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I probably can't have this, but want it.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by DJS-1, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. DJS-1

    DJS-1 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
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    We're moving in about a month, and a key issue for me is what to do about the fireplace situation. For the last 7 years we have really enjoyed our wood Jotul insert. It's hands down been the house improvement we've ever made. The new house has a good quality (forgot the brand off the top of my head) gas insert in a standard wood fireplace opening. The new house is also a lot nicer - with a plenty more surface area to dust. Prepping our current house to sell really gave me a feeling for just how much soot permeates a home, and I'm leery of starting this in the new house.

    But going gas only in the new place, and giving the Jotul to new owners, is not an option for me, unless they specifically want it. Most people in our area would not even understand what a wood burning insert is, and wonder where the remote is. It would likely end up on the street, and that would be tragic.

    My thought was, why can't I put a small gas burner in the Jotul, made out of some durable steel? I could run that part time, use it to start logs in the coldest months, and have the benefit of gas year round, with the option to still burn 2-3 FCs of wood during Dec - Feb.

    I realize there are a lot of things to solve here. First - making this safe. Second - getting anyone one to even consider making this kind of modification. But it should not impossible. A fabrication shop could easily build a burner, and run a gas line outside of the firebox. (Probably from the bottom for lowest temps.) A gas fireplace/furnace technician should be able to connect that to a thermocoupler, valve, and existing gas line.

    I've searched high and low for any real advice/information on this and get very little. So fire away - pun intended. Poke some holes in the concept. I really would appreciate any advice or cautionary tales. Thanks!

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  2. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I don't know - but I imagine your insurance company may have a hard time insuring such a device, especially being homeowner designed etc. Even if it were 'perfectly safe' good luck convincing an underwriter of this. I'd check both with insurance company and your local code enforcement folks before spending much time/money/effort on the project as you may find they are less than supportive.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  3. Lewisthepilgrim

    Lewisthepilgrim Member

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    Loc:
    East Kingston NH
    you're talkin gas fired wood? great idea. i know people use the used oil drip DIY install in the garage with great success.....just don't try to get any insurance coverage.
  4. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Jotul makes gas fired units, perhaps a retrofit is in order.
  5. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    before you put it out on the street....drop it in my driveway;)
    mfglickman likes this.
  6. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    So....you plan on taking out the Jotel in your current home and installing it in the new one? Are you replacing it in the current house with something?

    I could swear I've heard of such a thing before (a gas wood hybrid) but maybe I'm just thinking of the gas assist ones (that use gas to help light the wood). If they do exist, I'd just sell the Jotel and buy one. Otherwise, I think you need to choose if you want gas or wood.

    Have you looked at the fireplace and flue at the new house to be sure you can even put a wood insert in it?
  7. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I stayed at a cabin this fall that had a fireplace with a gas starter. It was interesting.

    Wouldn't it cost quite a bit of money to figure that out, get it installed, and upgrade the chimney to be able to burn wood, just to burn a cord a year?
  8. DJS-1

    DJS-1 New Member

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    Thanks. Yes. I would likely not replace it with anything at the old house, and the new house does have the right flue/chimney for a wood burner.

    This really does seem to be an either/or choice, doesn't it? Maybe I just need to learn how to dust and vacuum better.
  9. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    We have a air purifier filter thingy that seems to help a lot. I actually find the Cottage less dusty than the Old House, and the Cottage has wood heat vs the Old House's gas stove heat.
  10. DJS-1

    DJS-1 New Member

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    heh heh! - well, I'm trying hard to prevent that scenario from happening.
  11. DJS-1

    DJS-1 New Member

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    Good idea. Hadn't tried the air purifier. My new house will only be about 15 min. from Lake Ontario near Rochester.
  12. Tramontana

    Tramontana Member

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    Loc:
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    One point of advice I would offer is to make certain you list your insert as a line item exclusion in the selling agreement.

    The buyer might otherwise think it is an integral part of the house, inclusive of their offer.

    Cheers and good luck.
  13. DJS-1

    DJS-1 New Member

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    Postscript - So we received a pretty compelling offer with a fast close on Saturday. Even though we indicated "Seller would like to keep fireplace insert" in the sellers agreement, the buyer specifically called out the Jotul and my woodpile as part of the deal. (I had about 2 FCs of basswood left over from last year from a neighbor's fallen tree)

    This is the only offer we've had, and I'm going to take it, even if it means giving up wood heat for a season. In a way, the insert actually helped sell the house.

    Thanks for the advice, everyone, and I'll gladly take some suggestions for new inserts. We'll have a big room to heat in the new place, so the bigger the better.
  14. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    If they want the basswood, make them pay extra!

    *snicker*

    It's awesome that you got an offer so quickly. Most do not.

    Matt
  15. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    Someone on another (unrelated) board just posted that they purchased a house with 2 fireplaces "wired for gas" but that were also usable for wood, according to the home inspector and seller. To me, mixing the two sounds like a scary idea....but I guess it's possible?

    If it were me I'd take the Jotul and sell the gas unit in the new house...deal with the dust. :)

    ----

    ETA Congrats on your offer!!!!
  16. DJS-1

    DJS-1 New Member

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    LOL! They're from Florida, and this seasoned basswood looks a lot like oak right now. I'm keeping quiet.
  17. nola mike

    nola mike Feeling the Heat

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    Sounds like it's going to (staying in?) a good home at least.
  18. Tramontana

    Tramontana Member

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    Congrats on such a quick sale. It is good to hear the market is improving a bit.

    Good luck with your move, and new stove purchase.

    Cheers!
  19. DJS-1

    DJS-1 New Member

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    Thanks, and yes, it is going to a good home. It also saves me the trouble and expense of two fireplace removals, and a re-installation around the time of the move.

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