1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

My Options and outdoor furnace

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by 04HemiRam2500, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,250
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    We're pretty well all still in the dark about your exisiting heat distribution system and layout of it.

    Also your basement & garage size & layouts.

    Regardless of what you do for a new furnace - three full tanks of oil in the basement with the furnace they are hooked to in a garage on another level (or maybe its not on another level?) just doesn't seem right to me to start with. One small oil leak & your house would be pretty well toast. I would get them out & replace with a single one close to the existing furnace, and put my new wood burner in the basement.

    Again, that's without a clear picture of your entire situation.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    Sorry all for not explaining my layout just frustrated with all the issues I keep running into. As you enter my garage from the garage door it is well wide enough for me to have my truck (ram 2500) in there with work benches on both sides of it as far as length it can hold my van and caliber it in at the same time. As I walk through the garage at the end are six stairs that go upward and into my basement. Now keep walking into the basement and at about 22 feet in there is an opening door on the left that goes into the other side of the basement where the oil tanks are. If I put it in the basement will go on the main side of the basement where the oil tanks are not there and then I figured there is a wall and a door separating the oil tanks from the furnace. However, that is my second choice.

    My first choice is to shorten the garage because I have the length and build a wall to separate garage from the furnace. However, I do not know the codes and rules for this. Can I just put a wall and a door and the englander can go anywhere there? Or, do I have to put the englander in its own room within the wall I built.

    Lastly, what lets me put a kuuma in the garage without a wall after all isnt still a solid fuel furnace?
  3. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    I do not know the codes in your area for sure but I believe you would have to have a fireproof wall and no door. The door would probably have to be from outside. I think it has to be it's own room. Nothing let's you put a kuuma in the garage without a wall. Why not take the oil tanks out of your basement and put wood furnace in the basement. Heat that comes off of the furnace then helps to heat your house. Therefor you burn less fuel. Take one oil tank and put it outside and leave your oil furnace where it is for back up. The duct work is right there to hook up to, simple. That is just my opinion.

    On another subject. I am assuming (which I remember Benny Hill saying you should not do. You can make an ass-u-me.) that you have one chimney right now for your oil burner. So you are going to add another one, is that correct?
  4. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,239
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    That's your biggest issue. One flue. you could power vent your oil for backup.. but that's expensive.

    I'm in the "get the 3 oil tanks out of our house" camp. Get down to a minimum of one inside, or better if you are tight on space, one outside. You can always do the kero/#2 mix to prevent gelling. if it's backup.. the increased cost of kero should be minimum.

    by code.. you should not be able to open ONE door and go from your wood fire area to an area where you park your vehicles. Two doors.. you're good.
  5. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    You are correct about the chimney. I am putting in a new one. As far as heat coming off of it to heat the basement I do not know how well this will work because the basement is old and has sandstone and cement walls. I think that it will not keep the heat I will just lose it in the walls no?

    Also, if I do go the oil tank removing route what are code for them. Can I put them just outside my house against it, all three of them?
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  6. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    No. The heat in the basement will help keep your house warm. Especially if you have a staircase that you can leave the door open on, then the heat will rise quickly into your house. Over the years, if you decide to in the future you can improve your walls in a number of ways to help with the insulation factor.
  7. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    If I go garage route I was going to have the door to get out of the garage on the left side of the garage. Then, you have to walk to the right to get to the stairs to take you up stairs. Thus, I was going to put a door that will open up to get you to the stairs and that are on your left. The englander will then be placed straight ahead of you as you open open that door. However, the englander will be right next to the wall that separates the garage from this area. Is that okay??


    Lastly, where are the codes for a setup like this?
  8. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Do not rely on anyone here to tell you what is okay. You need to make sure from your local regulations. Make sure it is done right, and done right the first time. Also check with insurance company. You have to make them happy. You have to.
  9. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    Okay then, you have a good point with splitting the garage area and then insurance goes no good. THAT WILL really suck!!

    Let me ask you this, since there is a opening to the basement from the garage is that an issue? However, the basement is about four feet higher than the garage.

