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Suggestions needed for a new woodstove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by dalmatiangirl61, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. dalmatiangirl61

    dalmatiangirl61 Member

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    Hi folks, I've decided I need a new woodstove, or better put, a larger woodstove, I'm tired of being cold. Heres the situation, I'm trying to heat a 2000 sq ft concrete room, thats a concrete floor, concrete walls, and a concrete ceiling. Insulation or dropping the ceiling are not an option, as different areas of the building are renovated, someday they will be heated too, when the floor above is renovated the floor will be insulated, that might help temps in my room. Presently I'm using what I believe to be a Fisher knock-off, non-catalytic, non-epa rated, heres a pic
    [​IMG]

    It measures approx 32" wide x 24" tall x 28" deep. Burning as hot as I can get it the room never got over 70 degrees, and thats on non-freezing days, thanksgiving morning it was -20 and my room was 60, livable, but not warm. Wood consumption is outrageous, average about a cord a month. Burn time is 8 hours max, thats damped, full bore its about 4 hours, I get tired of feeding this beast. Creosote build-up is not acceptable either, cleaned chimney this fall and removed about 2- 5 gallon buckets of creosote flakes. From the top of woodstove to top of chimney is approx 50 ft, there is no way to reduce that. Wood is either White Pine or Yellow Pine, the white burns cleaner, yet faster, the yellow burns hotter, but probably adds more creosote. Wood is mainly from forest fire areas, the trees have been dead a year or longer, yet still standing. Most wood is purchased in June/July, woodstove is burning by September.

    I'm looking at the Lopi Liberty, mainly because of its size and low emessions, which I hope equates to less creosote. 2 Chimney fires in 3 years, somethings got to change before I burn this place down.

    Thanks,
    Kristin

    PS The pic shows stove with 2" fresh air intake which was added this past summer, it helped not pulling cold air through room, previous winters room was in the 50's

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  2. Renovation

    Renovation New Member

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    Hi Kristin, and welcome!

    Reading your post, one immediate question comes to mind: Would you be willing to make sure your wood has been cut and split at least a year before you burn it? That usually means buying the wood a year early and putting it up yourself, because most folks selling "seasoned" wood aren't.

    I ask because if you want one of the newer, low emissions, more efficient stoves, you have to have dry wood. Otherwise the stove won't work.

    HTH, and good luck!

    There you have it folks! An honest to goodness OAK success story! :coolsmile:
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    From the looks of it, that's not a trivial stove you're burning in. And by the description of the area, I suspect most of the heat is getting sucked into those walls. Burning a cord a month in this circumstance is believable, we go through almost the same amount of wood when it's cold. The creosote issue sounds like it's due to the incredible length of the flue pipe cooling down the flue gases until they condense. A new stove will burn cleaner, but might suffer the same fate and disappointments. The solution is to stop the heat loss. Can temporary insulation be put up? It would be much cheaper than a new stove.
    stoveguy2esw and Oldhippie like this.
  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    What be green said.

    I think you are doing well only burning a cord a month in that beast.


    Matt
  5. krex1010

    krex1010 Minister of Fire

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    You have alot of things going on there that are keeping you from warming that room the way you would like to. It's large, concrete and uninsulated. I think that just buying a new stove will leave you disappointed because it will probably not improve your heating issues.
    As for your burn times, unfortunately pine doesn't really last that long no matter what kind of stove you have. I don't know if you can get hardwoods but that will improve your burn times. Insulating that room will help also since you won't be forced to be constantly burning at a high rate to make up for the heat that that concrete is sucking up.
    That stove you have seems to be a substantial heater. I think the lopi probably is a smaller firebox, so honestly it probably will not improve your current situation. I don't think you have a heat output problem, you have a heat retention problem.
  6. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    In my humble opinion, I would buy the biggest EPA Certified convection stove you can find. Something with a 3-4 cf firebox. From my experience, that kind of construction sucks up radiant heat. With convection heat, the air flies around a bit and gets a chance to warm you before the monster eats it.

