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Final Shot...I promise

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Willhound, Dec 16, 2005.

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  1. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    You are probabley all getting sick of me by now, but it occurred to me that although I posted shots of the install and the grill covers I came up with, I hadn't posted an overall shot showing the install in context with the room, so here it is. Last one, I promise. (OK, for awhile anyway) :red:
    I feel like an overbearing grandmother always wanting to show off pictures of her grand-kids. I guess in many ways this insert is the biggest thing that has happened in our lives lately, not so much for the insert itself as it is the changes in our lives it signifies. The sense of independence and self-sufficiency. The routine of bringing in the wood, tending the fire and removing the ashes, all of which get my fat butt off the couch more. Watching less TV and instead sitting around the fire at night and actually talking to one another. I guess I'm preaching to the converted, right?

    Anyway, the insert was the final step in an overall family room conversion that took about 6 months. Plain white walls became terra-cotta red and moss/ice green. (I don't know how they come up with the paint names). An ugly old beige carpet was changed to nice shiny tile that is much easier to look after, especially with two kinds of bark in the house. (One from my dog, and one from the wood we're dragging in.)
    Some newer furniture and an entertainment unit set-up just about does it. I am strongly considering adding a stand-up bar (OK, for the wife, it's a breakfast nook), but that will have to wait until after Christmas.

    Willhound

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  2. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Love it ........ me thinks it looks great . This is a "hearth forum" so i dont think all the extra pictures are over powering the topic . Nice to have the full fire place hearth , great eye catcher of the room , also that big hearth let you have a place to put your wood , tools and stuff . I have to hide mine for lack of room . Picture post on WH . Keep'um coming .
  3. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Very nice.
  4. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Nice Will. Must have been nice to be able to accomodate that nice big insert. That fireplace is great looking.
  5. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    That is, dare I say, sexy. Turned out very very nice!!!! Very creative covering of the vents :)
  6. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Warren - "Nice Will. Must have been nice to be able to accomodate that nice big insert. That fireplace is great looking."

    Thanks Warren. We actually started off looking at the Pacific model, one size down, but all my buddies and anyone else I talked to said "Go big, or go home". I also got that impression from checking out this forum, so we started looking at the Summit. The EBT also caught my interest, although I know now that my initial understanding of it was wrong, regardless, I still see it as a useful feature. My installer came twice and measured and gave it the blessing that "It should just fit" as the side to side measurements were tight. As it was, he ended up taking out his mason's chisel and hammer and knocking off a few high points that jutted out on the sandstone brick. Oh, the other reason for going bigger on the insert was because I had seen several cases of small inserts put into large hearths, and the proportions always looked odd to me, particularly where you end up having to use an oversize surround to compensate.

    Don - " That is, dare I say, sexy. Turned out very very nice!!!! Very creative covering of the vents"

    Thanks Don..you cheeky devil... :kiss: ....seriously though, the original fireplace was one of the primary motivators in making our decision to buy this particular house. We just fell in love with it. Except for the grills. The two moose pictures are cut out from the wallpaper border that encircles the room and are mounted in frames that my wife found at a dollar store with magnets mounted on the back to stick to the metal grills. That way I can remove them if needed. My original idea was to use construction adhesive, but a lot messier and permanent. Grand total with magnets of about $1.75 each. The lower grills are each covered with two 4"x8" ceramic tiles, stacked on top of each other, also attached with magnets, but in the case of those, I might go more permanent because I can foresee them getting knocked off all the time by the vacuum cleaner. Grand total of $0 because my buddy had the leftover tiles.

    Overall though, I have to give a great deal of credit to the folks on this forum. I utilized a lot of the iformation and pointers seen here to make it happen. I first discovered the forum from doing a web search on Pacific Energy, and some of the user reviews from the old forum site popped up.


