Woodstove questions, need help quick

cecropia7(IL zone5)October 21, 2005

Hi all, I hope this is the appropriate forum to ask these questions. There's a woodstove for sale in my area, an Appalachian Trailmaster 4N1. It's an older model from 1982. The seller will probably take $100-200 for it and I know the new versions of this model are around $1400. He says it works fine etc. just wants it out of there! I know he has had some trouble selling it through ebay... no interest. Well, I need to drive to him and take a look at it this weekend. It's far enough away so that I only want to drive out once and bring the stove home that day.

So, we don't know stoves. At all really. So what do I look for while I'm there? Obviously I don't want to operate the stove because I don't want it to melt my vehicle... Would there be some structural details I should take a look at? Does anyone know anything about this brand or model? Anything wrong with keeping a stove in non-climate-controlled space over the winter? Any tips in unhooking and moving the stove without getting ash and creosote everywhere?

One more thing... My husband really battles with bloody noses during the winter when the air is dry. I have read that no amount of water left boiling on a stove will get the humidity to a comfortable level; is this true? We are not against humidifiers in principle but a major goal is getting off the grid and the less appliances the better. This is actually why I'm leaning towards a wood stove and not corn... because the corn stove requires an electric fan of some sort to help radiate the heat, so I've read. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for any help,

Kristin in IL

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If its in good shape, sounds like a worth while deal. Make sure it is for wood and not coal. Make sure it is somewhat air tight and isnt cracked anywhere, as they can crack if you get them too hot(coal can do that). The doors need fiberglass rope to seal it. see what shape that seal is. You can buy that stuff. Measure it inside. a good size is 18 inches inside. See how good the fire brick is inside. the bricks are cheap if you need a few. They work if the bricks are cracked here n there. They hold up well if left outside a few years. If there is a shelf inside that's a bonus. makes better use of the heat. Also what size is the pipe coming off it? 6 inches is great for a short chimney 8 inches dont get a good draft if you have a single story chimney. but none of that maters, you can change that. See if he has any pipe laying around to throw in or a damper and lastly bid him down to 100$....lol
good luck

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 1:36PM
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joel_bc(z6 BC)

Marie has offered good advice. I agree with her about the advantage of an internal "shelf" (or "smoke shelf" as it is often called), or baffles. These are to route the smoke and heat internally, so that the heat does not tend so much to escape up the chimney (where it will do you less good, for room heating). I have a wood heating unit that is of the same general vintage (mine's a 1981 RSF). It has an internal smoke baffle system. I believe that that feature was designed into many wood heaters from the mid-70s onward.

Another thing to do when you first have a look at the stove is to run your hand underneath it (if there is space underneath) to make sure that nothing has deteriorated or eaten through the normally out-of-view bottom.

About humidity: In my opinion and experience, central heating (such as in many apartments and suburban homes) tends to be drier than a wood-heated home. So much the better, though, if you leave a few pans of water here and there. One may fit above your wood stove. In our house in winter we tend to leave a few squarish pans of water near the baseboards in a few rooms. That plus routine cooking, dishwashing, and taking baths and showers *does* seem to humidify our place reasonably well (at least in terms of what we find comfortable).

Best of luck.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 6:28PM
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gran2(z5 INDIANA)

Great advice about the baffles. Does this model have an internal fan? A tiny little fan will do wonders for getting that heat out into the room. My biggest concern would be a crack, especially if it's been left out for any length of time and frozen, hot, frozen, hot. Also check the seal on the door very carefully -- see if you can see any light at all if you put a flashlight inside and close the door. You can get stove black in a tube real easily (Lowe's carries it) that will make it look a whole lot better, and even cover some slight pitting. A big rust spot is a whole 'nother thing. You'll probably want to replace the pipe anway. It's a pretty cheap way to avoid someone else's problems.

We keep a teakettle on our stove and have to refill about every 24 hours (depending on how hot we run). No, it doesn't humidify the whole house, but it helps and we ALWAYS have water for tea and cocoa. The one thing that makes the most difference on humidity is the laundry. The machine is in the basement and we rig up lines to line dry. It takes one load per day, 6 days per week, and the humidity problem is solved.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 11:07PM
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albionjessica(z5 MI)

A lot of bloody noses is common in the winter. My husband and I both suffer from that. We find relief in nasal sprays and having our doctor cauterize the little tears in our nasal tissues. Ask you doctor what your best option would be. As far as humidity, everyone had some great suggestions. I have nothing to add to that.

