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Anyone Else Using a Non-EPA stove?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by xjcamaro89, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. littlalex

    littlalex Member

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    Hewitt, NJ
    Howdy - Oldy pre EPA here. Old VC vigliant. Have nothing to compare it too re: wood consumption. Get 5-6 Hr burns on good night. Stove does put out too much heat for my space but that will become bearable when the temps plunge.

    Good burnin'

    Littlalex

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  2. aussiedog3

    aussiedog3 Feeling the Heat

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    Don't worry XJ, you are not alone.

    Lots of us out here burning old stoves.

    Lots of newbies or newerbies. Trying to get first full season under out belts with old stoves.

    Trying to get years ahead on seasoned wood.

    Learning as we go. Making mistakes.

    We start off stacking wrong, burning wrong....

    using the wrong saw, no PPE, but we change, we learn

    but we use the stove that we like and can afford.

    No worries XJ, w got your back.
  3. xjcamaro89

    xjcamaro89 Member

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    New Castle, PA
    Thanks guys! I have no problem running a old style stove. It saves me money over oil, keeps me warmed, and is a real morale booster in those cold crappy winter days!
  4. lowroadacres

    lowroadacres Minister of Fire

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    I am running a small Drolet Jasper non-epa stove.

    Of course I wish that I was running a zero clearance fireplace and/or a quality insert but like "gottenwood" is the best wood....

    The stove I have is the best one for now.
  5. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    That does about sum it up. Well written explanation.
    I think there are still more PreEPA stoves being used than Post. Had it not have been for then internet I might still be using a Pre. I posted last yr about how basically no one I know of has or knows anything about an EPA stove. Outside of the internet unless you happened into a store looking to buy new with knowledgeable sales people there to educate you, likely you wouldn't have a clue. Even over 20yrs after they came into being.
  6. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    There's a couple good videos online that talk about increasing efficiency in both older non-epa and newer stoves. A lot of the same rules apply for achieving best efficiency in both...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0MimILPzUI
  7. greythorn3

    greythorn3 Minister of Fire

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    Alaska
    i got a old blaze king also and it heats like the dickens! also got a new non epa wood furnace, thats heats rather well too
  8. steeltowninwv

    steeltowninwv Minister of Fire

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    I have a 1981 Shenandoah fp-1 insert...bought a house last year and this was already here...it keeps us warm..just now thinking I have learned it...I get pretty good burn times 6-8 hours....I'm a year ahead on firewood now..and I'm working on 2 years from now wood...hopefully next year ill get an EPA stove...
  9. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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    N.E. PA.
    I have a 1989 vintage pre epa Hutch insert with a 6+ cu ft. fire box. Burn times are easy 6-8 hours of good heat and up to 10 for an easy refill and go.

    Last Sunday I reloaded at around 350 surface temps. Draft was strong that day to the point that I heard it through the air controls which I typically set at 50% or so when it's just cruising along.

    I closed them down more than ever did before and surface temps shot up to near 575 which is higher than I normally burn at and stayed this high for a good while. Never lost visible flames but cutting the air made it really take off.

    I am waiting for the shoulder season to end so I can do more experimenting.
  10. EJL923

    EJL923 Feeling the Heat

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    I suppose, like always, it comes down to your house and how well heat retains. My father has an old Warner wood stove, just a baffle and no secondaries. It only has a wheel on the front door for air. I think he loads that full once in the morning and the shear mass of that thing will retain heat all day. I cant say he burns very clean, but not a classic smoke dragon either.
  11. xjcamaro89

    xjcamaro89 Member

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    New Castle, PA
    Ive also noticed just this year so far that moving my damper to a location where i can virtually close it down, and having properly seasoned wood, i dont get near the ash build up in the box like i did last year.
  12. missing link

    missing link Member

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    W.Wareham,Ma
    Yup got rid of my Dutchwest 224ccl 1985 and installed a Little Moe Allnighter w/blower
    the shoulder burns have been sweet it hasn't been cold enough here to have a steady burn, but i'll tell ya what so far so good
    I just got home from work and started a fire after 10 min stove is at 350 and climbing to cruise through the night
    I figure it'll be 75 deg. steady in 1 hr probably load it 2X then close her down to idle until the AM
    ML
  13. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    I have been burning wood for 40 years. I have burned wood in about everything. I now have my old buck 1982 non EPA stove and my brand new little Hampton H200. I love both of them! The new technology is undeniable. However, my goal has always been to warm my heart and soul. They both do that! It is all relative. Do what you want, and what you need, and what you have to do. Just be safe.
  14. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    I just got a Washington Stove Works Olympic insert. It must be non-EPA certified, the company closed in 1981 as far as I can tell. Not much info on it. It sits half inside the fireplace. There is a lever to slide the damper open and shut. There is no stack, the smoke comes out of the insert and goes right up the existing chimney. Makes for a convenient install, other than the fact it weighs 400 pounds and I had to get it up onto the 15 inch hearth.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That is a slammer installation and considered dangerous. At least seal the surround very well and have good, working smoke and CO detectors nearby.
  16. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    OK, I am having a little trouble with this , "That is a slammer installation and considered dangerous" First, this is the Classic Stove Forums - Pre-EPA woodstoves 1969-1989. Secondly, many 1980's stoves were UL approved, at that time, to be installed exactly that way.

