Blaze King install puzzle

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Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
119
Slatington, Pennsylvania
I have a conundrum to solve for installing a Blaze King #40 in a sixties ranch house basement with a low, seven-foot ceiling height to the wooden joists and wooden floor above. An 8" diameter rigid stainless pipe (leading to the base of the 8" rigid stainless-lined vermiculite-insulated sixteen foot chimney) protudes out of the poured cement foundation at 45 degrees about five feet above the basement cement floor.

This is the puzzle to solve:

(1) If I install the stove on its almost one foot high pedestal, there will be room for only about 12 inches of vertical pipe out of the stove top before it turns at 45 degrees to meet the pipe protruding from the wall. BUT Blaze King says it requires at least two feet (preferably three feet) of vertical rise from the stove top.

(2) If I DON'T use the pedestal, there will be about two feet of vertical rise from the stove before turning, BUT I have not been able to learn whether the stove will work without the pedestal. Blaze King can only say that the unit "has not been tested without a base." I can't see why it wouldn't work just as well without the pedestal base because the main, or only, between-the-walls flow-around air intake is located more than an inch above the bottom of the unit. The pedestal holds the ash drawer, but I prefer to shovel out the ashes, so I don't need the pedestal just for an ash drawer.

(3) A third possibility is to mount the stove on custom 1" rails (with four bolt holes drilled to the pattern of the pedestal) to provide some air space underneath. I think there would be just as much air movement under most of the stove as with the pedestal, because most of the pedestal is actually a closed box containing the ash drawer. But the 1" rails would sacrifice 1" of the critical "absolute minimum" 24" vertical smokestack rise.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,437
South Puget Sound, WA
That's an odd setup. It might work on the pedestal if draft is sufficient. Without the pedestal the hearth protection requirement is unknown.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
119
Slatington, Pennsylvania
That's an odd setup. It might work on the pedestal if draft is sufficient. Without the pedestal the hearth protection requirement is unknown.
The hearth protection issue should not apply because it is on the non-flammable concrete basement floor surrounded by non-flammable poured concrete foundation walls. The only flammable material is the wooden floor joists and floor overhead, and I have a square of insulating material over the stove protecting the joists and floor.

If the stove draws air just as well at floor level (that's what I really need to know, and Blaze King can only say to me "it hasn't been tested without" legs or pedestal base) then the only concern is to maximize the length of vertical rise from the stove top (BK says it must be at least two feet) and minimize the angle of turn and horizontal length before going up the chimney.

The BK dealer stopped by to make the sale, he climbed up and looked down the chimney and looked at the basement location, and said it would fit. I did not have the measurements at the time and couldn't picture it properly since I hadn't actually seen one (just going on research that led me to the slow-burning, longest-burning catalytic) so I signed the paperwork and paid in full. That was about nine months ago. The stove took months to arrive and then the dealer delayed delivering and installing it for months, finally lost his only installer and had no one to install, and also stopped delivering stoves. So I made the long drive to bring it home, and it was difficult to remove from the pickup truck by myself.

On a hunch that more space was needed, before I brought it home I removed the concrete platform that the old oil heater was on, to give it maximum space.

Incidentally, the stove is "non-returnable" because, the dealer said, no one wants them. " We never sell THOSE stoves." I think he sold a lot of the smaller Princess models in the past though. The price of stoves has gone up, and since all I've done so far is remove it from the crate and packaging, I suppose it could be sold to someone else at cost. Then I would need to look for another stove that would fit the space better, and pay even more now that stove prices have risen.

Thanks for your help. I'm looking forward to being on the site and learning more about stoves and firewood.
 
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Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
119
Slatington, Pennsylvania
Your basement floor is a concrete slab above earth?
Yes. The floor is poured on earth. I removed the concrete platform that the old oil heater was on, which was over 3 inches high, plus about four more inches of concrete floor down to the earth, then poured new concrete to level up with the rest of the floor. Most of the basement floor is about three or four inches thick, over earth. No covered pipes or wires under the floor, just earth.

The stove location is on concrete floor and next to poured concrete foundation wall. Nothing flammable except above it: the floor joists and floor. But I have a square of insulating material under the floor directly above the stove location.

The only way I could get more height would be to jackhammer the concrete floor again and make a one-foot or two foot-deep pit to put the stove in. This basement never floods, so it might work.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,320
07462
Are you factoring the classic pedestal (thats the shorter of the (2) offered)
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,549
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Look in the owner's manual for the ceiling height requirement. My princess had this requirement and I barely met it. It's something like 48" above the stove top. Your really low 7' ceilings are close.

