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Incredible Suggestions

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

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  1. camdids

    camdids Member

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    Looking at having an Harman Accentra Insert put into my existing Fireplace. seems it will fit after all. But the dealer has said my current 12*12 Liner is too large and to have a 4" Stainless Stell Liner put in.
    I have called several Chimney Companies who have quoted me between $1200 and $3500 to do the job. The highest insisted I have to have the present Liner(standard Terracotta type) completely removed. One insisted he would have to bring the pipe right down to the Stove itself. We are talking about roughly 25 feet from the top of the Chimney to about 3-4 feet up from the fireplace.
    Do the prices, on the lower end seem reasonable. I admit the Chimney height from the ground outside is about 34 feet high, which scares me to look up at it.
    I live in Northeatern Mass.
    Thanks
    Camdids

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  2. berlin

    berlin New Member

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    anyone who suggests busting the clay tile liner should be eliminated right away, that is complete nonsense.
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Agreed Berlin, actually i would probably try it stubbed in before i would invest in a $2000 4 inch stainless steel liner. cross sectional codes dont apply on a positive exaust system. If i were to spend that kind of money, i would line it with 6 inch and stub in the 4 inch. That way if you dont like the pellet stove you can install a wood stove, and pellet stoves are designed to direct connect to a 6 inch chimney. I know that its debatable weither to do a full reline or a stub in. Our installers do both, and i dont deal with any more problems with stub in systems vs full reline. full relines are easier to clean, but heck, thats a lot of dough to make somehting easy to clean.
  4. camdids

    camdids Member

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    Thanks for the replies.
    First I dont know what you mean by "Stub in".
    I have also checked out an advertisement on this forums web site for the "Homesaver Liner system". There is a Local dealer here.
    Any thoughts.
    Thanks
  5. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Stub in = direct connect.
  6. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Stub in would refer to just installing a block off plate in the top of the fireplace and running 5' of flex up there. If i were faced with those liner costs i would try it for a season. Pellet stoves dont realy require natural draft to work. They have a blower blowing the exaust out. So worse case scinearo is the power goes out, and your stove puts some smoke in the house. And to tell you the truth, i doubt that would happen even stubbed in. There is no way in heck i would invest that kind of cash in a 4" liner. Dont forget that a pellet stove can be installed strait back with no rise. Im not saying thats the best, but it works, and a high percentage of them are installed that way. If they work horizontal, they will work verticle in a 12 inch flue.
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    By the way, to experement with a direct connect system will cost you about 100 bucks.
  8. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Here are a few things i would like to see discussed, and my views on the subject
    Direct connect advantages:
    Cheap
    Less backpressure on the combustion blower not having to force flue gas up a 4 inch pipe for 30'
    No chance of chimney fire in either installation.

    Disadvantages:
    you have to pull the surround off and disconect the flue for cleaning.
  9. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Harman manual says that you are allowed to direct connect as MSG recommended. I see no reason not to just do it that way.

    As he said, the only disadvantage is pulling the unit out to clean it and the fact that the natural draft of the lined chimney might help keep smoke out of the house in the event of a power outage.


    Ultimately, it's a small sacrifice to save some serious dough.
  10. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    Direct connect or not Direct connect!? We deal with it alot. Surely, if you can afford it, a 4" liner might work best, especially for cleaning, but do you really need it? Well, if the inspector misreads the code and insists on it, you need it (the accentra insert is a positive pressure appliance and not specifically covered by code, as negative pressure appliances are regulated by such). If your tile is cracked or compromised, maybe due to an old chimney fire, you should liner as well. My competition also INSISTS on liners with every insert he sells....but yea, he also sells the liners. We "stub" most of our installs of the Accentra Insert. A 5' piece of 4" stainless liner, RTV'd to the subframe of the unit seems to work well, just remember to block off the damper with a plate, or some use mineral wool as well. The pipe is around $110.00 (harman item), and the mineral wool is around $10.00 for a 2'x4' sheet. We generally let folks know they can liner if they like, some do, but the RARE minority, maybe 1% of the installs. Try it by direct connecting.....you can always add a liner later if there are problems with cleaning or burning. Running the 4" liner in this case is no big deal.
  11. camdids

