Go Back   Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community > Oven Management > Firing Your Oven

Like Tree2Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 10-17-2010, 03:47 PM
Master Builder
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State USA
Posts: 768
Default Re: Neighbor is complaining about soot damage

Here's a suggestion that perhaps might be of value to you: build a small permanent stand near the fence line with the bothersome neighbor and facing your WFO. Before each firing tape a sheet of new clean paper (standard 8 1/2 by 11 printer paper) to the stand. Date the sheet and photograph it before firing. Then after firing again photo the sheet and spray the surface of the sheet with artists fixative. Punch holes in the sheet and start a binder of the sheets.

This is what we did when we fought PG&E over their pollution from their cleaning the chimneys at their Moss Landing, Ca. power plant. The short story is they were forced by the Gov't to burn crude oil in furnaces with chinmeys designed to burn natural gas. As a consequence they had to clean or "vent" the chinmeys often to keep them free of soot. The recorded pollution data was quite valuable in getting compensation from PG&E (although it has been years since I lived on my boat at the marina there). Obviously in this case you are endeavouring to prove the lack of pollution from your WFO.

I would also suggest civility in dealings with this neighbor. A cool head and polite manner might help defuse a situation which unfortunately might come before a magistrate. And should the situation come before a judge let the neighbor appear to be the hot-headed crazy one. Beware unintended consequences, as a contrary judgment might be hard to undo, and expensive.

Note also: this could backfire as here is a photograph of the awning I recently took down from my patio area. These are not burns but rather soot. And this represents quite a few firings and, I suspect, at a much closer distance than your neighbors yard. But it does show our (or at least my WFO) is not particulate pollution free.

I am sure glad I live in a rural area, with neighbors a goodly distance away who also have WFOs and like me, heat their homes with wood.

Hope this helps,
Wiley
Attached Thumbnails
Neighbor is complaining about soot damage-soot-awning.jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 10-17-2010, 09:36 PM
kebwi's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 1,010
Default Re: Neighbor is complaining about soot damage

Great, so there actually are little black spots of stuff settling from your chimney on a nearby surface. I'm not specifically surprised, but it doesn't help me that chimneys actually do produce this kind of stuff...her claims are wide and varying: that the marks are soot and not mold, that the marks burn through the paint, that the resulting hole lets moisture through, that soot settles on the roof and washes down the side of the house when it rains.........some of these claims might be true, others not.

...and while her greater concern is the long term damage of these supposed holes (caused by impossible burns), I suppose a judge could also order me clean her house even if I'm not actually damaging the paint in any burn-related manner.

...but the spots appear on all sides of her house including wind-leeward and walls off to the side of the wind-path...I dunno, thanks for the info though.
__________________

Website:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

WFO Webpage:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Thread:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 10-18-2010, 12:01 AM
brokencookie's Avatar
Journeyman
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 376
Default Re: Neighbor is complaining about soot damage

Kewbi
We live in WASHINGTON---fungus and mold are not optional. I think your neighbor is just trying to find a way to make you pay for her problem. Before you accept all of the blame you need to look at other item that could impact her house.

Are there any working wood fired or coal fired chimneys in your neighborhood ? Anyone one of these could "cause" the problem. It might not just be you.

Does anyone in the area barbeque ? You can't be the only one who wants to enjoy flame broiled foods.

Here is what the Washingtion State Code says ( abreviated as WAC codes, and many of them are wacked)

WAC 173-433-110 No agency filings affecting this section since 2003
Opacity standards.
(1) A person shall not cause or allow emission of a smoke plume from any solid fuel burning device to exceed an average of twenty percent opacity for six consecutive minutes in any one-hour period.

(2) Statewide opacity standard. An authority shall not adopt or enforce an opacity level for solid fuel burning devices that is more stringent than the statewide standard.

(3) Test method and procedures. Methods and procedures specified by the EPA in "40 CFR 60 Appendix A reference method 9 - VISUAL DETERMINATION OF THE OPACITY OF EMISSIONS FROM STATIONARY SOURCES" as amended through July 1, 1990, shall be used to determine compliance with subsection (1) of this section.

