NFPA 211 clearances

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jfog

New Member
Jan 21, 2021
6
bend oregon
No takers on my original question about mantel clearances so I will try again. I found the below attached NFPA 211 clearances on a stove mfg site. I do not know if the typos (% instead of ") comes from NFPA or the mfg. Anyhow, nowhere is there guidance on clearance to a wood MANTEL. A mantel is not a wall, and I do not think it is a ceiling either. Its wood so its combustible, but I still can't figure it out. It appears as though with proper shielding clearances to a ceiling can be reduced by 50%, but may not be less than 18" I would hope a wood mantel, which is not a ceiling, can be closer than 18". My stove spec is 24" to a mantel, so with shielding I would think 12" (50%). But that is less than 18". But its not a ceiling, so..... There are plenty of threads on this topic and posts with pictures which is helpful, but no answers as to code and NFPA 211. If you dropped a plumb line off the edge of my mantel it would probably overhang 1/3 the depth of my stove.

NFPA 211 clearances.PNG
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,546
07462
My stove spec is 24" to a mantel
It is possible that the stove manufacturer did not test a reduced clearance for the mantel so it not listed or advised to reduce the actual clearance in the field.
 

jfog

New Member
Jan 21, 2021
6
bend oregon
It is possible that the stove manufacturer did not test a reduced clearance for the mantel so it not listed or advised to reduce the actual clearance in the field.
I imagine that is possible. There seems to be some disconnect in standards however as each manufacturer seems to have specs for alcove clearances, which vary, and then reference NFPA-211 for protected surfaces which are standardized. I guess I can find another stove manufacture with the same alcove clearance that did do mantel testing and just use their data.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,810
South Puget Sound, WA
Mantels in alcoves are not all that common. The first place to ask is the stove company's tech support. If they are ok with a mantel shield on spacers, ask for it in writing. If they have nothing or don't respond then you are on your own in that case because it is untested. It may be ok with a proper shield, but it depends on the mantel design and shielding. Note that the stovepipe also has clearance requirements too.
 

jfog

New Member
Jan 21, 2021
6
bend oregon
Mantels in alcoves are not all that common. The first place to ask is the stove company's tech support. If they are ok with a mantel shield on spacers, ask for it in writing. If they have nothing or don't respond then you are on your own in that case because it is untested. It may be ok with a proper shield, but it depends on the mantel design and shielding. Note that the stovepipe also has clearance requirements too.
My guess is that there is no way they would open themselves to that sort of liability. I did send them the question though. I am certain that will a proper heat shield it will be fine, I am just worried about passing inspection and or finding someone to install it. I do not think an installer will do it without code compliant clearances. There is probably a way around that, but then what? I guess you never have to get it inspected? I am in Oregon.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,675
SE North Carolina
I did find this. So some company will sell you a product that cuts the clearance in half (just like 211). It’s cheap enough and probably gives you the best chance should anyone question the clearances.


The Mantel Protector attaches to your mantel and allows a clearance reduction from 36″ to 18″ from the top of an unlisted stove, as required by the NFPA 211 requirement.

I just looked at my manual and it says 24” too. No mention of reducing it.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,810
South Puget Sound, WA
My guess is that there is no way they would open themselves to that sort of liability. I did send them the question though. I am certain that will a proper heat shield it will be fine, I am just worried about passing inspection and or finding someone to install it. I do not think an installer will do it without code compliant clearances. There is probably a way around that, but then what? I guess you never have to get it inspected? I am in Oregon.
If the installation is to be inspected, then asking the inspector in advance if the heat shield would be acceptable is a good place to start. It should be ok but it's good to verify. An alternative would be to put in a non-combustible mantel.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
28,696
central pa
My guess is that there is no way they would open themselves to that sort of liability. I did send them the question though. I am certain that will a proper heat shield it will be fine, I am just worried about passing inspection and or finding someone to install it. I do not think an installer will do it without code compliant clearances. There is probably a way around that, but then what? I guess you never have to get it inspected? I am in Oregon.
I would bet your inspector won't even notice. As far as the installer some won't do it without a spec some will sheild it and call that good and others will completely ignore the issue.
 

Jmorg

New Member
Feb 26, 2021
45
Virginia
I did find this. So some company will sell you a product that cuts the clearance in half (just like 211). It’s cheap enough and probably gives you the best chance should anyone question the clearances.


The Mantel Protector attaches to your mantel and allows a clearance reduction from 36″ to 18″ from the top of an unlisted stove, as required by the NFPA 211 requirement.

I just looked at my manual and it says 24” too. No mention of reducing it.
I know I'm late to this discussion, but I have some questions about that heat shield. I was able to see the dimensions but unable to see many other specs on that website. Is it 24 gauge metal and does it come with all the hardware (spacers...etc)? Also, are you able to rip it to the width you need? Thanks for any info you can give me!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,810
South Puget Sound, WA
24 ga is fine. Sheet metal is typically cut with a shear, either with a large one in the shop or with a hand shear. It helps if you have some experience cutting metal. If not, take it to a local sheet metal shop and have them do it. However, don't cut it too small. It needs to extend past the stovetop.

The kit says it contains mounting hardware.
 
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Jmorg

New Member
Feb 26, 2021
45
Virginia
24 ga is fine. Sheet metal is typically cut with a shear, either with a large one in the shop or with a hand shear. It helps if you have some experience cutting metal. If not, take it to a local sheet metal shop and have them do it. However, don't cut it too small. It needs to extend past the stovetop.

The kit says it contains mounting hardware.
Thanks for that info, begreen! Thankfully I have access to a metal brake so hopefully that will make it quick and easy...
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,810
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks for that info, begreen! Thankfully I have access to a metal brake so hopefully that will make it quick and easy...
A brake is for bending, this will require a shear for cutting.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,675
SE North Carolina
I had great experience with a straight edge and metal cutting blade on my circular saw.
 

Jmorg

New Member
Feb 26, 2021
45
Virginia
A brake is for bending, this will require a shear for cutting.
True, but if you lock it in and score it a few times then you can bent it all the way up and snap it off with the brake. Unless the metal is just too thick, but I don't think it will be...
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,810
South Puget Sound, WA
True, but if you lock it in and score it a few times then you can bent it all the way up and snap it off with the brake. Unless the metal is just too thick, but I don't think it will be...
One would still need to cut through the metal at the 90º bend. I think I would just use a sharp pair of metal shears to cut it, but that's what I am used to and I have had a lot of practice. EbS-P had an alternative.
 

Solarguy3500

Member
Dec 3, 2020
248
Western MA
One would still need to cut through the metal at the 90º bend. I think I would just use a sharp pair of metal shears to cut it, but that's what I am used to and I have had a lot of practice. EbS-P had an alternative.

^This^
I have the Meecos mantle protector and I just took a look at it and it looks like 22 gauge or thicker steel. I don't know what you would score it with, but I don't think that approach will work.

As @begreen said, get a good pair of metal snips, specifically the Midwest brand. They make some really good offset right and left snips that are the only ones worth buying. Take that from someone who was a metal worker for 4.5 years.