New wood stove install

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
A tarp should be ok if you can avoid water pooling, i.e. give it a consistent slope. Pooling water will leak in.

Sheds are nice (said he who spent too much on one - have to justify that to myself continuously...), but legions of people don't use a shed but use tarps to get properly dry wood.

If you measure the moisture content *on a freshly split surface* (so you don't measure the dried out outside, but the wetter inside) and it's below 20%, you're good to go in my book.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,452
central pa
I'm used to a 5 gallon bucket full of creosote and soot yearly, burning 20-30 face a year back when I used to burn in the basement wood furnace. I've also got a 30 foot external clay lined masonry chimney though -- but even then, I didn't consider that overly significant all things considered. It was inspected more than that, but that was across the board for 7+ years.

If I'm cleaning more than once a year, I'm not gonna be happy, regardless of certifications or lack thereof that the stove may have. It's just not something I enjoy doing; but will admittedly be easier (but also messier) in the house going straight up rather than from the basement and going at an angle. Lol.

Once every other year is also perfectly okay, but I also need to be realistic that it may be every year for me. I generally season all of my hardwood at least 2 years, use a MM to verify MC in random splits etc, however admittedly don't cover my wood, so exposure to elements while stacked is common, and wood may have surface moisture from rain/snow, etc.

Are all of you guys covering your wood and keeping it bone dry in addition to seasoning? If the answer to this is yes, I guess I need to carefully consider this as this isn't something I intend on doing and simply don't have the means to do other than covering with a tarp, which of course will then slow seasoning down unless it's just for the winter and already well seasoned.
A 5 gal bucket of creosote is quite a bit. Not uncommon with older stoves at all but very uncommon with new ones. I typically get a few cups of powder.

And yes you should be top covering. Having dry wood to burn always works better if you keep water off of it.
 
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j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
414
Northern, MI
A 5 gal bucket of creosote is quite a bit. Not uncommon with older stoves at all but very uncommon with new ones. I typically get a few cups of powder.

And yes you should be top covering. Having dry wood to burn always works better if you keep water off of it.
Most of it was grey floofy soot, not the dangerous black creosote; generally about 2/3 soot, 1/3 of the bucket or so stuff I'd consider dangerous. Honestly not even a full bucket worth, just what I happened to use to collect it all with, but in comparison to a few cups, that's a big difference.

From what I recall, the grey floofy soot is pretty inert and isn't what causes fires though.

I do stack on pallets to keep ground moisture away and generally didn't toss snow covered logs on the fire directly either. I actually REALLY like the design of the Quadrafire Discovery III for this reason -- who needs a cast iron pot full of water for the stove top when you can just bake your snow covered wood right in the bottom warming compartment? Beats leaning a log against the stove to dry it out. Lol.

I'm not sure that particular stove will work for me though; I have to go through the EPA list again and see who has cats and who doesn't. I'm noticing lots of companies don't readily list this on their website and have to use the EPA listing more frequently than I have been.

One thing I am noticing though with these guys is that max BTU's are all over the place. Apparently the Discovery III makes 61,700 BTU and can heat 3,000 sqft, whereas the Drolet HT3000 produces 110,000 BTU, but only heats 2700 sqft.

Can someone explain that tidbit to me? Lol
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,452
central pa
Most of it was grey floofy soot, not the dangerous black creosote; generally about 2/3 soot, 1/3 of the bucket or so stuff I'd consider dangerous. Honestly not even a full bucket worth, just what I happened to use to collect it all with, but in comparison to a few cups, that's a big difference.

From what I recall, the grey floofy soot is pretty inert and isn't what causes fires though.

I do stack on pallets to keep ground moisture away and generally didn't toss snow covered logs on the fire directly either. I actually REALLY like the design of the Quadrafire Discovery III for this reason -- who needs a cast iron pot full of water for the stove top when you can just bake your snow covered wood right in the bottom warming compartment? Beats leaning a log against the stove to dry it out. Lol.

I'm not sure that particular stove will work for me though; I have to go through the EPA list again and see who has cats and who doesn't. I'm noticing lots of companies don't readily list this on their website and have to use the EPA listing more frequently than I have been.

One thing I am noticing though with these guys is that max BTU's are all over the place. Apparently the Discovery III makes 61,700 BTU and can heat 3,000 sqft, whereas the Drolet HT3000 produces 110,000 BTU, but only heats 2700 sqft.

