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Author Topic: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal  (Read 7494 times)

Offline Dainty

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New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« on: November 26, 2010, 10:10:31 AM »
I was browsing Lehman's, dreaming along through the cookstoves, and had a bit of a reality check when I started seeing this message pop up:

"The (cookstove) is exempt from EPA regulations and is legal for sale in most of the USA. However, it is not legal for sale in the state of Washington."

Wha...?

I did some googling, and when my results led back to the Lehman's site I sent in an inquiry, and here was the response:

Quote
Unfortunately none of the cookstoves are able to be sold in WA.  Stoves sold in Washington must meet both the Washington state standards AND the EPA standards.  There is no exemption for cookstoves, furances, non-airtight stoves, etc..  So sorry for this inconvenience!

See http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/indoor_woodsmoke/wood_smoke_page.htm where it says:

To be sold in Washington, all wood burning devices must meet both EPA’s standards and  Washington’s stricter standards.
Even devices that are exempt from EPA certification must meet Washington standards.

I knew WA standards were stricter, but I hadn't realized that meant no cookstoves! I mean, you've got to be kidding me. I'm all for clean air, as I have ridiculously sensitive lungs and suffer often from people burning improperly, and even I know that people should be able to buy a wood-burning cookstove.

As near as I can tell from that link, the ban only applies to new wood burning devices, so apparently used are okay, that might be one way to get around it. I also wonder if multi fuel stoves like the Waterford Stanley would be acceptable, perhaps only if you burned non-wood fuel in it?

Perhaps if stove manufacturers were made aware of the issue they might test emissions so that we at least know if there are any that are acceptable, and perhaps might even work to change the design to be more clean burning. I hope to email some of them soon just so they know what's going on.

I'm a bit bewildered by the lack of information out there on this matter.

cowdog

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2010, 01:16:39 PM »
Hi Dainty,
I have read about your state's woodburning regulations, and they are unbelievably strict. We have a Waterford Stanley and love Lehman's but there are other stoves that might be Washington legal.

We had some problems with our Stanley backpuffing during high winds and were seriously thinking about replacing it a couple years back. When the Stanley back puffed during high west winds, the room was literally full of smoke.

Some other options we looked at:

http://www.transoceanltd.com/appliances/stoves/bigbear.html

http://www.marginstoves.com/

We ended up with a vacu-stack that took care of 99 percent of the problems. It was cheaper and we are otherwise happy with the Waterford.

The Waterford Stanley will burn coal with the addition of expensive coal grates. EPA does not regulate coal burners,so maybe your state does not?

Here is our stove from my wife's blog

http://homesteadgardenandpantry.com/non-electric/cook-stove/cook-stove-basics/

I hope you are able to find and own a cookstove. They are a great investment in your life and security!


Offline Dainty

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 11:26:55 AM »
Thanks, cowdog. I'm a (mostly lurking) Granny Miller fan and have read that post so many times for the pure enjoyment of it. :) Unfortunately I'm not in the position to get a cookstove right now, but I do hope to someday. In the meantime I'll settle for trying to make it possible for others in WA.

I've had a few exchanges with a representative of antiquestoves.com about the issue, as I couldn't find a way to get in touch with the manufacturer of Margin stoves. According to him, "no emissions information exists" for any brand of cookstove. I inquired further and he said cookstoves operate differently than heating stoves and thus the tests that would be required do not even exist.

Yep, that sounds like my state, alright.

This is looking like someone made a law without a clue about cookstoves and their emissions. It's not like cookstoves are mentioned, they simply come under the title of "wood burning devices".

So here's the plan: I'm hoping to receive word back with reasons on exactly why emissions testing for cookstoves is not feasible as it is for heating stoves. Whether or not I do, I then plan to contact WA's Department of Ecology, since their website is the only one with any info on this, and inform them of their oversight. Hopefully they'll listen and do something about it. If not then I have some other ideas, but I'm not certain I'll have the time and energy to implement them. I hope so, because this really is ridiculous and ought to be changed.

Offline Onug

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 10:26:28 PM »
This is too funny. Man, the commies in this state piss me off.  I've dealt with people like this on different levels in our government around here and the burden of proof is on you.  Laws around here are about making you feel "warm and fuzzy", not reality or common sense.  Not to discourage you, but they have no problem looking at you with a cold, empty stare and saying "Sorry, can't help you". 

I'd love to move, but then they'd be one person closer to winning this state.

I'm all for working within the system to force change, but this is just goofy.  My vote is to either buy something from a company that doesn't know better or drive down to Oregon or ID (whichever is closer) and pick one up there.

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2011, 09:01:27 PM »
Did you find out any more info?  I just happen to be surfing for wood cook stoves and came across the TSP link (I knew I should started here)  Was shocked to see not legal in washington.  We don't even have a reg. wood stove so all is new to me.  I thought this might be a good item to find in the Jan2013 sales.  Have always wanted one and learned to bake bread in one when I was young.  I do see the laws say "new" and since they are to be written to be exact as to no cause confusion (yeah right) I would think old would be ok unless they say "new installation" ??? Any info helpful Thanks happy 4th
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Offline mxitman

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2011, 09:36:53 PM »
Thats why the wood stoves you find for sale locally in the paper or on Craigslist seem to sell for allot more and are hard to find. I've got an old wood stove and have been offered $500 for it. Look around though they do pop up, or you can get a new one in Portland or Boise...for decorating purposes ;)
http://ricksdiy.com http://heezy.com/ http://woodybeds.com

I'd rather have it and not need it, than not have it when I do need it.

