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Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

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    Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions


    Sorry if these are dumb questions, but I've never installed a wood stove before, but I am about to embark on it (well, I'll probably wait a few months, but I'm gathering parts). Anyway, it's for my very small, very simple cabin. We have a propane heater as well, but since it doesn't work when the power is out, I'd like to supplement. I believe I already have a stove I like picked out (very small, very cheap).

    The cabin is in the middle of nowhere, so no one is ever going to come inspect it, but I would still like it to be safe. My questions are:
    - Since it will be on a wood floor, I know I need some protection here. Do I need to use one of those hearth pads, or could I get away with pavers or bricks under the legs (space is an issue)? I assume the pads are also designed to protect against hot stuff falling out.
    - The stove is rectangular and the manual says that the long side should be 24" from the wall and the short side should be 15" from the wall. Could I safely reduce these distances by adding a hearth pad to the wall? I want to install it with the long side as close to the wall as possible. The short side should have plenty of room.
    - The flue pipe will go out the top of the stove and make a 90 before the ceiling to go out the wall. Once outside, it will then make another 90 to go vertical again. Is there a special type of insulated pipe I'm supposed to use in the wall? I can't find any mention of this in the manual, but it seems like I wouldn't want the hot pipe touching my wood walls/siding and insulation.

    I think that's it for now...thanks!

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    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Pad keeps hot coals that jump out from burning your 'bate-shack down. Good idea.

    Close to the wall is bad. Stick with the min distances AND put a hearth pad up on the wall for safety. Fire is bad, m'kay? Hearth pads are cheap. Alternatively, some porcelain tile affixed to come cement board works just as well (basically what a hearth pad is).

    Yes, there are special through wall connectors that enable you to run it out. It's not a trivial installation. You will need to box in a section of framing to the minimum specs of the "thimble" (I've heard it called that, or something close to it).

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Thank you, sir!

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    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    The insulated pipe is supposed to be used from just inside the building, all the way to discharge (not just thru the wall)...otherwise, you risk chimney fires if the creasote cools too fast in the flue.

    I have a used insulated flue setup, complete, I'd be willing to sell if you need one.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Ok, so I'm going through this now, unfortunately I have to have it done by a licensed contractor per my insurance company. Here's some things I've learned along the way:
    - You definitely should have a pad. You can build it yourself or buy a UL listed one. You need 18 inches of non combustible coverage around the stove per NFPA standards.
    - The hearth pad doesn't determine the standoff distances from the wall. For your wall covering, to effectively minimize the distances for clearance you may do three things. 1.) Install a non combustible wall covering with a 1" air gap between the wall and covering. 2.) use a minimum 28 gauge metal heat shield 3.) use double wall pipe
    - You have to use double wall chimney pipe to make the wall penetration, and if you want it to be a reasonable distance from the exterior wall on your vertical stack, you also need double wall. You would use a part called a "thimble" to make the wall penetration. Inside you should use interior double wall pipe, the horizontal section must have a positive pitch of 1/4" per foot. Your outside 90 to turn it vertical will actually need to be a T fitting. You use the bottom of the T for a clean out and to support the weight of the stack.

    All that being said, if you have any way to just run your stack vertically through the roof, do that. The most efficient stacks have no bends. Also, fittings for double walled pipe are very expensive (a 90* fitting for my 6" ID 8" OD pipe is $120.)

    Check out this page, lots of good info here:
    National Ag Safety Database - National Ag Safety Database

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    Last edited by loudbeard; 01-24-17 at 09:39 AM.
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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Duncan is spot on here with all points.
    As said, if possible, go straight up through the roof. Elbows not only reduce draft, but they create a place for the creosote to sit and build up.

    If the camp has no real value and is not insured, your approach is probably fine. If it is insured, and you install a non permitted stove, they will deny your claim if something were to happen.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    The NFPA defines clearance reduction amounts for various types of heat shield configurations. Most of them involve a non combustible material spaced 1" from the wall with an airgap or glass fiber/mineral wool batts without an airgap.

    Take a look at pages 38-39 for a table of options you have. https://woodheatstoves.com/free/NFPA211_old.pdf Stay within their recommendations and you will be safe.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    My girlfriend won't let the wood stove idea die, so I gotta ask. If you were to put one on the first floor of a 2 story house (no brick chimney) I'm guessing you would need to route it outside on the first floor and then have a big ass chimney going up the exterior of the side of the house above the highest point of the roof.

    I feel like that is a lot of lost efficiency as compared to running a chimney through the house, but there's no way I'm running the chimney through the second floor (unless it doubles as a firemans pole) and wasting even more square footage.

