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I'm going to sound stupid but I really need help...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Bitterbee, Sep 15, 2006.

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  1. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Bitterbee, and welcome to the wonderful world of wood-burning.
    I'm glad to see you have been getting some of the help you need understanding this stove.

    I have the exact same model in my camp, and have been using it for over 10 years. As pointed out by many, virtually indestructable, and (in my opinion) a very good stove in its' day. My understanding also is that they did not usually come with a door gasket, but that it was a popular add-on since the door tolerances could be a little looser than desired, especially after many years of wear on the hinges. Mine has a gasket installed, (actually, probabley needs changing too) and this does seem to help with keeping better control of the stove. When first lit with the dampers open, it can get hot pretty fast if using good dry wood.
    I've never had much luck getting anything longer than about a 5 hour burn out of mine, unless I close the dampers almost completely...but..when you do this, the stove smolders pretty bad, as has been mentioned in other posts. Keeps the fire burning longer, but likely doesn't contribute to neighbourly relations. I don't have any problem as my nearest neighbour at the camp is miles away, and I clean the stove pipe regularly.

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  2. Bitterbee

    Bitterbee New Member

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    Hi,

    I ws to get notices in email when i had messages here...but I didn't get any so i am just now checking and see I have a lot to respond to.

    Okay inside the door is mesh cloth going around it (like agasket) your saying that should not be there or be replaced?

    They put a metal pipe (insulated??) I don't know if was insulated. All I know is I saw it and was a shiny metal plain pipe.

    There is no damper.

    They guy who installed it did not work on chimney because he was putting that pipe in. He said that would be ok. Now I have a big problem because I know the landlords are not going to take this thing out, and inittally the guy said fix the chimney and could just use the fireplace though that is not an efficient heat source or install this wood stove with a pipe so using pipe not chimney.

    He never came out the other day, he is now coming this Thursday morning.

    Please help me in what to ask him.

    Is it dangerous to use this constantly? I am a bit confused now. Also upset...can anyone private message me and help me through this? I don't know what to think now.

    I feel like i have no control, damage is done. This is a bad year for me and seems to be getting worse. So I am assuming is bad to have had this thing installed, remember though i did not pick it. I merely was trying to heat this home as the way is set up (walls of stone with no insulation) there is no heat virtually downstairs. The furnace upstairs heats upstairs but vents to downstairs in seiling and just can't keep downstairs warm at all.

    I don't want something unsafe but don't know what to do. The landlords were not happy about installing this initially. Anyone who rents knows how landlords are and they just put a lot of money into fixing the pipe.

    How often does this "pipe" need to be checked for creosote build up?

    Is this mesh thing around door to not be repaired? I did fix the door, it seemed to be not closing right and now shuts better and burns slower. So I don't have him replace that mesh thing?

    I wish I had pictures.

    I am so sorry for taking up so much time here.

    Now am more worried. Please help.

    I don't know why, but everything just seems so hard this year and this is making it worse, all because of money, I couldn't just go research and buy and have the best person install....it was all out of my hands.

    please help me in trying to make this safe. Or if it isn't ever going to be???

    thanks,

    Karen
  3. Bitterbee

    Bitterbee New Member

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    Forgot, this chimney can't be up to code. It is 106 years old. : (
    I am certain it has never been deemed fire safe, so maybe it is but guess probably isn't. Is the pipe going up it all the way, is that safe, seemed like regular metal stove pipe, silver in color.


    Karen
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Karen why don't you post your general location (not where you specifically live just the general area), like "Around Pittsburgh" or "I am in Eastern Nebraska" or whatever. Then if there is a hearth.com member around maybe they could come and put an eye on that stove and installtion for you. If you are uncomfortable with some stranger from the Internet then stop by your local fire station and ask if one of the fireman will come and take a look.

    Don't tell the fireman that you have been getting advice online. Just tell them that your landlord had a stove installed and you would appreciate a fire professional taking a look at it and giving you advice on using it. If they see anything wrong they will tell you about it.

    The firemen would much rather meet you over a cup of coffee than in the middle of the night dressed in full gear.
  5. Bitterbee

    Bitterbee New Member

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    I live in southeastern pennsylvania...north of Philadelphia (about 65 miles north)

    And if the installation is wrong, what do I do?

    Karen
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    That would totally depend on what is wrong, if anything is wrong, and how big the job would be to fix it. No need to worry about that until you know if something is wrong.