    Although I would not advocate for someone with little experience and or knowledge of their setup to start out with a "slammer" (Oh, we didn't call it that then) especially when there certainly is much better, safer equipment, and install methods available today, back when some of us started, that is all there was. And, it was considered state of the art, UL approved, and much better than its predecessors. And yes, I have have directly connected my old "slammer" to a S/S liner, but it wasn't always that way, and although it was a lot more trouble, I sure didn't consider it dangerous......not as a firefighter with a family.

    New cars are much safer than the old ones, but not everyone can have a new one.

    Now, that said, I completely understand why you posted as you did. Probably the best thing you could have told a new guy. It's just that for us old timers, with old stoves we saved really hard for, and thought was the best thing since peanut butter at the time, it is just a little hard. :smirk:
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    My old early 1980's "slammer" insert said in the manual that a direct connect was better than just shoving it in the fireplace. It just didn't tell ya where to find the pieces to do it. They started learning early on the problems with those installations. So did me and four or five of my neighbors when we would "light up the night" around here.
  18. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    Well, it was 64 degrees at the turned off thermostat this morning, after dipping to 39 overnight. Only burned starter fire and 4 pieces loaded before turning it down for the night. A few have mentioned safety without stating the danger. I bought this from a 90 yr old guy, so I'm guessing he had it a while! I also found it is certified by Oregon DEQ, if that means anything. Only complaint is that I get a small billow of smoke when reloading. Please explain any dangers I would need to consider So that I can take appropriate risk reward evaluation. Right now, this thing is great, chimney draws well, and it heats the place, so I am very interested in the negatives to this.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The risks of a slammer install are multiple. Unless this is the model 4500EM, this insert is not efficient. Lacking a reburn system, it is expelling a lot of unburnt wood gas. In a reverse draft situation like when a warm front moves in overnight, this type of installation can start leaking CO badly. Secondly the hot wood gases are spilling out on to cold surfaces immediately on exit from the stove. This causes the wood gas to cool rapidly and condense as creosote deposits in the lower part of the chimney. By the time it reaches the top of the chimney the condensation is even worse. Repeated burning builds up the combustible creosote deposits. If the wood is not fully seasoned and the stove is allowed to smolder, then this accumulation will be rapid. Then, one big fire in the stove and they ignite with potentially deadly results. Pull the stove and take a flashlight to examine the damper area and above. I suspect you will find a black, gooey mess. If the chimney doesn't have a clay liner, it is a serious time bomb ticking away with each new fire. Burn dry wood only and clean frequently.

    http://hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/creosote_from_wood_burning_causes_and_solutions
    http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infchimneyfire/infchimneyfire.html
  20. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    My fireplace is is a built-in masonry, built in the 70's. The flue is the clay tubular blocks they used back then. I have a cord of 2 year seasoned oak. So, I should slide it out every year and check the chimney I guess.
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    That is what I did with a 650 beast every year for 21 years. A tremendous amount of stuff accumulates in the smoke chamber above the stove below the flue tiles and is a mess to clean out. The second thing is as BeGreen said the coating of the inside of the chimney flue tiles. Really, really dry wood and maintaining a stove top temp at least five hundred degrees helps. I knew I had trouble on my hands with that setup from year one. Every few years I would try to figure a way to line the chimney with stove pipe. Chimney liners didn't exist then. Finally gave up and just lived with the mess and occasional chimney fires. What I didn't know is just a few years after I gave up on lining it chimney liners got themselves invented and I could have had a dozen or more years of better draft, lower wood usage and not hurt back and being covered with creosote from getting in there every year to clean that mess. If I had known about EPA stoves before I found this place that old love of my life stove would have been out of here years before it finally was.

    If a person is gonna burn one of the old stoves at the least they ought to line the chimney to get better performance and ease of maintenance. And so if a flue fire lights off it is contained in something that doesn't crack like clay tiles do.

    We ain't trying to scare anybody. Just tell ya what we learned the hard way.
  22. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the input. Amazing how much one can learn once they start looking into something! I found a local company that claims they can put in a liner for a slammer, no idea of cost yet, any ideas?. I shopped some of the fireplace stores and new EPA inserts start at $3K, out of the budget right now. I like to do most things myself, any ideas on cleaning the chimney, and installing a liner? Also ,top down fires seem ideal for slammers. I have been startin top down fires in it and the smoke is light.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Depending on your heating needs, there are EPA inserts starting at around $1000.
  24. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    Really, looks I need to do some shopping up north?
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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