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Stovepipe Orientation

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by hydestone, Jan 12, 2006.

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  1. hydestone

    hydestone New Member

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    I recently installed a wood stove and routed the stovepipe out the back of the stove, into the existing masonry firebox, through the smoke chamber, and up through the existing clay liner.

    I first connected some straight sections of pipe and dropped them in the chimney from the roof. Then I went inside and connected my elbows with sheet metal screws and furnace cement. Next I stuffed around the old fireplace damper location with Thermafiber non-combustible insulation. I set the stove in place and connected the increase off the back of the stove from 5" to 6". I measure the last piece of straight pipe and went to connect from the increaser to the bend coming out of the smoke chamber and realized all the pipe installed in the chimney was backwards, so I was left trying to connect 2 female connections. I then took the straight piece and sort of crimped it so I had 2 male connections, screwed it, and furnace cemented it together. Is this type of connection acceptable? Is the orientation of the stove pipe important, ie female connections towards the stove or male connections towards the stove?

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  2. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    I won't comment on the code issues with your install, I'm sure others more familiar here can do that, although it sounds like you used regular gauge stove pipe as a chimney liner ? Not sure I'd try it.
    As far as male or female orientation to the stove connection, I have always seen, been told, and done it with female pointing up and male down. At first this seems counter-intuitive because you would think that smoke might escape, right? But the reason (I've been told) is that any creosote or condensation or rain water or whatever that might run down the pipe runs into the stove, and not through the joints and down the outside of the pipe. Water/rust would be ugly, liquid creosote would be dangerous.
    As far as smoke escaping, the joints tend to self-seal themselves pretty quick, assuming you took your time and ensured a farily good fit.
    You mentioned pipe cement at the joints, so this may change things, but I still vote for female up, male down.

    Willhound
  3. hydestone

    hydestone New Member

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    I have an existing masonry chimney liner that is in excellent shape. I inserted 24 gauge stovepipe inside the masonry liner.

    My concern was mainly the "liquid creoste" running out of the joints.

    Would the liquid creoste only be an issue if there was a chimney fire?
  4. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    The liquid creosote is a safety issue when on fire, but is really nasty to deal with for cleanup as well - so if it drips and runs onto the hearth or something, it tends to stick/stain.
  5. hydestone

    hydestone New Member

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    How hard is it to take apart stovepipe that is connected with sheet metal screws and furnace cement? Can I bang on the pipe to breakup the furnace cement and then remove the screws? I put furnace cement on the outside of the crimped end, inside of the female end, drilled and screwed them together, and the coated the outside of the female end around the joint.
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I don't have much experience with liquid, sticky creosote. The stuff I've generated over the years looks more like charcoal briquettes or parts thereof. So I don't think you'll necessarily get a lot of sticky creosote. Depends on your situation.

    Getting stovepipe apart and then back together isn't much fun without stove cement at the joints. I think it would be a bit more of a nightmare with the cement. No fun either way. I know other people do it, but I don't see much point in putting stove cement on good-fitting stovepipe joints.

    Are you saying that you are running conventional steel stovepipe up the entire length of the masonry chimney? First, if your tile is in good condition, then there's no need to line it with regular steel pipe. Secondly, it's only going to last a season or two before it corrodes or rusts out. If that's the case (and I may have misunderstood what you said) then there's probably no point in pulling it out now, but be prepared to do it in a year or two.
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Blind Faith living life dangerously. I bet that installation was not permitted and inspected. Its not a matter of time but when you will experience a full-blown chimney fire. In the single wall 24 gage connector creosote will condense and form rapidly. If lucky you get a few small burn off fires first That’ your warning of what’s coming. But it does not always work that way. Your stove will be cooking 500 plus degrees. Next there will be a woosh sound then the sound of a freight train in your chimney. That couple of bats you are using for the damper seal gets blown out. If there is blockage further up then the fire flashes back into your house If all goes well the fire follows the connector pipe straight up. At this point the rapid expansion and intense heat of the fire has blown the 24 gage connector pipe apart or melted it Glowing red pieces of metal and dripping creosote is falling down into your hearth. That first blow back sends a wave of intense heat and instantly ignites any combustibles around the area
    I mean it’s a wave of about 1700 degrees. If you are too close that will be your last thought. If you are lucky enough to survive, better save that money you saved by buying the cheap connector pipe instead of the HT 2100 liner which would have prevented the blow out, for the fire restoration. Then enters the fire dept they break out all the windows chop holes in the roof. It the smoke and fire damage was not enough Wholesale water damage to extinguish the fire. Then there is the investigation. I get called in to discover what went wrong but this is too easy. Every fire fighter already knows why. Aall I have to do is confirm it. The next day I speak with the state fire marshal. First question asked is how did I miss such blatant code violation. Again and easy answer, because no permit was pulled therefore no inspection. I confirm stovepipe was used for the chimney and that the damper box was inadequately plated off. We know the insurance investigator is going to arrive soon so we keep that folder on that address, out in the active file. He is there to confirm there is no record of a permit or inspections, no compliance certificate was ever issued. My part of the investigation is done. What you now have to deal with explaining to the insurance company why there was an illegal stove incorrectly installed in your home in the first place.
    The home is now in the control of the fire dept and our office the building inspectors If our dept had deemed it un inhabitable It will be sealed off with red fire seen tape and red signs condemning it attached to it. You are not even allowed back into the home without a fire dept escort, to pick threw the rubble. At this point many have rented a house trailer to live beside there former home while it is being restored. It cannot be occupied till our dept issues a certificate of occupancy after all inspections have passed.

