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Advice on cheapest DIY install (warning, LONG) new chimney pics

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by tickbitty, Nov 14, 2009.

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  1. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    I have had a couple other threads regarding my questions and issues with what I will need regarding liners, installation, install and have gotten great advice from you guys. I think I am formulating a plan for what would be cheapest and easiest for us to do without a whole lot of outside help. I'm a cheapskate but believe me it's totally out of necessity.

    So here's the current plan: Used Englander 24-JC Insert should be coming home tomorrow. It has an 8" flue collar.
    [​IMG]

    There is a remote possibility that the stove will come with a liner, but I will be surprised if that's the case. So I am liner shopping. In addition to the good sources on here, I have found a couple craigslist finds, including an insulated 6" flex, and this 8" double-walled insulated pipe which is half the cost that anything else is. Guy wants $250. [​IMG] (It's just leaning against his house)

    It looks to be in great shape and from the research I have done, this is good pipe for the job
    Residential Type And Building Heating Appliance Chimney, Hart & Cooley MFG Co., Div. Allied Thermal Corp., Holland, MI
    Model D CAT No. 8DP9
    With Thermal Guard Insulation
    UL Listed Issue No 145A
    It's not one of their current model pipes apparently but still good stuff. Still if I were to use it I would hope NOT to have to get a bunch of pcs or connectors that would have to go to this particular model pipe if it is not a current model. But there's probably 6 or more feet more pipe there than I will need, so I would not need any more to get height or anything.
    This stuff is 10" outside and 8" inside. It should fit in my flue. I could connect it right to my flue collar with a standard pc of connector, couldn't I?

    Next issue I have is my damper - it's a "vestal" damper which is essentially a big iron ceiling on my fireplace with a 4" tall, 29" wide slot at the back where the damper door is.
    [​IMG]
    At least one poster here said he had one like this and he took the door off the damper and used a grinder to enlarge the opening for a 6" flex liner to come through. As mentioned, I have an 8" collar on my stove and if I use a 6" liner I will need to take it down in size, but I am not certain how "fast" that transition is made... plus we don't have a grinder and I just don't think this solution would work for bigger, rigid double walled pipe with any type of connectors. (but maybe I am wrong about that.)

    My take on it is that the whole Vestal thing would probably have to be lifted out and removed if I can figure out how to do that. Then I think I could use the size of it to make a pattern for a block off plate following these handy dandy hearth.com instructions to make a block off plate which could "sit" right where the vestal damper sat? http://hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/making_a_block_off_plate/
    (Or getting a handier friend to do this part for a fee)

    So does that plan sound kosher or do you all see red flags? Are there (expensive or complicated) parts I am leaving out here, like stuff up at the top of the chimney/cap, or how the pipe is fastened into the chimney, (clamps or anything?) etc? Or does this look doable with the inexpensive pipe?

    I will also need stove board for the floor and will have to make a narrow shield for the clearances on the lowest part of my mantel trim. But that should be it, I hope. And I THINK if all goes well this will get me a good, safe, inspected setup for under around $1000. Any comments or suggestions? And thank you again for getting me this far, I hope you all know how much I really appreciate how invaluable this forum and you all are.

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  2. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    OK so maybe that was TMI (too much information) - oh well.
    In related news, I have been a few doors down watching them cut a maple down that split and took out our power lines for a day. I hoped to scrounge some wood, but the neighbors across from them, smoke billowing from their chimneys, were already there loading up a backhoe bucket and taking everything that was down so far. So I tried to get some advice from them - "hey, you guys are woodburners, do you know anyone who could advise us or help us out on a wood insert install? We could pay them..." And they both wondered why I wanted to line the chimney at all and advised if I was lucky enough to have a masonry chimney I should just back it right in there and open it up! Guess I have to keep looking. None of the sweeps around here seem to do installs, I called a few. The one that does do it wants $2000. So you see my predicament.
  3. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Maybe I should actually put a question in here if I am looking for a response? (Cause I am!)

    Does anyone in here use rigid double walled liner?
    What all do you need in order to do rigid liner besides the pipe and a flue big enough to get it down?

    Connectors? Caps? Cement? special tools?

    Does a custom (handmade) blockoff using the original damper as a pattern make sense in this application?

    Thanks. And I am sorry I'm so verbose! (and cheap...)

    ETA now I will stop responding to my own thread unless somebody else does - promise!
  4. ohio woodburner

    ohio woodburner Feeling the Heat

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    Why not use a flex liner? I just installed 16' insulated for 375.00
  5. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Do you mind sharing where you purchased 16' insulated flex for $375?

