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If you are burning a pre-EPA dragon are you still a "good citizen" w/respect to this forum ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by SmokeyCity, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    What does OWB stand for?

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  2. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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    N.E. PA.
    Outdoor wood burner. Uses a hot water loop to get the heat produced into a house or garage.
  3. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Looking down the 2011 list of EPA stoves I was surprised to find the Weso stoves such as mine listed even though they ceased selling them here in the late 80's I believe. The dates on the "Classics" forum may be misleading, as the EPA apparently reached back somewhat to include some older stoves. It's entirely possible there are others on the list that predate the cut off of 1989. Also, the EPA list is statutory and not exhaustive. I would feel comfortable with any non-listed or pre EPA stove that had good burn characteristics. So, for those of us on a slim budget, a little due dilligence could turn up some great stoves.

    Ehouse
  4. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I beg to differ on the Muscle Cars...plenty of them still at cruise nights and car shows :D
  5. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    .....so you could ask the same thing about cars....if you have a beater, and can afford to get a new higher mileage auto rather than the gas guzzeling one that you might be driving........just saying, almost anything can be spun that way. i normally let a sleeping dog lie.

    cass
  6. Grannyknot

    Grannyknot New Member

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    I barely scraped together enough money to purchase an old smoke dragon this year. As soon as I can afford an epa stove, I'll get one. I try my best to only burn seasoned wood, but my main priority is keeping my family warm and not having to use credit to pay a heating bill every month. My stove smokes at start up, but not nearly as bad as the local coal burning power plant does. If my neighbor decides to approach me about the environmental concerns or the aggrevation from having a little smoke in the neighborhood, I'm sure we can work something out, as he has about 10 bags of trash that go to the landfill on trash day and has a dog that poops all over my yard.
  7. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Old doesn't equal beater ;)

    Then again...our now former 73 Mustang did inspire me to create the "I didn't build it for the gas mileage" t-shirt, so...yeah. But it wasn't a "beater" unless you mean a car on which to beat the snot out of (347 stroker). Now we just have to get our window decals sorted out so we can pop a "I didn't buy it for the gas mileage" on our 70's truck (it was an old grandpa's truck, 60k original miles, didn't NEED to build this one, thankfully).

    Maybe I should design a smoke dragon t-shirt :D "I didn't buy it for the burn times"...lol.

    I figure we run an EPA stove, have energy star rated appliances and recycle-kinda makes up for the automotive habit we have (erm, well, motorized vehicle anyway, I've also got a 1962 Wheelhorse lawn tractor).
  8. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Not so fast there....A bad load for me is 12 hours, and I've gotten 24 on a full load of hedge before. I can crush a lot of EPA stoves on burn time, I just burn more fuel doing it. :)

    More like, "I didn't buy it for the wood mileage"...
  9. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

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    Ya' know, I burn an older V.C. Defiant. It takesaround 5 cords of wood to get it done each season, and the thing is this: There surely ARE newer stoves that will do this job, but not so many. And they're pricey! I cut all my own wood, so the cost/benefit thing is way in my favor. I NEED all this heat, and the stove runs hot enough on good wood so that I sweep my chimney just once a season and build-up is very manageable. In short, it's a reasonably efficient, cost effective heating system that works for me. I love the improvements in modern equipment, I just hate when we put the "black hats" on the old stuff. There is more to the story that THAT!
  10. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    Long Island, NY
    I burn two stoves, one EPA, the other pre-EPA. The EPA stove burns 24/7 from Thanksgiving 'til spring (not this year but most seasons). The pre-EPA is used when it is too cold for the main stove to keep up. I burn dry wood or coal in the pre-EPA and if you look at my chimney you would not know a stove is burning.

    A neighbor a couple of doors over has a similar house. He has a Jotul 450 insert upstairs and a NCH-13 downstairs, both EPA stoves. His stack is constantly spewing smoke from one or both flues. I am so glad that with the prevailing winds I am up wind of him. He gives wood burners a bad name.

    Is it the stove or the burn style that makes the good citizen?

    KaptJaq
  11. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    EPA stoves are a good thing but they aren't the answer to everyones wood heating needs. There is still a place for the big old pre epa stoves where the demands are much greater than the typical home situation. And what about all the OWB that most aren't epa technology at all.
    BTW untill a few yrs ago I was still commuting to work and back in a 69 Impala.
  12. robertmcw

    robertmcw Member

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    Texas
    Well, I may build a new house and I am looking to add at a Deva wood burring stove and it is EPA exempt. http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/bigdeva100.htm

    I would keep the newer EPA insert in the den but put the EPA exempt oven in the kitchen. The new house would be away from other houses, about ¼ mile away.

    I cut my wood from land I have. Would I be a bad person then?

    Robert
  13. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    Eh you do what you can. Try and do your part, not all do thats what ends up allowing this to even be about ethics or moral standards of society.

