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God love this pellet stove installation Daaah

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by elkimmeg, Nov 14, 2006.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    There are days when one expects the worst or you know what something doesn't seem right. The guy in question had a new Breckwell pellet stove installed.
    The instalation was an insert into the existing exterior location fire pace. I know the guy, actually have done work at the home, but his wife is real insistant I look it over before real serious burning. He provides me with his bill of sale which included a full liner and outside air duct. I'm outside I can't see the vent cap. I go to the truck get Bio's, I still can;t see. the tremination cap.
    I call the dealerto find out why I can't see the caps. He tells me when there is an existing chimney cap covering the entire chimney he does not need a termination cap. I said may I have the liner manufacture name so I can confirm that, in the liner listing Docs. The liner is made By Olympic forever flex. Then I asked him how he has separation distance of the intake air and exhaust positioned under the chimney cap. He said he did not have the answer, but if I get back to him he would research it. Seemed fair enough ??
    Human nature tells me ok what else is missing about this installation. Well inside the suround pannels are attached. I cannot confirm the connection. But I have the manual in hand It tells me a block off plate is required. The flex behind the stove requires cermanic insulation to the damper plate and that the install requires a tee clean out. All in the manual. I remove insert pannels ,it directly connected to the liner. No 3 required screws, no RTV caulk, No clean out Tee, no cermanic insulation around the pipe, and paper faced fiberglass insulation forms the blockoff plate
    No full liner. You think that's bad they, ran the fresh air feed within inches of the exhaust only up to half way in the first clay flue

    So I call the the retailer back, to tell him there is no need th research the termination caps as the liner never was inatalled. First he told me I must be mistaken Then I read all the other code issues. He tells me in all his years of doing business he has never failed an inspection. I asked him when he planned to correct the installation he tells me it cost money to send a crew back out there then ask me, If I was willing to bear the expense? I tell I reading from the invoice and the owner was charged for a full liner and $700 instalation fee.

    I know where this is going and downhill fast. I ask him where paper faced fiberglass insulation is an ample block off plate? I know this is comming and out it comes I been using fiberglass for years, hunderds of installations and never had a problem. This is going nowhere. Back on track, I asked him again when he will be installing the stove according to code and manufactures specs.
    Not here to argue with you. I want this stove installed correctly. No threats lets get it done right Claims he will call the owner tomorrow to setup an appointment.
    Whan to bet he never make the Call?

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  2. Toolman

    Toolman New Member

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    Reading about these "professional" installations makes me glad that I did mine myself.
  3. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Waterford, WI
    The thing that scares me is that there are supposed "professionals" out there doing work like this. In this case, the homeowner knew a trusted inspector and had the installation checked. How many people out there, myself included until I found this forum, would just trust the "professional" who did the installation.

    After reading posts here and learning what the requirements or best practices for a safe install are, I asked each dealer I shopped questions regarding the installation. ALL of them indicated that an inspection by my township was not necessary and that no permit was required. NOT ONE of them said that a blockoff plate was required. There were also other discrepencies between the four that I talked to and the information I have learned myself along the way. Unfortunately, most people are not as anal as I am about researching a purchase like this and will take the supposed professional at their word.

    Had I taken the "professional" approach I would have:

    A wood burning fireplace insert, no permit, no inspection, no blockoff plate, inadequate clearance to combustibles in front of the insert and who knows what other corners cut behind the trim panel.

    I would have also slept just fine at night while the fire burned because, after all, they are "professionals".

    BTW - I am taking the DIY approach to my installation and thanks to all the help I have received here, I will sleep just fine at night while the fire burns.

    Dylan, I think Elk was doing the right thing in pointing out the problems with the install to the retailer, rather than just accepting or rejecting the installation. If the retailer sub-contracted the installation and trusted his subs to do the job correctly, he needs to know it wasn't done right. This also gives him the opportunity to correct it and stand behind his work. On the other hand, if he does nothing to right the situation, that makes it pretty clear what kind of business person he is and how far he can be trusted. In my business, I use sub-contractors for installations (finish flooring). The difference is that I personally visit each job as it is completed to inspect the work myself. If along the way something is not being done correctly, I want to know so I can correct the problem.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    It seems that the ability to make a correct sheet metal block off plate is one measure of a decent crew. Since we figured that out in 1979, it certainly should not be too hard today - especially after I have shared my secrets. We had a nice 4 foot brake right in the back of the truck, but it is possible to make them with a hand brake - just takes longer and is a bit messier. These days you can find a 4 foot brake for decent prices, so there is no excuse. Same tool can be used to make everything from custom insert shrouds to mantel shields, etc.

