Need Wood Stove Info

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by silentcrow, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. silentcrow

    silentcrow Furry Without A Clue

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    I've been hunting for a while for a decent wood stove. I may have found one, but I'm not sure.

    It's a wood/coal furnace, sold by Northern Tool & Equip. Decrption says it can hold up to 9 hours of heating per load, has 2 raised 8" outlets for duct connection, and safety tested to UL391.

    What does the safety testing numbers mean? Do I "have" to hook up ductwork? Optional stuff is a draft kit with thermostat, and cold air return. Do I need those things?
     
  2. silentcrow

    silentcrow Furry Without A Clue

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  3. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    Many years go we had bought a wood/caol furnace to use in our basement. We never thought that it "burned" hot enough because we were forever cleaning the chimney and the build up with cresote wasn't good. We sold that and installed a 55 gallong drum which you put the door and legs on. Now of course this isn't hooked up to the heating system as we don't have any heating system in this old farm house and no furnace, no central heating system at all. That drum will heat pretty much the whole first floor from the basement and then we do also have a stove in the kitchen and livingroom which we don't use all that much. I hope someone can give you a better answer than myself. I know the cost of them aren't cheap..do you really need to have a furnace or can you go with a free standing stove. Our will last all night pretty much and especially the one in the livingroom if you add coal and the drum will take a heck of a lot of wood when you stuff it full for the night. Good Luck !!
     
  4. januaries

    januaries Well-Known Member

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    I can't answer your questions from experience, but I Googled "understand wood stove safety test rating UL" for you just now.

    I found out that UL stands for Underwriter Laboratories Inc. They are an independent nonprofit product safety testing and certification organization. Searching their sites, I came across this explanation:

    UL 391
    STANDARD FOR SAFETY FOR SOLID-FUEL AND COMBINATION-FUEL CENTRAL AND SUPPLEMENTARY FURNACES

    These requirements apply to manually fueled, solid-fuel-fired central furnaces. Included are supplementary central furnaces intended for interconnection with forced-air central furnaces utilizing other fuels, and combination oil-fired and solid-fuel-fired, forced-air central furnaces.

    The furnaces are intended to burn solid fuels, such as wood, coal, or any other biomass fuel, as specified by the manufacturer.

    The furnaces are intended for connection to chimneys for residential and building heating appliances in compliance with the Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances, NFPA 211, and intended for installation in compliance with the Standard for Installation of Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Systems, NFPA 90B; and the National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA 70; and applicable mechanical codes such as the BOCA National Mechanical Code, the Standard Mechanical Code, and the Uniform Mechanical Code.

    A product that contains features, characteristics, components, materials, or systems new or different from those in use when the Standard was developed, and that involves a risk of fire, electric shock, or injury to persons, shall be evaluated using the appropriate additional component and end-product requirements as determined necessary to mai ntain the level of safety for the user of the product as originally anticipated by the intent of this Standard.


    So it sounds like your stove meets their safety standards, whatever the specifics are.

    I don't think any of us can tell you for certain whether or not you need the draft kit, duct work, thermostat, etc. Houses, climates, and personal preferences are all very different.

    Do you have a local dealer from whom you'll be buying the stove? I'd call the dealer and ask him all these questions. Get him to explain it all in detail. Or call the Northern Tool & Equipment Co. and talk to them. Have them explain all the optional items and what they do. The dealer and the manufacturers will be more familiar with the nuances and quirks of that particular stove.
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Northern sells cheap stuff, not quality stuff, by & large. Since you did not give a manufaturer or model number, no idea what unit you are looking at. Can't tell you if it is good or not if we don't know what it is.

    You mention both 'stove' and 'furnace'. A furnace is designed to tie into your current heating duct work & distribute heat throught the house with a forced air fan. Generally they are installed in the basement next to the regular furnace.

    A stove is designed to be placed in a room (best is large family room or central open area) & radiate heat into the room. Using ceiling or floor fans one can curculate a bit of heat to other rooms, depending on your floorplan. These are generally 'prettier' and only do spot heating, not the whole house.

    You need to decide if you are looking for a stove or a furnace. While one can be used for the other if the price is right or in emergencies, you need to buy the right type of appliance for what you are trying to do. Do you want a stove, or do you want a furnace?

    Underwriters Labs tests products for safety, and code their work. Your insurance company will be very interested in what code the furnace has. Your local community may have zoning regulating appoved appliances for your house. No one else will know or care.

    The optional kits depend upon how you use the appliance (stove or furnace???), how much heat you need (where are you located?), and which fuel (wood or coal???) you will be using.

