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  1. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
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    This may take a while.....
    I bought a log cabin in the CO mountains that had a Heatilator fireplace and a prefab stick built 19' chimney on the outside wall and a brick hearth inside and fake rocks on the outside. I recently had a small insert installed in the fire box along with a SS 6" liner in the original 8" flue. It puts out more heat than the Heatilator but not enough. About 1200 square feet, all cathedral ceilings with a loft over about half that area.
    I have been on this site and many others trying to decide what unit I want to buy. I have looked at OWB's, Max Caddy, Kuuma, Blaze King etc. Not sure what my best options are at this point unless I can figure out if I can use the existing chimney and a wood heater. This seems to be the best option-maybe. It would appear that the piping inside the chase is a Class A off the original Heatilator-or at least that is what Heatilator shows in their specs.

    So, here is my question.
    If I remove the brick hearth and modify the inside area with some sort of alcove, replace the pipe with a new class a inside the chase with some type of support for the class a, can it be made safe and also meet code? Or do I need to tear the chimney down and start over?

    There is no duct work in the house, so any of the other above options didn't seem very feesible and power outages are not uncommon. I will at some time in the future make this my retirement home so keeping the hot water lines drained on a OWB when I am not there didn't make sense. Not always having dependable power, not wanting to deal with generators, but having heat all the time-makes me lean toward a big wood heater.
    If the chimney chase needs to be replaced, then maybe the other options are the way to go.
    I look forward to the replies and appreciate the help.

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  2. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
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    1,396
    Loc:
    41.33°N 74.18°W and 44.67°N 111.0°W
    Cpl pics and and a schematic/layout will help. Cathedral ceilings will require ceiling fans to help destratify the heat up against the ceilings.

    IMHO, sounds like a tear down and go LARGE, if you are going to spend the rest of your life there (envious) think it through, get multiple estimates, don't rush, and don't take the easy route of shoehorning another insert into what sounds like a prefab fireplace.
  3. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    Attached Files:

    raybonz likes this.
  4. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    The fireplace pics were before I slid the insert in.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    South Puget Sound, WA
    What insert was installed? Was this the largest that would fit?

    Rather than tear everything out I would contemplate extending the hearth, pulling the insert and putting a decent sized, rear-exit, freestanding stove in front of the fireplace. It can connect to the liner that the insert was tied into. That will be the least expensive route and it can look very nice. For a stove consider a Jotul Oslo, Woodstock Fireview, Quadrafire Cumberland Gap, Hearthstone Shelburne or Hampton H300?
  6. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    41.33°N 74.18°W and 44.67°N 111.0°W
    Looks like a prefab fireplace. Options are limited, as you probably found out when you were shopping for an insert to fit inside that thing. You should not have to touch the stone outside, to remove the prefab would possibly entail chipping/removing some of the inside bricks to remove the prefab.

    If electric service is an issue, and wood heat is the goal, I would consider a freestanding stove as it would provide more BTU's to the home if the fan/electric is not functioning. If floor plan allows, I would get some measurements, masking tape etc, and start considering the hearth modification requirements. You may be able to connect to the existing 6" liner, so I would concentrate the research on stoves with 6" outlets.

    Many more folks will jump on in the days ahead. I would take my time, consider all options.

    A rough draft of the floor plan would also help .... Thanks for the pics, cool looking place, congrats.
  7. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    The insert was a Sierra Cricket and it filled up the fire box.
    I need a stove that I can get at least overnight burns with softwood.
    You are making me feel better about a heater-Thanks
  8. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    Thanks for the reply.
    The hearth is about 18" higher than the floor so taking that down to almost floor level would bive me a good bit of room to work with on the flue piping.
    I am not in any kind of hurry to do anything permanent, but want to have a plan and time to find reliable/reputable folks to help me with the project. It might take me a day or so but I will draw up the floor plan and post it here.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like a Woodstock Fireview would be a nice fit. This is a catalytic stove and will be quite happy with softwood burning. Overnight burns should not be a problem. The stove has a Victorian look, some love it, some not. Let us know what you think. If you want larger there is the Hearthstone Mansfield and the Woodstock Progress Hybrid, but I'm a little concerned that these stoves might be a bit too much overkill for 1200 sq ft.