    Shari
  6. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Mainly money - the 8" rigid seems like it would work and like it's a good liner, and is $250. I saw some insulated 6" flex on CL for $500 and was told that was an excellent price. So it appears that flex is at least twice as much and would need to come down from the size of my flue collar. Have not actually gotten quotes on NEW insulated flex 6" or 8" (and plan to) but I anticipate them to be a bit more than $500. Correct me if I am wrong though!
  7. THEMAN

    THEMAN New Member

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    You can probably get a 6" flex to make it through the damper without having to grind anything out. Send a pm to Magnaflex he manufactures the pipe and can probably give you a good deal. I know that he can get a 6" pipe to ovalize to 4.5" and 8" down to a 6" oval. Only the lower section will be ovalized so that you can get it through the damper then the remainder of the pipe it is round all the way up to the top of the chimney. Good luck.
  8. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    How much is that pipe going to weigh as you hold it and slowly lower it down the chimney?

    Matt
  9. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    I dunno, but I'm sure it's doable - it's in 3' sections so would obviously be a two person job - so I guess it's really unusual not to line with flex? Like I said, a lot of my thinking is about the money. I do need to get a quote from our friend here on the forum so that I know what I am dealing with in terms of comparison and ease/complication of installation in addition to the financial part.

    But although I know it's probably POSSIBLE to work out an arrangement with an 8" to 6" converter, then ovalize it real flat to get through my damper and up to a 6" insulated liner, I guess what I wonder is if that would really be very efficient/good for the stove.
  10. ohio woodburner

    ohio woodburner Feeling the Heat

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    Coal and woodburner shop in Toledo OH
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    From the picture, the 8" looks like old class A pipe and not liner. It also looks like it gunked up at the elbows. However, what is most important is its inside condition. Can't tell that from a picture. Nor can one tell how many chimney fires it may gone through.

    But the key issue is going to be getting past the Vestal damper. Oval liner sure looks like it would be easier at that area. Personally I would get off the wallet and do this right with a new liner. This is infrastructure and a high temp area. Do it right and there will be no worries when the stove is cranking hot.
  12. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Have you measured your chimney yet?
  13. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Finally measured the chimney. Stuck a camera down and up it too. Will post pics when downloaded. Interesting. Tile liner is about 11.5" square. About 5 sections of that which are 2' tall each. Look fine. Bigger area there above the damper which is just masonry. Maybe it's cemented or something, couldn't really tell. Looks OK for the most part but I better still line it. Exterior of chimney doesn't look so hot, spalling and whatnot.

    So yeah, it's 11.5" square and about 14'3" down to the damper, and 17'3" down to the floor of the fireplace. I'm not sure if Mellow or somebody said that 14" or so was too short for my stove to draft with the 6" liner or whether that was OK. Will be getting liner quotes for the good stuff and see what the deal is for both sizes I guess.
    [​IMG]
    PS, that's the next couple years worth of firewood standing behind the house on the right. I am heartbroken to see it go but it's apparently dying and too close to the house to leave it be. Just got our third quote on it and it's going to be at least $1000 to take it down. But at least we get to burn it I guess.

    down chimney
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Up chimney showing damper
    [​IMG]

    Up chimney (camera above damper)
    [​IMG]
  14. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    It is an older model, double walled and insulated. It was a model no longer made by that company though, called their model "D."
    You are right I have no idea what it's been through though. The other liner I saw on CL is brand new insulated 6" flex never used because the people bought it and found their chimney was already lined. However I realize that if I get a competitive quote on something new I can get all the right pieces for my particular setup, which is nothing to sneeze at (especially since I don't really know what I am doing.) So I am checking all routes. But yes, I definitely want to do this safely. Money is a big consideration for me, but if I took my neighbor's advice I would just be backing that thing into the chimney tonight and firing it up, so I feel like I am trying to do "the right thing!" (by not burning down my house that is.)
  15. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Lol, thanks Mellow I was posting that right as you asked! Pics coming...
  16. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Put that insert in and measure from the top down to the insert, you might be able to get away with 15ft of flex liner, bringing your costs down. If it was me I would try doing insulated 6" flex pipe and buy an 8" to 6" adapter.
  17. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Thank you. Any suggestions on the damper issue if I were to do that? Would you try to sqeeze it through 4" oval and head up from there, or take that whole vestal thing off and do a whole new block off plate?
  18. YZF1R

    YZF1R New Member

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    Quote from tickbitty - "At least one poster here said he had one like this and he took the door off the damper and used a grinder to enlarge the opening for a 6” flex liner to come through."

