Dc Taylor

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since Mar 03, 2014
Former chimney sweep; certified; licensed CA contractor - solid fuel appliances and associated venting.
Livermore, CA
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Recent posts by Dc Taylor

After dozens of cities in Europe burned down because of chimney fires, governments established training programs and apprenticeships for chimney sweeps as a requirement for each local district. European chimney sweeps are as highly respected as any government official or educated professional. Consult your local chimney sweep for advice. He'll make sure you do it right.
4 years ago
You could invest in a few hand tools and make an appropriate adaptor, or give the specs to your local sheet metal expert. Just be sure to use plain steel or stainless steel...no galvanized, alloys, and especially no aluminum.
4 years ago
Preheating combustion air is a great idea for first and second generation stoves' combustion efficiency. Just be aware that any modification to your "approved" stove could be cause for non-payment of an insurance claim. Several of my customers had their fire insurance canceled until they fixed the problem...usually with a new stove.
4 years ago
Seems like you might have it all worked out by now. But here are my thoughts anyway. You're on the right track by adding firebrick at key points in the firebox. Since I didn't read all of the comments, I'm wondering if you have figured out a way to preheat the combustion air before it gets to the primary burn. That may be difficult if you have surrounded the unit with a water jacket. Primary combustion gases typically ignite to produce the so-called secondary burn in the 1500 to 1800 degree (F) range...in the presence of enough oxygen. Preheating will definitely help, but be careful not to remove heat from the vent stack, or you'll end up with excessive creosote. Units I've seen with heat extractors on the stack were typically built up with thick accumulations of 3rd degree creosote, the hard glazed type that is extremely difficult to remove. I saw one unit with water tubing around the connector which completely blocked a brand new Metalbestos brand chimney with the glaze in under 24 hours. Since I'm not familiar with your unit, I'll refrain from further comment.
4 years ago
You need a new chimney sweep! One who is certified by CSIA, and I mean the one who is working on the chimney, not just the owner being certified. First of all, no single chimney should ever vent two or more appliances. Second, I'm betting if the masonry chimney were to be lined with an appropriately sized and insulated liner (with an appropriate clean-out tee at the bottom), you would be having zero problems. Jotuls are excellent units. Your problem is in the chimney.
4 years ago
Try sweeping the chimney. That's a common problem. And if your unit is a fireplace insert installed without a chimney liner, you're in for a great BIG surprise.
4 years ago
Great article, Mark! Before I retired Neoceram was about $10/sq inch. I'm sure it's much higher now. I like your idea better. Keep us posted on the life of your glass...how much longer it lasted. Also, using only the video as my information, it looks like you may have removed the firebrick baffle from inside your insert. Am I wrong on that? If you did, why not replace them? Firebrick splits are only one or two dollars each, and as I recall, Lopi's bricks across the top of the firebox are all standard sizes. They should provide a noticeable increase in efficiency from your unit.
4 years ago
Wow! I'm almost tempted not to reply to this...but maybe if you can answer some questions. Is this a patio stove or will it be inside? DO NOT use a unit like this inside your house or on a combustible floor. Back to the patio unit on a cement patio: line the firebox with traditional firebrick, not the red building bricks. Masonry stores usually offer a fire resistant mortar. Do not use regular portland mortar unless you plan on rebuilding the firebox every few years. Your vent should extend to a height of 12' above the top of the firebox, with an additional 12" to 18" for every 1000' of elevation at your location. Additionally extend the vent two feet higher than combustibles within ten feet, and three feet higher if you have a penetration through a flat roof. Under no circumstance should you use aluminum or zinc coated (galvanized) pipe for vent. Depending on surrounding structures, use only black or stainless steel connectors and UL listed insulated (triple wall or solid pack) chimney systems. Jerry rigged insulation in your chimney is a quick way to disaster. And, just out of curiosity, what does your boss do that makes him willing to accept the responsibility for your damaged house or lost loved one by "approving" the unit? Amazing.
4 years ago
Good advice R Scott. Point of information: fireplace glass doors are almost 100% tempered glass. I've never heard of ceramic being used in a glass door set. Tempered glass will abruptly and dangerously shatter when overheated. Customers have told me it sounds like a rifle shot, with glass pieces landing 15' - 20' away. Not a good situation if the kiddies or pets are in the way. I'm not sure what toaster oven glass is...it may even be like the Corning ware glass, which is not an approved material for what you are describing.
4 years ago
If Katydid is an approved (EPA) unit, you should have received an installation manual. The installation manual, as well as the required nameplate on the back of the unit are very clear about clearances to combustibles. Don't ignore them. The consequences of ignoring them will be felt if there is ever a fire related to the stove or chimney, which cause structural damage, injury or loss of life. Insurance companies have been known to not pay damage claims caused by installation errors of either the stove or the vent system. Not only that, most locales require a building permit for solid fuel heaters, and your insurance may not pay if you do not have the required permit.
4 years ago