    Let me ask you the next thing. Is there a problem with leaving the oil tanks down there? After all, they would be separated from the furnace by a 10 inch thick sandstone wall and a door?
  10. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Like I said, I would recommend a Kuuma. But if you can not afford it, have you thought about a combination wood/oil forced air furnace. I have no experience with this brand so you would have to do your own research, but I have read that they are a reliable furnace and the price is less. The efficiency is not as good as the Kuuma. But you would have a wood and oil fired furnace combination that only needs one chimney. And you have that already from the basement.

    http://www.yukon-eagle.com/
  11. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    I did not say the insurance goes no good. I just meant that you need to make sure what they will allow. What they will still cover. Because you don't want it to void your insurance coverage if it is done wrong.
  12. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    I would just rather not risk it with building the area in the garage and the inspector comes over and thus insurance does not like it. Meanwhile, I know that I will be safe in the basement.

    Also, the problem with a yukon is that my oil furnace is in my garage with no walls near it. This makes me wonder if the contractor installed it properly? Thus, I can not put a combo furnace there because it would be in my garage in order to use the chimney I already have. P.S. it is a prefabbed chimney 6 inch.


    Overall, I am now really going for the basement. Can I leave the tanks down there though since they are separated from the furnace like I mentioned above?
  13. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,142
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Are all the tanks full of oil?
  14. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    Currently no, they each have about a quarter tank in them. I was planning to fill them though next year.

    I just dont see an issue with the tanks if it is separated by a thick sandstone wall and a farm ranch 3/4 plywood door?
  15. leon

    leon Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    133
    If you read the national fire code and the national; plumbing code you will see why you cannot do this safely
    with your desired installation idea.

    You will still not be able to pass either a local plumbing or fire inspection for the national pluimbing code.

    We are not trying to hinder you, only help you as your installation will not pass either code inspection.
  16. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    What plumbing codes?
  17. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,239
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I guess many of us are hung up on why you want three full tanks of oil if you plan to heat with wood.

    None of us are talking about code on the oil tanks. We're talking about floor space usage, and the idea that you have a whole bunch of expensive, STINKY stuff that can make one hell of a mess in your basement. If you're not going to use it.. get rid of it. Get down to one, and even better get down to one outside.

    You need to really look into where you're going to put this wood burner. Where will the chimney go. Where will you bring your wood in via, and where will you store wood. These things are all important. The heat will flow upstairs if there's a way for air to go. If you have a bad setup in the eyes of code OR your insurance carrier, you've got trouble.. Or if you have a bad setup in terms of bringing in the wood and using it.. either will cause you big headaches.

    JP
  18. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    The flue will go out the wall and up the house. The wood will be brought in through the garage I will go up the six stairs in the garage to get to the basement the furnace will be at the end of the basement. Thus, the furnace will be right there and separated from the oil tanks by the wall and door.

    If I have someone like local fire chief come in I just want to be sure that my placement will be approved by him will this setup work?
  19. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    626
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    OK, I had some of the same issues as you do before I installed my Yukon. Oil heat, 650-700 gallons of oil usage per winter previously, 1 chimney, 1 flue, no extra room cause of 2 oil tanks in the basement, furnace pretty much had to go into the furnace room due to layout of walls, no place to put a second chimney, how my duct work layout is, etc. etc. etc. That's why I went with a Yukon with oil backup (cause it uses 1 flue), well, that and the fact that that I could find nice used Yukons for reasonable $$$.
    After living with it through 1 winter now, I found I used only about 5 gallons of oil for the whole winter, so I'm thinking you definitely wouldn't need 3 tanks anymore, 1 would be more than enough! And FYI, I wouldn't worry about having the oil storage in the basement with a wood furnace, the are TONS of homes that have this combo. When is the last time you heard of a house burning down cause the oil tank leaked and the wood furnace blew up?! Heating oil/fumes have a high ignition point, not explosive like gasoline, as far as that goes, why is it any different having a wood furnace in the basement with the oil storage there, vs oil furnace? Fire in both, both using air out of the basement for combustion...