    Willhound
  7. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    so now that you've had it burning for a bit, how's it heating the house?
  8. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Better than I even hoped. It hasn't gone out since I lit it last Tuesday night, and the NG furnace hasn't run ever since. Averaging about 12 to 15 splits in 24 hours. The wood rack that you can see in the shot in the first post gets filled once per day. Usually fill the insert before bed at 11 P.M. with 3 fair sized splits of birch and one smaller, and at 6 A.M. the next morning there is still a nice bed of coals to start back up again. Firebox still throwing good heat and the thermostatically controlled fan is still running.

    Family room where the insert is has been averaging between 76F and 80F, one floor up (main floor) at 72 - 74F and upper floor with bedrooms has been at 66 - 70F.

    I find that for the most part I'm running the damper pretty much shut down, and opening it up just to get things going when I put wood in and to open the door. This thing puts out more than enough heat.

    1900 sq, ft, house, 3 bedroom backsplit built in 1978, fair to moderately good insulation and outside temps ranging from 20F to -10F.

    So far the only minor inconveniences I've experienced was the tricky manouever of taking out some of the ashes the other day as the coals were still hot.
    I let the ashes burn down for about 6 hours and they were still pretty hot, but I just couldn't bear the thought that the furnace might kick in, so I went ahead anyway. (metal bucket).
    Also, because the furnace blower is not running, the kids mits and scarves etc. needed a place to dry, so I've got a folding metal rack that I can set up to one side of the room in the evenings that the kids put their stuff on. During the day I try and keep the doors shut to some of the rooms we're not using, instead of heating the space for nothing, but I need to remember to open the bedroom doors around supper time so that the room heats up a bit before bedtime.

    Wife and daughter both love the heat, and so far no major complaining about the daily wood ritual. My daughter and I even had a pretty interesting conversation about how she could appreciate that the work involved in bringing the wood in meant that we would be warm for the night and not have to rely on the gas company. I was pretty proud of her for figuring this all out as an 11 year old.

    Had the inlaws over yesterday for our annual pre-Christmas dinner and they all seemed impressed, but with 14 people sitting around it became pretty warm, so I ended up opening some windows and even the door for awhile. Could never have even considered it when using gas, and wouldn't have needed to as the house would not have gotten that hot.

    Willhound
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Don't ya just love it when things work out the way you planned?

    BTW: Why not leave those bedroom doors open. Once the walls soak up some heat they aren't going to let much out and the rooms will be a lot more comforable at night. I used to close off rooms and open them back up and found that just heating them up made the place better heated overall.

    Of course it ain't been -20 around here lately either.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Great install, pics and story Will. Thanks for posting. It looks wonderful. Nice job!
  11. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Hi Will. Let me see if I have your install correct in my head.

    Traditional masonry fireplace with clay liner.
    Relined with SS chimney.

    Question: Did you install a block-off plate just above the lentel?

    I let my stove go cold yesterday and I was shocked at the cold air running down the chimney, past the stove, and out into the room. Must be losing gobs of heat. I need to make myself a block-off plate.
  12. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Nope, no block off plate (with a liner?) but we stuffed the first 8 feet or so of the top of the chimney with high temperature insulation bats all around the S.S. liner. and then the flashing/liner bracket was RTV siliconed to the existing concrete top shoulder of the chimney. Makes for an air tight seal.

    Willhound
  13. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Mo & Will,

    When mine was re-installed and the flex was put in this summer he only put the plate on top, and was going to leave it at that. I had him also install the direct connect plates at the damper that I had used before. That was sealed with high temp silicon and some furnace cement (directly around the flex). Then when he left I stuffed a few batts of unbacked high temp insulation up there, and held it in place with those wires that hold insulation between the beams in the basement. Now, even when the stove is off, there is no draft from above. Sealed on top, Sealed on bottom, and Insulated as well. Plus, in my mind, it gives me a better draft, and no need (ok, not as much need) to insulate the flex, due to it being in a sealed tile liner.

