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Stove pipe ... good, better, best?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Mikeb, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. Mikeb

    Mikeb New Member

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    Sorry, I'm sure this question's been asked before, but, I'm buying a free standing wood stove (Lopi - Endeavor) from a local dealer and am checking into installing it myself. The few dealers that I've gotten prices from, for pipe, all seem pretty high to me. Any where from $800 to $1000 for an approx. run of 14-15' total. I called Gensco (venting supply house) and their prices seem to be quite a bit less than the stove dealer. The stove dealer is selling "Excel" and Gensco is selling "Metalbestos" products. I looked online and found many different pipe manufacturers/retailers offering their products for far less than the stove dealer.

    Question ... Are the dealers gouging or selling far superior products? (sample cost excel 48" SS insul. 6" pipe $201.00)
    Are there brands that are worth the extra cost or should I just shoot for the "middle of the road" product?
    Is there a good source to research the stove pipe in general?
    Where can I find good info on installing a wood stove?

    Thanks, Mike.

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  2. JayD

    JayD Member

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    Well I can speak of the quality of Metalbestos pipe it was in my dads house for 30 years, I removed it as he wanted a gas unit and was getting to old to haul wood. It was always keep clean once a year, by me. I have reused {all of it} along with his stove an old ELM that has been rebuilt with new gaskets. It heats my woodshop two story 24x36 just fine for me. Now I have a 10-12 roof and did need more pipe. I went with the New Galvinized class A to go though the second floor, and his old stainless up and out to cap, to code. I did clean all conectors and installed new Metalbestos 6" Locking Bands. http://www.ventingpipe.com/category.cfm?categoryID=267 And the stove http://www.vermontironstove.com/index.html
  3. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    There are many factors that contribute to a dealer having a higher price than other outlets. I won't go into because people either don't care or just choose to believe they're gougers. Metalbestos is good chimney, some of the best. Excel is right on par with it. The best place to get info on installing a wood stove is from the owners manual fo the wood stove and the install instructions that come with the brand of chimney you intend to use.
  4. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    You are good with the big 4
    Excell
    Metobestos
    Security
    Duravent

    I can get Duravent from a local HVAC supply house and use them as a warehouse and order for each job
    for they deliver to me every Wednesday.

    but I prefer the ICC Excell pipe so I order it in by the Pallet load from a warehouse 3 hours away.

    We sell Excell because some of the benefits and our Local Competing Frendly Stove stove Sell the same pipe and we can share when we are out of stock back and forth.

    I like Excell because the class A comes in 6", 12", 18", 18" adjustable, 24" and 48" lengths.
    Stainless steel outer shell or a Galvalume outer shell that is paintable. We use Galvalume the most for it cost Much less.

    It is Lighter

    the pipe goes together with NO twist lock and screw are supplied with each section of Class A and Black double wall.

    The support box is only 10x10 and 24" tall in round and square so it is easier to get between joists and Trusses.
    and every support box included the Flue extension to connect double wall and single wall pipe.
    http://www.hearthtools.com/install/support-box.jpg

    They have flashing that cover all types of roof from Ridge flashing, Lead flasing for tile to a special flashing made for Steel roofs.
    and each flashing comes with the storm collar unlike others it is an extra.


    The double wall pipe comes in a handy 48 - 68" adjustable
    The seams are clean and NO TWIST LOCK BUMPS IN THE PIPE.
    they are painted with standard Stovebright Flat black so it is easy to touch up. UNLIKE DURAVENT
    http://www.hearthtools.com/install/shelburn.jpg

    Bottom line you get what you pay for
    Dealer that sell Excell are going to have the know how on what to use in your install.
  5. KeithO

    KeithO Minister of Fire

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    Jackson, MI
    Mike: What you posted seems a little contradictory. The header refers to stovepipe which is generally single wall and the snap together stuff is in fact about $5 per 2ft length. Later in the quote, you refer to a 48" length of insulated pipe, which sounds like Class A.

