New Guy Questions... 8" to 6" and stove installation

MrBrown80 Posted By MrBrown80, Oct 28, 2018 at 11:42 PM

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  1. MrBrown80

    MrBrown80
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    Oct 28, 2018
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    Hi all,

    I'm a new wood stove owner trying to do his homework. I have a lot to learn.

    I bought a house with an old Hearthstone H1 in the basement (the upstairs has gas heat, but not the finished basement). About 1000 square feet up and down. I replaced the glass and gaskets (both needed doing) last winter. I've had trouble running it. It's tough to get a fire going without smoking up the place. Once I do, it burns through wood very fast, and doesn't burn very well at all unless I keep the door cracked. I'm just shoveling wood into it constantly. While it appears to be in good shape (no evidence of overfiring), I understand this just isn't a very efficient stove. I used it a few times last winter before consigning myself to just not using the basement much in the winter months. It has no blower. It helps if I crack a window.

    So question 1 is: is there something I should do to make this more efficient / productive, or am I right to replace it? From what I've read here I'd be much better off with a newer model. That's what I'm planning on unless I'm missing something.

    Question 2 has to do with installation. The H1 already installed takes a 8" pipe. Most models I've been looking at (mostly Englanders by this site's general recommendation) take a 6" pipe. Is this just a matter of connecting an adapter, or do I need a new stove pipe? Or something else (work in the chimney itself)? The current stove is connected via a 90 degree pipe that goes into a masonry chimney.

    Question 3 is also an installation question. I don't have a lot of money to throw around. I'd like to buy a used stove and install it myself, (and if possible sell the H1). It appears to be fairly simple... connect the new stove to the pipe. Mine looks like it's just screwed together. Maybe some sealant. Is this a reasonable undertaking or am I asking for trouble doing it myself? Can anyone recommend any good guides to doing this? If it's inadvisable, can you give me an idea of what it would cost to have someone do it? I already talked to my home insurance provider and they told me I could install it myself if I wanted to.

    I hope these questions aren't too stupid... if they are, please understand that I'm trying to educate myself and that's why I'm asking them. Happy to provide any further information that might help. Thank you!
     
  2. billb3

    billb3
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    Some chimneys are tough to get a draft going this time of year ( not all that cold yet ).
    Having to keep the door cracked could be a short chimney/poor draft -in part due to being in a basement, crappy unseasoned wood or both.
    Going thru a lot of wood and no complaints of too much heat kinda sounds like wood supply.

    A wood stove and chimney is kinda like a car in that the chimney is the engine/transmission/drivetrain and the wood stove is the carburetor.
    You can't fix a engine/transmission/drivetrain problem with a new carburetor unless the only problem is truly just the carburetor.

    Got more info on the chimney and the wood ?
     
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  3. kborndale

    kborndale
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    Oct 9, 2008
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    It sure sounds like your wood is not dry. A newer more efficient stove would be even worse off with the wet wood. How long has your wood been split and stacked for? Also, how high is your chimney? Adding pictures would help out a lot.
     
  4. MrBrown80

    MrBrown80
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    Oct 28, 2018
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    Hi everyone. Thanks so much for the responses. I'm very thankful that you're willing to help me. I'll do my best to clarify. If I'm not specific enough ask me more questions.

    So to clarify, I haven't run it this year yet. My experiences are from last year. I didn't burn a lot of wood last year -- just a few fires here and there. It was mostly wood I bought at the supermarket. We moved in too close to winter to stockpile much. It seemed dry to me, but I could be wrong about that. I've been working on a modest wood pile since. Mostly maple from trees people fell in the area and I go get what I can. On some days I used some pallet wood, which I know is far from ideal, but I met a gentleman with a steady supply that's easy to cut. I've been careful to make sure it's not chemical-treated and to avoid overfiring with it. It's nice because it heats up quickly, and so far I haven't run the stove constantly -- it's been more for particularly cold nights when I'd still like to enjoy the den downstairs. I'm still working on my lumberjacking and scavenging skills too (I live in the city and am new to the area and wood stoves too) but that's another story. But I haven't burned anything from my new supply yet.

    Even when I get the temperature gauge up to the high end of the "safe" zone, it's not overwhelmingly hot and goes through hardwood fairly quickly (nevermind the pallets which I know will burn quickly regardless. The hardwood goes pretty fast too). It seems to need wood constantly. I haven't loaded a ton in there at at time -- maybe five logs at once at most -- but I've been concerned that more might lead to overfiring. It could probably fit twice that though. The way I've been doing it it seems like it needs another log or two every 30 minutes or so.

    The stove is supposed to be capable of heating 2400 square feet but I can't imagine it doing that. The basement is about 1000 square feet and even when it's been going full bore, it's been toasty downstairs but hardly overwhelming.

    If I don't crack a window it doesn't run very well and the glass smokes up. Sometimes I get some smoke from the first joint on top of the stove. I have to be very careful not to get a reverse draft. Once I have things heated up well for some time it gets a bit more forgiving. It also doesn't run very well unless I leave the stove side door cracked, even with all the inlets open. I'd prefer to babysit it less. I wonder if a steel stove would suit my use case better too, since long burns isn't a priority for my use case... I'd rather have something that heats quickly for when I need it. I wouldn't mind if it suplemented the gas heat upstairs, but it's really about making the den livable cold days when I'm home.

