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Insert Dilema

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by DenD, Jun 24, 2006.

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  1. DenD

    DenD New Member

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    Hello All,
    I have been researching inserts for my 2500 sq ft colonial. Thanks to advice received in my previous post I had decided on the Osburn 2200, but I ran into a side clearance issue. I was within code according to the info in Osburn's brochure, but when reviewing the installation instructions I found an additional note that if side facing protrudes more than 1.5", the sidewall clearance must be used. The molding on my fireplace is 1.875" thick. As a result, I don't have the required clearance. I have researched MANY inserts and found that I have similar clearance issues with most of the larger inserts, either to the side or to the mantel. The opening between the wood molding on my surround is 49.5"w x 36"h. The 8" mantel is 44.75" high.

    I am able to fit some of the smaller inserts such as the Regency 1100, but I was hoping for a larger firebox. I am wondering if anyone has advice for a powerfull small insert or a larger insert with smaller clearances? I want to heat as much of the house as possible. If anyone has suggestions for modifications to reduce clearances, I am open to suggestions, however I don't really want to get into modifying the woodwork too much (tough sell with my wife).

    The other option I have is to install the insert in my family room. This fireplace has no issues with clearances, but is in a less desirable location. If I am unable to find a medium or large insert to fit in the living room, what would be a better option: An undersized insert in a centrally located living room? Or a larger insert in a smaller, less centrally located family room?

    Thanks,

    Dennis

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Hey Dennis,

    I don't recall the thread for this discussion, but since Osburn was discussed, I'm sure I was involved since I own an 1800i. My house is about 2200 sqft, and the 1800i does a pretty good job. Yes, the 2200 is probably better, but if space limited, the 1800i would do a fine job, just have to run it a bit harder, but that's not much concern. My wife thinks we could use a bigger stove, but I think the 1800i is perfect for the house. (I'm just trying to convince her to let me install another stove in the basement to heat the family room and office)

    If the 1800i is not a good option for you, look into the the Lopi Revere. It's fire box is (if memory serves) about 2.2 cuft like the larger Osburn, and I'm sure that's a great stove. the clearances are similar to the smaller Answer insert, but the Revere is just deeper, so it extends out onto the hearth more. Better cooking surface than the Osburn's too, but not the great fire view the Osburn's are so good at.

    If height isn't a problem, look at the Lopi sister stoves, the Avalon's. both are a little more pricy than the Osburn's especially if you add the blower, but I'm sure their good stoves. Again, check clearances. I did a LOT of research on stoves before purchase, so I'll be glad to dig back into the archives for you. Give me all measurements, and I'll give you a list of ALL stoves I know of that will fit.

    For what it's worth, my hearth clearances did not meet code...so I removed the entire hearth and rebuilt it. One of the more fun projects I've ever done, and very satisfying.
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    The mantel clearance can be solved with a heat shield providing it is at least 12" above the stove more the better
    { 12 inches is the maxium reduction according to NFPA 211} Can you post a picture of your current mantel Molding setup?
    I have some ideas, Include dementions
  4. daninohio

    daninohio New Member

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    Cincinnati, OH
    Dennis,

    This isn't a definitive reply, but I too have spent countless hours researching inserts.

    FWIW, the only one I can recall offhand that had a side wall clearance that is the same (or about the same) as its side mantle clearance is the Pacific Summit insert, but from your numbers it looks like you are about 2" too narrow to meet the clearances for that one.

    Hope you figure out something. Mantle clearance issues have really reduced the available options for us too.

    Dan
  5. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Shokan, NY
    Dennis, first I would think carefully about whether it is practical to count the entire 2500 sq. ft. as the space to be heated. Also, if the chimney is exposed to an outside wall. If the fireplace and chimney is completely inside the house (with the exception of the top outlet, of course) and you can really only practically reach 1200 sq. ft. that will change your requirements. Also, where do you spend your time? If you need the heat mostly in the family room then it may be best to choose that fireplace instead of the living room. The reverse also applies. You may benefit from a site visit by a local professional hearth person. Many hearth dealers are good at correctly sizing the unit to the space. I suspect that you can go down in size and be just fine.

    Sean
  6. DenD

    DenD New Member

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    CT
    Thanks for the replys so far - I was away from the PC this weekend.

    Warren - You were involved in my prior thread on choosing an insert. Your experience with the 1800i is one of the reasons I was hoping to install the 2200i. Unfortunately, I have clearance issues with both of these stoves due to the depth of the side facing trim on the hearth. I wouldn't mind reworking my hearth, but I'm hard-pressed for time these days with 2 small children! I would greatly appreciate it if you could share some of your research, there may be options that I have overlooked.

    Elk - Your insight would be greatly appreciated too. I tried to attach a picture of the current hearth, but the fiel was too large. I will add the picture later.

    Here are the measurements:

    Fireplace opening:
    39"W X 30"H X 18.5"D

    Hearth
    Width 72"
    Elevation 11.5"
    Extension 17"
    Space between side facing 49.5"
    Hearth to top facing 36.5"
    Depth of top and side facing 1.875"
    Hearth to mantel 44.75"
    Mantel depth 9.75"

    Dan - Thanks for the recomendation. I looked at the PE Summit and have clearance issues with that one too.

