1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Can't get insurance - wood stove & oil furnace on same flue - Help Please!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mjackson, Aug 3, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. mjackson

    mjackson New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    My husband & I bought our log home last year. We were getting ripped off on insurance, and switched a month ago. Our insurance company just got back to us saying there is a problem with our policy, because we have two heat sources (oil & wood) on one flue. We only have one chimney (which they are both vented through. We have a baby on the way this week....and only a short time to fix the problem...with limited cash.

    From my understanding we have four choices.
    Disconnect the wood stove. (which we don't want to do for re-sale value)
    Install a second flue in the chimney if it's big enough. (we think it's too small)
    Change the oil furnace to vent seperatly out the house from the outside wall ? (saw it somewher eonline)
    Convert the wood stove to a gas via gas logs, if possible. (we also have gas lines in our house for our kitchen stove & dryer).

    We do not know anything about this stuff. How much any of the options cost. Or what is the smartest choice. Any advice would be so much appreciated!!! Thanks!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    Yup, 2 appliances on one flue is a strict no no. The inspector *should* have noted that.

    Disconnecting the woodstove is the cheapest, virtually nothing.

    Installing a second flue is possible, but more likely you'd end up installing a free-standing chimney going up through the roof. Think something like $50/foot (but prices vary widely depending on contractors, workload, type of pipe, etc.) Could also go out the ide of the house and up above the roofline.

    Venting the oil furnace out differently is certainly possible, but again you're goiing to need a chimney goign up the side of the cabin. Similar price to the wood stove.

    you could convert to gas logs, but you'd still want to vent it. unvented gas logs, particularly if you might be doingit a lot, are not a good idea because it just releases the carbin monoxide into the livng space.

    Were it me...

    I think I'd go for either a different vent for the oil furnace, or a completely different furnace. I have no idea what the cost of a exterior chimney for an oil furnace would be, but if it's comparable to a wood chimney, you could probably get a high-efficiency gas furnace at comparable cost, and just vent that through heavy PVC pipe out the side of the house. gas is also likely to be dramatically cheaper than oil for heat (of course, wood is far less than that...)

    Steve
  3. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,430
    Loc:
    Halifax, VA
    I'm with steve. However also be warned that most wood stoves are not listed to have gas logs installed in them. You would have to make sure that is a safe possibility before doing so, and I highly doubt that is going to be a possibility.

    Therefore, that leaves you with that steve said.

    However if it were me, I'd leave the oil furnace on the masonary chimney, either move the woodstove slightly, or just give yourself enough room to run a seperate flue for the stove. Assuming this stove is upstairs in a log cabin, you might be lucky enough to have tall tall ceilings, which would allow you to use a lot of single wall stove pipe. Single wall is leaps and bounds cheaper than the class A chimney you will need to go through the roof, so the less you can use, the lower the price.

    The woodstove will probably work a lot better on a dedicated class A flue anyway.
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Code wise gas logs are not permissiable You cannot vent an oil burner and another type of fuel (gas) combustion in the same. chimney chase.

    Disconnection of the wood stove is your cheapest option. No only disconnected,, but the former inlet to your chimney has to be bricked masonry products sealed. They the wood stove has to be physically removed from it place. These insuranc companies and inspectors know, if left in place someone will hook them back up again. Many times t it is required that they be removed from the dwelling unit placed outside in a shed or garage.

    Your next cheapest solution is to power vent the oil burner to an outside wall. Powerventers will require being properly wired. A job like that could cost upward and past $600. Still a lot cheaper than a class A flue system. Power venters cost upward from $350

    As Far as I know, there are no ventless gas log sets made to be installed in a wood stove
  5. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,654
    Loc:
    Boulder County
    I can verify that Don, there are no ventless log sets that can be installed in a wood stove. Number one, you cant relocate the valve, and number two, it would melt everything. Vented logs are a no no too. The flues typically arent big enough to handle the exaust from a 90,000 btu gas log, and carbon monoxide can spill. Once again, they also get to hot, and thermocouples dont work well in a 400-500 degree inviroment.
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,707
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I would power vent the oil furnace. You'll make up what you spend with savings and increased comfort with wood.

