Wood Storage Next To Stove

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Wobbly

New Member
Nov 20, 2011
3
Pacific Northwest
While house sitting for an eccentric relative, I noticed that he was stacking his kindling right next to the stove on one side. On the other side of his stove he stacked logs to dry. His wood stove is set into the fireplace and the space between the stove sides and the fireplace walls make a highly dangerous storage spot. That he hasn't yet burned his house down is apparently due to the fact that his wood stove barely gets warm. While cleaning the ashes, I noticed what appears to be an air inlet on the stove floor below the door. It was clogged with hardened ash. I had to drill it out. Not sure if the air inlet at the back of the stove is open. The door takes a window, which he refused to replace because it cost too much. I bought one and installed it.

Here's the question: although I can warn him of the danger of putting his wood in these spots, he will do what he damn well pleases. If I block off these areas, he will rip out what I've done and go back to his old ways. My thought is to install a vertical cement board on each side of the stove. The boards would be about 6 inches away from the stove sides. They would prevent direct contact between the wood and the stove sides. He could stack kindling and logs between the cement board "walls" and the fireplace walls. I'm afraid that if I get his stove to operate in a normal fashion, the cement board temperature might ignite the wood anyway.

As an indication of his grasp of reality, he had paper and cardboard swept under the stove, because it was easier than cleaning it up.

Suggestions?
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,079
Unity/Bangor, Maine
There are a lot of well known sayings that come to mind . . .

God loves puppies and fools . . .

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink . . .

Firefighters are stud muffins . . . OK, I made that last one up.

I suspect from the description no matter what you do -- whether through verbal warnings or through physical alterations -- he will find a way around them and revert back to his old ways until the day he dies . . . which could be sooner rather than later if he continues to do what he is doing.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,079
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Darn it . . . forgot to do it again . . . welcome to the forum Weobbly . . . and Heater Helper.
 

Wobbly

New Member
Nov 20, 2011
3
Pacific Northwest
Ironically, he has a genius IQ, but couldn't realize that the chronic low water pressure at his kitchen sink was due to a clogged sink aerator. He lived with the dribble for years before I simply unscrewed it. He asked me to look at his pickup because it wouldn't start. When I opened the hood there was a huge rats nest on top of the engine. The no start was because the rat had chewed through all his spark plug wires. When I took it for a test drive I noticed that there was no heat.
He explained that he tore out the heater to get at another rat's nest. The reason a rat took up living in the pickup was beacuse one of the slider windows was stuck off its track.
 

cptoneleg

Minister of Fire
Jul 17, 2010
1,544
Virginia
So whats the concern here that the wood will ignite, or what? I store a small amount of wood next to my stove, and a bucket full of kindling on the other side.
 

Milton Findley

Feeling the Heat
Oct 26, 2010
313
Whitefish Bay, WI
cptoneleg said:
So whats the concern here that the wood will ignite, or what? I store a small amount of wood next to my stove, and a bucket full of kindling on the other side.
We know that, and we have been waiting to use you as a bad example for what happens to those who don't maintain clearance to combustibles. ;-)
 
O

oldspark

Guest
Milt said:
cptoneleg said:
So whats the concern here that the wood will ignite, or what? I store a small amount of wood next to my stove, and a bucket full of kindling on the other side.
We know that, and we have been waiting to use you as a bad example for what happens to those who don't maintain clearance to combustibles. ;-)
Wood burns?
 

woodchip

Minister of Fire
Dec 6, 2010
1,389
Broadstone England
firefighterjake said:
Darn it . . . forgot to do it again . . . welcome to the forum Weobbly . . . and Heater Helper.
+1 from here too!

And as far as clearances to combustibles go, some people just seem to live on luck.

The problem comes when luck runs out...... ;-)
 

cptoneleg

Minister of Fire
Jul 17, 2010
1,544
Virginia
I am supposed to be scared of that wood catching on fire, very funny
 

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cptoneleg

Minister of Fire
Jul 17, 2010
1,544
Virginia
Milt said:
cptoneleg said:
I am supposed to be scared of that wood catching on fire, very funny
We got time. :cheese:


I will wait till it sizzles or hisses or whatever these folks say they do its Oak
 

snowleopard

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2009
1,495
Suggestions? Need more information.

Uhmmm . . . is he related by blood or marriage? Has he bred yet? Is he in danger of doing so? Can any of the rats be trained to awaken him and help him evacuate the house when it burns? Do you have a spare bedroom if that happens? If so, can you brick it off and stack boxes in front of the doorway and deny that it exists? Genius? in the immortal words of the Spaniard: " I do not think it means what you think it means."
 

tfdchief

Minister of Fire
Nov 24, 2009
3,336
Tuscola, IL
myplace.frontier.com
Wobbly, Welcome to the forum. You clearly understand "clearance to combustibles" and the danger of not adhering to them. You are obviously trying very hard and up against some pretty good odds. Keep at it.....you obviously think he is worth it.
 

