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  1. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
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    702
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    NJ
    new to me house has this fireplace. can anybody tell me anything specific about it? how much can i expect it to supplement the oil burner? it has vents inside the bottom that i am hoping pull air from outside to feed fire. located in a central room with stairs to second floor and adjacent to vaulted ceiling living room with loft to second floor. previous owner stated they used it once or twice a year. this looks to be accurate as there is no heat tarnishing or creosote buildup. since it is original to the 25 year old house, should i get it inspected even though it has no use? i dont know how well you can see in the pictures, but the outside metal is kind of rusty. thanks in advance!

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    Elusive likes this.

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  2. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Jul 24, 2010
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    Central Michigan
    Lots of variables and I am no expert but certainly feel a good inspection and cleaning of the chimney is in order to reveal any issues. Unused chimneys can have birds/bees/critter nests, show signs of wear and such from the house settling and other potential issues.

    As far as the fireplace it does not look to be a super eficient model and is a bit dated so pound for pound it will not produce the heat that a insert or free standing model would but it will offset the heat bill and offer nice fire views.

    Going forward and after the chimney inspection by yourself or a pro you would benefit from potentially a chimney liner and stove upgrade depending on your ultimate goal.
  3. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
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    MD
    Nice looking hearth, but possibly a heat robbing monster. I wouldn't expect much from it, just nice aesthetics. Nice view of a fire really.

    Always get it inspected, never know if owners are telling the truth or what could have happened. Cheap insurance for that nice looking home.

    Good luck.
  4. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
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    4,048
    Loc:
    Central PA
    You should be able to find a local chimney sweep who can both sweep the flue and insepct to make sure it is in good condition and properly installed. Look for a chimney sweep who also does installations. I think I paid about $100 for this type of service when I moved into my house.

    I think a fireplace will definitely make the place feel more cozy but might not actually reduce your oil use a whole lot. If you're interested in heating with wood a new insert would be a lot more efficient than the fireplace. Ask the chimney sweep if the flue in suitable for a new insert. If it is you're looking at less than $1000 for a stove or insert. If you need a new liner than will cost an additional $1000-2000
  5. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
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    Loc:
    NJ
    heat robbing even if it is pulling air from outside? i was at least hoping to get all the stone warmed up and give off some heat.

    being that it is three sided, what sort of options would i have for a stove or an insert?

    ultimate goal is a wood boiler in the barn. trying to get ahead on wood now and maybe an install next summer if funding permits. then this fireplace will be for aesthetics only.
  6. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
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    676
    Loc:
    NW CT
    I don't think that's how fireplaces work. I was surprised to learn ours sucked more heat out of the house than it added. We put in a freestanding stove in front.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    46,958
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    South Puget Sound, WA
    Agreed, if the goal is heating I would consider opening up the front and putting a freestanding stove with a full liner in there. What's the opening height?
  8. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
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    Loc:
    NJ
    what i have is a Warnock Hershey Superior PR-7800

    what is with the vents in the back at the bottom?

    in the last picture top center is the pull for the damper. then there is a lever in the back that moves side to side. what could this be for?

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  9. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    NJ
    disregard the Warnock Hershey part, Warnock-Hersey is a test lab
    ScotO likes this.
  10. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
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    702
    Loc:
    NJ
    now that the heating season is here and there is a bigger audience around, does anybody that has not seen this thread have any input for me regarding the inner workings of this fireplace? have not had a fire yet as i am still procrastinating inspection but i am very curious about these vents in the back. thanks.
  11. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    Loc:
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    Yeah, heat robbing. If fireplaces were efficient, the wood stove never would have been invented.
    ScotO likes this.
  12. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    Jan 31, 2011
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    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I cannot find the manual for the superior PR-7800 three sided units. Can you confirm that is the correct model number?

    The other three sided units in the superior line have outside air kits that bring air from outside the house into the fire box. They also have combustion air control levers somewhere just inside the box to control the rate of burn. These sound like the vents and control you have mentioned.

    If the outside air kit (OAK) was installed there should be a 4" diameter or so flexible tube going from the bottom back of the unit to some outside area (maybe crawl space) of your house.

    While the unit is not as efficient as a newer stove/fireplace insert it will be more efficient than an old fashion open fireplace.

    Is it possible to post some larger pictures of the unit from the front with the doors open and closed?

