Why do some wood stove or fireplaces below 2.0 g/h not meet EPA 2020?

Jacklumber

Member
Oct 7, 2017
29
California
I had thought that FireplaceXtrordinair 42 Apex model advertised as being 0.7 g/h would have been compliant with the EPA 2020 particulate emissions standards.

However, it states in the 42 Apex manual:

"Certified to comply with 2015 particulate emissions standards. Not approved for sale after May 15, 2020. 0.7 g/h, Method 28, 5G2, 2015"

In the manual of another Travis model, the Lopi Rockport stove, it states:

"Certified to comply with 2020 particulate emissions standards using crib wood. 0.8 g/h, Method 28, ASTM E2515-10, 2015."

What's the difference between Method 28 ASTM E2515-10 and Method 28 5G2, and should I assume that the 42 Apex model failed the Method 28 ASTM E2515-10 2020 Standard?
 

Jacklumber

Member
Oct 7, 2017
29
California
I spoke to Fireplace Xtrordinair and they said that it just hadn't been tested yet, but that it would almost certainly pass 2020 EPA emmissions when it was.
 

Jacklumber

Member
Oct 7, 2017
29
California
Gov't - not much more to say.
So I got in touch with the EPA to clarify any issues with the 42 Apex regarding 2020 compliance.

The 42 Apex catalytic stove has been tested and EPA-certified for the 2015 NSPS, but not for the 2020 NSPS. The 42 Apex model was not tested 'correctly' for the 2020 standard in accordance with test method ASTM E2515-ll. For example, each model must be tested by taking a particle filter sample to measure PM emissions during the first hour of the test. See the following excerpt below from the 2015 residential wood heater NSPS:

§ 60.534 "(d) For all tests conducted using ASTM E2515–11 (IBR, see § 60.17) pursuant to this section, the manufacturer and approved test laboratory must also measure the first hour of particulate matter emissions for each test run using a separate filter in one of the two parallel trains. The manufacturer and approved test laboratory must report the test results for the first hour separately and also include them in the total particulate matter emissions per run."
(Column 3, page 13709 of the 2015 NSPS located at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-03-16/pdf/2015-03733.pdf)

So it seems that Travis may have slipped up on the test procedure for the 42 Apex. It is my understanding that they plan to re-testing the 42 Apex stove and re-submit its 2020 certification request to EPA for approval.

The Travis Rockport model by Lopi has been tested and certified for the 2020 NSPS because it meets all 2020 requirements, including the first hour emissions.
 
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mjbroz

New Member
Mar 6, 2018
6
WA State
Hey Jacklumber - did you move forward with your Apex? How is it going? FYI - I am also interested in the EPA 2020 certificate for this stove and have asked my dealer for an update on the situation. I'll let you know if I get anything valuable back from that. I'm looking to add a ZC fireplace to my new home build this year and trying to narrow down my options.

Thanks.
 

Jacklumber

Member
Oct 7, 2017
29
California
Hey Jacklumber - did you move forward with your Apex? How is it going? FYI - I am also interested in the EPA 2020 certificate for this stove and have asked my dealer for an update on the situation. I'll let you know if I get anything valuable back from that. I'm looking to add a ZC fireplace to my new home build this year and trying to narrow down my options.

Thanks.
I did go for the Apex, was delivered but the air cooled chimney didn't come with a part so patiently waiting for delivery of air cooling duct kit. In the last month I have become a bricklayer, electrician, carpenter and plasterer. Had to build out chase owing to clearance, seeing the chase narrowing when I tore down the mantle was quite an 'oh chit what do I do now'' moment. It needs 81" clear from base. Part is arriving on tuesday, then its the install, cement board and rock veneer. Here are some pictures. I've been trying to video log, might put something together on youtube when I'm through. The 42 Apex looks impressive, it's been sitting in the middle of the room for 3 weeks. I'll let you know how it blazes in a couple of weeks or so.
 

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mjbroz

New Member
Mar 6, 2018
6
WA State
Thanks Jacklumber. Nice progress. Looks like lots of work. I have no real info on the 2020 certification, but I did get an updated brochure for the 42 Apex that says:
"** This heater meets the 2020 U.S. EPA’s crib wood emission limits for wood heaters sold after May 15, 2015. Tested to Method 28, *** This model was tested for efficiency using method B415.1-10 and was determined to have: • Weighted average higher heating value (HHV) overall heating efficiency (OHE) of 73% • Weighted average lower heating value (LHV) overall heating efficiency (OHE) of 78.6% • Maximum measured lower heating value (LHV) efficiency of 83.3%"
But, it's still not indicated as certified for 2020 in the EPA xls (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-08/usepa-certified-wood-heater-list.xlsx) so I guess we are still in limbo.
Looking forward on seeing more of your progress.
 

