Well had a call, mentioned in earlier post. So what was wrong..
Well, the Home Inspector had missed a couple of things. Having said that he is a very good Home Inspector in my opinion. But this only goes to show even the best of them do not handle woodstoves well.
a) missing heat shield at ceiling – 16 inches clearance with single wall pipe. But this was not what was making it smoke!
b) missing screws on pipe joints – code says 3 screws per joint. One joint of pipes had zero screws.. yes zero.
c) a two foot section of single wall pipe was not completely joined together. Single wall pipe is essentially a flat piece of steel rolled into a circular shape and held together with a barbed like joint. Snap it together and it is supposed to hold. Well this was not together.. for a full half of the length of pipe! And at the one end had a half inch gap .. this was defiantly one area where smoke was coming out.. when I asked they admitted smoke was exiting here. Even if everything else was working this would leak smoke, flue gases, carbon monoxide, whatever.. a serious dangerous situation. Yes this was potentially a cause of the smoke.
Three items missed – and potentially some very dangerous ones.. this is why a Level 2 Inspection is supposed to be done for Real Estate transactions.
But there was another cause as well, at least today being that it was minus twenty degrees outside. A cold masonry chimney with a serious downdraft. I did start a fire and get the stove pipe and chimney heated (after I replaced the stove pipe with gap – tried to snap it together and it did not hold – simply opened up again). Once chimney was heated the stove functioned properly.
Realistically if you need a stove inspected then you do need to have somebody who understands the principles of the operation and how to fix and how to inspect it properly!
Unlike a Home Inspection there are few areas for opinions; it is generally right or wrong. And with wood burning appliances you are often not simply violating a building code, which can be dangerous but you may get away with. You are often violating or attempting to violate the laws of physics. It is not an area to mess around and not do things right! Be safe, sleep soundly at night.
Yes, just had a call from a homeowner who had a WETT Inspection.. and wanted to know if they could use their system.
Wow!! .. What a waste of money that is.. getting a Level 1 WETT Inspection quite possibly from somebody who does not work on or know wood burning systems.. does not instil a lot of confidence.
That is why it is always best to get a WETT Inspection from somebody who actually understands the systems.. installs and cleans them.
Fact is if you follow NFPA 211 recommendations – then a Level 2 Inspection is required for any Real Estate transactions or land transfers. Yes.. that is right!.. and to do a Level 2 Inspection you need to be a Chimney Sweep or Installer or Comprehensive Inspector. The SITE Basic Inspector is only able to perform a Level 1 – the most basic visual inspection which is NOT adequate for a real estate transaction or land transfer..
Get peace of mind – gain confidence – get a WETT Inspection from somebody who is qualified to do it RIGHT.. save money.. do it right the first time. Not saying you have to hire me! But do hire a Certified Chimney Sweep or Certified Technician or a Comprehensive Inspector to do the WETT Inspection and save this 2nd time around for peace of mind!
Yes you need to split firewood; then dry it and store it.
Splitting it early enough in advance is critical; some suppliers do not wait nearly long enough. The ones who split it at four foot lengths have to wait two years.. yes two years. The fact is that wood really dries best out the ends due to the straw shaped cellular nature of the wood fibre which is designed to carry water and nutrients up and down the tree like small water pipes. These cells are not designed to let water out the sides, and work very well, hence it needs to work out the ends. The longer the cuts the more time it takes. Unfortunately many do not understand the biology of the wood, and cut it longer.. a good help for custom cut wood which they then cut to 12, 16 or 24 inch lengths as requested by customer. But, it is not dry in six months, eight months or even a year. In a year it is getting close in some cases; I have measured it at 24%, but not much better than that.. and often a lot worse.
But once stacked – keep the water off of it if possible – but DO NOT wrap it with a cover as it needs wind, air movement and sunlight.
Yes before wood burns it has to dry .. at least to a point.
Why – well wood has to reach temperatures above the boiling point of water to release combustible gases which are what really burns. Until the water is all turned to vapour, it can not get to that next stage. So, it dries the wood. Now all wood has approximately the same about of BTU’s per pound or per kilo-gram of weight. But some of that heat energy must go into drying the wood.. a lot actually.. study the term “latent heat of vaporization” to learn more.
Does this mean dryer wood is better; to a point but wood can also be too dry causing it to actually smoke more and to burn too hot which can be a risk and danger. Potentially harming your wood stove or even causing a chimney fire.
Stoves are designed to burn wood at around a moisture level of 20%.
Split – Stack – Cover – Store
Some ideas on how to manage and store firewood.