    Id love know what the outside of the house looks like and the rest of the construction.
  7. logger

    logger Minister of Fire

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    Pine should be seasoned more than just 2-3 months, even when dead standing it needs to be split and stacked for a longer period of time. That stuff has lots of moisture and sap that needs to be dried out. That's most likely the creosote and chimney fire issues. If you want to do the job right, those walls should really be insulated like others said. If you cant spring for framing and the insulation, some glue-on would even help. The Liberty is a great stove and should heat the space, but without proper insulation much of the heat will be absorbed by the concrete. We've seen a lot of people on the site with the same issue and it seems like insulation is the number one priority. Why not get the insulation done and then a go with a cheaper stove like a large Englander or Napolean that will still work like a beast?
  8. Hanko

    Hanko Minister of Fire

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    Looks like you chimney is big enough, how about one of those big bad blaze kings everyone is talking about? I also agree what be green said
  9. boisblancboy

    boisblancboy Member

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    Yeah my opinion would be to get some 2x4's or 2x6 whatever you can afford and ferr the walls out, add some insulation. The ceiling would be a little harder to do, but you could glue foam board to it, even a couple layers of 2" board. With not a whole lot of money invested you could get the stove you have heat that area without much problem. I agree with your creosote problem is cause your chimney is so long, that problem is going to be inevitable no matter what stove you have I believe.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Kristin.


    I've burned wood in various situations and, like others on heart.com found out that basement walls, poured walls or block walls, simply soak up almost all the heat and you get very little benefit. The warmest you get is running to get more wood for the stove. In one basement we had we simply put up some 3/4" foam and it worked quite well. At least we got some heat then.

    Also on the wood, it is a common thought for most folks that if the tree is dead it does not need seasoning. That is rarely true! One good example is the elm we cut and burn now. We never cut the tree just when it is dead but wait until all the bark has fallen off. That would seem to assure it would be ready to burn because it is a few years after the tree dies before we cut it. However, although we could burn the very top of the tree (limbs), almost always there is still tons of moisture in the bottom 2/3 of the tree and it needs to sit for a year before burning.

    I also agree with BeGreen on the height of the chimney. That is difficult to keep it warm that far up, but you can't do much about that. For sure I'd hate to clean a chimney where you got that much creosote! That is a lot! That not only says the chimney is too cool but also says the wood is not dry enough.

    Good luck.
  11. dalmatiangirl61

    dalmatiangirl61 Member

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    OK guys, as I said in my first post, INSULATION IS NOT AN OPTION, it's not about money, its about architecture:) I played with the idea of at least furring the walls, but abandoned that idea because it would never look right. There are concrete arches, columns, and exposed beams in the ceiling with an arcade ceiling (lots of shallow arches), you'd have to see it to understand. One of my ideas is some big book shelves and entertainment center against an exterior wall with a 1" layer of insulation on the back and oriental rugs on most of the floor. I think the biggest difference will be when I start working on the floor above, that room is ICE cold, pretty much same temp as outdoors, its wood (with tons of holes in it) laid on top of the concrete that is my ceiling. The plan is to remove all the wood, frame floor 10-12"'s higher, run plumbing/electrical, insulate, then new flooring.

    I guess I'll have to get one of those HF moisture meters and check my wood, I burned half a cord of yellow pine this past year that had been split and stacked 4 years ago, honestly could not tell any difference. The white pine is usually missing all its bark, how long its been standing is unknown, buts its pretty dry. The yellow pine usually has thick bark with burn marks on a lot of pieces, its probably a bit fresher. Winters are long here, I'd have to store 16-18 cords of wood if I was going to let it season for a full year, uh, is there a way to speed that process up? This is Nevada, its bone friggin dry out here, dead things mummify before they rot, are we sure about that year factor. Has anyone designed a racking system so you can move a cord at a time with a forklift?