    camdids Member

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    I had not heard the term "stub In" before, but that is apparently what the Stove installer does as standard. A neighbor had this done last year. Cost $125 for the Piping. The Stove Dealer is the one telling me that a 12" Liner is too big . If it had been 12*8, it would be ok, but it is 12 square..and it would have "Too much Volume".. He is the one teling me I need to reduce the size of the liner to 4". (They dont do liners so no motive as I see it). There is nothing structually wrong in the current chimney liner. In fact half of it is 2 years old as we recently had a remodel.
    I saw on the Harman site and in the Manual for the Stove itself, the Method of sealing at the Damper area, which in my case would be needed as there is no Damper. It rusted out a few years ago and was replaced with a top Mounted(Which I know has to be replaced with a Cap). The Power outage thing is not a worry as I have a Generator Backup for those instances.
    I am learning quite a bit in this forum and want to thank everyone for there thoughts.
    camdids
  12. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Het MSG,
    My folks had a quad pellet insert installed last year, it's flex piped all the way up. In your previous post you mentioned that the whole insert needs to be taken out to clean? Is this what I'm looking at with my folks config? I need to clean it sometime this fall for them.
  13. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    no, thats the advantage of a complete reline, you dont have to remove the surround and pipe for cleaning.
  14. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    So I go from the roof down with the brush? How do I get to the clean out on the back of the stove, or do I need to? It's a quad castile by the way. Thanks, hope this isn't too OT....
  15. CK-1

    CK-1 Feeling the Heat

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    If you have a full reline in your chimney.. you clean from the roof and the debris will fall inside the stove. If you have a direct connect (Like myself).. You have to pull the whole stove out.. remove the direct kit and clean from the bottom.. or top....
  16. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    The castile has "ammo can" clips that hold the liner on to the stove. Pull off the surround, pop the ammo can clips. tape your bag around it and run your brush down. Hope that helps.
  17. recppd

    recppd New Member

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    I don't know if you've thought about this option, but you could simply vent it out a sidewall.

    If you want to go the chimney route, check on Ebay for stainless liners. You can get a 4" x 25' 316SS liner kit (cap, T, etc...) for $305 delivered. They're really not difficult to install if you're somewhat handy.
  18. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    In our business, we have chosen not to do direct connnects at all. They are allowed and you may decide that it the best choice for you. But our labor costs are the bulk of the cost in a liner job, especially with a small diameter pipe. In this case, I would probably charge you about $1000 to do a "stub-in"/direct connect install, verses about $1300 for a full reline install (not including the price of the unit/stove). The difference in cost is the 5 foot liner and block-off verse the 25 foot liner kit. To us, it just doesn't make sense to do a direct connect when the cost is so close. The benefits of a reline outweight the $300 savings, in our opinion.

    I think the prices you have been getting over the phone are way off.

    As to the tile liner removal: it would only be needed if your tiles were damaged and they were going to install a liner system not based on a stainless steel pipe. If you were clear about needing a 4" steel liner for a pellet stove I cannot imagine why the tiles would need to be removed. I think that guy was trying to play you for a sucker.

    I said this before, phone conversations are rarely worth the time in this discipline. You need to have some face to face with some chimney contractors. The phone is a great tool. But you can't get a good estimate for a liner over the phone.

    Sean
  19. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Careful. This is a pellet stove we're talking about, not a wood stove box. Even with a full liner you will need to disconnect the pipe from the blower in most pellet stoves. Harman has a very nice setup where you can leave everyting connected and run your brush up and down from inside the stove. The blower removes easily and can be quickly cleaned and replaced.

    If you have a full re-line you do not have to get up into the fireplace and smoke shelf and vacuum. All the dust is in the pipe.

    To each their own. But I just don't agree with you guys who recommend direct connects.

    Sean
  20. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    we are pretty much flip flopped. Our installers charge about $400 for a direct connect, and about $1200 for a reline, depending on hight. If you were a consumer, would you pay someone 2k to reline for a pellet stove when the only real ramifications are cleaning and possibly a smokey stove when you loose power? On the otherhand, i would pay $600-$1000 for a complete reline. With the quadrafire line, we have installed direct connects in alot of applications, and have not had call backs reguarding problems do to appliance performance. But, it doesnt do the poster any good for us to talk about our prices, he has to live with what he is getting. A direct connect is almost in DIY territory, its hard to mess that up, at least with the brand i selll, its pretty much plug and play. If i were a handy smart consumer, i would try the DIY approach direct connect first. If it didnt work (whats not to work?), i would call the pro in and bite the bullet. We are talking about a pressurized exaust system here, if you can vent it horizontal to the out side, then why cant you dump it verticle in a chimney? His quotes seem extreme. If they wernt so out of the ballpark, of course i would recommend that he have the pros do it.

