Your Thoughts on this Wood Stove Setup

St. Coemgen Posted By St. Coemgen, Apr 17, 2019 at 3:36 PM

  1. begreen

    begreen
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    Thinner pieces of wood like splinters pyrolyze faster. This often is the case where rough cut holes for piping have splintery edges. Also a risk in areas like chimney support boxes that have not been vacuumed thoroughly and don't have an attic insulation shield.
     
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  2. Sawset

    Sawset
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    Feb 14, 2015
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    So even if the situation was improved with regards to stove placement and piping, yet the scorched wood wasn't addressed, there would be cause for concern. That would seem reasonable. When clearances are stipulated for stove equipment (stove, thimble, piping etc), is there any mention of condition of surrounding structure? Is it assumed to be new uncompromised materials. Or are the clearances good to go for, in this case, scorched areas, or for rough cut throughs, or shavings etc. Seems like there should be some due diligence to some of that, but how would the average guy know these things if it isnt mentioned in the install instructions.
     
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  3. jetsam

    jetsam
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    Any wood surface that occasionally exceeds 170°F is a cause for concern. That's only a 100° rise over room temp, and 100° is nothin' for a wood stove.

    Adhering to the manufacturer's clearances will keep you out of the worst kinds of trouble, but I'd hesitate to say that it will prevent a 100° rise on every combustible in all compliant installations.

    It's pretty easy to monitor. When your stove is cranking next winter, break out the IR thermometer and check all the nearby surfaces. It's actually kind of fun and interesting to do.

    And bear in mind that measuring 170° on a surface one time is a lot different from having a big black stripe on the wood behind your stovepipe!
     
  4. Sawset

    Sawset
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    I wonder what temps would be on surrounding surfaces in a worst case scenario (chimney fire). Usually here surfaces all around are warm to the touch but not hot. Somewhere I saw that 130deg would cause pain (meaning can't hold on - I tested it on some steam pipes once with a temp gauge inches away, result was accurate enough). I can hold on to the framing and walls without an issue at all, but during an over fire or chimney fire?
     
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  5. jetsam

    jetsam
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    I have been reading about more of those early 1900s fires (linked above). They are certainly not all steam pipe fires!

    There are a lot caused by people acting in defiance to common sense (open gas cans used for cleaning, giant asphalt dipping machine located next to giant coal boiler, etc)- and others that seem even odder at a hundred years' distance.

    A common ignition hazard was 'locomotive sparks'. There were rules about how buildings near railway tracks should be roofed and screened.

    We had gasoline-fired indoor lights.

    Wood sheathing on new framed buildings was seen as a severe fire hazard.

    Watchmen were an important part of fire prevention. Sprinkler systems were commonly dry, with an employee being expected to turn them on in the event of a fire.

    Citizen fire brigades were a thing. Firefighters responding to large fires from neighboring areas sometimes couldn't help because they had different hose fittings on their equipment.

    There were coal fired boilers everywhere, as so many things were steam powered.

    Water mains and sprinkler systems were pressurized by steam boilers, and this was not necessarily a public utility- private buildings might have had their own waterworks.

    In 1910, gas laundry dryers became a new hazard. They were clothing racks with sheet metal heated by gas burners underneath. If clothes fell off the racks- issues!

    Lunch is over, so I'll have to get through the last 150 pages later. Interesting stuff though!
     
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  6. Cornflakes

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    Bruce doesn’t look thrilled at all.
     
  7. ct01r

    ct01r
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    In the last 70's/early 80's, the fire company I was with responded to 2-4 calls per winter due to "smell of smoke" in the house. People were burning their fireplaces for days at a time, trying to save oil. Although the houses were built to code, the fireplaces weren't built for heat, just decorative use. We'd find charred studs when we opened the walls 2, 3 or 4 studs away from the fireplaces. The walls never cooled off during the fireplace usage, and heat just kept building up. Curt
     
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  8. ct01r

    ct01r
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    Sorry, that was supposed to say "In the late 70's"
     
  9. begreen

    begreen
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    This was the case with the old fireplace in our house. It was unlined, probably home-built in 1924. Wood was touching the masonry in multiple places. I put a liner in as soon as we moved in, but never could rest easy with the old fireplace. You could feel the heat on the backside of the wall which is where the staircase went upstairs. When I took it all out in 2006 the evidence was even more damning. There were a couple old takeoffs for wood stoves that had been sealed up. One with plaster, but the other just studded over. One can't assume a fireplace was made safely for regular use unless you were there when it was built.
     
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  10. blades

    blades
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    Friend of mine went though that exact description about 6 years ago- fire department called- studs ignited when wall was opened up- about a 1950's build- Fancy fire place with fan driven heat vents in the brick work- all told about 40K worth of damage/ repair costs.
     
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  11. bholler

    bholler
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    We fixed a log home with stone fireplace that had the same problem. It was built in 2012. Most new chimneys we see still are not built to code
     
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  12. begreen

    begreen
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    Sounds like the log inn that my wife grew up in. It was built out of chestnut during the depression. The upstairs fireplace hearth extension rested on wood beams. We're lucky the place didn't burn down after using the fireplace 24/7 one cold winter.
     
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  13. bholler

    bholler
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    This one had logs running behind the stone face between it and the metal firebox. The bad part is we had been cleaning it since new but we had no way to know what was buried. I felt pretty bad about it but there was nothing I could have done.
     
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