    Either way you need somebody there to show you how to operate that stove.
  7. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    When your installer comes out to check the door gasket ask him what type of pipe he used to line the chimney, and if he insulated the liner (pipe). From what you've described it sounds like a pretty typical install & chimney relining. Although as others have stated...we don't know any specifics and we haven't SEEN your setup.

    As Brother Bart advised, you need to get another set of eyes involved, someone who has experience with stove installs and setups or at least is familiar with the codes in your area.

    Also...go out and pick up a disposable camera, snaps lots o pics, and post them here. The people here who know "what's what" will then be able to give you more direct answers to your questions.

    hth...
  8. Bitterbee

    Bitterbee New Member

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    I will try and ask him more questions and get answers though I wish they had used somone differen't. I imagine he considers what was done safe. If there is any other questions I should ask him please let me know.

    I don't know how I would get pictures now but will try. Around the stove he had made cast iron panels because the typical..darn I forget the name, the thing they put in front of it would not fit so he made the metal panels to close up around the stove. So I have no way to really show the pipe. I know the pipe had nothing inside of it. Just metal pipe, silver colored. Which goes to the top and then there is a cap they put on the top.

    I know am not much help decribing this..best I can do.

    So can someone tell me, this plain pipe that goes all the way up the chimney (attached to the back of the stove) does protect the chimney I am assuming because everything is contained in the pipe? Nothing can really touch the chimney.

    Also I wanted to mention that there is a lot of stone (although very old stone) a good amount surrounding my stove. The stone fireplace has very thick stone walls. Though very OLD stone walls but they go out even around the chimney not just the mantle are part of the wall. They are big old stone. So alot of stone around it and the part in front of it is stone, like stone slab before it gets to floor. So that is good right?

    I am going to read ALL the articles again about burning.

    I did start a fire in it again now that I got the door to fully close and it did burn a bit better and does get very hot. It was down to 40's at night here and stayed very very warm in here. But really the way this all is sounding I am not comfortable burnging this thing all the time for heat...I guess if there is a chimney fire I will know it???

    The guy and his workers acted like this is so safe, I DID ask questions if your wondering and was stresing how safety was most important to me but they assured me it is fine and nothing to worry about.

    Karen
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    It's normal to be a little paranoid about heating with wood. Sounds like you have a stainless steel liner all the way to the top of the chimney? This is good! Ask them if it's stainless steel. It will take some trial and error to figure out how the stove works best for you. The most important thing is to use dry wood! (seasoned for 1 year after being split) The dryer the wood, the more heat and less creasote it will produce.

    Also like Brother Barts idea. Talk to a local fire department, explain your situation, and see if someone would come by to check it out.
  10. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    I would also re-read Daves post on how he runs his Fisher. Print it out for reference. He's been burning the same stove (as yours) for 27 years and he seems to have a good handle on how to operate it.

    Once you replace the door gasket you will have more control over the heat. Unfortunately with these old stoves, they have to be burning pretty hot to burn clean. If you close down the air inlets to approx 1/8th inch after you get the fire rolling, you will get less heat, but the load will smolder and make smoke & creosote. It's the nature of the beast.

    Dry wood is key as well. Notice Dave_1 burns wood that has 6% moisture content. That's some dry wood! I think that plays into his lack of creosote production with his Fisher.
  11. Bitterbee

    Bitterbee New Member

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    Thanks guys for more advice and more detail, I'll re read Daves information.

    I do have ANOTHER question though. If there is creosote developing, will frequent cleanings eliminate it. If it is possible for me to do so (have the pipe cleaned more often. The only way to know how much creosote is in there is to visually inspect it?

    Well I will keep reading everything, maybe more answers in there and I can stop asking so mnay questions. I did read a lot, but kind of overwhelmed, going to read, and re read.

    I am working on getting a load of seasoned firewood, will find out how long it has been seasoned. The stuff I did get had not been seasoned for more than a few months so I guess that isn't good either. *sighs*

    doing best I can, did not expect to have to be doing this.

    thanks again,

    Karen
  12. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Burning wood is a big commitment, especially with an older stove.
    And yea, you'll want to have the chimney inspected/swept more often at first until you are able to determine how much creosote your stove is making.
  13. Bitterbee

    Bitterbee New Member

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    Just to let everyone who has helped me SOOO MUCH, that i am reading and re reading. Learning more about creosote and how to burn properly etc. Also Daves post helpful and I now know i need a thermometer. But all this inofmraiton has been yes, very overwhelming and a lot to read and understand but I am understanding it.