    Sean - That's a good point about overstating the amount of the house that I can realistically heat. Approx 400 sq ft on the first floor may be hard to get the warm air to. Two of the second floor bedrooms may pose a challenge too, due to the length of the hallway at the top of the stairs. Although I would hope these bedrooms would benefit from the warmth of the heated rooms directly below. In regards to your question about interior vs exterior chimney - The LR fireplace chimney is on the exterior. The FR is in the single story portion of the house, but the chimney is interior, for one floor. I also thought the family room was a less desireable location because there were no rooms above it to absorb the rising heat.

    Again, thank you all for taking the time to help me out.

    Dennis
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    on the picture send it e-mail to yourself that should reduce the size to be able to post it here from your own e-mail attachment
    cut and paste it in your pictures folder or copy too I have to remember windows been too long on a Mac.
    If I see what your current setup I will know if you can alter your surounfd to comply or to use a heat shield
  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I think a PE Vista would work. I'll keep looking for others.
  9. DenD

    DenD New Member

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    Elk - Here is the picture of the hearth.

    Thanks for your help.

    Dennis

    Attached Files:

  10. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    Framingham, MA
    How about the Lopi Revere or Lopi Freedom
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    The side note about clearances to combustables is based on NFPA 211 Code . I then researched the stove owner's manual.
    75,000 BTU heat and I can see why combustiables are an issue. Me I would remodel the mantal and suround to be compliant
    But easy for me I do that for a living. Ever see plaster moldings used as the surounds Plaster is considered non combustiable,

    You are right every large BTU stove will quote clearance issues. Plan A remodel your existing wood setup to be compliant
    Plan B find a lower BTU stove that would be code clearance compliant . Plan C use a smaller stove in your family room
  12. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I see why she doesn't want it remodeled. Go with the smaller stove.
  13. DenD

    DenD New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for all of the advice. I think I will go with a smaller stove in the living room and not get into hearth modifications at this point.

    Surprisingly, I'm actually having clearance issues with some of the smaller inserts too. The thickness of the trim on the surround is causing the problems. I have found a couple that will fit - so far - Osburn 1600i, Lopi Answer and Avalon Pendelton (with mantle shield). I'm reading the reviews on these models and looking for additional options. Does anyone have any advice/experience on these models? Right now I'm leaning towards the Osburn due to the slightly larger firebox size 1.85 vs 1.6 for the Lopi and 1.3 for the Avalon. I'm concerned about burn time with the smaller stove.

    Thanks again.
  14. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Having an Osburn that's in the medium to small range of things, I can only mention something my sister said. I have an Os 1800i that I think actually has a bigger firebox than advertised. She has a Lopi Answer and said that the firebox on the OS is so much more usable and larger, she found it hard to believe it was only 1.8 cuft. When investigating stoves, I also looked at the Quadrafire 2700i, and Lopi Patriot (same firebox as Answer) and those fireboxs are clearly a LOT smaller than my Osburn. When you go to load for the evening, every cubic inch matters. Look closely as the log length also. I don't know how others calculate this but my OS is rated at 16", yet if I have to I can get a 20" split in. Granted, only one will fit diagonally, but it usually goes if needed. If I were buying any of those stoves, I'd buy the Osburn. I'm happy with my stove. It's well made, it comes standard with a blower, and it's 800-1000 less expensive than the Lopi with a blower. 68% efficient vs 72 for the lopi. So that works out to be 50 splits per year? Uh, Who cares, I split 50 splits in 15 minutes.

    That said, I do think the Lopi is a very good stove. My sister has had her's for 12 years with NO PROBLEMS!!!! She burns only compressed sawdust logs (Pure wood, no wax) and the stove heats her 1200 sqft house (with no insulation at all!!!) around Seattle, easily.

    Once again, I think the Osburn is the stove. BUT the other stoves you mentioned were definitely on the to consider list.

    One more though...Did you check out the Lopi Revere? 2200 sqft firebox, and almost identical install dimensions to the Answer...Just sticks out further on the hearth. (if it were available, I would be a Revere owner instead of a 1800i owner!!)

    Check it out.
  15. DenD

    DenD New Member

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    Thanks Warren your input is very helpful. I did look at the Lopi Reverve, but as usual, I had clearance issues to the top facing and mantel (even with the mantel shield). I'm planning to stop by my local Osburn dealer over the weekend to hopefully finalize my purchase. I'll let you know how it works out.
  16. DenD

    DenD New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for all of the advice and guidance. I think I eventually looked at every insert on the market! Last week I made a decision, and put down a deposit on an Osburn 1600 insert! Due to clearance issues I had to get a smaller insert than I originally wanted, but I think the Osburn will meet my needs. My decision was based on the fact that of the inserts that fit my hearth, the Osburn had the largest firebox, I liked the dealer and the quality of Osburn's customer service. The 1600 has a slightly larger firebox than the 1800, but because the 1600 does not have the bay window the clearances are reduced. Also, I contacted Osburn twice via email with questions and both times they responded within an hour, I was impressed. The stove should be installed by the end of July or beginning of August. I can't wait! Now I need to get my wood supply.
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