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From the mailbag: wood stoves, municipalities, neighbors, and gasification.

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Vancouver BC Canada build
hi I just discovered your site absolutely fantastic information. glad to find so many people that are equally as passionate about saunas and life. I’m in the process building my outdoor sauna and a half your questions. do you have any experience or knowledge Harvia legend 150 Stoves?also what is your experience with municipalities in general bylaws surrounding outdoor wood burning stoves in Canada or US? I tried doing some research even called the fire department and the district and nobody could give me the bylaw. They all defaulted to the standard, you can’t burn on an open stove or fire pit etc but when pressed on a sauna they weren’t sure? Im wondered what happens if my neighbor calls the district by laws to complain, unlikely but just wondering what other people experience has been. Thanks
The Harvia 150
The Harvia 150

Hi Christian.

Harvia 150: is a decent stove.  It is imported from Finland and is well road tested over there.  I like how it is made with sauna rocks surrounding the heat chamber.  Lots of thermal mass and Loyly potential.
Municipalities/laws:  I hear you.  Outdoor saunas fall into a grey area and authorities shrug their shoulders.  My approach (too loosey goosey for many) is don’t ask don’t tell. I appreciate your concern of neighbor whistle blowing and complaining, yet, what’s to complain about?
The only possible neighbor issue besides “they’re having more fun than us” is a complaint about smoke from the wood stove.  The cool thing is that modem wood stoves are (or should be) engineered for gasification – the burning off of the smoke gases during combustion.
I have built a bunch of saunas, two for myself, all using the Kuuma Wood Stove from Tower, MN.  Daryl’s stoves are all UL approved.  This alone may placate some nosey neighbor or city inspector.  More practically, after lighting the Kuuma stove, smoke will appear out the chimney for five minutes or so, then it will disappear completely, when the fire box becomes hot enough for gasification to kick in.
Looking out a backyard window, I will have to stare awhile at my sauna stove chimney, looking for those Sahara desert type heat waves, to make sure the sauna stove is still going.
Anyhow, big tangent there. Long story short: build it. If neighbors don’t wander over in their bathrobes with towel and nICE mug in hand, they should have nothing to complain about if you use a well made wood burning sauna stove.
Christian, not a hard sell, but for $20, you may very well benefit from my sauna building plans.  Lots of useful tips. If the spirit moves, paypal me  BC is great sauna territory.  When completed, would love to see a picture of your sauna set up, digging yourselves in your BC garden all misty wet with rain.
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