    This obviously isn't something you just throw in and run. I had know knwledge AT ALL nor from anyone I asked questions of ...well they all made it sound so simple. NOTHING was told to me even by the installer anything remotely what you guys have all told me.

    Once again I am so thankful for your help.

    Plus you know you could be saving my life. I actually am so glad that I am and was so nervous about this and didn't take everyone here that I did ask about it (neighbors, installer etc.) that I didn't just assume it was so simple. NObody told me anything. Just how great they are or heard they are and even my questions to my installer he just seemed to be s obrief and like this is no big deal. You just throw seasoned wood in and burn and use the knobs to control how hot it burns.

    That is all I had been told.

    So maybe I worry a lot but am glad I did.

    If my house burned down I would lose everything, including my dogs who are like me kids. And i don't have a family to help so I would be homeless (though do have renters insurance) and probably lose everything i have. I can't afford that financially or mentally. So need to be safe.

    thank you so much, I really can't thank you enough. I know all these posts have been long and perhaps some of you have been saying (oh no we are still on this old fisher insert subject??) but if it helps it has meant a lot to me.

    Karen
  14. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Karen, you're doing very well. Keep doing what you are doing and your rsik keeps going down. The more knowledge you have about your wood stove and chimney system the better off you will be. Yes, it is exasperating, especially when things are already hard for you right now. But you are dong fine. Keep going and it will get better. Wood heat can be safe and it can be a big money saver, as long as you are careful.

    It sounds like they installed a full liner, maybe rigid. That definitely improves matters. And if youm have lots of stone mass it is also good. But rememebr, since we can't actually see it we are still guessing. A local inspection will be the best. Regular inspections and cleanings may be needed. You will have to establish a pattern and that takes some time. I suggest that while you are learning and establishing your pattern that you check it often, maybe monthly. Problem is, you may not be able to do that on your own. I wish it were easier for you. That is why I said I thought it was a poor choice for your landlord to install that particular stove. But, it can still work. Stay patient and careful and keep learning.

    All the best,
    Sean

    (Sounds like you're pretty close to Corie. Corie? Yes?)


  15. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, it turns out I missed this thread the first time around.

    I am in Downingtown and I commute home to milford, PA fairly often, so I bet I've been driving past or near to where you live.

    If you still are feeling uneasy about the whole situation, I'd be more than happy to swing by, look over things and give you hand lighting a fire.

    Totally up to you though, just let me know and sorry it took so long for me to see this thread.
  16. Bitterbee

    Bitterbee New Member

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    My update, burned last night and got the house temp up to about 72 degrees with a smaller fire build as dave suggests. I don't have a thermometer yet though. Started burning about 7 p.m. and stopped about 11 p.m. Still went rhough about 10 big peices of wood at least. The 4-6 inch pieces.

    I had been getting stove top and closing the left as suggested. Fire did burn out during the night but warmth continued downstairs that ws comfortable. Upstairs cooler.

    That guy who never showed for the Friday appt. said he "forgot" rescheduled for Thursday morning and came with no gasket, but took measurements and said he would be back before i left for work and if not at 3 p.m. Friday morning. But he never came back nor called. Tired of chasing him. Landlords away on vacation.

    He also was going to gasket at the edges of where the plates he made to fit around insert that go to fireplace, there is a gap. But he never has finished that either. I don't even know if that is important at this point, about a half inch gap on sides of plates. But without pictures nonoe of this makes sense I know.

    I don't have a scanner to take regular pics and send them. Still will work on getting a digital but that's taking too long.

    So I know from what I have been told here a lot of the Fishers didn't have a gasket so is not so important, I can always do it myself as you guys stated. I have no idea when that guy will come out again, and really at this point prefer not to see him.

    I think he is of course work on on bigger jobs where he makes more money and could care less.

    At least it wasn't burning so hot as before but i need to have a happy medium, and not go through too much wood.

    Remember this house is not insulated though, barely. I have stone walls.

    But I will keep trying this and work on getting a thermometer..and keep reading to learn.

    Thanks for more replies, I appreciate it.
    Karen
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good to hear you are making progress Karen. What was the outside temp last night?

