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insert for prefab fireplace

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by tank, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. tank

    tank New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
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    Loc:
    southern wi
    hi all love your web site. we have an old useless prefab fireplace we want to stick a insert in.can we do it ? the stack is 8 inches dia. the dimensions at the front are 32.5 w x 17d x 24h at the back end the width is only 22 inches any and all help is greatly appreciated...

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  2. pyromanica

    pyromanica New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
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    Loc:
    north east
    I would be very leery putting an insert into an old prefab. One can not make any assumptions the existing prefab is in suitable condition.
    Second the temp range of you chimney may not be ul103ht required for wood stoves. My suggestion would be to purchase an efficient wood
    burning fireplace and the proper class A vent pipe system
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    46,084
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Look for a make and model tag for the prefab. That will help determine its suitability. The insert will need a liner.

    Post pictures if you can. That may help with the ID.
  4. colescott1

    colescott1 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    MD
    I did a lot of research on this, as I was in the same situation. Dealt with a builder grade, worthless refrigerator box (it cooled, more than it heated!) for 3 years, and finally had enough. Though an insert would be the easier, cheaper way....but found that on my zero clearance prefab, inserts were a no-go. I had several companies try and convince me that they could and would install one in it ("they've done it for years without anything bad happening"). Too much out there about the insert burning too hot. Yep....might not burn your house down this year or next.... in Canada, completely against the law. Ok, in the US, as long as the fireplace has been tested with the exact model insert. Careful when you read there....lots of vagueness in most manuals.

    So instead, I ripped out the entire thing, and bought a Regency EX90. Absolutely LOVE it. Waiting on the stone work around it to be done, but stove is in and functional. Whereas with the old stove, the house was always cold....this stove instantly changed that feel. As long as I keep a fire going, house stays 2400 sq ft house stays at 75. (Its down to 30 degrees outside the last 2 mornings). Well worth every penny spent so far.
  5. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,290
    Loc:
    south central WI
    If you decide upon an insert instead of ripping out the existing set-up, there are several dealers/installers in southern
    Wisconsin who will come out and look at your set-up and do a preview of the installation for you to determine if it will work.
    Find out the manufacturer of the prefab, if you can, bring along your measurements and start looking at different inserts
    available from the various dealers.
  6. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,313
    Loc:
    Milton GA
    We had the same situation. We had a heatilator fire place with a propane gas log. We wanted to install an insert. It would require a liner in the flue for the increased temps and the insert that would fit was smaller then we wanted to heat with. The cost of the liner and insert, was the same price as simply pulling it all out and installing what we went with.

    We installed a Kozyheat Z-42 (zero clearance) fireplace/woodstove. It was an exact fit for the space of the heatilator and we installed a class A chimney flue rated for wood stove temps that was a match for the Z-42. Alittle tile work and a new mantle and we were set.

    It was very affordable and easy and we are very pleased with the heat! It's attractive (looks like a fireplace). It has an adjustable thermostatic blower. EPA rated, clean, I highly recommend it. The RSF zero clearance units are nice too.

    As others have said, I would not recommend putting an insert into a prefab fireplace. It's just not a good match. And getting one that your like that fits the box is difficult.

    Alot of people get confused about the zero clearance units --(since it's not a free standing stove or an insert). Make no mistake - it looks like a fireplace, but it's a wood stove! The heat is awesome. I have 3700 sf and this unit heats my main and upper floor, minus the FROG room. Take a look at zero clearance fireplace/stoves. They were made for replacements like this.
  7. greythorn3

    greythorn3 Minister of Fire

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    Alaska
    u have any pics of your setup and what did it cost?
  8. shortlid

    shortlid Member

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    Dec 30, 2007
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    Loc:
    Derry, NH
    Ya, would love pics as well!!
  9. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Oct 17, 2008
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    Milton GA
    The only one I have at work is this one of a first burn with the drywall around it. I did take pictures of the tear out of the heatilator and the install of the Kozyheat, plus the finished product after the tile and mantle. When I get home from work, I'll try and post something.

    Cost - If I remember correctly was around $ 5000. $3000 something for the stove and $ 2000 for the new flue and cap. I did the tear out, framing, and finish work to save another $ 3000. Seeing how easy it was for them to drop it in and install the flue, I could have done this myself too, but the wife sleeps better knowing a professional did the install.

    Attached Files:

  10. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    Messages:
    1,290
    Loc:
    south central WI
    EPA fireplaces are sweet, no doubt about it. If I had the skill set to do part of the work as you did, I probably would
    have gone that route. My insert into the prefab fireplace was $3700 including the liner and professional installation.
  11. greythorn3

    greythorn3 Minister of Fire

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    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    972
    Loc:
    Alaska
    wow that looks dang good! quite a price tho! i dont see how it could compete with a free standing blazeking.
  12. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,313
    Loc:
    Milton GA
    I wanted to extend the hearth and go with a large free standing wood stove. My wife was concerned about our 3 year old at the time and felt a large wood stove in the living room would be ugly and might hurt resale vs this fireplace replacement that really looks much like what was removed except for it puts out good free heat! So she won out. This home is only temporary. It may have been less in price too. Those were just my guesses - without having to dig into old receipts.

    I didn't think it would get the job done - as far as heating. But it does. We shut our thermostats off and burn wood 24/7 all through the winter and the house is warm! We love it.

    It is a great alternative to replace builder grade prefab fireplaces that are not big enough to house a decent insert.
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Love the pic of the sleeping puppy Bass Widow.

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