New Jotul F500 Installation - Questions, Ideas and a Sanity Check

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New Member
Nov 30, 2022
Hello all.

Thanks for contributing to a valuable forum. I've spent some time here over the past couple years as I contemplated purchasing and installing a stove. I am close to pulling the trigger on a Jotul Oslo V3, and wanted to put a few questions to the crowd before I pull the trigger. I also felt the need to write out my own thoughts and checklist as sort of a sanity check. This may be a long post so thanks in advance for reading.

By way of background, I grew up around woodstoves and have intended to put one in my new (to me) old (1890) house for some time. The house is roughly 1800 sq. ft. and has a layout that should lend itself well to heat dispersion. I intend to use the stove as the home’s primary heater, but the antique single pipe steam still does a good job (at a cost). I have been splitting and stacking wood for years and have quite a bit of well seasoned wood available, and a small suburban wood lot I'm in the process of clearing means that not only should I have free wood for the foreseeable future, but it's actually cheaper to burn than to have pay the tree guys to haul away. Good wood too - locust, norway and sugar maple, some ash. And I really enjoy splitting it.

We chose the F500 for several reasons, including performance, size of firebox, fit and appearance. We have the exact stove all lined up. However, in the course of our preliminary inspection (camera up the chimney) the inspector pointed out gaps in the flue tiles stating it would require the installation of rigid oval insulated pipe. This has doubled the cost of the install (time and materials), from $2500 to more than $5K. The materials themselves are more than $3600. I live in a high cost of living area, and can live with the fact that labor and materials are expensive, but this stove will cost me more than I’ve ever spent on a car, so I want to make sure it's done right and I’m not getting taken for a ride. Let me know if that’s a crazy number.

Also, the increased price means getting this stove installed before the year is out becomes more valuable, as my understanding is that after Jan. 1 the credit is capped at 2K. So getting it done this month saves me approximately 10%. In order to get it done this month, I have two weeks to take care of the fireplace, hearth and block-off plate. I've never done any of this before.

Pictures are below. The carboard box is very close to the size of the stove; the box is about 1.5” taller than the stove, and 1.5” narrower. We are ordering the stove with the rear heat shield and short leg kit. As you see it’s a very tight fit, but it seems to me like a perfect fit. It’s tough to see but electrical tape on the side show depth to rear leg. The side door should open greater than 90 degrees, although not a full 180 (or whatever the hinge limit is). The front legs will come right to the edge of the concrete hearth (that is framed beneath) but I’ll need to build the extension for ember protection. This stove has a bottom heat shield. The masking tape outlines the required clearances, but I’ll go bigger on the right side to make it balanced (even side to side) and if it’s a hair deeper into the room to accommodate tile size that’s fine. I’ve never cut nor laid tile before. The dimensions in front of the chimney facing are 38” deep by 68” wide.

Questions / considerations:

The tight fit means it will be difficult to clean out the liner from the bottom, correct? Any other observations regarding fit? I am just concerned because there is little wiggle room on this.

Construction of the hearth has been discussed extensively on these forums and I feel like I can do that myself. Cement board, thinset and tiles seems like the popular choice. I also intend to paint and seal the fireplace as best I can, and need to do something about the old ash catcher.

There are a lot of resources on here for the block off plate as well. It will likely be a challenge to have the perfect thing constructed and ready for install while the actual installers are here.

Regarding the tax credit (and I realize this isn’t a CPA forum), anything I need to consider? As long as the installation date is this year, I’m good? The credit is not means tested or anything? And if, for instance, I claimed 500 bucks on insulation in a prior year, is there some sort of overall cap? The IRS site isn’t very clear, at least to a layman like me.

What else do I need to be concerned about here? Overall, it’s something I want to get accomplished, and while expensive, will be worth it to me without question. The financial aspect is almost secondary to the lifestyle aspect, being able to heat without power, not being hostage to gas prices, etc. We spend a lot of time in this room in front of the fire, and currently that’s hugely inefficient (actually makes the rest of the house colder, as the thermostat is in this room), and possibly even dangerous given the gaps in the chimney and the fact that I typically fall asleep in front of the fire. Plus I can’t close the flue until the next morning, so the house gets real cold when it finally goes out.

Thanks for reading. I welcome any comments.

New Jotul F500 Installation - Questions, Ideas and a Sanity CheckNew Jotul F500 Installation - Questions, Ideas and a Sanity CheckNew Jotul F500 Installation - Questions, Ideas and a Sanity Check
are you going to rear to top vent? Read the manunal on how to disassemble if top venting.

Sure you want a the stove and not an insert? I have both insert is just easier. Your stove should have a blower to to move heat out. Look at my avatar I really wanted the f500 for its size as the F400 is not large enough but it’s really nice to be able to reach around back to clean. Remove the blower and clean it.

If it were me I’d wait as long as it took and install a Pacific energy T5 insert. Same looks better design and better for this application.

That brick will get hot. Top corners it would not surprise me if it was over 300 degrees. Thinking about paint.