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Enviro Mini - Sorry - But Yet Another OAK (Outside Air Kit) Question

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by LI-Mini-Owner, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. LI-Mini-Owner

    LI-Mini-Owner Member

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    I don't have an OAK connected to my Enviro Mini, and really don't have any problem with getting enough combustion air, though I do get a little concerned at times like when I run the kitchen range hood, or bathroom fan. Guess my house is leaky enough :). Now the main reason I never hooked it up was because of how my stove is configured for OAK. From reading other threads I get the impression that some stoves duct the OAK right to the intake for the burn pot, so there is no chance for any room air to be used for combustion. Is this true for any of your stoves?

    My stove simply terminates the OAK inside the cabinet of the stove. IMO room air could blend with outside air for combustion, and when stove is off I would think that cold outside air could blow into the room via the slots in the rear of the stove cabinet. For these reasons I'm wondering if I'd be worse off with OAK.

    Here are some snapshots to illustrate my stove...

    Thanks in advance for any comments.

    Carl

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    The OAK should connect to that pipe in the second picture.
  3. Dr_Drum

    Dr_Drum Feeling the Heat

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    Are you sure there isn't a part missing? My Lopi appears to have an air gap around the cast iron intake plenum (manifold thing). I think it pulls room air in whether using an OAK or not. I don't notice any difference with or without it, but your situation there is far more drastic with the open-ended pipe stub. When you consider all the open space to the room, I wouldn't think it would draw much from an OAK anyway?
    Mike -
  4. Dr_Drum

    Dr_Drum Feeling the Heat

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    Smokey, I think he's showing us both sides of the same pipe. Pic#1 connection point on outside of stove, Pic#2 is same pipe inside cabinet of stove? Maybe he can verify that for us?
    Mike -
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I was wondering about that Mike, I just wanted him to say something like it's the same piece of pipe.

    There is no question on mine that connecting the OAK prevents any room air entering the air intake.

    All Carl need to do is follow the actual air path.
  6. imacman

    imacman Guest

    IMO, unless there's a piece of tubing missing that's supposed to go between the tube in pic # 2 and the hole under the ignitor in pic #3, hooking up an OAK to the stove is close to being worthless.
  7. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

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    Not only that, but if an OAK was connected to that pipe, there would essentially be a 4 inch draft of cold air coming into the house. In my uneducated guess, I would say something is missing. I wouldn't be connecting an OAK to that pipe.

    Chan
  8. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Yep, that too......good catch Chan.
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Well looky who showed up, well folks since the OP hasn't been back yet you are all speculating on what may or may not be missing.
  10. terryjd98

    terryjd98 Member

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    On my Enviro Evolution my OAK that I never hooked up yet is just a short pipe inside the stove. Have to go about guessing 4 inches to get to oustide the cabinet housing which there is a 2 inch hole in it for pipe to go through. The back of the cabinet, (guess thats what you would call the metal surrounding the back of the stove) has a bunch of slots in it so that short pipe can suck air through them anyways.
    Maybe I am missing a piece or its an Enviro thing. I can take some pics tomorrow of how my OAK pipe looks on the stove if wanted.
  11. LI-Mini-Owner

    LI-Mini-Owner Member

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    Correct - The first picture is what sticks out the stove, the second picture is the other end of that pipe that sticks a few inches into the cabinet. The 3rd picture shows where all the combustion air will get sucked into, and it's like 8" away from the end of the pipe shown in the 2nd picture.

    To Macman's point I wondered if there were parts missing, like something that goes over the combustion intake hole and around the igniter inlet that transitions to flex pipe that would connect to the end of the tube shown in the second picture.
  12. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    This stove is a great example of why an OAK is not always a good idea.
  13. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Carl,

    I've heard others on here talk about their stoves having an OAK and also slots that allowed room air in, they never did put up any pictures. So I don't know if the OAK would cover the slots when installed or if the slots would still be operable.

    My stove has the air intake ending at the back of the firebox under the burn pot. Both burn pot air ports and the igniter assembly are inside the intake.

    There is also one stove (the name escapes me now) that requires you to get an adapter in order to use the outside air feature.

