Air Intake - Bucket Method Questions

MrBrown80

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
20
Rhode Island
Bit of a newb here and this forum has been super helpful. I bought a used NC30 and installed it in my basement (replacing the old stove) and it made me very happy last winter. Thanks for all the advice. Looking forward to an even warmer one this year.

With the basement install air and startup is a bit of an issue. I can crack a window when starting to help but that loses some heat. Someone told me I could make an air intake without this problem by putting a pvc pipe through the wall that goes down to a bucket. That sounds be pretty easy to do but I had some questions.

1) What size of PVC and bucket should I use?
2) Does the bucket need to be lower than the stove itself?
3) What do I need to know about pipe lengths and angles?
4) Does it matter how high the hole in the wall is compared to everything else?

And lastly, would I better off with a proper outside air kit? (my Englander has the big fan if that matters) If so some references to pictures of installing one on this unit would be nice... I see a lot of talk about it but can't seem to find pictures of how the install works. My basement is not terribly tight, if that makes any difference (but apparently tight enough that opening a window helps). It may get tighter (I may have additional insulation added but haven't so far).

Thanks for any help!
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,374
PA
The bucket acts as an air trap in theory, keeping cold air from pouring into the room. You cant attach an outside air kit in a basement unless you have a walkout and can keep all of the piping and inlet below the stove. It can, again in theory, act as a chimney in certain scenarios when routed above the stove..
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,040
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I think the bucket or even j-trap idea is far fetched hope. It won’t hurt to end the tube in a bucket but you may as well just end it near the stove but not connected to the stove. The only difference between this and an open window is that you might suck less room air up the chimney and more air from the outside intake.

The nc30 can easily blow smoke out of the inlets. So don’t direct connect if you’re in a basement.
 
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Rickb

Minister of Fire
Oct 24, 2012
1,045
St.Louis
Have you tried to just use a blow torch to warm the flue and get the air moving?
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,040
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Have you tried to just use a blow torch to warm the flue and get the air moving?
They work great for starting the fire too. First blast up the stack for a few seconds and then at the wood just enough to make some smoke and verify it’s going the right direction before really torching the load.
 
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MrBrown80

New Member
Oct 28, 2018
20
Rhode Island
The bucket acts as an air trap in theory, keeping cold air from pouring into the room. You cant attach an outside air kit in a basement unless you have a walkout and can keep all of the piping and inlet below the stove. It can, again in theory, act as a chimney in certain scenarios when routed above the stove..
Right, that's what I've heard about the bucket. Does it work? It would be trivial to install if it's ok to have the bucket higher than the stove itself.

Got it, so no OAK with pipes going above the stove. I do have a walkout. It would be a bit awkward (the pipe would have to run along the floor and across the garage about 20-30 feet rather than straight out the wall) but I could do that. Is it worth it? What kind of difference could I expect? Probably not worth it for how awkward it would be, but a pipe running along a wall like a baseboard wouldn't be terrible.

I think the bucket or even j-trap idea is far fetched hope. It won’t hurt to end the tube in a bucket but you may as well just end it near the stove but not connected to the stove. The only difference between this and an open window is that you might suck less room air up the chimney and more air from the outside intake.

The nc30 can easily blow smoke out of the inlets. So don’t direct connect if you’re in a basement.
Got it... ok, I guess no direct connect then.

Do you think the bucket (or just a pipe as you suggest) method is worth a try? Burning less room air does sound nice. In theory I imagine this would help the room stay a little less stuffy too, right?

Have you tried to just use a blow torch to warm the flue and get the air moving?
I haven't. I was under the impression that that was a substantial / expensive piece of equipment I'd have no other use for, but revisiting this I might be mistaken. Can you recommend one that would do the job?

Usually the fire burns ok once it gets going, but some air intake one way or another would help. It drafts ok but it's a little weak. It does burn better with a window open even after it gets going.
 

Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,374
PA
Right, that's what I've heard about the bucket. Does it work? It would be trivial to install if it's ok to have the bucket higher than the stove itself.

Got it, so no OAK with pipes going above the stove. I do have a walkout. It would be a bit awkward (the pipe would have to run along the floor and across the garage about 20-30 feet rather than straight out the wall) but I could do that. Is it worth it? What kind of difference could I expect? Probably not worth it for how awkward it would be, but a pipe running along a wall like a baseboard wouldn't be terrible.



Got it... ok, I guess no direct connect then.

Do you think the bucket (or just a pipe as you suggest) method is worth a try? Burning less room air does sound nice. In theory I imagine this would help the room stay a little less stuffy too, right?



I haven't. I was under the impression that that was a substantial / expensive piece of equipment I'd have no other use for, but revisiting this I might be mistaken. Can you recommend one that would do the job?

Usually the fire burns ok once it gets going, but some air intake one way or another would help. It drafts ok but it's a little weak. It does burn better with a window open even after it gets going.

I would just crack a door until the fire is established. Not worth it if you have to route it around the wall and through the garage.IMO
The bucket idea could work. You could configure some type of shutoff for when not in use.
A propane torch is very inexpensive. Just think of it as a large grill lighter.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,040
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
And you’ll come up with all kinds of uses for a trigger finger ignited torch. It was like 30$ including a mapp gas bottle at Home Depot.

The nc30 doesn’t have an airtight intake system anyway. Just one of four intake holes in the stove are connected to the intake nipple on the rear of the stove. The rest are just sucking room air.

Since you have identified a tight home where your stove is actually air starved unless you open a window, I would provide an intake for the stove but just terminate the intake pipe close to the stove out of sight in back. At the end of that pipe I would place some means of closing it or reducing it should you need to.

Feel free to add a bucket or j-trap at the end of the pipe for funzies.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,864
South Puget Sound, WA
Since you have identified a tight home where your stove is actually air starved unless you open a window, I would provide an intake for the stove but just terminate the intake pipe close to the stove out of sight in back. At the end of that pipe I would place some means of closing it or reducing it should you need to.

Feel free to add a bucket or j-trap at the end of the pipe for funzies.
This^. I would drop the outside air close to the back of the stove. Put a screen on the outside inlet and maybe add a valve on pipe to close off the air when the stove is not burning. Drop the end into a metal bucket terminating an inch or two from the bottom. Let us know how it works.
 
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Ludlow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2018
1,374
PA
This^. I would drop the outside air close to the back of the stove. Put a screen on the outside inlet and maybe add a valve on pipe to close off the air when the stove is not burning. Drop the end into a metal bucket terminating an inch or two from the bottom. Let us know how it works.

Certainly! Try it and report back. Nice experiment.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,698
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
As Ludlow said earlier, the entire intake should be below the firebox, which is often not going to happen for a basement stoves, which is why there are so many threads about this on hearth.