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In need of help/advice?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by acosta2269, Dec 31, 2006.

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  1. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    It blows from the top

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  2. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    I'm not sure what that piece is
  3. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Its the top part of the surround shield of your insert ( as seen in yellow )

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  4. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    Yes it's installed and looks like a tight fit
  5. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    room air get pulled into the side intake of the stove ( in blue ) and its drawn around your stove and back out the top as hot air ( in red )

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  6. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    I need to get to bed. I have to wake up in a few hours. I'll let you know what the building inspector says.

    Thanks for all the help.
  7. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    good luck . Keep us posted . ;-)
  8. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    Thanks, will do.
  9. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Incorrect bro. The air is drawn as you have it, but the blower blows out the top right horizontally across the top, hits the 2 diverters as you can see in his first pics where the thermometer wire is hanging between the diverters. Air hits these and is forced out the front.

    As far as room air intake for combustion, its taken in the left grille, then through the 4" hole in left case sidearound the case to back where it is drawn in through the back intake, then through bottom channel to front air inside stove (at air adjustment lever).
    The blower merely take air in the right grille and blows it to those diverters over the hot insert top & out. If his stove is 600° :)) thanks) I cannot see how the top isnt hot and blowing hot air out. As you said its magical. Unless his wired thermometer is wrong.
  10. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    its got me baffled , Maybe the stove will work better in the summer time to cool the house down ?

    100° out side and a new load of wood in the stove will have the front room down to 74° in no time . %-P
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Darn interesting the way this is panning out. Sorry, I was out of touch for most of the day. But it is confirming my suspicions. Like I said, first thing I'd really be concerned about was how he connected the OAK. By the sounds of it I wouldn't be surprised it the outside air is being routed through the fan duct and most of the real heat is heading right up the open flue pipe. I think Roo may be close in that it sounds like the top casing and baffle are not in right too. The surround needs to be removed and a proper inspection needs to be done with the manual at hand.

    This sounds like a clueless installer that didn't read the instructions and wasn't going to. How many of these stoves has he installed? zero? Instead did a cheap install that is not doing justice to you or the stove. Have the inspector really do his job, pull the surround and assess whether this is a safe and kosher installation. Stress your concern for fire safety and not following manufacturer's instructions. Ask about OAK requirements and whether they have been satisfied.
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    What if the outside air kit was installed wrong into the exting prefab superior fireplace and it is radiating all kinds of cold air on th that convection shroud
    add the fact the room air is excaping all around the insert facing No block off plate.

    That suround has to come off and should be off for inspection at that point you can ask the inspector about cross-section flue requirememts
    ask the inspector why it was not fully lined per NFPA 211? My note book is fired up for cut and paste of the code.

    I have to switch computers and will add to this in the edit mode

    12.4.5 Connection to Masonry Fireplaces.
    12.4.5.1 A natural draft solid fuel-burning appliance such as a stove or insert shall be permitted to use a masonry fireplace flue where the following conditions are met:
    (1) There is a connector that extends from the appliance to the flue liner.
    (2) The cross-sectional area of the flue is no smaller than the cross-sectional area of the flue collar of the appliance, unless otherwise specified by the appliance manufacturer.
    (3)* The cross-sectional area of the flue of a chimney with no walls exposed to the outside below the roofline is no more than three times the cross-sectional area of the appliance flue collar.
    (4) The cross-sectional area of the flue of a chimney with one or more walls exposed to the outside below the roofline is no more than two times the cross-sectional area of the appliance flue collar.
    (5) If the appliance vents directly through the chimney wall above the smoke chamber, there shall be a noncombustible seal below the entry point of the connector.
    (6) The installation shall be such that the chimney system can be inspected and cleaned.
    (7) Means shall be provided to prevent dilution of combustion products in the chimney flue with air from the habitable space.
  13. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    1,2,3 are your problems for sure, if you add a #4 block those vents, you will be sweating in no time
  14. CK-1

    CK-1 Feeling the Heat

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    In reading this thread.. it seems that acosta2269 setup is very similiar to mine. I installed my PE Summit with a direct connect kit as well. But I also installed a block-off plate that came with the kit. I have a vent inside my open fireplace that leads outside for air supply. No vents are mounted on the fireplace inside the house. During installion:

    1. Removed damper plate
    2. Installed direct connect kit and block-off plate
    3. Open sliding plate to outside air supply so stove can get outside air
    4. Left knock-out hole for room air intake intact.. - didn't knock it out
    5. Slid stove in and connected top pipe to direct connect kit.

    Fireplace produces alot of heat and burns nicely..


    I saw a picture of the outside vent on the chimney (circled) but didn't see where it was located on the inside of the house.
  15. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    So here's an update...

    I met with the building inspector today. My goal at this point is to have the inspector FAIL the stove so I can get the installer back and install it properly (with a full flue liner and a block off plate) .

