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issues re use of Jotul 4 combifire as fireplace

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by chaski, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. chaski

    chaski New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Greencastle
    Hi,
    Need help with a couple of issues re use of the Jotul 4

    The context: We are adding a 20' x 30' combination sitting area/bedroom+bathroom+mudroom+laundry addition to a small 1949 house we just bought in WV. The addition has a 16'x12' sitting area w/ a 14' cathedral ceiling and large windows looking out into the woods...next to the sitting area but tucked under a loft ceiling is the bed. Primary heat source for the addition is to be radiant floor heat. In case of power outage in the winter, we'd have the Jotul as temporary back-up heat.

    We intend to use the Jotul 4 as a fireplace (for its door can be tucked under the firebox). My husband likes to light an early morning fire to take the chill off and sip his coffee and read/write (In the late '60s in northern Wisconsin we had a free-standing, cone-shaped Malm fireplace in a lakeside cabin--he wants to recreate this experience with the Jotul which has a smaller footprint + it's Norwegian +....it's complicated...).

    Issue #1: Is placing the Jotul in the sitting area a no-no cuz of the contiguous open "bedroom"?...

    Issue #2: (don't know if this requires a new thread?) I get the impression from having read all the Jotul 4 posts I could find that he might have trouble starting a fire cuz the stove/pipes are cold so lacks proper draft and will take forever to light? Is it a mistake to assume that in no time he can have a fire going in the Jotul 4 as he did with the Malm? In other words, is the Jotul 4 combifire not a good choice if intended use is as a fireplace cuz it won't behave like a fireplace?

    Thanks in advance for any advice re these issues.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,279
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Just closing the door on the stove while starting a top down fire will fix the issue of starting a draft if you have a chimney over 15 or sixteen feet for that old dog. The issue of have a wood burning appliance in a sleeping area is another issue. The codes saying you can't do it didn't just come from somebody's imagination. They came from people dying of CO poisoning in their sleep. Or lack of oxygen in the room because the stove used it all. Sure lots of people still burn fires in their bedrooms and never close the bedroom door and don't get dead. They just don't make the news.

    No scare tactic here. Just the reasons not to do it in a sleeping space. Somewhere else in the house the CO detector has a chance to wake you up first. The biggest issue is the oxygen depletion and everybody swears the door will always be open. Yeah right.
    begreen likes this.
  3. chaski

    chaski New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Greencastle
    Thanks, BrotherBart. Very sensible advice....good reasons to heed warnings. The Jotul can be placed in the livingroom of the old part of the house...CO detectors in both old and new spaces. Thanks, too, for the fire-starting tip. Sounds very doable.
  4. georgepds

    georgepds New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    99

    I used a jotul combifire for ~30 years.. nerver had trouble starting a fire with the door open. I used 4 splits, two N/S and 2 on top E/W.. started them with a parrafin/wood chip fire starter.. no kindling needed

    Here is one brand.. there are many like it.. people here like a ceder/parrafin starter (whose brand name I forget)

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Western-Fire-Starters-18-Ounce-Bag-4-pack/20713673

    Closing the door helps get it going well.. you might want to consider just opening and closing the door when you want a fireplace ( pushing it under the stove is hard work) . There is a small removable bar across the front that acts as an andiron to keep the splits in.. there is also a fitted screen to prevent the hot cinders from getting out

    You want that bar ( I did not have it) .. I've had a split roll out more than once, and the only thing that stopped it from hitting the floor was the open door that was not pushed under the stove
  5. chaski

    chaski New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Greencastle
    Thanks, georgepds, for the fire-starting tip + info re bar/door in using the combi4 as a fireplace.

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