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Jotul Insert Clearances & Mantel Heat Shield

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by vgrund, Jul 7, 2008.

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  1. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    Hi All,

    I've been haunting this forum since 2005 and it has been a great source of information. So, thanks.

    A couple of years ago I installed a gas insert in one of my two fireplaces. It is located in an infrequently used formal room located near the center of the house. We waffled on wood versus pellet versus gas when selecting that insert. It was already plumbed for gas (replacing wasteful gas logs) and not used frequently, so we went with gas and an efficient insert. It would have been nice to use a biofuel there but it was not very practical.

    Now I'm seriously considering installing a wood insert in my second fireplace. This fireplace is located in a frequently used family room that has a cathedral ceiling (shaped like the bottom half of the letter "A" above the 8 foot level, 14 feet high at the top). The family room connects with an open kitchen (regular ceiling), laundry area and, upstairs, a home theater that is located above our garage (see attached diagram). The home theater also has a ceiling shaped like the bottom of the letter "A", but it starts at the 4' level making for a low ceiling overall (you'll crack your head if you don't stoop near the walls along the long sides of the room). Experience tells me that heat migrates upstairs to the theater very easily, so I am including this space in my heating planning. We use it almost every night. It would be nice to be able to open the door to the theater a couple of hours before we plan to use it and be able to heat it with wood heat versus heat from the distant forced-air propane furnace. The area heated by the gas insert is adjacent to the kitchen area. However we've found heat from the gas insert does not migrate into the kitchen much at all, even with a fan. We assume heat won't migrate much in the opposite direction either, so we aren't planning to heat more than the area documented in the diagram with a wood insert. My measurements are rough but it is about 1000 - 1100 square feet in total.

    The house is fairly tight overall after several years of improvements but I would say the theater is one of the most lossy rooms in the house. It is insulated but the ceiling of that room directly connects with roof trusses and it is over a cold garage... The kitchen and family room are over an unheated basement but the floor is well insulated. There are a few too many windows for my taste but it is what it is.

    Anyway, on to the questions. I am looking at two Jotul inserts, the 350 Winterport and the 550 Rockland. I strongly suspect that the Winterport will be adequate for my needs but it would good to get some input here. It seems I'll have an issue with hearth clearance requirements for either model. The mantel is 8 inches from the wall and it is 50.5 inches from the floor to the bottom of the mantel. If I'm interpreting Jotul's specifications correctly, this situation requires a mantel heat shield. I'm curious how that works and what it looks like (haven't seen a picture). Both the Winterport and the Rockland have a high Wife Acceptance Factor, but the heat shield thing is a wildcard. I'm open to suggestion about other makers and models. I want to do things right for safety and right for looks so I can still live house post installation.

    I also need to figure where to put a large woodpile (the property is challenging from a sun perspective), but I'll research that issue before I post some thoughts on that.

    Thanks,
    Victor

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like goldilocks and the 3 bears situation. Could mama bear's bed (the in between sized Jotul C450) be just right? There are some mantel shield pictures somewhere here on the forum. I'll see if I can dig them up.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  4. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the picture, BeGreen. That clears things up for the C 550. Dear wife likes the low profile units which is why we zeroed in on the C350 and C550. That's probably something I can manage with her.

    Rereading the Jotul brochure, it looks like a heat shield is only an option for the C550? Well anyway, this is a question for a dealer in a day or so.

    Victor
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You might also want to look at the Hampton HI300 which has high WAF.
  6. gadgetgeek

    gadgetgeek New Member

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    I've only used a wood stove for one season now, but it happened to be a Jotul Winterport so I thought I'd chime in. I typically only ran it for 4-5 hours per night and I'm not sure how well seasoned the wood was that I was using since it was inherited, but I can say that most of the heat was directed forward and down. I set the blowers for their highest rate and left the air wide open to try to burn as hot as possible since I wasn't interested in an overnight burn. My mantel is about an inch or two under spec and my installer did not seem concerned. He said to put my hand under the mantel during a hot fire and if it was so hot that it felt uncomfortable that I should get the heat shield. I tried this a couple of times and it was never very hot. My bigger concern at times was the floor in front of the stove. My hearth is at floor level and I noticed the hardwood flooring in front of the hearth sometimes got pretty warm.

    The store where I bought the stove had to manufacture a bigger steel surround and they installed it without the extra heat shield. Seems to be OK. I can get dimensions if that helps. I am quite happy with the unit. It's very easy to operate, and one of the best looking stove inserts out there.
  7. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    I agree, the Winterport is a great looking insert. I'm not willing to compromise on code issues. Basically, if they spec something I'm going to find a way to meet it or find another stove. I can envision an insurance company finding a small code violation as a reason to deny a claim, an extreme example perhaps. I'll admit I am a safety freak. There is no good reason to cut corners.
  8. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    I showed that to my wife and she freaked. Most amusing to behold. :) I reviewed clearances for the three Jotul inserts. It appears that a heat shield is only available for the C450 and the C550. The C350 is ruled out due to clearances unless I'm totally misinterpreting requirements...

    Let me ask a different question. Can anyone point me to a few inserts that have smaller clearance requirements? Perhaps I can arrive at some other options by working backwards from clearances.

    A = 29.5 inches
    B = 20 inches
    C= 26 inches
    D doesn't matter, walls are far away
    E = 39.75 inches
    F = 50.75 inches

    Mantel is about 8" deep and is tiered on the bottom so that clearances to the floor reduce a few inches near the wall.

    Victor

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  9. Rich_CT

    Rich_CT Member

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    Victor, it looks like you've got mantel height requirements, that were similar to mine. I really preferred the flush look of the Jotul 450 & 550 inserts and the Lopi Declaration. However, I did not want to have to raise or replace my wood mantel. I finally chose the Quadrafire 3100i with an 8" mantel deflector. According to the Quadrafire manual, the minimum height requirement with the 8" mantel shield, from hearth floor to the bottom of the mantel is 38 and 1/2". The bottom of my mantel is appx. 39" from the hearth floor.

    Note: the Quad manual provides the insert height (21 and 1/2 inches) and minimum clearance from the top of the insert to the mantel bottom of 17" with the 8" shield.

    Rich
  10. Rich_CT

    Rich_CT Member

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    I've attached a pic of the Quad 3100i with the mantel shield. Not as pretty as the Jotul's but the wife and kids were warm this past winter :)

    Rich

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  11. renure

    renure Member

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    I am new here and have the same problem as the original poster. We ordered a Winterport 350 today as a matter of fact but I never thought to mention the mantle. From what I can see it is not available for the 350 but our mantle is quite close to the opening to our fireplace - about 6 " from the side and 7" from the top. Is this going to be a code violation?
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It depends on how far the mantel projects from the wall. Download the C350 from Jotul's website and check clearances listed on page 9. Without a shield, the mantle should be at least 48" above the hearth, but up to 54" above if the projection is >11". If clearance aren't there, call your dealer to discuss this in the morning.
  13. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    FWIW, the Hearthstone Clydesdale has slightly lower clearances. 24" from the top of the unit which 46.5" from the floor, if I'm reading the manual correctly.
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