    He called Pacific Energy and they told him that a full flue is only required in Canada and for installations in Pre-Fab fireplaces. For all other installations it's only recommended. Since he can't confirm yet that my fireplace is a pre-fab unit, he can't make a decision yet. He said the only way to tell may be to pull the unit and look at the firebox. With respect to the block off plate, PE requires the unit to be "sealed", but they do not require a block off plate. They indicated that an alternative way to "seal" the unit is to use insulation. However, the insualtion to be used is not regular fiberglass insulation. It's some sort of "special", insulation with a higher fire rating. Since the inspector can't confirm at this point what type of insulation was used, he can't make a decision yet. (You can see where this is going!). He has a call into the installer about these issues as well as the knock-out, which is not knocked out. So long story short....nothing new yet.

    One good thing did come out today...in speaking with the buildling inspector he determined that it was ok to close up the side vents inside the house (I hope he's right). So I stuffed them with insulation (thanks Hogwildz). It made an IMMEDIATE difference. The heat coming off the blower is substantially hotter than it was. Probably twice as hot. Now if put my hand in front of the blower, it actually burns after a minute. The thermometer now reads 132 degrees. It's getting there.

    A couple of weird things to note. As soon as I stuffed the vents with insulation, the temp on the face of the stove shot up to 700 degrees. I got a bit scared so shut the damper down all the way. After a while, it went back to 600 and has stayed there since. Also, as soon as i insulated the vents, the ceiling fan starting moving (very slowly) on its own. no power on whats so ever, but it just started rotating on its own. Whatever I did created a draft strong enough to move the fan on its own. after a while it stopped moving on its own and I've turned it on since. Anyone have any ideas for the 2 weird things?
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Very interesting. It sounds like the insert's heat surround that the stove blower circulates the air through has been compromised and is pulling air from the fireplace. I'm guessing that the vent you plugged with fiberglass was a crude attempt by the fireplace builder at creating a heat vent for the fireplace. Just guessing at this point. The surround will definitely have to come off for a more informed inspection. I am not putting anything out of the realm of possibility with this mis-install. Wish I was closer. I was in your neck of the woods only a few weeks ago.
  17. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    According to the building inspector, the vents on the side of the fireplace were put there to vent/disperse heat from the fireplace when in use. Now that the stove is installed it was actually drawing air from those vents (which also somehow vented outside). It was drawing outside cold air. Who knows if he's right. i know it did make a huge difference in the heat output, but I hope he was right that it was ok to seal off. It's a little concerning that the stove shot up to 700 immediately after I closed them off.

    I don't think I've solved all the problems yet, but I'm getting there. The room is definitely warmer, but still not hot the way it should be. I'd also still like to make sure it's ok to close off the vents.

    And, I need to figure out a way to get the installer back to put a full flue liner and a block off plate in.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The plenum for the stove should be independent of the fireplace box. Somehow, this has been compromised. That is why is it drawing air from the fireplace box, but it's not supposed to. It should act as an independent unit inserted into the fireplace chamber with sealed connections to the input (OAK) and output (flue).
  19. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Being the original vents are not used for the original fireplace anymore. I think your fine closing them up. I would close all of them inside & out, but we do still need to establish where your intake air is coming from. When you do close them up, use a pc of sheet metal and caulk around the perimeter for an air tight seal. The fiberglass will still allow a draft. You can always put a decorative grille on the face to cover the sheet metal, maybe even pant the sheet metal the color of the stone around it.
    The stove jumped up in temp because you no longer have cold air swirling around the insert to cool it down. The ceiling fan is spining due to the new extra heat from the insert rising. Reminds me of my moms Christmas candle holder with a horizontal fan suspended over the cadles. The fins on the fan each had a lil rod or wire on them, the heat from the candles would cause the fan to spin causing the lil wires to strike a couple little bells as the fan spun. INHO this is whats happening with your ceiling fan, the heat is rising and enough to cause the fan to spin. I don't remember the technical term.

    Now we just need to know if theres a block off plate, which you will have to remocve the surround to see, and where the insert is drawing its combustion air from ( outside air or inside room air). That may be the final phase to get you to normal. Other than the full liner & blockoff plate. Both, I recommend for safety reasons alone.
    I am gald you made some progress. Even if the insector does say, full liner needed, is there room in the exisiting to run a 6", and it will be extra. If you want to do yourself, and need help, let me know. I will drive up and help you. As long as your not IN the city LOL.
    Getting close to where you should be. Ain't that a good feeling? :)

    BTW, no matter how hot you get it, the OL will never relinquish that blanket and will NEVER be warm enough LOL.
  20. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    The vents (hole in the wall) seem to go behind the wall and down. I stuffed the insulation in there to plug up all the holes. I'll have to figure a better way to seal them off.

    No block off plate was installed. He stuffed insulation up there. The inspector needs to find out from him if it was regular fiberglass insulation or some sort of "special" insulation.

