Saturday, 28 November 2015

By on November 28th, 2015 in prepping, relocation

07:14 – I told Barbara yesterday that I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of installing a propane stove, for a lot of reasons. I said that we could get one if she really, really wanted to, but no matter what I wanted to have at least a small wood stove. She understands my reasons for wanting a wood stove, and she agreed not to get the propane stove but a wood stove instead.

We decided on a Little John stove from Buck Stoves. It looks perfect for our needs: about 75,000 BTU/hr output, a 22″ 2.8 cubic foot firebox, non-catalytic so there’s nothing that needs replaced periodically, and it has a flat top that could be used in an emergency for cooking. It’s even EPA-exempt, although I’m not entirely sure what that means other than that there shouldn’t be any hassles getting it installed and using it. I’ll call the fire marshal and ask what permits or other stuff we need to get to be legal. I already asked our home insurance agent, and he said it wouldn’t be a problem.

It’ll go in the unfinished basement area, which already has two 6″ flues specifically installed for a wood stove. There’s a concrete floor and a concrete block wall. The outside door in the unfinished area opens onto a large concrete pad, and is covered by the deck, so we have a good place to put a woodpile under cover. The deck will keep not just rain but also snow off the wood pile, and it’d be a 20 foot walk from the woodpile to the stove, without any stairs.

Best of all, the stove is low-end price-wise, at around $650. It’ll cost more to get it delivered and installed, of course, but that shouldn’t be outrageous considering that there was a wood stove already there that the old owners hauled off. In fact, we may just run down and pick up one at the factory, which happens to be in the western NC mountains about 70 miles from our house.

If there’s one thing that Sparta, NC has, it’s trees, so I imagine that a cord or two of wood will be competitively priced. Wood will certainly be less expensive per therm than electricity, so we’ll probably keep the wood stove going at least intermittently all winter long.

24 Comments and discussion on "Saturday, 28 November 2015"

  1. SteveF says:

    To clarify, you’re talking about a propane or wood stove for heating the house, right, to supplement the heat pump?

    You’re not planning to use the wood stove to cook if the power goes out, are you? It’s difficult to cook on a wood stove at all, and almost impossible to cook on a wood stove which is set up for heating the house. The top isn’t hot enough for frying but it’s too hot for much of anything else. Maybe heating up canned stew or soup, if you stir frequently, but not much else.

  2. steve mackelpprang says:

    I’ve a small wood burner in the basement and a few years ago had to use it to keep the house warm during the winter when we had a several day power outage. The small firebox is a drag when you have to feed it almost constantly ( every couple of hours). This entailed me sleeping near it, so as to make sure it didn’t go out during the night. Lay in a supply of coal as well as wood,, this will extend the burning time to something more conducive to a decent amount of sleep ….

  3. H. Combs says:

    We put in a similar Buck stove in our suburban tract home back in the 80’s. Without a basement, we installed it between the kitchen and living rooms. It kept the front half of the house toasty with relatively small fuel consumption. Not sure if you could really cook on it. We often kept a pot of water on top of it to raise the humidity and it never boiled. When we moved to the country we had a fireplace insert installed with forced air. This kept the whole house very warm.

  4. MrAtoz says:

    After the Planned Parenthood shooting, Obuttwad has proclaimed “enough is enough.” So I expect you all to voluntarily turn in your guns. Nuff said. lol

  5. lynn says:

    So like in “The Martian” movie and book, one can eat potatoes only for extended times, preferably with supplements.

    So maybe my black thumb can grow potatoes in the real bad times. I’ve tried growing stuff before, it did not go well.

  6. lynn says:

    After the Planned Parenthood shooting, Obuttwad has proclaimed “enough is enough.” So I expect you all to voluntarily turn in your guns. Nuff said. lol

    Obola and Hillarity can kiss my Texas redneck a**. Of course, if he parks an APC at the end of my street, I still do not know what I will do.

  7. lynn says:

    When we moved to the country we had a fireplace insert installed with forced air. This kept the whole house very warm.

    Forced air is a real good thing. The wife and I had a two bedroom, one bathroom home in west Texas back in the 1980s. It had a natural draft floor furnace for heat. When it was single digits outside, it was 85 F in the living room with the floor furnace and 50 F in the bedrooms. I had to buy an electric heater for the baby’s room as it had ice on inside of the window panes.