    So. in your instalation: What will the clearance be from the stove pipe to the nearest combustible surface ? If it is less than 18", you need double wall (air gapped, not insulated) pipe. Double wall has a clearance to combustibles of 6-7" minimum which is a lot closer. It will also last much longer than carbon steel singlewall stovepipe and will also draft better. That should run no more than $25/ft for the material. Some are less. Double wall has a stainless inner and galvanized outer that is normally painted black with stove paint from the factory. Assuming the pipe goes straight up, you will need a stovepipe to class A adapter below the ceiling. Then starts the Class A pipe, which should be stainless inner, stainless outer and packed ceramic insulation in between. The Menards stores in my area carry canadian 6" class A for $57/3ft. If you buy it at a dealer, it will more than likely be 3x more expensive. You will need at least 6 ft and possibly more depending on roof pitch and the height you need to penetrate through the attic. There are rules that dictate how high the top of the class A needs to be relative to the highest point in a 10ft radius. I think it needs to be at least 2 ft above any surface with a 10ft radius.

    If you need a bunch of elbows, they increase the cost quite a bit. In fact on all the little pieces is where the nickle and diming takes place. It seems you can't get anything, no matter how simple for less that $20-30. You need a raincap, a flashing, a storm collar, a radiation shield, a ceiling support and potentially an adjustible length section of pipe to get the exact custom length needed for your install.

    Don't be afraid to do the job yourself if you are handy. The inspector will make sure you have dne a safe job on the install. Just read the instructions that came with the stove and clarify any grey areas before carrying out the job.
  6. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    Did you get this information from HPBA? It seems contradictory to information I have gotten. Are you talking in terms of volume or dollars? I would be very interested in any supporting information you could provide on this.
  7. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    I am a board member of the HPBA affiliate (HPBA Pacific California) for the past 13 years

    But this is my own 18 year opinion.

    Warrantee
    Quality
    Easy of installation
    2100 Deg chimney fire rating
    Components available

    I did point out in my post that I prefer the ICC pipe

    I have sold and installed in the past 18 years
    Metobestos
    Security
    Duravent Air cooled

    I prefer the

    I have removed Lots and lots of BIG BOX store lower grade class A chimney
  8. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    I didn't realize it was an opinion related statement, it sounded like stated fact. Now I understand your ratings/criteria better. Of the brands you have installed, these four are your favorites.
  9. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    As I stated in my first post

    Sorry if you think my preferences was a fact.

    I have not sold and installed any wood stove pipe other that Excell Class A and Excell Double wall
    heat Fab Single wall. for the past 7 years.

    At this time we use Duravent for Pellet and Gas venting.
  10. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    I was actually just surprised at who you stated were the "big four." But in you area that statement may be true. Neither here nor there in terms of the OP's question, sorry for leading the thread off topic.

    As far as the question goes, Excel is a good brand, as is Selkirk-Metalbestos, you can also find Selkirk's Class A at Lowe's under the SuperPro or SuperVent names.
  11. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.
    I ripped out very few chimneys in my 20+ years......

    sold:
    Dura
    Oliver-MacLoud -pro-jet
    Metalvent
    Metalbestos

    In general I would say one is as good as the other - except Excel does have a premium rep. I can't speak for the facts of this reputation, just that a number of top dealers and distributors have this opinion.

    As an installing dealer, one of the advantages to us of certain brands was the ability of even the 8" ceiling support to fit into a house framed on 16" centers.....(8 would just fit, but 6 and 7 would do so easily).....

    The Metalvent that we sold was the exact same product (same as the metalbestos) that certain local plumbing wholesalers sold over the counter for 30% or more off. The soda that you buy in the restaurant is the same one that BJ's or Costco sells at 1/3 the price. The question is usually what level of service and installation you need.

    I doubt that the class A in chain stores is low quality - but I may be wrong.....usually it is simply that they buy large quantities and work on a low margin. You are likely to get poor or dangerous advice there also.....so read the instructions.

    I guess my summary of the thread is that, in most cases, most brands of class A will serve you well. Keep in mind that pre-fab fireplace chimney is not built nearly as well as generic class A and that seems to last for decades.
  12. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    Another problem with not going with the big 4 is that when you need parts and accessories 5-10 years down the line for an off brand, where are you going to turn? The box stores will have moved onto another supplier, and usually the off brand is nowhere to be found for help.
  13. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    That was my point to stickwith the big 4
    And warrantee
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    All of the black pipe I bought at Home Depot was standard Simpson DuraBlack with the same part number as everywhere else. And it was at closeout time last Spring so I bought all of the $60 kits for ten bucks apiece so I am set for life.

