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Nail Driving Fool
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my best clients called me tonight with an interesting problem. I wasn't really sure what to tell him but I promised I'd stop by one evening and look.

Here's the deal.

My client got sick of the electric bill and started looking for a woodstove. Its took him all winter but he finally found one last week on craigslist. He already had a existing flue so he just threw up a couple pieces of stovepipe and he's good to go. Or so he thought.

Turns out this stove had been stored in a barn and had started to rust. Seller had cleaned it up with a wire brush and instead of painting it, decided to oil it. :laughing: As the story goes he used about a quart of 10w40 on this thing and the cast iron has really soaked it up.

You can see where this is going. The first fire ran them out of the house as soon as the stove got hot and started smoking.

So is there any type of chemical or degreaser I can use on this thing that won't produce toxic smoke/fumes when the stove heats up?

My first thought was to drag the stove outside and build a fire in it to burn off all the oil but I wonder if I could ever get it "clean" enough to not smoke/smell in the clients home.

Any suggestions?
 

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Accidental Painter
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Even when you buy new, they are coated in oil. No way around it, drag it outside and "burn it in".

I had the same thing happen with mine & i bought it new. Use plywood. It burn super hot & fast. Get that baby glowing red. You want to get it hotter than it will ever be when used normally.

Have the chimney inspected yearly. Ceramic cracks. I used a CSL log weekly as a safety, but a cracked ceramic flue did me in.

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"My first thought was to drag the stove outside and build a fire in it to burn off all the oil but I wonder if I could ever get it "clean" enough to not smoke/smell in the clients home."

Your first thought is dead on the money. I did some research before I installed mine in the cabin and one thing everyone agreed on was start the first few fires in it, outside first. Take it out and spray it with cleaner/ degreaser let it soak then spray it down. Then immediately burn a good hot fire in it for an hour or so and let it cool down. Then burn another fire in it and see how it does while its still away from the house. Two outside fires worked for mine. It still stunk a little but nothing like those first few.
 

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Nail Driving Fool
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmm, I wasn't aware that new stoves were oiled. When I installed mine it was used and I just cleaned it up and painted it with some heat resistant paint.

Anyway, sounds like my first idea was right. Great, my back is hurting just thinking about it. :no::no::no:
 

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Isn't it against most codes to install a stove older than like 5 years?
 

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Remodeler
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Yeah what they said, burn it hot it'll clean most of the oil off pretty quickly. When mine started looking funky, I coated it in cooking oil still stunk a little, but don't think it would be quite as bad for you. You always wake up craving KFC though.
 

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What they said.

Even a gas log stove has to be burned off. According to the instructions, burn for 4 hours, let cool, remove glass and clean, then burn another 12 hours.
I realize it is different but it is still a metal box that has fire in it.
 

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Livin the dream...
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After I installed mine for the first time the paint was actually smoking off it. It still smells a little if I haven't burnt it for a while. I'd wait for a breezy day, open all the windows, and burn it inside if it isn't easy to move.

I know after we carried my hitzer down to the basement we said we'd never move it again...

Burn it off.
 

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Contractor of the Month
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After I installed mine for the first time the paint was actually smoking off it. It still smells a little if I haven't burnt it for a while. I'd wait for a breezy day, open all the windows, and burn it inside if it isn't easy to move.

I know after we carried my hitzer down to the basement we said we'd never move it again...

Burn it off.
A quart of motor oil will produce an insane amount of smoke!

I wouldn't get it glowing red, some stoves have parts that will warp if they get too hot...Don't ask how I know...
 

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Nothing to add anything expect I would encourage the client to give an inspector a call or even pay a stove contractor to verify the stove and installation are safe. Lots of house fires start because of those things.
 

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I've been running mine for over 10 years.....no problemo .....just clean the flue at least once a year.........more often if you burn wet, green, or softwood (pine)
 

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There's a lot more to a safe stove install than just throwing up a couple of pieces of stove pipe. If you take it out and reinstall it, you become responsible for it. If their house burns down guess who gets blamed. If their family gets sick because you didn't get all of the oil burned off, guess who gets blamed.

I installed a stove in my own house but there's no way I'd do it for a customer.

Tell him you can't be sure if or when all of the oil would be gone so you can't do it.
 

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Tiger said:
In the back woods of suburban Chicagoland it is nearly impossible to get homeowner's insurance with a wood stove.
Is there no certification system? Here in Canada, or Manitoba at least, to get insurance it needs to be WETT certified by someone with the appropriate credentials. With that certification insurance is simple. And if you burn under a certain amount of cords a year it's pretty minimal difference.
 

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Nail Driving Fool
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I stopped by this evening and looked at the thing.

Complete mess, so much oil soaked in this thing I don't know how they managed to hang onto it while carrying it into the house. The room it is sitting in smells like a Jiffy Lube.

I think its a lost cause and there in no way I'm about to be responsible for anything about this stove. I told the homeowner that he needed to have someone who specialized in woodstoves to come give it a look.

I sort of feel sorry for the guy, he paid $500 for this thing when in reality its probably scrap metal.

On the flip side he asked me for a bid to build a deck/fence around a 20x50 pool. :thumbsup:
 
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