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Need heat, dunno what to do in Indiana

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Glove, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Glove

    Glove New Member

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    I am somewhat new to keeping fires contained in a home. We just moved into a 2,000 sq ft single story brick ranch in central Indiana. The house had a propane vent-less mantle thing that killed us last year in cost of fuel. I have since removed that unit.
    Looks like there was a 'fireplace insert' there before and was removed. [​IMG]

    *I understand fireplace insert = logs in the hole and 'wood burning' insert= steel sealed air box.

    There is just the brick structure behind the stone wall and it stops right at the ceiling-
    [​IMG]

    inside the attic is only metal flue pipe / ducting. looks to be 8-10" inside diameter with a 12" (?) double walled outside?
    looking up through the hole you can see the damper /flue plates (?) and inside 'end' of the duct pipes-
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (I know its really big pipe in the attic)...the roof just has a sheet metal facade that looks like a chimney.
    I am wondering about installing a wood burning insert (really fond of fisher) vs a fireplace insert and maybe what codes I will be arguing with the insurance people.
    Also would like to know if I go with a wood stove 'insert' what the largest model I could fit into the hole.
    I have tried to provide pictures to help show the situation.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The need for heat is now. There is a 20x20 room addition that has no heat source- used to have baseboard heat but I removed it when we remodeled.
    (the rest house is all electric cable ceiling heat- no forced air ducts have ever been installed).
    [​IMG]

    and looking from the kitchen-
    [​IMG]



    ...so you can see I have a pretty open area to push heat into. I am just wondering how to do that. Do I use a fireplace, a wood burning insert, or knock some more stone out from the bottom and stick a freestanding unit in the hole.
    I have leads on some insert stoves that are in my price range. There is a Fisher Honey Bear close to me that (I think) I would like to have and I have a Fisher Baby Bear just setting in my garage... there is also Grizzly insert I like that looks like it would be a beast, but again, I just dont know enough to figure out what will work best for this application. I am looking for ideas, opinions and suggestions on what to do.
    Im open minded and dont have money falling outta my pockets. Also dont need my insurance co. dropping me. I dunno what regulations are in indiana (madison county).

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  2. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Welcome Glove.

    Others here can advise you better on the installation issues. My concern is your fuel supply. Any wood burning appliance will need very dry (like 20 - 25% moisture content) wood and that is going to be a real problem at this late date. Not saying it's impossible but it's very unlikely that you will find suitable wood now. Wood suppliers will always say that their wood is "seasoned", but it rarely is good enough. You may need upwards of three cords (just a guess). Do you have a line on good wood?
  3. Glove

    Glove New Member

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    *family has wood, well seasoned. not an issue.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome Glove. The whole fireplace appears to be a homebrew, that is not done by a professional. It's hard to say what shortcuts or errors were made along the way or up above in the attic. For that reason I am hesitant to recommend anything. You need a set of professional eyes inspecting the entire system first. I would have an NFI or CSIA certified person come out and inspect this setup from top to bottom first. If they condemn the assembly it may be better and safer to start from scratch.

    As far as stoves I think you will have greater blessings from the insurance company if you install a modern one. The added benefit will be that you will use less wood and will burn cleaner too.

    www.csia.org
    http://nficertified.org/pages_consumers/consumers-1.cfm
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
    PapaDave likes this.
  5. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Stoves more than about 10 years old are not cheaper in the long run at this stage of the game. You can get a list of EPA tested/certified stoves, which would help in weeding out smoke dragons. Looks are not everything,course one has to bend to the will of the queen somewhat. But this only a sanity issue;lol. What ever the marketing hype about a stove is, it is still an area heating appliance. one stove located on the far end of dwelling isn't going to due much for the other end.

    Advice on inspector should be heeded, but does look like a nice facade to install an insert in, behind and going up are questionable as well as the floor. Likely a liner or a new flue system will be needed. an insultaed hearth floor also. That 10-12" flue will not work for most stoves say from about 2000 on most run 6". Just to confuse you a bit a triple wall insulated 6" flue is about 10+ inches in diameter. going up that existing chase would require an insulated liner which may or may not fit down the exiting pipe.
  6. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    You are the only other person I've ever met that had the electric in ceiling heat (my aunt and uncle had this, in a home they built based off a design my grandparents had that used some sort of oil fired in ceiling heat). Electric heat would send me running just based on operating costs.

