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Fireplace insert installation questions? (56K beware)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Turner-n-Burner, Mar 26, 2006.

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  1. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    184
    Loc:
    North of Boston
    Hi all,
    New guy here.... I bought a new (to me) house last summer, after this winter's heating bills, I'm looking to get some more use out of my fireplace. I've always liked woodfires, and I'm not afraid of hard work. Already have a pickup and a big chainsaw, so I've done some research (this site is awesome!) and decided on a Hearthstone Clydesdale insert. I put down a deposit on one, and now I'm trying to get myself ready to install it.


    The particulars:

    Basic 40 year old wood framed multilevel home. The fireplace is in the living room on the center level with the chimney on an exterior wall (South). This level is sort of an open format with the kitchen and dining room attached, and an open stairway leading a half floor up, to two bedrooms and a bath. The stairway wraps back toward the main level and continues up to the master bedroom directly above the center level. Below the fireplace, the chimney continues down into the basement where there is a cleanout, and the heating system ducts enter the second flue.

    The questions:

    Starting from the top... 1) I already have a chimney cap that covers both flues. The liner kit comes with a cap for one flue... Can I reuse my current cap, or do I need to use the full kit, and get a second individual cap?

    2) How long of a liner do I need? I measured from the top of the chimney to a window sill that is approximately level with the damper plate to be 18'. Would a 20' liner give me enough extra, or should I go with the 25 footer and trim the excess?

    3) liner installation - do you just run these things down the existing flue (chimney is in excellent condition) or do they need to be wrapped in that insulation first? I seem to be getting mixed messages on this.

    4) Is is okay to crush down the liner a bit to get through the damper opening? It seems like the damper closes against an angle iron frame and is surrounded by masonry. I'd prefer not to cut away at the structure of the chimney!

    5) Is there a recommended way to block off the rest of the chimney once the damper is removed? I'd like to insulate the gap as well. Where do you get insulation that can take chimney temperatures. Can that just be stuffed into the opening, or is sheetmetal or cementboard required?

    6) Anyone have any tips on getting the heavy insert in place without damaging anything and getting the liner attached?

    Anything I forgot to ask?

    Adding some pictures

    Attached Files:

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    #1 the cap that cover two flues acts as a channel to feed down draft to the adjacent chimney should have the proper termination cap with the flue liner. Also it you can stagger the distance making the liner taller that the burner flue to help prevent the same level discharge,Ie back drafting condition I already mentioned.

    #2 liner kits usually have 25' lenghts. Cutting a few feet off if things don't go according to plan, is apleasant option to have. The first foot could get deformed going down the chimney, being able to cut that damaged foot is possible, if you have enough. Personally, I cut slits in it compact it to cone like and duct tape it to hold a cone like shape. This makes it easier to install.. Then cut it off clean.
    To crush it threw the damper area? I know some who do it but most manufactures do not recommend this practice. Proper installation is achieved two ways. One cut the metal damper box enough to fit threw the liner without compressing it, the prefer way.
    Two purchase a section of oval to round for the pass threw. Oval will restrict the flow and enhance creosote buildup and reduce draft, but it is an acceptable practice.

    #3 Manufacture specs may require insulation for a liner in an exposed walled chimney, therefore it is mandatory. Insulation does hold heat in the flue and enhances draft. All will agree insulated flue is better. Second factor is physical dimensions of your existing flue. Is it wide enough for the liner insulated? Insulation also can be poured in as well or theromix is used check out that possibility.

    I already answered #4

    #5 There are metal damper block off kits you might find this the easiest way to go if pouring in insulation the block off area gets filled anyways. You will probably get pieces of liner insulation you can use above the damper plate to insulate that area. It is a good idea.

    #6 Man power using pipes to roll it in and out, piano dolly to roll it into position. Hopefully you have some room above the insert to make final connections, then push it in to the final position. If using pipes to roll it, lifting bars are needed to remove them. There is also a low clearance adjustable slide telescoping box that is real helpful for offset final connections. In the items for sale Hot Flame has one for sale very helpful. Other items helpful, 600 lb two wheeler with decent thickness rope. I' sure others have ideas of how to accomplish t these task.
  3. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    184
    Loc:
    North of Boston
    Elk,
    Great info - thanks!

    All I could find from Hearthstone was that the liner meeting "class 3 chimney liner standards" was required. I can't find any info on the standard though. I've looked at a few local sweep's websites, and they all offer liner installs, but none mention insulation. I'm also not sure it will fit. Looking at the fireplace, the flue is over on the far left side, and seems like it may be rectangular rather than square. I'll have to figure out a way to measure it.

    I like the block off plate and insulation blankets.


    -Dan
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Liner standards Ht 2100 or UL 1777 Stainless Steel Heavy duty Stainless 316 or lighter usually requiring insulation 304 stainless stee.l
    316 being heavy duty and better grade. 304 does pass code if listed HT 2100 or UL 1777 But due to the lighter grade, it will probably require insulation to meet the UL 1777 standard

    BTW if it is you that e-mailed me I could not figure out what you are asking, that's why no response
  5. berlin

    berlin New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
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    299
    Loc:
    Western NY
    316 is a far better grade of stainless for use in corrosive environments such as a chimney.
  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

  7. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    184
    Loc:
    North of Boston
    Thanks elk, I will make sure the liner my dealer is selling me is 316 - They didn't know when I asked them the first time...

    Other than my original PM to you, I've asked all my questions here - that wasn't me that emailed you!
  8. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    237
    Loc:
    Framingham, MA
    Congratulations. Welcome to the world of woodburning and renewable energy. The Clydesdale is a big unit.

    Already been answered by Elk and others, but I will only add that the kit often comes with a tee and a cap, and often you don't need
    one or both of those things. I'd just get the liner for the length you need and get it installed first. The cap which comes in the liner kit sometimes doesn't work well for multi flue situations, I know because I had to deal with that.

    I'd get a few feet more, but it is expensive, so I wouldn't order a whole lot more than you need. Measure exactly from the top of the chimney flue and where the stove outlet will be, and add 3 feet. That will usually be enough. If you want to be really safe just get the 25 foot length.

    In your case, you have a exterior chimney, and it isn't that tall, so insulation will serve you well. I'd recommend it, unless, of course, you find that the diameter of the liner + insulation will just be too big to go down the flue. If that is the case, you can still get some insulation by using thermix. This kind of insulation can be poured in place after the liner is in. Makes the install a bit more complicated, as you need some kind of bottom plate to hold the thermix in.

    For a unit as big as yours, you will need as much of the liner capacity as possible, and wouldn't be a good idea to crimp the liner. That introduces resistance and also reduces the liner area. It will make that area of the liner much more deposit prone as well.
    I'd consider cutting part of the damper frame to let the liner through without ovalizing it.

    Use sheet metal to close off the damper area. I used a material called inswool to insulate the area above the damper block off plate. This material is a ceramic wool which can stand high temps, it isn't very cheap, but you only need a small quantity and it works well.
    I have some left over I was thinking to put on ebay, but PM me if you are interested.
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