Dangers of using Galvanized Stove pipe

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  • Submitted by member thechimneysweep in response to a question about whether galvanized single wall pipe could be used with wood stoves.

    We were involved in a case a few years ago involving galvanized pipe. The new renters couldn't seem to shake the flu and their newborn baby had been suffering from an unknown malady ever since they brought him home from the hospital.

    Summertime came along, and Mom, Pop and Junior all got better. Until the following Fall, when all three fell ill again.

    Suspecting that the problem was woodstove exhaust leaking through the pipe joints, the renters called us in for an inspection. The first thing our Sweep noticed was that the connector pipe between the stove and the ceiling support box was galvanized. Turned out the landlord had installed it as part of his preparations for the new tenants.

    The Sweep I apprenticed with taught me that, while galvanized pipe was OK for gas exhaust, it could not be used for woodstove connector pipe, which gets much hotter. I passed that warning on to all my trainees over the years, so the discovery of galvanized pipe on the woodstove was a red flag for our Sweep.

    I reported the galvanized pipe to our customer, who passed the info along to his doctor, who performed some tests on the family. The final diagnosis was low level zinc arsenic poisoning.