New Owner And Member - Stove ID and General Help

markfsanderson

New Member
Sep 16, 2020
5
New Baltimore, VA
Greetings,
We moved in to the North Virginia area about 4 months ago in late May 2020. Coming from San Antonio, I've not had any adult experience with wood stoves or fire places (lived in NJ and NE as a child did give me some taste of winter -haha!) and so I'm looking for help in ID'ing my stoves and any assistance/advice in using them. The house the stoves are installed was built to code in 1990, but one or more of the stoves could come from an older house on the property prior to that time.

The first stove is an Appalachian Stove. I'm assuming (but not sure) it is the newer of the the two. It is installed in the living room. The blower fan does work (a little noisy though) on the manual selection. I have no idea if this is catalytic model, it's model number or anything about it. I did not personally observe the stove working.

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This next stove is from LOPI, age and model unknown. It is installed in its own alcove in the basement. I've seen (and felt!) this stove work and it seems to be quite effective in heating up the entire house (or at least the basement and 1st first floor for sure). It does appear that the door gasket is worn, not sure where I'd find a replacement for it.
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Any help on identifying this stoves with model numbers and etc would be greatly appreciated. Instructions, advice and etc would be greatly appreciated as well. I'll have more questions as time goes on, but my first question might be controversial:
1) Pine or No Pine? We have a dead non-native pine tree here on our 10 acre property that will soon be cut down. Can I/Should I burn that?
2) Does have a Catalytic stove help with burning pine or other 'dirtier' trees? My understanding is that the catalyst element helps with burn efficiency - is that all does? Must I have it? Can a stove designed with it run without it?

Note: July of 2019 was last time the stoves were inspected and the steel pipes were cleaned. I'm still trying to find a Chimney Sweep, the one the prior owner used is not answering the phone . . . Any help with Sweeps in the NOVA area would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help . . .

Mark F. Sanderson
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,151
07462

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
658
Texas
We traded places (sort of). We moved from Northern Virginia to the Hill Country near San Antonio about three years ago. We were so sad to leave our woodstove behind and were very surprised to find ourselves cold down here in winter. We had a fireplace insert installed last winter, and it was lovely to sit in front of the fire again.

I'll reiterate. Pine is fine as long as your chimney is in good shape. (That same caveat applies to any other wood.) It does burn hot and quickly, and it can emit more sparks than other wood. If a chimney were full of creosote from earlier burning of wet wood, it could easily catch that on fire.

You say the stoves were inspected and cleaned in July 2019. Were they burned after that, or were they just sitting idle?

When we needed door gasket for our Lopi, we purchased it from Acme stove in Fairfax. They also used to recommend Phoenix (though it may have been spelled like Phenix or something odd) for cleanings. We used a couple of different chimney companies to clean and rebuild part of our chimney before we had our insert installed, and we never actually had Phenix do a cleaning. I just remember the name and the recommendation from the stove shop.

@BrotherBart may be able to help you out with some local recommendations.
 
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markfsanderson

New Member
Sep 16, 2020
5
New Baltimore, VA
Could also be an older 36bw
Check to see if it has a cat or not, should be located in-between the air control rod on top of the stove, I venture to say that you need to open the door and with a flash light stick your head in and look up, it will look like a square honey comb
Will do - thanks! I'll take another look, but if I remember correctly there was nothing there that looked like a honeycomb. Can a cat be retrofitted? Is it worth it for additional efficiency/clean burning/etc? I noticed the cat elements vary wildly in price for the Appalachian stoves.

Mark
 

markfsanderson

New Member
Sep 16, 2020
5
New Baltimore, VA
There is absolutely nothing wrong with burning pine. Just like any other wood it needs to be dry.
I'm assuming if I cut my pine tree down and it measures around 20% moisture its pretty much ready to burn? What is the max moisture that I should burn pine (or any other wood) at for the best effect.

Mark
 

markfsanderson

New Member
Sep 16, 2020
5
New Baltimore, VA
We traded places (sort of). We moved from Northern Virginia to the Hill Country near San Antonio about three years ago. We were so sad to leave our woodstove behind and were very surprised to find ourselves cold down here in winter. We had a fireplace insert installed last winter, and it was lovely to sit in front of the fire again.

I'll reiterate. Pine is fine as long as your chimney is in good shape. (That same caveat applies to any other wood.) It does burn hot and quickly, and it can emit more sparks than other wood. If a chimney were full of creosote from earlier burning of wet wood, it could easily catch that on fire.

You say the stoves were inspected and cleaned in July 2019. Were they burned after that, or were they just sitting idle?

When we needed door gasket for our Lopi, we purchased it from Acme stove in Fairfax. They also used to recommend Phoenix (though it may have been spelled like Phenix or something odd) for cleanings. We used a couple of different chimney companies to clean and rebuild part of our chimney before we had our insert installed, and we never actually had Phenix do a cleaning. I just remember the name and the recommendation from the stove shop.

@BrotherBart may be able to help you out with some local recommendations.
The stove(s) has been used since that time, certainly during the winter time as I personally witnessed them using the LOPI Liberty in the basement. I don't think they used the living room stove (Appalachian), or at least I never saw it being used.

thanks - mark!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA
The Lopi seems to be a Liberty. The other one I am not familiar with.
It's too small and not a steptop. The early Lopi before the Liberty had double-doors and was the 380 or 440? I think the Lopi may be an A3 which was pre-EPA and the predecessor to the Answer. The baffle stones should be tight to each other, with no gap between them or the sides.
 
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BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
J.E. Rice Hardware in Manassas should be able to provide anything you need. I have been buying my stove stuff there for 35 years. They can recommend a sweep also.
 
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Hi Mark,

First off, I have very little experience so I may be wrong on all points. That said...

I have two concerns:
  1. The Appalachian fireplace insert looks likes its glass has a very heavy coating of soot on it. From my limited experience, this may indicate that the previous owners burned unseasoned wood or other things they shouldn’t. I would worry about creosote buildup. So your search for a good chimney sweep is spot on.
  2. The label on the Lopi looks to me like it was partially melted. I think they would use aluminum for a sticker on a wood stove. If that label is aluminum and not plastic, then the stove may have been over-fired.
Again, I may be wrong.

Sean
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,325
South Puget Sound, WA