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Is it possible to put an insert into a Zero Clearance?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Steffan John, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Steffan John

    Steffan John New Member

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    Hello,

    I have a zero clearance fireplace that came with the house I bought and it does not heat well. It has no blower and only glass doors and mesh screen.

    I only have a 1300 square home so I don't need much but I want to do the cheapest option I can.

    I dont know if there are inserts for my small ZC or not but I dont know where to start either.


    IMG_3174.jpg IMG_3173.jpg

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  2. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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  3. Steffan John

    Steffan John New Member

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    I am confused. Do I have a ZC or just a fireplace? It has no blower or adjustable flume. JUst glass doors.
  4. RSNovi

    RSNovi Feeling the Heat

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    It looks quite similar to my ZC fireplace. Do you have a masonry foundation and chimney or is the structure surrounding the fireplace and chimney made of wood? The latter would be a ZC.
  5. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest


    Is it a metal box inside of another metal box????
  6. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    It is possible. Not many options available and not recommended by most on here.
  7. Steffan John

    Steffan John New Member

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    photo(1).JPG
    It looks like square stones inside the fire place but looks fake almost. all there is when you look up is a metal pipe(normal woodstove looking) and you can seal the pipe with a clamp and cover on a hinge.
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    YI don't see any reason to rule an insert out. I have one and so do many others. See if you can found the nameplate and write down all the info. Maybe contact a local hearth store that knows what they are doing.
  9. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    You have a ZC fireplace. You will be limited to what will fit into the fireplace. I have installed a few Travis 1750 inserts into fireplaces that size. I think regency has an approved insert that will fit. It will require a full stainless steel, insulated liner. The fireplace will some minor modification, like removing the damper, doors, screens and hardware holding all that in there.
  10. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Last yr I remember a post kicking around putting a liner inside a double wall air insulated chimney pipe. The conclusion was it wouldn't pass any code. I called Heatilator myself and all they would say is it had never been tested therefore not approved. So it seems contradictory that there are inserts available to put into ZC fireplaces. Personally I can't see why lining a 1700 degree double wall air insulated pipe wouldn't make it better than a class A.
    I also called a local chimney sweep and ran the idea past him. He said he would have no problem installing an insert into a ZC and lining the chimney.
  11. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    You have a manufactured fireplace. Made of steel and fit into a framed opening. My Jotul C450 operation manual has insruction to install into zero clearance, manufactured fireplace. You need to find an insert that will fit in the fireplace, check the manual for zero clearance install instructions. Are you going to install yourself? Buy second hand or from a dealer? A dealer should be able to help. I bought mine second hand and learned how to install it here for my masonry fireplace. I got lots of help in these forums, thanks again. I have built many openings for fireplaces when I worked as a framing carpenter. The openings are built for required clearances of the fireplace. You could rebuild your opening to accept any size zero clearance fireplace, that will fit the insert you want. Is that an exterior wall the fireplace is on, it probably jogs out a bit from the rest of the wall, looks like a chimney stack? If so you are limited on depth, unless you want to tear down that wall and rebuild it deeper. The width and height can be easily reframed. The depth is easily redone also, it's just more work to take out,refinish the exterior, you would need to rebuild all three chimney walls and add a concrete footing. keep your depth and all you need to do is remove the fireplace and reframe the width and height. Pay attention to the center of the existing flue. Whatever you do , the insert exhaust collar will have to line up to what you have. I( dont know if the insert chimney liner will go through the existing flue of the fireplace. That would seem to be an easy install. Otherwise the existing flue may need to be removed. Good luck
  12. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Why would it not pass any code? If I remember right, it must have a half inch of insulation around a SS liner to be approved for a ZC install, and the insert manufacturer must approve it for ZC applications. I don't think the fireplace manufacturers test them with inserts though.
  13. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Arguing over the mere possiblity of putting inserts into zero clearance fireplaces seems disingenuous, at best. Many people can't or won't use floor space for a free standing stove, and have to go insert or not at all.

    Write down the fireplace's info from the nameplate, take measurements, take pictures, and go to some local hearth stores. Check out their wares. Unless you buy it online...somehow...you'll be going through one of them anyway. Collectively, they've seen it all, and can actually help.
  14. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    I've posted this on similar thread and there are some myths and misconsception when it come to this type of installation. We are a MFG an we make inserts and ZC among others. We are asked this question many times and we are sensitive to codes, regulations etc...

    The matter of the fact is there are no 'codes' or regulations for this type of installation. It is not regulated with UL, CSA, building code, fire code etc... It's a grey area. Unless somebody knows something different.

    This is the standard text we put out for this type of installation:

    It is possible to install a wood insert into an existing factory-built zero-clearance fireplace. However, there currently exists no UL or ULC standard specific to that type of conversion. The first thing that must be verified is that the factory-built zero clearance fireplace is listed (it must be certified by a competent certification body such as Omni or Warnock Hersey). It must be suitable for use with solid fuel and nothing in the owner’s manual must specifically prohibit the installation of a fireplace insert. When in doubt, check with the fireplace manufacturer. The installation of the zero-clearance fireplace MUST be thoroughly inspected by a professional in order to ensure that it still meets the manufacturer’s specs and code conformity. The chimney must be of at least 1" (25 mm) larger in diameter to accommodate a required continuous stainless steel liner running from the flue collar to the top of the chimney termination.

    Never remove parts that serve to insulate the zero-clearance fireplace from combustible material. Only readily detachable parts that are easily replaced, such as damper parts, screens, and doors, are to be removed from the fireplace. These parts must be stored nearby and available for retrofit if the insert is ever removed. Removal of any parts which render the fireplace unfit for use with solid fuel requires the fireplace to be permanently labelled by the installer as being no longer suitable for solid fuel until the removed parts are replaced and the fireplace is restored to its original certified condition. Furthermore, any air vents, grilles, or louvers that serve to create an air circulation pattern around and outside the zero-clearance fireplace shall never be removed.
  15. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

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    Good post.

    So since you are a manufacturer, what is the difference in codes and or manufacturing aspect between a masonry insert and a ZC insert? some manufactures list both the same where as others list theirs seperately. They look the same, they work the same. is there more air gap on ZC or thick materials? Just curious.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The primary regulation is the testing done by both the zc fireplace mfg and the insert maker. If either says you can't do it, then it's end of story. If they say it's ok for their unit(s) then you are good to go as long as you follow the installation requirements for safety, flue and clearances.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Stephan, it looks like your fireplace maywork for a small insert. What make and model is it?

    We will need complete measurements to make suggestions for what will fit. However, I don't think you are going to get this done for less than $1300-1500, and that is only if there is height enough for some of the smaller inexpensive units and it is self-installed.

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