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Clearances to NON combustables Does it matter?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by bmur, Mar 23, 2006.

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  1. bmur

    bmur New Member

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    I have a Hearthstone Soapstone Mansfield stove. I have it set back 16 inches from the front to meet code on the floor. There is 8 inches to the back wall that is stone set on a masonry chimney. When the stove is running for extended periods the stone can get very warm to almost hot directly behind the stove. It does not go over 212 (assumption) cause you can wipe a rag with water on it and it will dry in 30 to 60 seconds, however no sign of steam.

    Should i have any concern. I can buy the heat shield for this stove for minimal cost 80 bucks and keep the heat off the wall. Any suggestions. I did not know if long term this will harm themortar holding the rocks together(from the temp variations). Stove companies never see to mention non combustible clearance.

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Punt! Hey Elk.... This one's your's.

    My father had a Warm Morning Coal stove when I was in Highschool, and it had about 18" to a free standing brick wall that used to get really hot, but there the stud wall was 2" away from the back of the brick. Never caused any trouble, but that doesn't mean it would meet code today.
  3. berlin

    berlin New Member

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    clearance to non-combustables such as masonry is not necessary. I have had my current stove sitting 2" from a solid masonry wall for years without issue. have you not seen a masonry fireplace where fire touches masonry?? the only issue would be whether or not the masonry that your stove is next to has proper clearance from combustables around it.
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    If you have enough solid masoney separating any combustiables with the mentioned air space there is no issue.
    The cement should not break down exposed to 200 degrees. What you have is a great way to assorb heat. The only issue is having enough free air space around the stove to dissipate heat, to prevent it from overheating. But I think you are ok, providing other combustiables are not in close proximity.
  5. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    Had the same situation in our basement, but I found out that
    even though the wall was wasn't "combustible", I was experiencing
    huge heat loss to it - it was acting as a "heat sink".
    To fix it, I put up steel studs against the cement wall & placed
    cement board on top of the studs, creating an insulating
    "air gap" between the stove & the wall. Worked wonders,
    getting more heat out into the room.

    Rob
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, you are right that non-combustibles should be discussed. I just inspected a house fire that resulted from a fireplace with solid non-combustible walls - of course, there was frame SOMEWHERE behind the masonry.

    In your case, I agree that it sounds OK- BUT, if the chimney is an exterior chimney it is possibly that some of the heat being soaked up is ending up in the great outdoors. Masonry is a terrible insulator!

    If this is the case, then the heat shield would be good for increased warmth in the house - more of an efficiency gain (guess is 5%) than a safetly issue.
  7. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hey brian if by chance your setup meets code leave it like it is. between the soapstone and the masonry you'll get lots of heat even after the fire dies out. my stove is cast iron and the walls beside it and behind it are brick floor to ceiling and i get 2-3 hours of heat off the walls after the stove go's out. it takes a little longer to heatup but once you get it going it's like a heat cushion.
  8. bmur

    bmur New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the feedback, This Hearthstone stove replaced my two year old Dutchwest stove, My house is now warm, comfortable and does not smell like smoke all the time. Shop wisely, I bought a cheap stove the first time and it cost me more money in the long run. Buy a quality stove the first time around.

    I got a great deal on a boat anchor if anyone wants a 500 pound one :)

    Brian
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    This is something I have been pondering. Weather or not to install a rear heat shield to redirect the heat away from my brick wall or just leave it alone. It does seem to release heat after the fire dies down. But how much is lost by absorption in the first place? I have a layer of brick, 1" air space, concrete, then earth, since the stove is in the basement. Probably no big deal. Craig says maybe 5% efficiency gain. Then again you could open up that old can of worms about radiant vs convection debate. A rear heat shield should increase convection heat?
  10. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    I jsut specked out an Avalon woodstove and they only requie 8" from any combustable surface. I have knotty pine and was glad to hear that cause I dont want to cover it.
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