    However, this strategy depends on having a decent chimney for the wood stove. If the existing chimney is in rough shape, then better to install a new chimney for the wood stove and keep the oil burners vented like it is. In any event, you should have the chimney inspected by someone who knows what to look for.

    Safety is the reason for not venting two appliances into the same chimney, especially when one is wood. If the chimney were to become clogged with creosote (happens all the time), then if the oil burner kicked on, you could have a carbon monoxide problem.
  7. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,430
    Loc:
    Halifax, VA
    Just for the record, I installed my parents entire chimney system, including offsets, pipe, tee supports, etc for roughly $800 including two 30 degree offsets. Skip the offsets and use as much single wall as possible and the price is comparable to that for a PowerVenter.
  8. mjackson

    mjackson New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks so much for all your replies and suggestions. I don't mind disconnecting the wood stove temporarily for the year, but certainly don't want to have to take the wood stove out and seal up the vent permanently. We used it last year only on the coldest of night, and it was really effecient - plus what is a log home without some sort of wood stove/fireplace? Due to the location of the wood stove (first floor, in the middle of the house), I think my best bet is doing what elkimmeg suggested - power venting the oil burner to an outside wall. As for our house. It is a 1500 sf log cape. The downstairs has 9ft. celings. The wood stove is currently located alongside the staicase that runs up the center of the house. It is on a brick heart which runs against the chimney which leads strait up through th center of the house.

    Someone mentioned that I couldn't put gas & oil on the same flue, however, our insurance agent said that we could. So I guess I am confused there. We have also considered buying a new gas stove and venting it through the same flue if we couldn't simply do gas log inserts. If the problem can be fixed for under $1,000 it is manageable, but obviously the cheaper the better due to the timing. Thanks again!!
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,707
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    It's absolutely a violation of code to vent more than one appliance into the same flue. Period.

    And even if it wasn't, you wouldn't want to do it for the reasons I mentioned earlier.

    If you do it yourself, you can put in a pretty decent wood stove chimney, like Corie says, for less than $1,000.
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Cori I have to differ with you? why? FFirst of all the power vent improves the effeciency of the burner. One, it only opens when exhausting combustion gasses. Meaning it is closed preventing heat from escaping after the combustion cycle. More usable heat remains in the boiler longer. Second because it improves the effeciency, I think it qualifies for tax credits. so some savings there would offset the cost

    This brings me to another point where, I will start a new post or anyone else, be my guest.
    Maybe leading to wiki. For the internet savy, find out and post what qualifies for this years tax credits
    Steve Warren Begreen (David V are you still with us) Roo Trad. Someone who types better than I, that includes all rest of the forum members..

    If run, MSG can you let run front center then catagorize it later? or edit it and wiki it for later refference? Do hearth products qualify?
    Gas heating?

    Prime example of an insurance agent requestiong compliance, yet does not know the codes well enough, that he suggest two different combustion fuels is ok in the same chimney? If need be, I will provide the actual code language that governs not allowing venting different fuels in the same chimney flue or chase

    Sorry Mjackson I hate to beat beat it I know its a killer
  11. mjackson

    mjackson New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Well...I just heard back from my insurance agent and she did give me faulty info. She mentioned she was wrong about the oil & gas. However she said that wood & gas were fine on the same flue. They first suggested direct venting the furnace to an outside wall, so long as our furnace and location would allow it. Now, I'm wondering with the cost of fuel oil....if I would be better off leaving the wood stove, but having our house switched from oil to propane. I plan on calling my oil company today and seeing if they can get someone out for a quote on both that and the power venting.
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,707
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    She's wrong about the wood and the gas, too. Dangerously wrong, in fact.
  13. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Lets try to straighten out a few facts first if you original boiler in not designed to be direct vented it can not be
    however it may be power vented Two different animals.
    If you are on propane I doubt you will end up saving money over oil usage plus the cost of changing burners