    Like I mentioned the stove is in the basement and goes to a masonry chimney. I'm not sure of the exact height but you can get a guess from the pictures. I believe the edge of the roof is about 15 feet and it's a bit higher than that. So about 20 feet I'd guess. The inspection from just before we bought the house indicated it was in good shape.

    Thanks so much for your insights and kindness.

    20181029_154219.jpg 20181029_154242.jpg 20181029_154647.jpg
     
  5. MAD MARK

    MAD MARK
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    Jan 31, 2016
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    Question 1: You can install a liner in your chimney. Your details doesnt say liner anywhere and just says masonry chimney. But you would be better off with a newer model which will be even more picky about dry wood.

    Question 2: You'd be best going with a new wall thimble to support the new 6" stove. If you want to mess around with adapters, go ahead but
    but you will be cheaper off going with a 6" liner as opposed to 8"

    Question 3: No sealant is needed except on top of the chimney liner cap; sometimes. And yes its as simple as unscrewing and taking apart.
    Putting in a liner with be a little more involved but its mostly fit this to that and screw it down.

    Id search for a used Englander NC-30, like it sounds you have already. Expect to pay around $3-400 and about another $500-900 depending on options. But, then you should have no problem heating your whole downstairs with plenty of heat floating up to first floor. You didnt tell us overall sq footage but might be able to heat it all. And give maple 2 years to season so figure out something for this winter.
     
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  6. MrBrown80

    MrBrown80
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    Oct 28, 2018
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    Thanks Mad Mark. What are the benefits of a liner?

    My inspection report says I've got either an 8x8 or 8x16 chimney (they inspected both chimneys) and a "Flue Tile" liner. Would an additional liner do anything? Does the size of the current liner mean I need to stick with a stove that takes an 8" pipe and liner?

    Yes, I see a lot of Englanders. My house is about 1050 square feet in the basement (partially finished) and the same amount upstairs (finished). So about 2100 square feet total.

    I'm not sure if I have room for an NC-30 or not. I've been looking at installation manuals. The cement ledge my current stove is installed on (see picture) is 50" deep from the wall (it's about 87 inches wide). It's tile in front of that, but I'd rather not extend the cement for it to rest on. Is that enough room for the NC-30? The manual isn't 100% clear to me about how much clearance and room is needed. It lists a few measurements that don't necessarily seem to match. And I'm not sure if it always has a rear heat shield, or if my masonry wall gives me more leeway, etc. If you or anyone else knows that would be helpful (I may make a separate thread about this). That said any of the smaller Englanders would certainly fit.

    Installation issues aside, which size would you recommend for my situation? I'm not sure if bigger is always better in terms of efficiency? Then again maybe it is.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. MAD MARK

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    Looks to be enough room for a NC30. I'd stick with that choice if you're stuck on Englander stoves.
    Better burn time than other models.
    Big enough for sub Zero weather.
    Big firebox for bigger cut logs.
    All NC30s come with the rear shield;
    Side shields are optional.

    A "flue tile" liner is a masonary chimney with flue tile on inside. It is really not considered a liner. So in essence, you dont have a liner.

    You need, or want, an insulated stainless steel 6" liner for your footage.

    Once and if you make these changes you will notice major differences. If you go with a modern soapstone stove like what you have your price for all this will go up,up,up.
     
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  8. bholler

    bholler
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    Flue tiles are absolutly considered a liner. I dont know what gave you that idea but clay tiles can be perfectly fine.
     
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  9. MAD MARK

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    I agree
     
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  10. bholler

    bholler
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    So why did you say clay was not considered a liner?
     
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  11. MAD MARK

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    Would you not agree an insulated liner would be better over a clay flue?

    Would you not agree connecting a NC30 to a insulated liner would be better than to a clay flue liner?

    You could help this man out instead of picking my post apart.
     
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  12. bholler

    bholler
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    Yes absolutly an insulated stainless liner is better. But that does not mean he needs one if his clay liner is in good condition and built to code it will work fine. Giving him innacurate info is not helping him.
     
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  13. bholler

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    1. No there really is no way to improve the efficiency of your stove

    2. Yes as long as your current chimney and wall passthrough are in goid condition and code compliant it is as simple as hooking up new pipe with an adapter.

    3. If you have had it inspected and everything is ok you can absolutly hook it up yourself
     
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  14. bholler

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    If i am understanding correctly this is a basement install. If so that tile is likely on concrete so it really doesnt matter if the concrete is big enough.
     
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  15. MrBrown80

    MrBrown80
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    Thanks for the help everyone. Very informative.

    For fire-insulation purposes, yes that's right. What I'm trying to figure out is if there's enough room on the ledge for the for the base of the stove to physically stand (while still being away far enough from the wall to be safe). I'd rather the base of it not dangle over the ledge. The clearance measurements in the manual are a little confusing. But I guess if I only need 16" from the wall and the whole thing is 31" deep, it will rest on my ledge with 3" to spare. You make a good point... the front clearance doesn't matter. Thank you.
     
  16. bholler

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    I see stone on the wall behind the stove is that right on a masonry wall or are there combustibles behind it?
     
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  17. MrBrown80

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    It's legit stone (not a facade) 1 foot deep. Behind it looks like some stucco, and then probably the foundation or the outer wall of the house.
     
  18. bholler

    bholler
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    If the stone wall is all noncombustible you can have the stove as close to it as you want so you definatly have room for an englander
     
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