  8. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] After the Planned Parenthood shooting, [snip]

    Tell the liberals that it wasn’t a ‘shooting’, it was a ‘very late term’ abortion. And if the shooter is convicted, don’t subject him to a death sentence. Just pierce the back of his skull with scissors and vacuum out his brain stem. Then sit back and enjoy the show.

  9. lynn says:

    Has anyone found a 50/100/150W LED for $20 yet? The cheapest one that I can find is $40 at Amazon:

    I’ve got a couple of the 50/100/150W CFLs but they take too long to warm up and get bright.

  10. lynn says:

    “LatAm hands climate bill to rich world at summit”

    I feel a thieving coming on under the auspices of Obola and Hillarity.

  11. DadCooks says:

    @lynn – have you checked Costco for LED 3-ways? Our local warehouse occasionally has them, I don’t remember the exact price but I do recall thinking the were reasonable. Checked Costco online and no 3-ways at the moment.

    And you guys that are getting excited by the term “3-way”, go take a cold shower 😉

    Regarding forced air heat fireplace inserts: when I was a bubble head, the house we rented in Virginia had a fireplace in the living room and an extremely inefficient forced air oil heat system. Well I bought a forced air grate (from Sears & Go Broke) for the brick fireplace in the house and 2 cords of wood (split and stacked). That forced air grate really moved the hot air and made the house so toasty that my wife refused to use the oil furnace. She enjoyed that first Winter while I was cruising around >250ft playing tag with Red October. She got to really enjoy that fireplace. Up until the time she married me she lived in Vallejo, CA where at best they only have gas or oil fired floor natural convection furnaces, so learning how to build, start, and tend a fireplace was a learning experience that she took to with relish.

  12. Miles_Teg says:

    “I’ve got a couple of the 50/100/150W CFLs but they take too long to warm up and get bright.”

    I have many CFLs now, the only one that is a problem is the bedroom one, which takes a while to reach maximum brightness and even that isn’t very bright. The rest come on almost instantly and generate plenty of light.

  13. lynn says:

    I have a 150W CFL in my study that I paid $10 for. If it did not take five minutes to warm up to peak brightness, I would love it. I replaced it with a 100W LED that is not quite bright enough.

    Sigh, perfection is hard to achieve.

  14. MrAtoz says:

    Maybe you can find some used LED 3-ways at one of the collapsed ObuttwadCare buildings now that half of them have financially collapsed. They should have a fire sale. Those exchanges must have been “green” under Obola.

  15. ech says:

    Got a letter from OPM today that let me know that my background check info, including fingerprints, was stolen by the Chinese. (They weren’t so blunt, just said it may have been taken by hackers.) Great. At least the head of OPM had the guts to resign. I guess I should avoid trips to China so I don’t get detained by them.

  16. paul says:

    I bought a 50/100/150W CFL for my mom’s floor lamp. The 40w bulb she had was rather dim for reading. Silly thing was too big to fit with the harp on the lamp. I have two 3-way lamps in the house and it fit neither. Who designed this thing?

    Now she has a flat Sylvania LED lamp, 60w equivalent. Nice light and uses 9 watts of juice.

    I’ve converted almost all lights in the house to LED. I like the instant on. I like the power savings over compact florescent bulbs. Two 60w equivalent Crees in each bedroom ceiling fixture. Very nice lamps, a Cree and a GE soft white in the same fixture, with or without the shade are almost exactly the same. The GE’s color is a tiny bit warmer. And for all I know I’m seeing the heat.

    LED bulbs are great and yet, I have a couple of 150 and 200 watt incandescent bulbs that will be wonderful in that floor lamp when I paint the inside of the house someday. And a stash of 75 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs for silly things like in a clamp-on lamp shining on a water faucet in the barn or a bit of heat for baby chicks.


  17. Roy Harvey says:

    These days I look for lamps and fixtures that take multiple bulbs so that I can get high brightness with the cheap LED bulbs such as the Cree 60W. Right now it looks like 60W is the optimum in lumens-per-dollar.