(4) Enforcement. Smoke visible from a chimney, flue or exhaust duct in excess of the opacity standard shall constitute prima facie evidence of unlawful operation of an applicable solid fuel burning device. This presumption may be refuted by demonstration that the smoke was not caused by an applicable solid fuel burning device. The provisions of this requirement shall:

(a) Be enforceable on a complaint basis.

(b) Not apply during the starting of a new fire for a period not to exceed twenty minutes in any four-hour period.

(5) Education. Any person or retailer providing information on the operation of solid fuel burning devices, such as brochures, demonstrations, and public education programs, should include information that opacity levels of ten percent or less are attainable through proper operation.



Here is the way I interpret the WAC code

#1. Your pizza oven burns so much more cleanly than a standard fireplace that you should have no problem with the opacity requirement.

#2. Section 4b clearly states that there is an except during start up. All pizza ovens smoke a little at start up. But you can let it smoke like a giant cigar for 20 minutes in every 4 hours. In addition, it can exceed opacity requirements for 6 minutes every hour.

Unless you are using green wood, dead squirrels and wet newspapers, your oven should have no problem meeting the "legal requirements".

#3. This is a state wide code and cannot be superceded by local regulations that are more stringent. This is the most restrictive standard allowable in the state.

Don't let your neighbor bully you. Make her prove that it is your oven that is causing the problem. It is actually much harder than you think it is to prove you are the souce.

Good Luck
Bruce
__________________
Sharpei Diem.....Seize the wrinkle dog

Last edited by brokencookie; 10-18-2010 at 12:02 AM. Reason: fixed spelling for clarity
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 10-18-2010, 01:52 AM
brickie in oz's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Whittlesea
Posts: 3,455
Default Re: Neighbor is complaining about soot damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokencookie View Post
Good Luck
Bruce
Looks like you are in the clear.

Soooo, keep on cookin them pizzas
__________________
The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 10-18-2010, 10:23 AM
Master Builder
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State USA
Posts: 768
Default Re: Neighbor is complaining about soot damage

Keith, One description you gave early on has got me wondering, "she has painted press-board siding and says that pin-head sized black marks appear on the paint,". By any chance does she have LP siding? LP (Louisiana Pacific) made siding years ago that was or became the object of a class action suit and became a major recall. Just Google LP siding and you will find hours of reading. I would suspect that is a more likely cause than your WFO.

I posted my pictures because the impression that our WFOs are without pollution fallout was being created (at least IMHO) and my personal evidence suggested they are not so virginal.

Regarding the neighbor, you describe "her" rather than "her and her husband". By any chance is she an aged widow? If so put yourself in her shoes for a moment, the economy sucks, her income has probably decreased, Social Security has for the second year not given a COLA and everything seems more expensive. Add to that she is alone. Her biggest asset has diminished in value due to the housing market collapse and she now notices these spots. The notice of which happened to coincide with your new WFO. She is fearful she will have to do major repairs she cannot afford. Add to that the paranoia that often comes with age and you have a recipe for alot of sleepless worry filled nights for her. We as Americans seem to like the "going to war" option. Road rage, get a lawyer and sue etc. etc. It's both of your neighborhood and like it or not until one of you dies or moves you are going to be neighbors. Why not try a different tack?

Were I in your shoes (which is most unlikely as I refuse to live in a city) I think I would get myself up to speed regarding the siding issues as LP isn't the only manufacturer having problems with their products. Print out a few pages with relevant info. Bake a loaf of bread in your indoor oven and pay a neighborly call on her. Say something like "We have gotten off on the wrong foot on this and I would like us to be friends rather than not. There is something going on with your siding and I would like to help you get to the bottom of it. Here is some info that might be of interest and a loaf of my homemade bread. If you feel inclined please read this and if you want perhaps over a cup of tea we can discuss what we can do. But enjoy the bread." Then leave, let her digest the info and the bread. If she has kids she most likely they will get to see the info and can see you aren't some ogre. Least ways she will have an option that is more viable than getting a lawyer. Regardless if you are technically, legally in the right the end result is possibly a whole lot cheaper than lawyers and going to court and a whole lot better mental health for you and her and the neighborhood.

