BK Ashford 30 Install

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,229
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Are you guys sensitive to smells in general?
Some guys are sensitive and some ashfords seem to emit an offensive odor. Sometimes you get really unlucky and both of these things happen at the same time. This looks to be one of those times.
 

ValleyCottageSplitter

Feeling the Heat
Dec 11, 2016
439
Rockland Co, NY
Yes, ours had been quite bad with the creosote vapors. It would smell like someone lit a joint up in our hallway upstairs after an hour of low burn. Unless our 3yr old is getting into a bad crowd at pre-school it's probably time to do something about the stove ;).
I think most people would be bothered by the exhaust we are getting in the house.
It smells again this morning of the plastic smell right after the cat is engaged. Either that is causing more smoke leakage pressure thru the gasket or it is heating up the Rutland cement.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,791
Downeast Maine
I don't blame you for being upset. I'm allergic to smoke, dander, dust, the south, some evergreens, and many other things, as is my wife, so this wouldn't fly in my house either. If we get any smell, it's because we messed up, not the stove.
 

ValleyCottageSplitter

Feeling the Heat
Dec 11, 2016
439
Rockland Co, NY
I talked to Chris and Francisco at BK. They said they would replace the stove with another BK stove but any refund would ultimately be up to the dealer. I still have to lug this thing to CT about 60mi away and go get a new stove in here. I will call the dealer tomorrow and see what the options are... This has been such a disaster. I don't know why I still want to burn wood. I must be crazy.

Apparently there has been 27 smoke warranty claims with the Ashford and "about one" of each other model. And that is out of "thousands and thousands of stoves per year".

We burned another load today and it might be this Ashford's last. There was no smell initially but as soon as the cat was engaged it filled the house again with whatever this is. Good chance it's the 5oz of Rutland black, some chance this is just smoke blasting through the gasket. I haven't seen anyone post about Rutland making smell, in fact I've heard mostly the opposite.
 
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lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,553
San Ysidro, New Mexico
The first thing that should be done when having an issue is to use manufacturers recommendation and products that they can help with diagnosis cause that is what they use and there are many using it without issues.
I read before that once a while when you get backflashes smoke puff out of the flue collar connection?
That is more than enough to have Creo smell coming through there into the room if the connection is not sealing like it should.
 

ValleyCottageSplitter

Feeling the Heat
Dec 11, 2016
439
Rockland Co, NY
@lsucet
My main issues have nothing to do with backflashes. That happened once because I was trying to run the stove with too little warm up on the 1st new gasket burn when it was 60°F outside.

I'm running with the draft above 0.08" on a medium flameless burn and creosote vapor starts emitting out the gasket, up the stove top and out around the collar. Did this with 4 diff chimney configs I tried. Apparently there may be 27 people with the same Ashford issue. BK says they have no idea and can't replicate it when the stove is switched to a different chimney.

Regarding the chimney I replaced the collar with a straight tight dsp pipe connection, even sealing all the crevices with cement. As others report, if you remove the top it is obvious the smell comes out the gasket.
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,644
Southern IN

rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,526
Michigan
I'd still like to see a field rep make a visit to all the homes who continue to have these troubles.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
911
Iowa
Glad you are getting some positive response from the company. If a replacement BK becomes the best option you may consider the Princess for its reliable track record!
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,478
SEPA
Yes. I am calling BK tomorrow. They are plenty tired of hearing from me.

@Mnpellet there are at least 10 other people on Hearth.com with the AF30.2 that have this exact creo vapor issue. Just msging with one guy who is in process of extraditing his 2018 AF30.2 as we speak.

What a huge disappointment. This stove has so much going for it. Not sure what my options and actions will be next. I might try to burn a few last fires with the windows open and see if this plastic smell goes away while the kids are out of the house. Even with the stove cool it still reeks of that smell if you get close.
I recommend electric heat, maybe natural gas. Sell the stove, and the whatever wood you have left. I'm not being facetious. Just doesn't seem like it's in the cards for you. Maybe give it another go after the kids have moved out and perhaps you've moved to another house. I'd have given up myself about 400 posts ago.
 

ValleyCottageSplitter

Feeling the Heat
Dec 11, 2016
439
Rockland Co, NY
@ED 3000 way to be supportive :mad:. We have natural gas. It's not about that. We would have wasted about $8,000 on install costs and depreciation of the stove. Plus I would have to go patch and repaint the wall. There's going to be a new stove there.

Are trying to say that we should just put up with constant smoke in the house, that's what you are getting at? It's not for us?
 
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edyit

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2014
817
Wilmington NY
Maybe try a stove besides the BK? They do get a lot of praise on here, but like everything else on this planet nothing is infallible. Should be able to get a decent non cat stove for what you can sell the BK for. That would recoup some of the cost. I dunno, just throwing out ideas, I know something that stinks every time we tried to use it for heat would have been tossed and replaced here a long time ago. You're a much more patient individual than I am.
 