    'Burn times' are generally _very_ optimistic with any wood unit, while it can burn for 9 hours, that is with perfect wood perfectly loaded with low heat demands. Likely if you really need heat, it will last about 5 hours, after which you will be to embers & low heat output, cooling down.

    So, if you explain what you want/ need/ are looking at better, people can help you out. So far, not at all sure what your quiestion is?????? :) (I just watched Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe this weekend, and the answer of course is 42 - but we don't understand your question!) ;) ;)

    --->Paul
     
  6. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    I just finished installing an outside wood furnace called Lil' House, built in Ironton, MO. I gave it a test run the other day and seems to work fine. Hot air duct goes thru a window and cold air (room temp) air goes back to stove thru another window. One blower on it. Door size square foot, takes up to 32" wood.

    Have used an inside wood stove for years and was tired of soot, smoke and ashes.

    The outside furnace sits on a pad about 30" from the side of my house.

    Cost: $1295 plus shipping and outside duct and stove pipe.

    Company 25 years old. Good service.

    Website: outsidewoodheater.com
     
  7. Andy Nonymous

    Andy Nonymous Registered, here...

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    I know where Marionville is, Silentcrow (have passed through it a few times on my way to Indiana PA), and live not far from Lake Erie, so I understand the climate fairly well.

    Over the past 30 years of alternate heating, I've installed and operated wood stoves, wood fired furnaces; wood/coal, wood/oil and wood/gas furnaces (and boilers of various fuels), and in my personal experience and opinion, while a furnace or boiler can keep your house evenly comfortable if properly sized and the connected equipment (ducting or baseboard units or floor coils...) is properly sized and installed, they are still dependant on other forms of power to keep them functioning, e.g.: electricity. If/when the power fails, your alternate form of heat is just as dead as a standard gas furnace or boiler.

    Also, there are other factors to consider, not the least of which is efficiency, and while a huge stove can keep a fire for a long time (if the fire is choked for air to slow the combution process), it increases the polutants and decreases the amount of heat you actually get from the fuel you put in - the higher temp combustibles end up being deposited as creosote in the chimney, awaiting your diligence in cleaning out, or enough heat to ignite and burn. Small reasonably hot fires (though not to the point of a 'glowing stove') are far better ecologically and economically (and safer) than large choked ones.

    On the indoor/outdoor debate, I personally know of several homes using outdoor burners, and they use between 2 and 3 times the wood I use in heating my similar sized home with a indoor stove. The one fellow switched from an indoor stove to an outdoor boiler in his detached garage, and uses almost three times the wood he did with the indoor stove. He still cuts his own wood, so the issue isn't so much cost, as is his age - at 72, it is getting to be more work than it used to be, especially the 'big chunks' the outdoor one can take. It can mean less frequent fueling, but you might also consider who might be fueling it most often - male or female? age? condition?

    The choice will ultimately be yours, but as Rambler put it: it depends on what you want, and I would go to a local dealer rather than through a catalog. The local folks likely will want to maintain their reputation (if any) in the area to keep selling stoves.

    More questions? ask!
     
  8. TheBlueOne

    TheBlueOne Well-Known Member

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    The stove you're referring to is a wood furnace manufactured by the U.S. Stove Company and sold through several outlets. I just purchased the same model (US Stove Model 1557M) through TSC to replace an older wood furnace for about the same price as Northern. It is designed to be an "add-on" to an existing forced air furnace but instructions are included to use it as a stand alone unit. The unit is very high quality and replacement parts are available through U.S. Stove Co.
     
  9. silentcrow

    silentcrow Furry Without A Clue

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    Since the house I'm in has no real ductwork, maybe I should just get the kind my grandfather had? It's similar to the Heartwood Wood-Burning Heater, in the Northern catalog. The cost is less, I'm a little more familiar with it (had one in my house as a kid), and I know it will heat the house.

    I don't need anything decorative, as the stove will be in the basement/garage. The old stove is still down there, but rusted out. I'll have to replace all the chimney pipe, but is the set-up safe? If I re-do it as it is, it's just the pipe out a ways from the house, and running up past the roof line. I don't have the funds to put up a brick chimney, and can't keep getting $300 gas bills in winter :help:
     
  10. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For a metal chimney, you typically need metal single wall inside the room (can gain some heat for the room from this), a rather spendy but very important metal piece that goes through the wall or floor or ceiling (where-ever your chimney goes) that allows a lot of space between the pipe & anything combustable like wood bits. And then insulated pipe on the outside - this is needed to keep the temp from dropping in your chimney. If the temp drops, all the creasote will come out & form on the walls, creating a fire hazard. This pipe is expensive, but needed to be at all safe.