Can someone explain that tidbit to me? Lol
Fluffy soot is good unless it is fluffy burnt creosote.

Just top cover your wood and you won't have to worry about drying it in the house.

The BTU and squ ft ratings vary for a few reasons. One there are the EPA numbers. They are tested at a predetermined density of load not a full load. Then you have manufacturers numbers which may or may not be accurate. And the square footage ratings really don't mean much at all. There is way to much variation in BTU load per square foot to give any sort of accurate number there
 
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kborndale

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2008
378
LI
I only top cover my wood for the year in the fall after I put the patio furniture away on my covered patio and have no issues. Top covered during the summer while seasoning is not necessary. Next year's wood is not top covered over the winter.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,452
central pa
I only top cover my wood for the year in the fall after I put the patio furniture away on my covered patio and have no issues. Top covered during the summer while seasoning is not necessary. Next year's wood is not top covered over the winter.
Nessecary no but keeping the wood dry makes it get to the proper moisture content much faster. If you are in an area with very little rain it wouldn't matter much. But in many areas it absolutely does make a difference
 

j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
414
Northern, MI
The BTU and squ ft ratings vary for a few reasons. One there are the EPA numbers. They are tested at a predetermined density of load not a full load. Then you have manufacturers numbers which may or may not be accurate. And the square footage ratings really don't mean much at all. There is way to much variation in BTU load per square foot to give any sort of accurate number there

It's definitely confusing for sure. I'm not even sure I need as big of a stove as I'm intending to get based on this, but I figured it's probably better to oversize than undersize.

The wife and I can't even agree on the square footage of our house to start ;lol

Given that wood stove will be in the corner of the house rather than centered, I have a mostly uninsulated basement, geographic location, etc, I figured that's probably my best bet -- even if I'm over on estimate.

Growing up as a kid with a wood stove insert in a masonry fireplace, if it wasn't 90 in the room with the window cracked, you were doing it wrong. Not a bad problem to have. Lol.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Making a small fire in a big stove is possible. The other way around is not. So you are right there to oversize - a bit. You still want to have hot fires for clean burns.
 
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marty319

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2014
502
Belair mb
I only top cover my wood for the year in the fall after I put the patio furniture away on my covered patio and have no issues. Top covered during the summer while seasoning is not necessary. Next year's wood is not top covered over the winter.
That's exactly what I do.wood bakes in the sun all summer then 2 cords in the shed and 4 covered for the rainy fall
 

tjohnson

New Member
Apr 1, 2022
3
Upper Midwest
I have 2 ft + thimble horizontal (and thus two 90 deg elbows). But a 26-27 ft chimney outside (two stories).
If you can plan straight up, you'll be in much better shape.

Indeed, from what I've read, I'd go for the NC32. The Vogelzang may work fine - but from what I read its longevity is questionable. As begreen mentioned, the Drolet line has a lot of happy customers too.
@stoveliker

I noticed your mention of 2’ wall thimble to a 27’ outside pre-fab chimney. (And therefore two 90 degree elbows).

How is that working for you?

This thread has been helpful since I’m in the process of determining if i can pull off a wood stove + chimney install myself - and your situation is commensurate to my only option.

I believe mine would be around 30’ - 35’ when it’s all said and done - tall house!

Also curious what stove you are using and if its particularly windy in your area?

Sounds like exterior / outside mount to the house isn’t ideal, but if it’s my only option… trying to gauge viablility.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
@stoveliker

I noticed your mention of 2’ wall thimble to a 27’ outside pre-fab chimney. (And therefore two 90 degree elbows).

How is that working for you?

This thread has been helpful since I’m in the process of determining if i can pull off a wood stove + chimney install myself - and your situation is commensurate to my only option.

I believe mine would be around 30’ - 35’ when it’s all said and done - tall house!

Also curious what stove you are using and if its particularly windy in your area?

Sounds like exterior / outside mount to the house isn’t ideal, but if it’s my only option… trying to gauge viablility.
I don't have a prefab chimney, but a double rigid heavy wall SS liner in masonry. Not insulated. A prefab ("class A") chimney would actually be better than mine.

But it works well for me.