    KaptJaq
  13. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    NJ
    confirmed: P R 7800

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  14. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
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    Loc:
    NJ
    IMG_0293.jpg IMG_0294.jpg IMG_0295.jpg IMG_0296.jpg IMG_0297.jpg IMG_0295.jpg

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  15. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Rochester,Ny.
    I would get that setup checked out and start me a fire if all is fine!

    It may do ok seeing the combustion air is from somewhere else besides the living space.
    I sure would give it a shot!
    BTW..there is a dead bug in that last pic..lol...next to last I meant.
  16. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    NJ
    IMG_0300.jpg
    so there is this fan in the boiler room which happens to be under the fireplace. the home inspector told me that is to kick on when the boiler room gets to hot in the summer. that explainatino never did sit right with me. what if there was a fire and the fan turned on? it would then be feeding the fire more air.

    anyways, i have never noticed it turn on. followed the wire for it to a switch. took switch cover off and it has been disconnected and capped with wire nut. hooked it back up and got fan running. i cannot feel any air movement at those vents in the fireplace. i will trace where the white tubing goes in the ceiling of the basement but i gots a brocken foot currently so i dont know when i will be able to do that. i dont even know if it is but if this is for the fireplace, wouldnt the basement be an inconvienient place to put the switch? wouldnt this blow smoke into the room when reloading?
  17. Elusive

    Elusive New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    36
    Loc:
    Linden, Michigan

    Yep. I got some decent heat out of my fireplace before installing a cleaner burning insert.
  18. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

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    NJ
    i am all for inserts in general and totally understand the benefit but i tihnk it would be difficult to put in with this setup and i would loose a lot of the aesthetics of having the peninsula type fireplace. plus, i will be putting in a wood boiler next summer. i just want to get what i can out of this for the current season.
  19. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Can you contact the previous owner to ask some of these questions? That might speed your detective work, and give you some idea of what they were thinking with that fan installation.
    ScotO likes this.
  20. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
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    NJ
    the guy that built and first lived in the house is the forester for the property. he wasnt any help. said he never even used it. and i am assuming whoever disconnected the switch did not know what they were doing either. going to borrow a borescope tonight and see where i can get snaking a camera around. worse case i take the fireplace apart or rip down the ceiling in the boiler room.
  21. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Seems to me it would be easier to pay someone come to inspect it?

    Can't find info on that unit, you could ask Lennox if they have the manual for it offline.

    Looks to be a Prefab zero clearance unit, if you are looking to put an insert in it you will be greatly hampered with insert selection.

    If you ask me I would rip it out and put a free standing stove in that spot, I think a Woodstock or Jotul would look great between those book cases.
  22. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    My budy who is a forester for a property has a fire place with heat exchanger tubes in it with a blower that blows over them, way diff than that. I did have a prefab zero clearance fireplace in a trailer I lived in 6 yrs ago. I basically heated that trailer that was not insulated well in the SC winter in all but the dead of night. I could get the thing to the mid 70s in the day/eve and the bedroom in the 60s, at night it would fall into the 50s and the ELECTRIC heat would cut on and sent the bill sky high. We used one of those tiny space heaters for heat in the bedroom. That thing looks like it could go either way??
  23. argus66

    argus66 Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    central coastal nj
    it looks great id use it as just a fireplace for warmer months and as a nice fireplace. how about getting a wood stove across the room or somewhere else in the house to help with the heat.
  24. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    looks kind of 80s or 90s to me. Iwould do what I could to get an insert in there or a free stander infront of that. Even if that meant rocking up the sides of that thing somehow.
  25. elmoleaf

    elmoleaf Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    390
    Loc:
    Southeastern Massachusetts
    Judging by the board clad chimney, you don't have a full masonry chimney and fireplace. All of that stone is just fancy chase covering. I suspect you could demo it right to the back of the fireplace...I suspect the balance of the construction there is a chase for two flues coming from the basement?
    The three sided and raised hearth extension is a real space killer. If it were mine, I'd demo everything except a stone clad chase adjacent to the back wall for the other flues. I'd then do a freestanding stove install on a flush or minimal height hearth pad. Perhaps raise the bookcases off the floor and extend the tops to the ceiling with some molding to make them look built in.
    If you are able, it may be worthwhile to get up on the roof and inspect the chimney chase for proper flashing and the condition of the flues and cap area.

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