My Neighbor's stove (Yikes!)

Soundchasm Posted By Soundchasm, Jul 18, 2018 at 3:48 PM

  1. Soundchasm

    Soundchasm
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    Sep 27, 2011
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    Thankfully, a young man bought a house in my neighborhood tied up in bankruptcy and vacant for four years. They're making great progress and it's a relief.

    We got to talking about wood stoves and he showed me his setup. The short story is that it's not safe to run in my opinion.

    He had a sweep out with a camera and they discovered the liner IS NOT ATTACHED to the stove. Who would do that? Then it occurred to me that the facade (or whatever you call it) looks to be welded to the stove! I'm no mechanical genius, but I can't see any way to attach a liner with the stove pulled out. ;-)

    Any thoughts on his unit? The logo is unfamiliar to me. This seems to be more of a replace than repair.

    Not sure if this post should go in the "old stoves" forum. Possible replacement might make this a "new stove" topic.

    Thanks,
    Greg
    2018061795180926951529345759318.jpg
     
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  2. bholler

    bholler
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    Well as far as who would do it the answer is most people in the 70s and 80s. It was pretty common and we still run into them.
     
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  3. Soundchasm

    Soundchasm
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    Thanks Bholler. I understand it doesn't necessarily have to burst into flames when being used, but I'd have to recommend against using that thing. How absolutely bizarre that the hottest exhaust gases get so much as even a CHANCE to think about where they might go...

    With the faceplate welded on, there's no chance of attaching a liner, right?
     
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  4. electrathon

    electrathon
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    My first stove, a Blaze King Princess was installed like that.
     
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  5. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq
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    It is a "Slammer" install. When you slide it in place the faceplate should seal to the front of the fireplace. If it seals tight enough then no air goes in around the faceplate (and no smoke can come out) so all the air goes via the firebox and out through the flue on top of the insert. From there the only way out should be up the chimney.

    My parents had a slammer install for years with no problems. If they are burned clean and with dry wood they work well. Most areas now ban slammer installs. Too many people did not burn them cleanly or there was too much air via the faceplate so the chimney gunked up quickly. If they didn't check and clean the flue they ended up with a flue fire.

    KaptJaq
     
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  6. bholler

    bholler
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    You are right it is not safe to use. As far as hooking a liner to it in almost all cases yes it can be done. But it many cases it isnt worth it for an old insert
     
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  7. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    My parents has a similar one. Sort of fisher front end that stuck out past the hearth bolted to steel plate with the flue pipe coming horizontally out the back. It had some hooks that grabbed the inside edges of the firebox that could be tightened to pull the plate in tight against the brick opening. It was bear to get going with cold chimney. Creosote would build up on the floor of the fireplace behind the plate.
     
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  8. Soundchasm

    Soundchasm
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    Can anybody ID the make of the stove? It'd be fun to get a name and date together. I'll ask the kids that live there to hunt around for a nameplate or something with info to work from.

    In my opinion, I don't think there's any point to fiddling with this thing. You'd have to cut off the surround to hook the liner to the stove, and then somebody reasonably smart would need to inspect the stove for cracks, gaskets, warping, etc.

    I think they'd be happier with a new cat stove for some longer burn times.
     
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  9. coaly

    coaly
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    Exhaust gasses are lighter than outside air and rise into the chimney. This heats the chimney flue creating a low pressure area in the fireplace or stove. An open fire vents up the flue without a connecting pipe, right? An open fire also keeps the flue hotter, and cleaner. Adding a stove controls the air, decreasing heat loss up chimney, hence the problem. The low pressure area in the chimney includes creating a low pressure area in the stove. This lower pressure area allows atmospheric air pressure to PUSH into the stove. Any leak around the faceplate allows air to leak in, not out. The chimney is like a vacuum and all air is trying to get up it. ALL air must go through firebox and not leak around it. All inserts and stoves connected to fireplace flues were first done this way. It worked fine, and some were UL listed for this type of installation. The problem occurred over time as the flue gasses expand into the larger area of the existing fireplace flue. Flue gasses cool below the 250* f. critical temperature allowing water vapor from combustion to condense on flue walls forming creosote. The problem isn't where flue gasses can go, it is cooling of the oversize flue. Codes now require direct connection of appliance to chimney. The larger flue should be lined to the same size outlet as Insert. Many had a rectangle outlet so a "Boot" is required for connection to liner. Slide it out, cut faceplace off insert if it is welded. (Most were bolted) Line chimney and connect as it is slid into place. They would need a liner for any new Insert as well. You no longer have to remove the Insert to clean behind it as well. They can upgrade to a newer Insert anytime.

    The first Inserts were designed in 1979, this one probably early 80's. Look for any casting marks inside the cast door. Foundries sometimes dated castings or put their identification on them.

    Notice how the Timberline style air dampers are bolted to stove. The bolt travel only has to be about 3 turns for wide open for staring. They are out much farther to allow tons of air into stove burning hotter to keep the chimney hot and cleaning wasting lots of fuel.
     
