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Clearance To Combustibles

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Berner, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Berner

    Berner Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Messages:
    133
    Loc:
    Eastern, MA
    Trying to size up an old fireplace that hasn't been used in 25 years for a wood burning stove. My first choice if I can fit it is a Jotul Oslo. If I can't fit the Oslo an insert will probably be going in instead. Reading the manual for the Oslo it calls for at least a 36" clearance to combustibles off the left door. I called Jotul for clarification on this for my current setup and was not impressed by his answer, so I am asking the professionals here. My goal is to have the Oslo sit as far back in the fireplace as possible where I can still utilize the side load door function. I know the idea of a free standing stove is to have it as far out into the room as possible but it's a rather small room hence I would like it to sit as far back as possible. My main question about the combustibles is the wood bookshelf and the wall behind it. Since the wood bookshelf is approximately 12" away from where the stove will be sitting wouldn't this be in violation of the 36" to combustibles? Jotul's answer was that it was OK because it is flush with brick fireplace. If it were proud of the brick then it would be a problem but since it is flush it is OK. He didn't seem too confident on his answer and before I go buying an Oslo I want to make sure that it can burn safely. If the wood bookshelf is in violation if I removed it would the wall be in violation as well?

    The other question I had was with the cracks in the mortar. It's tough to tell in the picture but in the fireplace, specifically at some of the angle points, the mortar has failed and there are some large cracks that the previous owner has tried to fill with backerod/compressible filler. Obviously I will have to fill these in with new mortar but how do I know the rest of the mortar inside the chimney that I can't see is ok? If I'm running a liner all the way up the chimney will the possible loose mortar be a problem? The wife wants to do a veneer because she thinks stripping the paint is going to be a ridiculous project. Anyone have any experience with pulling paint off brick? We bought a tub of peel away but it says it's harmful to children. I might need to send the wife and kids to the in-laws for a weekend.

    Any other advice that you guys can send my way would be greatly appreciated. I know I'm going to have to extend my hearth out some but do you guys see any other problems with this setup?

    Thanks in advance for the help.


    IMG_1703.JPG IMG_1704.JPG IMG_1714.jpg

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  2. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    706
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    If this is the current Jotul Oslo the manual is located here:

    http://www.jotul.com/FileArchive/Technical Documentation/Wood Stoves/Jøtul F 500 Oslo/Manual_F_500_USA_P17_141112.pdf

    There are pretty good descriptions of the CTC starting on page 8. If you lock the side door, the CTC for the side becomes 14".

    In my experience, if you do not lock the side door and can measure from any point on the side of the stove, in a straight line, to the wood book shelf (or the wall if the shelves are removed) it has to be greater than 36".

    If the stove is set completely back in the fireplace and the brick fireplace is between the stove and the bookshelf, then the 36" does not matter. I think this is what the Jotul rep thought you were describing.

    How will your hearth pad measure up? It looks short in front of the stove.

    KaptJaq
  3. Berner

    Berner Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
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    133
    Loc:
    Eastern, MA

    Yes the hearth is definitely short in front. I was planning on pouring a new hearth that will meet the 18" off the front of the stove. The straight line method seems right to me but I sent the exact same pictures to the guy at Jotul and he said that even if the stove is set out of the fireplace into the room that the wood bookshelf will not be a problem because it is not proud of the brick. This answer doesn't seem right to me which is why I wanted to ask you guys.

    Anyone else have a clear definition of clearance to combustibles?
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    44,448
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    The bookcase area is the same as a flat sheetrock wall there. If the diagonal distance from the back corner of the shielded stove meets or exceeds the minimum ctc then you are fine. If you need extra peace of mind, contact Jotul again and let them know that you need a written approval for you inspector and ask if they can provide plan approval of a drawing that includes exact stove placement.
  5. Berner

    Berner Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Messages:
    133
    Loc:
    Eastern, MA

    That's a good idea about getting Jotul to sign off on it. I actually was trying to do this on the first attempt but the technician wanted to do everything over the phone. After talking with him for a few minutes I think I know why he didn't want to put anything in writing.

    The back corner of the stove will be in the fireplace as shown below. Since it is in the fireplace and there is a brick (non combustible surface) between the stove and the wall does this change the clearance to combustible? I've heard everything from it still needs to meet the full 36" required, to it reduces the ctc to 18", to since it meets the brick fireplace first it reduces the ctc to 0". Does anyone know if the CTC will be distance A or distance B (if I removed the bookshelf) or something else that I haven't noted on the sketch below?

    I just want to make sure that my family can sleep warm and safe at night. IMG_1773.jpg

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