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Another Retrofit Thread

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jason977, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Jason977

    Jason977 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Like many newcomers to this board, I'm looking for the best option to get some heat out of my fires. Here's what I have currently:

    Superior RD4300 zero clearance box UL 127
    Opening dimensions: 43W x 24.5H x 28D (wall to the outside of the brick)
    Minimum inside dimensions of firebox: 17D x 27W x 17H If I can remove the front baffle, I believe I can increase my opening height to 20"

    The chimney is 8" steel ID of unknown type. I do have plumbing for outside combustion air through the roof near the eve. Electricity is also available.
    The fireplace is about 8' from the return air vent, so I should get good circulation throughout the house. I don't expect to heat the entire house (~2900 sqft) but I would basically like to balance the cost & effort with heat output. In other words, a very small insert may be the simplest solution, but it may not be worth the cost or effort for a small reduction in heating costs. On the other hand, I could easily spend $10k+ to get something that could heat the entire house but the ROI wouldn't be there, either. I think I spend around $500/year in heating costs and have ample supplies of hardwoods. All options will require reline/ replacement of the pipe.

    --Due to my small ZC firebox, an insert is out as far as I can tell. I haven't seen one that will fit.
    --A second option may be to place a freestanding rear exit stove on the hearth. This isn't desirable for several reasons, but mainly because it would extend too far into the room in a high traffic area.
    --Third, I could convert the opening into an alcove and install a freestanding stove
    -- I believe this leaves me with a new ZC stove.

    Although it's probably the most work, I'm leaning towards the ZC stove option. I have found the Buck 74ZC, Valcourt /Enerzone, and FPX. Any other suggestions I should be looking at? Would the stove in an alcove be a beter option? All will require enlarging/ modifying the opening in the brick surround, which is do-able. And if needed, I am willing to access the space behind via the adjoining interior wall.

    I'd love to get some input here after lurking quite a bit.

    Attached Files:

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    49,095
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    At $500/yr, your heating costs are very low. I would go for a small insert and pocket the change.
  3. Jason977

    Jason977 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
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    That cost/year was for last year, I'm expecting heating costs to be quite a bit more this year, with a new baby and mom in the house all day. We'll have to keep it a bit warmer overall and keep the house heated all day now.

    I see now that the Lopi Republic 1750 just might fit into my ZC. I think I'll make a cardboard mock-up to see if it'll slide in and line up reasonably with my existing flue.

    Any other suggestions for an insert that might fit?
  4. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,559
    Loc:
    Sound Beach, LINY
    I absolutely agree with begreen. For $500/year heck even if it's double that this year, its not worth too much effort. Find an insert that can just slide right in there. Go get some wood. You're set. I wouldn't work much harder than or spend too much money. With a baby coming you're going to find your free time isn't all that free anymore. Good luck.
  5. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Jan 19, 2008
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    3,378
    Loc:
    Salisbury, MD
    Mom is going to be pretty busy with the new baby, maybe to busy to even bother with tending to a small firebox in the insert that will fit in that ZC.

    Might want to collect wood this year and revisit this next winter.
  6. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
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    6,450
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    While I see the merit in this logic, it's not like he'll have more free time next year. A toddler (and possible future additions) will always keep you busier than any baby. Heck... babies are usually easy, compared to kids.
  7. Jason977

    Jason977 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
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    My little girl will be 7 months soon, so she and mom have hit their stride and are in a good rhythm. I have a fair bit of wood stocked up already, so as long as I can get the stove installed, I should be good to go. My wife is actually pretty excited about it. I think if I keep her stocked with good split wood in the house she'll keep the home fires burnin' :)
  8. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Jason, that's great! Congratulations. My son will be 7 months on the 27th (he's our second). Glad to hear you're on top of your wood supply, and your wife is on board. My wife is pretty good with keeping the fire going during the day while I'm at work, as well. So lets get an insert in there and get you burning wood before this winter kicks in.
  9. Jaugust124

    Jaugust124 Feeling the Heat

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    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    371
    Loc:
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    $500/yr to heat your 2900 sq. ft. house. I'm moving to where you live. Where do you live and what do you currently use to heat your home?
    Joful likes this.
  10. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    6,450
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Ditto that. Our oil bill tracks at roughly $1 per heating degree day. We average 1190 heating degree days for the month of January alone, and a little over 5000 for the year. Even if you're only spending $0.50 per heating degree day, I can't think of too many places averaging only 1000 heating degree days per year, where you'd want to own a wood stove. :eek:
  11. Jason977

    Jason977 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
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    I live in Texas. Here we had about 1200 heating degree days last year, and we heat with Propane. I live on acreage, and I cut and split wood anyway for ambiance fires so I figured I'd try to actually get some use out of my effort/ fuel. I get frustrated every year when I end up spending more in the winter months heating my house than I do cooling it in the middle of the summer, even though I have a large stockpile of fuel.

    I've measured my existing ZC, and the Lopi Revere seems to just fit. My biggest concern is being able to access the liner once the stove is in place to attach it. Is it possible to disassemble the baffle, etc. inside the stove to provide access?

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