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LP fire place inserts

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by gone fishing, Jan 7, 2009.

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  1. gone fishing

    gone fishing New Member

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    I am going to put a LP insert into my fire place. I just started the process. I am looking for any information you all can provide. I would like to hear if any one has a manufacturer they like or one they just hate. Also any do's and don'ts. Any input will be appreciated Thanks Gone Fishing

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Well, for starters measure the height & width - front & back - of your fire place, along with the depth from front to back.
    This will allow us to size an insert to your opening.
    Measure the area of the room you want to heat with the insert.
    This will allow us to size the BTU output to your home.
    There are a number of manufacturers out there who make hi-quality units.
    There are an assortment of fronts, surrounds, log patterns, finishes & options available.
    Some units look really good, but don't generate a lot of heat...
    Some units generate excellent heat, but aren't that aesthetically pleasing...
    Do some homework.
    There are probably enuff of us in here to give you ALL the info you need to make an educated product selection.
  3. trafick

    trafick Member

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    Just wondering if you have thought about going to a gas stove? This fall I was thinking about the same thing. I had a fireplace but wanted something that could help the wood stove (in the basement) heat the house. We wanted something convenient and had NG already in the house. I thought about EVERYTHING including gas logs. I had my dealer/installer (Jotul) over to have a look see at the fireplace before hand and suggestions about a wood stove, a wood insert, a gas insert, a gas log, even leaving it a wood burning fireplace were all thrown about. Someone finally suggested a gas stove. I told the dealer that a gas stove was probably out of the question but to leave the brochure anyway and I would have a look see.

    Well after another few weeks of hemming and hawing we decided to go with the gas stove. We got a Jotul Allagash 300DV along with the brick kit. The main reason we picked it over an insert was the looks of the gas stove. I could open the doors and it looked like a little fireplace. No need for a blower to have heat (power outage). I also believe it was a few hundred dollars cheaper than the insert.

    All in all we are very happy with our choice as I'm sure you will be with yours.
  4. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Loc:
    British Columbia
    We have a wood insert downstairs and a LP insert upstairs. We do not have and likely will never have access to NG in this rural area. Too bad-it`s way cheaper.

    Ours is a Napoleon and is a very good choice. Trouble free for the past 5 years. We only use it for ambience and for when the power goes out. That`s it. LP is very expensive,too expensive to be considered a viable alternative heat source. If you have one with a btu input of 30K, then you will burn up a gallon of propane in approx. 3.5 hours running it on maximum.

    Try and get one with a better than 50% turn down. So you can save yourself a little loot when you don`t need lots of heat. For example if you can turn down that 30k input to 15k then a gallon of LP will last you approx 7hours.

    Hope we all have given you some things useful to consider.?
  5. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Amherst, NH
    Sonny gives good advice. I have a Heat & Glo firebrick model and I'm extremely pleased with it. LP is our fuel (no NG) and we keep it dialed back a lot. The output is 27K - 38K BTU/hour. On high it will bake me out of the room. It is not an alternate heating source because our furnace is propane. But, it is a very viable backup for the furnace should it fail for any reason.

    It is an ambiance insert in a formal room. I run it for an hour or two 4-5 times per week, sometimes longer. It heats efficiently, especially compared to the 60K BTU/hr gas logs it replaced (they should be banned). The firebrick avoids the paint peeling issue I've seen in painted steel models.

