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Conflicting views on pipe cement

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Bushfire, Nov 26, 2005.

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  1. Bushfire

    Bushfire Member

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    I've read and heard conflicting views on pipe cement and its use. Some people have told me, including stove dealers who install, that I should not use cement on the joints of my conector pipe as it makes cleaning difficult, while others, many on this forum (including craig) have said to always use cement on pipe joints. I recently lit my morso 3450 and had a small amount of smoke in the room, which I'm assuming came from these joints - I have not used cement.

    So should I use cement and how will this affect my abilty to clean the pipe, and how often should I clean the pipe.

    Thanks to Vi's recent posts, and chimneysweeps answers, I'm now a little more knowledgable on why my soapstone clad stove seems to take a while to get to a stage where I can leave it alone.

    I've attached a picture of the installed stove.

    Attached Files:

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The main reason to use furnace cement between joints is for draft, not for smoke sealing. A tigher system will have better draft at the appliance - period.

    Harder to clean? Cement does not "glue" the pipes in any way and breaks out easily when pipes are removed. Also, interior pipe can often be brought outside in one or two pieces and cleaned.

    Again, the idea is to have stoves work as well as possible - good draft does this
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Here's an easy way to understand this.

    The chimney has a certain pull.

    Assume that all the pipe joints and elbow have a total of 1 square inch of area that is sucking air in.

    Now assume that the draft control on the stove is open about the same amount on average....

    Where is the chimney going to pull from? Through the easy way - the pipe joints, or all the way through the stove, baffles, air tubes, etc.

    Simple - the tighter the vent system, the better the air will be pulled through the stoves combustion system.
  4. Darryl Rose

    Darryl Rose Member

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    Would you put a hole in a straw before using it? Use the cement.
  5. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Let's try this a different way.

    There isn't a downside to using the chimney cement, except slightly more hassle duringthe installation.

    Advantages include:
    1) better draw (all the air comes through the stove, rather than some through the joints)
    2) less creosote buildup (no cold air mixing with the warm flue air)
    3) safer in the event of a chimney fire, again going to effectively choking the air supply for the fire.

    There are lots of stoves installed w/o cement on the joints, and most of them work OK. If you have a condition (short chimney, primarily) that's going to result in poor draft, you probably don't want to give any away to leaks. But it would be nice to know the chimney was right if you need to diagnose a problem later on.

    Steve
  6. Bushfire

    Bushfire Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. I went with adding cement over the weekend and the stove definitely draws better than before. Before it was taking its sweet time to really heat up (especially with the soapstone sides), but now it burns really well and I had temps exceeding 300 degrees on the pipe in about 10 mins. Rather than taking apart the pipe I caulked all the joints from the outside (if that makes sense) and it seems to have worked well.

    I still have one question. Now that I've done this, how often should I be cleaning the 3-4 feet of pipe (see jpegs on first post of this thread) that goes from the stove to the already installedmasonry chimney? I intend to have the chimney sweeped each year, but some have told me I should be cleaning the pipe more regularly than that.

    Thanks to this site, I've also come to the conclusion that I need a flue extension on one of my flues - I have an insert on the main floor that vents into the same chimney but into its own flue and I have sometimes smelt that burning smell in the basement when I've only had the insert upstairs burning.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, dang...make certain you look at the flue extensions I invented:
    http://www.extendaflue.com
  8. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Another place to find air leaks is the ash clean out door.
    This definitely effects the draft from the stove. Notorious for
    poor and loose fitting. I have experimented installing gaskets and
    making up a latch to drawn the door closing in and hold it tight.

    If I have a tube of remaining Caulking I would consider running a bead
    around
    the door to seal the leak that way
  9. Bushfire

    Bushfire Member

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    Thanks Elkimmed. The ash drawer for the morso 3450 is actually inside the main door, so unless there is a leak out of the main door, which I don't think there is, I should be OK there.

    However, this deos raise another question that I've been meanig to ask on this forum. What is a riddling tool and/or a Riddling Grate System? The manual describes this and there was also a funny cast iron tool included with the stove. I aksed somebody and they thought it was just a tool for picking up the ash drawer when it is hot. That didn't seem too steady when I tried it (with no hot cols of course), so I'm confused. I've had no problem operating the stove, so I don't think I'm missing anything, but who knows.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have heard shaking coal while it's burning referred to as riddling so that is probably for the coal shaker.
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I guess I was not clear. I was speaking about the a flue cleanout door in your masonry chimney.

    Not mentioned here but related, is the pipe joints are corrugated usually 1.5" that is the required overlap
    If one see corrugation it is not pushed in the full amount. Corrugations provide spacing between thei peaks, so that the valley areas
    produce air gaps. If the pipes can not be inserted in that last 1/4", this would be a good place to cement caulk
  12. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    The riddling tool is that black iron thingy with the hook on one end of it
    Use it to clean the slots in the bottom plate of the firebox
    The other thing has to be for hanging the riddling tool, I havent got a reply from Morso on that yet
    I sealed my seams with the 2000 degree caulk, worked great
  13. Bushfire

    Bushfire Member

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    I hadn't thought of the flue cleanout door, so I'll get to that also as that definatley has enough of a gap around the edges of the door to allow some air to be sucked in and cool the chimney and I don't have any ridges and valleys showing, but I think some of my problems may have been from me banging up the pipe a little too much on installation, therefore creating small imperfections in the seal. Wow, this site is a great source for tips and tricks.

    Babalu - if you ever hear back from Morso, I'd love to get an explanation on that riddling tool. How'd you like that Morso? Best looking stoves avaiable, in my opinion. I only wish the handle didn't slip out as easily - I can certainly see the safety invloved in having it be removable though.

    Any ideas from anybody on how often I should be cleaning the stove pipe that runs from the stove to the chimney?
  14. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Called the Morso dealer and they say it is to hang the riddling tool or handle from

    The piece of pipe closest to the stove would need the least amount of cleaning beacuse that pipe is HOT and creosote wont build up there as quickly
  15. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    The instructions on the thermometer say to install it at eye level

    I was wondering if that was too high but they are the manufacturer? ,being 6'2" it would only be a difference of less than a foot to even a vertically challenged person :lol:
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