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Choosing a fireplace blower Unit (Grate Heaters)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by soupy1957, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

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    A friend of mine at work is interested in beefing up his fireplace with some form of Grate heater, (you know, the tubes that you build the fire on, and they move air thru blowers that gets heated and blown into the room).

    I'm looking for suggestions for him, for dependable units at a reasonable cost.

    Any suggestions? (Make, model, cost, source, etc).

    -Soupy1957

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  2. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    If you are talking about an old fireplace, good luck they are for looking at, not staying warm. An insert
  3. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    Soupy I would have to agree with the captain here about the insert but.... a buddy of mine is unable to put in an insert and they got one of these things, it is exactly what you are describing, a metal tube that runs into the fireplace and under the coals, much to my surprise when a fire is going it actually does a decent job of heating their downstairs, it is maybe a 500-600 sq. foot area. Is it effecient ? That I still question, but it does feel good when the fire is lit.
  4. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Thats good that they came out with something to get some useable heat out of those things. They are building $300,000.00 homes up here with real fancy nice looking hearths, just fireplaces. Friends of mine are the builders,and said most buyers don't know the difference, and the house wouldn't bring a dime more, to install a good insert.
  5. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    I had gone thru two grate heaters in our old home. They had a blower unit. Both of these units the welds cracked in the hearth cradle... Can't remember the mfg but I was not pleased with their performance, or longevity.
  6. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

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    Duh........I'm not very good at math...........

    Where is: "41.33�N 74.18�W and 44.67�N 111.0�W"

    ???????

    -Soupy1957
  7. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Just type that into Google maps and it'll show you exactly! (That's two separate locations, and the question mark should be degrees). The second one is in the middle of Yellowstone NP.
  8. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Very good Dan. Jellystone is home away from home, "upstate" (relative term) NY is home. Jellystone would be the preferred location of residence.
  9. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    I used one for awhile - long enough that it taught me that I could heat our home with wood. :)

    Ours looks something like this:

    [​IMG]

    Funny you should mention this, I will be putting it on Craig's List soon. Works good but not anywhere near as efficient as my Jotul.

    PS I loaned it to a neighbor last winter so she could 'see' if heating with wood could work in her home. She loved it, loved the heat but decided she wanted a gas fireplace instead. To each their own.
  10. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    About a year ago (I think) I advertised one here...free to Hearth members. Ended up taking $50 from a newspaper ad.
    In my several repairs of it, I found that it was no longer made, and blower parts hard to come by. Yes, the tubes can burn through,if you're not careful.

    However, the thing did make heat, more or less.

    2nd however: If it is one like Shari posted, a set of doors would have to be purchased and installed with it, if you hope to close off the air-wasting FP at bedtime. (My hand-me-down one had the doors built in.) If it is a nice, high quality door set; the combined price begins to approach that of an insert. (The tube heater doesn't require chimney lining though.)
    That's the logic a hearth dealer used on me.

    They are still made, and they do generally work. Just require more wood.

    Northline express seemed to carry several.
    ETA: Here, they sent me an email (Black Friday and all that...) good place to start:
    http://www.northlineexpress.com/fireplace/fireplace-accessories/hearth-heaters.html
  11. mikeyd

    mikeyd New Member

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    I used one for about 3 seasons and ended it making it myself as I couldn't stand the thought of spending so much money for something that I didn't know would work. Knowing I wanted to eventually replace the fireplace with an air tight unit also led me down the DIY path.

    Anyway, it works pretty well and you can gain some heat into the room it's placed in, however depending on design it gives you that much less room to build a fire. I found the coals would get in between the grates and simply cool off and not burn which required a lot of cleaning. The firebox I had it in was from a superior BR-36 which was very small and from time to time the split would come out too far and start blowing smoke into the room. I'm not a math expert but as to the overall effciency you're still probably losing more up the flue that you're putting into the room but it felt good knowing that I could dry my gloves off in a jiffy :)

    I tried 2 attempts at making this with the first using threaded 1" black gas pipe components for a flat grate ("cooked" outside to get all the oil off) and the second using 2" stainless steel tubes with a welded manifold. The second unit worked better. I have it sitting the garage - if you were close by I'd just give it you.

    Anyway, you can check out woodland direct http://www.woodlanddirect.com/Fireplace-Accessories/Fireplace-Heaters-Blowers

    Here is a pic of what mine used to look like. (I've posted this before but couldn't fine the link)

    Hope you find something that works.

    Attached Files:

  12. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I take it from the photo, where all are wearing jackets, that things hadn't quite warmed up yet?
  13. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Poor younguns "Please Santa All I want For Christmas Is My Dad to Read ( Hearth.Com) and some gloves"
  14. mikeyd

    mikeyd New Member

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    haha like I said it can gain "some heat" - it's all relative I guess. Those little Ewoks are my future wood stackers :)
  15. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Any Self Respecting Moderator, Administrator, Would move this to The Perfict Picture.
  16. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    We Need Good Rocket Fuel Scientist I Am One Myself
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    And have to explain for the next five years what the hell is going on with that flex duct. I dun tink so Lucy.
  18. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    You Cain"t Fool Me I Been To Ft. Worth
  19. ecocavalier02

    ecocavalier02 Minister of Fire

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    we had one of he grates when growing up builit into the fireplace. a far as wood efficiency no but yeah it put out heat efficiently. my dad lives in a condo and he built one jimmy rigged similar to the on in that picture. lol not quite as long but it works and heats his little condo enuff that they dont need to turn the heat on during the winter. fireplace room will be close to 80.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I could tell by the way you spelled "perfect". :lol:
  21. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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  22. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, there ya go. We don't have any of those here.
  23. rwhite

    rwhite Minister of Fire

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    I just pulled one of those out and went to and insert. They will put out some heat but I think and open fireplace sucks as much back in to keep it going. They still aren't effecient. I could use as much wood in a day as a friend of mine did in a week and he heated his house with an insert. And they are expensive. I know there are a lot of hidden costs with installing an insert but I got mine used for $250. By the time I bought liner, insulation and all the various other things (installed myself) I was in about $1k.
  24. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

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    thanks for all the input related to the original topic. I'll pass along the info and opinion provided. Perhaps the gentleman will join this Forum (I suggested it), for any more additional info he may require.

    -Soupy1957

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