    -- Mike

    PS, these are the direct connect plates I am using:
    ProTech Direct Connect Plates
  14. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    B.T.W., thanks for all the positive comments and encouragement guys. Like I said above, a lot of the decision to go in this direction came from checking out the old forum. I only wish that I knew more about other styles of installations and types of stoves/inserts so that I could be more helpful with some of the other folks that have questions. Guess I'll have to leave that part of it to those more knowledgeable than me, and keep on with the sidebar comments and observations. :)

    It's a bit of a sad morning because I made the decision to let the insert cool off today, and the N.G. furnace kicked in a little while ago. I want to get a good ash cleaning in before the holiday's next week, and also just give things a bit of an inspection. Insert hasn't been allowed to cool off since I lit it 7 days ago. I also want to clean the glass a little better. Not that it was really dirty (Summits are miraculous at keeping clean), but after a wet piece of birch snuck in the other day I had a bit of a smudge I wanted to clean off. I used the suggestion that was made by several people and wiped the glass with a bunched up sheet of newspaper, but what I didn't notice is that one side had some coloured ink on it. It seems to have left a fine haze on my glass. I just hope that it hasn't baked on now and that I can get it off later today with some glass cleaner. I also have some commercial fire door cleaner that I had from my old fireplace doors if I really need to get serious. Don't like to use it though because it's pretty nasty stuff. Very alkaline.

    Willhound
  15. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Frank
    Yeah, my first plan of attack was going to be just a paper towel, and maybe the ash trick.

    The "ping" in the EBT, I don't know if I'm just getting used to it or what, but I think it's lessened. I'll give a concentrated listen later when I re-light. Maybe now that I've run a bit it's easing off. 'Course, could also be that at the relatively low damper settings I'm running at most of the time I'm not getting to the temps where EBT kicks in. I've found that for the most part I'm running with the damper just above fully closed, otherwise things get too hot. For large parts of the day, and certainly over night I'm running with the damper set at the lowest setting. It could be that I have a habit of loading right up with wood, so it's burning hot when I open the damper at all. All those years of having stoves that you had to stuff to get heat out of is hard to shake.

    Maybe I'll experiment a bit with less wood, but a higher damper setting. Perhaps I'll find less ash build-up, and I'm sure will allow the EBT to do it's thing and also maybe burn more environmentally friendly?

    I did some of the hot ash removal thing the other day, but combined with my desire to get the glass clean, I figured I'd let things cool today. I'm also just nosy and want to be able to get in close and take a look at things now that I've burned a bit. Not that I expect anything wrong, I'm just curious.

    Willhound
  16. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Just wait until you get to really know your unit Willhound if you like it already. You learn tricks, and how your unit operates, and you start to like it even more after a few months.

    For glass cleaning, I'd try Rutland Glass Cleaner Item #84 which as a benefit covers and protects your glass with a coating to make future cleanings easier. The two sprays I've tried dripped down the glass and wouldn't stay to penetrate, and didn't work at all with hard deposits. Give it a shot, see if you like it.
  17. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I have used the stove glass cleaner and think they are a PITA$$ .I read the bottle twice and once again after useing it and even swiched brands , i am unsure of all the hype about them unless i just have not used the right one . The best thing i have found is a wash cloth , dry to start and if it dont all come off i get it wet and wring it out well and that always does the trick I use windex once every so often when the class is cooler . Just my thoughts.
  18. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Happy to report that glass is clean, ashes are cleaned and insert is now re-lit and humming right along. Paper towel that was just slightly damp did the trick. Glass wasn't completely cool, but was just warm enought that I wore gloves just in case, but no steam or anything. A bit of elbow grease and it came right off. I'll probabley skip the newspaper wipe in future to avoid that haze. I think it was a bit of streaking from the ink.

    Thanks for the suggestions. Rhonemas, checked out the link and yes, I've heard of Rutland products. I'll look around and see if I can find a Canadian distributor and maybe try it out.

    I am also currently experimenting with smaller, hotter fires...at least for during the day when I can re-fill more often. Great to be able to work from home.
    Overnight will still be "lock and load"...(load the stove and lock the damper down)

    Willhound
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