hello folks, I have an old barrel stove in my rental. I am working on the plans for a RMH but in the meantime I need heat in my shop. I replaced the pipe inside the shop as it was quite rusted but didnt replace the chimney about the attic thimble. Its a triple walled chimney above the stuff I replaced. I started a fire in the stove tonight as I was planning to do some work in there and was hoping to be warm. The pipe began to make lots of ping and pop noises. I got freaked out and dosed the fire with snow and put it out. I have no experience with an old stove like this and like many feel safe using manufactured things from the store. I realize that these have been in use for a long time, so I am looking for advice on what to do now to make this stove safe while I plan my RMH. I likely wont be able to make the RMH until spring and have a long winter ahead of me here in Canada.
Also, I had a few stray sparks coming out of the top of the chimney, above the roof. Is this normal?
Hi James. The sparks are normal for this stove because there is nothing to hinder the flames and sparks from going straight up the stack. Take an object or just use your finger and tap all around the stove. You'll be listening for the sound of steel...not a dull thud. The dull thud means it's probably burnt out at this section. Pay particular attention to the area around the stack and the bottom of the barrel. I would put fire brick in the bottom of the barrel.
As for the sounds it is making, I think that it is just the thin metals expanding and popping.....the tink,tink,tink is to be expected. Build a small fire, one that is in your control, and let the stove do it's thing. By all means don't leave it unattended until you can trust it. Big fires are dangerous. I took mine out years ago when the whole thing glowed red and threatened to melt down.
After a season of using this stove you will most likely be gathering materials for a RMH way before spring.
Good luck and be safe!
Thank you so much for giving me a straight forward response. I really appreciate it. As it turns out, the insulated pipe that goes through the roof was no good. Its 100 bucks to replace, so my wife and I are weighing the pros and cons of replacing it. Will have to see. The fire brick idea is one that Im a fan of, not to mention that I would be buying those for my RMH any ways. Thanks again.
James Barr: Opps, with a regular wood stove you are producing enough Lye in your wood ashes to " Rot out " your barrel stove when and if the Wood ashes get wet. This is
something to try to avoid doing and if this happens again you should plan on a complete removal of all your wet ashes and a quick attack with a wire brush !
Leaving wood ashes in your barrel is a good free way to insulate the bottom of your barrel against high temps and most people teach themselves to do that ! Working to
scrape out the bottom of the barrel is literally wasting your time, if it starts to clump together thats a good sign ! Some people set their wood stove off set from their vertical
chimney,come off of their wood stove raising up to an elbow that goes directly into a 'T' at the bottom of their Vertical Chimney, making sure that any water vapor that ever
collects in the chimney at the end of a burn can never run back to their wood stove ! That and cleaning out their wood stoves ashes in the late spring takes care of most of
the Maintenance! For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL !
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