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mjbroz

New Member
Mar 6, 2018
6
WA State
Thanks Jacklumber. Nice progress. Looks like lots of work. I have no real info on the 2020 certification, but I did get an updated brochure for the 42 Apex that says:
"** This heater meets the 2020 U.S. EPA’s crib wood emission limits for wood heaters sold after May 15, 2015. Tested to Method 28, *** This model was tested for efficiency using method B415.1-10 and was determined to have: • Weighted average higher heating value (HHV) overall heating efficiency (OHE) of 73% • Weighted average lower heating value (LHV) overall heating efficiency (OHE) of 78.6% • Maximum measured lower heating value (LHV) efficiency of 83.3%"
But, it's still not indicated as certified for 2020 in the EPA xls (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-08/usepa-certified-wood-heater-list.xlsx) so I guess we are still in limbo.
Looking forward on seeing more of your progress.
FYI - I just checked the EPA link again and it appears they have posted the 42 Apex as meeting the 2020 standards. It's interesting the numbers changed slightly (emissions went from .7 G/Hr to .93, Heat Output went from 11162=>37897 to 13537=>4926). I'll upload a screenshot.
 

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mjbroz

New Member
Mar 6, 2018
6
WA State
Yah...

Trump just said yesterday that there is no such thing as global warming.... what is the point of low emmisions...
LOL. For me personally, I am hoping to avoid smoking up the area around my house any more than necessary when burning a fire, and on the off chance a county official drops by because I'm burning during a stage 1 burn ban, I can invite them in to sit and chat in front of a cozy and perfectly legal fire. And to answer your unasked question: no, it would not surprise me to have some over zealous type get excited about a fire in the fireplace and give the Dept. of Ecology a call. Last year we only had about 2 weeks of Level 1 burn burns (during which only approved stoves or homes where the stoves are the primary source of heat can burn). It's pretty common to get a week or two in Dec, Jan, and Feb.
 
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firefirefire

Member
Feb 10, 2008
38
Minnesota
The shorter version of the answer you guys seem to have figured out is the EPA changed the test method from method 28 to method 28R. One of the additions is the filter change after the first hour as mentioned. I believe this was added to capture some compunds that may evaporate off the filters on units that have really long burn times. There were other changes as well but are all more concerns for stove manufacturers that don't necessarily affect consumers .

The EPA likely mislead you a bit by saying Travis didn't test it correctly. It's more likely that they tested to the standard that was in place at the time, before the EPA decided to change the method.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,884
Indiana
It’s all about money!... If we can all be so lucky, this 2020 crap will just go away. Otherwise, woodstoves as we know them will go away. This is just the first notch in the EPA’s new belt.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,337
Michigan
It’s all about money!... If we can all be so lucky, this 2020 crap will just go away. Otherwise, woodstoves as we know them will go away. This is just the first notch in the EPA’s new belt.

I've been tempted to buy an Englander stove to put in storage for just this reason; this is how stupid we've become.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,836
South Puget Sound, WA
It’s all about money!... If we can all be so lucky, this 2020 crap will just go away. Otherwise, woodstoves as we know them will go away. This is just the first notch in the EPA’s new belt.
Nonsense. This is the first big change since the mid-80s. Most stoves will still be around and some new ones will enter the field. Tighter controls have made stoves more efficient and cleaner. They spawned your favorites, like the BK cats. I look forward to the innovation that the next generation of stoves will bring and to cleaner burning all around.
I've been tempted to buy an Englander stove to put in storage for just this reason; this is how stupid we've become.
No need, the venerable 30-NC already passes with 1.6 g/hr. .
 
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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,884
Indiana
Nonsense. This is the first big change since the mid-80s. Most stoves will still be around and some new ones will enter the field. Tighter controls have made stoves more efficient and cleaner. They spawned your favorites, like the BK cats. I look forward to the innovation that the next generation of stoves will bring and to cleaner burning all around.

No need, the venerable 30-NC already passes with 1.6 g/hr. .
I agree, but they are plenty clean enough already. The regulations are too steep. Usability will suffer and the expense will soar.
Several companies will pull it off and produce a fine product, already do. Others will make something pass, even if it’s not durable or user friendly. Some companies will fold up..
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,836
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, some companies will pass and some will fold and some new ones will come out. That is the natural order of things. We all benefited from the last EPA phase. How will usability suffer with a new BK or PE stove? Do you think durability or reliability suffered with the last EPA change for these stoves? I don't think so. Instead there have been incremental improvements in both brands that have done the opposite. They just keep getting better.
 