    Gas furnaces like oil could be bought as direct vent applinaces not requiring a power vent

    the code interpetation is really one appliance to one flue. I suggest you insurance agent needs a refresher browse threw the code books. The flue gass separation codes date back to 1982. One would think it might be time to read codes newer than 24 years old before one quotes them. Sorry for the sarcasium, I heare miss interopetatations every day. I though that or when did that become...
    code. It's a point where some knowledge is dangerous. I have all codes installed on my windows notebook I'm at my Mac now
    I will cut and paste the actual wording so there will be no doubt or confusion of what is written code.. This is what I do for a living
  14. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,430
    Loc:
    Halifax, VA
    Yeah, two appliances can never share the same flue. Period. She's an idiot, and an example of one reason you shouldn't take woodstove advice from your insurance agent.




    And elk I understand that the powerventer will improve efficiency of the furnace, I wasn't arguing that my solution was "better" in that sense. I was just saying price wise, there wasn't a huge difference in either option, that's all. However, since it seems that mjackson is not using the wood stove much at all, I agree that your solution is definitely a better one. :)
  15. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Cori I liked your solution as well It make sense But I also took in mind his current setup in front of a brick chimney
    It might look a bit odd having a stove sitting in front of a chimney and see stainless steel pipe there?
  16. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,430
    Loc:
    Halifax, VA
    haha yeah i was thinking the same thing! But, I figured the flue liner in the masonary chimney is probably oversize for the stove and thus it might perform better in a properly sized Class A chimney. Of course, that is a lot of assuming and we all know what happens when you assume..........
  17. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Wood of course is the cheapest of fuels, but one other option here might be use of a different power vented solid fuel heating appliance. If you swap out the wood stove for either a power vented Coal stove or a Pellet stove, you might solve your problem. Of course the powervent for the coal stove would cost as much as the power vent for the furnace. A Pellet stove may be the solution, but the fuel availability and cost might be the show stopper. Just thinking of options.
  18. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    International Fuel Gas Code.

    G2427.5.6.1 (503.5.7.1) Solid fuel-burning appliances.
    An appliance shall not be connected to a chimney
    flue serving a separate appliance designed to burn solid
    fuel.


    2003 NFPA 211

    9.8.2 Unless listed for such connection, solid fuel-burning appliances shall not be connected to a chimney flue serving another appliance.
  19. mjackson

    mjackson New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks guys....I am glad I asked!

    I was actually considering calling the code enforcement officer in my town and see if the original owners had a permit to put in the wood stove - thinking it would say who actually installed it, and how it was installed....but then again, I am not sure if I want to open up that can of worms!
  20. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    580
    Loc:
    Shokan, NY
    Where are you located? Hard to comment on fuel cost differences unless we know your region.

    In all regions, it's generally cheaper to properly operate an oil furnace than it is to rebuild the home after a chimey fire.

    I say this because it is quite possible that your house (and family) are at high risk of a house fire if you consider keeping the woodstove on that flue, even if you vent the furnace elsewhere. We cannot tell from here. Please, call a few local, qualified, chimney professionals and have them carefuly inspect your chimney. Only after the condition of the chimney is known can we suggest how it can be used, either for the wood stove or furnace. First things first.

    I am in the chimney business. So I have a slightly different view from others expressed here. Some of the comments MAY be valid IF the chimney is inspected and confirmed as a safe place to vent ANYTHING. Chance are, if you were to choose to keep the wood stove on that flue it will reuire at least a stainless steel liner system and probably some insulation and crown repair. If you keep the firnace on that flue it may require a similar liner treatement.

