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Old 03-14-2012, 10:35 AM
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dorfdimpaler Male dorfdimpaler is offline
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Default Is it worth trying?

I have the larger Vogelzang boxwood stoves. I used to have one of the heat reclaimers on it, but it rusted out about 5 years ago, and I didn't replace it. Nowadays I put a 20" box fan pointed at the back of the stove, and it does at least as good a job.

The other night I saw an old B&W movie and they had a stove in one of the scenes and it had an elaborate stovepipe. It came up from the stove a ways and then hit a Tee, and then branched out and up only to come back to an inverted Tee up near the ceiling. It looked like a good idea for a hillbilly heat exchanger.

My guess is that I could duplicate the arrangement for my stove. When I start to price out the parts, the first thing I see are the Tees-- about $20 apiece. It's going to be an expensive proposition.

1) Is this a good idea?
2) Is it a safe idea?

Right now, I have zero sooting in my flue. I take it apart every year and run a flue brush up it , and nothing of consequence comes out. I don't want to mess with a good thing.

Still, this looks intriguing. What do y'all think?
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:22 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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It seems like the angles would interfere with you brushing out your flue. What about adding metal fins to a straight piece of flue pipe and using that as a heat exchanger? It seems like it could be done with cheap aluminum or stainless steel sheets.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:38 PM
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dorfdimpaler Male dorfdimpaler is offline
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I can take the whole contraption down if need be. That's how I clean it now. However, you're right. The new contraption itself would be hard to clean.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:38 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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Yep, the extra chimney pipe will radiate more heat in the house and give you cooler gasses up the flue. Another thing the old timers would do is to put the stove across the room from the exit to outside, and run a long length of stove pipe near the ceiling across the room. I always thought they must have really needed that extra heat to do such a thing.

If you just build a good hot fire a couple hours a month, you won't have to worry too much about cleaning the inside pipe.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:10 AM
MichaelK Male MichaelK is offline
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I'll disagree and say no, it is not a good idea for two reasons.

First, anything other than a straight up and down chimney pipe is going to adversely effect the draft of the stove, and there's few things more important than good draft in the operation of your stove. There's a big difference between the draft on a calm clear night and one with stormy winds gusting.

Second, conventional wizdom today is that cooling the stovepipe/chimney pipe is a bad idea because the cooler surface is where creosote accumulates. Add bends that make it even harder to clean and you're looking at a chimney fire! A chimney fire can really ruin your whole day!
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