FAQ - Vertical or Horizontal Venting Pipes
Why Direction Matters
When planning the physical run of your vent pipe through your home, there are a few factors that you should keep in mind to help ensure the best system.
Try and minimize the number of turns or bends in your installation. The more you restrict the flow of your system the less draft you will get.
Code/Safety and Cost
Although the situations vary greatly, it could be more costly to go vertically through your ceiling/attic/roof versus through your wall and then up. Examples of some restrictions you might face in each installation are listed below.
Additional Construction: If pipe passes through a second floor or accessible room, product must be enclosed within a wood-framed chase with minimum clearance.
Roof Clearance: I you have a steeply pitched roof, you might want to position your stove to be as close to the peak as possible. If you are far away, you might have to purchase additional footage to meet minimum clearance requirements.
10 Foot / 2 Foot Rule: A common rule for chimney installation that dictates that the chimney must be 2 feet higher than any portion of the building structure within 10 feet. This is not a hard-fast rule however, so always check your installation manual.
Is Horizontal Termination Possible?
In most cases it is not possible to terminate horizontally. Most termination caps require clearance in feet, not inches. Because of this, you normally are required to turn vertically after penetrating your wall, for a vertical termination. However, there are two exceptions to this rule:
- Direct Vent - because of the unique design of this type of flue, it has very low clearance, with the chimney cap requiring zero-clearance due to a built-in heat shield, and as such, may terminate horizontally.
- Pellet-Vent - most pellet stoves produce low temperature exhaust, so the clearance to combustible materials is minimal, and while the cap must be 12 inches off the ground and 6 inches away from the wall, this product may terminate horizontally.
Dealing with Obstructions
After planning your pipe installation, you might have come to realize that there is absolutely no way to bypass an obstruction. Depending on your situation it might be worth it to relocate the stove due to flow restrictions, however most can be bypassed safely and easily using the following steps:
- First you'll need to know exactly how far you need to move over. When taking this measurement, remember to take into consideration your clearance.
- Select an elbow with an angle steep enough to bypass the obstruction. After you have established how far you need to move your system, reference the offset table in your instruction manual.
- Bypass your obstruction, making sure to support the section of pipe between your pair of elbows.
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