    I realize that my advice will cost you more. That is the unfortunate side of safety. It costs more to be safe than to be risky. I have many clients who choose to be a little more risky than I suggest because they need to save money. If you choose to accept risk you must have knowledge. Fire is dangerous, whether in a stove or a furnace. Things like chimney firers and carbon monoxide leaks can be devestating. Get local professional help. You will have to pay for it. But it will be worth it. After you get local advice you can share it here and we can comment to help you improve your knowledge.

    Be safe,
    Sean Kennedy
  21. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    580
    Loc:
    Shokan, NY
    With all due respect to local inspectors, many of whom are very responsible and careful, like our elk, the best choice for local help is your certified and qualified chimney professionals. They have knowledge and equipment that home inspectors do not have. Yes, you may get some clues from tracing the history with your local building inspector. But a local chimney professional can cut through the politics and history and get you clear answers about your options very quickly.

    This is not to say that all business people who claim to be chimney professionals are beyond careful critic. I suggest you get more than one opinion, unless you find a reputable company that you feel comfortable with. A thorough chimney inspection may cost $150-$200. I would start by going to csia.org or hpba.org and searching by zipcode.

    Sean
  22. mjackson

    mjackson New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Thanks Sean,

    We have scheduled a licensed chimney inspector to come out & check the chimney and have it cleaned as well. We figured this would be the best place to start, and hope that he may be able to offer us some suggestions. We do have a new carbon monixide detector, installed last year. We used the woodstove last year (not knowing about this problem), and the detector never went off - so hopefully that is a good sign. The chimney is about 17 y/o and appears to be in good shape. The chimney does have a steel liner.

    In addition, we have also scheduled our oil company to come out & give us an estimate on how much it will cost to power vent our oil furnace. I have been informed by them that direct venting is not an option (according to the year/make of our furnace).

    You asked where I live....southern-coastal Maine. Fuel oil is at a pre-buy cost of $2.79/gal, wood $200/cord. Without the woodstove we would go through a little over 1000 gallons of oil. Since we can't prebuy....we will be on a budget plan with a cap cost of $2.99/gal....split over monthly payments. --- Ouch. That is the #1 reason we do not want to get rid of our wood stove, plus it creates amazing heat for for our small home (1500 sf).

    Thanks for your advice and suggestions. It is greatly appreciated!
  23. FredJ

    FredJ New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    55
    Does this apply to Gas Hot water heaters? I had the local large Heating and plumbing guys ( large being they have about 20 vans zooming around this small town ) install a Gas hot water heater a couple years back. they installed it about 3 feet from my 1966 oil boiler and vented it into the same chimney at the same height as the boiler, only 90 degrees to the side. all seems to work well but now I'm curious if thats a violation..
  24. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    You bet that is a violation. Perhaps a structual violation now two sides bricks were removed.
    The location cannot enter two appliances at the same level. Any way to post a picture here
    I would use to point out and explain all the code violations, so that others are informed.
    Does that gas hot water heater have a draft Hood? if so OH BOY I hope you have a good working carbon monoxide sensor

    Another code violation called proximity of location of two fuel burning appliances located too close together competing for the same initial vollume of combustion air.


    Problem most Burner instalation replacement go un permitted or inspected, same as hot water heaters.
    The plumbing outfit could have 50 trucks, I does not mean his workers install or even know code, if not permitting jobs ,
    they do as the please till some questions them and they get caught.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,136
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It might be good to know the value/age and quality of the woodstove too. Do you know what is the make and model of the stove and when it was made? This info should be clearly showing on a plate on the back of the stove. That way it can be determined if the stove is worth saving.

    Also, are you sure that the chimney is a single flue? Seems odd to have the furnace connected to a metal lined chimney and if true, not a safe install. Usually the liner directly connects to the woodstove, so I am guessing that the oil furnace gases would have to pass around the metal liner. If so, not good. But anything is possible. Having a chimney inspection is a good start. What did the sweep find out?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page