    I also think you'll want an inspector to look at that "fireplace". You might find you're better off removing the whole thing and starting over, either with a free standing stove or a whole new fireplace. When we bought our place, there was a corner with a stone surround and Fisher (grandpa bear?) installed in so many bad ways...the stove's corners were actually set into the morter between the stones! I'm not a fan of DIY stuff like that after seeing what was done wrong-I want to be the one DIY'ing so I know it was done to code (like our hearthpad). I believe it's Mike from England who's sig says something to the effect of "you're inviting fire into your home, do so with the utmost care".
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    My dad put electric ceiling heat in a porch room. It was actually kind of nice. Felt like sunshine.
  8. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Might have felt like sunshine above but the Grim Reaper was working on the backside
    webby3650 likes this.
  9. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    We have it. When we bought the place I had it on low in two rooms plus the Oslo was pumping away. Our first bill was over $500! I immediately killed the breakers and bought a Blaze King!
  10. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I moved into a house in the 70's that had ceiling cable heat. I loved it. Until I got the first bill... But it did feel nice.
  11. Glove

    Glove New Member

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    Thanks for the concerns...
    I am awaiting a stone mason to inspect the structure. The fella happens to be a veteran fireman too.
    I trust his judgement as a stone mason. He has built many chimneys and outside fireplaces and with his exp. as a fireman I am sure he will have input on safety.
    I do not think the structure is as bad as it may look but again, I am going to be having it inspected.
    The house was built around 1973 ish and I am 99% sure the fireplace structure was installed as it is now but only having a fireplace insert to cover those bricks. While it may not have been the best job, I do not think it is going to fall down.
    The house is on a slab and the back side of the structure is sort-of positioned on an interior wall that has a 2 car garage on the other side.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Looks like an odd combo on the backside. If might be ok with a liner. How tall is the chimney? One thing you can do is visually follow that pipe and look at its clearances from any combustible material. That includes studs, drywall, roof decking, roofing.
  13. Glove

    Glove New Member

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    The top of the bricks on the backside is 78 inches.
    There is a bunch of blown in type insulation around the pipe in the attic that I will be removing tomorrow.
    I was thinking to just replace the liner and make sure nothing was touching it passing through the attic.
    The roof is a hip style and it does get tight in the attic over where the pipe runs. might be issues with clearances there?
    I am pretty sure there is a triple wall liner in there, it might just could be double.
    All of the liner / piping looks fine aside from the end piece just inside the house. Looks like a sloppy removal caused that end to be cut or ripped. I am thinking a couple sections of pipe would make it right again but I want to verify triple or double wall and make sure the rest is in good shape. I can see clouds when I peek up and I have made sure no critters have nested anywhere all the way up. all clear there.
    *been waiting on the inspection for a week, the guy is a busy man. Sorta like to get as many opinions as I can....

    Attached Files:

  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you want to put a freestanding stove or an insert in there it will need to have a new stainless liner. Most modern stoves require 6" and a 15ft high chimney.
  15. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    There's a lot of water staining on the wood in thae first pic...
  16. Charles1981

    Charles1981 Minister of Fire

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    I am no professional, but looking at those photos makes me very concerned that ship ain't right there.
  17. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    1973, Heatalator zero clearance fireplace units were very popular, relied on a flue system that brought cold air down the internal outermost section of the flue, hot gas up the middle. Great for ambance lousy as a heat source. Parts no longer available, chimney/flue capping system always first part to go south resulting in water leaks. If its been up there this long you likely have some bad roof decking in that area and adjacent to it. ( speaking from experience) As these were self-contained there was no need for fireproofing in the structure surrounding it. I do know there were some other makes of a similar nature at the time as well. Basic systems the same though.
    Glove likes this.
  18. Glove

    Glove New Member

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    I think you hit the nail on the head Blades. sounds like what i have going on.
    Thanks guys for pointing out the leaky roof, there is a new roof on now and those leaks are from old damage.
    the decking is fine. the chimney and cap are sealed and no longer an issue.

    So with the zero clearance fireplace unit being gone I thought putting another 'insert' in and replacing the sleeve would be the logical thing to do.
  19. Glove

    Glove New Member

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    spoke to a fireplace company today. I was told if I can slide a 6 or 8 inch sleeve through the existing pipe and connect directly to the stove insert, that would be acceptable (provided all clearance to combustibles are met- he stated 1 inch was acceptable)
    The thing they were concerned with was the lack of having a "firebox" and that all installations require it.
    So does the masonry block inside need to be lined with something to be considered a firebox?
    * I understand the idea but I would think the stove insert would be the same as a zero clearance fireplace.

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