    You will go through a lot of wood I suspect. Maybe 3-4 cords, depending on square footage, outside temps and hours burning. Best to plan on that.

    I'd contact Corie to come over and give you some instructions and an overall assessment of the installation. Maybe he can bring a camera too.

    Note that Dave updated his instructions. You might want to revisit that thread for the new tips.
  18. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Karen I think Corie's offer is one you should welcome. Corie I think you need 3/4" gasket for the stove and if too tight with pliers bend the latch handle to seal tight. Also it sounds like a tube of refactory cement is needed to caulk around the block off and stove pipe. If Karen is agreeable, I will send you the refactory cement and gasket so Corie does not have to bear the cost.

    Personally I could not recomend any one I would rather investigate and advise about your current setup Corie would be on the top of my list
  19. Bitterbee

    Bitterbee New Member

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    It hasn't been too cold at night, down to high 40's but so damp in here it may be 67 before bed and drops to 63 and with dampness need some heat. Is going better for me but I do need to be shown how to properly light this. So someone coming out would be great. But I really hate to inconvenience Corie. I think he travels a highway near me looking at the map. So not sure how much out of his way he would have to go off of his commute.

    The gasket is a bit brittle and comes out easily but I don't know if that is normal?

    Karen
  20. martel

    martel Member

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    Karen- this community LIVES to help people burn safely. you should take corie up on the offer (unless you don't feel comfortable having someone you don't know drop by. understandable- if that's the case we can drop it).
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If Corie has offered, take him up on it. I don't think he'd be inconvenienced. He loves to play with fire and can educate us all from what he finds out.
  22. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    yeah, like I said in PM karen, if you're comfortable with me coming by to look things over and fix everything I can, PLEASE don't be afraid to ask. I have absolutely no problem taking time out of any day that's convinient for both of us to come by, fix things, evaluate everything for safety and give you some tips as to how to run the stove to its cleanest burning ability.

    If you'd like to speak to my parents, friends, teachers, anyone that would make you feel ebtter about a complete stranger coming to your house, I would be more than happy to send you their phone numbers. Ultimately, I just want you to make it through the winter safe!

    Hey and thanks for all the praise everyone, you all know it really means a lot to me!
  23. Bitterbee

    Bitterbee New Member

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    Thanks Corie...

    Corie will be coming out when he feels better (sick right now). Which will be much appreciated. Since he is kind enough to do so and happy to, hopefully is not too far for him.

    Nights are cold here now (44) , My furnace wont be filled for a few weeks and is low but they have to inspect the gas lines first and then set up to be filled. so I have a wait.

    I didn't build a fire last night because did not get home till late and was exhausted and would not have been able to tend to it so just stayed cold. I work nights this week so wont get home till late. I am still afriad to start this before i leave. For the normal reasons plus that one time it got too hot and actually had to open windows.

    I think it is too cold to not try tonight it's my own fault with my furnace low on fuel and I could not fill it up ahead of time. So might turn furnace on tonight...I think my fuel might last the 3 weeks wait that I have..

    well thanks for all the reassurance about Corie. Hope everyone has a good day.

    Karen
  24. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Karen, I PM'ed you.

    But, tonight is actually a good night for me to stop by. I don't have much school work and I was just planning on making chili for dinner anyway.

    So seriously, don't hesitate if you want me to come by tonight. Use my cell number that I PM'ed you.


    -Corie
  25. schmev123

    schmev123 New Member

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    We have a one door Fisher Stove that came with our house in New Paltz, NY. I never had experience with wood burnin before and I loved playing with it. We spent thousands getting it up to code which included a new stainless steel chimney and a special thimble adapter.

    Although it EATS wood, it puts out a tremendous amount of heat. It's located between our basement and kitchen (we have a split level house) and there are grates in the room so heat can rise into the master beadroom and kid's room. Because we loved the results of wood burning, we just put an Avalon Ranier insert into the fireplace in the family room and hope to go 90% wood this winter.

    We never had a gasket and I assume there would really be no benefit to having one? The stove would remain inefficient with a door gasket. I sometimes get a 1,000 degree reading on my Condor thermometer on the flue pipe during start-up BUT quickly turn the knobs and get it down.

    I'd like to hear from all owners of Fisher Stoves.
    regards,
    Evan Osterweil
    New Paltz, NY
    schmev123@yahoo.com
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