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2 stupid questions - fire brick and liner

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by cbshtr, Feb 5, 2009.

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  1. cbshtr

    cbshtr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    South Jersey
    Has anyone added extra fire brick to the back of their firebox to make it smaller in order to get the wood closer to the draft coming down by the door? I figure since the coals in the back of my box (18" deep) aren't getting burnt, if I was able to keep them closer to the door they would burn up better. Next, has anyone used a 5" chimney with success with a stove that has a 6" outlet? Putting a 5" liner down my 7" masonary flue seems about the only way I can get an insulated chimney. Napoleon said it would work but I'm looking to see if anyone has personally had any experience with it. I know I have to insulate my chimney and my basement to make my stove work from the basement so I'm trying to get only things that will work since we are very short on money and it doesn't look like that is going to get any better any time soon.

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  2. cbshtr

    cbshtr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    South Jersey
    It is an EPA stove. Sometimes there are so many coals there is only room for one layer of splits.
  3. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
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    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    To burn the coals down, you need to add a load of small splits - to be honest, that is my favorite time, as I get to add wood often, see flame, and stay warm :)

    I have a 5 inch liner connected to my insert - it works, but not as well as it should. How well it works will depend on length, wood quality (dry?) etc. In the end, I am waiting for the weather to give a window of no snow on the roof to have my installer come back and swap out the 5 inch for a insulated 6 inch. I don't recommend going smaller unless you have a real good reason, like a 40 foot insulated inside chimney.
  4. cbshtr

    cbshtr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    South Jersey
    With the heating season finally over I figured I would put out an update on my stove located in the basement. The changes I made allowed me to go from burning 4 1/2 cords to about 3 cords. In New Jersey we had record setting temperatures and snowfalls, so it was far from a milder winter than the previous one. We also gained about 4 degrees in our living room. The first thing I did was remove about 1/3 of the fire bricks since I was getting very little heat off the sides and back. Then I put the grates from a gas grill on either side of the firebox to form a wide base "V" to limit the load capacity and force the coals to the center of the stove. This allowed the air to circulate better and a more complete burn with much less coals left in the bottom. It also kept the hot coals from making contact with the exterior walls of the stove. I then pulled my 6" liner and dropped in a 5" one. Then I insulated with the loose insulation. I noticed a better draft and did not have the problems with the chimney cooling down prematurely. To say the least I was very pleased with the results, although some may call my techniques a little bizzare. This summer my goal is to insulate at least half of the basement. This should cut down on heat loss through the walls considerably, which will help me use less wood, keep our main floor warmer or both. Our thermostat was set at 66 degrees and we only used 30 to 40 gallons of oil. We would have used less wood but several of our kids sleep in the basement and in the early and late parts of the burning season I would have to have an evening fire to take the chill out of the basement even though we didn't need it on the main floor. I would encourage anyone considering going to a 5 inch liner, if it will allow you to insulate your chimney, to go for it. I don't think you will be disappointed. I was able to sell my 6" pipe on Craig's list which helped defer the cost. I hope this helps anyone who may have had doubts about a 5" liner.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,892
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I like the idea of insulating the basement. That will provide the best results. The stove mods don't sit as well with me, especially if the real issue was wood that was not fully seasoned. The Napoleon has an outer jacket and is more of a convector than some stoves. It doesn't get as hot on the sides or back by design. If the goal is more radiant heat, a better solution would be to get a radiant stove to start with.
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