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New Installation Questions

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Wayne214, Dec 6, 2005.

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  1. Wayne214

    Wayne214 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
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    As a first time wood burner I have a few questions and hope someone on this board can help. I ordered my stove in October, and was told there was a two week wait to get it in stock. You guessed it, no stove yet! I have been reading/stalking this site to get prepared for the big delivery, but still have a few questions. I had a chimney sweep - the same one that will be installing the stove - come to my house to be sure the stove I chose would fit, and to have the chimney swept. He looked up into the chimney with a flashlight and said it didn't need to be cleaned. I had been burning Duraflame logs, so this didn't really bother me. My wood was delivered in October, and I have had several fires since then. After looking at the pictures of the chimney fires, I am concerned about the stove installation. To my untrained eyes, there is a good deal of buildup in the chimney. Should I have the chimney sweep clean the chimney on the same day as the install? Is it possible to have enough creosote buildup in that short amount of time to require a cleaning? If the installer won't install a stove when it is raining, what are the chances it can be installed when there is snow on the gound? In Massachusetts, is it a requirement to have your chimney swept before a wood stove installation? And, last question, is it possible for Elkimmeg to be my inspector? I know I would feel much safer. Thanks for any answers you can give me.

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I suspect your chimney sweep gave a halfhearted look in your chimney and claimed it clean. As Inspector that is not enough. I require a full inspection report detailing loose bricks, mortar cracked or missing and proof the clay tiles are not cracked. The report should record the size of the existing liner and the top cap condition, the length of the chimney from the appliance vent to the top exit. At my digression, I may wave the report requirement if the chimney is less than 10 years old and has seen little use. This is not a MA code to require a condition and cleaning, this is a National code NFPA 211 and The International Mechanical Codes. I do not think you would have the kind of build up you seem concerned about after a few burns unless. The wood is not as dry as it should be or the chimney sweep did not take the time to look, and it was there and he failed to note it. If you happen to be in my town then I get to inspect your stove installation. BTW what town are you in and who is the chimney sweep. Finally what stove are you waiting for, and explain the entire setup as you envision, Metal damper block off plate ? ect
  3. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    Loc:
    Framingham, MA
    Wayne, are you installing a full liner? If so you need your chimney swept, but certainly you don't have to be worried about cracked tiles or such! One reason to install a full liner is to correct a defective clay liner situation. Of course, as far as a stove install goes, it is simply a much better job - you will get better draft, and your chimney will be much easier to clean in the future as you won't have to pull your insert out each time. However, if there is buildup in the chimney, you must have it removed regardless of whether you are installing a full liner or not.
  4. Wayne214

    Wayne214 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
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    Thanks for replying so quickly. The house is a 45 year old poorly insulated 1800sf 2 story colonial - I don't know how tall the chimney is, but it is on the outside of the house. I have lived here for 8 years, using mostly Duraflame logs because I could never get a good fire going - the woman before me never used the fireplace. The chimney sweep said we were having smoky fires because the fireplace was poorly constructed. The fireplace has a metal damper and glass bi-fold doors. I ordered the Hearthstone Homestead because the fireplace is so small, there were not many options for us, and I liked the looks of it. I really like the chimney sweep, so I don't feel right naming him. He is going to install a full stainless steel liner and a small mantle heatshield. The mantle overhangs by about an inch. When I ordered the wood, I was told it was seasoned, but I don't know enough about wood to know for sure if it is. Some pieces burn nicely and quietly - others sizzle and snap and look like there is foam coming out of the end. I hope this information helps. I live in Hyde Park, Boston.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Wayne. You're having poor fires because, as noted, the chimney is outside the house - therefore cold. This is lousy design that is not going to be corrected by changing the stove. There is a lot of info on the web and on this site about why this is a bad design. In a nutshell, outside chimneys draft poorly and condensate easily and thus are a pain to get a fire started in and creosote badly. The colder the climate, the worse the problem. The Hearthstone is a bit hard to start in these circumstances, so please: insist on the installer having a permit, and set up your payments so that the final check is not handed over until inspection is passed and the installer has shown you how to get a nice fire going. - also read other Hearthstone threads here such as: http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/113/
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The chimney sweep is probably right...your chimney does not need cleaning to avoid chimney fires or for safety. It is extremely rare for open fireplaces, or even newer stoves, to create vast amounts of dangerous creosote....

