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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. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yep, good to see progress. I was suspicious of that outside vent. Good to have Tom jump on board with a fireplace ID. Tom, just curious, how does the outside air terminate at the heatform fireplace? Is there a duct fitting inside the box that could be flex-piped to the Summit's OAK connection?

    Also, acosta - did the surround get pulled for a proper inspection? Are all pieces in place on the top of the stove?

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  2. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

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    BeGreen,

    The outside air heatforms I've seen, the outside air didn't extend all the way to the firebox, it just opened to the space between the heatform and the masonry structure. Some of the outflow into the room would be drawn into the firebox by the chimney updraft to feed the fire, creating a sort of passive OA connection.
  3. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    The building inspector is coming Wednesday for an inspection. He asked me to pull the surrount off for a proper inspection. At this point, we've determined that the installer used regular fiberglass insulation in the install, which according to Owens Corning is only rated up to 260° (nice fire hazard). I mentioned it to the installer and he's "never heard of such a thing". He says he's been installing for years using this method and has "never" had a problem. He said he would install a block off plate for me, but doesn't recommend it. He said it would just be a piece of sheet metal in place against the pipe and would leave lots of areas for air to pass through. He said it would make my situation worse, by allowing cold air to hit the stove. He said the insulation is actually "better" because it stops the air from flowing.

    He also said the lack of the full flue is NOT contributing to my problem. The full flue only enhances draft. Since my stove is reaching 600°, I don't have a draft problem. They RARELY install full flue's. He's killing me!

    He also said my fireplace was a masonry fireplace. He described it exactly like Tom said (metal box with masonry over it). Is that considered a pre-fab (requires full flue) or masonry (doesn't require full flue)? Is he right?
  4. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

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    Hey Acosta,

    If you have a masonry foundation with a masonry firebox and a masonry chimney, you don't have a manufactured (prefab) fireplace. You have a masonry fireplace with an outside-air heatform installed in it. PE's full liner requirement for manufactured fireplaces wouldn't apply, although I STRONGLY recommend a full reline to the top of the flue. A full reline installation has a more consistent draft and causes less creosote accumulation in the flue. Plus, wait until you watch your installer put in the metal blocking plate: trust me, you won't want to remove and re-install that thing AFTER you remove the insert from the fireplace every time you clean your chimney.
  5. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    Thanks, Tom. I completely agree about the full liner and definitely want to install one. I'm just thinking of ways to get the installer to come back and install it, and offsetting the money I already paid him for the half assed install he did the first time. I figured if it was required by code or the manufacturer then it was clearly his fault and he would have to do re-do properly using the full liner. I've already found out he used insulation incorrectly and needs to correct that problem. I trying to figure a way for him to correct the full flue liner as well.


    Anyone have any suggestions?
  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    A full liner is going to cost extra, no way around that. I highly doubt he will even credit you for the direct connect towards the full liner. Given the BS he has already handed you. You may have to put up the extra. Just be sure he doesn't ream you in retaliation for the insulation & other issues.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'd say acosta might be in the driver's seat. Here is an installer that is bragging about a number of suspect installs. Does the inspector know about these jobs?
  8. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    Funny you say that...the inspector said to me today "I wonder how many other installs he did like this".
  9. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    I don't mind paying for the difference in the liner cost and the block off plate, but I'd want him to credit me back for the direct liner and the BS installation job he did the fist time.

    What is a reasonable price for a full liner install along with a block off plate (all materials and labor)?
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Acosta I got the solution Pm me your inspectors name and tell ## from my office tomorrow I will call him and explain the NFPA 2003 Code changes and explain why I pass or reject certaint installs. After the phone conversation I will fax him the pages of code so that he has them first hand I think it comming from another inspector and explained and why the code changes, he will have an easier time understanding them and applying them.. As for your installer not to smart I would never admit I made that many bad installs they brag about and used that as proof of
    why others should accept being short changed by a freaking idiot, who does not w know what he it talking about and can not support his installations with code. To boot. he then continues to try to BS you.
    here is straight fact no bs read the code 2003 NFPA 211

    2.4.5 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.

    Elkimmeg,
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    As promised I call your inspector but he was out doing inspections. I will call him in the morning. I also faxed Him a copy of the first 3 pages of chapter 12
    2003 NFPA211, coppied on our town seal and logo from the Building Inspections Dept. He now has the written codes pertaining to your installation.

    Any other question I left my office number and you know how to contact me Hopefully It will help get things right

    good luck with you inspection tomorrow and let up know what occured

    See Roo I also help Summit owners
  12. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    Elk,

    Thank you again for all of your help. I will call him in the morning before our meeting and make sure he got the materials you sent him. I'll keep you posted.
  13. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I spoke with your inspector this morning. He has the faxed codes. We had a nice discussion and seem to be on the same page. Good luck ant keep us informed how it turned out
  14. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Good work ELK :exclaim:

    Bad installers take note, "Elkthestovehunter" WILL get you.

