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Author Topic: wood stove safety  (Read 934 times)

Offline surfivor

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wood stove safety
« on: November 05, 2012, 08:17:57 AM »

 A friend of mine has a house up in Maine. She doesn't really live there too much but it is a nice place to go and as a backup in case where she is living doesn't work out. I have stayed there and even though the electricity is turned off, that doesn't really bother me. A house she lived in several years ago burned down. Probably because her husband at the time put too much wood in the stove and then went off and left it. My impression is people do that so it will be warm when they come home, but it can cause fires and perhaps is the most likely cause. I would never do that and only leave when the fire is burning very moderately or not that much.

   Anyway, she doesn't want to install the wood stove she has in the chimney unless a fire marshal checks it out. I have to wonder is it really that complicated to figure out if your stove is safe or not ? I know you need to clean the stove pipe once in a while. Are those flexi pipes that can go up a chimney or whatever safe or easy to clean ?



Offline 11 Bravo

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Re: wood stove safety
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 11:07:42 AM »
So was it ever determined what happened ?  Chimney fire, failure of the stove when it was over fired ? And I assume that this would be a totally different stove getting used ?

I have a ceramic flue inside my chimney, and every year, it gets cleaned and inspected by a certified sweep/inspector who I have used the past ten years. In fact, it's being done tomorrow......if you have a question you want to to ask, let me know Surfivor. And I know there are pipes that can be inserted and run up the chimney for added protection if you choose, and they are not difficult to clean, similar to any chimney. I plan on doing it myself soon and buying the poles / brush so I don't have to pay for a sweeper.

As far as the stove, get it inspected, a lot of sweeps are qualified for this. But look around it for odd coloring, deformed seams, cracked welds, etc....might notice right away that it is not up to snuff....
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Offline surfivor

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Re: wood stove safety
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 12:48:00 PM »
So was it ever determined what happened ?  Chimney fire, failure of the stove when it was over fired ? And I assume that this would be a totally different stove getting used ?

I have a ceramic flue inside my chimney, and every year, it gets cleaned and inspected by a certified sweep/inspector who I have used the past ten years. In fact, it's being done tomorrow......if you have a question you want to to ask, let me know Surfivor. And I know there are pipes that can be inserted and run up the chimney for added protection if you choose, and they are not difficult to clean, similar to any chimney. I plan on doing it myself soon and buying the poles / brush so I don't have to pay for a sweeper.

As far as the stove, get it inspected, a lot of sweeps are qualified for this. But look around it for odd coloring, deformed seams, cracked welds, etc....might notice right away that it is not up to snuff....


 I am not sure, but I think the fire was likely caused by the wood stove and beyond that I don't know and it was a different stove I assume as well.

 On a different note, I have a small Jotul stove at my BOL. I bought it used in 2010. It seems to be in decent shape, but sometimes when I first light it a small amount of smoke comes out from the back from someplace.
After that it is fine. It seems like it has something to do with the metal being cold.

Jotul type stove similar to what I have:



Offline Zef_66

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Re: wood stove safety
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 01:01:10 PM »
Quote
A house she lived in several years ago burned down. Probably because her husband at the time put too much wood in the stove and then went off and left it. My impression is people do that so it will be warm when they come home, but it can cause fires and perhaps is the most likely cause.

I would not think this is the "root cause" but rather a contributing factor. In my experience, a fire caused by a wood stove is usually a result of improper cleaning of the chimney. When the chimney isn't cleaned, or cleaned regular enough, it can cause a buildup of creosote in the chimney which can eventually catch fire and cause a chimney fire and then spread to the rest of the house. The creosote is also corrosive which can eat away at chimney liners and allow sparks and hot gasses to pass out of the chimney and to flammable materials sometimes surrounding old chimneys. But typically the root cause is the chimney not being clean.

Quote
but sometimes when I first light it a small amount of smoke comes out from the back from someplace.

This is probably happening when you first start a fire because the chimney hasn't got a good draft going yet. The draft is what pulls the hot air and smoke from the stove and up the long chimney. When the stove and chimney is cold, you need to open the draft controls more to allow the fire to get going better before choking it back. Even then, in some locations when the chimney is cold, it will not draft properly. I've found that damp and very cold days are especially worse for getting a wood stove to draft properly.
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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? ~ Proverbs 6:6-9

Offline 11 Bravo

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Re: wood stove safety
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 05:13:41 PM »
As long as the smoke is not coming out a crack or separation in the metal, it is normal when the flue is cold. I usually use some newspaper to get a quick amount of heat going up it quickly to get the "draw" going so smoke doesn't come out the door.

On the plus side, you have an outstanding stove. I have a Jotul Castine, though I wish I had the bigger Oslo. The have been making them for 150 years in Norway, can't go wrong. If your worried about it, have a Jotul rep look at it.

I wish I could find one of these:  If you look at the Norwegian Jotul's currently made, they have a model like yours that has Norwegian writing on it. During WWII, when they were occupied by the German's, the factory workers at Jotul started printing some very derogatory things about the German's on the Jotul's instead of there typical cherry messages, of course, in Norwegian, so the German's wouldn't know what was written. Wish I could find one of those 1940's models......

I have been to a couple dozen chimney fires over my 17 years as a cop. With the exception of one which happened because of improper installation, every single one started because the chimney hadn't been cleaned in several seasons....
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Offline surfivor

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Re: wood stove safety
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 06:43:21 PM »
As long as the smoke is not coming out a crack or separation in the metal, it is normal when the flue is cold. I usually use some newspaper to get a quick amount of heat going up it quickly to get the "draw" going so smoke doesn't come out the door.

On the plus side, you have an outstanding stove. I have a Jotul Castine, though I wish I had the bigger Oslo. The have been making them for 150 years in Norway, can't go wrong. If your worried about it, have a Jotul rep look at it.

I wish I could find one of these:  If you look at the Norwegian Jotul's currently made, they have a model like yours that has Norwegian writing on it. During WWII, when they were occupied by the German's, the factory workers at Jotul started printing some very derogatory things about the German's on the Jotul's instead of there typical cherry messages, of course, in Norwegian, so the German's wouldn't know what was written. Wish I could find one of those 1940's models......

I have been to a couple dozen chimney fires over my 17 years as a cop. With the exception of one which happened because of improper installation, every single one started because the chimney hadn't been cleaned in several seasons....

 I got mine used and the yurt guy said it was a good stove. Here is an actual picture of my stove. The one I posted was just one on the web that looked kind of like mine.








 The pipe is held up by this cedar log dug into the ground and reinforced. It used to touch at the top.
My neighbor said that could be a problem as the insulated stovepipe might eventually rot away.
I put some porcelin fixtures used for electric fences in there to keep the wood  from touching the pipe though it is still close to it.




Offline onesojourner

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Re: wood stove safety
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2012, 09:46:23 AM »
I also have a jotul, an f300. It has been a great stove. I cleaned the chimney after the first season and I got less than a quarter cup of creosote out of it. I will be going 2 years before cleaning now. As long as you burn dry wood and burn it hot these new stoves stay clean. I have a hard time believing there are very many wood stoves out there that can burned so hot they catch a house on fire. The European manual for my stove says its to hot when it is glowing red... I have ran mine up to 700 and it takes a lot of work to get it that how with the minimum chimney height that the manual specifies. It may be possible if you have a really really tall chimney but again you would almost have to try. I always get a fire going in the morning and just leave it for the day.

Offline 11 Bravo

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Re: wood stove safety
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 12:32:11 PM »
Got a great stove there.....can't go wrong with a Jotul
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