ValleyCottageSplitter

Feeling the Heat
Dec 11, 2016
439
Rockland Co, NY
@edyit Certainly I would consider a non-cat. Something like a Englander 30NC would not work with our house layout though and the inconsistent heat output could make it unusable for us. On the one hand, we did manage okay with 6-8hr burn times due to our Ashford issues, but a 10-12hr burn time adds a huge amount of convenience (only two loads per day). Depending on what happens with the BK return, I've been really eyeing the Woodstock Progress Hybrid if there is someway to make that happen. From what I can tell it has a really nice wide range of heat output, plenty great burn times and the side loading would remove risk of door gasket leakage like the BK design.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,644
central pa
@edyit Certainly I would consider a non-cat. Something like a Englander 30NC would not work with our house layout though and the inconsistent heat output could make it unusable for us. On the one hand, we did manage okay with 6-8hr burn times due to our Ashford issues, but a 10-12hr burn time adds a huge amount of convenience (only two loads per day). Depending on what happens with the BK return, I've been really eyeing the Woodstock Progress Hybrid if there is someway to make that happen. From what I can tell it has a really nice wide range of heat output, plenty great burn times and the side loading would remove risk of door gasket leakage like the BK design.
There is still a gasket on that side door also. Any time you are burning low and slow like with cats there is going to be more risk of smell. I know with the princess I used this year even though I didn't burn low all that much there was more smell than with any of the non cats I have used. It wasn't bad at all but it was there.
 

ValleyCottageSplitter

Feeling the Heat
Dec 11, 2016
439
Rockland Co, NY
@bholler That's what I've been trying to understand. Do all stoves release smoke vapor running at lower burn rates? It seems like some company must have figured out a solution by now. A lot of people say there is zero smell coming from their BK stoves that are running at especially low burn rates.

All glass must have a gasket, though I more mean that a permanent gaskets vs a door gasket may have an advantage.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,229
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
All loading doors have door gaskets and all glass has seals. The side door on the ph could leak too.

There are a handful of stoves on the market that can reliably give you 12 hours of actual burn time reliably. Woodstock makes a few of them and in all the years I’ve been here I’ve never read if a smoke smell problem from the Woodstocks. I would prefer the IS model to the ph though.
 
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rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,526
Michigan
All loading doors have door gaskets and all glass has seals. The side door on the ph could leak too.

There are a handful of stoves on the market that can reliably give you 12 hours of actual burn time reliably. Woodstock makes a few of them and in all the years I’ve been here I’ve never read if a smoke smell problem from the Woodstocks. I would prefer the IS model to the ph though.
In the beginning the Progress DID have smoke smell issues on the door side, they responded quickly and were able to come up with a gasket kit that resolved the issue for the users.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,791
Downeast Maine
We don't get smell from our stove unless I do something wrong or otherwise make a mistake. I know our setup is different, but I wouldn't tolerate any smoke smell from any stove. Our old smoke dragon was in rough shape to begin with, but we drew the line when it filled the house with smoke on a windy night. This also means I don't trust any thermostatically controlled stove. I know folks love them and it is more convenient, but I like having complete control. My truck is also six speed and my wife's car is a manual. All of our vehicles, with the exception of a Nissan Titan, have been manual. Perhaps you could try a "manual" Stove.

Edit


If you get a lot of wind, that might be contributing to your smell. The old smoke dragon always had the faintest wiff of that sweet smokey smell when I came in the house, but it would quickly clear. We used that stove for like, three weeks. Many folks along the Maine coast report similar issues with stoves like ours that were in good shape. To me, thermostatically controlled stoves don't work in windy climates.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,791
Downeast Maine
Come to think of it, our plumber keeps an old VC Vigilant burning at the shop in the winter and it has that same smell and feel when you walk in, but much less. The wind is even worse when you get closer to river where the plumber is. The folks around here with Tstat stoves run them hot to avoid smoke issues. We didn't have this option because our Defiant some damage from previous occupants of our home.
 

ValleyCottageSplitter

Feeling the Heat
Dec 11, 2016
439
Rockland Co, NY
@Highbeam Yes, just that there may be an advantage that the air wash is not blowing on the door gasket of a side loading door. That's what some people are hypothesizing about the Ashford. Like Spacebus mentions, one problem with the auto thermostat is that the air is on full blast for a lot of the first 30min and way overshoots the temp you want. Therefore it has to shut down the air hard. That's where is smoking for me. A manual stove you may warm up for 15 min after a reload and you can immediately turn it down before it gets up to steady state temp.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,791
Downeast Maine
@Highbeam Yes, just that there may be an advantage that the air wash is not blowing on the door gasket of a side loading door. That's what some people are hypothesizing about the Ashford. Like Spacebus mentions, one problem with the auto thermostat is that the air is on full blast for a lot of the first 30min and way overshoots the temp you want. Therefore it has to shut down the air hard. That's where is smoking for me. A manual stove you may warm up for 15 min after a reload and you can immediately turn it down before it gets up to steady state temp.
Yeah, once the flue is hot and I see the smoke start to burn I start cutting back. When the flame starts to weaken, increase the air a bit, and then continue turning down until the flame is settled and the draft is 15% or less open. Stove top temps might peak above 700 for my stove, but it's a short peak and only right where the exhaust passes by the baffle. I don't even pay attention to stove top and just hit the single wall with my IR gun to make sure it gets up to temp. My flue also runs up my house and is well insulated despite being oversized. Pretty much all of, if any, creosote in my setup forms in the top chamber of my stove. My flue stays pretty clean if I get everything up to temp at the start of the burn.

