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Unique Situation...I need a bigger stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by djc2982, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. djc2982

    djc2982 New Member

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    What is unique is the home/hearth design. I worked with our architect when we built the house and designed it with an alcove hearth for a wood stove. I have two air handler ducts that sit directly above the stove and service the entire upstairs as well as the other side of the home. Bottom line: I can move the heat easily away from the stove.

    I originally had a VC Defiant with cat. This lasted about 3 years when I finally decided that it simply was not cutting it. In an effort to get more heat out of it I overburned it on a regular basis and after 3 years the enamel was a mess. I would rip through about 7+ cord in a winter.

    I now have a Quadra-Fire 5700 step top (no cat). It was a vast improvement over the VC and managed to keep the entire house comfortable until about 3 years ago when we completed an addition. The house is now about 4500 sf and I would ideally like to heat about 3500-4000 of it. I have been burning about 6 cord with the 5700 (before and after the addition).

    In addition, I would like to cut down on my feed time (every 6 hours at most) if possible. While aesthetics are not a top priority I would like something that looks decent and preferably has a glass door. Build quality is very important and maintenance ease and frequency are also a big concerns. While I am cost conscious I have no budget and would be willing to pay accordingly to get my needs/desires met.

    I feel I need a stove with ~4.0 cuft fire box and 100k btu or more output.

    I wanted to also add that the 8" metal-bestos (sp) pipe run is about 45' and straight up from the stove in a (newly, courtesy of the addition) interior chase providing a substantial draft I assume. I damped the VC but was advised against it for the 5700, which reduces to a 6" at the stove. I have had others tell me that I should install a dampener on the 5700 and others tell me not to. What does the collective wisdom say and why?

    Thanks to all in advance for any and all help.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You could try the Blaze King King though it might not outperform the 5700. This really is the job for a wood furnace or boiler, or multiple stoves.

    Did the architect mention that the air handler ducts are in violation of mechanical code that requires them to be at least 10 ft from the stove? Hope the ducts at least have fusible link fire dampers.
  3. djc2982

    djc2982 New Member

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    Thanks begreen. Want to make sure that I if I make the change, I will see a difference.

    With all the work that went in the design it would kill me to put a 2nd stove in when I know I can handle the heat from one location.

    I have seriously considered the furnace route but man would that be ugly in the middle of the Living Room.

    Was thinking that the Hearthstone Equinox might be a consideration. Specs say it should work but that doesn't mean much to me (4.0 box and 110k btu output). Not sure about the build quality either, all those grout lines would worry me.

    Yes, fire safety stops in both returns.
  4. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I don't think a cat stove or a soapstone stove would be the right fit in this situation if you want BTU's to be blasted out to be sucked up by the returns, everything to me is saying this is wood furnace territory, but I hear what you are saying about the looks in the living room.

    What about the Englander add-on furnace http://www.englanderstoves.com/28-3500.html
  5. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I have a small 4" duct (with a standard 4x12" intake grate) above my 2nd floor Soapstone stove that goes down the wall behind the stove and into my 1st floor bedroom below the stove with a small 4" inline fan. It heats my bedroom to between 64 and 68 depending on how hot the stove is, and how cold it is outside. Perfect comfy sleeping temp for me. The moral of the story is, I don't think it matters what the material stove is made of, heat rises period. If the duct intakes are above the stove, it will suck in heat. ;)

    However, there are stoves/inserts with built in blowers for blowing hot air to an adjacent room.... you might want to look into one of those, it would certainly work better.
  6. A1Stoves.com

    A1Stoves.com Minister of Fire

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    our county approves them all the time, can you point me to where said code could be located?

    OP, 45' is very tall. some stoves may have chimney height limited to 40' or less.
    example: avalon olympic, max chimney is 33'.
    i'd rec'd damper! maybe two :)
  7. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I see that mentioned here all the time. After questioning folks around LI about it (engineers, builders, home and business construction guys, county inpector, lic. HVAC), none of them claimed that was code. 1st problem is, the duct work normally goes into, out of, and around the cental heating system in the first place, so how would it be posible?

    They did mention there is specific code about where a return INTAKE (not the duct work from it) may be located, but not the duct work iteself.
  8. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    Agree with the damper suggestion - My chimney's a little more than half the height of yours and I feel like the damper offers much better control.

    Also interested in knowing about the code issue. Neither my stove installer nor the insurance inspector mentioned any problem with the return duct being in close proximity to the stove, but I'd like to know if it is an issue.
  9. A1Stoves.com

    A1Stoves.com Minister of Fire

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    my county official didn't have anything to say about this issue when i asked him, so i dont make an issue of it when doing real estate or insurance inspections.
    maybe other counties/states enforce it??
  10. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Return air intake of a conventional heating system should be 10 ft away from stove/fireplace according to the information I have found.
  11. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    It's gonna be impossible to any better than you are already doing, unless you switch over to a furnace, or add another stove. A Blaze King would be the only real option here, but you would need to run it on a pretty high setting, blowing away the benefit of the long burn times. I really enjoy running multiple stoves, it's kinda fun! If you go with a furnace, they make efficient furnaces that also have a glass door. It wouldn't look too bad. http://www.psg-distribution.com/products.aspx?CategoId=16
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Dig back into old threads on the topic. This has been repeated chapter and verse several times.
  13. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    Maybe a 2nd stove is the best option?
  14. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    thoughts...our home is now about 4000 sq ft with the new addition...the farthest room is upstairs and around a sharp corner. We can keep that room at 65. How warm do you need the farthest area? Maybe the answer is not stove upgrade but proper air circulation. We have ceiling fans in every room and they help a ton
  15. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    If money is no object, look into a hand built soapstone masonry heater. They probably can be built to put out more than 100,000 BTUs.

