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To OAK or not to OAK

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by BigJohnfromCT, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. tsmith

    tsmith Minister of Fire

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    I fabricated mine this way. I used a steel plate with the holes drilled for the base plate and JB welded a 3" long piece of galvanized pipe to it to attach the flex pipe. Still working great after 4 years. I also fabricated one for my Harman as well, although this already had the attachment for the flex pipe.
    St_Earl likes this.

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  2. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

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    And there's other things that are more fun that will have the same effect ...............................;);););););););););););););)
  3. midfielder

    midfielder Feeling the Heat

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    Yeah, the stove doesn't need it; the house does.
    P38X2 likes this.
  4. DneprDave

    DneprDave Feeling the Heat

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    Western WA
    Houses are not airtight. You won't pull the oxygen out of your house or burn more fuel without an outside air kit.

    They're not a bad idea, but they are not necessary either.

    Dave
    Jack Morrissey likes this.
  5. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    yeah. outside of a tight mobile home or the like, the oxygen is not the reason most of us have OAKS.
  6. Lowarea

    Lowarea New Member

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    Horseheads NY
    My house goes negative pressure when running the stove hard. It's my next project.
  7. daffonce

    daffonce New Member

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    Ive said it before ill say it again. If you do a simple energy balance an oak can decrease heat requirements of a home by about 10%. No oak your stove draws room temp air at say 70F from your home. This air is replaced by outside air. My calculations showed that heating outside 0F air to 70F that your interior air is can take about 5000 btu/hr. If you have a 50000 btu/hr stove with no oak you are wasting 10% of your stoves capacity.
  8. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    The plain simple truth- A lot of the decision for OAK is pure personal preference. I work at a dealership- pretty tired of hearing the mundane "dealer says I don't need one" I'm betting most dealers mention it and prob discuss merits for either way and as soon as a customer finds out it might be more costly, it goes away. When installing, I promoted OAK's they're not much extra work and in most cases, can't hurt the performance of a stove. In my own two pellet stoves, I have them and am glad I do, when running my wood stove, hopefully it helps my woodstove not have to compete for inside air if the pellet stoves are running. And as for the guy who thinks "most dealers are clueless and don't have pellet stoves" why don't you Sir step up and tell people how to select, make the best buy possible, explain to people who "already know more than you" how they are not running their stoves properly, not cleaning them properly, wanting you to fix their stove only when its convenient for them etc etc etc. I like helping people out on these forums too, but comments like that make me wonder why. But yes, yes, yes use an OAK if possible, its worth it.
    St_Earl likes this.
  9. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    ^ yep.
    i commented "dealers always say that" based on the preponderance of people here posting that their dealer had told them they don't need an OAK.
    i could maybe better have said "a great number of dealers say that".

    but i saw that comment about "most dealers not owning pellet stoves" and them being "clueless" and i winced a little.

    the one time i needed help and called my dealer, he talked me through my situation and i ended up just clearing an upper auger jam instead of tearing into vacuum switches and other stuff.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  10. Nicholas440

    Nicholas440 Feeling the Heat

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    Northeast Oh
    I have a Quadrafire Castile insert, and the reason I don't have and OAK is because for the Quad its useless. The fire pot on the Quad has 3/8 inch holes all around it and as it's burning the firepot pulls air in through these holes. The installer said you can hook up and OAK but you're still going to draw cold air at the floor level to the stove because those holes will draw the air in thats what they do. So I don't use an OAK.
  11. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    is the air inlet opening under the ash drawer in the castile insert?

    *ah. found this thread.
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...r-summers-heat-55-shpahl-burning-ideas.64325/

    reading on page 1 of that thread, it seems the oak inlet to the ash pan area is different on the insert than on a free standing castile, CB1200 or even my heatilator. but they all use the quad burnpot.
    from what i can tell by reading and looking at pics, the insert has an even more direct air path from the OAK since the air flows over the top edge of the rear side of the ash drawer which is cut at an angle to allow this.
    i'd have to say that useless is not a good description if the oak air still comes into the same compartment where the burnpot is.

    a smoke test at the base of my stove (w/ quad burnpot) during start up, with the combustion blower on but before the room air blower kicks in, shows the smoke rising straight up along the outside of the stove.
    it's only when the room air blower comes on that the smoke is drawn under or into the side panel gaps toward the squirrel cages.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  12. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    I felt much better once I installed one in terms of indoor air quality. I was quite surprised best $50 I spent to improve indoor air quality.
  13. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    Id be curious if any others user have one if they can feel air being pulled from the OAK on a Castile. The air will come from the path of least resistance maybe in the Castile case its the stove itself. I know with my Classic Bay I could feel the air being sucked from the OAK. The gaps at various locations where it could possibly pull air I sealed up with silicone so 99% of the air comes from the OAK now. I know the Castile is more freestanding though.
  14. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    my dealer never even brought it up. never even heard of it till I came here....
  15. StormPanic

    StormPanic Member

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    my dealer told me I only needed it if my house was super tight.
    Lowarea likes this.

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