    There's fear and darkness all around you
    The installers are on the run
    no use in hiding in the fog
    I hunt you down cause I'm the Elk
    I'm the Elk....... the big bad Elk
    the....stove...hunter




    P.S Roo, I think we need your photoshop skills here.
  15. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    So it's been a couple of weeks now. I figured during that time I'd let some others get their problems solved instead of monopolizing the board. I'm back with an update....

    Thanks to Elk, and going back and forth for weeks, my inspector finally failed the installation of the insert. The installer is coming back Thursday to install a FULL liner, with a metal block off plate, with insulation above the plate. That's good news, finally. Thank you again, Elk. You really did way more than I ever expected. I appreciate it.

    Over the weekend I think I may have pinpointed my "heat output" issues, but I'm not sure. I had the stove burning nicely at 600°. The air coming out of the blower was warm/hot. With the stove burning, I shutt off the blower. Withing minutes, the stove temp shot up to around 800°. The stove was hot! The room got immediately warmer. You felt the heat coming off the stove once you reached within 10 feet of the stove. It was something I never felt before. I got concerned, so I turned the blower back on and within minutes, the stove temps went back down into the 600's. Weird! I turned the blower off several times and each time, the stove temps shot up and A LOT more heat was coming off the stove. The room became much warmer. Actually, last night was the 1st night my wife didn't use a blanket sitting on the couch next to the stove. It was amazing!

    So I called PE this morning. Cathy (very nice lady) said it sounds like the blower is pulling cold air back down the chimney (because I have a 1/2 liner). The cold air is mixing with the hot air and releasing WARM air to the room. By shutting the blower off, it's no longer drawing the cold air down the chimney. She said that once I install the full liner, it should eliminate this problem and the blower will only blow the hot air from around the stove, no longer mixing with the cold. She also said not to worry about the 800° temps on the stove. She said the full liner will also make the wood burn longer and give me more heat.

    Does this make sense? Could this have been my problem all along? Will my problem really go away Thursday?
  16. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Sounds great, was looking forward to your update.

    Big round of applause for elk in helping to come to a good conclusion!!!

    I think your wife will throw the blanket away once you get that chimney lined.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Semi-plausible, though I'd have thought that the PE insert would be designed to extract the room's interior air into the blower plenum and not the fireplace air. Otherwise it would seem this would be a common issue. But not owning this insert I'll wait for others to comment. (With Dylan not here, someone's got to be the skeptic.)
  18. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    PE said that blower was drawing both, the room's interior air and sucking air down the chimney through any openings in the insulation that was stuffed up there. She said that because my chimney is on an exterior wall, the inside of the chimney fills with cold air. Because I only have a 1/2 flue liner that dumps out into a larger 10" liner, the blower is drawing cold air back towards the stove, through any opening in the insulation. Is that plausible? Would a full liner eliminate this issue, or would a sealed block off plate, eliminate this isse? She seemed confident that the full liner, even without the block off plate would eliminate this problem, but who knows.
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    And where would this cold air that is being drawn down the chimney be coming from? From your 1/2 flue liner on up is filled with smoke and hot exhaust from that insert burning. There ain't no cold air hanging around up there to be drawn back down. If air was being pulled back down that chimney and mixed with the air coming out of the blower you would have one mighty smokey house, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  20. acosta2269

    acosta2269 New Member

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    What you are saying also makes sense. I don't know what the problem is. That's why I asked the questions. I do know that the blower is definitely cooling off the stove. Without the blower the stove hits 800°. With the blower going, the stove is around 600°.
  21. bacsales

    bacsales New Member

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    Acosta. I am the pacific energy distributor for New York Ct and New Jersey. I just read this thread and would like to offer my assistance. I think you have everything in line concerning outside air infiltration etc. Block the outside vents on your chimney. They are causing cold air problems. Please email me your phone number or call me so I can talk to you today and also contact the dealerthat you purchased from before he redoes your install. Again I would like to help in any way possible.


    Jack Cohen
    Vice President Bac Sales
    jack@bacsales.com

    518 828 6363 ext 240
  22. thechimneysweep

    thechimneysweep Minister of Fire

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    Acosta, I think we might be back where we started from: you have an outside air heatform fireplace.

    It seems to me the most likely source of the cooling action is cold outside air entering the chamber that surrounds your heatform. This would create a cold box for your insert to live in. Further, your installer would most likely have had to cut through the tubes at the top of the heatform to install his pipe into the first clay liner, which would allow the cold air to flow right into the fireplace cavity itself and cool the heat exchange plenum on the insert directly.

    If you haven't done this already, pack the outside air intake with ceramic blanket insulation and seal it on the outside.
  23. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Welcome to the forum Jack
  24. bacsales

    bacsales New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome. I am very impressed with the forum and the open discussions of problems and possible solutions without anger or belittling remarks is refreshing. I just spoke to Anthony and we are on the case! I will let him post the eventual solution but I feel comfortable we will get it fixed asap.
  25. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I'm wondering if the shroud is installed incorrectly. The metal shroud should be all sealed off I believe, Hogwildz can give a better explanation of how the shroud gets installed.
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