    lets plug the most expensive liner in here, simpson duraliner 5' sticks that lock together. $140 bucks a wack. you need 6 for 30' of reline. $840 add the block off plates and cap $150 total of $990 for the most expensive situation. Where are these jokers getting $2000-$3000?? Now in reality, most of our installers are using z flex kits, and there far cheaper then the above situation.
  21. camdids

    camdids Member

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    I tried to get some of the Guys to come to the House for Proper "Face to Face" quotes. But there charging now it seems to come out. $50-$75 just to come to the house. I know gas is expensive these days but the Furthest one from my House, And I told them where I lived, was only 10 miles. Kind of restricts the plans a little doesnt it.
  22. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Wow, it's amazing to me the variation in costs of labor. Our labor rate alone is twice your $400 for a direct connect. You are right, this type of job is best left to the DIYer on cost alone. But when fully lined the cost is not that much to pay for a professional to climb up to the top of your chimney. And its a one time deal. Another $300 to $800 this year saves you time and effort year after year. Cuts your cleaning time in half and saves you a "soot suit" or two. If you really don't have the dough, then you should go ahead with the DIY direct connect and then learn to clean it up. But around here, not many folks think $800 is too much to pay for a fully lined system. And even fewer think that $300 more for materials for a full liner verses a direct connect is too much. Of course, we're not really on the DIYers radar. Most DIY folks do choke at the $800 rate. But that's what DIY is all about. My clients pay me to do what they can't or won't do. And I tell them no when they ask me to do a direct connect. They then have a choice - DIY, or find someone else who will do it. Simple.

    Sean
  23. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    They must have learned my secret! Honestly, is it too much to pay for an in-home consult? In our case, we do credit the full amount of the consult when you hire us to do the install. And we guarantee our work. Have you asked these guys if they will guarantee their work and credit you the consult fee if you buy? Why not try it?

    Sean
  24. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    I asked this earlier in this thread, and i dont think it got addressed.
    Why is a full reline so talked up with pellet stoves? Besided the cleaning aspect, and the possiblilty of smoke during a power outage, what mechanicle reason exist to reline a chimney for a appliance that blows out the exaust? I remember some time ago, that one of the manufacture siminars that i attended, they claimed that the larger chimney created less backpressure on the stove. They used a straw analogy, blow throgh a small straw, then blow through a big straw, which is easier? Blowing through the big straw of course. So in a logical sense it would seem that dumping into a larger chimney would actually be better then a full reline. Now as far as cleaning it, with the brand i carry you have to unsnap the flue, and then run your brush down from the top to the bottem and clean the ash out. With a direct connect, you have to unsnap the flue and brush up the ash into the chimney cavity. So then you get a buildup of ash in on the block off plate, ok, but the chance of filling up the chimney area to the top of the stub in is not ever likeley, so lets say every 5 years you have to pull out the 5 foot liner and vacume out the cavity. Is that so hard? Im not trying to start some argument, i just want to understand. Someone please tell me, so i can pass it onto my customers, why they have to do a full reline.
  25. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    In our case it is a choice based on what usually happens when direct connects are used. We don't want to be responsible for direct connects. Sure, you are correct, it is not that big of a deal for a handy guy to have no problems with the direct connect. I would suggest that you should clean the smoke shelf and block off plate but that is your choice. You could install a clean out door to make it all very easy. Most people won't. What will happen is we will get a call from a helpless customer who can't figure out how to reconnect the pipe, or complains of a smell, etc. etc. For us, we prefer to do a full reline because it is less likely to come back on us and we can keep our pellet stove service calls down to a minimum. Most of our customers do not want to pay another $150 to clean a direct connect. Again, this does not apply to DIYer's. And, we found that it was taking almost as much time toi install stoves with direct connects as it does a full liner. This is especially true of pellet inserts, where the liner is easy to install and the insert is hard to install. It just doesn't make sense to charge $700-$800 for a direct connect when we can do full reline for the same labor price. All it costs is the extra pipe length.

    It is true that the back pressure is less with a larger diameter. That is why we use 4" instead of 3". Why don't we use 5" or 6"? Cost. 4" is less expensive and is all that is necessary. If we ran accross a stove that was having problems with a 4" diameter we might then consider a larger liner or the good ole direct connect. Good stoves use good blowers and it is not a problem.

    Sean
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