Question: Can I use regular stove black pipe for direct connection of an insert to a fireplace - instead of the stainless steel flexible? Answer: I often have this discussion so I have my points all planned out. The direct connect kit is expensive, but it is worth it for a number of reasons. 1.Most dampers are narrow. You'll have to do something like squeezing stove pipe through a narrow opening and that can be tough. 2.The chimney is a fairly moist place during the months when your stove is not in use. A stainless steel direct connect kit doesn't rust. If you're planning on using stainless steel, compare costs between pipe and direct connect systems. 3.You'll have the best draft when you block off the chimney allowing for a hole in the "blocking plate" for the pipe to go through. Block off the chimney at the damper. Restrict the flow at the most narrow point, the damper, not with a plate that covers the fireplace. 4.If you vent off the rear, the elbow or tee is the part of the pipe that can take the most beating. Creosote can really build up right there. In a 22 or 24 gauge elbow, the pipe can burn up within a year. It's not easy checking the and replacing the pipe in the middle of the season.The direct connect is a good way to do a safe installation. I have nothing to gain by supporting the purchase/use a direct connect kit. I have a direct connect kit and I felt like it was expensive, but I'm glad to know that it's a sold installation and nothing "hack" about it.