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  1. #1
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    Default Wood or Pellet Stove

    So here's the situation, we are living FT at or BOL. We have been heating with a wood stove that is located in our walkout basement. I had the chimney guy come out today to clean and ensure the setup was okay. Unfortunately, he had some bad news. The space where the wood stove is located is too small.....or the stove is too big. The area is about 49"x49". Most regs state there should be about 36" clearance on the sides and back of the stove. This can be reduced by about 33% by installing fireboard, which I did last fall. Unfortunately, there is still not enough clearance. The way the chimney is setup and type of chimney is incorrect as well (I kinda thought so). So, he says we need a smaller wood stove....Okay, I look and see that even with the tiny wood stoves I will not have enough clearance. There is no other place to put a wood stove and expanding the downstairs outward is not feasable. The only option I see is a pellet stove. From what I read, they require significantly less clearance and run on electricity where the hopper feeds the stove, reducing the constant stoking of the fire. BUT, if you have a power outage you are screwed. But, we are getting a generator so we are not so screwed. Then, in a shtf situation there may not be pellets....screwed again. Not sure what to do. If we can manage to get a standard wood stove, we have enough wood on our land to keeps us warm for over a decade. Any thoughts out there?
    Last edited by pinetopfirefighter; 08-17-2015 at 07:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    If you can survive on your own wood for a decade, that is way I would go. Investigate installing one of those outside burners. If you are handy and imaginative, I'm sure you can make it work without a lot of outside help

  3. #3
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    What is the idea behind the 36" clearance rule?
    When seconds count the police are only minutes away.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Militant_Medic View Post
    What is the idea behind the 36" clearance rule?
    Aside from the NFPA regs, the general idea is that the heat radiating off the wood stove heats up the surrounding walls which could potentially cause a fire. The fireboard I have up on the walls gets too hot to touch. As a former firefighter I would be ashamed if my house burned down because I was stupid.
    Last edited by pinetopfirefighter; 08-17-2015 at 08:18 PM. Reason: text

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinetopfirefighter View Post
    Aside from the NFPA regs, the general idea is that the heat radiating off the wood stove heats up the surrounding walls which could potentially cause a fire. The fireboard I have up on the walls gets too hot to touch. As a former firefighter I would be ashamed if my house burned down because I was stupid.
    So it's to costly to widen the room but could you tear out the walls and replace them with cement or stone or some other inflammable material. If the walls can't burn it won't matter how hot they get.
    When seconds count the police are only minutes away.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Militant_Medic View Post
    So it's to costly to widen the room but could you tear out the walls and replace them with cement or stone or some other inflammable material. If the walls can't burn it won't matter how hot they get.
    That would make a nice heat sink too, to even out the temp swings.

  7. #7
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    welllllll..... (mimics Jed Clampett) here's the scenario I'd look at,, if you buy a pellet stove and shtf..are you really gonna have access to wood pellets? If you buy a wood stove,, its a given ,, even if you have to go nomad with said supplies for some reason and you have enough vehicles that will take you anywhere there are trees and downed trees.. you are good to go.. if you buy a pellet stove,, how many man hours are you gonna burn trying to convert wood to pellet just for btu outputs sake and convenience,, once you learn to chop and hop,,there should only be another step... load and lock not lock and load..I've operated two types of stoves since I moved to North Dakota.. the typical box stove ,, I call it box.. the kind you see in the corner of someone's living room with a pile of kindling not too far from it and a barrel stove,, both have ways of loading and reloading.
    Why do I say this? Because since December I have been driving over 60 miles one way to go feed my horses which have to have hay bales broken down by hand, ( the big round 1,000lb and over type) loaded into a calf sled and drug down the driveway and spaced out so everyone can have enough space between themselves so you don't have the (he's touching me syndrome goin on) .
    Why did I insert that scenario..?
    This is why.. its about calorie comsumption and energy burn out.. are you gonna have enough energy to run to town or wherever after the shtf to look around for a supplier that is still in business to make sure you have enough wood pellets after you have burned up your stash?
    I 've been driving the suburban with no heat in these God Awfull conditions layered with at least 4 layers to stay warm while driving and then get out and break down those bales..
    The time it takes to make these trips.. at least 2-3 times a week and the calories I have to burn to stay warm driving there is already taking its toll on me at the age of 59. But maybe I'm going through this to learn ya something..
    Least amount of time,, least amount of energy to get a chore done..
    It doesn't take that much time to cut a load ( not a cord) of wood to last you a week or two .. that includes splitting and stacking then hauling some inside
    I've not done the cutting and loading into a trailer but I've been out there with the guys who were ,, sitting there watching them do the work,, the weather was nice and they were friends of mine at the time..
    Plus having a fifth of liquid apple pie on hand made everyone happy and warm..
    Going back to the wood pellets,, you don't always get as many bags as you want when you arrive you have only whats left on the pallet after every other customer has picked through..
    With fallen timber you can harvest in spring and cut in winter..
    I've used Silver and black or silver and brown heavy duty tarps to cover the wood pile after we've conveyor belt style unloaded the trailer so the guys can get back to their families.
    there are small wood burners out there..i had a one burner box stove that I traded for some work done at the farm and the guy who did it needed it badly ..
    If I have rambled so be it.. but for those of us who see someone working too hard.. there is a better way..

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Militant_Medic View Post
    So it's to costly to widen the room but could you tear out the walls and replace them with cement or stone or some other inflammable material. If the walls can't burn it won't matter how hot they get.
    Good idea. This may have to happen, as even with the smallest of wood stoves I will not have enough side clearance.

  9. #9
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    I'd keep the old stove (standby), get a new WOOD stove, and laugh at the fools who lack power or pellets.
    Good medicine in bad places

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fidel. MD View Post
    I'd keep the old stove (standby), get a new WOOD stove, and laugh at the fools who lack power or pellets.

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