Emergency Stove Kit

CastIron

New Member
Aug 23, 2020
6
USA
I don't have a good location in my house for a stove but live in an area where if the power was interrupted for an extended period of time during the winter I would be in a bad spot. I am interested in putting together a stove kit that could be installed in extremis during an event if necessary.

With that info in mind and considering the stove may never be used can you make a suggestion on stove models to heat a well insulated section of a house that is approximately 1,000 sq ft. Room has 10' ceiling into an attic space and then another few feet to the roof. Plan would be to have materials to setup a pad for the stove to sit on, reflector to shield and reflect heat away from wall.

I have found a vermont castings encore that needs a bit of work on craigslist but they seem to get mixed reviews.

Other than responses about how this is a bad idea, I am all ears about info you have to offer.

Regards,

Iron
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,687
South Puget Sound, WA
Most 2 cu ft stoves will do the job. I recommend sticking with something simple, but efficient. The Encore is pretty but more complex. Different stove models have different requirements for the hearth, clearances, and chimney height. The selection of the stove should proceed planning. Look at stoves that need an ember-protection-only hearth pad and have close clearances.

Tell us about how the stove will vent. Will permanent chimney infrastructure be in place to connect the stove to? Will there be a good supply of fully seasoned wood on hand?

If the issue is space, maybe also consider alternatives like a generator + pellet or vented propane stove?
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,441
Northern NH
Unless it's a legal permitted install, your insurance is not covering a temporary install. it's not unusual after extreme weather events where people unfamiliar with equipment end up dead or injured by temporary installs of generators and woodstoves. It requires some practice to burn wood well and it's likely a temporary install is going to be lacking in stack height. This makes the stove very difficult to operate.
 

CastIron

New Member
Aug 23, 2020
6
USA
My current solution is an Arctic Oven tent with a wood stove for that but lack of real insulation and the minimalist style of stove means I will be going through wood at a higher rate than I would use in a more efficient solution and with a 3" chimney the rate of build up is going to be much faster.

The issue is less one of space as we are in a 4k sq ft home but more of a lack of having a good place to put it with the current layout of the home and not wanting to have the stove permanently in our main living room or having a chimney pipe running up through a central portion of the house. Alternatively we have looked at putting the stove in the walk out basement and running the chimney pipe to the exterior and up above the roof line. Weak points there are it would be about a 35' run that is not insulated to get it above the line of the roof. When I spoke to the local stove shop he encouraged me to enclose and insulate the chimney to avoid gases cooling in the pipe and increasing the rate of creosote build up.

My intent is to build a home version of the wood stove kit I have but make it applicable to the much more insulated house. We would section off the house to the open kitchen/dining/living rooms. Assemble a pad and shielding, cut a whole in the ceiling drywall with appropriate stand off and similarly through the roof and install the chimney. I'm looking for guidance on resources for install info and stove suggestions.

I have a decent supply of wood as is for an outdoor fire pit that we use pretty regularly and I have been working on building my reserve of wood to support this. I also have started reaching out to local tree services that will drop off logs from jobs for people that need wood. It ends up costing me nothing but the labor necessary to process the 8-12' logs.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,687
South Puget Sound, WA
This in no way sounds safe or practical or code legal. I would think about alternatives or how to fit in a proper stove safely. Surely in that large of an area there is a spot where a stove can fit in. Regardless of plan it will still need a proper and safe chimney. That is where the stove should go. There are small house-safe, stoves if that is what is desired, but a small stove may not make much of a dent in a big cold house. The camp stove being proposed is neither proper or safe for interior use. This is how houses get burned down during power outages.
 
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CastIron

New Member
Aug 23, 2020
6
USA
I am asking for the following:

-Recommendations of the guidelines for the safe installation of a chimney pipe in a residential structure through a ceiling and roof so that I minimize the risk of fire and CO retention.

-Recommendations of materials to accomplish the installation of chimney pipe including pipe, standoff devices, and any other materials necessary.

-Recommendations on a stove that will warm an area of approximately 1k-1,500 square feet.

The stove intended for use in the tent will not be used in the house, in no way should a reasonable person paying any attention to what I actually typed have taken away that I would be using that device inside of the house. The tent stove is a kit that I assembled with the assistance of the stove manufacturer to work with my tent. I am asking for help from the forum in building a similar kit that is adjusted for my house which utilizes RESIDENTIAL SPECIFIC MATERIALS and equipment to execute a safe and functional solution.