    My fresh air intake is a bit more, it's actually a home brew non-cat kinda upgrade, seemed to make stove burn hotter, I can tell when its really hot because the door binds and will not open, thats never been possible with the white pine, now it is. It appears to burn cleaner, but I have no way to tell for sure, I will say the neighbors called a few times recently checking to see if I had left town, it was freezing cold days and they could not see any smoke coming out of my chimney, yet it was cooking away on high, and it used to smoke like a locomotive. Cleaning the chimney this summer will let me know something.

    If you want to see the building go to www.mcgillclubhouse.com

    Kristin
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    OK, I can see this is where the next Hearth.com all hands party is going to be held. BYOS (bring your own stove)!

    Surprised you haven't moved up into one of the 36 bedrooms and just heat that for now.

    For the cordwood, just split it to accelerate drying and orient the stacks so that the prevailing wind blows through them. You might be able to work out pallet load stacks, with a pallet on top and bottom, ratchet strapped together, that could be moved by a forklift. At a cord a month I am not following why the 18 cords. Is there that much wood in the area?
  13. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    How would one of those 4 cuft cat stoves perform with 50' of pipe?
  14. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Thats why I suggested a large convection stove instead of insulation. Never ran the 3.4 enerzone, which I would normally sell for your application, on a 50' chimney. I know that on a 30' chimney once that sucker builds momentum there is NO slowing it down, so I would say that the 3.4 Enerzone would be a terrible choice. What would probably be a good idea is sticking a draft meter in that pipe when its running with the old clunker you got there and giving us the readings. Can see from them what stoves may or may not work.

    Again, masonry walls suck up heat..we all know that. In my experience the effect is felt much less with a convection stove, since it is creating loads of hot air. I've been a part of hundreds of basement stove installations. I checked the link by the way, neat old place.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Whee doggies, got a cement pond in the basement too.

    What about temporarily stringing up plastic sheeting to partition off a smaller space to heat in the winter?
  16. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    you are quite ambious. i appauld you. i have a house the size of a closet in there that i am renovating.

    i agree with begreen. the stove is only one small aspect of the situation. the wood fuel is one and the area its in is another. the memeber who worte about concrete walls (cinder too) are true, not much of a way around it. one susgestion i have is you can foam it out and apply stucco finishing to keep the original architechture you like (and i would agree) however i know this isnt the most cost effective method. I would figure a way to at least keep the area your in warm for now. this includes doors windows, that 'ceiling' above you etc. if what you said is true about the upper floors the only heat your feeling is it rushing past you to get out. try and make a plastic 'bubble' (obviously not close enough to melt or sufficate) where the stove is and your living quarters to see how much insulating helps. 6mil plastic vapor barrier is cheap compared to a new stove etc.
  17. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Looks like a job for a big bad wood boiler.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not sure where the temporary, under construction, budget stands or for how long. If it had to be temporary I would probably be stacking straw bales on the inside walls and plastic sheeting to contain the heat loss. Long term, a good wood boiler sounds attractive, but looking at the pictures and from memory of NV, I'm wondering where all the wood is going to come from.
  19. dalmatiangirl61

    dalmatiangirl61 Member

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    Hi guys, its me again, other than a few chimney fires that thankfully did not burn the building down, not much has changed. Once again I am contemplating replacing the "Creosote King", what suggestions can you make for a new wood stove? I'm open to all suggestions, wood stoves, pellet stoves, coal stoves, boiler setups etc.

    I've been burning some coal in this beast the last few winters, build up a good bed of wood coals then topping it with coal lumps for an all night burn, the room is not quite as cold in the mornings. Added a few oriental rugs in select areas last year, it definitely helped on keeping feet warm, so now I am on a buying spree of 9x12 oriental rugs to cover the whole floor:)
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Is coal a more readily available fuel? It's going to be about the only way to address the creosote problem. The 50ft chimney is cooling down the flue gases to below condensation temperatutre.

