Thursday, January 13, 2011

Earthlings on Fire

It's been a looooong cold winter because, until last night, our wood stove hasn't been working. With vaulted ceilings throughout the house and the heater vents in the ceiling, it seemed that the house was always cold despite the furnace always running. My kids were running space heaters in their bedrooms more often than I liked and we all wore layers and layers of clothes. And we ran through 100 gallons of propane in the last month or so. I debated long and hard about buying a new wood stove and decided to fix up my old Lopi. It's a good, solid stove and really only needed minor parts replacement. The firebox is still good so I decided that it would be a lot cheaper to replace a few parts for several hundred dollars than to buy a new stove for a few thousand dollars. 

It took a few weeks to get the parts: three air flow bars and the door seal, glue, etc. My younger son replaced the seal around the door and my older son put in the air flow bars, kind of like catalytic converters, I think. Not all stoves have them.

Anyway, when my son was putting in the new air flow bars, he realized that the brackets holding up the bricks needed to be replaced too. The parts that needed to be replaced had worn thin and melted in places. A wood stove's worst enemy is green wood and too hot of fires. (Guilty, as charged. Of course, that stove has been used a lot too. We burn fires from November to April, nearly 24/7 most days. I usually go through at least 3 cords of wood a winter.) We ordered the parts and, after a couple of weeks waiting for them to be delivered, finally picked them up. When my son went to install them, he realized the guy had ordered the wrong stove parts and they wouldn't fit. So, we had to reorder them and again wait another couple of weeks for delivery. 

FINALLY, we got the right parts and then my son found that the support pins were missing. After unsuccessfully looking online, my son found some at Home Depot that he thought would work. YES, they fit!! Success!!!

My son kept the fire going all day today and when I came home from work tonight, I can actually say that for the first time this winter, it feels nice and warm in the house. ;) 

Mucho Thanks, boys!!

Earthlings on Fire - song: Law (Earthlings on Fire), artist: David Bowie, album: Earthling


BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Boy, when a person gets used to wood heat, nothing else quite seems to feel as warm.

I am trying to find a chimney sweep/repair place...Anyone who can come out and make sure our fireplace is safe and to put a new chimney cap on so we can use it. Two of the three places I called are out of business and maybe the 3rd one is as well, they haven't returned my call. :-(

Sometimes I wished my husband was handy and not just good looking...LOL (just kidding).

Shirley said...

Good job boys! There is nothing more welcoming on a cold day than coming in to the warmth of a wood fire.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

BEC- good luck on your search. Boy, a good handyman is hard to find! The stores in the city don't even want to order the wood stove parts. They referred me directly to the distributor they order from who just happens to live near me. As for repairs, I am so glad I can use my sons!

Shirley- yeah, wood stove heat is so much warmer!!

Jeni said...

I have a perfectly good fire place... with a 52 inch high def tv mounted above the mantle... no fires for me for fear of melting the expensive electronics.

Mikey said...

Those kids are the best :) Can't believe it took so long to get parts. Glad you're warm and toasty now!

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Good job sons. We had a wood stove in our two-story house in Memphis, Tennessee years ago. The design of the house was such that the stove warmed the whole house, both stories. We chose a gas fireplace for our house her in NM primarily because as I get older I didn't want to mess with hauling wood. You have to make choices as you get older.


achieve1dream said...

I've been having to rely on propane too this winter and it is definitely not as warm. I don't have vaulted ceilings at least thank goodness!

I'm glad they finally got the right parts and your boys were able to fix it. It must be a relief to finally be warm!

Tammy said...

I FREEZE in our house when the wood furnace is blazing!! I know its a lot of work for John to keep wood going, but I think he likes it. I know I do. My feet FREEZE when we aer using propane only!

Kudos to your boys for getting the job done!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Must have been frustrating each time you had to wait for new parts, but you're lucky that your sons are able to do the work instead of paying buku money for a repairman.


Rising Rainbow said...

So glad you're warm now. I know I can't get warm without a fire but we rarely have one because we've not had wood but this year expecting a really crappy winter, we got wood so now I'm good to go but still not building fires hoping to conserve my wood in case the power goes out.

It's nice that you have handy boys who can help you with such things. Dave has two left feet and two left hands so he tries but things don't always go right.

cdncowgirl said...

You're so lucky your sons are handy. My husband is NOT and we have no kids (my stepdad gets a lot of "help" calls lol)

We have a pellet stove with electric heat for backup. This is our first winter here and already I'm loving coming in from chores on a cold day to that wonderful wood heat :)

Dunappy said...

Man I couldn't live without my wood stove! we haul our own wood from the National forest with their wood permits. I think I'd rather live without electricity then live without my wood stove. Good you got yours fixed.