Choosing a durable, economical wood stove

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,667
central pa
Seriously, if we have to make the chimney taller, HOW? When we put the addition onto the house, we can actually make it a lower room (think bi-level). The land is sloped down immediately in front of the house so it'll actually be easier to build it a few steps down. That will make it easier to have a higher ceiling in that room--perhaps 4-5 feet taller. What I'm getting at is that if we were to move the wood stove to the addition, the chimney wouldn't have to stick up quite so far above the roof. My husband's concern is that if we make the chimney taller, we'll have to brace it, which means risking more roof leaks where the braces are attached to the roof. Every place he has to drill a hole or drill anything into the roof, there is the potential for leaks. Any other suggestions?
Yes you need to extend it and brace it. I put braces on chimneys all the time do it right and it won't leak
 
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Pilgrim91

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
61
Arkansas, USA
Although having a stove that warps equals having a fire in a scrap metal box in your home (i.e.get rid of it), for.the chimney you have to find the stove model first. Find the manual next. And find the chimney requirements to run the thing safely third.

Going 8" on a hunch might make things more dangerous (overfiring leading to a house fire or more reverse draft leading to dead people b/c of CO).

I'm sorry, but having a fire in a home is dangerous, and you have to do it right or not at all.
I absolutely agree! I want to do it completely safe and legal (because the codes are designed to protect us). I'm still learning, and we don't always have the money to hire professionals. But for certain things, you just have to bite the bullet to make sure it's done correctly. And safely.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,667
central pa
How do we do it right? Or, rather, what would be wrong?
Well I don't know what your roof is but I would assume rubber. In that case put an appropriate sealant for your roofing materialdown under the bracket put sealant in the holes before running the screws in and it won't leak
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,146
Downeast Maine
The stove we have will absolutely not work. It's very thin; even the door is 1/16" thick! When it does fire up nice and hot, the door bends out. Warps really bad. And smoke comes out of several places on the stove because it's not properly welded together. We tried to seal it with high-temp stove cement, but it just crumbled off. Also, we tried to afix one of those rope-type door gaskets to the door to seal it, but we couldn't even shut the door, and again, the stove cement didn't hold for long. The gasket just fell off! Then there is the position of the damper control; it's right on the stove pipe collar, only 1/2" above the top surface of the stove. My dad says that is not nearly high enough.
Smoke comes out because the chimney does not draft well, not because the stove is not air tight. That stove should be fine to heat your small home, just using more wood with more smoke than a modern stove would. When a fire is burning in a stove air must come in. Normally it comes in from the home and then goes up the chimney. This can be reversed with low draft or a tight home. Since you mentioned living in a mobile home you may need an outside air intake as well. When the draft is going in the right direction all air gaps on the stove/chimney will let air in, not out.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,608
Long Island NY
Smoke comes out because the chimney does not draft well, not because the stove is not air tight. That stove should be fine to heat your small home, just using more wood with more smoke than a modern stove would. When a fire is burning in a stove air must come in. Normally it comes in from the home and then goes up the chimney. This can be reversed with low draft or a tight home. Since you mentioned living in a mobile home you may need an outside air intake as well. When the draft is going in the right direction all air gaps on the stove/chimney will let air in, not out.

Correct. But if the stove is visibly warping and cracks opening up when hot as the OP noted, I would not want to use it in my home.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,146
Downeast Maine
Correct. But if the stove is visibly warping and cracks opening up when hot as the OP noted, I would not want to use it in my home.
Sure, it's not the best stove, but it is what they have on a limited budget. An Englander or Drolet stove around the NC30 size would be great for this situation, but only if the chimney and stove can both be had within the budget.
 

Pilgrim91

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
61
Arkansas, USA
Well I don't know what your roof is but I would assume rubber. In that case put an appropriate sealant for your roofing materialdown under the bracket put sealant in the holes before running the screws in and it won't leak
We have a metal roof. A-frame/vaulted style not rounded or flat.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,608
Long Island NY
I hear you. We definitely plan to get a better stove soon. Will start with improving draft on the one we have. :)

My main concern ("woke up to smoke in the room", "took out the smoke detector") is that you should have the following priorities: 1. human safety (you or your family members could have died from CO poisoning when you woke up to smoke in the room...!), 2. building safety, 3. fuel efficiency.

