Wood Stove setup in basement of new home

dragonfire613November 8, 2011

So the new home we are moving into is 1-story with unfinished basement. The basement contains a (what appears to be) old wood stove connected to metal chimney through the basement wall (metal chimney intact). Everything seems to be in decent shape and sturdy, but the previous owners say they never used it and aren't much help. There is an open register from the basement to the center of the main house. I'm assuming this is how the setup works (warm air from stove heats home through register to basement), as the chimney is intact. Am I correct in that? And also, how can I properly inspect the stove and chimney to ensure they are in working condition before using the stove.

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From this description, the metal "chimney" going through the basement wall (to where on the outside?)would be a real safety hazard not to mention a violation of fire and building codes. Your insurance company would, in all likelihood, never approve of such a setup, either.

Your local fire department should be able to advise you about this arrangement, but even though many people do have basement wood stoves it's never a very effective way of warming the house even with grates cut into the basement ceiling.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 5:14AM
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The 'chimney' doesn't go through the wall... it is type #2 diagram on the link below. I just don't know the proper terminology

Here is a link that might be useful: wood stove setup

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 6:11AM
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If the chimney portion of the set up - the part in type #2 which extends vertically up the outside of the house - is a Class A solid fuel metal chimney, then it may well be fine for use. Certainly have it checked and cleaned if needed before firing up the stove, though.

If you want to check the interior condition of the chimney yourself, you'll have to detatch the stove pipe at the junction with the chimney and use a mirror to look up inside. A certified chimney sweep would likely have more sophisticated equipment to assess the chimney's condition. Exterior chimneys often become clogged with creosote, especially in cold climates.

The usual problems of basement wood stoves are: poor draft, inconvenient place for feeding with wood, poor circulation of warm air. Much depends on the house setup, insulation, etc. Another reason for seeking the advice of your fire department, a sweep, etc.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 5:42AM
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I'm not planning on using the stove as the primary source of heat, but rather to supplement the electric heat occasionally. Thanks for the advice mainegrower, I will contact a sweep to have it checked out.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:06AM
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