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    Last edited by JettaJayGLS; 01-24-17 at 10:13 AM.
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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Regarding the requirement by my insurance company to have the stove installed by a licensed contractor, that is probably something I *could* dispute. My town (and most towns for that matter) has a permit for a homeowner to act as GC and "supervise" all trade work occurring on their property. I would still need to have the installation inspected, and if I met the requirements then I don't believe the insurance company would be able to stand by denying a claim. That said, when I ran the number it was simply not worth it to do it myself, there was too much liability. It's going to cost me about $850 to have the stove installed, I already have an existing approved chimney and wall penetration. Of that $850, $450 is labor and about $400 in double wall pipe (the pipe situation is a bit complicated.) I really just looked at the cost of our home owner's deductible vs the cost of the install and wrote the check. Granted it's our primary residence not a cabin in the woods but even the latter isn't cheap to replace if you're footing the whole bill.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    (Response to jettajay's post) You can run insulated metal flue up the outside, it's not huge. Roughly 10" outside diameter. You can run stove pipe up the inside of the house too, similar size but will take more space with the required clearances. Benefit to this is more heat radiating from the pipe inside the house.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Quote Originally Posted by JettaJayGLS View Post
    My girlfriend won't let the wood stove idea die, so I gotta ask. If you were to put one on the first floor of a 2 story house (no brick chimney) I'm guessing you would need to route it outside on the first floor and then have a big ass chimney going up the exterior of the side of the house above the highest point of the roof.

    I feel like that is a lot of lost efficiency as compared to running a chimney through the house, but there's no way I'm running the chimney through the second floor (unless it doubles as a firemans pole) and wasting even more square footage.
    Yes, you'd need an exterior chimney. It's a bit easier to do on the gable end near the ridge of the roof vs the eave end because of clearance around the top of the stack. At your chimney's highest point you should be able to extend horizontally 10' in any direction without obstruction. Here's a link that cover's most typical installations of a double wall metal stack:
    Typical Chimney Installation Diagrams - Hart's Hearth & Homestead

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    Yes, you'd need an exterior chimney. It's a bit easier to do on the gable end near the ridge of the roof vs the eave end because of clearance around the top of the stack. At your chimney's highest point you should be able to extend horizontally 10' in any direction without obstruction. Here's a link that cover's most typical installations of a double wall metal stack:
    Typical Chimney Installation Diagrams - Hart's Hearth & Homestead
    Holy shit, those are a lot of options. Thanks!

    The flashing does not extend far enough off the house to go through it like most of those pictures suggest. I think that actually makes things easier if I decide to go through it.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Thanks guys!

    I didn't really want to cut a hole in my new metal roof, but maybe that's a worthwhile option.

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Our Hearthstone has a "Rear Heat Shield" that goes on the back and allows you be be closer the the back wall: 8" from the back wall instead of 19", and 7" from a corner instead of 17". Those stoves aren't cheap nor is the accessory, but perhaps the stove you are looking has the same option or you might be able to fabricate one:


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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    It's called all-fuel piping and comes in a few sizes.

    My set up has 10" OD stove pipe going up ~22" from the stove to a 90 which then changes over to the 10" OD all-fuel, through a wall thimble and then a T to go vertical up and 2' past the roof peak.

    If you care about your cabin, don't consider anything from Home Depot or Lowe's.

    I selected Hart & Cooley stainless all-fuel pipe because it is lifetime warranty and is a superior product compared to HD or Lowe's galvanized offerings.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    Also, fittings for double walled pipe are very expensive (a 90* fitting for my 6" ID 8" OD pipe is $120.)
    the pipe itself ain't cheap either, when I bought my house, there was a wood stove with a metalbestos chimney, going straight thru the ceiling and roof, I sold the used chimney parts and used stove in a yard sale and got enuf $$ to build a masonry chimney

    as a firewall next to my wood burning furnace, I have 5/8" fire rated sheetrock using ceramic electric fence insulators as standoffs even though my furnace does not require a firewall, insurance company didn't care that I had inspection from the local building inspector & fire dept, thye wanted to see a firewall

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    the pipe itself ain't cheap either, when I bought my house, there was a wood stove with a metalbestos chimney, going straight thru the ceiling and roof, I sold the used chimney parts and used stove in a yard sale and got enuf $$ to build a masonry chimney
    Very expensive. I was fortunate I had a complete Metalbestos chimney in place already. A 4' section of pipe is $185, wall penetration kit (T fitting, thimble, support bracket) is around $400, roof penetration kit is $275. I had to buy a clean out cap for the bottom of the T, it was missing for some reason, that alone was $85.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    To save on the next thread about sweeping......Use a nylon sweep. The metal ones score the crap out of the pipe.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    I went Simpson Duravent "triple wall" (meaning two walls, IDGAF if "air" is a wall). Straight up from the 1st floor center of my house, through my walk in closet, into the attic, then out 2' from the peak of my roof.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    To the OP, I know you said you you’ll need a contractor but just to add to the discussion.