    How much of this bldg do you want to heat in sq ft?
  21. dalmatiangirl61

    dalmatiangirl61 Member

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    Wood is readily available, and local, Northern Nevada is nothing like the southern half of the state. Woods available are Aspen, Juniper, White Pine and Yellow Pine, there is a hardwood, but it is very slow growing, sparse, and not sustainable to harvest. Coal is brought in from Utah (I'm told its a low grade), or from Colorado for a better type of coal, I guess if I got a truckload either of those is possible.

    For now I'm just interested in heating about 2000 sq ft, one big room. Until I suck some millionaire investor into this fantasy, there is no point in thinking about the rest of the building. Once I have an investor money will no longer be an obstacle, nothing but the finest will do lol.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
  22. akbear

    akbear Member

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    one thing you might try is hanging some rugs on the walls or maybe better yet a radiant barrier (such as the mylar that they make emergency blankets (and you could really go high tech here as alternating layers of mylar and tulle is pretty much how they insulate things for space) or the bubble wrap type like garage door blankets are made of) and perhaps that might reflect a bit of heat back instead of allowing so much to be sucked up into the walls, but not be as permanent or involved as an all over insulating scenario for the time being (heavy drapes would be another such solution, so long as you cut off the airflow behind them so as not to create a thermal convection flow) Of course these suggestions would be for areas far enough away from the stove as anything near the stove to reflect heat back would have to be non-combustible.

    Another would be to put a heat sink near the stove, a stack of bricks, concrete blocks or even drums of water so that it can absorb some of the heat and radiate it back out which the walls can not do as they are pretty much a one way transfer to the colder outdoors.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  23. daleeper

    daleeper Minister of Fire

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    Quite a big block of concrete to heat there. Of course you have several issues working against you in heating this place. Your creasote problem will be reduced as you start burning drier wood. In fact, I am surprised it is a problem as hard as you burn your stove. Are you burning the stove damped down quite a bit?

    It has already been said that the concrete/rock is sucking that heat out as fast as the stove produces it. I would be looking for wall treatments that would show the architeture details, yet slow the heat loss. About the only other thing you can do is partition off a smaller area to heat. You cannot beat the laws of nature. It is going to take massive amounts of wood to heat the space without help from insulation regardless of the style/type/size of stove. EPA stove should help reduce it, but it's not going to be the magic bullet in this space. Long term solution is going to be a furnace/boiler that can generate a massive amount of heat. You will at some point finally give in to insulation or go stone-cold broke without it.

    Anyway, if you are determined to stick with a stove, get the biggest one you can find. Blaze King, Buck, and maybe a few others make big stoves that will burn cleaner than that old stove and will have more control over the fire. My fil has a big old fisher, and it is a hard one to control, always too hot, or smoldering, can't seem to get it to cruse well, of course it is too big for the space in all but the coldest days, and creates a lot of creosote burning the same kind of wood you are.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    With wood, even if it is drier than a mouse fart, that 50 ft stack is going to be an issue. Not so with coal. That said, for wood, get a nice big stove like the Kuma Sequoia or the Lennox Country Canyon ST310. For coal, go to this coal forum and ask about your options for a good bituminous coal burner. They are helpful folks there. www.nepacrossroads.com.
  25. dalmatiangirl61

    dalmatiangirl61 Member

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    Ok guys, for starters I burn this thing wide open most of the time, if the metal starts popping too much I might cut intake air a bit, but at that point you can barely stand next to the stove its so hot.

    The plan for next summer is plastering the walls, I do plan on using microspheres and a ceramic add mixture that reflects heat, but I'm not holding my breath on those being a solution.

    I'm willing to burn coal, waste oil, wood, new born babies_g, etc, I just want balmy warmth!

    Tell me about coal stoker stoves, wood/oil stoves, wood/coal/oil stoves, boiler stoves etc, getting something oversized probably is not a problem, I'll use excess heat elsewhere:)
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013

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