Installing a pellet stove is much like installing a wood burning stove. It is important to be sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully if you choose to take on the project of installing a solid-fuel burning stove. A project such as this takes a lot of time and effort because you must be certain to meet all of your local fire and building codes. Similarly, you must meet any manufacturer requirements on clearances from combustibles

Most pellet stoves come in standard black, but brass, gold, and other colored accents are available.
Most pellet stoves come in standard black, but brass, gold, and other colored accents are available.

and technical specifications such as floor and wall protection. With that being said, this guide is not meant to be a step by step account of how to install a pellet stove. Even if you plan on doing the project yourself you should consult a professional after installation to be sure that you have installed it correctly and safely. Utilize this guide as an outline of what the work entails in order to see if it is a project you will be able to take on.

First and foremost these stoves are heavy. Generally it takes two people to move one. If you have an existing fireplace and you plan on fitting the stove inside, this is considered a pellet stove insert, and pellet stove insert installation is very close to the installation of a wood burning insert. An insert fits right inside the firebox of an existing chimney. It still adds charm to the room, but also is convenient as to not take up floor space. A stainless steel chimney liner can be connected to the top connector of a wood stove insert. Read more about stainless steel liners in our chimney liner section. Another option, although less efficient than having a fully lined flue system, is to have the flue liner extend up through the smoke chamber and beyond in the existing clay flue tile chimney flue. This method is less efficient because an insulated stainless steel chimney pipe stays warmer when a fire is lit, minimizing creosote buildup. Your flue must be evaluated by a professional and be in good working order for it to vent the products of combustion. If your flue is not in good working order, for example if it has missing mortar joints or cracked flue tiles, you will need to purchase a

stainless steel liner along with your new pellet stove. The size of the liner should be the same size as the pipe coming out of the pellet stove, which is generally

A video inspection, or a ChimScan, is the best way to know whether your existing flue is capable of holding the products of combustion.
A video inspection, or a ChimScan, is the best way to know whether your existing flue is capable of holding the products of combustion.

about 6″.

If you are installing a pellet burning stove not meant to sit in the firebox, you must be sure to follow manufacturer instructions on floor and wall protection. You absolutely cannot set this large stove that burns incredibly hot on your wood floors. They will smolder and catch fire. Proper floor protection and clearances from combustibles will be indicated by the manufacturer of the product and should be followed carefully. Technical specifications such as these can be the difference between a pellet stove that causes you no problems and a potentially problematic pellet stove.

Pellet stove venting is another issue when it comes to pellet stove installation. Some stoves use no blower, only natural air from the chimney for air for combustion as well as a safe zone to vent the products of combustion. If your ventilation is likely to be limited by tall trees near the chimney or other obstructions, additional vents may be needed. In this case you would need to contact a professional because proper clearances from combustibles is necessary since heat moves through vents.

Single walled pipe is not appropriate for venting a pellet stove or pellet stove insert unless strictly stated by the manufacturer. While I am on the topic PVC pipe and Type B vents are also not appropriate. Do not block any vents that are on the stove already, these are often cool air inserts. Remember that many insurance agencies do not cover pellet stoves that have not been installed by a professional. Similarly, most manufacturer’s warranties are only good if their product is installed professionally. Remember that pellet stoves, and any stoves for that matter, contain fire which should never be left unattended for long periods of time. A properly installed stove can provide a lifetime of great use, but an improperly installed stove can be dangerous.

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

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Clay Lamb

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2 thoughts on “Pellet Stove Installation Guide

  1. Can’t seem to get straight answer:
    Want to hook up pellet stove to existing flue (previously used by removed furnace. No other appliances using this flue. the outlet of stove is 3″ diameter. The flue is 8″ x 12″. Why can I not use this flue? Do I really need a chimney insert if flue is intake?

  2. First, what type of venting does the Manufacture of your equipment *Require to maintain your warranty.
    I would call them with your issue, as most Mfg. are great to work with!
    As a side bar it sounds like your 8″x12″flue is way to big to (draft UP) properly
    A sluggish draft, could cause other serious problem!

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