    Victor
  6. Fire Bug

    Fire Bug New Member

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    Loc:
    Clarks Summit,Pa.
    Hello Gone Fishing,
    Welcome.
    We have a Heat & Glow FB Grand Insert that looks great & VERY REALISTIC burning that throws out fantastic heat and even looks great when it is not burning.
    We also have a Jotul DV Firelight II DV gas stove that looks great and also puts out some fantastic heat.
    Both are produced by well established companies and are fueled by propane, but I have run into,(what I beleive is quality control problems), with the Heat & Glow FB Grand Insert, even though I beleive it is still the most realistic burning that we have found.(My opinion).
    Other people have had no problems with this unit.
    My best suggestion to you is to shop around from one dealer to another and pick the unit that you like the best when you see it burning in the dealers showroom and than concentrate on the heat output of the unit. You have to decide first what is your first priority, realism when burning or heat output. If you get really lucky like we did, you can have both.
    There are a great number of units and manufactures to choose from and it can become frustrating if you let it.
    Also, an optional remote control thermostat will let you use your unit at a constant burn or control the on/off of the unit by room temperature, saving you some money. I would definitely recomend one.
    Once you pick your unit out you will have to decide on a wide variety of fronts avaiable for the unit. Again, pick out what you like.
    If you have more questions, feel free to ask, there are plenty of experts on this website that can help you with great advice.
    Good Luck!
    John
  7. fueldude

    fueldude Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    Kozy Heat and Empire Comfort Systems make excellent inserts and are a good price for the product. I have sold quite of few of each and have had nothing but good luck with them.
  8. atog254

    atog254 New Member

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    1st State
    Since I have a wood-stove and a wood furnace in the basement, I have considered coverting our wood fireplace into a gas log. However, my fireplace is a Heat-a-lator and I am not sure I can drill thru both the brick chimney and then the metal surround for the heat-a-lator.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Stove vs Steve
  9. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Hey, atog254,
    <>Since I have a wood-stove and a wood furnace in the basement, I have considered coverting our wood fireplace into a gas log. However, my fireplace is a Heat-a-lator and I am not sure I can drill thru both the brick chimney and then the metal surround for the heat-a-lator. <>

    There are a coulpe of different fireplaces that are considered "Heatilator."
    One is a masonry fireplace with 4 (2 upper/2 lower) vents to either side of the firebox...
    The other is a zero clearance fireplace manufactured by Hearth & Home Technologies (HHT) & labelled Heatilator...
    Which one do YOU have?
  10. atog254

    atog254 New Member

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    Morning,

    I have the masonry fireplace with the 2 upper & 2 lower vents.

    The entire chimney = fireplace is center between living room and dining room and can be walked around. Both rooms have a cathedral ceiling 8' low side to 16' high side.

    I can provide gas piping from basement and could drill thru bricks and then metal casing of the heatilator, but want to get some advise before I proceed.

    With the other wood burners just do not use much and thought that by converting to gas, could at least get some visual comfort.

    Thanks for the replys

    Stove vs Steve
  11. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Hey, atog254,

    <>I have the masonry fireplace with the 2 upper & 2 lower vents.
    The entire chimney = fireplace is center between living room and dining room and can be walked around. Both rooms have a cathedral ceiling 8' low side to 16' high side.
    I can provide gas piping from basement and could drill thru bricks and then metal casing of the heatilator, but want to get some advise before I proceed.<>

    Do you have a basement below this structure?
    Is it a see-thru (2-sided) firebox?
    The easiest way to get your gas line in is thru the ash cleanout IF you have one. That way you will have minimal drilling & the "Fireform"
    box doesn't figure into the equation...
    You simply punch a hole thru the block in the basement into the ash cavity & run the gasline thru THAT hole & up thru the clean-out with CSS Flex pipe...
    The other way is with a BF drill bit & BF hammer drill. Punch a hole at an angle from the basement & up at an angle that enters the rear of the firebox - OR to one side or the other...(This one is a WORKOUT!)
    HTH
  12. atog254

    atog254 New Member

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    Daksy

    You may have given me the spark to take on this task. Never thought about approaching this from the bottom of the firebox! Always thought of drilling thru the side once I piped up from the basement.

    The fireplace is NOT a see-thru! And I can access the foundation of the chimney from the basement backside very easily. This side has my Riteway wood furnace the other side is faced with stone and has an "All Nighter" wood-stove. Both companies are out of business but I love them! The chimney has 3 flues and was insulated with vermiculate when built to reduce creasote build up.

