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is there any way to stop a downdraft?

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damon booz
damon booz Member Posts: 11
Can a downdraft cause the furnace safety to go off?? We live in a very windy valley. Notice some correlation between really windy days and the safety being set off. From time to time hear extra loud "bang" when furnace lights and smell raw fuel. Also checked into "loss of prime" issue/fuel line connections (seems ok).

Comments

  • nick z.
    nick z. Member Posts: 157
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    down draft

    A chimmney cap will usally help this. Have a chimmney guy install one.
  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,479
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    What kind of Cimney?

    If it's a masonry chimney a chimney liner might help. Found a strong downdraft the other day in a masonry chimney that had only a gas water heater going into it. Installed an aluminium chimney liner with cap and the problem went away. WW

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  • Alan R. Mercurio
    Alan R. Mercurio Member Posts: 588
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    Fields Products makes a product called a star cap. It is designed to deflect the wind away from the chimney so it does not have an adverse effect on the draft.

    I've used then in a few situations and they have proven to be reliable for me.

    And I agree be safe and have a chimney guy or service tech install this for you.

    Your friend in the industry,
    Alan R. Mercurio

    Oil Tech Talk
  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317
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    Vent caps

    Down drafts can be tough, first thing is to make you house as least negative as possible, sometimes a pipe to the outdoors into the air return will do it, a air to air heat exchanger is better. Then there are "Wind Proof" caps available for the vent, then a barometric damper instead of the factory draft diverter.
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
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    This is an oil-fired piece of equipment...

    isn't it? If not, please read National Fuel Gas Code section 7.12 - "Draft Hoods and Draft Controls", if you have it or care about it, that is.
  • What year Code Book

    7.12 does not exist in the 2002 Edition?????

    OOps I found it in NFPA 54 -1999 edition!!!
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
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    FIRST!


    You need to determine the cause.

    Wind may or may not be the cause.

    Someone needs to test this first, determine the cause, and THEN address the problem.

    Until testing is done, your just guessing.

    Mark H

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  • Jack_23
    Jack_23 Member Posts: 153
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    Several possible causes

    previous posters are correct. If it is a masonry end wall chimney a flexible liner may be necessary. If factory buyilt, you may be able to add on to it. IMHO, Z-flex's Aerocowl is head and shoulders over any other cap I have used. Be aware that an old house when built had no trees growing around it. 20 yrs or hower longer and your roof/ vegetation/age of system can impact this too.

    Hire a pro and get it looked at. Call in a chimney sweep. Make sure he is certified by the "Nat'l chimney sweep guild"
  • Dave DeFord
    Dave DeFord Member Posts: 119
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    Just a HO but had the same problem...

    a number of years ago. On a natural gas furnace the pilot would go out on windy days. Replaced the thermocouple - still had the problem. Called in the heating guy down the street - he replaced the gas valve - still had the problem. Scratched my head and looked around. Found that there was a deal on the flue pipe between the furnace and the chimney that let the chimney draft air from the basement up the chimney(maybe it's there to prevent wind from getting to the burner I don't know). Someone had covered this with screen and it had become clogged with dog hair. Removed the screen cleaned it and reinstalled it - problem went away. It was an easy free fix that the furnace guys didn't check for.
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
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    Screen built into the chimney cap...

    would be safer, if you want protection against critters invading. The screen at the draft diverter opening may still be effecting the combustion in an unsafe way, even if it's clean. Good job finding the problem that others didn't, though!
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
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    Timmie...

    I believe that the steps you take when modifying the draft hood are generally in accordance with these rules. You have been diligent in stressing the proper method of testing, notifying the appropriate parties, and trying to get approval from the manufacturer. This subject seems to be a hot topic these days, one that I was not aware of until you raised it a few weeks ago. I don't feel it has really been resolved with everyone here, though.
  • Jim, It will not get resolved

    in this forum as it is not a face to face format which is what I enjoy most. I am sure at the next Wetstock IV this will be a hot topic. The forum that John Hall from the NEWS is putting together at ISH North America with Rudy, Jim,Myself and Mark Hunt the moderator will certainly be intersting if not enlightening to say the least. As it is said "Rome was not built in a day," I have been hacking away at this for over 40 years and feel I am still learning. I am looking forward to sitting down in a quiet atmosphere with out emotion and joining my findings to the findings of others and hopefully new and creative process comes forth that will improve equipment and safely bring a close to the effects of Carbon Monoxide on an unkowing public. We who know have a responsibility to teach those who do not.

    The good book says' "Come let us reason together".
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
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    Good reasoning...

    and good luck in all of your efforts. Do you have a proposal for something more that the manufacturer needs to address on this subject?
  • mph
    mph Member Posts: 77
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    Downdraft

    Something that hasn't been mentioned is the importance of the height of the vent. If it's too low, wind hitting the roof from the opposite side can cause a downdraft through the vent. Raising it above the ridge often cures this problem. The same can happen if the vent termination is too close to a vertical surface.

    Jeff
  • Some proposals are

    posted in the thread "CO Training & Manufacturers"
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
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    I can appreciate all the interaction in that posting...

    and have gone back through prior posts and alot of replies that I missed or misconstrued previously.
  • John Lenhart
    John Lenhart Member Posts: 25
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    Star Kap

    Just to add to Alan Mercurio's Post. Star Kap can be found searching Field Controls in yahoo or google. Hope this helps.
  • Alan R. Mercurio
    Alan R. Mercurio Member Posts: 588
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    Hello John, Good thought I should have mentioned that. See you and the rest of the guys tonight. Be prepaired to
    dis-assemble & assemble some burners this evening.

    Your friend in the industry,
    Alan R. Mercurio

    Oil Tech Talk
  • Dave DeFord
    Dave DeFord Member Posts: 119
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    But...

    if I stop them before they can get in the chimney I don't get those nifty skeletons in the cleanout.
  • jim sokolovic
    jim sokolovic Member Posts: 439
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    That's alright, I saved a few...

    from my chimney cleaning days. Post your address and I'll send em'- you can chose from Reeky Racoon to Scorchy Squirrel! Really though, it would be best not to tempt fate with anything that might compromise the draft diverter performance.
  • Dave DeFord
    Dave DeFord Member Posts: 119
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    I understand...

    but the house that has it is up for sale. I'll talk to the inspector when I have the inspection done - for all I know it's code in my area. My new house is getting roof work and possibly a tuck point on the chimney next year - I look into having one installed then.
This discussion has been closed.