    It does feel good to finally make some progress. It's still not as hot as it should be, but definitely better than before. Hopefully the other changes (liner, block off plate, and the air source) will make it 100%. Thanks again for the offer. My goal is to somehow get the installer to come back and install it properly (even better if he doesn't charge me anymore money). I don't how I'm gonna do it if the inspector passes the insert, as is. I need him to fail it (lol), so I can force the changes.
  21. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Ok I gave you the code a few post back The manufacturer also claims that the installation needs to NFPA 211 Compliant
    IT's in the manual on the first or second page.

    Little history here stove models are tested and certified for 5 years part of the certification process is the installation manual. If you stove was re certified prior to 2003 then at the time a direct connection could be code compliant and the manual was written to reflect that. Also written into the manual is copliance to NFPA 211 which changed the cross-sectional code to only allowing 2x your flue collar area Your installer should know this its been ineffect for 4 years. Its not like the manufactur listing trumps the code but the manufacturer is telling you to apply the code,
    the listing will not be changed untill re certification How ever witha direct connection a block off plate is required not stuffed in common insulation.

    He inspector can hang his hat on the manufactures listing because he too probably does not know of the code change.

    There is another point not mentioned here and I think some degree of fairness is needed from both you, your retailer. and installer I viewed you invoice myou did not pay for a full liner or the labor to install it. He charged you for installation for a direct connect your only gripe there is the lack of the block off plate. this is a grey area he installed you stove per manufactures specs minus block off plate but not to 2003 NFPA 211. The stove is achieving 600+ degrees, so it is drafting well enough and running well enough, that the direct connection is working

    What is hindering your stove could be the block off plate seal plus a greater issue is the Superior built in fire place Its vents are allowing the convection shroud to be cooled could the outside air connection be part of this ? yes what if it is connected to that convection chambers of the Superior Fireplace that would really cool the entire fire box which ot robbing heat from the
    Summit.. It is probable the installer never knew your Superior setup. The setup could have been installed faulty from the get go.. Its covered up in brick now

    Incident after incident, installations into prefab are mired with problems ,not all the time, but a lot higher than masonry setups
  22. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

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    Haven't visited the forum for awhile, and just saw this posting now that there are 13 response pages. Might have an idea for you.

    We see a lot of "heatform" fireplaces in our neck of the woods. Offered by a variety of manufacturers, the heatform was intended to create a flow of heated air into the room while the fireplace was burning. The masonry firebox was built oversize, to accomodate the heatform (a metal inner firebox), with an airspace between the masonry and the heatform. The theory was, heat from the fire would transmit through the metal heatform, warming the air in the airspace between it and the masonry. The heated air would rise and flow into the room through openings above the fireplace, pulling room air into similar openings to the room below the fireplace to be heated in turn. The photo in Roospike's post on page 4 of this thread shows a typical heatform installation, with two intake grills near the floor and two output grills above.

    We've seen a few heatform installations where the intake openings in the room below the fireplace were omitted, and a single intake opening to outside air through the back of the fireplace structure was substituted. This outside air opening wasn't to supply combustion air directly to the fire, but into the airspace between the heatform and the masonry structure to be heated by the fire and delivered into the room. I think the theory was that heating air from outside the house and delivering it into the room would counteract room depressurization from the chimney updraft, while introducing pre-heated fresh air into the room instead of "stuffy" recirculated room air.

    Whatever the theory, the outside-air heatform didn't work very well, and our Sweep customers complained of anemic performance when burning in colder weather, and cold airflow into the house when the fire wasn't burning.

    If this fireplace is an outside-air heatform, your experience is going to be even worse: the outer convection shell on your insert will minimize heat transfer to the airspace around the heatform, likely warming it just enough to draw barely-warmed outside air into the room and counteracting the heated air output of your Summit.

    Try blocking the air intake grill on the outside of your fireplace structure and see if that doesn't improve your situation. If this seems to inhibit the flow of combustion air into the Summit's firebox, remove the knockout plate and burn room air.
  23. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Good information and it looks like this issue is coming to a head . Getting the few problem areas fixed with the install and also the odd venting of the fireplace sounds like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow .
  24. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    Thanks, Tom.

    What you described sounds exactly like my setup (outside-air heatform) and exactly how the insert is performing. I have 2 interior vents (about 5 feet off the floor) and 1 exterior vent out of the back (off to the side) of the firebox. From the inside of the firebox, I couldn't see the exterior vent, so what you are describing (the airspace between the heatform and the masonry) is very possible. The building inspector said the vents on the side were to supply heat to the room (exactly what you said), but now that the insert was installed, they were actually drawing in outside air. I'm not sure how, but you could feel VERY cold outside air in the interior vents.

    I already stuffed the interior vents with insulation and it made a very noticable difference. The heat coming out of the blower got much hotter immediately. It's still not great, but it is better. I will stuff the outside vent with insulation as well and report back.
  25. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    If you keep the outside stuffed closed, don't forget to knockout the inside air hole in the side of casing for combusion air. Glad things are coming along.
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