Top 10 Mini Stove 'Don'ts'
In order to ensure that you get the very best out of your mini stove and guarantee that it provides a nice, toasty experience, there are certain things you should do.
Just as importantly, there are certain things you should NOT do.
Here is a list of the most common 'don'ts' that pertain to our stoves.
Some are recommendations and some are outright 'NO's', but ideally they should all be adhered to:
1) Don't install your stove too high
This one is very important because our clients will sometimes install their stoves at chest or head level and wonder why their space is not being sufficiently heated.
The simple reason is that heat rises, so installing your stove too high will reduce its efficiency.
In other words, any space under the stove does not get heated, so you want to install your stove as low as possible to get the most out of it.
2) Don't install your stove before curing the paint
We mention this a lot, but it's always worth bringing up since it is sometimes missed.
The paint on a brand new stove needs to be cured prior to installing. This process entails burning the stove so that the moisture leaves the paint and the chemical smell is eliminated (off-gassing).
You can theoretically do this indoors, but it is better by far to do it outdoors since the smell emitted is quite unpleasant. There is nothing dangerous about curing the paint indoors, but doing so will force you to endure a foul odor, which is never fun.
3) Don't use other pipes
Many clients have installed their Cubic stoves with pipes other than our own.
This can sometimes be fine, but we have found that it's extremely difficult to find suitable pipes elsewhere and that they can often cause problems due to not being adequate.
Most 3" double wall flue pipes on the market are made for pellet stoves, which do not produce the same flue gas temperatures as wood stoves, and single wall flue pipes will allow the flue gasses to cool too quickly, which will also slow the draft and increase creosote production.
We highly recommend using our pipes so that you can avoid any headaches and ensure that your stove is set up the way it was intended to be.
4) Don't use elbows
Speaking of pipes, one of the things we get asked about the most is whether or not elbows can be used.
While it's technically possible, we strongly suggest that you do not.
The reason is because our stoves are smaller than usual and use 3" pipes.
With a smaller diameter, elbows will create turbulence and slow the draft, which will hinder the performance of your stove.
5) Don't get frustrated when connecting our pipes!
Easier said than done, we know.
There is no denying it; connecting our pipes can sometimes be a tricky endeavor. We sometimes get feedback from clients who insist that the walls of our pipes are welded too close together and are impossible to connect.
While we absolutely sympathize with the frustration, we promise that they can be connected and that it's actually fairly easy to do once you get the hang of it.
If you are having difficulty, please email us and we will be glad to help you.
We have a few clips that demonstrate the technique that we can share and if those don't work, we would be happy to hop on a video call.
We implore you not to try and modify the pipes on your own as this will likely render them unusable.
6) Don't paint your pipes
This question comes up fairly often as many of our clients wish to paint their pipes black, which admittedly looks pretty cool. However, we advise against it.
The main reason is because you will need to cure the paint, which cannot be done through our stoves.
You would need to put them in an oven or find some other way of getting them hot enough to properly cure, which can be a pain.
On top of that, it's worth mentioning that black absorbs heat, as opposed to stainless steel, which reflects it.
7) Don't run an exhaust fan
This is pretty straightforward. You should not have an exhaust fan running while you are operating the stove.
There are two kinds of fans -ones that pull air to the outside and ones that bring outside air in- and neither should be used.
You don't want the air inside your space being pulled out because it will directly counter the flow of the draft. This will allow smoke to be pulled in from the stove as opposed to going outside.
You also don't want to bring in outside air too quickly as it will force the draft and overwhelm the pipes. Creating a draft is of course essential, but you don't want to make it too strong, which a fan can do.
Ceiling fans are okay, which can help push the heat downwards to the living space from the ceiling area.
8) Don't use a plastic bin for the ash
While this may seem intuitive, it's important for our clients to understand that using anything other than a metal bin for your ash should not be done and could be quite dangerous.
The ashes that you scoop out of your stove may still be hot and contain embers, which can cause a plastic bin to melt or catch fire.
Please ONLY use a metal bin for the ash.
9) Don't operate the stove without a CO2 monitor, smoke detector, and fire extinguisher
No if's, and's, or but's.
Under no circumstances whatsoever should you operate your stove without a CO2 monitor, smoke detector, and fire extinguisher.
You may die if you don't.
10) Don't use fuel that contains salt, accelerants, glue or wax.
This is something we definitely want to make sure that people are aware of.
Any fuel that contains salt, accelerants, glue or wax should be completely avoided.
While it is extremely difficult to overheat our stoves, these additives are highly damaging to the stove and flue pipes and should never be used.
Please be safe and be sure to only use fuel that is 100% wood.
This list is by no means comprehensive, so please read our Warning Sheet for more details on how to properly operate your stove and what to avoid when doing so.
As usual, always feel free to contact us if you ever have any questions.