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Concerns of submerged stove

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by mywaynow, Sep 6, 2011.

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  1. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Having had the misfortune of being the recipient of a backhand slap from Irene, I am now facing up to some of the damaged items. One of which is my VC Defiant stove. It was submerged entirely for a few hours, not more than 5. Beyond the rust that is everywhere, I am seeing the newly installed seals falling off the doors. Is there anything else that may be an issue for repair/maint. that I need to consider?

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  2. PARKBOY

    PARKBOY Member

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    Im sure you will get some good advice here but you may want to also call the manufacturer and see what they have to say. Sorry for your loss and good luck to you.
  3. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    Was it a flood or a basement water issue? Have you checked if it's covered by homeowners?
  4. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Water categorization is up in the air. I have no creeks or water bodies to rise around me, and there was no property wide water buildup. As of today, I have not heard from an adjuster yet. Not drinking our water and just waiting now that most of the damaged stuff is removed. 8 days of 15 hours/day to get me to that point. One of the worst weeks of my life for sure.
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Myway - you may want to look into the insurance side for the stove...that said...

    Seals, paint, external debris entering the stove...you know, the obvious stuff.

    Also, you will want start this stove with a very small fire. Somewhat like breaking in a new stove. The first fire should be with the intent of gently drying this stove out. The second, a bit more intense and so on.

    I can't imagine that water would cause any physical harm to the stove, as long as you can get it 100% dried back out before you build a box full-o-flame. Just make sure you give it a darn good inspection and repair the seals, etc.

    Lightly sand the whole box - remove ALL rust down to CLEAN, BARE metal and repaint with stove paint. You should be good to go.
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Sorry to hear about the damage. Lots of people need a lot of help. was a devastating blow to our Northeast.

    Hope everything works out for You and your Family/Friends.
  7. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If the insurance company can't replace it it can be repaired!

    If you have to rebuild it I'd dry that bad boy out w/ a dehumidifier blower it's dry air into it. Once dry, I'd be spraying the entire thing down (inside and out) with PB Blaster. It disolves rust and will buy you some time / make it easier to take the stove apart when you get a chance.

    Very sorry to hear of your misfortune.

    pen
  8. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    I would agree with most of the responses here. Since the stove was only in water for under 5 hrs I cannot see there being any real damage coming to the stove except seals and maybe some cement replacement. Of course the exterior will need some attention, I wouldn't wait too long on that either, the sooner the better on any exterior rust. Once you get the seals and cement replaced I would get right into a small fire to get that metal dry.
    I'd be curious what the stove manufacturers recommendations on your situation would be.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Good idea on the maintenance side, but be VERY aware that any surface that you wish to paint will need to be completely clean of the stuff, or paint ain't gonna stick.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Besides the obvious surface rust, my concern would be water trapped in the secondary passages. This can cause some serious rust scaling that will later lead to blockage. Dis-assembly would be the best way to be sure that these passages are clear and dry. But in lieu of that, at least blast some compressed air through the secondary ports (inside and outside) and keep the stove in a dehumidified space with a fan blowing into the firebox for a few days.
  11. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    PB blaster is much easier to clean before paint than WD-40 which is why I recommend it.

    pen
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I would recommend a nice buffing with paint thinner directly before painting.
  13. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    You probably already know this, but the reason for the slow, cooler fires is that the metal parts expand and contract with heating and cooling. If two pieces that normally would slide past each other are rusted together, the slow fires give the rust a chance to break up slowly, rather than cracking or bending the metal.
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Very true as well as allow any moisture that may have been absorbed by the fire brick to evaporate slowly instead of a small explosion (vaporization pressure).
  15. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

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    including the metal itself...
    Metal holds quite a bit of water for those who don't know.

    Not sure how much it would soak up in 5 hours or if it would even matter, but steel definitely absorbs water.
  16. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I've found the real issue is if wet ashes are left in a stove. They hold the moisture for a long, long time. Getting wet isn't the issue, staying wet it. It takes time to do damage.

    pen
  17. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    Good point, I remember seeing a post not too long ago of a fella with a new stove and some early brick damage on a startup fire. Moisture content in the brick most likely.
  18. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    I had the foresight to clean out the ashes on the second day. It was just mud. My only concern there is that there could be some fine stuff still lurking in the upper areas. My intention for the stove was to rebuild it (cracked fireback) in August/September, before the season will begin. However, having lost over a week to cleaning up the mess, and at a time when I am usually busy with work (pre- opening of schools), I doubt I will have the time to dedicate to that task. Ticks me off that I spent the time and money replacing the door seals, just to see them fall off the doors.

    Still waiting for the adjuster to call..............
  19. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If you don't have a dehumidifier handy I'd have the doors open on that thing and a small oscillating fan aimed in the mouth of it running for a few days while you wait.

    pen
  20. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Dehumidifier is running, and I am going to open the doors right now. Thanks for the tip.
  21. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    OK, all together, say it with me......F**K!!! Just broke the new handle assembly truing to get the side door open. I give up. Just too much going on here to accomplish anything productive.
  22. Ken S

    Ken S New Member

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    Instead of dealing with the insurance company directly you may want to hire a public adjuster,basically they represent you and know all the tricks the insurance company will pull and have some of there own.Well worth the cost.Good luck with the stove
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hopefully you will get a good adjustment and enough money to get a new stove.
  24. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    This is one of the craziest things I've ever heard. Ever.
    I've worked with steel for 16 years. Steel does not absorb water. Water may cling to the surface, but you could remove that surface moisture with a hair dryer.

    As to dealing with the rust, personally, I'd put a wire brush on a cordless drill and hit all the surfaces you'll be painting, then wipe it down with either mineral spirits or denatured alcohol. (Denat. alcohol also removes surface moisture.)

    I'm wracking my brain trying to think of how submerging a stove would ruin it, and I can't think of one. It's all reversible. Hang in there, man.
  25. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    It certainly is all reversible but take your time and make sure the firebox seals do not get affected. I am only speculating here but my concern would be if the seals retain moisture for a long time than corrosion over the long term wood be a factor. If it was mine I would clean it up real good, get some major air circulation going around and in it for a good long time. Fix the door seals and then burn a lot of small warming fires.... never getting too hot to touch. The purpose is to do a deep dry out without boiling the moisture out. Then I would clean it up and paint it.

    Once you begin the hotter fires, keep an eye out for control problems. If she wants to burn like the devil you may have some leaks but I doubt you will. You can find the leaks with smoke from incense. Just hold the burning incense close to the stove and move it all around during a fire looking for it to get drawn in.

    Steel doesn't absorb moisture but, not that this matters to you.... it will absorb certain things like propane gas. Used propane gas cylinders outgas propane for a time after.
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