Dix

Minister of Fire
May 27, 2008
6,311
Long Island, NY
snowleopard said:
Genius? in the immortal words of the Spaniard: " I do not think it means what you think it means."
My name is Inegio Montoya, prepare to die
 

fossil

Accidental Moderator
Sep 30, 2007
10,568
Bend, OR
cptoneleg, we're not talking about your arrangement here, which doesn't look that bad to me...I have wood placed pretty much the same way near my stoves, and after watching the situation carefully through a lot of burning, I haven't had a problem. But we haven't yet seen any pics from the OP of the setup in question. It may be quite different (and more dangerous) than yours. I'll tell you that after we first moved into our home here in Oregon, I was burning in an old existing Lopi M320 or 520 or something (long gone now). That thing would put out some serious heat. I had an old copper washtub full of splits stuffed in vertically, and an armload more laid horizontally on top. The tub was sitting such that the end grain of those splits on top were probably only about 4" from the side of the stove. I loaded the stove up for the night, got it burning good, damped it down and went to bed and went to sleep. I woke up sometime later (thank goodness), smelling something I didn't like. I got up to take a look and I found the ends of the splits closest to the side of the stove charring and smoking. Not talking about sizzling here...this was dry Lodgepole Pine just about ready to burst into flame. Scared the bejeezuz outta me! I moved that wood well away from the stove and I've been real careful with all that CTC stuff (beyond stove installation) ever since. Yes, the manufacturers' numbers are real conservative and might be safely fudged a bit...but it's not something I want to test in my own home again. Rick
 

tfdchief

Minister of Fire
Nov 24, 2009
3,336
Tuscola, IL
myplace.frontier.com
fossil said:
cptoneleg, we're not talking about your arrangement here, which doesn't look that bad to me...I have wood placed pretty much the same way near my stoves, and after watching the situation carefully through a lot of burning, I haven't had a problem. But we haven't yet seen any pics from the OP of the setup in question. It may be quite different (and more dangerous) than yours. I'll tell you that after we first moved into our home here in Oregon, I was burning in an old existing Lopi M320 or 520 or something (long gone now). That thing would put out some serious heat. I had an old copper washtub full of splits stuffed in vertically, and an armload more laid horizontally on top. The tub was sitting such that the end grain of those splits on top were probably only about 4" from the side of the stove. I loaded the stove up for the night, got it burning good, damped it down and went to bed and went to sleep. I woke up sometime later (thank goodness), smelling something I didn't like. I got up to take a look and I found the ends of the splits closest to the side of the stove charring and smoking. Not talking about sizzling here...this was dry Lodgepole Pine just about ready to burst into flame. Scared the bejeezuz outta me! I moved that wood well away from the stove and I've been real careful with all that CTC stuff (beyond stove installation) ever since. Yes, the manufacturers' numbers are real conservative and might be safely fudged a bit...but it's not something I want to test in my own home again. Rick
Holy crap Rick, I been burnin wood for 40 years and still doubt myself. I just posted on another thread why I used double wall and it wasn't because I needed it to meet CTC....Way to go......I'm not going to sleep tonight....hope you are happy. :ahhh:
 

cptoneleg

Minister of Fire
Jul 17, 2010
1,544
Virginia
Exactly no picture, whats to talk about, would have really liked pictures of the rats, on another post someone had their couch closer than my wood. That wood in that little rack is rocket fuel, I wouldn't think of keeping it there if it was dangerous. But thanks all for the concern
 

wkpoor

Minister of Fire
Oct 30, 2008
1,854
Amanda, OH
This clearance to combustables comes up every yr. Last yr me and my neighbor conducted our own in house tests. We first sprinkled saw dust right on his 700 degree stove top. All it did was turn dark. We even waded up paper towels and set them there, nothing. We laid wood right on the stove, nothing. And to this day he dries wood on top of a metal crate sitting on the stove top giving the wood about 12" clearance from the surface. I'm not advocating anything here nor saying what I do but we couldn't puposely start a fire from the surface of the stove. Maybe its a time issue and he doesn't give the wood enough time but I know that stove top is forever covered in dust and it has never caught in all these yrs.
 
O

oldspark

Guest
I remember that post wkpoor, what you forgot to add was all the posts about people starting fires with wood too close to the stove, one was in a tent and did you read Rick's post?
 

tfdchief

Minister of Fire
Nov 24, 2009
3,336
Tuscola, IL
myplace.frontier.com
wkpoor said:
This clearance to combustables comes up every yr. Last yr me and my neighbor conducted our own in house tests. We first sprinkled saw dust right on his 700 degree stove top. All it did was turn dark. We even waded up paper towels and set them there, nothing. We laid wood right on the stove, nothing. And to this day he dries wood on top of a metal crate sitting on the stove top giving the wood about 12" clearance from the surface. I'm not advocating anything here nor saying what I do but we couldn't puposely start a fire from the surface of the stove. Maybe its a time issue and he doesn't give the wood enough time but I know that stove top is forever covered in dust and it has never caught in all these yrs.
I don't doubt your personal experience at all. However, given enough time, and the right circumstances, it takes far less! Trust me, I have been to, and investigated too many house fires caused by wood burning appliances. Time is the factor that no one considers. I once went to a fire where an insert had been installed in a ZC fireplace that had wood framing around it, covered with surface mounted stone. All according to the ZC manufactures specs. Until you put a wood burning insert in it. It took several burning seasons before the wood was charred enough, and the circumstances right, to start a fire. We saved the house, but with considerable damage and loss of possessions.
 

wkpoor

Minister of Fire
Oct 30, 2008
1,854
Amanda, OH
Couple yrs back I had a neighbor, other neighbor hehehe, whos house did burn down. Turned out the chimney was laid up around the bottom cord of a roof truss. Sounds hard to belive but thats what they told me. It took about 20yrs of heating with wood for it to catch. I figure a mortor joint finally gave and helped out an already bad situation.
 

wkpoor

Minister of Fire
Oct 30, 2008
1,854
Amanda, OH
oldspark said:
I remember that post wkpoor, what you forgot to add was all the posts about people starting fires with wood too close to the stove, one was in a tent and did you read Rick's post?
Yeah and me thinks I need to redo the test again. I'll get back to ya with the results.
 
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