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I need immediate advice from members, firefighters, etc...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by joefrompa, Jan 30, 2011.

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  1. pen

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

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    Yea, I agree the guy needs to have a chance to fix it. I simply would be there to get his honest opinion of WHY this happened and how things are going to be different with his fix to prevent this from ever happeneing again.

    If you are uncomfortable with his responses here, then it is time to find someone else and just cough up the cash.

    you never know, the guy may surprise you.

    pen

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It does happen. I have seen dozens of this style elbow come apart at the seam in HVAC work. It is hard to believe that someone putting on the surround wouldn't have seen this. That's why I was wondering if it got tugged up from the top to make a final connection.
  3. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    BeGreen - I think they finished off the top after the bottom connection was made. One guy was wrapping up at the bottom while another guy was at the top. I know for a fact that the trim was on when final adjustments up top were being made, because I was dissatisfied I couldn't see the final connection after they hooked it up. They had it hooked to the stove and the trim on a pinch - I was impressed by their speed and efficiency, and everything looked great, so i dropped it and just said "I'll check it out when I take the trim off to insulate around it."

    P.s. I told my wife some of the comments on here about the vacuum being created and sucking heated air up the chimney. She reminded me that we had family over in Thanksgiving, and back then walking into the room was like "a wall of heat". We had fans on people cause we were smoking them out. She reminded me that back then it was alot hotter in the room than we'd been achieving recently....and I reminded myself that I became a far better burner after Christmas too. So despite being a far better burner, the room was alot colder. That tells me alot about how much heat I was losing.
  4. pen

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

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    wait till you see how this stove performs with a chimney!

    pen
  5. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    Heheh, while I wait, I gave my stove a sponge bath this morning. I couldn't believe how much that plain black matte iron/stove black paint popped out at me :)
  6. boatboy63

    boatboy63 Member

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    Maybe true, but wouldn't you think November is a warmer month than January? I know that for my area, it is. Normally, our true winter starts around the end of Dec to first of Jan. This year, it was the first week of December.

    Also, I agree with giving the installer a second chance. It is something that can happen and if he is willing to make things right, that's all it takes. Just because the place you purchased the stove from recommended them, doesn't mean they should be responsible for the outcome of the installer.
  7. rijim

    rijim Member

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    I would probably be inclined to have an independent inspection done so as to have a list of all violations and less than ideal installation methods; save a receipt of cost. Have this person give you a quote to correct all issues. Let the original installer have a look at it and see if they identify and agree to fix all the same issues the independent inspection found, if not show them the door and and tell them what they owe you to get it fixed; if they don't want to hear it you have no choice but to contact an attorney.

    Good luck,
    Jim
  8. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    Installer called and left a message on my cell phone from his secretary/admin saying "We received the pictures and are very sorry that this has happened. It should never have happened and it appears the part broke. We will come out and install a heavy-duty welded version to correct the issue and ensure it does not happen again."

    Obviously not over yet, but the message was solid.

    Boatboy - It was around 30-32 degrees in Thanksgiving here, or within about 5 degrees of what I've been experiencing in the truer winter.
  9. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Interesting deal.
    Seems the stove seller likes to keep his butt covered by farming out the wood stove installs...but if things went way south he could still be sued along with the installer.
    Thank God you found this!
    People may not agree with me but I think the seller should have dealt with the installer.
    He recommended him.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Well, you know the riff. They could be right but have not answered the sloppy workmanship shown by the clamp out on the liner. You are in the driver seat now. Hopefully they will work with you to rectify the problem and will go over the installation with a fine tooth comb. I would be cooperative, but firm on your concerns of safety and about where else they were not paying attention to details. The ball is in their court now to make this safe and to do right by the customer.
  11. bpm44

    bpm44 Member

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    Holy fill-in-the-blank Joe! As many have said thankfully you and yours are safe. For as ticked as you are, and rightfully so, it sounds as though you are handling it well. The response from the installer at least includes an apology and an upgrade in the elbow for the remedy. Even the "pros" have crap happen. You spent good money and expect proper performance and competent anticipation of the different stress forces on the pipe and connectors and that they would use the proper parts the first time around from paying the bucks to have a pro do the install. I too have seen HVAC elbows pop like that.

    You wouldn't think you would have to check their work, but this is not the case when it comes to so many service type things these days. Last year the dealership (yes, I have all of Mrs. Jeeper's car repairs done there) left the oil plug finger tight in the drain pan. After noticing the dinner plate size puddle in the driveway later that day, the oil was at the bottom of the hash marks. Tightened it up, no more leak. Called the dealership. Apology and a free oil change next time. Sure they did something, but that doesn't make up for my freshly sealed blacktop. Arghh.

    Also FWIW it looks to me like the design of the adaptor from the elbow to the flex pipe is supposed to clamp on the flex pipe.

    Certainly after the repair is made your previous stove troubles should be non-existent.

    I hope you get good service and they make good on the fix.
  12. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    Thanks all. As an additional step when this is done.....

