Per manufacturer specs, the stove has clearances that need to be followed for safe operation. There’s side clearances of X inches to combustibles. X is the same on both sides. There’s the rear clearance Y and front clearance Z. Both front and rear clearances are different (Y does not equal Z). Where this gets interesting, and not explicitly listed in the install manual, is here. The side clearance X actually extends the whole length of the front clearance Z, on both sides. Furthermore, the “clearance to combustibles” refers not only to the wooden benches at 90 degrees to the plane of the stove, but also refers to the floor (and probably, by the same definition, to the ceiling.) Furthermore, though all the installation pictures showed the front clearance with the arrow pointing to the door of the stove, they actually meant the whole front side. Finally, although my floor was built up from non-combustible cement board and covered with PVC membrane to be waterproof, that thin piece of PVC is considered combustible—and thus non-compliant.
|This shows where I went wrong in my build. Part of my long bench encroaches into the no combustibles zone.|
Once again, to sum up. When planning out your sauna hot room and chimney/stove installation, be sure to contact the sauna stove manufacturer and verify your understanding of the install documents is exactly what they tried to convey. Also check this with the inspector. In my case, I double checked all the installation steps with my friends and made sure we all understood them the same way. However, I should have also double checked with the stove manufacturer as well.
Finally, be aware that photos used on the stove manufacturer's website showing the sauna stove sitting right next to benches and other combustibles is only for marketing purposes and doesn’t have to be technically to the installation spec. This does not fly with the inspector either.
|Sauna stove too close to wooden benches.|
|Sauna stove too right next to wooden benches.|
|Sauna stove too right next to wooden duck board.|