    I like the technology myself. But im stranger than most.

    I wouldnt want to be around those that told me what i could and could not do. Yes still happens.

    Run what you brung, burn what you got. So long as your staying warm, and not endangering your or those around you lives, who cares? Bigger things to worry about in this world than woodsmoke.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    With question like this what would you expect? Good citizenship definitely sounds like a political question. One's citizenship here is not related to how one burns, but to how one contributes and cooperates on the forum community. That is separate and different from one's real community. Though both are essentially governed by the same tenet - do no harm.

    One's citizenship in their real community is a separate issue and it depends on how they relate to their neighbors. In the real community case, if you are burning unsafely and your house catches fire which in turn catches a neighbor's property on fire, or places another person's life in danger, that is harmful. If you are smoking your neighbors out, it is also causing harm. How much harm depends on the topography, population density, and local weather. For example, when a large collection of people burn poorly in a valley community, the harm is measurable as cancer and lung disease.
  15. adamscotera

    adamscotera New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    western ma
    Thought this might be an appropriate thread to share some observations I've had over the last couple of days:
    Had to take the combustor out a few days ago because it was not functioning, but still need to heat the house and haven't been able to get to the store yet for distilled water and vinegar to clean it out. So I've been running the stove without the combustor, and I think I've found out why people love soapstone stoves. It's not primarily for the soft heat or the way they give off stored heat after the fire dies down. It's because the soapstone firebox, once it is up to room-heating temperature, is hot all the way through and very resistant to changes in temperature. Once that thermometer on top says 500, I can close the vent down to around 1, give or take a little, and I get the same slow, steady burn I get with the combustor in place. The stove doesn't have to be full, and the burn doesn't have to be rapid to maintain this temperature, and when the stovetop is at least 450 I don't see or smell anything coming from the chimney. Even the flue pipe temperatures I'm seeing (325-375 measured 1 inch from the back of the stove) are about the same as what I was getting with the combustor. Besides that, although 3 or 4 days is not enough to draw any broad conclusions, I don't feel as though I am putting wood in there any more often than I did before. Here's the thing that's making my head spin, though: I am sure I'm getting substantially more heat out of this thing. If that's true, then it must be going through at least a little more wood, but that's a trade-off I'd make since I always wish for more heat output when it's really cold.
    Since this sounds distinctly like I'm saying Woodstock has wasted all of their time and money designing systems that decrease the performance of their stoves, let me try to clarify the conclusions I'm drawing:
    1. Without the combustor, the stove can be operated in a way that generates little in the way of noticeable emissions, though I have no doubt that chemical analysis of the exhaust would reveal much that is not seen or smelled from my front yard. Meeting the EPA's strict standards in a way that is predictable is the bar they have to clear in order to sell stoves.
    2. This design, which has the combustor located inside the top of the firebox at the beginning of the smoke exit path, cannot be made to function when the wood is not dry enough. In order to maximize the contribution of the combustor, it is necessary for the wood to burn very slowly and make a lot of smoke. In order for wood in this state to continue burning for hours without losing temperature and eventually going out, it must have very little moisture. Wood can appear very dry but still have a moist interior, which will shut down the burn once the outer (dry) part has burned away. Attempting to stabilize the temperature of such wood by increasing the draft, even if the increase is fairly modest, seems to clog the combustor with ash or creosote. Extremely dry wood, on the other hand, will just sit there and glow until it's all gone, even with almost no air (once the firebox is hot).
    3. I don't know if the people at Woodstock could have communicated to me the actual importance of burning very dry wood. They certainly did emphasize it, but I took it as just another principle of woodburning. It is obvious that every bit of moisture that evaporates from the wood in your stove takes away heat that would otherwise go into your house. My experience suggests that with this stove, you actually cannot burn wood that is above a certain threshold of moisture unless you do not use the combustor.

    I'm not unhappy with my stove; in fact, since I discovered just how well it works even without its modern technology, I'm more confident than ever in my ability to heat my house with it indefinitely. But now I know that if I want to use the combustor, I need to gain better control over my wood supply.

    By the way, even the length of burn I can get is the same. I loaded it last night at around 9:30 or so, and when I came down at 7:30 this morning there was a big pile of glowing embers in there. No kindling necessary.

    Adam

    PS: Just noticed that I left out what stove I'm using- it's a 2010 Fireview.
  16. valley ranch

    valley ranch Feeling the Heat

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    Ranches in Sierra Nevada mts,Calif & Nevada
    agencies: EPA, KGB or what ever, tend to become tyrants. Stories Like: a lawnmower will produce more pollution than a ,car driving from Los Angles to New York in first gear, are just not true.

    One rich casino owner not wanting the people near his water front property was able to get a law passed at Lake Tahoe prohibiting two cycle engines on the lake. His he and his friends owned large 2 cycle driven boats. So the law was written: forbiding 2 cycle engines without Carburetors.