If it wasn't clear in my description of the nature of the kit, this is for emergency use so I am not concerned about insurance or code. I am concerned about having the information necessary to accomplish the task safely and being aware of pitfalls up front.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,910
central pa
I am asking for the following:

-Recommendations of the guidelines for the safe installation of a chimney pipe in a residential structure through a ceiling and roof so that I minimize the risk of fire and CO retention.

-Recommendations of materials to accomplish the installation of chimney pipe including pipe, standoff devices, and any other materials necessary.

-Recommendations on a stove that will warm an area of approximately 1k-1,500 square feet.

The stove intended for use in the tent will not be used in the house, in no way should a reasonable person paying any attention to what I actually typed have taken away that I would be using that device inside of the house. The tent stove is a kit that I assembled with the assistance of the stove manufacturer to work with my tent. I am asking for help from the forum in building a similar kit that is adjusted for my house which utilizes RESIDENTIAL SPECIFIC MATERIALS and equipment to execute a safe and functional solution.

If it wasn't clear in my description of the nature of the kit, this is for emergency use so I am not concerned about insurance or code. I am concerned about having the information necessary to accomplish the task safely and being aware of pitfalls up front.
As far as the chimney just follow the chimney manufacturers instructions and use their approved components.

As far as stove install if you are building the stove it will be unlisted which means 36" clearance to combustibles. And a highly insulated hearth. And there is a very good chance if anything happened your insurance company would have grounds to deny a claim. You may not care about insurance now but you will if you need it.
 
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ABMax24

Feeling the Heat
You could run 35ft of chimney outside for your purpose. I have 32ft of exterior chimney and I burn full time with mine, in likely a colder climate. Mine does build more creosote than shorter setups but I just clean it monthly in the winter. If it's for emergency use only I wouldn't worry about it, just clean the chimney after every use.

But I do want to point out both codes and insurance matter. It's not worth saving a few bucks now to possibly lose the house later and not be covered by insurance, assuming everyone escapes the fire alive.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,687
South Puget Sound, WA
Look at ~2 cu ft stoves for those parameters. On the budget end, stoves by Century offer good value. Their FW2800 would work for those requirements. The True North TN20 is another good value stove.
The chimney installation will be 6" ID and permanent, but the connector pipe and stove can be removed. Note that the connector pipe has its own clearance requirements. 18" from the wall for single-wall stove pipe and 6" for double-wall.
 
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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
You have good advice here, I don't disagree with any of it, and I kinda don't like to pile on, but this is a bad plan.

How long an outage are you wanting to plan for? If you are worried about 3-7 days I would guide you toward a suitable gasoline powered generator with a professional switching install and then stash 40 or so gallons of gasoline in an outbuilding. Next summer, run the gas through your vehicle and refill the gas cans in the shed.

For more than seven days I agree a woodburner is probably the way to go. Are your winter temps cool enough to replace refrigeration, or should you think about a generator anyway to keep the fridge and washing machine going? What fuels your water heater?

You could think about a pellet burner with an out an up, many of those can be more or less at grade level and with a single four inch hole through the wall and then snap together chimney parts, there is a scad of them setup to heat 1500-1800 sqft. As far as I know there are only one or two pellet burners that run with no electricty, though I haven't looked lately. When I did look most (some?) of them could run on either 120VAC or 12VDC, so you would be needing a way to keep a car or boat battery charged. Running a 4" hole saw in a hand dril through an exterior wall is probably a thing you will only do once in your life. You'd want at least one ton of pellets domewhere on the property.

Trying to do a safe chimney install with no electricity and with time pressure is, I am sorry, but it is just foolish. If you are serious about this figure out where to put the stove later and have the chimney professionaly installed at that spot now. My homeowners went up one dollar per week since my chimney was pro installed, and the insurance carrier does not care how many cords I burn how often.

For cord wood stove I would look at an Englander NC-30, if they still make it. Commonly available at Lowes-Depot, about $800 last time I saw one in the store, good resale value later and judging by the reviews here a good runner.

Best wishes.
 

CastIron

New Member
Aug 23, 2020
6
USA
In the last five years we have had significant portions of the winter below zero F with periods of time in the negative teens greater than a week and a low from my memory of around -40F. Raw temps not windchill calculated.

My concern is with periods of loss of power and loss of LP refill greater than 10 days.