    That was me. I used a grinder with a cutoff wheel on it to take out the rear where the damper door hinges on. This gave me the extra inch or so more in depth of opening to get the liner through.

    Steve
  19. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, very clever! We don't have a grinder, but I suppose we could take it out and have somebody do it. Did you take it out or grind it in place? And what did you do with the rest of the opening, block it off with something? Mine is 29" long.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    They're probably super busy right now, but have you tried contacting Mike at Englander about how well this unit drafts? According to the manual, they appear to have an exception allowing a 6" liner.

    The manual says:

    Flue Size Needed:
    The proper flue size is normally determined by the inside diameter of the opening on the unit, which in this case is eight inches (8”). Therefore, the connector pipe should be the same size or larger and never less in diameter than the opening on the stove. The area of the chimney liner in square inches must also be equal to or larger than the area of the opening on the stove. If the area of the flue is larger than the area of the opening on the stove, it should never be more than three (3) times larger.

    -> Exception: If you reline the flue and direct connect this unit, a six inch (6”) flue liner is acceptable.
  21. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Yes, there is the exception for a 6" liner but I guess my question was more whether it could be manipulated through a damper like that after already going down to 6". Perhaps I will send a PM.

    Uh oh, I Just noticed one more thing on the manual for the Englander that didn't make me happy. I thought I had checked all these clearances, but it looks like they want a 6" raised hearth. Mine is flush. I was going to extend with stove board because it's only 18" deep, so I figured I might actually need to sit the front of it on the stove board too. But a raised hearth is not in the plans. Unless it's this cool rock I have outside, but that's only a few inches thick.
    [​IMG]
  22. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Just thinking. If they want the stove off the floor by 6", could I do a 6" stack of whatever cement board or whatever is acceptable, just slightly larger than the stove, and raise the stove on it, maybe put a metal edge around it so it doesn't look too awful, and then just make sure I have non combustibles all around to the extent that is required? So it would end up being a raised stove, rather than a raised hearth?
  23. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Stove just got here. Looks ENORMOUS to me now. The 8" flue hole looks really big too. Nothing raised or anything on it. Just a big hole. The former owners apparently had it backed in there with nothing, no liner, no couple feet of stove pipe, nada. Still does not look very used and I guess it's a good thing that the people currently in that house only used it once.

    I'm totally freaked about this 6" hearth thing. That one got right by me. All my research and I missed that. The clearances for the mantel and everything would work if it stays on the floor height. I really don't want this to be the second stove I got home that I can't end up using. 6" - might as well be on legs? Shoot.
  24. YZF1R

    YZF1R New Member

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    I did it in place. Mine was mortared in so hard to remove. The cutoff wheel went right through the iron and mortar. You need a face mask and eye protection. It's a dirty job. A new stove comes with a sign you attach to the inside of the fireplace to let anyone know it can no longer be used a fireplace because of modifications that were done to it. It's a fairly common thing to have to open up a damper to get a liner through.

    The rest of the opening was blocked off with rock wool shoved up in around it. A lot of people do this and also make and install a sheet metal cover over the bottom.

    Steve
  25. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the advice on the Damper, and I'll see what happens with my price quotes.

    Now of major concern to me is this 6" hearth height issue. I am trying not to start any new threads on this so I will stick to this one. I had a thread where I was concerned about my mantel surround clearances http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/43975/ and on this Englander that I purchased, all the clearances work out except the bottom of the trim is just 1/2" too close and will need a shield. Everything else is fine.

    BUT, not if the stove can't sit on the flush hearth. So I have to raise the stove 6". I MIGHT be able to still deal with the clearances, I don't know. I am not big on permanently altering the fabric of the house. In addition to being not all that handy at the DIY stuff. I do have a couple people I can call on for handyman stuff and pay.

    [​IMG]

    I had been thinking all I had to do was put down some stove board in front of the hearth. So now I am wrong. What can I do? Stack up cement board? Can you use pavers or bricks in between layers of cement board or bricks? Raise just the stove, on something that can subsequently be removed someday?

    OR, would one of those commercial raised hearth pads work? They are really just for stoves with legs, or are they?

    OR, could the wood floor be cut out and enforced with 6" of whatever that is not wood and I could still have a very similar look, just maybe a foot wider (it's 18" now)?

    I guess I am looking for every option I can think of other than building a permanent new raised hearth AND moving the mantel and everything up a corresponding amount. I know some of you guys relish doing that kind of thing but it makes me want to scrap everything! Ugh!
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