    Your pipe should be taller than anything around it, probably should go up higher than the roof peak.

    It is normal for the chimney to cost a bit more that the stove itself by the time you are done.

    That is the safe way to do it - in general.

    May I ask, how is your house currently heated if you have no ducts? Is it a water system - radiators or water baseboards? You could hook in a wood boiler furnace to that - but probably much more money than you have to spend on this.

    --->Paul
     
  11. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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  12. Andy Nonymous

    Andy Nonymous Registered, here...

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    Silentcrow, you have a typical el-cheapo installation, and it worries me more than a bit. As was mentioned, an outside single wall chimney is a creosote trap and chimney fire waiting to happen, as well as a generally poor draw, which complicates the combustion process.

    A ceramic tile lined brick chimney was at one time the best possible option, but in the event of a chimney fire, the tile lining can fracture, requiring a total rebuild. The better option, if you can afford it this year, is a Metelbestos type HT (all fuel) double wall insulated chiimney. The standard 6" size runs about $50 for 3' lengths (7 and 8" sizes available), and is UL listed for a 2" (minimum) air clearance to combustibles. They make a full line of parts and pieces for a safe installation, and if possible, it is better to keep the chimney inside the house for as great a distance as possible - a 'warm' chimney not only makes for more heat released within the house, but makes for a better draw, hence better combustion / less smoke in the house when you open the door to feed it.

    The 'spec' dimension for heiight, is "at least 2 feet above any obstruction within 10 feed of it in any direction". this is why most old homes had the chimney go through the peak of the roof.

    There is so much involved with installing and using a wood stove, it's tough to put it all here concisely. I'm hoping your stove experience is deeply etched in your mind from your youth. Fire is not to be 'played with' without some potentially devistating consequences. The learning curve of heating with wood (or coal) is not to be taken lightly. (perhaps it should be mentioned I've been a volunteer fireman for well over 20 years, and have seen more than a few 'mistakes' that folks have gotten away with for a time, sometimes even years, but a poor installation will give you problems, and eventually will be a big problem, possibly costing you your house.)
     
  13. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    UL is underwritters labs. I am sure there web site list what it means.

    Northern TOOLS is NOT where I would be looking for a wood stove. I havent looked this year but I have looked in the past and they sold a lot of the cheap Valsang (sp?) chineese built stoves. Very poor workmanship, leaked like crazy from what I hear.
     
  14. silentcrow

    silentcrow Furry Without A Clue

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    I don't think the outside pipe is regular single wall. My grandfather used the set-up for years...he did things "mostly safe", but used what was on hand much of the time.

    The current heating system is a more modern boiler with pipes running to baseboard heaters. The house isn't in the best of shape, so I know alot of heat is lost in certain areas. He built the place in the '60's I think. it was originally a one-room camp. I've still got a small section of wiring dating back to the '30's! I'm not sure of the extent, but some of the walls on the kitchen side of the house are made of insulbrick. Asbestos siding lines one of the upstairs closets, as well as sides the house...plus a whole pallet of the stuff out back! :eek:

    I can't make any major changes that can't be removed since I don't own the house...I don't even pay rent, but could be asked to leave at any time :(
     
  15. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    pipe is the important bit to worry over, but I have seen single wll setups run outsude thru a wall and up , that have worked fine for years...
    my uncle bill had a coal furnace as big as a buick in his basement, with a single walled 10" pipe up thru the center of the house and out the roof... he did have about 36" of air and tin plates around it... he never caught the house on fire.

    you really should play safe and run tripple wall pipe up the side of the house for several reasons... it keeps the inside of the pipe hot so it draws better, it keeps the outside of it cool. the thimble set that goes thru the wall is an important isolator so you dont set the wall on fire.

    look for second hand tripe wall pipe to buy. I only paind 250 for 24 feet and the wall kit in the paper, I put that in my moms house... stainless insulated tripple wall. I bought mine new, it was like 70 bucks for a 3'section.

    I just passed up 20 ft of 8"tripple wall too! see I shoulda bought it to sell with the stove the guy only wanted 20 bucks to get it out of his yard sale.
     
  16. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    What about this one- Daka model521fb. On sale for 750 at Menards. SAys it is good for 42,000 too 105,000 btus.
    http://www.dakacorp.com
    How do you figure how many btus you need, anyway? I am looking into it aand would love to hear if anyone has/ had one.