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Ideal Set Up for Next Year- Opinions Needed

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lumbering on, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    So I've not had a lot of success this year. And I am disappointed and frustrated. And I am already planning ahead for a better year come this fall, and getting lots of conflicting advice from different installers. I trust you guys a lot more at this point so I'm just going to ask you what I should do.

    The details:

    1. Lopi Leyden downdraft stove with lots of leaky fittings to be fixed (hopefully) by the dealer soon
    2. Stove sitting in fireplace of an old, poorly insulated house
    3. Three story exterior masonry chimney in need of some work if it were ever to carry smoke again
    4. Uninsulated liner
    5. No block off plate
    6. Thirsty oil boiler
    7. Not nearly as much heat as I was expecting out of this stove.

    The plan:

    1. Block off plate
    2. Rockwool insulation above block off plate

    The uncertainties:

    1. Do I keep the uninsulated liner, or change it out for an insulated liner?
    2. Do I rockwool insulate at the top of the chimney AND bottom of chimney?
    3. Do I rockwool insulate the ENTIRE chimney?
    4. Do I change the diameter of the liner? (currently 6 in) and if so what size and why?

    Thank you yet again.

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  2. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

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    Don't know anything about your stove but I would absolutely put B/O plate with Roxul top and bottom. I don't think you are going to get any more heat out of your system buy changing to an insulated liner though. Don't know if you have a surround on your insert or not but I feel like I get more heat out of mine without it.
    Use whatever size liner that matches the outlet on your stove. Hope this helps some. Smart to start planning now for next year though.
  3. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you've got a worst-case scenario going there. If the stove is backed into the fireplace and there's an open path from it to the sky, guess where all your heat's going to go.

    I think you should split your resources between improving the stove setup and improving the rest of the house. Install a block-off plate with Roxul above, to stop the hemorrhaging. The items on your "uncertainties" list aren't likely to have much effect on heat output, unless maybe you have a draft problem. After the block-off plate and Roxul above it, I'd go for caulking air leaks and insulating the attic.
  4. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Also, what's the wood situation like?
    Get as much as you can and get it as dry as possible.
    ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  5. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Is the fireplace the stove is sitting in all masonry, and is it an outside wall? If so, youyr also loosing alot of heat to the masonry and outside. I would cover the masonry behind the stove with something to insuklate it, like a stainless sheets or something to keep the heat in the room instead of into the masonry. But I'm no expert on this.. just giving a rough tip, there are probably good/better ways to do this....

    I seem to see alot of Leyden complaints/problems on here. Is that model not a good one from Lopi?
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    1.) block off plate above stove and insulate
    2.) pour in insulation for your un-insulated liner
    3.) if you have fan on the stove - use it. If it doesn't have a fan - get one.
    4.)MAKE DARN SURE YOU HAVE DRY FUEL
    5.) Enjoy warm home.
    ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  7. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    My goals for next year are threefold: maximize heat, minimize creosote, stabilize draft.

    The block off plate and insulation above the plate are for maximum heat. I don't know where else to insulate, at the top? The whole chimney?

    The other questions relate to draft and creosote.

    I am concerned that by placing the block off plate, I will no longer be heating the masonry chimney with the stove, and creosote will form in the cold 30 foot un-insulated liner.

    But: If I insulate the liner, I am concerned I will over draft at 30 feet. I already have ultra-short burn times. Should I change liner size? Insulate or not?
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Insulate the whole run of liner. There is a pour in insulation that makes this pretty easy. You may consider a key damper if your draft is too strong (if it can be installed prior to going into the masonry section).
    ScotO likes this.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    But as others have mentioned. The fuel? The fuel? What do you have and what is planned. Don't forget that the fuel is 90% of the equation. It has to be dry and that does not happen fast. It is a slow process. You can do all the fixing you want but if you burn poor fuel, that will certainly give you poor results no matter what you do.
    ScotO and gyrfalcon like this.
  10. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    You've taught me well. The fuel for next year will be much better.

    I've got a half ton of envi-bricks in the basement; a half cord of wood I gave up on, sitting on the porch seasoning since October; a half cord keeping dry in the basement split into 2 inch pieces to dry faster; and I am prepared to go as far as to buy a half cord of kiln dried hickory if it means success.

    I've got three cords of oak split and stacked in the backyard for three years ahead. And I will buy and stack another 3 cords of non-oak hard wood this spring for 2 years ahead.