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  10. Soundchasm

    Soundchasm
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    Thank you. This is an awful lot of good information. So, this looks like somebody tried to do a good job with the theory of the time. Why else would they have done all that welding other than to help make it airtight?

    Everything in your post makes sense. Appreciate it.
     
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  11. coaly

    coaly
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    They usually leaked around the rough masonry, not at the stove. You can see why the cooler indoor air rushes in to fill the void in chimney flue. The extra air cools the flue even more, also slowing the flow of oxygen through the Insert. Less air, slower burning fire acting sluggish and loading the chimney up even more. Years ago you had to pull every Insert out when cleaning to vacuum the creosote that falls down the chimney when cleaning. I used iron pipes for rollers to push them in and out. It was a dirty project and is so much easier allowing all the mess to simply drop into the firebox where it can be removed. Here's a few pictures of Inserts at the time so you can see how they were designed to dump into the existing flue.
    Now you measure the opening size and calculate the square inch opening and that's the size liner to use.

    Insert hand painted doors w blower 4.jpg Insert drawing subject stove.jpg Honey Bear Insert 1.JPG
    (Insert Left and Center, Honey Bear far right)

    Notice Fisher had an air jacket around the back for one or two blowers to blow under the Insert, up the back and out the front similar to your neighbors. The most heat is reclaimed from around the exhaust which has the pipe leading from firebox top through the air jacket. Fisher was designed to protrude about half way out of the opening to take advantage of the radiant heat emitted from the front half. It also provides a cooking area for when power is down or to use for a kettle to humidify the air. Without that portion sticking out, they are mostly a convection heater. They don't do much without the blower.
    They are not considered a radiant heater with screen in place in "Fireplace Mode".
    Back in the day when your neighbors was installed, the manuals called for a minimum of time each day to be operated with screen in place to allow free burning and heating of the flue to help keep it clean. Time has proven that practice is not as good as burning hot enough CONSTANTLY (while smoke is present) to keep it clean.

    There is also no divertor in the picture of your neighbors. I don't know if there is a combustible mantle above the Insert, but an angled heat divertor is critical for installation below mantles to prevent heat from rising up the face of hearth. Shown below;

    11-2011 ebay $1018-2.jpg Insert hand painted doors w blower.jpg One type optional blower
     
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  12. Soundchasm

    Soundchasm
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    Coaly, your information is superb. It is a fine thing to get real, legit info on a subject area. And I knew nothing of this before we started.

    I've studied your posts, checked out the photos and had a good time doing it. I've been prepping my neighbor to start accumulating fuel NOW instead of later.

    Not sure if I'm inferring something that didn't happen, but I get the unspoken vibe that this setup shouldn't run again. And IF somebody were to cut off the surround, the entire stove would need an inspection and connection to the liner, and the stove may not pass an inspection.

    This has been very groovy. Thanks to everyone for sharing.
    Greg
     
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  13. coaly

    coaly
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    The Insert can be used since it is grandfathered by already being installed. It just needs to be connected to a liner.
    It isn't the Insert that isn't safe, it's just that the installation, if not operated and cleaned properly becomes a hazard accumulating creosote which can accumulate rapidly. So codes were changed after this type of appliance was made and installed that way for years.
    If it were to be removed and installed elsewhere, as in a new installation, in MOST states and localities, all appliances must be UL listed (tested). So if there is no UL tag on an appliance, it is not considered listed and can't be used. A quick search of Ohio Building Codes shows they adopted the International Codes (ICC) which is the code that requires all appliances to be listed. The ICC Mechanical Code is the one in the "Family of Codes" that includes venting and installation of solid fuel burning appliances.

    The NFPA 211 Standard is a standard that codes were adopted from and remains the basis for installing and building heating equipment. It is used nationwide, and has a section for installing wood stoves that were not UL listed giving reduced clearances and approved methods of building heat shields. It was a proven standard that is very safe when adhered to. Unfortunately most states have adopted the ICC family of Codes which adopt the standards set forth in NFPA 211. However, ICC took it one step farther and added "ALL Appliances must be UL approved" to avoid unsafe homemade stoves that may not be safe. So from trying to protect us from that scenario, we can no longer install antiques, classic stoves made by reputable manufacturers before UL testing began, or even a perfectly good stove missing a tag. Many stoves were tested by other labs across the country, but states in different areas didn't accept other states testing labs, so UL testing became the standard for testing. UL doesn't have to be the one to do the actual testing, as long as the testing labs test to a standardized UL testing procedure, they become "listed" to a UL numbered test printed on the tag and manual.
    It's not difficult once you understand how the codes evolved.
     
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  14. bholler

    bholler
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    If a properly sized liner was installed properly which includes cleaning the chimney very well and insulation on the liner it would be safe. But honestly i wouldnt waste the money instslling that insert correctly. Almost all new inserts will out perform that one in just about every way. And i am sure the liner for that insert would be larger than the 6" a new stove would need.
     
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