Personally, if you have to pick one rule to break, I would prefer to install it with a pedestal in one of the approved BK configurations but skimp on the minimum vertical height above the stove to the first bend. It's not ideal.

The classic pedestal was really short.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,437
South Puget Sound, WA
If you put a match in front of the open, chimney liner (or an incense stick) does the flame get pulled into the flue or blown out by downdraft?

With the hearth issue out of the way, if draft is sufficient, I would go ahead and install it on the pedestal with the short vertical pipe. It may work ok if there are no issues due to negative pressure in the basement.

If you do have backdraft, take a heat gun, torch, or hair dryer and try reversing the draft by warming up the flue for 5 minutes. If that works, then that may be necessary through the bypass, when doing a cold start.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,062
Colorado
Just curious to find out if I am thinking about this right here--if you brought the pipe up higher on the first floor level --where would it be and what would that do? just curious but that heating draft check might be great too ...clancey
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,110
central pa
Yes. The floor is poured on earth. I removed the concrete platform that the old oil heater was on, which was over 3 inches high, plus about four more inches of concrete floor down to the earth, then poured new concrete to level up with the rest of the floor. Most of the basement floor is about three or four inches thick, over earth. No covered pipes or wires under the floor, just earth.

The stove location is on concrete floor and next to poured concrete foundation wall. Nothing flammable except above it: the floor joists and floor. But I have a square of insulating material under the floor directly above the stove location.

The only way I could get more height would be to jackhammer the concrete floor again and make a one-foot or two foot-deep pit to put the stove in. This basement never floods, so it might work.
Does that mean your basement walls are uninsulated?
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
119
Slatington, Pennsylvania
Just curious to find out if I am thinking about this right here--if you brought the pipe up higher on the first floor level --where would it be and what would that do? just curious but that heating draft check might be great too ...clancey
There is no way I could go any higher. Above the basement stove location on the first floor is the living room hearth, so I can't go up there. I'm using the location of the old (circa 1970) oil heater (that I just removed along with the original oil tank from 1964 that was beginning to leak) and I found that the hole for the oil heater exhaust was in the wrong place, more than a foot out of line with the flue (another major mistake that was made when this foundation was laid out and poured in the middle of the winter, almost 60 years ago) so I had to cut another hole through the concrete and fill the old one with cement.

I also removed the 4" high concrete platform that the oil heater was on and poured new cement level with the rest of the floor. But maybe what I really should have done at the point was dig a two-foot pit and line it with cement and a drain, to make more head room for the stove.
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
119
Slatington, Pennsylvania
What I really need to know is whether not having the pedestal base attached would make any difference in stove performance. The stove is double-walled for flow-through convection, but it seems to get most or all of the flow-through air through the slot in the rear that is already off the floor, above the bottom of the stove.

Blaze King only says "the stove has never been tested" without a base, which doesn't answer my question. I noted that BK inserts have no base and set directly on a floor or hearth.

A third alternative I've thought of is mounting the stove just one inch above the floor on custom square-tube rails with four bolt holes drilled in them to match the pattern of the pedestal's bolt holes.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
27,110
central pa
Yes, but they're below ground and not especially cold in winter. Just plain 18" thick poured concrete foundation wall.
They will not feel all that cold but it will eat up BTUs. As much as 1/3 of the BTUs produced by your stove can end up being wasted heating the ground around your house
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,074
Long Island NY
Also, while I don't think there are major safety issues with removing the pedestal if combustion air is not obstructed, BKs statement essentially indicates the following: modify the stove and the UL listing will be voided.

You might run into insurance trouble if shtf. They might use this (however (not) justified) to avoid paying out when you need it most.

Again, on concrete it won't likely be a safety issue (says this individual on a website...), but they'll use anything to avoid paying a couple of 100 grand to replace your home....

Just a thought to consider.

I second the "you'll loose 1/3 of the BTUs" if your basement is not insulated.
 
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charger4406

Feeling the Heat
Dec 25, 2011
273
southern Quebec

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
119
Slatington, Pennsylvania
Look in the owner's manual for the ceiling height requirement. My princess had this requirement and I barely met it. It's something like 48" above the stove top. Your really low 7' ceilings are close.