    BUT, I think the chimney should be brushed before you install the liner. Why trap all that dust and ash in there with the liner? It will just get to smelling bad and also possibly shorten the life of the liner.

    I'd call it this way - if I can see the orange of the tiles then perhaps it doesn't need swept. But if there is a layer of soot on them, sweep it NOT for safety, but for the proper liner installation.
  7. Wayne214

    Wayne214 New Member

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    Nov 19, 2005
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    Hi BeGreen. I have read everything I could about Hearthstone and the Homestead in particular, which is one of the reasons I chose that model. The size is perfect for the fireplace, and I really liked the looks of it. I had to go into Boston to get the permit so we are set with that, although I got the permit two months ago and I'm not sure how long it is good for. I think one of the biggest problems for myself and a lot of other people reading this board is that we are new to this and we are trusting that people are doing their jobs properly. We trust the people that sell us wood when they tell us it is properly seasoned. We trust the stove stores when they tell us two weeks for delivery and it turns into two months. We trust the chimney sweep to do what is legally required to install a stove or clean a chimney. This is why I started reading this board. A lot of you do this professionally and know a lot more than someone who is doing this just once. If this stove works properly and is taken care of properly, I hope to get a good 10-15 or more years out of it. This is why I wanted elkimmeg to be my inspector - at least I would know the inspection was thorough and my home and animals would be as safe as possible while I am at work.
  8. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

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    Nov 28, 2005
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    Wayne-
    I am totally with you on being trusting of the people who are "experts". I have found that I am still nervous because what if they don't really know what they are doing? My stove guys, the chimney sweeps, were nice but seemed a little dismissive about a few things. In the end they answered all my questions but I wonder about the questions I didn't ask......I have had a few issues and I feel like I'm needing to learn more about this than I really have time to, although it is interesting. This board is great. I too want Elk to come to my house but I'm in Ohio. There are so many elements to the stove, so many safety concerns. I'll be glad when I feel at ease and can truly enjoy my nice fire. Hope your stove comes soon. I have a friend waiting on the same stove you are here in Cincinnati.
  9. Wayne214

    Wayne214 New Member

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    That is EXACTLY how I feel! When the chimney sweep was in my house he answered all of my questions, but how do I know what I was supposed to ask, and didn't? One thing he said that DID bother me was that he was insured, so if something were wrong with the fireplace, or the liner, and my house burned to the ground, HIS insurance company would pay for it. Not very reassuring considering that by that point I would have lost everything I own. I tried to go with people I felt comfortable with, but even that has backfired to a point. I bought some wood from a woman off of Craigs list. She said it was 1/2 cord of seasoned apple wood. She called me twice to be sure I was coming to pick it up. When I got there, it was full of disgusting bugs! I felt stupid for taking it, but when she called me the second time to be sure I was coming, she kept saying she had other people that wanted to buy it but she was holding it for me. So now I have one pile of buggy UNSEASONED (turns out it was a tree cut down 2 months previous to my picking it up) apple wood in my yard, and 2 cords of supposedly seasoned wood. I am keeping the wood separated because the thought of those bugs getting into my home makes my skin crawl. BTW - the stove company has never called to say the stove would take longer than two weeks. I have to keep calling them. Last week the manager actually said to me "You don't have to keep calling here". Well, yes I do, because you have never called me. The whole thing leaves me feeling pretty stupid.
  10. bruce

    bruce Member

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    Loc:
    long pond pa
    hmm
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