    The dealer should be repairing the (brand new) stove this spring, and I am prepared to test it even in the heat of summer to make sure it's really fixed before the fall.

    Now, I just need to clarify the chimney issue.

    What are the "pour in" insulation everyone is talking about?
    Is this easier/cheaper/better than replacing the liner?
  11. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Pour in is the way to go, forget the name of the stuff but put roxul and block off plate at the bottom, pour in insulation (theres a few threads on this) then roxul and plate on top.If you havent burned A-1 seasoned wood yet your in for a surprise, you'll think you have a new stove.
    ScotO likes this.
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    If you're talking about a poured casting like ThermMix, I'd avoid at all costs. Too permanent for my liking, not easy to repair, relatively short lifespan, etc.
  13. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    Good luck with that Lopi Leyden.. NOthing wrong with downdraft stoves, but I'd be PO'd about the quality issues you've been dealing with.

    That's just WRONG.
  14. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    I don't know what your windows are like but I use 3M window film kits. I have good modern widows & still use them.I've used this Film since the 70's. All sorts of windows Trailer,Old Old houses & my latest home.I buy them on sale & spend less than $50 for a house full of windows. You need patience applying this film & you will get better at it with time . The film is crystal clear & invisible when applied correctly.

    I mentioned this because I am a believer in this stuff .

    I only endorse the "3 M WINDOW KITS" a lot of others out there,don't waste your money


    Cheers
  15. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, I am hoping with new gaskets and a new lid, I will no longer dislike the leyden. I will reserve judgement until it is fixed and I have good wood.

    Thanks for the tips on the windows. We have old single pane with no storms!! I think we will replace at some point.

    Regarding the outside masonry chimney, I've been looking at these steel "hearth reflectors" meant for fireplaces. Any thoughts?

    And before I start agonizing over insulation type, etc, I have to ask...

    Is it a definite that the whole chimney has to be insulated to keep the heat in, or will the block off plate and some rockwool be enough?
    Or is the insulation/insulated liner more of a creosote issue?
    And will the draft be out of control with the insulation?
  16. rijim

    rijim Member

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    At the very least insulate top and bottom, full insulation would be best. If burning 24/7 top and bottom may be enough, if not, definitely consider full insulation or creosote may be an issue. With all the frustration you have had, add the key damper while doing the rest of the work; you'll have it if you need it and avoid an anxious situation if it starts to run away. Sound like your working on the dry wood situation already.
    Good luck and give us an update when all is said and done.
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not referring to the casting stuff, but the loose fill stuff. If you ever remove the liner it will be messy, but not permanent. (who removes a liner, anyhow?)
    ScotO likes this.
  18. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    The guy who's "professional" chimney sweep used a chain flail to clean his chimney? The guy who's had more than one chimney fire? The guy who lives in that house 100+ years from now? I could go on!

    Loose fill is definitely a better way to go. There's a place for the cast stuff, but I consider it a last resort.
  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I think that stuff is usually used as more of a repair item.
  20. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I'm thinking like you are, Jags. Pretty sure it's the vermiculite or perlite insulation. They are non-flammabile natural minerals, and they are relatively inexpensive.....
    Ask a local chimney mason to be exactly sure as to what to put in there. But those options are non-permanent, and they should work really well....
  21. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Perhaps I should go back to the beginning of the thread and re-read (half way into my second Maredsous Tripel... not gonna happen), but why is a blanket-wrapped stainless liner not the best option, if the OP wants an insulated flue? I had blankets put on two of the three the stainless liners I had installed last year, the exception being the oil burner.
  22. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    If it were my chimney, this is what I would do personally.....
  23. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I have two goals.

    One is to minimize creosote in a 30 ft+ exterior chimney. So I think a standard insulated flue would be fine.

    Two is to minimize the heat loss up the chimney. Obviously a block off plate and some rock-wool just above the plate.

    Is the thought that a pour-in of some type would accomplish both goals? And cost less than putting a new liner in or pulling and wrapping the current liner?
  24. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    "standard insulated flue liner", I meant.
  25. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Well, there's what I missed! I had forgotten you already had a liner in place. If installing a new liner, I'd blanket wrap it. If dealing with an existing liner, then pour-in loose-fill may be the better option. Might be worth getting quotes on having it done both ways, even if you intend to do the work yourself. It will give you some indication of what a pro thinks is the easier way to go.

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