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AtlantA (Birmingham) Stove Works wood burning fireplace insert ~22 years old

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by l.g.fuad73, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. l.g.fuad73

    l.g.fuad73 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Central Minnesota
    Hello!

    I am completely new to the world of Hearth.com and am excited to get involed with this community and (hopefully) learn enough to be able to help others find energy independence and a quick way to calloused hands!

    I am interested in purchasing an Atlantic Stove Works wood burning fireplace insert. The owner says he bought it new and that it is 22 years old. That makes it a 1989 model and thus "pre-EPA," I suppose.

    I am hopeful that someone could give me information on whether or not $200 is a fair price for this unit. It comes with a blower, was used minimally and is described as being in good condition. Here is a link to the actual item including the only photo I can seem to find :/

    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/for/2624297376.html

    My neighbor is a mechanical engineer and has an insert of his own so I think I should be covered in terms of installation. I realize that safety is a top priority and would never cut corners.

    Generally, if someone could tell me whether or not it is a "good product for the price" and if it is something I could expect to get several years of operation out of, I'd be happy. I imagine I'd use the firepalce less than 4 times per week depending on work and other factors. Once I get past the "novice stage," I'll plan ahead for next winter and get a stockpile of suitable wood. I have been hand splitting ash from a 30" tree I had to have taken down in June and so have a decent amount of fuel. I also have access to well seasoned, split oak that has been sitting for probably 5-10 years.

    Thank you in advance for and help, advice, tips or tricks you happen to send my way!

    Best,
    ~Matt

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  2. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,022
    Loc:
    Missouri Ozarks
    I have no knowledge about the insert, but I wonder - could this be Atlanta Stove Works.

    I have a free standing Atlanta Stove Works AC-5 with a plate on the back saying it was tested by Shelton Research in 9-87 with a graph on the plate that shows emissions for various rates of energy output. It has primary air, secondary air and a catalytic convertor. It is listed by EPA.

    It has a separate plate with the UL lab testing certification.

    Get a look at the plates on the insert. Copy down the information and look up the model on the EPA wood stove list. Just because it was 1989, does not mean it does not comply.

    Make sure it is UL listed if you plan to have it in your home with your family. You may want to run it past your insurance company.

    My AC-5 is well built, well conceived, and performs great. Obviously, the thing was designed by an engineer, because it is ugly as heck. But, functionally it is a dream. I bought mine out of a barn. Once I power washed the mud dauber nests out of the internal channels, ran high pressure air through everything, and applied vacuum to all the openings, it worked very well.

    If this insert is an Atlanta Stove Works product, it may be a real performer. My stove seems to have been far ahead of the times when it was built. However, I am not a stove expert by any means and have very limited experience. YMMV
  3. l.g.fuad73

    l.g.fuad73 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Central Minnesota
    SORRY! It is Atlanta Stove works, not "Atlantic" Stove Works.

    I'll edit the title.

    In other news, a chimney cleaning company owner I spoke with to come inspect and clean my chimney guessed that the efficiency rating for that age of an insert is around 40% as compared to somewhere in the 70% range for a product built within the last 10 years. Thoughts on this?
  4. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,022
    Loc:
    Missouri Ozarks
    The Shelton Research testing results graph on the plate show my stove efficiency as 80% at 10,000 BTU/hour down to 70% at 34,000 BTU/hour. No info on the plate as to testing protocol etc. Apparently there is no data below 10,000 or above 34,000 BTU/hour.

    My guess is an experienced chimney sweep is very knowledgeable and likely knows what he is talking about. Absent any fixed plates on your insert, his is the most reliable opinion.
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,277
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    It sounds like a decent price IF
    it works
    it is sound

    this includes the fan, etc.

    I think these were heavy steel plate units, and although not an EPA clean burner, it should do the job.

    My suggestion is to have your neighbor look at it or go with you to pick it up, just in case it has cracked or warped plates, etc.
  6. l.g.fuad73

    l.g.fuad73 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Central Minnesota
    Thanks for the information! I'll have to inspect it tomorrow and see what exactly is written on the back.

    I also have the option of buying a one year old Century CW2500 insert. It is a bit of a drive but for $300 and just one year of low to moderate use, might be a better deal overall. Much more easily researched online and I know a lot of folks on this forum have that model, as well.

    ~Matt

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