    Don’t worry about whether the ends point in the right direction It will make little difference. What your life will depend on, is how quick you can exit your home and how fast the fire dept responds. Do not go back in and try to regulate the stove. If that hot blast goes down you are dead, Do not try to be a hero and try to fight it with an extinguisher. Good luck dealing with your insurance company.
  8. roac

    roac New Member

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    So in a nutshell, what you should do at the very least is go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy Class A Chimney pipe (about 20$ a foot). Replace all of the black stove pipe except for 1 piece or so coming from the stove, probably a short piece. The class A chimney pipe will last 20 years vs. 2 years for the black stove pipe. In the long run it's cheaper and in the meantime you enjoy better draft and a safer install.
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Or if the clay liner is in excellent condition, just connect your stove correctly to it. It may not be as good as ss, but it will be cheaper and more than adequate.
  10. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    My take from elk, and he knows far more than I, is that chimney fires can not be prevented, only planned for. Everybody has chimney fires. Kinda scary.
  11. hydestone

    hydestone New Member

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    A permit was pulled and installation is in progress so obviously there has been no final inspection of the installation.

    A 24 gauge stove pipe complies with NFPA211 Chapter 9. Thermafiber insulation with a 24 gauge sheet metal blankoff plate is sufficient to prevent the flow of cool air up into the chimney which could potentially cause a violent mix with the hot gases of combustion and would also adequately prevent gases from entering back into the house.

    Although the installation does not provide the highest performaning system it is in accordance with all applicable standards and regulations.
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    The only mention of a chimney connection is 9-4 Chimney Commection and usage
    9-4.1 All solid fuel-- burning appliances shall be connected to a chimney in acccordance with chapter 6/
    The Chimney provided shall be ina ccordancce with table 2-2.1.


    I have 2002 here in written and the revised 2003 on CD NFPA I also have 2003 International Mechanical Codes here nThat is the only mention concerning chimney connection in Chapter 9

    Chapter 6 Chimney Connectors and vent connectors

    6-2.3 Connectors deal with corrosian resistance

    2-2.2.1 2 Single wall chimneys or unlisted metal chimneys shall not be used inside one and two familly dwellings

    Plesae educate me and tell me the exact section and wording where 24 gage connector black pipe can be used as a liner
    Liners are to be SS ht 2100 UL aproved 103 I can not find any listing the 24 gage pipe is corrosion reristant meets HT 2100 degrees or is ul 103 approved. That is the requierment for a chimney liner for a wood stove When I get back from bowling I will refference the IBC 2003 mechanical codes. My hats off to you if you can educate me as this is a learning experience every day I admit There is a lot more to learn. Connector pipe cannot be used as a chimney unless it is listed as such
  13. hydestone

    hydestone New Member

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    The chimney is not the issue here. The chimney is existing with a clay tile liner that compies with all requirements listed in Chapter 5. The connection requirements are listed in Chapter 9. Refer to table 9.2.2.3 for 6" steel pipe connectors to find that 24 gauge connectors are acceptable for use in this application.
  14. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Actually, the chimney is the issue here. If you had a perfectly good chimney, you may have been better off just using it as it was, with the proper block-off plate in place, etc. The big issue with the 24 gauge inside a confined space like your chimney is that it tends to rust and rot really fast. Probabley more so than if it was out in the plain air, because being inside the chimney, any condensation etc. gets trapped and doesn't dry out as easy.

    I won't pretend to know the code, Elk deals with it on a daily basis as an inspector, but from what you've posted, 24 guage being approved for connectors is a lot different from 24 guage being used as an enclosed chimney.
    There was also a thread here a few days ago that discussed the ability (or inability) of 24 gauge to shed heat. Either it radiates heat too quickly, overheating adjacent areas (maybe not a problem in your clay liner), or if enclosed, it can't readily get rid of it's heat, so overheats and fails over time. Black single wall stove pipe can only get cherry red and cool off through so many cycles before it will either deform or develop thin areas/pinholes. Then you get the scenario that Elk described in his first post.