    Mayby I should start "block offs by mail"? $45.00 each, made to your measurements......
  5. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    On the invoice letter head this guy listed being NIF cert
  7. CountryGal

    CountryGal Feeling the Heat

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    My installation was great; however--if I hadn't been reading here for a month or so before I had it done I wouldn't have questioned anything or even known what they were supposed to do or not.

    I read that post and shudder for the safety of families that are out there and don't know this stuff is going on! How could anyone cut corners that could lead to a fire and possibly deaths? It makes me ill.

    You didn't mention the HO's response, but I think I would be madder than Hell if it were me.
  8. recppd

    recppd New Member

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    Hey Elk,

    Sometimes I read your posts and ponder how you can be so "meticulous", and how much of a "stickler" you are for code requirements. And sometimes I think you describe installs which could go either way, that you fail. But in this case I am totally on your side! Not so much for the code violations, but purely for the fact that you confirmed the installation was done half-ass and not as paid-for....

    Good job!
  9. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    The NFI requires 1 person in a company to be NFI certified and the company can advertise themselves as NFI certified. The NFI is not the end all say all for an installers credentials but shouldn't really be scoffed at. At any rate there is much criticism of our industry what would you all do to make it better? This isn't sarcastic or nasty but an honest question. I am personally certified. (No CSIA yet) I read all owners manuals when I install and am constantly trying to absorb all that I can. Our company is a member of the trade organization (HPBA). We ensure that all of our installations meet or exceed manufacturers install instructions. Really all that I can do is ensure that my installations and repair work are top notch. I think the key to weeding out the undesireables is licensing requirements and strict code enforecement. Also with those requirements it will make our profession just that a profession. I find alot of folks who are installers/sweeps tend to be people who are moving on to other things and therefore don't put in the required time & effort to become true hearth professionals.
  10. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    This may be why Elk and I got along on the install a couple of weeks ago. Following code is a guideline...... Sometimes you can vary from code a bit except from a saftey point. Alot of things can be done unsafely and never cause a problem, however someone whom has done say a hundred installs and never had a problem but on the 101st install someones house has a chimney fire or far worse house fire needs to be held accountable for improper installation..... This guy or his crew has probably installed (and overcharged) his customers for a while, Elk keep up what your doing and put this guy in check.

    As far as some people saying it's never been a problem before (type mentality) I've been rewireing the tank room at work and recently I've found code violations such as explosion proof sealing fittings filled with paper towels instaed of the required flame resistant damming material.... Last week I pulled a pump off line because all three sealing fittings had nothing in them absolutly nothing......................... This pump has been on line at least 10 years and no the plant hasn't blown up yet but I have to ensure that nothing will happen while I'm in charge after all I'm now responsible for it.

    Elk as long as your in charge give em hell if you feel it is a saftey issue.....
    I've read too many posts here on inferior, improper, or half ass installations only to have people asking what is wrong later on. Your inspector is your last defense and at least Elk knowing alot about stoves and thier requirements can be a stickler.........
    I'm done ranting :zip:
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Here when I first got a hint something was not right the stove had been installed 3 week prior to obtaining a permit. The dealer/ installer and homeowner already have politly said a
    strained relationship. The second hint was the wife's insistance I do the inspection. They both knew I am the inspector years ago. The 3 week wait to apply for a permit told me, they were not going to apply, till something went wrong with the install or the stove. This is the first instalation I have inspected from this retailer Hell his store is over an hour away. Almost all the local installers know my routine and what I inspect all rough times are probably behind us.
    The forth issue a stove cannot be installed without a permit. This stove was installed 3 weeks earlier. When the installer was asked about the permit he told the owner almost nobody obtains them. A waste of money.. No phone call today. The owner now wants me to make the installation right. I have refused every job related to my inspections under my jurisdiction. If it were in another town then ok but not mine.

    Some dealers may get upset with this situation, but I suggest final payment upon the installation passing final inspection. It is legal to do so and recomended by the consumer affairs, and the BBB. Its a lot easier to get someone back when you hold the payment. You would not buy a new house without an occupancy certificate ( issued after sucessfull final inspections)
    Then why not apply the same payment schedule to your wood stove and installation.
  12. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Yeah permits are a waste of money, till the insurance co. refuses to pay a claim based on unpermitted work........
    I have a feeling that most dealers that go this route do not perform work to the standards that qualified dealers do because qualified dealers have nothing to hide (from inspectors) as far as workmanship.
    This could be a whole new topic but who should obtain the permit? Homeowner or dealer?
    I Pulled the permit myself on mine and did the install, The inspector loved it and signed off immediatley whereas he is known to fail alot of other installs in my town.................. Which kinda brings me back to shyster installs by some dealers....... I'm actually glad I did it myself...
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Heck, making the one by your instructions just took about an hour. Ripping the damn thing back out took a lot longer.