    Many stoves burn cleanly that will never be reviewed and blessed as clean by a government agency this doesn't make them dirty. No School bus burns cleanly.

    I have watched an interview given from which a job discription was written that could fit only the choosen person, at a government agency. This is done with almost everything to isolate the market.

    The dircription of boats that may race in famous races is written to fit the entry of the yacht club sponsoring the race.

    Belonging to Club EPA is no achievment it can be bought.
  17. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Rust never sleeps... and you do not see those cars much on the road any more.

    In the 60's here there used to be dozens of 1950s cars littered on what is now I-84 east of Portland where people would just abandon them. In the 60's it was the 50's cars that we souped up and modified. They had steel on them that lasted. In 1973 I bought a '65 Malibu and the trunk and underbody were already completely rusted out. I repainted it and drove it literally into the ground as it shed rust chips from under the paint. Most 'Body by Fisher' GM cars did not last long, especially in the midwest and northeast. I wish I had my '67 Mustang now though. I sold it for $1,800 with a factory 289 and headers... *sigh* it even got 18 MPG with a 2 barrel on it. The lawyer I sold it to? His wife wrapped it around a telephone pole a month after he bought it. My brother's '65 Dodge Coronet had 450k miles on it when it finally died. Great car, but it only got 8 MPG with one quad. It was originally fitted with dual quads. We met the original owner selling pumpkins one year. He said he bought it new at the factory in LA and had it repained when it was new and he dropped in a modified 426 with the dual quads. He said he won a lot of money in street races with that car. My brother and I had done the same. It was baby blue and looked like grandma's Sunday driver. Ah yes, the days when gas was cheap. Long gone I am afraid. My brother now drives a new Fiat 500 Sport that would fit into the trunk of that Dodge Coronet. But it gets about 40 MPG.

    Sorry to hijack this thread... back to old stoves and boilers. OWB: Outdoor Wood Boiler... lousy milage there too. ;)
  18. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    Do they smoke a lot? We've got plenty of them around here in Mass. Are they not EPA controlled?
  19. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Not as daily drivers maybe...except we have a 78 truck as a daily during the summer. Stock as a rock and under 100k original miles. The older gentleman we bought it from had it oiled every year, and you can tell (it was kinda funny when we bought it, it had been for sale for a while. It was about 40 miles from our house and when we pulled up and looked at it we about died, thinking we drove all that way for what was supposed to be a rust free truck, covered in rust streaks. Upon closer inspection, it was the oil-he parked it in the direct sun and it "melted" down the sides and attracted dirt! I imagine plenty of other people thought the same and didn't bother to actually look at it). Funnier still, is we looked at a new truck recently and it only got a few more miles per gallon than our 78. And it cost a LOT more to buy too.

    Probably a lot like stoves, older well maintained and properly burned stoves most likely aren't a LOT different than EPA stoves.

    Regarding OWB's, I only see a few here that REALLY smoke it up bad. Most DO smoke, but not in clouds.
  20. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Outdoor Wood Boiler is the more common term. As for smoke, it depends on the design and what is burned in them. Any old hillbilly can build a barrel outdoor boiler and burn tires in there and smoke like the dickens. OWBs are EPA exempt. Many states and regions have passed laws agains them though, especially in NY, New England and WA state. Now there are EPA certified OWBs available that are mainly wood gasifiers and they burn more cleanly. Those are OK in most New England states and New York now, but WA state banned all OWBs, period.

    Here is a photo of my then pre-EPA CB Classic OWB in operation at my ex's place. They smoke the most for about 10 seconds after the damper is opened (second photo). They also smoke a lot more if you burn green or wet wood, like any wood burning appliance.

    Attached Files:

  21. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    We've got at least 2 of those within 1 mile of me. I'm not sure if they are EPA compliant or not. These guys burn what looks to be like 3 or 4 foot logs in them.

    I don't mind them smoking if they don't mind me smoking. LOL!

    I think the EPA should place regulations on cigarettes and cigars. That would be more effective than regulating chain saw pollution.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    All old stoves were not created equally any more than modern stoves are created equally. While there is some similarity between some models, there were also some major differences in some old stoves. The more progressive companies worked on making their stoves more efficient, often introducing some basic form of secondary combustion with a baffle, second air port, etc.. But there were a lot of old doggers that just let what didn't burn head straight up the flue.
  23. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    I'm considering going back to a pre epa stove... I'm just not as happy with this stove as I have been with most every other wood burning device I have owned.

    There's also a reason my newest piece of farm equipment is from 1958. You try to rig up a modern tractor to run without a computer...
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Give it another season and let that wood dry out. The difference between burning semi-seasoned and really seasoned wood in a modern stove is huge. Stock up now for next fall or even next year. By staying a season ahead you will get good results every year.
  25. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    HAHAHAHAHA, now aint' that the truth!

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