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Chimney & Fireplaces/ELCO fireplace smoking when blower starts


ELCO controller
ELCO controller  
ELCO fireplace
ELCO fireplace  
QUESTION: We have purchased a house that has an ELCO fireplace with blower. Unfortunately, we have no operating instruction. burning wood works well, when the slider on top is pulled out. Pushed in, smoke is coming out through the doors. Also, the blower starts when the control knob is turned all the way to "summer switch" but pushing smoke out through the door. Can you give me some basic instructions of what to do with the slider and the switch?
Thanks a lot.

ANSWER: Hello Joerg, never heard of an ALCO fireplace I think that is just the fan controller look inside and up around the  inside of the unit for a "TAG" there you would find a  manufacture and model number, if you have that I might be able to find the owners manual, that knob you move that gives smoke out through the doors might be the Damper (must be open completely when you have a fire), when the fire is out open the doors, look up inside (be carful not to get soot in your eyes) and move the knob, if it opens and closed a door up high in the firebox then it is the damper.
Hope this helped

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Fireplace plate
Fireplace plate  
QUESTION: Hello James,
Thanks a lot for your quick reply. I now understand the purpose of the stick and it is in accordance with my observations (smoking when pushed in, no smoking when pulled out.
When the temperature reached a certain level the blower starts but beside hot air it pushes smoke out. What's wrong?

I found the tag. It says Warnock Herb and Andersen Welding Model No. ELCO MB 301 as far as I can read it. The serial no is 069691. Does this help?

Thank you for your help.

Welcome back Joerg, no it does not help, I can read the model #, and Warnock is a testing company like UL, that "slide knob" is either the damper or fresh air intake, there maybe damage to the unit and why it smokes, I would have a local Certified Chimney Sweep, (there you can look up by zip code to find one near you) take a first hand look at what you have, they should be able to help.
Hope this helps

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James Ball


I am a chimney sweep with over 22 years of experience, CSIA certified and member of the NCSG, I can answer questions about smoky fire places, wood stoves, and heating units (boiler and furnace chimneys) do you need a relining? A cap? And much more


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