Inside Corner Flue Clearance Concerns

cazwizzle

New Member
May 14, 2019
4
Central NY
Last year, I bought a home in CNY with 2 wood stoves already installed. After tinkering somewhat over the past winter, I've decided that I would like to replace both stoves in order to try to heat primarily with wood.

Of concern is the downstairs small Jotul corner setup, particularly the clearance of the flue where it enters the wall. The previous owner used a double wall pipe at that point, and there is only 6 inches clearance from the center of that pipe to the adjacent wall.

Most diagrams that I see regarding installation clearance, dictate 12-16 inches of clearance between the wall and where the flue exits the top of the stove. Does the manufacturer's clearance extend from the stove to where the flue enters the wall? If so, I don't think any stove will work with the existing setup with only 6 inches between the center of the flue and the closest wall on an inside corner.

I certainly want to operate my wood stoves safely, and not do anything that could nullify my homeowners insurance coverage in the event of a fire that caused damage to my home.

I'd really appreciate any feedback that those of you with experience in such matters might care to offer! I've added some pics of a sample installation diagram with corner measurements, and 3 different views of the existing corner setup in question. Please let me know if any other images would be helpful.
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,140
South Puget Sound, WA
That looks like it could be too close. The stove pipe has its own clearance spec, independent of the stove's. Double-wall stove pipe is typically 6". If it is less than 6" than in the very least a heat shield on spacers should be put on the wall there.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,163
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
On top of the safety issues, consider performance while you're messing with the flue.

That setup has three elbows within a couple feet of each other, which makes draft issues a lot more likely. If you buy a less easy-breathing stove, you could end up unhappy with it, even if it's a great unit.

I'd take a look at the whole run and see what could be done to remove elbows and make it more vertical. Hard to tell if that's practical from this end, though.

How tall is the whole flue? How does the old Jotul draft?
 

cazwizzle

New Member
May 14, 2019
4
Central NY
It's about 6 feet from floor to where flue enters the wall near the corner. You're spot on about the draft, it's a complete pain to get a fire going in that white Jotul. Especially compared to the upstairs stove on the main level which has a straight shot up to the roof of about 12-15 feet.

I'm not sure how I can possibly make this downstairs flue connection work in a safe and effective way. It appears that the previous owner simply ignored code and manufacturer's specifications in order to achieve a desired look. Personally, I'm not a fan of form being more important than function.

My partner and I prefer to sleep in a cool space, and the one time I managed a decent fire in the Jotul, it was primarily for aesthetics since we didn't want to get blasted out of the room where we sleep.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,140
South Puget Sound, WA
Basements can be negative pressure zones. Often the stove needs outside air or at least a window cracked open a little in the room.

Is the Jotul in a bedroom?
 

cazwizzle

New Member
May 14, 2019
4
Central NY
The white Jotul stove in in a room that was previously used as a family room, so it’s pretty big. We’re now using it as an oversized bedroom. It’s not a traditional basement, rather a split level hybrid home with permanent wood foundation built on 2 separate slabs into a hillside. It’s a really unique contemporary home, and we love it.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,140
South Puget Sound, WA
Is it the lowest floor? That can be a negative pressure zone, especially if there is air leakage from the floors above it. Air leakage is common with poorly sealed upper floor windows, unsealed recessed lighting cans, attic vents, etc.. Normally the F3CB is not too fussy about draft, though the elbows aren't helping. If those turns are reduced to two 45s then that should help. Does the thimble tie into a metal chimney outside?

https://woodheat.org/all-about-chimneys.html
 

cazwizzle

New Member
May 14, 2019
4
Central NY
Yes, the room pictured is on the lowest floor with French doors that exit to a 3-season room. The house is pretty tight, all windows are crank out so when closed any wind actually increases the seal, though I've not specifically tested the house. However, I do feel a draft near front door where there is a large 4-gang switch box. There are also recessed light cans in kitchen that may not be sealed too well. The thimble goes directly into a metal chimney outside that is encased in drywall in 3-season room with a small door for clean out access. The metal chimney pipe goes straight up from there and is boxed in, but there's no heat warming it up in any way.