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Outside Air Intake Installation -

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by PA Fire Bug, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. PA Fire Bug

    PA Fire Bug Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    268
    Loc:
    Blair County, PA
    After reading a lot of information on this site at http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...-to-buy-an-outside-air-kit.37363/#post-475828 as well as some other threads and checking out the helpful diagrams at http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/cpacfusion.htm I decided to break up the great looking tile that we installed a couple of years ago and install an outside air intake on our Pacific Energy Super 27. Once I realized that the air intake does not connect to the stove, I would not need to purchase an adapter and I could drill through wood rather than concrete block to get outside, I figured the project was manageable. I only needed to spend $12.50 on a dryer vent kit from a local hardware store. I started the project Saturday morning and thought that I'd be done by noon. Wrong. It took the entire day and at a few times, I regretted starting the project. I've got a lot of respect for people who have the gift for working with their hands and will tools. This projected reminded me why I don't work construction, farm, or do any other job that would require me to be able to fix or install anything to feed my family.

    Step 1 - Drill through tile, cement board, plywood and floor. If I would've hit a floor joist, I probably would've given up. I used the dust outline to determine where to drill and drove a large spike through the hole to figure out where the hole came through in the basement.
    100_7840.JPG

    Step 2 - Remove tile and cement board. This was much more difficult than I expected.
    100_7842.JPG

    Step 3 - Remove plywood. Again, much more difficult and time consuming than expected.
    100_7843.JPG

    Step 4 - Drill through floorboards (see comment from step 3). Since the floor joists blocked by jig saw, I had to use a chisel and hammer to round out the hole.
    100_7844.JPG

    Steps 5 & 6 - Insert flexible hose and drill hole to outside. There were two thick layers of wood and one thin layer to get outside. I had to use a chisel to round out the hole. Not fun. Fortunately, I was between the joists both inside and outside.
    100_7846.JPG

    Step 7 - After a lot of chisel work under the front porch, I was able to insert the vent and attach the hose.
    100_7848.JPG

    Step 8 - I tried gluing wire mess in the vent opening but it didn't stick to the caulk. I wrapped the entire vent in chicken wire and placed wire mess on the inside where the hose met the vent pipe.
    100_7852.JPG

    Step 9 - Use mortar to secure broken tile pieces. Thank goodness no one will ever see this unless they move my stove.
    100_7853.JPG

    Step 10 - Cover the air intake on the back of the stove. I must have spent over two hours trying to find a drill bit or screw that would cut into the back of the stove. I cut a piece of stove pipe to use as the cover. Eventually, I lined up the cover with the two wholes that were drilled into the stove when it was manufactured to hold on the original cover. I was able to force two screws into these holes. No, I didn't save the original cover. At that time, I didn't know what an outside air kit was.
    100_7857.JPG

    Step 11 - Move the stove into place over the air vent. I used the dust marks on the tile to line it up in the original position. We are still running our AC. Now that school has begun, I'm ready for some cool nights. The Steelers item on the top of the stove is a battery powered candle that will be removed before we fire up the stove.
    100_7859.JPG
    John_M likes this.

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  2. coverdome

    coverdome Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
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    Loc:
    North Central Maryland
    Congrats on the successful job completion. Looks good. Generally find everything takes longer than expected, even without the unforseen major issues (like hitting a floor joist dead on). Most of my time goes to finding tools. Hope you see some real improvements from the install.
  3. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    7,106
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Good Job

    You may want to think about putting a screen over the hole so dust and crap will not fall in and block the air! Also would eliminate the pain to clean it out.
  4. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    41.33°N 74.18°W and 44.67°N 111.0°W
    Thanks for the pictures. I honestly sure hope it works out. but I am a skeptic, as I look at it, you now have a nice 6" hole into your living space.

    and a serious question, if we have a cloths drier that vents to the outdoors, why does it not qualify as an OAK (when the drier is not in use)?
  5. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    An OAK - Outside Air Kit pulls outside air into the combustion chamber or firebox to supply the majority of burn air for the fire. A fire needs Air and fuel to burn.
    A dryer vent does not come close enough to the stove to provide the majority of air for the fire. Sure if no OAK is used, then air will be pulled into the house from the nearest cracks and maybe the dryer vent. This creates negative pressure in your house and sends warm heated house air up the chimney or the exhaust venting of your stove.

    This negative pressure and drafts by bringing in cool outside air from all corners or cracks in the house makes the house feel cooler. An OAK directly into the stove makes the house FEEL much more comfortable and warm!

    P.S. I OAKed up my oil boiler also.
    See > http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...ystem-carlin-or-becket-burner-air-boot.52869/
    John_M likes this.
  6. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Because your clothes dryer blows out (opening the vents). When not in use, they are closed, plus your dryer isnt really close to your stove (which makes your windows and doord the path of least resistance).