From what little I read on the siding issues there are forms and inspections and time limits. Help her thru the tangle. She may simply be out of luck with regard to the siding but you won't be the object of her scorn and her litigation. And she won't be calling the air pollution control people every time you fire up.

Of course I could be wrong, she may be the bully, the bitter, sharp elbowed spinster on the Metro, in which case I have little suggestion.

Like I said I refuse to live in a city, too many people!
Good Luck!
Wiley
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 10-18-2010, 10:49 AM
kebwi's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 1,010
Default Re: Neighbor is complaining about soot damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
Keith, One description you gave early on has got me wondering, "she has painted press-board siding and says that pin-head sized black marks appear on the paint,". By any chance does she have LP siding? LP (Louisiana Pacific) made siding years ago that was or became the object of a class action suit and became a major recall. Just Google LP siding and you will find hours of reading. I would suspect that is a more likely cause than your WFO.
I will take it under advisement. She is quite beyond any rational discourse at this point. If I ask her about her siding she will immediately deflect and will probably refuse to answer the question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
I posted my pictures because the impression that our WFOs are without pollution fallout was being created (at least IMHO) and my personal evidence suggested they are not so virginal.
Thank you for the clarification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
Regarding the neighbor, you describe "her" rather than "her and her husband". By any chance is she an aged widow?
No. She has a partner. I guess they aren't strictly speaking married, but they've been together for years. We didn't even know they weren't married. The house is hers however. Furthermore, I refer to her in the singular in this discussion not only because she's the only one giving me a hard time and because the house is legally in her name, but because her "husband" is downright embarrassed about the whole thing and is desperately trying to keep the peace (which I want to do as well, I'm being as polite as I can with her...aka kind of a sucker).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
If so put yourself in her shoes for a moment, the economy sucks, her income has probably decreased, Social Security has for the second year not given a COLA and everything seems more expensive. Add to that she is alone. Her biggest asset has diminished in value due to the housing market collapse and she now notices these spots. The notice of which happened to coincide with your new WFO. She is fearful she will have to do major repairs she cannot afford.
Despite her not being an elderly widow, your point is still valid. I am entirely sympathetic to her situation. She's trying to take care of her house and is concerned she had discovered a new and to-be-recurrent problem. I perfectly understand that. She's still very threatening and irrational however. My sympathy with her only extends as far as it permits me to live my life in a legal and private manner. I genuinely want to help her. In my opinion, she's hurting herself by not considering mold since it must be fought in a very different way than ash or other dirt. She isn't cleaning with bleach, she isn't properly killing it, she's ruining her own house. I would love to help her, but there are limits to my ability to get through to her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiley View Post
From what little I read on the siding issues there are forms and inspections and time limits. Help her thru the tangle. She may simply be out of luck with regard to the siding but you won't be the object of her scorn and her litigation. And she won't be calling the air pollution control people every time you fire up.
I'll look into it.

Cheers!
__________________

Website:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

WFO Webpage:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Thread:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 10-24-2010, 04:46 AM
Laborer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 73
Default Re: Neighbor is complaining about soot damage

Hi,

Have you spoken to her about taking samples and getting them analyzed? I am willing to guess she will not allow you to do that. But its a question that you should ask.

I believe that if she refuses you to take a sample then you can go ahead and start the oven up as you have made an attempt to get the spots analyzed and she refused.

Also if she refuses you getting the spot analyzed then why not play her at her own game.

She has already advised you she will call the fire department. Well if the fire department show up they are going to ask her to see what the damage is that is being caused. I am sure the fire department knows the difference between mold and ash burns. If you see fire trucks at your neighbours you will know fairly quickly is your oven is the problem and then you can get a fireplace/chimney guy to come and work out a way to do the water thing that was mentioned.

Not to sure about the laws in your state but have you maybe considered talking to the council/local government about codes on wood fire ovens and maybe even acceptable materials for siding? Maybe her house siding isnt to code.