    Nobody here is trying to pick on you. We all assume that anyone heating with solid fuel wants to do it in the safest manner possible for their own good.

    The other reason that I'll leave the code arguments to others is that with me being in Canada, the codes are different. For example, some US installations will allow a direct connection to an existing clay tile chimney with block off plates. Here, it is absolutely forbidden. Use of a clay tile chimney for any heating appliance other than a wide open masonry fireplace requires a total liner from top to bottom, and the code absolutely calls for stainless steel.

    Willhound
  15. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'll second what my buddy 'hound said about nobody trying to pick on anybody, but I can see where you might be justified in feeling that way. We've all faced elk's scorn at one time or another and it's probably not a bad thing to be handed a worst-case scenario. Helps focus the mind. I know from talking to people who have done it that plain, single-wall stove pipe doesn't last more than a season or two when installed into a clay-lined chimney. Part of that is probably due to the heat issue mentioned by Willhound. Another is the fact that when it's stuck inside that clay liner and presumably sealed on both ends, you're going to get moisture build-up with no place for it to go. That means a quick rust-out in addition to the heat factor. EDIT: I guess Willhound said that, too.

    Getting back to the effects of heat over time, one time I took apart my chimney connector and banged on one of the 90-degree elbows in an attempt to knock out the accumulated ash, soot and other crap. It shattered when I hit it with a hammer. That got my attention pretty quick, especially considering that it was evening and both hardware stores in the small town where I lived were closed for the night. That was a 100-mile round trip to the nearest Home Depot for a replacement. After that I made a habit of replacing the pipe every couple of years and I sho-nuff never banged on it again.
  16. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    hydestone doesn't appear to have a chip on his shoulder or appear offended. He seems to be holding his own in a healthy technical discussion. This is a constructive and informative thread so far.
  17. roac

    roac New Member

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    I don't know the code as well as hydestone seems to but my money is on the guy who inspects these types of appliances for code compliance. He's gotta know it by heart... :roll:
  18. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    My original post was not so much directed at you but what really could happen. Last week It was unuasually warm but cool at night
    In the neighboring town they had a corbon monoxide incident. the stove was inspected and approved. Three things happened when it was cold the stove drafted positively when it was warmer it did not draft well. Second thing and I am glad some other than me reads the code is the cross=sectional code. Which was revised in the NFPA 2003 EDition It now reads Chimneys exposed to exterior walls t the appliance can vent into only 2 times the flue collar area 28x 2= 56" 8/12 clay liner is 76" so no insert or any 6" flue collar appliance can be drafted in an outside manonary flue larger than an 8/8 without a full length lines A chimney residing in the interior of the living space can be drafted into a masonry flue 3 times the flue collar 84" is larger than 76 this would be permissiable but really not advisable.. This stove vented into an exposed chimney witha 12/12 flue liner. The blocker plate or lack of one was a couple of pieces of common fiberglass insulation batts. The stove did not draft correctly in warmer weather fortunately the mother in law made a suprise visit noticed the dead cat and dog woke the small girl and helped drag the father out. The daughetr has recovered the father may have suffered brain damage No Carbon monoxide sensor present. Many points to make not all inspectors know the code or are pervy to what is involved with wood stove installations. the State of MA hires me to give semimars to educate others not from witten code but to point out real field experiences. If I do my job right the first time with comprehensive inspections I have yet had to do the type of follow up inspection as I outlined in the prior post when things went wrong. I have saved lives with my advice on this forum. But I have had to do them on a few occasions where the owner installed a stove without a permit.

    Your inspector may pass you installation just like the one did last week in the neighboring town. Is it right that's up for you to decide and if you are willing to risk your life and your famille's. You came here looking for advice I gave it backed up by code. Your last refference for 24 gage black steel pipe in chapert 9 is for connector pipe. A connector pipe is that pipe used to connect an appliance to a chimney. No where is it meant to be a liner or act as the chimney. It is not listed for that purpose. Eric suggested an application it is listed for a direct connect, even that should be ss liner pipe for a safer application. This has been discussed in detail l earlier this week or later last week by a post originated by Waren. Go back a few pages . I do not care if I win this arguement All I can do is make you aware there are better solutions than the one you have chosen. My jurisdiction is only in the town that hired me to inspect in. Oh btw in MA as of Jan 15 carbon Monixide sensors are required to pass any fuel burning appliance inspection. If it had been the first of the year the father in the neighboring town might have fully recovered by now. The winner in this arguement is you. Only you can decide the degree of safety for you and your familly
  19. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Comsumer Product Saftey Council Reports in year 2003 over 103,000 woodstove chimney fires in USA resulted in over 230 deaths Property damage in the tens of millions
  20. roac

    roac New Member

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  21. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    the building inspector called me the next day for my imput I did not get all the details of the story right but we discussed the wood stove in question. Initially I had heard it passed inspection. Evidently I heard wrong. Great to hear the father is recovering. This Carbon monoxide law was passed in July however it has been admended many times since. Two days ago the state e-mailed me the new revised draft. It is my understanding that they want to make it law the 15th of january. This incident has excellerated the process.