    PA Fire_Bug, it looks awesome and your gonna thank yourself this Winter. Your home will be warmer with less wood..
    John_M likes this.
  7. Redbear86

    Redbear86 Member

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    Loc:
    SE Idaho
    +1 Dexter, dryer vents should have a one way valve only letting them exhaust air.
  8. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    I would agree with all of the above, WHEN the OAK is directly connected to the air intake plenum of the stove, ISOLATING the OAK air source to the stove and NOT the room. Otherwise, the warm air that leaks out of the top of your home (attic stairs, upstairs windows etc) will be replaced by the OAK air open to the house envelope.

    IMHO an OAK maybe beneficial with a non EPA stove that draws alot of air. But generally there are plenty of leaks in most homes to support combustion in an EPA stove without creating a 6" hole into the house with an OAK>

    PA firebug, please report this winter if you are happy with the setup -- or if you feel cold air rushing out the pedestal of the stove...
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    9,298
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    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    First of all, the OAK is 4" or three inch, not 6 inch. Then I would agree that the most functional OAK is one that is sealed to the stove and that no air can enter the stove or leave the OAK pipe other than the air being delivered to the stove by the OAK. That is how Hearthstone does it with the heritage.

    If your house is so leaky that your OAK is flowing air all the time into the living space then you need to do some air sealing. Non-EPA and EPA stoves pull the same amount of air. In fact, due to emissions regs, I would bet that the EPA stove pulls more air than the old stoves that could be smoldered.

    On the install, is there any reason you didn't just use a hole saw? You can buy 4" hole saws that cut into tile and wood.
  10. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Thanks HB -- i stand corrected on all - though I still believe as you stated that the OAK should be completely sealed to the stove deliver the outside air into the stove - and not to the room.
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    You're correct. It is fairly silly to just end the pipe near the appliance or within the appliance such that the outside air can pollute the room. May as well just crack a window open.
  12. PA Fire Bug

    PA Fire Bug Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Blair County, PA
    Given our current weather, high 70's with a dew point over 70, it may be a while before I can determine if the outside air makes a difference. I have the same stove in our basement without an OAK but the chimneys are different heights and different materials. I'm hoping that I have less problems with starting a fire on days when the inside and outside air pressure are different and that I get less of the smokehouse smell in the fall and spring on days when we don't fire up the stove. I'll try to remember to post an update.
  13. PA Fire Bug

    PA Fire Bug Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
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    268
    Loc:
    Blair County, PA
    We still haven't seen cold weather in Central PA yet but I've had the chance to make some comparisons between my stove with the outside air kit and and the one without. The stoves are the same but the chimneys are very different. The living room stove with the OAK has a stainless chimney (15-20 feet). The basement stove has a ceramic chimney that is about 30-35 feet. I've noticed air moving through the OAK on days when we are not burning, especially windy days. The base of the stove is cold but I didn't really notice cold air escaping into the living room but there was no smokey odor between burns as there was before. We still get good air circulation from the living room stove throughout the main floor and upper level of the house. The stove is easier to start. The draft has improved during start up and I haven't had problems with cold chimney syndrome filling the living room with smoke. I've had more problems this year with filling the basement with smoke during start up. I always burn some loose newspaper at the front of the baffle but when the downdraft is strong, the paper stops burning and smoke pours out of the stove. Using a hair dryer to warm the stove pipes has helped, even after filling the room with smoke. Sealing the joints between the stove pipes with chimney cement has improved the draft with both stoves. Prior to this year, I would rarely shut down all of the air. This year, I can close the air off completely and watch the colored flames dance for much longer. Having dryer wood is a huge plus.

    I'll have to wait to see how the stoves compare when temperatures actually fall below freezing. If I had to do it over again, I would've installed the OAK when I installed the stove. For the basement, I would not install an OAK because I don't have an easy way to hide it and it would have to vent about five feet above the floor level to be above ground.
  14. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Central NY
    PA Fire Bug, Congratulations for a job well done installing the OAK. As you quickly discovered a remodel is always more difficult than original construction. You hung-in-there and "dun good". Nobody will ever see the hole under your Super 27 unless they remove the stove and replace it with a legged model.

    I installed the OAK to my Spectrum using the same under stove location as your install. However, I had the benefit of it being original construction so my project was easier than yours. The end result though is that withour moving the stove one could not tell the difference in the two installations.

    My hearth is elevated 11" and the plenum where the OAK enters under the stove is fully insulated and sealed (benefits of new construction) so no noticeble air escapes from under the stove. I would suggest that your installation will accomplish the same "air tightness" under the stove. See more below.

    For those unfamiliar with them, Pacific Energy's installation instructions for an OAK approve two procedures: 1) direct attachment of the OAK to the rear of the stove using an optional OAK adapter; 2) having the 4" OAK pipe come up through the floor and providing outside air to that area - exactly as PA Fire Bug did. This is the same area where the direct attachment method feeds outside air. The stove does not differentiate between air from a direct connection and air from under the stove. Lookee here: http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/cpac27.htm

    Again, Well done!:cool:

    Best wishes, good luck and happy holidays to all. :)
    Fire Ready and PA Fire Bug like this.

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