slightly open and opened the cleanout in the floor of the firebox, that helped immensely, the doors did not get nearly as much cresote buildup as before. I will get in and clean out the fireplace and see why the intake air is sealed off. Also it still backdrafts when I open the doors to add wood. The height of the chimney is slightly above the roof line and barely 2' above the 10 foot distance. I have seen a vacu-cap that is supposed to increase the draft. Has anyone seen or used one of these and do they work. Thanks Again

wildwillie

It's not creosote, it's just soot. Once you get the air intake cleared out and working properly it should work much better. In the meantime, it won't hurt too much to leave the ash door *slightly* propped open.

As for the backdrafting, have you tried cracking a window in the same room as the fireplace while the fire is burning? If you do this, does it solve the backdrafting problem? You might simply have slightly depressurized house.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Once you close the doors you have shut off the fire's primary source of combustion air. Any other provision in the firebox for combustion air will be insignificant compared to the front opening.

So you close the glass doors. Now air is going to rush into the firebox anyway it can which will create quite a disturbance and swirling of the combustion gases from the fire. The soot staining on the glass is the result of the interruption of the nature draft of the fire. Also, because the air flow has been reduced, creosote generation may be increased.

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