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2011, 07:48:31 AM »
They are very decorative especially some of the cooking type just love the look.  However wonder if I was "decorating"  with it and for some reason there was a fire I wonder what the insurance company would say? refuse to pay because that decoration may not be legal?  Wonder how I could find that out?  Other than the hard way afterwards?  Ideas?

I always wondered why used wood stoves were so spendy.   Thanks now I know. 
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Offline SWNH

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2011, 10:19:47 PM »
My guess is that the policy is in place to prevent folks from using old stoves (i.e. Fisher) to get around the EPA regs by calling them "cook stoves" because you can use the surface as a cooking surface. When you have alot of wood burning appliances in use and there is a temperature inversion, the air can get mighty thick.

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2011, 10:48:40 PM »
I have been searching and searching found out last week that wood "cooking" devices are exempt from the strict regulations.  Long as it has an oven it is considered a cook stove.  However I do not have my permit in hand when I do will give more info.  They are trying to pass laws on cook stoves but as of yet have not been able to get the verbiage down so have left it that cook is exempt.
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Offline Roundabouts

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2011, 08:38:19 AM »
Ok so I have opted to not go with a wood "cook" stove even though we could have.  They are exempt from EPA restrictions. The one that I wanted would have cost about $2500 more and required some kitchen/ family rm remolding.  Boy was it beautiful.  I was also concerned about the type and way it would heat.  With the smaller fire box I would have been baby sitting it.  Not to mention the weight would have mandated that we support the floor with the  Soap stone masonry (that would have also been the case for a rocket mass heater) the steel and cast we would not have had to do that.  But still by the time all is said and done $5000-$6000 more forget it.     

What we went with is a soap stone wood stove. hearthstone  the heritage model 8021 www.stoves.com the pic of the stove next to Buck (what a great guy so funny)  is the one we got but with black trim.  I just love it!!  I can cook a lot of things on top (maybe not fry stuff) and I can use a dutch oven inside to bake if need be.  The heat this thing puts out is fantastic.  I was really worried that it would take a long time to heat up it didn't.  The heat is so soft.  Not at all like a steel or cast stove.  They can burn hot and fast then cool fast.  This heats up a little slower but the heat lasts all night long.  The floors were even warm this morning when I got up.  Not one time did I feel like I was so hot I had to open a window or door.  Which was common with a steel stove ( at least in my past experience) 

The other thing I never really realized is that the side door is way cool.  When I opened up the front door to put wood in visible  smoke and ash came out very messy.  When I opened the side door nothing visible came out!  Less mess to clean.   ;D

So no I can't boil water on it or brew a pot of coffee I will have to stick with slow cooking stews and soups, I will stay warm and cozy without all the dry air.  Heat was our main objective at this point.  We do have alternate ways to cook and I could always get a wood cook stove for an outdoor kitchen if I wanted.  The cost of this was only $400. more than a steel stove or about $200 more than a cast.  Not to bad.  I really think that we wont use as much wood because of the stored heat it creates.  Less baby sitting.  This first year we just bought wood it was a time factor thing.  So that's the stove story and it did have a happy ending even though I didn't get the cook stove. 

Ps
I was surprised that it is L&I that had to do our stove inspection because we have a manufactured home.  So weird. 


 

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Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2011, 02:15:42 PM »
I was surprised that it is L&I that had to do our stove inspection because we have a manufactured home.  So weird. 

It's one of our Washington State oddities.  The Dep't of Labor and Industries regulates manufactured housing.  I'm sure somebody had a good reason for this, a few decades ago. :P

Offline Mastoo

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2011, 07:48:29 AM »
If you burn wood, this has a great link to an 80 page pdf focused on high efficiency wood burning...

http://woodheat.org/an-online-wood-heat-booklet.html

IIRC, it makes the statement that stoves aren't tested for EPA certification because by design they won't be efficient enough.

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: New Wood Cookstoves in WA Illegal
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2011, 04:51:00 PM »
I will check that link out thanks .  I want to be as efficient as possible since we will be growing trees to coppice.  That will be a chore to research.  Then to plant.  It has been amazing how much heat the soap stone stores and how long it keeps the house warm without a fire burning.  I am also surprised how it heats the whole house.  I really did not expect it to do that.

I know it will take time to get the wood thing down.  There is a real art to burning firewood.  Wood types how long it's been seasoned the cut.  I am learning things I never knew I never knew. 

Had the house very warm today felt soooo good.  The heat feels like the sun coming in the window.  Nap time me and the 3 dogs were sprawled out on the floor in front of the wood stove snoring away. LOL
There is no $50 job that I can't do without a $100 worth of new tools.