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Mantle clearance and blower noise concerns - Lopi Cape Cod Insert

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by HopeOnWater, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. HopeOnWater

    HopeOnWater New Member

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    I'm new to this whole insert game.

    Just bought a smaller home (~1,000sqft on the main level and a little less upstairs) with oil heat and would really rather not pay that bill every year. The ROI on a CNG conversion isn't there - nor am I interested in relying on a single heat source, environmental impacts, etc.

    We're looking at inserts for the fireplace and have all but settled on the Lopi Cape Cod Insert.

    Biggest concerns are this:

    1) It appears we may be 1-2 inches short on the "combustible clearance" requirement from the ground up (36-7 inches versus the required 39). Is this a big deal? Do we really need to alter our mantle in some way? Is this a fire hazard danger or does Lopi overestimate?

    2) Is the blower really loud? The concern is it will be an overpowering noise throughout the winter.

    3) Do we need a dedicated juncture box in the fireplace or can we run an extension cord down through the back of the fireplace to the clean-our door at the base of the chimney in the basement?

    Of course the capital outlay is what's having us be super cautious.

    Here's our set-up:

    DSC00664.JPG

    Thanks for any help!
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013

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  2. Tenn Dave

    Tenn Dave Feeling the Heat

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    Hold on - the Lopi experts should be along shortly.
  3. HopeOnWater

    HopeOnWater New Member

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    Sadly no one has. I could really use any advice!!
  4. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    1. I don't think they would over estimate C.C's so I would call the dealer/Lopi direct and show/explain the situation. Maybe they may say you can use a heat shield of some sort.
    2. Cannot answer that, don't have a Lopi
    3. The cord for the blower comes out of the side of the unit not the back and can be plugged in normally.

    The manual for the insert is on their site and they are normally quite informing of most if not all situations. When i doubt, ask the MFG and sleep well at night. I hope this helps. Others will chime...
  5. darkz71

    darkz71 New Member

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    I'm not saying my experience is the only way, but this may help.

    I've been looking for an insert too and when I checked with the dealer on the Jotul 550 Rockland the dealer said that my 46 and 3/4 inch clearance to the mantel didn't meet spec (57 3/4) so they would need to install a shield to pass inspection with the town. They showed me multiple styles that come down to either a piece of metal slanting forward from the stove top or metal installed under my 8 inch mantle on spacers to keep an air gap.

    Since the fireplace was one of my our favorite features when we bought this house none of that is happening so I won't be getting a Jotul.

    The inserts that stick out don't require as much clearance. Not sure what the Lopi looks like but maybe a model you can rest a pot on would work better.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The 36" requirement is from the stove top to the mantel. It needs to be respected. A possible solution would be a mantel shield attached to the lintel as shown in red here. Ask your Lopi dealer if this would be acceptable. If so, one can be fabricated and painted (or made out of a decorative metal like copper), then installed. The blower noise should not be an issue unless run on high speed all the time. Usually this is not necessary.

    Cape Cod clear.JPG
  7. HopeOnWater

    HopeOnWater New Member

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    Thanks BeGreen. The Cape Cod is actually a flush steel insert versus a cast iron stove.

    My understanding is in this case the measurement is floor to combustible mantle?

    It sounds like you're saying, regarding of that fact, even an inch or two of 3/4" thick wood on the mantle is too much combustible material?

    If so then bummer!
  8. HopeOnWater

    HopeOnWater New Member

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    The fireplace is a favorite of ours too, the mantle molding in particular.

    If you're looking for an insert, from what I've been told steel inserts (like Lopi) require less clearance versus the cast iron inserts like Jotul.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, I was thinking the freestanding Cape Cod. Why Lopi ever gave the same name to very different stoves is beyond me. The solution is the same. Install a mantel shield to protect the facing molding. If the actual mantel projection (where it is more than 1" deep) is over 41.5". Then you may be able to use a shallower mantel shield. Ask your dealer about this solution.
  10. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    If it uses the same blower as my liberty, it is very quiet on low. Most of the time I don't even know its on, if and when I use it. On medium its noticeable
    Woody Stover likes this.
  11. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    Just throwing something out here, but with the current insert removed that looks like a heck of a spot for a Woodstock Fireview.
  12. split level

    split level New Member

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    I too am new to the insert game. I'm also looking at a Cape Cod insert and have the same problem. I only have 33" clearance. I talked to my dealer about this and he said it's strictly to combustible material. I have a wood mantle right now, but I'm looking to see what I can do for a stone mantle. (which I've been told is all I have to do to meet code) One dealer told me to look for granite remnants. Anyway, that's my two cents. Don't know if it helps.
  13. HopeOnWater

    HopeOnWater New Member

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    I just went to the dealer today.

    A) The blower fan noise is virtually undetectable except when it's on high.

    B) The dealer came up with an acceptable solution to address the fact we're short 2-3 inches on the needed buffer for combustible material. Since the top of the Cape Cod insert surround protrudes several inches, he is going to have a piece of sheet metal cut that can be fastened to the top of the surround with high strength magnets. The metal will be painted the same color as the insert/surround. The magnets will be stacked two high, creating the needed air flow channel between the surround and piece of metal.

    This will accomplish multiple things for us:

    1) Meets code
    2) Protects our white painted molding from heat and discoloration
    3) Is removable whenever we wish
    4) Does not require us to compromise our molding

    Problem solved. I don't know if all Lopi dealers are this good, but these guys were great and spent a lot of time with us to figure out a solution. And that insert is nice looking.

    Bring on the wood heat this winter!

    Thanks everyone for weighing in.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    There ya go. A mantel shield is a common solution. It's good to hear the dealer is helpful.

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