At 30-35' you may need a flue damper because you'll have a LOT of draft, and too much would make your stove eat thru the wood too fast, also pumping more heat up the flue. So it's not efficient (and could become dangerous if not handled well).

It is not particularly windy in my area, though much more than in other places. I live near the LI Sound. So most days I have a breeze. In summer that's nice. But the stove does not run then. In winter I run the stove with howling Nor-Easters (too). No problem there; at such weather ones home looses more heat anyway, so a bit higher burning in the stove is fine.

My stove has a thermostat though that mitigates - within limits - the wind variability, as it automatically adjusts the air intake for a constant heat output. The within limits is important though; add a large vacuum pump on the chimney and I'd still overheat my stove, I presume.

Interior chimneys are somewhat better, but with your tall exterior one, you'll have no issue with too little draft. The opposite will likely be true. Use double wall stove pipe before the thimble to keep gases hotter (and add one flue damper, and have space for another one in case it's needed). Then a code-compliant thru-the-wall thimble and assembly, and class A on the outside. Safest you can be. Many, many folks with such chimneys. I'd not consider that a "viability issue".
 

tjohnson

New Member
Apr 1, 2022
3
Upper Midwest
I don't have a prefab chimney, but a double rigid heavy wall SS liner in masonry. Not insulated. A prefab ("class A") chimney would actually be better than mine.

But it works well for me.
I don't have a prefab chimney, but a double rigid heavy wall SS liner in masonry. Not insulated. A prefab ("class A") chimney would actually be better than mine.

But it works well for me.

At 30-35' you may need a flue damper because you'll have a LOT of draft, and too much would make your stove eat thru the wood too fast, also pumping more heat up the flue. So it's not efficient (and could become dangerous if not handled well).

It is not particularly windy in my area, though much more than in other places. I live near the LI Sound. So most days I have a breeze. In summer that's nice. But the stove does not run then. In winter I run the stove with howling Nor-Easters (too). No problem there; at such weather ones home looses more heat anyway, so a bit higher burning in the stove is fine.

My stove has a thermostat though that mitigates - within limits - the wind variability, as it automatically adjusts the air intake for a constant heat output. The within limits is important though; add a large vacuum pump on the chimney and I'd still overheat my stove, I presume.

Interior chimneys are somewhat better, but with your tall exterior one, you'll have no issue with too little draft. The opposite will likely be true. Use double wall stove pipe before the thimble to keep gases hotter (and add one flue damper, and have space for another one in case it's needed). Then a code-compliant thru-the-wall thimble and assembly, and class A on the outside. Safest you can be. Many, many folks with such chimneys. I'd not consider that a "viability issue".


At 30-35' you may need a flue damper because you'll have a LOT of draft, and too much would make your stove eat thru the wood too fast, also pumping more heat up the flue. So it's not efficient (and could become dangerous if not handled well).

It is not particularly windy in my area, though much more than in other places. I live near the LI Sound. So most days I have a breeze. In summer that's nice. But the stove does not run then. In winter I run the stove with howling Nor-Easters (too). No problem there; at such weather ones home looses more heat anyway, so a bit higher burning in the stove is fine.

My stove has a thermostat though that mitigates - within limits - the wind variability, as it automatically adjusts the air intake for a constant heat output. The within limits is important though; add a large vacuum pump on the chimney and I'd still overheat my stove, I presume.

Interior chimneys are somewhat better, but with your tall exterior one, you'll have no issue with too little draft. The opposite will likely be true. Use double wall stove pipe before the thimble to keep gases hotter (and add one flue damper, and have space for another one in case it's needed). Then a code-compliant thru-the-wall thimble and assembly, and class A on the outside. Safest you can be. Many, many folks with such chimneys. I'd not consider that a "viability issue".
@stoveliker Sure thing, absolutely plan on including a damper, or two, as well as a reclaimer - while also monitoring the stove closely. I live in Minnesota where we can get strong winds for sure, but probably not as consistent as coastal areas.

I’m aligned to your sentiment, however, here’s where my confusion lies:

In reviewing the installation and user manual for the Drolet HT-3000, for example, on page 36 it specifically states that this exterior prefab design we are discussing is “inferior”.


Just like @j7art2, when i contacted my insurance about installing a stove they told me “as long as it’s professionally installed”, and when i spoke with the city inspector he told me 1) they will reference the installation requirements of the manufacturers (stove, chimney, hearth, etc) and 2) the top of the chimney must be at least 10’ horizontal from closest shingle.

