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Install question

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by MAD44, Feb 25, 2008.

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  1. MAD44

    MAD44 New Member

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    Greetings from frozen plains of western Minnesota. We had a Castille Quadrafire professionally installed in our new home two years ago. Our house sits in what used to be an open field so our tree grove has a few years before it will block any wind. The stove was located in the corner of the family room on the north facing side of the house (Oops on my part). The main exhaust pipe was vented out the exterior wall and follows 4ft. up the side of the house and then is capped with a vent port. The intake is directly out the exterior wall underneath the exhaust pipe. For the fast two years, I have fought tooth and nail with that thing every time it gets cold and the wind picks up out of the north. We have cold air flowing into the house and so the stove has to be lit or we freeze in there from the draft. When the wind gets up over 20mph with a single digit or below temp the exhaust pipe and the bottom of the stove start to get frost all over it. Try to light it and the thing fills with smoke and blows into the house. Get it lit and the smoke blows into the house. Keeping it lit is pretty much impossible. I have been back to the installer on several occasions. I just had them out again and they basically said, "There's nothing we can do". They replaced the window gasket for me which I could have done myself and charged me $137.00. So, I'm at my wits end and will probably be talking to a carpenter about filling some holes when I pull the stove out.

    The only other place in the house we can even use this stove is the basement but I don't have an exterior wall that I can vent it out. I'm wondering if it is possible to put the stove in a corner room in the basement and vent the pipe up to the ceiling and out between the floor joists approximately 8-10ft. to an exterior wall. Is it possible, will I set the house on fire, or should I just look at trying to find a new buyer for our Castille?

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  2. au2183

    au2183 New Member

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    I would try extending the exterior pipe up further. That should increase draft, and end backdraft issues. Can you take it up above the roofline?
  3. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    I would do that as well as put a damper on the fresh air intake which would stop some of the cold from coming in the house.
  4. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    I have the Castille, had it put in right after Christ-mas and love it! My situation may be different than yours....but I have an 8' rise. My house is 21 years old so its not drafty but not to tight to todays standards. I have all new quality energy star windows. My venting is probably not in an area where it gets hit with alot of wind but we definitely get cold here in maine. Its 18 out right now(was colder earlier this morning) and my first floor is at 79 toasty degrees in the house. When it is at 20 or below outside I keep the stove on Medium but at higher temps I keep on low. I never go through more than a bag a day. I clean my burn pot daily and vacuum out the inside of stove and dump ash tray daily. I have let it go to the second day....but it runs and puts out much better if I do it daily...takes me about 10-15 minutes. I'm not an expert, but a rise on yours sounds right on that the other posters were saying.
    Goos luck and dont give up on the Castille! Its a great stove! :)
  5. MAD44

    MAD44 New Member

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    Thanks for the posts. I think the wife will have some strong objections to extending the shiny metal pipe all the way to above the roof line of the house. That will probably stick out too much for her tastes. I have considered it. I'm not sure there is much to do for that location. Any ideas on the interior wall extending it 8-10ft. through the floor joists to the exterior wall? Probably won't hurt to call the tech number and see what they say. My guess will be no due to fire hazards. Just curious if anyone has done it with no problems. I have issues with the design of the Castille in several ways, but it is a nice stove. I don't want to get rid of it but I just don't think it's going to work in it's current location until 15 years from now when there's some type of grove to block the wind. Thanks again for the help!
  6. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Check the install manual and the equivalent feet table. If your suggested vent run meets the specs in there and your pipe can maintain clearances you can run it anyplace you want as long as the pipe system is installed correctly.
  7. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    Paint that shiny metal pipe and it will be much less obvious! ;-)
  8. Philip

    Philip New Member

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    If you really want to keep the stove, you might consider making baffles to keep the wind from blowing into the stove. If your cold air intake has the standard grill on it that's pretty much flush with the house, you might try a semi-circular baffle that would block the wind from being blown into the stove. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a piece of sheet metal or whatever you have handy taped to the house just to see if it would stop the wind. If it did, you could replace it with something permanent. My cold air intake tube just comes thru the wall and I have a 90 degree PVC elbow on the end of it. This summer I will paint the elbow to match the house so it doesn't stand out, but the elbow keeps the wind from blowing into the house. (On my stove the cold air intake tube is not attached to the firebox. It ends just inside the sheet metal grill on the back of the stove so when the stove isn't running it's just like having a 2" hole in my wall and the cold air comes into the house from outside.)

    As for the vent pipe, I think a sheet metal baffle could be attached to the end of the vent pipe that would keep the wind from blowing directly into the vent pipe. You say the the vent pipe is 4' up the side of the house and capped with a "vent port." Is there a 90 degree elbow just before the vent port? If so, could you add a 45 degree elbow to the end of the vent pipe so it wouldn't be pointed directly into the wind? Which brand of pellet vent pipe are you using and what does the vent port look like?
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