I'm running the stove the same way now, but with smaller loads than I did in winter. It's annoying to have to light it all the time, but burns are short and my house doesn't overheat. Right now I'm using about 16 lbs a day with two small 8 lb fires with temps on the 50's day and mid 30's night. My stove is too small for your needs, but I think the PH will be awesome. I wish I could have it in my house, but it's too big.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,644
Southern IN
There is still a gasket on that side door also. Any time you are burning low and slow like with cats there is going to be more risk of smell.
in all the years I’ve been here I’ve never read if a smoke smell problem from the Woodstocks. I would prefer the IS model to the ph though.
Never smelled anything with the Keystone or Fireview.
I don't trust any thermostatically controlled stove. I know folks love them and it is more convenient, but I like having complete control.
Ditto, I like having manual control. One of us is usually around to open up the air on the coals and get more heat, if it's really cold out. In average outside temps, with cat stoves I've run, room temp doesn't vary more that a couple degrees over the entire burn. Manual control was part of the reason I went with the old version of the T5 without the EBT2. I'm not convinced I made the right choice, however. Of course, I could tweak the old style T5 to totally manually control the secondary, but I'm obviously not going to do that to my SIL's stove. If the stove were mine, maybe I could come up with a way to have the secondary operate in stock mode, yet override it if I wanted to.
OTOH, if we were gone for long work days, I think a thermostat would be good for automatically opening the air on the coal bed at the end of the burn.
there may be an advantage that the air wash is not blowing on the door gasket of a side loading door.
The T5 has a big front door. The door gasket seals flat against the front wall of the box, as you can see in the first load pic in my thread. The Buck 91 did the same, with a big front door. I think that might provide a better seal than a knife-edge...or I could be full of crap again. ;lol Never any smoke smell with either of those stoves, and I was running the T5 when it was 60* outside. However, the stove draws unbelievably, and I could still open the door with no smoke roll-out.
It's annoying to have to light it all the time, but burns are short and my house doesn't overheat.
I got better at starting new loads with a minimum of hassle, using good kindling and a SuperCedar chunk or two. Weather you start a new load with kindling or you do it off coals, you still have to monitor the stove until it gets up to temp and you cut the air and/or close the bypass. But yeah, the small firebox you have is going to require more re-starts.
I would prefer the IS model to the ph though.
Ditto. The welded-seam steel box appeals to me, but soapstone sure looks nice...
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,644
central pa
Never smelled anything with the Keystone or Fireview.
Ditto, I like having manual control. One of us is usually around to open up the air on the coals and get more heat, if it's really cold out. In average outside temps, with cat stoves I've run, room temp doesn't vary more that a couple degrees over the entire burn. Manual control was part of the reason I went with the old version of the T5 without the EBT2. I'm not convinced I made the right choice, however. Of course, I could tweak the old style T5 to totally manually control the secondary, but I'm obviously not going to do that to my SIL's stove. If the stove were mine, maybe I could come up with a way to have the secondary operate in stock mode, yet override it if I wanted to.
OTOH, if we were gone for long work days, I think a thermostat would be good for automatically opening the air on the coal bed at the end of the burn.
The T5 has a big front door. The door gasket seals flat against the front wall of the box, as you can see in the first load pic in my thread. The Buck 91 did the same, with a big front door. I think that might provide a better seal than a knife-edge...or I could be full of crap again. ;lol Never any smoke smell with either of those stoves, and I was running the T5 when it was 60* outside. However, the stove draws unbelievably, and I could still open the door with no smoke roll-out.
I got better at starting new loads with a minimum of hassle, using good kindling and a SuperCedar chunk or two. Weather you start a new load with kindling or you do it off coals, you still have to monitor the stove until it gets up to temp and you cut the air and/or close the bypass. But yeah, the small firebox you have is going to require more re-starts.
Ditto. The welded-seam steel box appeals to me, but soapstone sure looks nice...
One of the keystone's we works on smells horrible.
 

rdust

Minister of Fire
Feb 9, 2009
4,526
Michigan
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,644
Southern IN
The Progress is a steel box with a soapstone skin.
Oh yeah, I spaced that out...again. ;em In that case the PH would be in play for me and I'd compare the constructions of the two hybrid systems, burn times etc. I'd prefer to look at the soapstone, of course.
One of the keystone's we works on smells horrible.
When it's burning? I've sometimes gotten a faint whiff of smoke right over the stove this year but I'm pretty sure I just need to replace the flue exit cover plate gasket (rear-vent setup.) It's not coming from the door. Could you tell where it was coming from on the Keystone you see?
I haven't yet replaced a gasket on this stove, except the glass when I took it out for access to seal a seam leak..I really need to get them all this summer.