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Have you just bought a wood burning stove and want to know how to install the stove pipe? Or are you simply researching exactly what the stove installation process involves?
In this post, we will explore some of the most common ways stove pipes are installed in modern homes, the different types of stovepipes, what factors you should consider and what should be avoided.
What is a Stove Pipe?
First things first, it’s important to establish exactly what a stove pipe is and what it is not.
There are many different types of the stove a pipe available and they work in a very similar way to chimney liner kits. They function to safely contain and direct the hot vapors and fumes that are produced during the combustion process to the outside of your property.
Stove pipes also help to further warm your home too. They do this by conducting and radiating the heat into your living space.
Stove Pipes vs. Chimney Pipes
Stovepipes are only one part of the ventilation system and should always be used in combination with a code compliant chimney pipe or masonry chimney. Stove pipes should never be installed or run through walls, ceilings or floors.
Typically, stove pipes are black in color as they have been painted with temperature resistant paint. Stovepipes are used in the interior of the property until you need to run the system through a wall, ceiling or floor, at this point a code compliant chimney pipe is used instead.
Types of Stove Pipes
There are two major types of stove pipes referred to as single wall and double wall. The one you choose will depend on your specific installation requirements, local and state safety codes and to some extent your personal preferences.
Single Wall Stove Pipes
Single wall pipes are usually much cheaper than double wall alternatives and are also much easier to cut.
It must be noted that they must be kept at least 18 inches away from combustible materials. They are also not suitable for all types of installations and so you must check with your local and state safety codes.
Double Wall Stove Pipes
As their name suggests, double wall stove pipes are composed of two walls that make them stronger and provides them with an additional layer of insulation. As a result, the combustible clearance area is often much less than is required with single wall pipes.
However, the downside is that they don’t radiate as much heat into your living space, are more difficult to cut and typically more expensive. However, as mentioned, the use of double wall stove pipes is sometimes a requirement in order to be compliant with key safety regulations e.g. for mobile home installations.
Is Installing a Stove Pipe through the wall recommended?
Due to the nature of drafting, vertical stove pipe and chimney installation are always preferred. However, due to obstructions and other structural limitations, this isn’t always possible; in which case horizontal stove pipe installation is acceptable.
Equipment & Tools Required to Install Stove & Chimney Pipes
In order to perform this installation, you will need the following tools and materials:
- Angle grinder
- Electric saw
- Screwdriver set
- Spirit level
- A “through the wall kit” or the following components:
- Chimney pipe tee connector with supporting bracket
- Chimney pipe wall straps
- Stovepipe thimble and adapter
- Chimney pipe to run through the wall
- Class A chimney pipe measured to the length of the exterior wall to lead up to the chimney cap
- Single or double walled stove pipe that runs from the wall thimble to the stove top or pellet stove top
- Remember you will need a chimney pipe wall strap for every 4′ of vertical height
Installing your Stove Pipe through a wall
Stovepipe installation is generally a pretty straightforward process as long as everything is done in the proper manner.
For stovepipe installation through the wall, I personally recommend the use of a “Through the Wall Kit”. I find that these kits usually work pretty well and it saves time having to make lots of custom pieces and measuring every piece out in great detail.
The installation can vary slightly between different stove pipe manufacturers, therefore make sure to always read the manufacturer’s instructions and if required seek the advice and expertise of a local HVAC technician.
Choose a Location for Your Stove Pipe
The first step is to choose a suitable location to place your stove and its pipe. It’s important to remember that the stove pipe will require a clearance area, which is dictated by the type of pipe used.
Typically, this is around 18 inches for a single wall pipe and can be as little as 6 inches for some double wall pipes. If you are installing your pipe through an external wall you will need a 12 inch clearance between the pipe and the ceiling and floor.
Measure & Mark it Out
The next step is to measure out your required clearance areas and mark out the areas you are going to cut in the wall using a pencil. An easy way to achieve this is to use your wall flashing and thimble as a template – simply mark out the circle and place a dot in the center. You can then easily determine if you have enough clearance area by measuring from the outer edges of the markings.
Begin Cutting & Removing the Wall
Once everything is marked up you can begin removing the wall. To do this you can use an angle grinder and don’t forget to use the necessary personal protective equipment during use. You can then use a saw to get through the wood interior and easily remove any insulation materials by hand.
Note: always remember to check for internal wiring or pipework before doing any type of building work on your property.
In order to remove the exterior wall, you will also need to have sketched out the template. An easy way to do this is to use a long screw; you can use a drill to drive the screw through the wall to the outside of your home. Remember to use the dot you marked earlier to ensure it is central.
Attach the Flashing & Chimney to the Exterior Wall
Once your wall is ready, you can begin by attaching the wall flashing and chimney pipe. It usually helps to have someone support it while you attach and screw it into position. Don’t forget your spirit level either as you will need to check the level is right for each separate component.
Firstly attach the wall flashing to the wall, the tee support and then the galvanized tee, which is essentially the bottom segment of the chimney pipe stack.
Then you can add additional chimney pipe segments until you reach the eaves of your roof. Remember that you are required to add wall straps every 4 inches to support the chimney pipe and to maintain a clearance area.
Connect Chimney Pipe Tee to the Internal Wall Thimble
Next, you will need to install the chimney pipe that will run through your wall and connect the external chimney pipe tee to the internal wall thimble you will fit onto the interior wall.
You can get these in various sizes so make sure you measure the thickness of your wall before choosing a kit or chimney pipe component.
Install the Wall Thimble & Stove Pipe
The next step involves attaching the chimney pipe to the internal wall thimble. Just like the exterior chimney pipe tee bracket, the thimble is mounted and screwed onto the wall.
After that, you will need to transition from the high-temperature chimney pipe to your single or double walled stove pipe.
This is usually attached to the wall thimble using an adapter component and then into the top of your wood burning stove using a second adapter called the stove top adapter.