    I don't think you'll find many stoves that put out 100,000 BTU. Woodstock's Progress Hybrid puts out at least 80,000 with hardwood, and easily routinely achieves 12 hour burns with substantial heat throughout the burn, much longer burns with full loads and low end burn rates if less heat output is needed in milder weather.
  16. djc2982

    djc2982 New Member

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    Thanks to all contributors to the discussion. I think it best to state that a second stove is simply not an option. I feel I have the "unique" situation of simply needing a larger output..a BTU rating that does not exist or is not easily found. And for good reason....not many people in a residential setting can move that kind of heat.

    So...my problem..or my solution...get a bigger stove...and that is what I want to concentrate on now. In fact I have my Quadra Fire 5700 on the chopping block as we speak (ebay #190807022070).

    I have to say that when I posted originally I was hoping that there would be a collective finger pointed at the Equinox...making my decision making process much easier. I had found the equinox only hours before posting my question and was very excited that..finally...I found a stove with the specs I was looking for. It has a box that is 33% bigger and a mfg listed output of 46% more than the Quad 5700 (110k vs 75k BTU)!!..on paper...a perfect solution.

    What I am getting however is that the Equinox is not the answer and will only give me marginally better performance. In fact I have heard more about the Blazeking than the Equinox. Is it that the specs on the equinox are erroneous or overstated? Burning continuously, as we do, from Oct - March, it seems that a soap would be a good fit with the larger thermal mass.

    I will look into a custom fab if I have to but would like to make sure I have not overlooked something already produced.

    Again, thanks to all and keep the suggestions and comments coming.
  17. Eaglecraft

    Eaglecraft Member

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    Dave:

    About the building code requirement, I think that this is the pertinent section: 2009 IRC - One and Two Family Dwellings - Chapter 16 Exhaust Systems - Section M1602 Return Air, pages 493 and 494, M1602.2 Prohibited sources: outdoor and return air for forced-air heating or cooling system shall not be taken from the following locations: 5. A room or space containing a fuel-burning appliance where such room or space serves as the sole source of return air. Exceptions: 2.3: Return-air inlets shall not be located within 10 feet... of any appliance firebox or draft hood in the same room or space. 3. Rooms or spaces containing solid-fuel burning appliances, if return air inlets are located not less than 10 feet from the firebox of those appliances.

    So my take on this section is that the code provides an exception of prohibited sources for return air concerning wood burning stoves, if the return air inlets are 10 feet or greater away from the firebox.
    rideau and ailanthus like this.
  18. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    So, if I have one forced air return ~2' from my stove & a second air return in another room, it sounds like that would be kosher?
  19. djc2982

    djc2982 New Member

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    Hijack alert....I understand your concern about fire code for returns but it has little to do with the focus of the current thread.

    Would it be possible to move that discussion to another thread? Thanks again!
  20. Burd

    Burd Feeling the Heat

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    Not sure if this would be a option. But some inserts have 2 additional duct work that come straight off the unit this duct work can be hooked up to exciting duct work. You should check out Scottyoverkill project.
    Dont be fooled some of these insert are built like a furnace and you still get a great look. ( I think scotty installed a Napoleon 7200 with 12hr burn times and a huge box)
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    No hijack intended at all. This is a significant concern for some that may be reading this post, now and in the future. Installing a stove and then having it fail inspection or not get insurance coverage can be costly.
    A1Stoves.com likes this.
  22. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Steel stove like the Quad is in my mind what you want for this application, I don't think you can run the soapstone stoves as hard.
  23. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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  24. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    You can get a ton of heat out of the Progress Hybrid.

    Original poster, look at the information about the Progress Hybrid at the Woodstock site, then call and talk with them. The stove by far surpassed both the Blaze King King and the Equinox in EPA testing for high end output...and is very efficient, as it has both catalytic and secondaru burn. Comes with a full 6 month money back including shipping, no questions asked, if you aren;t satisfied for any reason. In addition, Woodstock is coming out with a new, larger, I believe less expensive, stove in the Autumn, which will have a larger window as well as larger firebox, and will be front loading, a first for Woodstock. May even have some new technology for thermostatically controlling the temperature of the stove? Anyway, call and talk with them. They are great, and very helpful, and do not in any way mind fielding inquiries of any sort. They will telll you honestly if the PH would not be a good choice for your installation requirements and heating needs. They want satisfied customers.

    They might recommend going with the Progress Hybrid, or they might suggest waiting for the new stove. If you tried the PH and it didn't work for you, you could return and get the enw stove when it comes out if you wished. The PH is on sale at the moment, a very good price.

    PH is a beautiful stove, easy to run, has built in cooktop, is miserly in wood usage for heat produced.
  25. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    You don't mention where you are located climate-wise, and while obviously the house is recently built, and since you planned it yourself, probably built well, but maybe there are still insulation or airsealing improvements that might help. Are those ducts insulated, that trips up many people trying to move stove air?
    That is however, a big house.
    TE

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