I like this Drolet stove, and appreciate their call out of the variables included in the exterior vs interior chimney, but we both know there is nothing unique about this stove (other than not having a thermostat) that would, or would not, require a specific chimney style to run proficiently, and i fear the inspector will point to page 36 and say it’s not kosher.

Are you reading the manual the same way?

E316B47C-A018-4D74-8B86-70273D5625CE.jpeg
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
On here, common assessment is that an insulated class A is perfectly fine. I don't read the manual as it being not allowed, which would have been a problem.

@bholler knows the ins and outs ;-) of chimneys best.

Regarding a reclaimer, what do you mean by that? I would not put a device in the chimney that pulls heat.out of the chimney to put it in your home. Those do often result in creosote because flue temps decrease.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,128
NE Ohio
and i fear the inspector will point to page 36 and say it’s not kosher.

Are you reading the manual the same way?
I highly doubt the inspector will care one whit...he is just looking for "code violations" and couldn't care less about a "performance issue" especially on an install that is so common.
And while Drolet calls out the potential issues with an external install, an internal install can have "high draft" issues easier, so that can be a problem too...guess you just pick your poison and roll with it.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,452
central pa
@stoveliker Sure thing, absolutely plan on including a damper, or two, as well as a reclaimer - while also monitoring the stove closely. I live in Minnesota where we can get strong winds for sure, but probably not as consistent as coastal areas.

I’m aligned to your sentiment, however, here’s where my confusion lies:

In reviewing the installation and user manual for the Drolet HT-3000, for example, on page 36 it specifically states that this exterior prefab design we are discussing is “inferior”.


Just like @j7art2, when i contacted my insurance about installing a stove they told me “as long as it’s professionally installed”, and when i spoke with the city inspector he told me 1) they will reference the installation requirements of the manufacturers (stove, chimney, hearth, etc) and 2) the top of the chimney must be at least 10’ horizontal from closest shingle.

I like this Drolet stove, and appreciate their call out of the variables included in the exterior vs interior chimney, but we both know there is nothing unique about this stove (other than not having a thermostat) that would, or would not, require a specific chimney style to run proficiently, and i fear the inspector will point to page 36 and say it’s not kosher.

Are you reading the manual the same way?

View attachment 294992
Yes straight up is better from a draft standpoint and cheaper. But if you have 30' of rise you are not going to have low draft issues at all so through the wall will be perfectly fine. And I really doubt the inspector will look at the manual that closely. (If at all)

Also the height requirement is 2' above anything within 10'. Or 3 feet above the point it passes the roof
 
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j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
414
Northern, MI
I ran into an interesting problem.

The Drolet HT3000 is right out for me.

I contacted 2 places, and neither of them will install a unit they don't sell. There's no Drolet dealer for miles.

I guess that means I'm looking at an Osburn 3500 or Quadrafire Discovery III. I really like the design of the Quadrafire, but the firebox of the Osburn is bigger, so I think that's the route I'm going to probably go. They tried to sell me on a Vermont Castings Defiant (apparently you don't need the cat for these and can run them without, they're extra) but they're pretty pricy as is. I'm not sure I'm getting all that much more out of the VC other than looks.

Something to consider for those who need professional install, you may have to settle with what they have/can get.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,452
central pa
I ran into an interesting problem.

The Drolet HT3000 is right out for me.

I contacted 2 places, and neither of them will install a unit they don't sell. There's no Drolet dealer for miles.

I guess that means I'm looking at an Osburn 3500 or Quadrafire Discovery III. I really like the design of the Quadrafire, but the firebox of the Osburn is bigger, so I think that's the route I'm going to probably go. They tried to sell me on a Vermont Castings Defiant (apparently you don't need the cat for these and can run them without, they're extra) but they're pretty pricy as is. I'm not sure I'm getting all that much more out of the VC other than looks.

Something to consider for those who need professional install, you may have to settle with what they have/can get.
Try talking to chimney sweeps about installing. Many times they will install any stove
 
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j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
414
Northern, MI
Try talking to chimney sweeps about installing. Many times they will install any stove

Will do!