    Generally speaking you can just follow the stove manufacturer’s instructions which will list clearance to combustibles, floor protection dimensions and R value for the floor protection. If you don’t have the instructions or can’t find the manufacture’s tag on the stove (which will usually have clearance info on it too) refer to the NFP211 for minimum requirements for clearances and floor protection requirements. As already mentioned, you can also reference the NFPA211 info to reduce clearance requirements. In some instances the Jurisdiction Having Authority (JHA), usually the fire inspector but not always, may have their own requirements.

    In terms of the prefab chimney, straight is generally best but don’t worry too much about running it outside the house, sometimes it’s just easier to run it outside. If it’s run inside and passes through a “livable” space above the floor it’s installed on then it needs to be enclosed in a chase through the “livable” space. Clearance for prefab chimney is generally 1” on an exterior install and 2” for interior installs but refer to the manufacturer’s instructions here too. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the stuff sold in the box stores as long as it’s listed to UL103HT and most manufacturers have a “limited” lifetime warranty. Obviously the chimney with a galvanized exterior vs. stainless probably won’t last as long but if its listed to 103Ht then it will have a stainless interior. Be careful referring to prefab chimney as Metolbestos, which is a brand of prefab chimney. If you already have some sections of prefab chimney, walk up to the counter and ask for Metalbestos you may end up with product from two different manufactures that may or may not connect together. In order for any prefab chimney to maintain its UL listing all the pieces/components have to be from the same manufacturer and the same model chimney. And, yes, use a poly brush when sweeping.

    If you’re looking for a pro you can do a search by zip code at either of these two:

    Certified Chimney Professionals

    Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) - Home

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  21. #21
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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    I was required to pull a mechanical permit to install my wood burning insert in an existing fireplace. Inspector used minimum clearances from the installation manual from the stove, not some fixed code. Required I build out the hearth an extra 6" to pass. Stove sales people had told me that I could use a non-combustible rug and be okay. Inspector said "not in my town".

    I'd stick to whatever the book for your stove says.

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    I'm shocked at how expensive all of the little chimney pieces are, now that I am actually looking into it. I'm glad you guys brought this up, because otherwise I would have bought the stove and got it in place before looking into it (I assumed it'd be like $75 worth of ducting).

    Would you guys advise against a kit like this? I would obviously need to get all of the straight sections, but it seems to have everything I would need for $400 Shop SuperVent 11-Piece Chimney Pipe Accessory Kit for Wall Support at Lowes.com

    I also called a local chimney guy who installs stoves often. He said it would likely be around $1500

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  23. #23
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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Read the reviews for what you linked and I'll say it again...Stay away from the products offered by Lowe's and HD. They are inferior products by comparison.

    $1500 is cheap insurance to avoid buring your cabin to the ground.

    It's your life but if you're open to advice...don't skimp on this.

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  24. #24
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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Just letting this out, take it any way you'd like: We use a woodstove as our primary heat source and have been doing so longer than I can remember. We heat +/-2500 sq ft with our Lopi Liberty. We have TWO 90 degree bends in our chimney - one going TO the thimble, one coming OUT of the thimble. The only issue we ever had with that was initial start-up, but it was an easy fix...

    All we had to do to heat the chimney enough to get a good draft going was simply to start a small file using just newspaper & kindling. Within a few minutes, it was ready to go even in the colder temps. BUT (big but here) that was ONLY when the chimney ran two stories up along the exterior of the house. It's now indoors as we've put an addition on the house. Naturally, we now have absolutely no issue with draft...

    As for creosote, even when the chimney was on the exterior we never had much of an issue. We've always cleaned ours every year, but judging from what's come out of it every year, we could easily skip a year or two - even when the chimney was outside. There's a TON of misconceptions regarding creosote out there. Do some homework and you can probably lay some of those concerns to rest...

    That's it. Like I said, just tossing it out there for you to weigh. Not looking for debates or graphs...it's just our first hand experience. May work for some, maybe not for others...

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    Re: Couple of stupid wood stove installation questions

    Quote Originally Posted by butcher bergs View Post
    Read the reviews for what you linked
    I appreciate the input (even if it doesn't seem like it since I suggested the opposite of what you suggested.

    All of those bad reviews are from people who didn't read the description and expected to get a complete kit. It clearly says you need to buy whatever else you need, specific to your application. I didn't see anything bad about the quality or functionality.

    Agreed that $1500 is reasonable, especially if materials end up costing me over $500

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