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Stove Installation Preperation - Alcove/Ceiling Clearance?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jim Ignatowski, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Jim Ignatowski

    Jim Ignatowski New Member

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    New York
    Hello Everyone,

    I recently moved my oil burner which freed up a chimney in my basement. I'm currently in the process of preparing the area that contained my boiler for a wood stove. I recently realized that the ceiling clearance does not meet the 84" required in the installation manual for the stove. I was planning on purchasing a Napoleon 1900. There doesn't appear to be an alcove option for this stove. The ceiling is currently open and I was planning on using a non-combustible material above it. The height will likely be about 77" or 78" above the floor. I attached some pictures. My mono-flow heating pipes and water supply for my oil burner are in the ceiling above where the stove will be located. I'm not sure if that's going to be an issue or not.

    Can anyone recommend a stove that can be installed with approximately 77" ceiling clearance ? I need something that's reliable and can generate a lot of heat. My home is approximately 3200sq ft. I would also be interested in opinions/suggestions about the location, ceiling height, etc... Thank you very much .
    IMG_7352.JPG IMG_7351.JPG IMG_7350.JPG

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  2. chimneylinerjames

    chimneylinerjames Feeling the Heat

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    You can reduce the clearances with sheet metal and an air space.

    Make sure you have the chimney inspected also, there is a good chance that the flues are not in good shape after being used by an oil furnace for many years.
  3. Jim Ignatowski

    Jim Ignatowski New Member

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    Thanks for the response. I was actually considering lining the chimney even though I was told it was in good condition. Do you have any suggestions on non combustible ceiling material? My issue is that I want to make sure I can remove whatever I put up in order to service the pipes if necessary. So I was hoping to find something that I can screw in and that looked finished. Thanks
  4. chimneylinerjames

    chimneylinerjames Feeling the Heat

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    I just thought of this, I have never done it, but what about a drop ceiling with metal tiles? I wonder if the tiles are thick enough.
  5. Jim Ignatowski

    Jim Ignatowski New Member

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    From a safety perspective, using sheet metal or some other non-combustible material should work. I'm just not sure it would pass my local building inspection. Most of the stoves that I've been looking at do not have alcove options and they do not provide alternatives for reducing ceiling clearance.

    My only issue is the copper mono-flow pipe ... If that wasn't in my way, I would have 85" to the floor joists and 93" to the plywood floor above. So, since copper is non-combustible, if I left the ceiling open, I would be in compliance, correct? It wouldn't look very nice having exposed ceiling and pipes, but I think it might allow me to bypass the ceiling clearance issues. Any thoughts? Thanks
  6. chimneylinerjames

    chimneylinerjames Feeling the Heat

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    If you meet the clearances to the wood you are fine. Like you said the copper is non-combustible, that will be no problem. I know NFPA-211 says you can use sheet metal with a min. 1" air space as a proper way to reduce clearances. But it shouldn't matter anyway now that you have met your clearances to combustibles. Maybe you can install a metal drop ceiling anyway to hide the pipes. It would be needed to reduce the clearances to the wood but it would cover the pipes.
  7. northernontario

    northernontario Member

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    I went overkill on my basement install... Cementboard onto the underside of the floor joists, and then sheet metal (from an HVAC shop) spaced out ~1" using metal studs. Technically the cement board does nothing, since it's mounted right to the joists... and it's the metal that gives the most reduction in clearances. I'm not even sure I needed clearance from the stove spec's... but I added it for safety sake because of the bedroom above the stove.

    IIRC ceiling clearances can be reduced by 50% with a metal shield spaced ~1".
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    When you mentioned 3200 sq ft I thought wood furnace, but does the home have hot water heat? What's the current primary source of heat?

    Heating from the basement is inefficient at best and worse if the basement is uninsulated. Any possibility of putting a stove or insert upstairs where the heat is most needed and a good fire view more appreciated.
  9. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    If gas is not available, I would put a oil/wood combo boiler if heating from an unfinished basement.
  10. Jim Ignatowski

    Jim Ignatowski New Member

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    The primary heating source is oil ... There used to be a wood fired sauna behind the brick wall in the pictures above. I moved the oil burner into that room and leveraged the sauna chimney for the oil burner. That freed up a chimney in a very open area of the basement. I realize this isn't the best place for it, but I plan on using the basement as a living area and may add passive vents to help feed heat to the upstairs. I also have an open fireplace on the first floor which I plan on adding an insert to. However, before I do that I need to reinforce the floor underneath it as there is a slight sag. The floor plan is not very open, so I'm not in the position to heat the entire house with wood, but I'm hoping to reduce my oil consumption through supplemental heating. Thanks

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