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Ask Machinc Your Own Question
Machinc, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 795
Experience:  Has written home improvement articles since 2008. Earned South Carolina Residential Builders License in 1991.
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Outdoor fireplace smokes

Customer Question

Outdoor fireplace smokes
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Machinc replied 7 months ago.

Most chimneys that do not draw properly are partially blocked or have a design problem.

  1. Check that there is no blockage in your chimney.. Leaves , nests , construction debri.
  2. Check that the chimney has a liner , either clay or metal pipe.
Expert:  Machinc replied 7 months ago.

After checking the above if the chimney is clear and you can tell it has a liner the possible cause is the chimney is too short.

i will explain how to test for this in a moment

Expert:  Machinc replied 7 months ago.
  1. ​if there is a decorative cap on the chimney remove carefully.
  2. Insert a metal chimney liner section into the chimney ( I will post a link )
  3. Make sure the section is secure and only extends into the ecusting chimney about a foot.
Expert:  Machinc replied 7 months ago.

Once the temporary section is in place build a fire and observe if performance has improved. If not add one more section ( they come in around two foot increments) .

I will post more and a link in a moment.

Expert:  Machinc replied 7 months ago.

This is the type of pipe you can use to test the "draw " of the fireplace by increasing the height of the chimney.

This pipe and similar types come in different sizes .you have to get it to fit tight so size is important .

Once the fireplace is "drawing " properly the chimney will need to be increased to the test height.

This can be done by adding additional masonry or by using decorative pipe and caps.

I will be glad to answer any questions you may have

Expert:  Machinc replied 7 months ago.

This is just a sample of what is often used to correct the problem you are describing.

Expert:  Machinc replied 7 months ago.
By adjusting the length of the "test pipe" you can find the correct height for your finished chimney.
Expert:  Machinc replied 7 months ago.
Dont be tempted to make it too short or you could get right back into the " poor draw" smoking situation.

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