1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Masonry Fireplace - Install OLD E-Z Insert Wood Burning Insert, Need to remove Damper Throat or cut,

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by vjkevlar, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. vjkevlar

    vjkevlar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    Hello Hearth Family!

    Ive been reading alot on here and other sites and Im hoping you guys can help. I was given an old E-Z insert Wood Burning Insert and Im in the processes of installing.

    Before I bought the house 4 years ago I was told the chimney was relined, and I just had the fireplace cleaned (prior to starting the project) and they said everything should go right in.

    They left, I started the job and it doesn’t quite fit right, furthermore I found that my firebricks were one sneeze away from falling out. As nice as the Chimney sweep guys were, Im discovering they did a lousy job. They did not go on roof, no camera up chimney, just jammed a brush up and collected my money. I have used the fireplace fairly regularly the past 4 years, and the past 2 seasons it would smoke at times but not always. I have not used since the cleaning.

    Im going to replace the firebricks (already purchased bricks and refractory cement), and replace the 2.5 in with the 1.25 in thick bricks since they wont be directly in contact with flames now the insert will be going in. The thinner bricks should allow the insert to go just about all the way in. Behind the Firebricks is Cinderblock and concrete and there isnt combustible materials (wood) for at least another 8 inches thru about 8in of cinderblock or more. Also the fireplace/chimney is on the outside wall of the house and is brick all the way up. Does this sound ok? Do I even need to have firebricks between the insert and the cinderblock?

    The other question I have is, this insert is fairly old and the damper vent on the top is basically a 30 in wide slit that the damper control flap just slides against to close. There is no flange to put an exhaust vent to connect to the stainless liner. Once I get this insert in, I believe the damper hole will line up perfectly to the original damper that sits above the insert. Do I still need to have a connector from this insert to my chimney? (Sidenote: Although the previous owner said chimney was relined, I just looked up through damper frame and didnt see any stainless, confused.)

    I’ve already removed the original damper vent door, and in order to fit this insert all the way In I have to either cut a lip off the damper throat or remove altogether.

    Im low budget, and my 80yo house’s heating bill is off the charts, this would be a major help if I got it going, and safely.

    Thanks in advance.

    Mr. Freezing

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,033
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    Well, probably nothing you want to hear, but you need to know. The bare bones minimum connection of a solid fuel-burning appliance such as a wood stove or insert to an existing masonry chimney is referred to as a "direct connect". What this entails (requires) is a section of stainless steel pipe that connects to the appliance and protrudes up into the chimney at least as far as the first flue tile. This means it must go up beyond the smoke shelf (you'll also see these referred to as "slammer" installations). Furthermore, if the existing chimney flue is completely internal to the structure of the building, its cross-sectional area can be as much as 3 times that of the appliance outlet, but no larger. If any part of the chimney structure is exposed to the outside, that drops to no more than 2 times the cross-sectional area of the appliance outlet. In addition, dilution of flue gases by introduction of room air is to be prevented...which calls for a block-off plate at the damper throat of the chimney.

    Bottom line: no, you cannot just slide this old insert into your fireplace and operate it. It's a good deal more complicated than that...even for what's considered the least desireable way to install a wood burner. The danger is the very real probability of flue gases coming into the living space. I understand you're on a tight budget...but dying is pretty expensive too. Rick
  3. vjkevlar

    vjkevlar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    10-4 Rick.

    How did they install these beasts in the past without a Flange for a stainless connector to the flue?

    Is there a steel fitting that would cover this damper? Take a look at the photo.

    So I will of course heed all warnings.... how do you recommend proceeding further >

    K

    NOTE: The photo is of the back top, exhaust (damper door removed) of insert. Once Insert is completely in it perfectly aligns to my original damper throat. I intended on placing insulation around the insert face to seal any drafts from going around insert. The exhaust/damper is about the same size as my original firebox's.

    Attached Files:

  4. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    10,033
    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    Not trying to be a smart ass here, but quite honestly the best thing I can suggest is to scrap that old insert and get a more modern one that can be installed correctly. Rick
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,048
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I have to admit, this is sounding like a bit of a dangerous gamble. Running a slammer in an 80 yr old chimney could be a fatal choice if anything goes wrong. You're faced with a tough decision, but seeing how you are going to be paying for fuel this winter, maybe it would be best to borrow to get a proper, stainless liner in place and then shop hard for a used, EPA insert? If you anticipate spending a couple thousand in fuel, and already have the wood cut, split and stacked, I would consider this an investment in safety and comfort for the future. Done right, the liner will only be needed to be done once.

    Have you confirmed the chimney relining and that it was done correctly? If not, that is 80 yr old mortar that most likely has degraded in places to pure sand. Running a hot fire will find any weakness. A chimney fire could be the last this house ever sees.

    How is your wood supply and when was it cut up? How large an area will the stove be heating?

    FWIW, there are several used inserts for sale in the Philly area. Most are old smoke dragons, but I see an Osburn for sale amongst others.
  6. vjkevlar

    vjkevlar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the real input.

    If I found the right steel connection why wouldn't that work?

    How did people use these types of insert in the past?

    Thanks again fellas.

    K
  7. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,449
    Loc:
    Yukon Canada
    They did the slammer install and people died so they said no more and added another regulation to the code book. THE END!
  8. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    The right way to do it is to install an insulated liner inside your chimney first. If you insist on using that insert you need to adapt the top exit to a round liner.

    Listen to the choir.

    Where are you in PA?
  9. vjkevlar

    vjkevlar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    Excellent Song Choir.... Message Received. :)

    I should use a different Liner, Unfortunately I cannot afford one at this time. I'm taking the warnings seriously and will keep my eyes open for another option(s).

    Is there really no way to make this device work safely? Next step down, Have my chimney lined with an insulated liner and have an adapter from this deathtrap insert plugged into the insulated liner, and given that wasn't the 1st response im assuming finding a adapter to fit without leakage would be very difficult, right?

    I have very experienced welder friends, could modifying the insert to have an exhaust with flange for round liner connection with the same cubic size as original exhaust work? I know this is a crazy longshot but so far everyone here sounds very knowledgeable so Im appreciating the input!

    Doing my best to digest as much quality info as possible so I can make a solid/sound decision and keep my house warm/safely for the family.

    Thanks again.

    K

    PS: Im trying to heat my old home with lots of windows (taking other actions to reduce thermal loss), approx. 1500 sq/ft 1st floor and upstairs about 1000 sq/ft., Fireplace is on 1st floor, living room exterior wall.
  10. vjkevlar

    vjkevlar New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    I have an opportunity to buy a Alladin Quadra Fire 3100 in good condition...

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks!

    Kev
  11. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,056
    Loc:
    Salisbury, MD
    Not familiar with the Aladin, but newer Quadra fire 3100's are nice stoves, not sure if they came as an insert model.

    For your old insert what you are looking for is this, it will connect to the top of your insert:
    [​IMG]

    You will need this to connect your 6" stainless liner to the boot:
    [​IMG]

    Your round flex liner will look like this:
    [​IMG]

    I would recommend you installing an insulated liner into that old chimney which ever way you go.

Share This Page