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Please help with clearances............

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by meatball5000, May 2, 2006.

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  1. meatball5000

    meatball5000 New Member

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    I just received an old Nashua free standing wood stove and need to know the clearances from a non-combustible wall? I would like to have the stove mounted on an angle between two walls (caddy corner). I also have hardwood floors and intend to put 1/4" hardyboard with ceramic tile as a pad for the floor to sit on. If anyone can help, it would be much appreciated!

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  2. KP Matt

    KP Matt New Member

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    If the wall is truly non-combustible then you probably don't have to worry, but just because its surface is non-combustible doesn't mean the wall is non-combustible. Your floor protection doesn't sound like it's going to be nearly enough, unless your floor is non-combustible. Old stoves won't be listed and have to be installed according to stringent standards - something like 3' clearances to combustible walls (can be reduced with properly installed shielding), actually it's 4 feet here in Canada. Not sure what the default floor protection is (in terms of R value) for unlisted stoves.
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    First of all I would try to see what is required by your local building dept. Code language requires all appliance
    to be listed and labled, thus UL approved. Before worrying about combustibles,
    first find out if you can permit its install. Clearance reduction enclosures can be built. But as the previous poster said,
    there is more to it than just using non combustible tile. One has to prevent thermo transfer threw the non combustibles
    to combustibles behind or underneath. The stove mount pad is in adequate, as you described, it does not prevent heat penetration to the combustible surfaces below. Remember radiant heat travels in all directions including down.
    Again the previous poster is correct with the 3' to combustibles and 4' in Canada.

    Even if the stove is given to you, are you sure it is of sound operational condition? Many of the 70's stoves were not air tight, no gasketing and very easy to develop run away overfires. Another real concern is the do not have secondary burn technology.
    Meaning they are polluting beast and have a propensity of rapid dangerous creosote build up in the chimney system.
    Just as important to a safe stove is the chimney system, which you have not noted.

    I am telling you some of the drawbacks before you sink a bit of money and possibly put your home and family in jeopardy.
    To run this stove, takes veteran wood burning knowledge. Really not for the inexperienced novice, plus good dry seasoned wood
  4. mlouwho

    mlouwho New Member

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    An old stove, unless you have the original specs from the manufacturer saying something different, must be 36" from a combustible wall. But as KP Matt questioned, what exactly is the wall constructed from? IF it is truly non-combustible, you can usually reduce the clearance to 18", but check with your local inspector, some around here will only allow reducing to 20". Also check with your homeowners insurance company, some will not cover that type of install.

    For the floor, I believe "hardyboard" is just a backer for the tile, NOT approved protection. You need an approved fireproof product, I recommend 1/2" Micore. then use your hardyboard & tile. This will need to extend at least 18" in front of the stove & minimum 8" on each side. But again check with your insurance co, some actually have stricter requirements.
  5. meatball5000

    meatball5000 New Member

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    Thank you so much for your feedback!!!! I have read the same clearances for non-certified stoves a minimum of 36"-48", but wanted some expert advise......I called my town inspector and he said usually 6" all around, but they go by the recommendations of the stove manufacturers......From what I gathered this stove is from the 70's and the manufacturer is long gone.....Perhaps I would be better off investing in a newer UL listed pellet or corn stove.......
  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    The 6" is not code but less than code requirements. Also not mentioned is 16 to 18" is required protection in front of the loading door.
    It is good that you asked before doing, only to find the building inspector or insurance company, now demands its removal.
    Personally I would suggest you look into finding a more modern EPA UL approved stove or as you mentioned pellet stove.
    A word of caution about buying a used pellet stove. Technology has changed considerably since the first models were introduced
    Many original companies no longer exist and parts support is non existant. Pellet stoves have motors, blowers, thermo couplers that wear out. Check for parts availability first before considering a used stove. Be prepared for replacements and service call or two.
    Also check out if anyone in your area will make the service call for that model. Personally, I would not buy a used pellet stove older the 3 years old, for the aformentioned reasons. With wood stoves, no moving parts, less to go wrong, a safer bet.
  7. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Casper Wyoming
    Your inspector must be referring to gas appliances that is the default standard clearance for unlisted gas appliances. I learned this because I ran into an issue with the way an insert was installed. They cut a 12"x12" hole in the side of a Zero Clearance for the gas line. I thought it was a horrible dangerous install but the inspector allowed them apply the generic clearance of 6" as outlined in the IMC. I appealed (anyone out there thinking of trying this don't) and basically got laughed/scorned out of the boards office.
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