Wood Stove Pipe Requirements

With the cost rising to keep your home warm during winter, it's not surprising that people are turning their attention to alternate heating methods.

Where Not to Install

An old friend, the wood stove.An old friend, the wood stove.
One such method is the use of wood stoves. This technology is not new. Indeed, closed wood stoves have been in use for centuries, and Benjamin Franklin's improvements in the 1700s gave them the shape we know today. When you install a wood stove, there are some important stovepipe requirements to ensure you have a safe installation. Failure to install a stovepipe properly could result in the loss of your home to fire, and even worse, loss of life.

An extremely important requirement when installing a stovepipe is where not to install it. You should not install a stovepipe through a hole in a window, a ceiling or even a floor. Doing so can result in a fire. The extreme heat from the pipe could cause combustible material in the building to smolder and catch fire.

Thickness of the Pipe

The thickness of the stovepipe is important. The gauge of the metal for stovepipes is either 22 or 24-gauge. Any metal thinner than 22-gauge cannot handle the heat emanating from the stove and passing through the pipe. Whether you have a pipe with an enamel finish to match the stove is up to you, as long as you meet the thickness requirement. You can have a double-wall stovepipe, which consists of two layers of pipe separated by a cushion of air. The outer pipe, also 22 or 24-gauge, is often black with heat-resistant paint.

The Run

To allow the smoke to travel as easily as possible through the stovepipe, you want to have the run of the pipe as straight as possible. This means you want to reduce the number of curves in the pipe. You can buy a 90-degree elbow pipe fitting, which will allow you to have a straight run from the stove into the bottom of the elbow, then have another straight run extending up the chimney. Elbows come in two variations: the curved elbow, which resembles a "c" as well as the 90-degree elbow, which resembles an "L."

Distance from the Wall

When installing a stovepipe, keep it a safe distance from anything combustible. If the stovepipe is single-walled, it must be 18 inches from a wall. If the pipe is double-walled, you can install it as close as 6 inches from the wall.

About the Author

Marjorie Gilbert is a freelance writer and published author. An avid researcher, Gilbert has created an Empire gown (circa 1795 to 1805) from scratch, including drafting the gown's patterns by hand.