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Any pics of a ZC removal and chase chimney rebuild?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wahoowad, Nov 8, 2006.

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  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I'm curious if anybody has ripped out a zero clearance fireplace and the chimney pipe that was installed with it. Do you have pics? Did you install or build a new fireplace to hold an insert? Did you run a new chimney up your chase? How did that work out??!?!?!

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  2. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    I just had this done (in three stages, with one to go) over the last few weeks. I had an old Superior-brand heatilator-style ZC that was original to the house. It sat in an external chase. I replaced it with a BIS Ultima ZC unit that was a little smaller, so I had no clearance issues. The attached picture shows it as it looks today.

    Stage 1 was to rip out the original unit; the chimney guy I hired was willing to do it so I let him at it. Since the goal was to not destroy the wall or mantle, it came out in pieces. Metal snips and a sawzall were the main tools. The chimney was just sitting on top of the unit, so it dropped down and was cut up also. End result: empty chase with a 44x38" opening under the mantle. The Ultima is 36x36".

    I wasn't around for stage 2: The new unit was slid in and framed, and the chimney guy climbed down the chase from the top to install the new chimney. He nailed 2x4 ladder rungs across the framing. (The chase is not insulated except against the house.) Luckily the new chimney lined up almost exactly where the old one was.

    Stage 3 was to rebuild part of the top of the chase, because the previous chase cover had rusted away and the framing was rotten. New framing, new chase cover, and new chimney cap finished the job. This rooftop work (two stories plus a walkout basement) is part of why I hired it out; I don't do heights so well. The chimney guy was up there with no safety harness holding a cell phone against his ear much of the time. Good thing I had a copy of his insurance...

    Stage 4 will mostly happen this weekend: I need to remove some remaining old drywall, do a little more framing, and put up new drywall. Also run electric up to the new unit (note my current provisional circuit). Haven't decided whether to put up some slate or tile over the drywall or not; there was slate around the previous unit but it's not the right size. I also plan to cut out the wood floor where the 18x18" slate tiles are sitting, so they will be approximately flush.

    Sorry I don't have pics of the disassembly, although there wasn't any trick to it at all. Just brute force. Behind the insulation on either side of the Ultima is just airspace all the way to the chase back, and it's wide open up to the top except for plywood and firestops between floors. The chase itself wasn't touched except where rotten. Climbing down from the top seemed to be the key; one place I called wanted to open up every wall from floor to attic! It would have been a little cheaper to have put a woodstove in front of the existing fireplace instead, but we didn't really have room to give it proper clearance.

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  3. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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  4. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the links, Don.

    DiscoInferno - you sound like you have the same setup, you just went a different route. I'd like to get a class A chimney installed into my chase but am unsure what to do with the zero clearance fireplace. I have hearth space and clearances to sit a woodstove out front and prefer this type of stove. I'd like to remove the ZC but, once I do, not sure whether to (a) seal the wall off and go through it with a proper thimble, (b) finish in the open space left by the removed ZC like an alcove, or (c) something else?

    I have a peaked ceiling directly above the fireplace so the alcove would could run all the way up this high ceiling (goofy?) or it could just be a small boxy looking alcove down near the bottom (goofy as well?). My room is just like Warren's so I'll try to link his pic

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  5. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    For me, the wall with the fireplace was completely finished: the mantle you see and built-in bookcases on either side. I didn't want to change any of that, and the new ZC was a very easy swap. In your situation I might build an alcove up higher than the existing fireplace but probably not all the way up. If your chase is like mine you might want to remove the insulation from the chase/house boundary and insulate the exterior chase walls instead; I didn't bother because I have a 25' straight chimney and it doesn't get all that cold here in MD. (And it would have been a pain.)
  6. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    My chase goes all the way up too, probably 25'. It is uninsulated, except up against the house (and not that much). I need to remove the outside air vent and look up the chase again. I'm thinking I have structural members that might prevent me from making a full height alcove. I'm leaning away from a full height anyway. I was thinking maybe a 4 or 5 foot alcove with a sloping ceiling back towards the room. I hope that makes sense. Then I would vent up through that sloped ceiling.

    Guess I would need to git rid of my brick facade and mantle if I do that. I can't seem to find too many pictures of alcoves on the 'net :(

    Maybe...who knows.
  7. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    Shouldn't be that difficult to frame out a small alcove. Basically the stove will remain where it's at. You would remove the brick facade', open up the wall and frame the alcove. You would need some double wall black from the stove to the alcove ceiling, then the rest of the chimney system would be supported by the chase and ceiling box.

    I don't know if that's what you're thinking.
  8. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Yup, that is sort of where I'm leaning. I might angle the ceiling of the alcove up and forward instead of creating such a box with a flat ceiling. I also thought of framing in the chase all the way up and adding a window higher up. It would let in some needed light and be a good view up through the tree tops. The vent pipe would pass in front of it but I think that would be OK.
  9. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    here is one that a ZC was taken out and an ilcove made
    http://www.hearthtools.com/install/990cove.jpg

    the pipe next to the stove is from a stove below.
    A year later this guys changed his house to a vacation rental and we changed out the 2 wood stoves for gas and added 2 more gas units.
  10. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Thanks hearthtools!

    My alcove won't be that wide because my chase is only 41" wide. My stove is 23" so that leaves me 9 inches on each side of the stove. This would require me to install heatshields around the walls (which I am OK doing) to stay within my clearance requirements for this stove. I'm not sure I like the idea of squeezing my stove in such a narrow space, just for aesthetics. I like your wider install in the picture. Maybe I would slide mine back half way in. I also have to measure again to make sure my finished measurements come out to what I need.
  11. Chas.

    Chas. New Member

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    Before

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  12. Chas.

    Chas. New Member

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    Before, during and after. Not too much work on house that was a year old.
    Sorry double post!

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  13. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    Make sure you follow the Cove clearance for the manufacture.
    most have much wider clearances if both sides are closed in.
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