    I just completed a check up on the damper motor of the Riteway. It did not function properly last night. After dis-assembly and clean up, everything is now working properly. The Riteway is ducted into the main heat pump system and used when temperature are in low digits! Both having separate thermostats. Been working since Jan. 1988! Until last night, have only had to replace a few firebricks and annual chimney sweep.

    With all this wood heat, we hardly use the fireplace up stairs. That is why we are considering conversion to gas.

    I have just about any tool a good shop needs and the knowledge to use them. If I need a special tool I have several contractors I can borrow from.

    I usually am the person my friends call on for projects. My father was one of the first electricians in the state and his best friend taught me plumbing as a kid and he later became the plumbing inspector when I built this home. Broke ground in Nov. and had my CO in July of 88 doing most of the work evenings and weekends.

    I took a different route and wore a black hat (Bad Guy) for the State. I was a Fuel Tax Auditor until I retired last year.

    I will have to do some measurements to determine the size we need for this project, but having a better approach to getting the piping into the firebox has me considering this more quickly than before.

    Thanks again,

    Stove vs Steve
  13. Fire Bug

    Fire Bug New Member

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    Hi Fuel Dude,
    Where are Kozy Heat Units made? Are they a foreign brand?
    I have heard of them and there are two dealers in my area that handle them but I never saw one in operation.
    John
  14. fueldude

    fueldude Member

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    Lakefield, MN. Their gas units are second to none, and for what you get their price point is awesome.
  15. Fire Bug

    Fire Bug New Member

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    Hey Fueldude,
    I will have to take a peak at them. The dealer that I purchased my Jotul DV600 Firelight gas stove from carried them but I really didn't give them a second look when I was purchasing my Heat & Glow FB Grand Insert.
    I think maybe the time has come for me to get rid of the Heat & Glow FB Grand. I love the unit for its realistic burn and heat output but this sucker has been nothing but headaches since the day I purchased it. Not even Heat & Glow can remedy the problems that plague it. It truly has to be the WORST product I have ever purchased.
    A,(over three thousand dollar), beautiful burning, great heating piece of junk! (NO QUALITY CONTROL, WHAT SO EVER, ON THE PART OF THE MANUFACTURER).

    John
  16. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Damn, Fire Bug,
    Still no resolution...FWIW, you musta got a lemon...
    I sell 10-15 of these a year & NOBODY has had the issues that you've encountered...
    We DO have a customer with another HnG FB type product - a gas fire place - who is getting jerked around, tho, & our owner is pulling his hair out trying to get the problem resolved...
    Seems like most of their products are trouble-free, high-quality units, but when one has a problem, it's a BIG NEVER-ENDING one...
    Matter-of-fact, I have an issue with the blower in my 6000TRX-I, that's baffling me, but I'll figger it out sooner or later...
  17. Fire Bug

    Fire Bug New Member

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    Hey Daksy,
    NO TRUER WORDS HAVE EVER BEEN SPOKEN!!! AMEN!!!
    "When it rains, it poors"!! and to think that we spent five years of our life researching these inserts for quality, heat, ambience, and a reputable company who manufactures them. Hell, they are the pioneers of the Direct Vent System.
    I have heard from another owner of the FB-IN, who was aware of the peeling paint on a number of production run units, but his wasn't one of them Thank God. But guess who's was?
    We started out looking at vent free gas logs, thank God our research steered us clear of them.
    We have been looking at the Heat & Glow Brand since the FB Grand was the CFX Grand with the total white ceramic firebox. Remember that? Than we found the FB Grand and the only thing missing was a blower, and low and behold, a year or two later a blower was born unto the FB Grand.
    Maybe we were better off to walk into the dealers showroom and close our eyes and point to a certain insert. Possibly, this may have been more fruitfull to our endeavors instead of five years of research,LOL!
    I am thankfull we chose a high quality unit from a reputable,WELL ADVERTISED Company. What the heck are the cheap, trashy, units like? What happened to Vermont Castings as a reputable company producing "Top Gun"products? They are not the same company that they used to be, but the name is the same.

    The Bug
  18. fueldude

    fueldude Member

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  19. Fire Bug

    Fire Bug New Member

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