Wood Stove Install- Stove Pipe And First Fire
How to Install a Wood Stove
A wood-burning stove is a great way to heat a room without increasing your energy bill or using petroleum. Wood stoves provide a cozy fire from a renewable, inexpensive energy source, making them the perfect choice for the thrifty or environmentally-conscious family. For the purposes of safety, when installing a stove, be sure to observe local building and installation requirements. The instructions in this article are generalized and thus may not pertain to your unique situation. See Step 1 below to get started!
Picking Out a Stove and Preparing for Installation
Decide on a location for your stove.You don't want to have to make the decision of where to put your stoveasyou are wheeling the 500-lb iron behemoth around on a dolly. Designate a site in your house for your stove well in advance of when you plan to buy it. Since stoves are space heaters, generally, you'll want the stove on the first floor of your house where you spend most of your time so that it can warm you effectively throughout the day. To further maximize the efficiency of your wood stove, try to pick a spot in a room with especially good insulation so that the heat from the stove is not lost through the walls or windows.
- Keep in mind that every wood stove requires a chimney. Take this into account when choosing a spot for your stove. If you plan for your chimney to extend straight up through the roof, for instance, you may not want to pick a spot for your stove that's directly under one of your second floor's main support beams.
Observe your stove's clearance rating when picking a suitable spot.Wood stoves can get very, very hot during use. Radiating heat from the stove can pose a hazard to nearby walls and furniture, so wood stoves generally have a specifiedclearance- a minimum safe distance between the stove and nearby floors and walls. Your stove clearance can depend on where you live, whether your residence's floors and walls are combustible, and the type and size of wood stove you have. If in doubt about your stove's clearance rating, contact your stove's manufacturer. This applies only if your stove is UL or CSA listed - please check the label. If not you may still be able to install it. Check if your locality allows non-listed solid-fuel appliances (this is what wood stoves are officially called). If yes then check next with your insurance company. If all is good you can install your unlisted stove according to NFPA211. This will specify all clearances.
Choose a certified wood stove.As you shop for wood stoves, be sure to check that any stove you're considering buying is properly certified as meeting criteria for safety and environmental friendliness. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies wood stoves as meeting certain emissions standards. The EPA regularly publishes exhaustive lists of certified wood stoves, but certified stoves should also be labeled with both a temporary paper label and a permanent metal label.
Pick a stove that's the right size for your needs.Generally, the larger a wood stove is, the hotter it can become when it's full of burning wood. Thus, small rooms can become uncomfortably warm from the heat provided by an especially large wood stove. Most wood stove manufacturers list their stoves'maximumheat output per hour in British Thermal Units (BTU) - most popular stoves fall between 25,000 to 80,000 BTU. The average medium-sized house requires only about 5,000 to 25,000 BTU - in other words, the maximum output of a small stoveor less- even during winter.However, your home's heating needs may differ based on your climate and the size of your house, so, if you have any questions, contact your manufacturer.
- Burning your wood stove at its maximum capacity for long periods of time can damage the stove, so you may want to opt for a stove that's slightlylargerthan what you'll typically need so that you can use it at sub-maximum capacity most of the time.
Installing Your New Stove
Before starting, notify your local officials.Like many building projects, installing a wood stove may require permission from your local government to ensure that you comply with safety regulations. However, rules will vary from town to town, so, before you buy a stove or start modifying your house, get in touch with the building or planning department of your city or town's government to get a sense for whatisandisn'tlegal. If you need to get a building permit to install your stove, the officials in this department should be able to help you get one.
- You may also want to call your local fire marshal, as, in some jurisdictions, installing a wood stove requires an inspection to approve the validity of the installation.
- Finally, you may also want to contact the issuer of your homeowner's insurance, as installing a wood stove may change your liability.
Lay a non-combustible floor pad in the spot where your stove will be.This pad, made of brick, ceramic tile, concrete or another noncombustible substance, should be flush with your home's existing flooring.Floor pads are essential for safe wood stove operation, as they ensure that any stray sparks or embers that fall from the stove will only come into contact with the pad, not the floor, reducing the risk of fire. Floor pads areespeciallycrucial in the case of houses with wood or carpet floors directly adjacent to the stove.
- Certain laws dictate the use of floor pads - in the United States and Canada, the floor pad must stretch at least 18 inches (45 cm) in front of the stove door and 8 inches (20 cm) from the other sides.
Add a heat shield to protect combustible walls.Installing heat shielding on the walls around the site of your stove can further reduce the risk of damage or fire. Heat shields are often made of sheet metal, which is relatively simple to lay over existing walls. Check your local building codes to find out whether any special permission is needed to mount the shield as well as any other related clearance requirements.
- Note that the installation of a heat shield can reduce the clearance requirements of your stove.
Carefully move the stove into position.If you haven't hired professional movers to help you get your stove into position, you'll need to move it yourself. Wood stoves are made from metal and can be incredibly heavy, so be sure to take any and all measures necessary to protect yourself as you move the stove. A sturdy dolly or hand truck that's rated above the weight of your stove is a great way to get the stove to its position without hurting yourself.
- Minor adjustments to the stove's positioning at the site of installation may need to be done by hand, in which case you should enlist the help of a friend or family member so that you don't have to bear the full weight of the stove yourself. You may also want to try rolling the stove into position on lengths of sturdy PVC pipe.
Install a chimney and connect it to your stove, if necessary.A well-functioning chimney is absolutely crucial for getting the most out of your wood stove. Your chimney should carry smoke and sediment safely outside your house - a poorly-installed chimney may not effectively remove the smoke, leaving your living room a gloomy, smokey mess. Chimneys can be an existing part of the house's construction or can be installed along with the stove, but in either case, the chimney must be well-insulated and made of a non-combustible material. New chimneys installed for wood stoves are often made of a special kind of insulated stainless steel piping.
