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Determining whether existing chimney pipe will work with wood stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by weaselchew, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. weaselchew

    weaselchew New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
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    Hi,

    Been reading the forums off and on for a while but finally decided to sign up, say hello, and ask for some help from the wealth of knowledge here.

    I have 2 separate chimneys in my house, one is inside a chimney chase connected to a Superior brand wood burning box in my living room. The other is through the house and attic and attached to my oil furnace in the basement (it used to connect to an oil fired water heater as well, but that has already been replaced by an electric model)

    I am removing the oil furnace in favor of a geothermal heat pump, so the chimney will be completely unused. The piping looks stainless, but is magnetic (could still be stainless, not sure) It is, from what I recall, about 10" diameter outside, I believe it is double walled and around 6" inside. There are labels on the outside of piping that say "METAL-FAB INC. TYPE HT UL LISTED 637N". I would like to add a wood stove to heat the basement or possibly even a wood/coal furnace attached to my forced air system. A stand alone wood stove is more likely. I I kept seeing remarks about "grease duct", and I'm not sure whether this is what I have or something else entirely. How can I tell if I can hook a wood stove up to this piping?

    The chimney chase goes down the back of my house to the fireplace box in my living room. (I get the terminology mixed up, but I think it's a "prefab" box even though most people I've talked to refer to it as an insert. There is no masonry fireplace it sits in) The box does have a lever you can slide out to pull outside air in for combustion while the doors are closed, but even with that I'm not overly impressed with the function. I'd like to possibly put a stove in here as well. I don't know the details on the construction of the chase or the type of pipe inside (I think it might be double wall, ~12" on the outside, 8-10" inside)

    If I can provide any further information or pictures that would help determine what I can use, let me know...

    Thanks in advance!
    Devin

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    IMHO, if you had an oil boiler hooked to that chimney, it should be OK for wood. One of the by-products of burning oil is sulphuric acid & that's about as corrosive as you can get. Others may chime in now. I'm heading home...
  3. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I would think that the pipe used for the oil furnace would be fine for the wood burner. It's listed HT like a Class A flue is. Have you googled it? As for the fireplace, it's not made to put out heat, it's for looks and also isn't meant to burn with the doors closed. You could possibly put in an approved insert. To do so you will need an insulated SS liner. If you want to rip it out and go with another unit, being a freestanding or High eff. fireplace, the flue is useless. You will need to use a Class A chimney. We have removed similar fireplaces and replaced it with a Kozy Heat Z42, and class A flue, using the existing chase.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Michigan
    Welcome to the forum Devin.

    Is that basement insulated? If not you may want to think twice about putting a stove there as most of that heat will be soaked up by the walls. Even if it is insulated, some have problems with drafting with that install. Another thing to consider is if you have outside access to the basement as carrying wood down a stairway gets really old really fast. Then you also have to carry hot ashes out walking up a stairway.

    But to me one of the turnoffs about a basement install is that you are not by the stove so might catch yourself going up and down that stairway many times just to check on the stove. That gets old. If the stove is in the living area you get better heat to the main area of the house plus you can enjoy seeing the flame which many love to do.

    Good luck.
    DAKSY likes this.
  5. weaselchew

    weaselchew New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Yes, the basement is (mostly) insulated. It is half underground and has a walk-out sliding door to my back yard, so bringing wood in / taking ash out would be even easier than my living room fireplace. We are planning on turning the main room of the basement into a "movie room" of sorts. Coupling this with the fact that I already have a chimney run about 5' from where I'd put a small stove are my two main reasons tor wanting to put a wood stove in the basement. I've thought about adding a wood furnace to supplement the heat pump, but I think I like watching the fire too much to do so.

    I really would like to replace the current prefab I have in my living room upstairs, which is a Superior RD-3800A (part of Lennox) From what I recall, it said it's better to operate the unit with the glass doors closed and the fresh air inlet open than it is to run with the doors open. We like the ambiance but the heat output is rather minimal since it's more for "show". I've attached a picture (not the best quality, sorry) that shows the fireplace, the pic is from when we purchased the house and removed the old flooring. The fireplace is sort of "floating", surrounded by marble on all sides, even on the bottom. It's not resting directly against the hearth. I would love to completely remove the prefab box and put in a stove, but I'm having a rough time finding one that fits the dimensions nicely (20.75" high, 38.5" wide) The mantel has a 49.25" (high and wide) opening, but the remainder of that space is taken up by the marble slabs.

    Attached Files:

  6. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I'm not sure if you are talking about a freestanding stove, or a high eff. zero clearance fireplace. In order to put in a stove, lots of things need to change unless it sits out in front of the chase that the fireplace is in. You can remove the fireplace, mantel and marble and replace it with a pre-fab high eff unit, with pretty minor demolition. The Z-42 that I mentioned earlier is a pretty good fit in the space that you have. http://www.kozyheat.com/products/woodburning/z42/index.html
  7. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    Either way you go, there will be demolition. The "chimney" on that prefab will not be rated for a solid fuel appliance. Once the demo is done, you can re-frame for a ZC type unit, or set up for a free standing in the general space. Many opt for that option. The one, and to me main difference, is the free stander can and will heat your home when the power is out.

    A search should find instal photos and threads of stoves done both ways, to get an idea of what is involved. The link in my sig line will let you see what we did.
  8. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Backwoods-going up and down the stairs is a good workout for us old geezers.;)

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