Another Woodstove Question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mistletoad, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We really want to get a wood stove installed, but can't find anyone locally to answer our questions and I know you guys will have some good ideas so here goes.

    Our house has 3 masonary chimneys, 2 of which appear to be lined with terracotta and 1 that we cannot see into and does not actually come out through the roof. The 2 lined chimneys are currently used to vent the 2 propane boilers used for our baseboard heating. The baseboard heaters go around the external walls of the house in each room.

    Can a woodstove share a chimney with the propane boiler?
    Would that be a better option than extending and lining the unused chimney?
    If we can't use any of those chimneys, we could get an external flue thingy built, but would it be a problem to have a woodstove on the same wall as the baseboard heaters?

    What else do we need to know?
     
  2. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    Can a woodstove share a chimney with the propane boiler?
    - My understanding is that it can share a chimney but not a flue. Still there may be backdraft issues at the exit that make this a NO NO. Also local building codes may vary.

    Would that be a better option than extending and lining the unused chimney?
    - It might be easier to move the propane vents. They are generally easier to deal with and can sometimes vent straight out through a wall.

    If we can't use any of those chimneys, we could get an external flue thingy built, but would it be a problem to have a woodstove on the same wall as the baseboard heaters?
    - I don't see any problem with a woodstove being near hot water baseboard heaters or even electric baseboard heaters.

    What else do we need to know?
    - There can also be issues with operating a woodstove or fireplace insert, and especially a conventional fireplace, in the same building as oil or gas appliances. If you have stuff like clothes dryers and bathroom fans and fireplaces and oil furnaces and propane boilers all trying to shove air out, somewhere the air has to come back in. This can cause fireplaces and even oil furnaces and gas appliances to go the wrong way, which can be very bad even when they are not burning. Everything you have now is probably OK, but when you install your woodstove or wood fireplace you will probable want it supplied with outside air, even if it just uses a little, if only to comply with modern building codes.
     

  3. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks, you've helped alot. I hadn't even considered moving the propane vents.
    Unfortunately the chimney I would most like to use is in the middle of the house as is the boiler - no way to vent the propane directly through a wall from that one. The other one is in an odd part of the house - could vent through the wall, but no clearance to fit a woodstove.
    I don't think we will have problems with getting air in - this house was built in 1875 or earlier and it is a seive - which is why we want (need) the stove, but that was something I hadn't considered. Maybe I should plan on putting the stove in the draftiest room - just happens to be my office, how perfect! :)
     
  4. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Try visiting a retail store which specializes in fireplaces and wood stoves. Owner should be able to point you in the right direction, particular if you show a good bit on interest in purchasing one of their items.

    Also be sure to check with your home owner's insurance agent to any impact on your policy.

    A house that old may have originally had a wood burner, so perhaps one of the flues was adapted to another heat source and might still be usage for a wood burner. If there is a clean out door at the bottom of the flue likely it was at some point.
     
  5. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

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    ...that code is met. We had three brick chimneys in our house, all lined with "slip"... not fire clay or steel... couldn't use ONE of them. Steel inserts were as expensive as a new Class 1A chimney.

    We removed... yup, buckets of bricks down the stairs, two of the chimneys... the third next year (whew). I put in a brand new Class 1A - 3 stories - myself for under $1100.

    It's true that propane doesn't need the same chimney type... I've seen PVC out a basement wall in fact.

    R
     
  6. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Ken, we tried the local wood stove stores - no help whatsoever!
    At least one of the chimneys has the ash cleanout and it has the "pie plates" over the holes where a stove pipe goes - 2 downstairs and 1 upstairs (the other upstairs one has the propane vent going into it). I think it was heated by woodstove until about 1978 when it was divided into apartments and the baseboard heaters were put in.

    I will be calling the insurance company before we make any plans, just didn't want to get them involved until I have to.

    Red Devil, I don't think we would dare remove a chimney (even if an engineer said so) - whole house could fall down! lol
     
  7. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    Instead of trying to figure out the chimney and vent situation to suit an indoor stove, consider an outdoor stove instead.

    I didn't want to go with an expensive boiler type stove so after doing some investigating, choose the Lil' House stove manufactured in MO. http://www.outsidewoodheater.com/

    The site now says they are backlogged in orders by some 3-4 weeks, so the wood heater rush is definitely on.

    The unit is just a heater (basically an insulated 50 gal. barrel), and doesn't have a hot water option which greatly reduces the price. Cost: $1295. Shipping to NE was about $250. Cost of stove pipe and ductwork, about $100. So for less than $1700 I had the stove up and running. Have had it going for about 2 weeks now and it works great. Have to be careful to keep the fire small or the house overheats.

    It is designed to go thru a window or side of the house. Has one hot air duct into the house, with a fan pushing heat into it. Return cold air duct runs to another window, circulating the air from the house, thru the unit and back via the hot air duct. The cold air return can be connected to your existing ductwork. The stove sets on a concrete pad about 32" from the house.

    Scott, the guy who sells them at his site, is very helpful and will work you thru installation and answer any questions. It took me about a day and a half to hook it up (working alone). If you are interested in seeing pictures of it set up outside the house, PM me. Or his site has a lot of pix.

    I have used an inside wood stove for some 15 years and was getting tired of all the ash, dust and mess (cough, cough) inside. Only wish I'd done this years ago. I retain my old inside stove in case the power goes out and I can't run the fan.

    Hope this helps..

    Bruce
     
  8. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    I don't like all this outdoor boiler and outdoor stove nonsense. Seems like a great idea for the manufacturers and a bad idea for homeowners. I would suggest that people in North America start producing products that are really useful for people, even if the people have to build them themselves to get what they really need.
     
  9. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    "I don't like all this outdoor boiler and outdoor stove nonsense. Seems like a great idea for the manufacturers and a bad idea for homeowners. I would suggest that people in North America start producing products that are really useful for people, even if the people have to build them themselves to get what they really need."

    Nonsense? I really don't understand your objections to a simple outdoor stove. Can you give some reasons instead of just complaining? Indoor stoves are an ongoing mess and a hazard to healthy lungs, in my opinion, and I used one for over 20 years.
     
  10. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I would first figure the best spot for the stove as it will need a hearth or the walls will need protection. Then inspect the chimney that you would plan on using. just because it's a masonary chimney and even if it has been used for a stove in the past doesn't mean it's a good safe chimney. The propane can be vented easily elsewhere even a long distance with 4" galvanized vent pipe or possibly even PVC if it is approved for that furnace.
    Tightening up the house might be money better spent. If the pie plates on the chimneys aren't sealed they can be sucking the heat out the chimney, that's one of the cheap easy things to start with.
     
  11. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    JAK:

    I have yet to talk to someone with an outdoor wood burner who had anything significant negative to say about it. All were pretty well satisfied and some outright glowed over it.
     
  12. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I don't know enough about them, but after the money and labor spent on installing it I'm sure they would brag on it.
     
  13. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ken Scharabok
    "JAK:

    I have yet to talk to someone with an outdoor wood burner who had anything significant negative to say about it. All were pretty well satisfied and some outright glowed over it.


    I don't know enough about them, but after the money and labor spent on installing it I'm sure they would brag on it."

    If you don't know much about them, how can you comment intelligently on them? You must not have read my post on what my outdoor wood stove cost. I don't think $1700 is outrageous, do you?