Wood Stove Installation: Our Unique Stove Install Job

by ziggy on October 28, 2012 -- 5 comments -- Follow

Wood Stove Installation

Through the wall and up… avoiding our living roof!

Well, I ended up with another weird wood stove installation in the new straw bale house. Back in 2010, I described how I penetrated the living roof of my cob house to install our new small wood stove at the time. (It was equally weird, and awkward.)We did a somewhat successful job (although every now and then we get water dripping into the mudroom).

This time, I wanted to completely avoid penetrating the EPDM pond liner, so I opted for a through-the-wall stove installation. There were a few tricks along the way.

Here’s how it went.

Wood Burning Stove Installation Wood Stove Installation: Through the Wall

With this stove installation, I had to go through the loft floor, turn south, go up again, go horizontal through the wall, and then up once more past the roof line. It wouldn’t have been that weird if not for the window placement upstairs, and the exact stove placement downstairs. Unfortunately, neither stove nor window could move, so it meant that the pipe needed to jog about two feet to the south in order to get around the window upstairs, and out the wall.

I used smoke pipe (insulated interior pipe) to go through the hole in the floor, with a clearance of about 5″ to the wood floor itself. It’s a little less than the recommended distance, but it works fine. I notice no overheating danger.

The horizontal stretch is a short 12″ length of smoke pipe attached to a tee joint, before it goes vertical once again. 12″ was the perfect length to get just past the window and between the next pair of 2×6 studs. Up another four feet, and the pipe turns to horizontal once again.

I got a Selkirk through-the-wall kit with wall thimble, etc., and used that to penetrate the wall. Actually, the 12″ stainless steel pipe included in the kit was worthless in my case — I used a 4 foot length of SS pipe to get past the roof line outside. A 3 footer would have done fine, too (maybe even better), but I just didn’t have one on hand.

That 4 foot length of stainless steel pipe meets up with a tee joint outside, and another 4′ pipe brings the stack past the roof line. Unfortunately, the metal bracket for supporting the horizontal stretch was once again not useful to me (I probably should have bought the pipe parts separate, instead of the kit), so I found a piece of metal banding, and strapped the horizontal pipe to the rafter. The metal clamp (from the kit) was handy for affixing to the rafter, and holding the vertical section quite steady.

Running Horizontal Stovepipe

The stove draws like a charm. I notice zero issue with the two horizontal stretches. There is about 5-6 feet of horizontal run, and probably 15-16 feet of vertical rise. You do the math.

I was nervous about turning horizontal inside the house, but my doubts are cleared. It works very well. Ultimately, I will replace that block of wood (see picture) with something more appropriate for a pipe support inside the house. The final job will be to somehow hide the sideways stove pipe inside, with a functional bench, perhaps. I will, of course, insulate the pipe before putting wood around and near it. (I bought a bag of that Selkirk insulation stuff.) The smoke pipe is rather well insulated and doesn’t get too hot, so I’m not super concerned about building around it, once it is wrapped in insulation.

The biggest trick, of course, is the cleaning. It will be a little awkward, and may require some dismantling when the time comes, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do, I suppose.

Overall, I’m happy with the installation and setup.

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  • Somechick

    I’ve really enjoyed following the progress of this build until now, you have made many mistakes installing the chimney pipes, I’m concerned people come to this blog to see how to do DIY in there own homes and could think they would be doing the right thing in following how you installed the chimney pipes and could be putting themselves and loved ones in danger, A LOT OF HOMES BURN DOWN FROM CHIMNEY FIRES. You need to add a disclaimer to your post advising people this is NOT how to do it.

  • Joe

    I am not sure what is wrong about installation that previous post indicated was a problem- would like to know what is wrong- alot depends on if single walled or double walled pipes were used- distance from combustables etc but like I said I do not know since I have never installed a stove myself– but I am looking at getting a Amish hand built Kitchen Queen 486 cook stove installed by a professional person since I do not know how to do it (heats and cooks).

  • et

    Why not design it so the chimney and stove fit?
    I think you will regret your design when you have to dismantle it to clean/sweep.

  • Katie

    Good job! Despite what the others seem to think, I admire your handy work. To be honest if I did this myself (I have absolutely zilch experience in this area) I would have probably burned the structure down by now LOL. After all, if in the future you regret your placement then, you replan and rebuild. Mistakes are experience 🙂

  • et — The space is rather tiny, and to have the pipe go straight up through the floor would have meant eliminating a beautiful east-facing window. This was our work-around.

    At this point, I have no fire concerns as most of the interior pipe is double-wall (all that is above the second level.)

    I’m of the belief (and I’m open to disagreements), that generally speaking, manufacturer’s ‘rules’ are meant to be broken — to a degree. I think safety / spacing requirements are definitely to be considered, but there have to be workarounds. Each installation is different and you can’t always conform to the exact requirements. I’m certain they pad the numbers for absolute safety, too.

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