Since you are new to woodstoves, you might want to read up on how different woods burn. You can minimize the creosote build-up by burning the right types of wood, as well as make your stove more efficient.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 7:50PM
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judeth_ann(Z8 PNW)

I will suggest that you check with your "local" fire department about their regulations before you go look at the stove. We built a new house and I had a fantastic wood stove and when we went to hook it up, the contractors had been told it had a 8" chimney pipe, we could not use the stove because they had put in a 6" flue in the Yukon Chimney. Here in BC we could have gone down to a 7" chimney BUT not down to a 6". We had to buy another stove. Also, for "house insurance" the stoves here have to be CSA approved and the stove and chimney have to be inspected by the district Fire Department before being used. For anyone having "nose bleeds" I got hit in the nose with something flying when I was weedeating (now I wear a mask) I have ended up in the hospital emergency room several times with nosebleeds since. The last Dr. that attened told me to keep "vaseline" handy and keep the inside of my nose lubricated with it - summer and winter.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 4:01PM
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I traded my old single wide for a 1992 used Clayton single wide.The problem im having is i have home owners insurance but no one can tell me what kind of wood burner stove i can place in my home.In my old single wide i had a Wood chief manufactured by Suburban Model # WC6-85 and i was wondering if it is mobile home approved.It had the safety jacket and all.When it was installed into our old single wide we had everything up to code.I would really appricate it if i could maybe get a list of wood stoves approved or is ours approved.Also what does mobile home approved me we where told it means only if you purchase a new home or build one.Could U please give me some information on this.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 2:27PM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

Mobile home woodstoves are different than stick home stoves. They have a floor vent and draw air from under the home... Check with your county planning for information of the differences. Your county fire marshal is usally the one to inspect and has that info too...

Most states only want approved air quality wood stoves. Some states have more stringent laws about that too.

Go to businesses that sell woodstves and learn about them, you don't have to purchase to educate yourself. That way you won't get caught buying something that could get you in trouble or cause a fire. In my state people aren't allowed to sell stoves that aren't approved. You can give them to people but not make a profit.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 1:57PM
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If I may be so bold, install a wood stove using 'Stainless Steel' stove pipe.
We reinstalled our's with SS pipe all the way up to the top, never a problem since. The pipe stays hotter and prevents any creosote build up.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 10:44PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Original post was in 2005, so she's probably already solved her problem.

In Oregon it is illegal to install a wood stove that is not EPA or DEQ approved with the appropriate sicker on the back. It's not even legal to sell a house that has an uncertified stove; it has to be removed in order to sell the house.

The wood stoves with catalytic converters can have the converter damaged, and the converters also wear out and have to be replaced. That can be pretty expensive.

I'd make sure 100% that a non-certified stove was legal to install before I purchased one. I don't know if the law is nationwide or just in Oregon.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 8:58PM
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How do I know what size cord and stuff to put under the glass door. I know I have tryed it before but it is sucking air around the door and that can't be good when I can see the fire through the door.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 1:26AM
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the_gurgler(DFW TX 7b Sunset 33)

Since we are necro-threading, here is a stove that meets all requirements so far as I can tell:

Vogelzang "The Performer" Wood Stove, Model# TR009

EPA certified and burns for 12 hours at full capacity.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 10:15AM
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I have a Vermont castings vigilant wood stove for 20 years.I have this intermittent problem that could happen once in a season or like this year, every week. Now I'm getting tired of it. Every so often I get a liquid-y, tan or brown version of creosote that runs into the house from the chimney side of the thimble. The thimble pitches toward the living area not into the pit. The stove pipe pitches toward the pit. I start out with 8" stove pipe and reduce to 7" because the builder goofed up and only built a 7" flue. Draft is great with a 20' Chimney. I seal around the stove pipe going through the thimble with 3/4" round gasket.Whats wrong here?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2011 at 10:00PM
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Are you burning green wood?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 10:29AM
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