    I have a switch that turns on two sockets. One has a Cree 60W. The other has an LED bulb I bought at Costco, unfortunately in a 3-pack. The package says Instant On but when I turn it on for the first time in a while there is an obvious and annoying delay between when the Cree lights up and the one from Costco (FEIT ELECTRIC COMPANY) finally starting. I just took a video with my phone. Perhaps even without a receipt it is worth taking them all back to Costco.

  18. lynn says:

    It’ll go in the unfinished basement area, which already has two 6″ flues specifically installed for a wood stove.

    Why two flues? One in and one out?

  19. nick says:

    Costco will take them back without a receipt. I took back several over the year, until they finally had some that would fit in my fixtures and worked.


  20. brad says:

    At least the head of OPM had the guts to resign.

    Not really a positive, as far as I can see. She stated she wouldn’t resign. Apparently, she was informed that she could resign or be fired, so the next day, she did so. Not exactly voluntary.

    Anyhow, while she was ultimately responsible, so are a whole lot of managers all the way down the line. Apparently (and no surprise to anyone at all), most governmental systems are very badly maintained. Still lots of WinXP out there, lot of servers running with Heartbleed/Poodle/you-name-it vulnerabilities. The government hacks in charge of those systems aren’t interested, or aren’t competent, or in some cases simply don’t exist (system set up by contractor, no one now responsible).

    Not uniquely a US problem, of course. It really is amazing just how many people a bureaucracy can employ, add in piles of external contractors, and still fail to meet the most basic standards of competence. And yet, this becomes an argument for budget increases, so they can do even more of the same.

  21. Ray Thompson says:

    LED bulb I bought at Costco

    I have had bad experiences with the LED bulbs at Costco. Bought a three pack, installed them, two days later one was not working. Jiggled in the socket and it worked. Next day, out again. Thought it was the socket. Nope, problem moved with the bulb.

    Took the bulb back to Costco. Had to have all three to exchange. So I bought another pack, went in the parking lot and opened the package, inserted the bad bulb and took the package to get my money back.

    A couple days later another bulb has a problem. Wiggling in the socket produced the same symptoms. There is an intermittent connection in the base of the bulb. So I gave up on the Costco bulbs and went with the CREE bulbs from Home Depot.

    Even the CREE have not been without problems. I have replaced all the bulbs in my house with LED. After one year one of the CREE bulbs failed. Took it back to Home Depot and got a replacement no hassles.

    Only LEDs that I have from Costco that I kept were the florescent replacement shop lights in the garage, mower shed, and pool shed. Costco had them for $35 each where Amazon had them for $48 (plus shipping). So it was a good deal. But for single bulbs I will avoid Costco bulbs as they are just not good.

    Only a couple of specialty bulbs in the house remain hot wire, everything else is LED with a couple of florescent desk lamps.

  22. nick says:

    I’ve had good luck with the downlight can replacements from costco. I did about 20. They have good color light, good brightness, dim well, run cool, and air seal to the ceiling. That last was a big plus. With 20 cans, I was losing a lot of air to the attic.

    I put the little candelabra LEDs in my living room ceiling fan. They flicker a bit when dimmed a lot, but otherwise are brighter and sturdier.

    I’m trying the 60w A style lamps in a couple of places, including landscape uplighting. I’ve got a larger A style in my post light in the yard. It’s not quite as bright as I’d like but is adequate and cheap to run.

    What’s missing for me is 75 or 60w spotlight for outdoors.

    I will not change the task light in my office. I like the CRI of the halogen too much. For general lighting though, LEDs are pretty close to good enough and WAY better than CFL.


    No idea how the LED electronics will hold up when running on dirty generator power. Probably not well.

  23. dkreck says:

    $35 a tube for the replacements for fluoresent tubes? Seems like a very long payback unless you run them several hours a day. That would cost me over $500 and most are in the garage and shop that see only minutes per week, The undecounter kitchen ones might be worth it but I’ll wait for a bigger price drop.

  24. Ray Thompson says:

    $35 a tube for the replacements for fluoresent tubes?

    It was for the entire light assembly. The CFL’s were OK, but the warm up time was too long, especially in the outdoor mower shed. When it is freezing it would take 5 minutes for the lights to come to full brightness and there were occasions where the light would never come on. The payback was not the issue, working lights was the issue.

    While I was doing the outdoor sheds I decided to do the lights in the garage. Much better light quality and brighter than the tubes.

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