This Article has been approved by our on staff NFI Certified Specialists & Master Hearth Professionals
Whether you are putting in a brand new pipe install or replacing a existing one, you probably have questions on which type stove pipe is the best. While there are many brands out there available for your install, there are two main types of pipe that serve different purposes for your installation, they are single-wall and double-wall stove pipe. Single-Wall stove pipe can be installed as long as you have a 18" clearance to a wall, ceiling or floor.
If your clearance to combustibles is less than 18", you have to install double-wall stove pipe. Double-wall also requires a clearance of at least 6", if you're clearance is less than that then you will need to make adjustments so you can properly install your wood stove.
Once the clearance is determined, you can then pick the brand of stove pipe you'd like to install. To learn more about read our article How to Choose your Brand of Stove Pipe. Remember, if you have a clearance of 18" or more you can choose to install either single-wall or double-wall pipe. If you have a clearance under 18" then you must install double-wall pipe.
Let's say you have a clearance of 18" or more, so you can choose either single-wall or double-wall. Use our comparison chart below to help determine which style of pipe is best for your installation.
Double-Wall Stove Pipe
The benefit of having double-wall pipe is that it will last longer and your draft will improve. It is always recommended that you use double-wall pipe in a mobile home. The reason why you must use double-wall pipe for a clearance of 18" or under is because it is air insulated. The outside of the double-wall pipe does not radiate heat like single-wall does.
The air insulation also allows your wood stove to perform better. Performance of your stove increases because the flue will have a higher and consistent temperature with double-wall verses single-wall. While double-wall costs more than single-wall, you could actually be saving more over-all when considering the increased performance of your stove.
The drawback to double-wall pipe is that it is more expensive but it also has a higher quality and will last longer than single-wall. With a .016" Stainless steel inner wall and a .018" Galvanized outer wall, double-wall is superior in quality over single-wall. Double-wall pipe also produces less creosote.
Creosote can be extremely dangerous and will lead to chimney fires if it is not treated properly. To learn more about creosote prevention ready our article, What is Creosote?. The reason why creosote is minimized when using double-wall pipe is because the flue heats up faster and it stays hotter for a longer period of time.
Double-wall pipe also does not have as many options in size, currently we offer only 6", 7" and 8" diameters for this type of pipe. If your install requires a 10" diameter then you would need to use Durablack stove pipe.
Single-Wall Stove Pipe
The main benefit of single-wall pipe is that it is less costly than double-wall pipe. Single-Wall pipe effectively radiates heat back into your room and you can also install a heat reclaimer. A heat reclaimer forces air out from the chimney and can be installed 12"-24" above your wood stove. Single-Wall pipe is a great option if you want to extract the maximum amount of heat that gets lost up in your chimney as possible.
Single-wall pipe also comes in a variety of sizes. You can install single-wall pipe to a chimney with a 6", 7", 8" or 10" diameter. This pipe is also recommended for installs where you have a clearance to combustibles that is 18" or greater. Single-wall is definitely the most common type of stove pipe used in installations today.
Now that you know more about single-wall and double-wall, you can make the decision for your installation. It is important to choose the one that makes the most sense and is going to be the safest option for your home. If you have yet to choose a wood stove and are doing a new installation, we recommend reviewing all of your chimney and stove pipe options to determine what will suit your needs the best. 6" is the most common diameter we see in a flue collar for a stove and in pipe installations.
If there is a wood stove with another size flue collar such as 7" or 8" just be sure you consider the price of that pipe when making your wood stove buying decision. The larger diameter or the thicker pipe like the double-wall all needs to be factored into your budget.
We hope you found this information helpful and will continue to use Northline Express for all of your hearth and home needs! You can always refer to our other articles to learn more about the products we offer and how they work.