    I have a massive box of ATS flexible rock wool that I spent $48 getting shipped to me. Instead of just using it as a block-off plate, I've decided I'm going to shove it up around the final flex pipe all the way down to the stove (thereby insulating the liner even when it hits the stove), and I'm going to PACK the entire area around the back of the stove with it, so that literally when you open the trim it's just a wall of rock wool.

    I already have the stuff sitting around, have no other purposes for it, and I want to work to prevent stink bug penetration and even the chance of any sort of air leakage or draw occuring. I also really want to feel heat radiating out from this stove when this is done....

    I'll be talking to the installer later on this morning. We'll see what happens.
  13. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    ....you could just run a little of that aluminum tape around there and you'd be good to go ;-P

    For real, I replied to your thread about not getting heat out of your stove.....

    It's obvious why now.

    My bet is the thing would draft pretty good like it is, sucking any startup smoke that collected in there right on up that liner once she got going.

    The good thing is at least they sound like they are willing to make it right.
  14. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I'm glad to hear this. I can relate to the feeling of being pissed off but as a service tech I know how things get screwed up.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you want to insulate the fireplace cavity I'd to it neatly instead of trying to pack it around the stove. While the stove is out, attach the blanket, fitted to the walls using tapcons and large fender washers. With the top plate secured and sealed in place the only way the bugs are getting down is through the flue. They most likely crawled out that gaping hole. If they came down any other way, the plate on top has not been sealed to the chimney top. Or there's a hole in the side of the chimney.
  16. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    Why should I attach the insulation to the walls using tapcons? I'm not going to compress it, but why can't I layer it in there thickly around the stove?
  17. bupalos

    bupalos Member

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    That's true, but I think the bottom line is that if there is a hole out of the liner, there is a hole in. That hole will be probaby positive pressure for all of about 3 minutes with very little burning going on and tons of excess oxygen, at startup. Then it's big-time negative pressure for a few hours bringing loads of fresh air into the room and house. Can it go positive again? It could I guess. I do agree if there was any danger at all it would be from charcoal at the end if it was cranked down and the flue managed to get cold enough to sit there as a plug...but I really wouldn't expect it and a little bed of coals that can't produce enough heat to updraft really isn't going to create all that much CO either.

    I could construct a scenario where this is dangerous, but it would be kind of far-fetched. Like you weren't happy with the burn, so you just closed it all down to stop it but not quite all the way, then you left the house for an hour so you didn't notice all the smoke as the wood load turned to charcoal, then came back to a cold house with that large load of slowly gasifying charcoal, then turned up the furnace creating negative pressure and sucked relatively clean CO into the house. And maybe you already had a cold so you couldn't tell there was a funny smell and attributed your headache to being sick. Even with all this, I doubt you get killed, just maybe nauseated. There will still be fresh air coming in from all over, including down that very flue.

    The stats are that 4% of CO poisoning deaths are from wood fire which is a lot higher that I would have thought. But of the 5 cases I can find, in every one someone was sleeping in the same, closed room with the stove, and 4 out of the 5 have alcohol as a contributing factor.
  18. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    What do you think?
  19. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    I can't get a picture of the top right now except from the ground, as everything is covered in snow and ice.

    The liner is insulated down to about 1' before it connects to the stove and right up under the top. The top is a standard "Flex king" cap and plate. From the ground, the top looks fine...a little creosote build-up, but I can easily see through the mesh in sunlight. Doesn't look like it's moved at all from the ground.

    The installer is coming out tomorrow at 9am. I'll take pictures throughout.
  20. joefrompa

    joefrompa New Member

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    All,

    I believe the Chimney sweep has read this thread as he sent me an e-mail and clarified that the parts were not flex king, but were Olympia. He reports that the elbow was from a 3rd party vendor when Olympia was in short supply (still sent to him from Olympia).

    I did not send him any private notes or mention Flex King at all with anyone except my last post 1 hour ago.

    He is scheduled to come out tomorrow. I would like to update this thread and share his side of the story (if he's ok with that), pictures of the fix, etc. If he approves, I I will also share his name at that time.

    Since getting in touch with him, things have moved quickly and they've been very proactive in calling me and scheduling a fix. I should have contacted him upfront directly - my mistake, which I blame on being very upset.

    Thanks all,

    Joe
  21. pen

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

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    sounds like you are getting an honest response from some folks that genuinely want to do a good job. I sure hope the fix continues to go this well for you.

    As far as calling the stove shop first, well I thought I made a mistake once but then I realized I was mistaken. ;-) Everyone has done it, few are willing to man up to it like you have. You sharing your experience is a good lesson to all which is what this site is for and why I like it.

    pen
  22. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I don't quite understand how you went several months without seeing that gap in the pipe. Is that pipe not normally exposed to view or is there some sort of divider that hides it? It looks pretty obvious to me.
  23. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    It is covered by a surround. He had to remove a panel to expose the pipe.
  24. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Ah, that makes a lot more sense. Thanks for clarifying.
  25. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You sir, are very welcome.
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