Personally, if you have to pick one rule to break, I would prefer to install it with a pedestal in one of the approved BK configurations but skimp on the minimum vertical height above the stove to the first bend. It's not ideal.

The classic pedestal was really short.

The ultra pedestal with ash pan is nearly 11” tall but the classic pedestal is really small with no ash pan.
Thanks, Highbeam! That's good information, something very important that I somehow missed. I remember telling the salesman very plainly I wanted the least expensive base, and I assumed I got it. But I just looked it up and see what I got is the bigger, fancy "Ultra" pedestal, and the "Classic" base that I didn't get is almost 6 inches shorter. I was surprised to discover that there was an ash pan in the base, but it didn't dawn on me. Yes I got the wrong base. But the right base would still take away five inches from the crucial minimum 2 foot vertical stove pipe rise UL listing requirement - unless I carve out a five inch depression in the concrete floor. I'm thinking about getting out the concrete saw. But I still don't know whether the unit functions just as well on the floor as on a base. Still thinking....
 

Slate Dale

Member
Dec 27, 2021
119
Slatington, Pennsylvania
Also, while I don't think there are major safety issues with removing the pedestal if combustion air is not obstructed, BKs statement essentially indicates the following: modify the stove and the UL listing will be voided.

You might run into insurance trouble if shtf. They might use this (however (not) justified) to avoid paying out when you need it most.

Again, on concrete it won't likely be a safety issue (says this individual on a website...), but they'll use anything to avoid paying a couple of 100 grand to replace your home....

Just a thought to consider.

I second the "you'll loose 1/3 of the BTUs" if your basement is not insulated.
Good point about insurance. It would require every detail of the installation manual be followed to the letter. Thanks for reminding that the UL listing is voided by lack of a BK base. A custom 1" tube rail base, no matter how safe, sturdy and functional, would make it a non-UL stove.

Good point also about the major heat loss from having un-insulated walls and floor. But the basement is where the water pipes are that must not freeze, and no electric fans will be needed to move the stove heat from down here to every other part of the house, because heat rises. I can't insulate the poured cement floor now (with a seven foot ceiling height every inch counts) but insulation boards could be mounted to the inside of the basement walls. I'm hoping that uninsulated foundation walls might add a little heat in the coldest part of winter (transmitting the 55 degree ground temperature to the basement when it's zero outside) and they do seem to have a cooling effect in summer.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,437
South Puget Sound, WA
the crucial minimum 2 foot vertical stove pipe rise UL listing requirement
I am not sure that is a required minimum. More like a recommended minimum. UL testing was probably with a straight-up pipe.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,074
Long Island NY
The manual says required. (And it likely has no bearing on the UL listing). However, some folks run with less than that. The point is then to have enough total height of the stack to create sufficient draft to pull enough thru the horizontal run.

If your total height exceeds the minimum by more than a little it may be ok to cut 5" off thr length before the 90 elbow.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,437
South Puget Sound, WA
The manual says minimum 2' rise required, 3'recommended before a 90º elbow.. It also says using 45's instead of a 90 for an external chimney is better. In this case there would be a 45º elbow off of the 1' rise. That's not covered in the manual because it's an usual setup. Considering the flue system I think this might work ok if the basement location is not a negative pressure zone. That's why a basic draft test was suggested earlier.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,549
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
The ceiling height thing might be the real killer here. Is that requirement still in the king manual?
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
I'm the guy you spoke to here at Blaze King. If you install the King model and it doesn't perform as intended, you'll have a used wood stove, still in demand, but used.

There were two points to our conversation. First, installing it without a tested base changes all the necessary clearances to combustibles. Since we did not test the stove without a pedestal and if you had an insurance claim, it would be an issue.

Second was the performance part of the discussion. Smoke spillage as a result of insufficient vertical rise, thermostat responsiveness to radiant heat off surrounding solid (masonry) structure. We discussed drilling a hole higher up on the chimney and you reminded me of the short ceiling height. This stove is not going to work for your installation.

As I mentioned, take the stove back to the dealer or sell it new. In fact, this wonderful site has a component to sell your stove. Then you can purchase a different stove that will work with your particular needs. We are 12 weeks out on delivery, so there is plenty of demand.

Perhaps, changing the focus of this thread might be "Which stoves will work with my installation parameters". Then these folks will give you great input.

If I lived near you, I'd come help you yard that King out of the basement and into your pickup. Maybe a case of beer and a few phone calls to buddies will help.