    Now I like my current setup, but looking back, here is what I would do if I could do it over, and this may apply to you. I would get rid of my oil furnace/tanks (that would open up a lot of storage room in my "oil tank room" (which used to be the coal storage area years ago) I'd sell the old furnace, the oil and the tanks on CL, around here those tanks seem to bring $100 bucks or so, and it is pretty easy to sell "used" heating oil at $3 per gallon or maybe a bit more, and the old furnace for maybe a couple hundred? That would give you a extra $1-1.5K to work with.
    Now then, find a nice used (or new scratch and dent special) high efficiency propane furnace on CL (there are tons!) Put that in for your "main" heat to keep the insurance man happy, you won't need a chimney for it, just 2" PVC pipe out through the basement wall, then get a 100 gallon or so tank to run it (heck, if it is truly just your "backup heat" maybe you could get away with a 20 gallon BBQ tank!) If you were planning to put up a new chimney, I figure that for about $1k or so of your install cost, so now, you need no new chimney, that would free up another $1k to work with, or $$$ to put a liner in your old chimney if need be.
    Now you could spend a lil more to buy a quality wood furnace, (something with secondary combustion)(I like the new Drolet Tundra, and the Kuumas are really nice, but that may be a budget buster for you) and it can be installed to your existing chimney and tied into your existing duct work or whatever works the best! Easy peasey, problems solved! :cool:
    Just a note, you should be able to heat your place on 5 cords per year, I did mine last winter, and based on past oil usage, we have similar heating loads.

    Hope this makes some kind of sense, I kind of typed it out quick like, I know I can ramble and bounce around sometimes, hey, it made sense in my head! ==c I'll answer any questions you have if you don't understand, feel free to critique...
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  20. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    I do not see an issue with the tanks separated by the thick sandstone wall and door. My concern is the fire chief when he comes here and if he sees a problem with it then I am done. Are there any codes to address this.
  21. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    Another option I wanted to get you opinion on is if I could move the oil tanks into the attached garage. The oil furnace is in the garage so what are the codes distances as to how close I can place them to the furnace. Currently there is a fuel line that goes all the way across my basement to the furnace in the garage we usually just step over it. It will be nice to have this out of the way anyhow. Also, when the oil guy comes to fill up he would no longer need near all of his 150 foot line to fill up my tanks. I hate to have the guy drag that thing all the way across my house.

    If I can't do this I am back to putting the englander upstairs. However, my main concern was pipes freezing because no heat will be in the basement now. The basement is about 6 feet underground though at the floor of it.
  22. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    626
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Putting the tanks in the garage should be no problem, they are often quite close to the furnace. I'm not sure if there is a code requirement for the distance or not, if there is I would say it is in inches, not feet. A quick call to your local HVAC shop would likely answer that question...
  23. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    what about vents for the oil tanks. I know that my oil tank now has pvc vents that take it outside.

    Also, what about the furnace being in the basement where the basement is only separated from the garage by the six stairs going up and a door?
  24. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2013
    Messages:
    626
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    Vents/ filler pipe should be pretty easy to run to an exterior garage wall, no?

    I assume you are referring to the wood furnace being separated from the garage by 1 wall/ 6 steps? Did you ever find out if that is even a concern by your local codes? I wouldn't think that it would really be a concern because if your garage floor is 6 steps lower than your basement floor, any leaking gasoline fumes in the garage will stay down in the garage area. (most potential residential garage fumes are heavier than air) Heck, if your existing oil furnace is in the garage now and nobody has a problem with it...
    There would be some pretty easy ways around the "2 walls 2 doors" problem if that turned out to be an issue, one is, to build a partition wall to make a "furnace room", not saying you wouldn't ever "forget" to close the furnace room door though! (to let the radiant heat circulate....) ==c

    Sounds like you need to do some homework on what your local codes are and what your HO insurance will allow you to get away with before asking too many more questions of us internet arm chair quarterbacks about the specific details of your install. ;)
  25. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Loc:
    SW PA
    where can I go online for the local codes etc..

    Lastly, my basement does get damp often this is one reason why I am not looking to finish the basement because drywall wood studs will get ruined etc..

    Therefore, if I put the furnace down there there is usually water on the flue wont this cause premature rust out for the englander cause of the moisture?

Share This Page