You can play with #3, you should never play dice with #1.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
969
Massachusetts
What about going with a rear vented stove and going out the wall of the home instead of the roof. Or going with a 45 off a top vent but still through the wall so you can get to a flag pole.. You could then install said flag pole outside and attach your new taller stack to that as a brace. Since you have have to so much higher than your roof this makes sense to me. I think I read someone else doing that on here recently...

I'm not a chimney specialist just tossing ideas out there though!
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,176
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
What about going with a rear vented stove and going out the wall of the home instead of the roof. Or going with a 45 off a top vent but still through the wall so you can get to a flag pole.. You could then install said flag pole outside and attach your new taller stack to that as a brace. Since you have have to so much higher than your roof this makes sense to me. I think I read someone else doing that on here recently...

I'm not a chimney specialist just tossing ideas out there though!

Rear vent stoves are rare and expensive high end stoves but that could gain some height and eliminate the roof penetration of the current chimney.

I hate roof penetrations too and it’s one of the reasons I hesitate to add a brace and 3 more feet to my chimney to get the magical 15’ from my current 12’. The other reason is that 8-10’ of chimney sticking up from a low pitch roof on a single story home looks dumb. Like seriously looks like you’re crazy.

It’s unfortunate that most modern stoves have moved to this requirement in the last decade. Even my fancy cat stove only required 12’ when new, now requires 15’.

There are millions of mobile homes out there with very short chimneys getting along just fine. I think your stove is a POS or something else is going on for your system to not be venting all of the smoke. Probably trying to smolder wet wood.

Does anybody know of a mid level plate steel stove that does not need such a tall chimney? Maybe the budget line PE true north series?
 

Pilgrim91

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
61
Arkansas, USA
Every stove and install is different... It will also depend on your wood.

Mine on cold start with wood that is seasoned 3 years is 4 splits started then once the cat is up to temp I close the bypass and turn it down to low and if cold turn on the fan for an hour. Then 5-8 hours later add 3-4 more splits and once burning well close bypass and turn back down to low and kick the fan on if im cold. Wake up the next day and start over once home from work.

Also wood makes a huge difference. bad wood makes a lot of smoke and low heat. My first year was a trial........
OK. Definitely will be nice to able to get an overnight burn on such little fuel.
 

Pilgrim91

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
61
Arkansas, USA
If your current stove leaks smoke, it is because of two things: you don't have enough draft (this is equal to: your chimney is not tall enough) and your stove leaks.
Even if you fix the leak, your stove won't work well if the chimney is not tall.

Second, and more importantly, get a smoke detector AND a carbon monoxide detector. These are not nuisances. If you value your life and that of your kids you HAVE to use these.

Given your stove and chimney, and if you want to be able to talk about this a few years down the road, I suggest to stop using your stove now. Filling your home with smoke (which will include CO) can kill you before you notice it. Especially at night.

Your lives are more important than anything else.
I didn't realize there was CO in wood smoke. Probably should have, but didn't. I just knew it wasn't good to breathe smoke particles. I will say that we do regularly vent the house when using the stove to replenish the oxygen, especially if we get smoke inside.
 

Pilgrim91

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
61
Arkansas, USA
My main concern ("woke up to smoke in the room", "took out the smoke detector") is that you should have the following priorities: 1. human safety (you or your family members could have died from CO poisoning when you woke up to smoke in the room...!), 2. building safety, 3. fuel efficiency.

You can play with #3, you should never play dice with #1.
Just a clarification: I didn't actually take out any smoke detectors; there were none in the house when we got it. But, we haven't installed any. And you'really right. We really must do it. Right away. Carbon monoxide detectors too.
 
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Pilgrim91

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
61
Arkansas, USA
Rear vent stoves are rare and expensive high end stoves but that could gain some height and eliminate the roof penetration of the current chimney.

I hate roof penetrations too and it’s one of the reasons I hesitate to add a brace and 3 more feet to my chimney to get the magical 15’ from my current 12’. The other reason is that 8-10’ of chimney sticking up from a low pitch roof on a single story home looks dumb. Like seriously looks like you’re crazy.

It’s unfortunate that most modern stoves have moved to this requirement in the last decade. Even my fancy cat stove only required 12’ when new, now requires 15’.

There are millions of mobile homes out there with very short chimneys getting along just fine. I think your stove is a POS or something else is going on for your system to not be venting all of the smoke. Probably trying to smolder wet wood.