- You may need to use a length of stovepipe to connect your wood stove to the chimney. This is fine, but remember that stovepipe is relatively thin and poorly-insulated, so by no means can stovepipe be used as a substitute for an actual insulated chimney.
- Generally, the taller and straighter a chimney is, the better. The greater distance that smoke must travel horizontally (through curved sections of stovepipe, for instance), the less effective the chimney will be at removing smoke from the stove.
Consider hiring certified professionals to install and inspect your stove.Installed properly, wood stoves can be a tremendous boon for your house, but installed improperly, they can be a hassle and even a serious danger. If you encounter any problems while installing your wood stove or you are unsure of how to proceed safely, enlist the help of a professional. Similarly, if, after installation, you have even the slightest doubts about the safety of your stove, schedule an inspection with an expert. The safety of your home and family is well-worth the minor expense of hiring outside help.
- The National Fireplace Institute (NFI) is an agency that certifies fireplace and furnace experts. If you have any doubt about who to contact to install and/or inspect your new wood fireplace, search for an NFI-certified expert in your area on the NFI website.
QuestionIs it safe to purchase a secondhand wood stove without a manufacturer's manual for installation/troubleshooting guidelines?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, but you can obtain a copy of the manual by contacting the manufacturer online. (Most stoves will either have a name on them or a metal plate somewhere with its information.) They should be able to provide you with a copy of the manual.Thanks!
QuestionWhy are the tiles around the stove lifting off the wall ?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt might be due to heat. Make sure that aside from using high-temperature tolerant tiles, you're also using high-temperature cement to fix them near the stove. Normal cement usually cracks and crumbles due to heat.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the minimum distance the stove should be away from a wall?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEvery stove is different, check in your owner's manual or on the tag on the back of your wood stove.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can cause your wood stove to get very hot when the door is closed?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerToo much air to the stove could do it. Close down the damper or air flow valve to fix this.Thanks!
QuestionHow come the smoke does not go upwards when I start a fire?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere might be too much positive air pressure in the chimney. Before you light the fire, light a piece of rolled-up newspaper, and let it burn directly under the flue in the fireplace. This will warm the air and begin the updraft process. Your chimney might also need some sweeping; you should hire a certified chimney sweep to do an inspection and clean the chimney for you.Thanks!
QuestionHow does a draft come down the chimney?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA draft does not come down a chimney. Due to Bernouli's Principal, a draft goes up the chimney.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if a house has a large central area, and all bedrooms and other rooms are separated from the main area by only a door? Do those rooms still get enough heat if their doors are closed, with the house heated only by a wood stove?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe rooms will stay warmer, but not like with a central heating unit. Any room that is shut off from the wood burning stove heat, even by a door, will be colder than if left open.Thanks!
QuestionHow far does pipe go into the stove? Mine is on top, and not in the back.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo less than a couple of inches, no more than a foot - relative to the size of your stove.Thanks!
QuestionHow far should a flue be above the roof?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe flue should be at least as tall as your roof line so it can draw properly and avoiding staining your roof with soot.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I put a wood burner flue through a wooden roof with mineral felt (to keep the heat away and water out)?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou will likely need a metal collar and triple wall stove pipe for the roof penetration. It will then need a rain collar and flashing to seal it.Thanks!
What is the minimum distance required from the stove top to the ceiling?
There are drywall screws visibly sticking into my chimney near the fireplace. Just a few near the bottom. Is this a problem?
How far up the chimney does a flu pipe need to go to be effective?
How do I install a wood stove in my home?
What is the necessary measurement from the top of the wood stove to the ceiling?
Before you install a wood stove, check the clearance rating on the model you've chosen so you know how far away from walls and furniture it has to be for safety reasons. Then, choose a suitable place in your house based on the clearance information. Once you've found a spot, lay a non-combustible floor covering on the area, such as ceramic or concrete. Next, install heat shields made out of sheet metal on any walls close to your stove to reduce the fire risk. Finally, move your stove into place and fit a chimney if required.
- Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector (required by law in the UK) to be alerted to smoke or a carbon monoxide leak from improper or malfunctioning ventilation in a stovepipe or chimney. Carbon monoxide cannot be detected by smell.
- Clean ash from your stove regularly. Put the ash outside your house in a noncombustible container.
- Burn seasoned wood in your stove. The wood should sound hollow when you knock 1 log against another. It should ideally have been dried outdoors for 6 months or more.
- Run stovepipe through an interior wall to let it heat more of your home.
- Have a certified chimney sweep clean and maintain your chimney yearly. Try finding a qualified chimney sweep through the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
- Do not let a fire smolder in your stove.
- You must have a chimney for each wood stove you install.
- Never burn logs that have been painted, treated with chemicals, or made for open fireplaces in your stove. Logs for fireplaces have compressed sawdust and wax in them.
- Do not keep wood for the stove, chemicals, or flammable items within the stove's clearance area.
- Be careful not to create a larger fire than necessary in your stove. "Overfiring" a stove adds up in costs on wood fuel and energy. It can also weaken your stove's parts, leading to extra maintenance expenses.
- Never use fire-starting chemicals such as lighter fluid or kerosene to make a fire in your stove.
Things You'll Need
Certified wood-burning stove
Local codes and requirements for stove
Wall heat shield
Certified professional installer
Sources and Citations
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Video: How-To Install a Wood Burning Stove
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