    I am kicking myself for not buying all of the Class A kits for $23 apiece.
  15. Hayabusa Rider

    Hayabusa Rider New Member

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    <hearthtools>

    "The support box is only 10x10 and 24” tall in round and square so it is easier to get between joists and Trusses.
    And every support box included the Flue extension to connect double wall and single wall pipe. "

    A Quote from Above " http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/9586/#111131 "
    I have a Question:
    I have a Stick Built Home built in 1962 that has 12inch on center ceiling trusses and a FLAT ROOF, So I think that this "Excel" box? Will work Right?

    Anyway I need some advice sir what would you do?
    I have an Englander NC-13 from Home Depot "new" and I am going to do a complete New install Tile work etc.
    I have 63 inches from stovetop to ceiling, Tile Ceiling I may replace with 5/8 FireBoard in the are around stovepipe, then I think it's about 18inches between the inside of the ceiling and the rolled roofing roof, it may only be 14inches, I figure that I should have about 4 to 5 feet of Pipe above the flat roof so no way will the snow be an issue or sparks from stack even though I plan on a spark arrest cap.
    What do you think I need?
    6in Double Wall or 6' Triple wall? And..........?
    Thanks Sir
    AJ.
  16. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    I dont see a question here

    Sounds like you need
    Flat roof flashing
    1) 6ERCS Cap
    1) 6EL48 ICC 2100 PIPE
    1) 6EL24 ICC 2100 pipe
    1) RB roof brace
    1) 6ESS square support box The support box is 24" long so you will need to cut it down to fit your attic space
    or Round if the ceiling is flat
    1) 6UBAF 40 -68" double wall adjustable pipe from the stove to the box

    I understand you have a flat roof but most stoves need around 12 feed of pipe to draft
    this is why I have 6 feet of HT pipe listed.
    also you want a min of 6" of the support box to stick down out of the ceilling.
  17. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    If you are going to install it yourself, I personally recommend Excel for the excellent documentation and for the ease of installation.

    Just as an aside, should you be installing the top section through the roof, and should you decide to use your extension ladder to hold this last 4' section in place while you climb up onto the roof itself, it is JUST possible that the weight of the pipe will push the ladder back away from the roof edge, dropping the pipe to the ground and maybe even pushing the ladder down, leaving you on the roof with no pipe and no ladder. Or at least I suppose this could happen.... I'd just as soon no one asked any potentially embarrassing questions about this.

    Mark
  18. Hayabusa Rider

    Hayabusa Rider New Member

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    Oh Thank You Sir.
    QUESTION:

    Is there an Online Source for these Parts, or a Local Michigan Dealer you know about?
    I have called several places and they never heard of Excel, but Tractor Supply has Dura-Vent DuraPlus 36in. and online northerntool.com has that also.
    The local Place that specializes in stoves " http://www.emmettsenergy.com/webapp/GetPage?pid=5 " wasn't much help to me, and could not say what pipe they carried when I asked.
  19. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Wow what a deal Bart!!! I think you may outdo me with those deals :) Maybe I should see if they are clearing out pipe around here...

    Ray
  20. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    This is why installing dealers sell excel other that it is a great product
    They do not sell to mass merchants
    only to dealers with stores.
  21. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser Feeling the Heat

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    Awesome post thanks for this; along with all your explanations, the pictures are worth thousand words each. I'd like to ask something about the Excel Square Support Box ... in your photo it looks like you simply put some 2" screws through the studs and into the outside layer of steel to the box but not through the inside layer. Is that correct? If not and I am not seeing something specific to installing the box, can you elaborate and sort of spell it out for a first timer like me? Also I'd like to ask about the "Adjustable Steel Stud Support" that Excel makes ... have you ever installed one of those and if so or if not, what are your thoughts on that accessory? Thanks in advance always for any advice.

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