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Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,337
Michigan
Not stove related, but I can tell you exactly how the EPA regs can screw people over. Look at the diesel requirements for autos and small trucks. EPA regs have killed the mileage and have caused those with diesels to burn far more fuel. A pickup that used to get 20 mpg is now getting 13 or less mpg. That is a direct result of EPA regs. Our farrier drives a ton of miles and hauls a very heavy trailer. He actually went back to a gasser after his new Ford was only getting 10 mpg. His previous Dodge with 345,000 got 17mpg fully load with trailer. Meanwhile, I watch a gravel truck in front of me yesterday burp out more diesel than I burn in a year. Go figure.
 
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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,884
Indiana
Not stove related, but I can tell you exactly how the EPA regs can screw people over. Look at the diesel requirements for autos and small trucks. EPA regs have killed the mileage and have caused those with diesels to burn far more fuel. A pickup that used to get 20 mpg is now getting 13 or less mpg. That is a direct result of EPA regs. Our farrier drives a ton of miles and hauls a very heavy trailer. He actually went back to a gasser after his new Ford was only getting 10 mpg. His previous Dodge with 345,000 got 17mpg fully load with trailer. Meanwhile, I watch a gravel truck in front of me yesterday burp out more diesel than I burn in a year. Go figure.
Same here. 1ton dually getting about 10mpg. Had to spend about $5K to get rid of all the EPA crap just to make it reliable.
That’s what I’m afraid will happen with some stoves. They will put out a product that hasn’t been tested fully just to have something to sell after 2020. It happened last time, lots of manufacturers stuck cats in their stove so they could comply, then cats failed constantly. VC wasn’t too far off from that, lots of expensive failures, but they never abandoned the design like others did.
 

Supersurvey

Burning Hunk
Jan 25, 2015
188
New Jersey
Whats the new requiremen for wood stoves 1.6 or 2.0?
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,337
Michigan
Same here. 1ton dually getting about 10mpg. Had to spend about $5K to get rid of all the EPA crap just to make it reliable.
That’s what I’m afraid will happen with some stoves. They will put out a product that hasn’t been tested fully just to have something to sell after 2020. It happened last time, lots of manufacturers stuck cats in their stove so they could comply, then cats failed constantly. VC wasn’t too far off from that, lots of expensive failures, but they never abandoned the design like others did.
Same here. 1ton dually getting about 10mpg. Had to spend about $5K to get rid of all the EPA crap just to make it reliable.
That’s what I’m afraid will happen with some stoves. They will put out a product that hasn’t been tested fully just to have something to sell after 2020. It happened last time, lots of manufacturers stuck cats in their stove so they could comply, then cats failed constantly. VC wasn’t too far off from that, lots of expensive failures, but they never abandoned the design like others did.

The same is true for a lot of 2 cycle engines, the manufacturers de-tune them to meet EPA regs, but that makes them almost impossible to start, and run properly.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
20,986
central pa
I agree, but they are plenty clean enough already. The regulations are too steep. Usability will suffer and the expense will soar.
Several companies will pull it off and produce a fine product, already do. Others will make something pass, even if it’s not durable or user friendly. Some companies will fold up..
People said the exact same thing last time the standards were tightened. And yes there were some problems along the way but it made stoves better. As far as cars go its the same thing new regs come out and some cars suffer. But in the long run things improve and we get better mpg and claner air. What is the downside? Yes deisels are struggling but that is because they put things off till the last minute instead of working the whole time to improve.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,836
South Puget Sound, WA
The same is true for a lot of 2 cycle engines, the manufacturers de-tune them to meet EPA regs, but that makes them almost impossible to start, and run properly.
I have been starting a newer Stihl saw and an Echo saw and an Echo leaf blower recently. They start up pretty easily and run fine. The Echos are typically one pull starters. Are you using ethanol free gas?
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
20,986
central pa
I have been starting a newer Stihl saws and an Echo saw and an Echo leaf blower recently. They start up pretty easily and run fine. The Echos are typically one pull starters. Are you using ethanol free gas?
My stihl saw starts second pull every time no matter what gas you use. But it runs much better on nonethanol.
 

Sodbuster

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2012
1,337
Michigan
I run premium fuel with marine grade Stabil, and yes my saws start fine as well. Husqvarna was the biggest offender of detuning, especially with the homeowner grade stuff. Took a special tool to adjust the carbs too. Place my daughter works stopped carrying Husqvarna, because they were having so many returns.