    Double wall in place liners do not like being told what they are going to do. Wrestled with fitting the pipe to the top of the stove for four hours. Ripped that dammed blocking plate the hell out of the way and the pipe lined up ten minutes later.

    Gotta put something up there to block the fibers from the rockwool because that is nasty short fiber stuff to have flying around the house. Don't want to be breathing it lately. Thinking Reynolds Wrap.
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Bro, you have learned one of our old sayings "the first time is the hardest, and you only get to do the first one".....what we would tell the DIY crowd!

    I should add to that article how the plate is trial fit and pulled out! The secret is to clamp it tightly with a set of vise grips and use a hammer to knock down on it.......that's what it takes.....

    Sequence:

    1. cut plate with no holes
    2. Trial fit, pull down and adjust and trial fit again.
    3. Place pipe into position and carefully figure out where it will go through the plate
    4. Cut hole in plate and trial fit pipe through it.
    5. Attempt to place entire assembly up there....easier said than done, but it keeps the riff-raff out of the trade.
  15. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    It seems to me if you tell the owner (woman) of the failure to pass, she'll get his but out there and it will be right. Tell her all the problems. No male dealer wants a woman on his but telling him how to install her stove. I'm not being sexist...I've seen that kind of thing before and my wife and I use that to our advantage a lot.
  16. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    My job now is simple after the call back, whenever that happens, it either passes or does not.

    Right now I am sitting back allowing time for it to be corrected.
    This Retailer/ installer will find ,That Im a fair person giving him enough rope to hang himself
    I will patiently wait till after the turkey day weekend, then call in the state to help get this resolved
    If you were the installer, you would not want the state reviewing all you records and past installations for violations
    As it is, I would welcome the state inspectors to view this install. It would be an education for them of what is happening in the field.

    We shall see what becomes of this installation
  17. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Yes - everything you need to do is spelled out in detail in the installation manuals including all clearances, r-values, proper connections and terminations, etc. Installers, and even inspectors, have to do the same thing you would need to do (READ AND FOLLOW the manual). Who is more likely to do it right? The person who lives there who's life is dependent on it or the person with a financial incentive to do it the fastest? Or the person who just does it one way because that's the way they've always done it, who needs a manual?
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Love it. Mine got more complicated because the double wall "flex" couldn't flex on such a short radius. Every thing lined up beautifully except the pipe couldn't be turned down toward the stove. Ended up cutting off the top plate, hoisting the liner up a few foot and a half and installing an adjustable elbow into the stove and adjusted to allow the liner to aim straight up. In other words a 45 from the stove into the pipe. This afternoon I cut the blocking plate in two and re-installed it with the stove and pipe in place.

    BTW: Burned that stove last night and it is like they said about sex back in high school. Wanted to kill myself for what I have been missing. I eased'er up up to five hundred for a while and then when it started dieing down I went to bed around eleven. Slept in this morning and got up at nine to a nice evenly warm house. Went down and the brick hearth and the firebrick in the fireplace firebox were radiating a nice warm heat. Not cold here today but I can see already that I will never own another fireplace insert. I haven't gotten to burn it in daylight to see how clean it burns but it is well mannered in the control department so far. Now to see if it stays that way when the temp drops and the draft kicks in big time.

    This thing may be the best kept thousand dollar secret in the business. Gonna find out soon.
  19. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    hey bart,
    is this the 30-ncl you just installed? guess the legs got in ok for ya. was curious to see how you made out. we are in the process of getting the literature and website changed to reflect the different dimentions due to the longer legs. anyway , i think you will be pleasantly suprised with the burn on that unit its really somthing. by the way , thanks for the kind words about my service dept. showed it to the boss got a warm and fuzzy from him. hope you enjoy the stove and give us a call if you run into any questions in th future.

    mike esw
  20. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Now that's what I call service after the sale :)
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Thanks Mike. It is on its second indoor burn as I type. That is it in my aviatar. The body wrap and top are now Golden Fire Brown Metallic both because I think with that and black legs and door it is a knocked out looking woodstove but also in honor or the Sierra T-4600 it replaced after 21 years. The 30-NCL has some big shoes to fill following the old stove but it sure looks like it is up to the job.

    Now, if a guy just didn't have to send FedEx freight to Boulder, Colorado to get one when they live 146 miles from the plant... If somebody around here stocked these pups they would sell like hotcakes and have Century crying in their Moosehead.

    And many thanks to you and Scott for taking good care of my old self.
  22. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Now, if a guy just didn’t have to send FedEx freight to Boulder, Colorado to get one when they live 146 miles from the plant… If somebody around here stocked these pups they would sell like hotcakes and have Century crying in their Moosehead.

    LOL!
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