    The original poster is the winner I conseed . It's not worth persuing any more, He wins if he decides to make the safest possible installation for him and his familly.
  22. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Jesus, this forum sometimes sounds like a man and woman having an argument. Why does someone have to "win"? Elkimmeg knows more than many but it doesn't mean others can't participate in discussions and add value, or learn. Frankly, Elkimmeg seems like HE gets a chip on his shoulder if you discuss something contrary to his input, and that makes things a little heavy handed on his part. His lengthy diatribes seem to support this. He seems to want to be THE FINAL AUTHORITY on any subject he comments on instead of participating equally alongside everybody else.

    Elkimmeg called it an argument in his post even though the original poster never behaved as if it was an "argument." The original poster was just debating it from his perspective, debating it politely and non-confrontationally. Elkimmeg escalates it to an "argument" because he perceives anybody as differing from him as a confrontation, and that is not healthy for this forum.

    Finally, Elkimmeg's spelling and sentence fragmentation is so atrocious that it often makes it difficult to understand his precise point. His credibility would be even higher if it looked like he had some form of education. I know that sounds harsh and I honestly do not mean it as an insult, but frankly how well you communicate does make a difference with how you are perceived. Anybody can overlook minor/infrequent spelling/grammar errors but....you know what I mean (I hope). I am trying to learn from Elkimmeg's post but have to wonder sometimes what his education is if that is how he routinely communicates. This was not intended as a flame but I imagine it will start one. Sorry. I just hate the "arguement" aspect some people interject into a discussion.
  23. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Sir you are 100% correct. My typing skills are lacking, my gramar terrible. Spelling atrocious, and at times I come across with a chip on my shoulder. My explanation is, that my typing skills as so far behind my thought process, I leave out word endings, punctuation, and fragment sentences. I am sorry that has offended others. Hard for some to believe after reading my post, But I grew up in a very technical environment. My father was a research Chemist, My older brother PHD MIT Chemistry Professor at U of Pittsburg Younger Brother PHD Math Carney Mellon (sp) Works somewhere doing something in the CIA or Pentagon, can not discuss his actual job description. Another brother PHD Electrical Engineering. In my household priority, as obtaining good grades was in math and science. After that I coasted threw the rest. I wish I had paid more attention. Other energies were channeled towards sports. My brothers got all the academic accolades; I got all the athletic notoriety. Which took me all the way to playing division I Hockey at Northeastern University.

    Addressing the chip on the shoulder issue:. I have actively participated on this forum 4 years. I cannot tell how frustrating it is to discuss the same issues over and over. This connector pipe issue, using it as a substitute for a chimney, was discussed at length only a few post back. You are right it’s like arguing with your wife, When she stops listening, the voices get louder, to make one’s point. At some point the argument elevates, to someone has to be right, at that point someone gets a chip on his or her shoulder.
    Frustration sets in, when you realize I am trying to educate to safety concerns and they are not listening, on a topic that has been put to bed many times before.

    Arguing with a building inspector is like wrestling with a pig in mud. After a while you learns he enjoys it.

    I have a few alternatives:
    #1 I stop posting here
    #2 or learn better typing and grammatical (probably not going to happen overnight I turn into Shakespeare)
    #3 Readers try to be patient and cut me some slack
    #4 all of the above
    # 5 I guess I still need to horn up my skills
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Elk:

    "I am sorry that has offended others."

    You owe nobody an apology Elk. People too often ask a professional a question not wanting the real answer but confirmation that they can do what they wanted to do in the first place. Or what their cousin, brother-in-law or whoever said they did. Lawyer, tax accountant, building inspector or whoever spends a great deal of their time explaining to people why they can't do things and suffering the slings and arrows for their advice.

    This guy had no business launching a personal attack on everything about you but the color of your socks. He owes you the apology. For him to say that such a detailed attack on you was not a "flame" is ridiculous.

    Only two people decide who and what is appropriate in the Forum. Their names are Craig and Mo Heat. Craig because he pays the bills and it is his sandbox. Mo because Craig said so.

    This is every word I have for the subject.
  25. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    It was not an attack. I can appreciate Elk's frustration at rehashing the same questions over and over - I see it in every forum I participate in online whether it is motorcycle maintenance, a chevy truck forum, a software forum, metalworking, welding, etc. It unfortunately is the nature of the beast when you participate in a fairly focused discussion forum. Even more so for a professional like Elk who has far more answers than he does questions.

    My typing is worse than yours, Elk! I just clean it up before submitting since I am usually the one asking the question and I want to come across like I am giving things serious though. I'm sorry if I offended you.
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