Thanks to everyone for their input.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
In the last five years we have had significant portions of the winter below zero F with periods of time in the negative teens greater than a week and a low from my memory of around -40F. Raw temps not windchill calculated.

My concern is with periods of loss of power and loss of LP refill greater than 10 days.
You got legit cold weather going on there. If your LP tank is empty having a generator to operate the furnace won't help you a bit. In weather like that you can put the creamer for your coffee in a cooler out on the deck so it won't freeze up so fast.

I personally would skip right over the pellet option, get a six inch chimeny pro installed and 2 cords of cordwood stacked off the ground and top covered on site.

You will have a ton of stoves to choose from, look for one that requires only ember protection for the hearth. Your garage kit setup items will be the stove, a prefab ember protection hearth you can lay on the carpet in the TV room, a telescoping pipe of appropriate length, and some sheet metal screws.

If the stove requires more than just ember protection, there will be an R value requirement listed for the hearth install. R1.5, R1.8, the highest one I remember seeing was R 2.0. Building a hearth with an R value is a pain in the neck with electricity and no time pressure. Just skip it and pick a stove that requires ember only hearth protection.

When the time comes drag up the hearth pad, lay it on the floor, it can go right on shag carpet if you feel lucky. Drag up the stove, lay it on the hearth. Take the cap off the chimney pipe in the ceiling, attach the telescope with some screws, go get some cord wood and light it up.

At minus 40 sustained I can go through a cord of spruce in about 10-12 days - heating 1200sqft with a top end stove and a very well insulated home.

Good luck.
 
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CastIron

New Member
Aug 23, 2020
6
USA
Thanks for the info. The LP issue is one of my concerns. Vendor refills between 5 and 10% most times even though I have asked them to deliver at a higher level.

We also have wood floors, I'm researching pads as well but at least I don't have to worry as much about a thick carpet.

Thanks again.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
Would it be an option to store more propane on site and just run a small generator to power the thermostats and furnace?
 

CastIron

New Member
Aug 23, 2020
6
USA
I can ask about them dropping a second tank and linking it into the system. I currently keep around 100#s of portable tanks for cooking/grills and the occasional space heater use in my garages.

I'm going to add a generator to my resources but keeping enough gas on site to make it useful is a pain vs wood. I don't have to rotate wood and it's less volatile. I have a few acres worth standing and a decent amount of it stacked and seasoned. I've considered going propane for the genny but that only addresses the rotation aspect not the space aspect and diesel doesn't address either because I don't have anything else that runs off diesel.

Anyway, I'm going to reach out to a couple local shops about installing a chimney from the ceiling up and work on picking a decent stove.

Thanks.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,219
Fairbanks, Alaska
I think we have helped you at least a little bit. Welcome to the community, we actually enjoy problems like this. If you need to add to this thread later after you get your options together in the next month or so, please do.

We are all curious to know how many cords stacked "a decent amount" is, but that can wait until you have a couple chimney quotes and have talked to the LP company and etcetera. I think my wife and I spent about $4500 for our chimney, but we got the lifetime warranty product, and the pro installer is carrying most of the liability, so one and done. Hopefully a little cheaper down south but it was a few years ago.

Like you I try to limit my fuels on hand as well. I am all gasoline, but I have plain for vehicles, air cooled two cycle for the chainsaw and water cooled two cyclce for the boat, it sucks keeping up with all the colors on the cans for sure.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,221
Northern Maine
My stand alone genset and the house are hooked up to a 500 gallon LP tank. If I was worried on running out another 500 gallon tank would be installed or a single 1000.
A generator does not need to power the whole house. It needs to run a few circuits like the well, heat, cooking, a few lights and entertainment. The bigger the unit the more LP it sucks down.
Changing out my lighting to LED did allow me to run more stuff off the generator panel due to the reduced load but I had to pick my choices and I know they will not all be on at the same time.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,687
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks for the info. The LP issue is one of my concerns. Vendor refills between 5 and 10% most times even though I have asked them to deliver at a higher level.

We also have wood floors, I'm researching pads as well but at least I don't have to worry as much about a thick carpet.

Thanks again.
Our generator is dual fuel. Gasoline and propane. So far we've only run it on propane, but it's good to know that gas is a fallback solution. In our case, the generator is primarily to power refrigeration and freezer as we have a wood stove and propane cooktop. In the case of extreme cold refrigeration may not be as great a concern. Preventing pipe freezing is definitely something to focus on.