Flue requirements for a wood burning stove

Updated February 21, 2017

Wood burning stoves are free standing wood burning units that can add significant heat to a living space. They typically require a noncombustible pad to sit on, typically made of concrete or tile. Free standing wood burning stoves require specific clearances from combustible materials and require specific chimney and flue components to conform to safety codes.


All wood stoves are required to have a damper on the vertical, single wall flue pipe directly above the wood burning stove. The damper allows warm exhaust to exit through the chimney and prevents air from back drafting into the stove when not in use.

Flue Connections

Pieces of the flue must connect through interlocking mechanisms that are air tight. If interlocking sections are not used, the flue pieces are required to be installed with fire caulking (2,000 degree Fahrenheit caulk) at all junctions and three screws to hold the sections together. The pieces that are tapered inward should be stalled with the taper down towards the wood burning stove to prevent moisture from leaking out through the joints of the flue sections.

Pitch of the Flue

The horizontal flue section that connects to the chimney is required to pitch 1/4 inch per foot back toward the wood burning stove. This allows for proper drainage of condensation and prevents back drafts.

Flue Pipe Diameter

The flue pipe should be the diameter of the flue connector on the wood stove, typically 6 to 8 inches. It is not allowed to decrease the diameter of the pipe with a reducer. This creates poor ventilation and can drastically reduce performance as well as contribute to back drafting. Always follow the manufacturer's specific guidelines on flue sizing and length restrictions and installation methods.

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About the Author

Adam Yeomans has been writing professionally since 2010, with his work appearing on websites such as eHow. He works in the construction industry as a builder and as an energy efficiency consultant.