    http://www.woodstove.com/fireview
  10. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    Making sure I understand you correctly..
    The chimney is a stick built with fake rock over the wooden frame with a (I assume but will verify) a class A metal flue inside.
    If I hear you correctly, a wood stove and be adapted to that set-up, correct?
    Thanks
  11. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Colorado- near the Divide
    Well, get on it, we're waiting!:p
    Can you check with a good Mason, see what it would take to open up that chimney/hearth to accomadate a larger free-standing stove?
    Keep what you have, just open it up to fit a big stove.
    Careful demo., new steel frame and lintels, insulation, and re-brick the inside and you would be good to go.
    If you go that route, pick the stove you want first, then build off of that.
    Curious, are you N/E front range?
  12. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    No, Beetle-Kill, I am in the San de Christo's at 9200'. You had me convinced on the Blaze King thread to go with the King/cat model since it has such a huge fire box.
    I am hoping I can find a mason in that area and make that stove work with the top discharge and not have to go to a rear flue model.
  13. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Colorado- near the Divide
    OK, gotcha. My guess would be on the West side of "the potato patch". I have relatives there also.
    After the Christmas break, I can make a few calls to people, see if they could meet with you for a evaluation of your situation.
    Even though your SQ./Ft.requirements seem small, the King makes sense to me. PM me if you want.
  14. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    I will PM you when I figure out how to. Is it "start a conversation"?
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sort of correct. Based on the fireplace picture I was guessing an air-cooled chimney, but could be wrong. Do you know if the insert is connected to a liner or not? You'll need to establish exactly what pipe is in the chase and what diameter.

    FWIW, I suspect the BKK is overkill and a waste of money for 1200 sq ft. If you do have class A and a connection can be made, a BK Princess would be more than enough stove. Your call, but pay attention to alcove requirements if going top vent stove, in particular the side clearance requirements.
  16. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    The outlet on the ZC fireplace was 8" and the SS liner is 6" and the liner does connect to the top of the insert. The area between the 8" and 6" was stuffed and closed off at the top and bottom to stop any drafts.
    I plan to check out the original pipe when I get back up there.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Based on this info I suspect the chimney is air cooled and not class A. Could be wrong though, you'll need to verify. I'm not sure about connecting a freestanding stove directly to a liner when there is no fireplace left. That will need a code and clearance review.
  18. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Original Heatalator flue systems were all air cooled, not sure if they stayed that way as the brandname/co. was sold numerous times since the early 60's, and a lot has changed in the wood burning industry since then. I can't remember the current owner of the brand name, but thought I heard they were phasing it out.
  19. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    It is not a Class A.
    Now I guess I need to figure out if a 6" or an 8" Class A will fit in the chase and clear.
    If not I might be to plan C, and I don't know have a plan C.
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A rear vent stove connecting to the existing liner should still be in consideration.
  21. Malatu

    Malatu New Member

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    Maybe you could address the problem by having an energy audit done to the home. If adding more btu's via a new woodstove isn't a viable option, reducing heat loss might help solve your issue.
  22. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    Begreen, you may be right. I will still need some brick work done to make it fit right which ever way I go.
  23. Comanche79p

    Comanche79p New Member

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    I do think I need to address the crawl space as part of the whole project. The rooms that have carpet on the floor heat up pretty fast as compared to the areas with wood floors.
    Finding someone to do a energy audit that far in the boonies could be a challenge for me.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The hearth often needs to be extended when going to a hearth mount stove.For a hearth mount stove the main question is going to be whether the flue outlet on the stove will clear the top of the fireplace opening. This will depend on the hearth height. Pick out the stove first as hearth insulation requirements vary quite a bit between stoves. If you can post a picture a bit further back of the whole fireplace we may be able to make more suggestions.
  25. Fire Breathing Dragon

    Fire Breathing Dragon Member

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    Loc:
    Carroll County, MD
    We had a pre-fab fireplace box to start with and also had to find a rear exit stove just because I did not want to modify the box and add costs... We went with the VC Encore 2 in 1 cat stove which seems to be working out great for us so far this winter. We have heated 100% with wood so far this year in our 2,400 sq ft home (we don't use 2 of the bedrooms so we keep the doors closed on those rooms to reduce the heating area a little...) Some people are not crazy about VC but it has been working for us so far. You are doing the right thing in planning your work, then work your plan. :) I also considered a Harman stove I think it was which had a slightly smaller firebox and burn times were not quite as long. Good luck in your search!

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