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Rookie Need Help

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Munchkin, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Munchkin

    Munchkin New Member

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    Hi,
    I'm completely new to wood burning and need help. I recently purchased a used Harman Mark III and planned to burn wood for a few years (actually purchased the wood last summer). Once I realized it was actually a COAL stove, I'm terrified to burn wood in it. Any suggestions regarding flue, damper, etc. or should I avoid burning wood in this stove all-together? The house is new and the masonry chimney has never been used. Please help!

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome. Nothing to panic over. turn around and sell it for the same price. Then get a good epa wood stove.
  3. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    And after you bought a real woodstove please come back and ask about proper installation. You will need a liner in your chimney for example. Plus, do you actually have dry wood to burn already?
  4. Munchkin

    Munchkin New Member

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    Yes, I bought 2 cords last summer as the house was being framed. Are you saying that regardless of which stove I use, I'll need to install a liner in a new chimney constructed with crocks/masonry block?
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The chimney size for the fireplace will probably be too large for a woodstove. They typically have a 6" flue.
  6. dave_376

    dave_376 Burning Hunk

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    Yes you need a liner! It does several things.
    1. gives better draft ......helps to burn better on damp days
    2.keeps the exhaust gasses hot.....there are fewer deposits in the chimney to clean

    you will want to install a liner of some sort and insulate it.
    Beer Belly likes this.
  7. Munchkin

    Munchkin New Member

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    Might sound like a stupid question, but if I scraped the wood and went with coal, do I still need a liner? Everyone tells me I'll go to coal eventually anyway! Thanks for the advice...
  8. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Can you tell us a bit more about your house (size, insulation, location, placing of the fireplace etc.) and what are your plans regarding wood heat? I would hate if you buy a woodstove now that is still not the right one for your needs.

    2 cords is a beginning but if you plan on heating mostly with wood probably not enough. Plus, it is probably not dry yet if you just stacked it for a few months.
  9. Munchkin

    Munchkin New Member

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    About 2500 sf two story in SW PA, R21/R38 insulation. Primary heat is geothermal, but woodstove in basement/rec room for supplement in colder months. Wood was stacked summer 2012.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps not. Though you might need more soap.
    Beer Belly and BrowningBAR like this.
  11. Hardrockmaple

    Hardrockmaple Feeling the Heat

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    How tall is the chimney and does it run up an outside wall or up through the house?
  12. Munchkin

    Munchkin New Member

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    I'd say 35-40 feet (30 above ground) along the outside. Almost as high as the house peak.
  13. Oregon aloha

    Oregon aloha Feeling the Heat

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    Is the top of the chimney 3' higher then the roof line and 2' above any part of your roof within 10'?
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you are in PA and have good access to anthracite coal I'd give it a try as a coal stove. Be sure to get the right size nuggets as recommended by Harman. For more info on burning coal in this stove visit the www.nepacrossroads.com forum.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Munchkin, when you start being as concerned about your wood as your stove and chimney then you will be fine. What Grisu was trying to get at without being exact is that no matter that you bought your wood last summer, it still very well may not be ready to burn; especially if it is oak. If it is oak, you'd best leave it sit for another 2 years before burning.

    Buying fuel for a wood stove is not like buying fuel for an oil or gas stove. You can not just buy wood and start to burn it. Mother Nature does not work that way.
  16. Munchkin

    Munchkin New Member

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    begreen,
    Thanks for the info regarding coal, I'll probably go that route within the next few years, but my wife really likes the smell of a good old woodstove. So, back to my original question, if I install a 6" stovepipe with manual damper, is it ok to burn wood in this stove for a while, say 2-3 years or is it a safety issue?
  17. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I can't tell you how it will burn, I've no experience with this stove. But if I hazard a guess I would expect it to burn dirty and for there to be a serious risk of creosote build up in the chimney due to rapid cooling of the flue gases.

    If you want to burn wood, get a wood stove and put a proper liner in the chimney.
  19. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    +1 You just won't be happy burning wood in that stove, IMO, even for just a couple of years and you'll probably go through wood like crazy unless you smoulder it.

    If your wife is anything like mine, I gotta wonder if she is going to like coal any better in a few years than she does now... :)

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