When considering the purchase of a wood burning stove to augment the heat in your home there are things you as the homeowner must consider.
First, a quick check of your local building codes might tell you that a normal wood burning stove is not legal in your area. There are areas where they are no longer allowed with more being added all the time. You may have to switch to a pellet, or a gas stove in your local.
Other codes cover installation and clearances from combustibles that must be followed or in a worst case scenario-fire- your insurance company may leave you to cover all of your own and anyone else’s damages.
There will be codes that cover the need for fire resistant flooring or wall covering, usually dealt with in masonry or natural stone. There will be specific distances involved that must be met or the inspectors will force you to tear it all out and start over. The floor cover must cover so much area in front of your stove in case an ember escapes or a hot coal.
There will be minimum clearances from the nearest walls and what covers them. Some codes will allow sheetrock with a one inch air space between the wood burning stove and your original wall for fire code.
There is a code for the chimney pipe where it passes into the ceiling or wall. It has to be enclosed in what they call a thimble with a set distance between the vent and the sheetrock or studs and insulation.
The vent type allowed… triple wall was once the rage, but all fuels, a double wall insulated pipe has taken over for most areas. By the way be sure it is all fuels chimney rated pipe, as there is a double wall flue pipe made to use for gas fired appliances. That is normally called B-vent and will burn up if used on a real live fire breathing wood stove. A qualified heating and air supplier will steer you in the right direction.
The fire rated venting must start a certain distance from the ceiling or wall thimble, usually about twelve inches. From the wood burner to that point the pipe needs to be black iron single wall pipe. Silver galvanized pipe can burn and when it does it gives off noxious fumes.
There is also a code that applies on the roof, dealing with the clearance to the roof and other vents. Normally the chimney vent must protrude 2 feet higher than any vent or intake within ten feet of it. You cannot have the chimney feeding carbon monoxide right back into your home through a fresh air intake or a heating and cooling appliance.
You cannot have screws penetrate the pipe and it must be supported with straps that are metal, and all of the piping has to keep its clearance for its entire length. There is also a vertical rise that has to be factored into the equation. Any horizontal run of pipe has to be graded and normally can be no more than 25 percent of the total length of the vent length.
As you can see there are quite a few requirements for installing a wood burning stove, and all of them are there for your family’s safety.
Once you have all these things covered, and get that wood burning stove installed you can ease into your recliner with a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the warmth!
Based on my experience of fifteen years in the heating and air field.