How does the Osburn 3500 compare to the Drolet HT3000 other than being more expensive? Any idea? I took a glance and it looks like a pretty solid unit regardless, it appears the Osburn 3500 wood stove insert actually shares the same firebox as the Drolet, but it's sorta hard to compare between units.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,452
central pa
Will do!

How does the Osburn 3500 compare to the Drolet HT3000 other than being more expensive? Any idea? I took a glance and it looks like a pretty solid unit regardless, it appears the Osburn 3500 wood stove insert actually shares the same firebox as the Drolet, but it's sorta hard to compare between units.
I honestly don't know we really don't see them here. But I know they are both made by sbi and are probably the same basic stove. The osburn is just a higher trim level.
 
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j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
414
Northern, MI
Update for those following or who have helped.

The heating and cooling company is coming 5/11 to give me an estimate for the Osburn 3500 installed. They say on average it's $5-8k for a project like this for everything, so if they're within their normal ballpark for mine, that's the route I think I'll end up going.
 

j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
414
Northern, MI
Had my first estimate today and it went well.

I had initially looked at the Osburn 3500, but now i'm kind of getting steered toward the slightly smaller 3300. The company is insisting that I really don't need the 3500 and that it's a pretty huge unit.

Initially I had completely dismissed Vermont Casting because of the price, but apparently they're great units also, and the cast iron units retain heat longer. I'd be looking at a Dauntless or Encore.

I'm really not sure which way to go now.

The Osburn wouldn't give me the 26% credit since it's only 71% efficient according to the EPA database. It would however be about $1200-1500 cheaper.

It's plate steel meaning it can warp, and will not retain heat as long as a cast iron unit, but has no catalytic converter to fight or fiddle with, and takes traditional fire brick which is easy to obtain.

The Vermont Casting, being cast iron will retain heat longer, has a cat (which apparently does not need to be used) and WILL meet the tax credit, but also uses fire board rather than fire brick meaning I'd have to custom order it and couldn't just get replacements at the farm store. It's also top loading which is pretty neat but not necessary.

If you had to choose between a VC Dauntless/Encore or an Osburn 3300, which would you go?
 

kborndale

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2008
378
LI
I would not buy a VC stove, I have never heard anything good about them. Take what the dealer tells you with a grain of salt. They are in the business of doing what is best for them (making money) not you. They are often not that informed on the products they are selling either.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,452
central pa
Had my first estimate today and it went well.

I had initially looked at the Osburn 3500, but now i'm kind of getting steered toward the slightly smaller 3300. The company is insisting that I really don't need the 3500 and that it's a pretty huge unit.

Initially I had completely dismissed Vermont Casting because of the price, but apparently they're great units also, and the cast iron units retain heat longer. I'd be looking at a Dauntless or Encore.

I'm really not sure which way to go now.

The Osburn wouldn't give me the 26% credit since it's only 71% efficient according to the EPA database. It would however be about $1200-1500 cheaper.

It's plate steel meaning it can warp, and will not retain heat as long as a cast iron unit, but has no catalytic converter to fight or fiddle with, and takes traditional fire brick which is easy to obtain.

The Vermont Casting, being cast iron will retain heat longer, has a cat (which apparently does not need to be used) and WILL meet the tax credit, but also uses fire board rather than fire brick meaning I'd have to custom order it and couldn't just get replacements at the farm store. It's also top loading which is pretty neat but not necessary.

If you had to choose between a VC Dauntless/Encore or an Osburn 3300, which would you go?
Osburn every time. The dealer is just trying to up sell you. The cast iron can warp just as easily as plate steel and the extra heat holding capacity it so small it won't make any difference. If it was a cast iron jacketed plate steel stove that does change the heating characteristics. But those stoves are not.
 
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j7art2

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2014
414
Northern, MI
Good to know. He said he had a Lopi Evergreen and loved it and didn't realize they were a Lopi dealer until after the fact, so it may actually come down to a Lopi Evergreen vs an Osburn 3300.

Osburn has a bigger firebox, but doesn't get the credit.

Can the Evergreen run without the cat? Anyone by chance know? Not to say that I would, but if I had to (IE, shortages, supply chain issues, etc) it would help put my mind at ease.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,128
NE Ohio
Boy, if they were trying to sell you a VC over a Osburn, I'd question if they really have your best interest in mind...I'd say no.
VC was good years ago, but not in a long time now.