Anyways my 10cents worth

ikhan42
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 10-24-2010, 07:26 AM
kebwi's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 1,010
Default Re: Neighbor is complaining about soot damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by ikhan42 View Post
Have you spoken to her about taking samples and getting them analyzed? I am willing to guess she will not allow you to do that. But its a question that you should ask.
Yes, and yes she refused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ikhan42 View Post
She has already advised you she will call the fire department. Well if the fire department show up they are going to ask her to see what the damage is that is being caused. I am sure the fire department knows the difference between mold and ash burns.
The damage (evidence) is gone since she already scraped off and painted over the mold spots. If they reappeared within a few minutes of me firing the oven such that there was anything for the fire dept to analyze, then even I would be suspicious that I'm the cause...'course I doubt that would happen. She would just call to "have me stopped", which you can sort of do. The fire dept can point out that I'm within code, but complaints of a "it bothers me" nature are in fact somewhat valid and far more difficult to fight, and complaints of a "it exacerbates my asthma" nature are deal-killers: they supercede codes which otherwise permit a certain level of emission...which kinda sucks: It gives a lot of power to the complainer. All of this directly from a representative of the fire dept when I spoke with him this week...or course her boyfriend smokes like a chimney (hey, a pun!) so it would be total B.S. if she ever played that card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ikhan42 View Post
Not to sure about the laws in your state but have you maybe considered talking to the council/local government about codes on wood fire ovens and maybe even acceptable materials for siding? Maybe her house siding isnt to code.
I don't know about her siding, but I have the Washington codes on chimney emissions, namely on the fraction of an hour that can be spent spewing black smoke (the rules are more forgiving at startup of course).

As of yesterday, I had dropped a letter in her mailbox summarizing my research of the preceding days into the likelihood of her claim and the likelihood of unconsidered alternative explanations (mold). I don't think I'll have time to fire up the oven this weekend, so it'll be a while before anything else happens on this issue...I think.

Nevertheless, Thanksgiving if a target for me. Family's flying out, plan is to put the bird in there.

Cheers!
__________________

Website:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

WFO Webpage:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Thread:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 10-25-2010, 11:53 AM
kebwi's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Posts: 1,010
Default Re: Neighbor is complaining about soot damage

Well, got a phone call from the fire marshal today notifying me of a complaint about hot embers landing my neighbor's house (sheeeeeeeeeeeesh!). Obviously, over the phone, they cannot determine the validity or insanity of my neighbor's complaint. So they were calling me simply to notify me of the complaint. At this point, there's nothing to do but fire it up and see what happens. He told me that his advice to her was to call 911 if they will respond on a per-incident basis. So, maybe they'll come out and take a look at my oven.

He emphasized to me my greatest concern which is that it doesn't really matter if I'm within the EPA emissions restrictions. They can halt a fire on rather vague "fire hazard" or even "health hazard" grounds as they see fit.

One of my fears now is, how do I technically comply with a demand to put out a fire. I don't think they will accept merely not adding more wood to the fire since it would take 30-45 minutes for a roaring blaze to die down. If they flood my oven with a fire hose, I imagine it would probably destroy my oven, in as much as the insulation boards under the floor would be significantly more soaked than they ever experienced in light rains during construction. I just don't know how I would comply with such a demand without basically destroying the oven by flooding it.

So, we'll just have to fire it up and see what happens.

This has royally taken the fun out of my oven of course. Even if I use it, from now on it will just be a reminder of my insane neighbor and her litigious threats and harassment.

...all because she's too stupid to tell the difference between mold and ash and too stubborn to get it professionally analyzed. Burden of proof really isn't the issue since the whole "vague health hazard" angle nullifies all rational discourse on the subject.

I'll keep your guys apprised.
__________________

Website:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

WFO Webpage:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Thread:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 10-25-2010, 12:25 PM
Tscarborough's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ausitn
Posts: 2,861
Default Re: Neighbor is complaining about soot damage

I would force the issue with a fire. Make sure it is a big one, but also make sure it is very dry and is done smoking ASAP. Then when they show up you can show them the actuality of the situation. To put the fire out to their satisfaction, just put the door on it, and show them how it will soon smother, and that no smoke can escape.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cleaning black soot off of decorative arch sjmeff Tools, Tips and Techniques 1 05-22-2010 05:46 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
2006/10 Forno Bravo, LLC