    I'd say call the manufacturer and ask.
  14. j00fek

    j00fek Feeling the Heat

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    i put in the OAK this yr, ill never go back, just unhook it in the summer
  15. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    It's the same way on my Mini, I seem to have no problem with the set up, however some type of piping to combustion air intakes would be nice.
  16. Dr_Drum

    Dr_Drum Feeling the Heat

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    The owners manual (here: www.enviro.com/.../manuals...manuals/C-11624 Instruction Mini A Technical Manual.pdf)
    does say that hole next to the ignitor is the air intake. Reference to an "Air Intake Tube" is also shown on page 10. The technical manual (here: www.enviro.com/.../manuals...manuals/C-11624 Instruction Mini A Technical Manual.pdf) however does not show a specific part for this "air intake tube". Probably easiest to call.
    Mike -
  17. breklaw

    breklaw Member

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    I agree that with the current setup I would not hook it up. OAK is supposed to make it so you only burn outside, UNHEATED air, thereby lowering the amount of negative pressure in the house, which means less cold air coming in through cracks and such. If you are burning inside air, you are burning air you have paid to heat already! This is why fireplaces are so inefficient. Plus, now to replace that already paid for heated air, you have outside air coming in to replace it. Nature ABHORS a vacuum.
    Bill
  18. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky New Member

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    Any QuadraFire owners out there with an OAK. My dealer seemed sorta cynical about it mentioning something about pests getting access but I have a HUGE problem with cold air getting sucked up from the basement. When that stove runs that floor gets cold! Part of that is obviosuly due a furnace no longer heating a basement but I can feel the air whirring up from downstairs. Efforts to ask the wife to close the basement door have failed so I have to family-proof this thing.
  19. imacman

    imacman Guest

    I'm not an Quad owner, but adding an OAK cannot make things worse....it can only help, IMO.
  20. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    As for the issue with the never closed basement door, get a big honking padlock install it and keep one key with you and the other at work.

    As for pests tell your "dealer" he just became one, you block it off in the off season.

    Then the only question I'd have since I'm not a quad owner is are there any special parts that need to purchased such as an adapter that seals the air path (there are some strange configurations out there).
  21. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    OK Smart Enviro owner (Proud owner of 3 enviro stoves. On the mini and most enviros, the fresh air tube inlet is just a guide spot. Take a 1 inch or 1.5 inch metal tube and connect it from the stoveback tube and connect it mechanically (via screws and L bracket to the inner stove shell. Put hi temp silicone in air tube inside to block out all internal house airflow into the stove. Then hook up flex tubing through the wall to outside of house. Remember to seal all external connections with silicone and appropriate screens to keep critters out. Outside air will almost always make a stove run better, cold dense combustion air is great if you seal the intake path to the stove only and do not put another hole in your house to let cold air in. As an installer, I see it a lot. Don't forget to properly adjust the air damper too. In case anyone is wondering, lots of manufacturers leave outside air inputs open, Breckwell inserts are known for it, kinda hard to hook up to stove body too. They make nice stoves too. Hope this helps.

    Stovelark
    Enviro 1700 FS wood
    Enviro EF3 FS
    Enviro Empress Insert (can you tell I like ENVIRO?)
    jhanan likes this.
  22. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky New Member

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    Still working on teaching about closing the doors before leaving the house, actual locking of said doors may be a pipe dream at this point.
  23. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Many say that installing an OAK really has more to do with overall efficiency of the heater. I have to disagree. Heating a small home with such an appliance as a pellet heater can be harmful to the health of the occupants if the air is not handled properly.

    The mini is not alone in the line up of Enviro pellet stoves that are NOT readily equipped to handle an OAK properly. In fact, many manufacturers neglect to tie in the heater cartridge (igniter) with the combustion air port. For a heater to be maximumly efficient and truly separated from the inside air, ALL combustion air which enters the appliance should be completely separated from the convection air or room air.

    Last winter I ordered a new Magnehelic Gauge to read 0-0.25 inches of water column. I was setting it up in my kitchen and was immediately thinking it was broken, as it measured .09 while just sitting the table. I shut down the pellet stove across the living room and was astounded that the gauge went back to zero. Immediately.

    This prompted me to install an OAK. Let me tell you, it was not easy to completely seal the stove up, even with the recommended pipes.

    I did talk with my pediatrician though about the effects of my kids living in a house that was under constant negative pressure. She called it a "sick house" or a house that does not produce make up air.

    This is caused by too much air leaving the house through various sources (a pellet stove) and the inability of replacement air to have an easy access into the house replacing the air and oxygen used when the living conditions such as heat is rising, exhaust fans are operating, or combustion appliances and people are using up the air and oxygen.

    This is why all mobile homes require an OAK. I would lump in any home under 1500 sqft too, which mine is.
  24. Enviro Mini Owner

    Enviro Mini Owner New Member

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    As another Long Island Mini owner thinking about adding an OAK, I would be interested to know what you finally did about outside air.
  25. Pelleting In NJ

    Pelleting In NJ Feeling the Heat

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    It is amazing that so many stoves have a "fake" Outside Air system.....the manufacturer should be embarrassed !
    jhanan likes this.

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