Does anybody know of a mid level plate steel stove that does not need such a tall chimney? Maybe the budget line PE true north series?
Right now, we absolutely cannot get a fire to stay burning in it. But, we ran out of seasoned split wood and are trying to burn cedar that we felled only about 10 months ago and some large rounds of hardwood that we got for free (don't know how old, and my boys said it was too hard for them to split). The stove & chimney really need to be cleaned.

Will check out this True North series. Haven't heard of it.
 

Pilgrim91

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
61
Arkansas, USA
Rear vent stoves are rare and expensive high end stoves but that could gain some height and eliminate the roof penetration of the current chimney.

I hate roof penetrations too and it’s one of the reasons I hesitate to add a brace and 3 more feet to my chimney to get the magical 15’ from my current 12’. The other reason is that 8-10’ of chimney sticking up from a low pitch roof on a single story home looks dumb. Like seriously looks like you’re crazy.

It’s unfortunate that most modern stoves have moved to this requirement in the last decade. Even my fancy cat stove only required 12’ when new, now requires 15’.

There are millions of mobile homes out there with very short chimneys getting along just fine. I think your stove is a POS or something else is going on for your system to not be venting all of the smoke. Probably trying to smolder wet wood.

Does anybody know of a mid level plate steel stove that does not need such a tall chimney? Maybe the budget line PE true north series?
Oh, Pacific Energy! Looked at the True North series a little bit; looks like you have to buy through a dealer. And costs a little more than an Englander at Home Depot. Any evidence the PE one would be better than an Englander & worth a little more dough?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,176
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Oh, Pacific Energy! Looked at the True North series a little bit; looks like you have to buy through a dealer. And costs a little more than an Englander at Home Depot. Any evidence the PE one would be better than an Englander & worth a little more dough?

I know PE stoves have a reputation for being easy breathers but I don’t know if their manuals require the 15’ chimney.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,146
Downeast Maine
Oh, Pacific Energy! Looked at the True North series a little bit; looks like you have to buy through a dealer. And costs a little more than an Englander at Home Depot. Any evidence the PE one would be better than an Englander & worth a little more dough?
If I had the budget I would go for a TN stove, but only if you can get a decent chimney setup. The Chimney for my cookstove is 25' from flue to top and it cost more than the cookstove itself. It would be a real shame to get a stove that won't draft well. Maybe it's worth it to have a goofy looking chimney.
 
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Pilgrim91

New Member
Feb 3, 2021
61
Arkansas, USA
If I had the budget I would go for a TN stove, but only if you can get a decent chimney setup. The Chimney for my cookstove is 25' from flue to top and it cost more than the cookstove itself. It would be a real shame to get a stove that won't draft well. Maybe it's worth it to have a goofy looking chimney.
I think maybe you're right. I haven't been able to get my husband on board with the idea of a tall 12' chimney until suggesting other options like taking it out to a pole to brace it to, or putting in the house addition where the ceiling will be a little higher.
What about going with a rear vented stove and going out the wall of the home instead of the roof. Or going with a 45 off a top vent but still through the wall so you can get to a flag pole.. You could then install said flag pole outside and attach your new taller stack to that as a brace. Since you have have to so much higher than your roof this makes sense to me. I think I read someone else doing that on here recently...

I'm not a chimney specialist just tossing ideas out there though!
I haven't been able to get DH to get on board with the idea of extending the chimney much higher until offering the flag pole idea. It makes some sense to him too. Thanks!
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,146
Downeast Maine
You shouldn't need a flagpole. You can just use a roof brace for regular class A Chimney. The double walled insulated Class A chimney is very stiff and very strong. I feel like you shouldn't have to make it much taller than it already is. Some stoves specify 15' of flue from the floor to the chimney cap, but others specify 15' from the flue outlet. Look at the manuals for the stoves you are interested in, they will tell you everything you need to know. I'm running 25' of class A out the side of my house and no flagpole needed. Even if I needed 8-10' above the roofline I would just use a roof support brace. You could also build a chimney chase and cover it in stucco or stone veneer for a classy look.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,794
Iowa
Straight up and out is always a better performing setup than introducing 90 degree bends as you go out a wall and then up as you have been advised as a option. Each 90 reduces your effective vertical length by approximately 2 feet. Avoid 90's.. Adding simple roof braces to a extended Class A is easy peasy. No worries. One way or another you need correct pipe length or your wasting your time entirely. You appear to already have a correct roof penetration installed? Why not just add what you need, brace it, and be finished?
 
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