new member ..looking for a wood insert

justin rivers Posted By justin rivers, Nov 13, 2012 at 9:38 PM

  1. justin rivers

    justin rivers
    New Member 2.
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    Nov 13, 2012
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    hi everyone ...i have been reading this very informative site and decided i should join. i am in the massachusetts area and have a 1700sq ft house 2 floors somewhat open concept ...house is only 2 years old well insualted. i have been trying to get away with using oil and figured that i could put a wood insert into my fireplace on the first floor ....i looked at a jotul 450 and a vermont castings montpelier ....i guess im looking for my most efficient option and any other brands or recomendations ....now on to the difficult part im having ...the depth of my fireplace is 20 inches ...the hearth is 20 inches only 40 inches to work with and the people i talked to today were giving me a hard time saying that my hearth needs to be at least 16 inches from the front of the unit ....they want me to buy some type of pad that i dont really want as i have brick and its level with my floor ....the width of the fireplace in the very back is 19 inches and the height is 27 inch the width of the front of the fireplace is 36 inches i have plenty of room to the top of the mantle and sides of mantle ...also what is this blocker everyone keeps talking about installing ?
     
  2. Grisu

    Grisu
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 1, 2010
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    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    Hello Justin, welcome to the forum. If you can post pictures it will help with giving you some better advice.

    Since you say your house is well insulated I guess a medium size insert with a firebox of ~2 cu ft would be sufficient. The two you were looking at would fit in that category. The problem is you will need at least 16 inches from the door of the insert to the end of your hearth. No building inspector or insurance company will let you get away with less. So you have the option of extending the hearth or looking for an insert that protrudes less than 4 inches into the room. I wanted to suggest the Osburn Matrix as it is a flush insert which would work with your hearth but I don't think it will fit in your fireplace opening. The Regency Alterra is another one but the firebox is really too small for your application. The Lopi Declaration may actually fit: http://www.lopistoves.com/product-detail.aspx?model=340#dim-tab
    Others with more knowledge of the different options will surely chime in, too.

    Now another important point, shamelessly copied from another posting from me: The most important part of a modern EPA stove is nice, dry wood! Do you have already several cords of wood split and stacked for at least a year? If not I would consider getting the wood this winter and wait with the insert purchase until next year. You may be able to get a bargain in the spring/early summer and the installation may also happen much sooner. If you want to buy seasoned wood you will need to ask when the wood has been split and stacked. Be there when it is delivered and check a freshly split surface with a moisture meter. It should read a moisture content of 20% or less. To reach that most wood species need a year split and stacked and some like oak even 2 to 3. Wood rarely dries when still in logs.
     
  3. justin rivers

    justin rivers
    New Member 2.
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    Nov 13, 2012
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    thank you for the response ...i do like the lopi model you suggested ...i have wood that i use for my fireplace currently its from leominster and its some type of compressed logs ... i think they are called prestlogs ..they work great ......here are some pics
     

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  4. flyingpig

    flyingpig
    Member 2.
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    Jan 23, 2010
    188
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    Loc:
    Cary, NC
    I have the Declaration insert and my fireplace is pretty much like yours. It heats our 2000 sq.ft. colonial pretty well. The insert allows us to install it without extending the hearth due to the flush installation. The negative side of flush install is the effectiveness of heating your home will drop down to less than 10% w/o fan. I like it except that it's a bit too hot for mild climate and burn time is only about 10 hours. If you are in mild climate like me, you may want to look into catalytic insert instead.

    Oh..also your TV will need to be removed cause it'll be way too much heat going that way.

    Welcome to the gang......Som
     
  5. justin rivers

    justin rivers
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    Nov 13, 2012
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    good to hear that the unit works like it does ....problem though with the tv is that the way my room is and design the tv is staying put ...the unit wont be run without the fan and if i have to extend my mantle to block heat from the tv i will ....i get the room cranking with the fireplace as is and the temperature above where the tv is doesnt change much ...i use a laser temp to check it and it seems fine
     
  6. flyingpig

    flyingpig
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    Jan 23, 2010
    188
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    Loc:
    Cary, NC
    One consideration for heating w/o fan is when you lost power. Many of us choose wood heat because of that benefit. I bought a small USB powered fan recently and if I use it with a small UPS it should last at least 100 hours. That small fan won't create much of the airflow but it'll better than nothing. I'll need to test it though. :)

    I think Lopi has a mantel shield. It's a metal plate installed on the top of the insert face plate. Not sure they have one for Declaration.

    Cheers......Som
     
  7. Burd

    Burd
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Feb 29, 2008
    438
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    Loc:
    Bell bell Pa.
    Your TV will be fine were it sit. My tv is on my mantal right above my insert.
    Have you looked into a napoleon 1402 insert?
     
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  8. justin rivers

    justin rivers
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    Nov 13, 2012
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    napolean wont fit unless i extend my hearth which i dont want to do
     
  9. pdxdave

    pdxdave
    Burning Hunk 2.
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    Aug 16, 2010
    219
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    Loc:
    Kirkland, WA
    Som,
    You really getting 10 hour burns from the Declaration ? I have this stove too, and I'm hard pressed to get much more than 6 hours of good heat out of it. Just wondering what you might be doing different, or different in your setup. Seems alot of the other Declaration owners here have short burn times also.
     
  10. justin rivers

    justin rivers
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    Nov 13, 2012
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    ok so i looked at the lopi and it looks like it will squeak into my fireplace and still leave me my 16 inches of hearth ...this is the decloration model ...next question is are there any other inserts that resemble the dimensions and the back of the lopi meaning that the back angles ...and also are there any people in the ma, nh ,conn, area that can recommend where i can purchase one of these for a descent price
     
  11. jotulguy

    jotulguy
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Oct 9, 2010
    345
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    Loc:
    central Pa
    Yankee Doodle in Danbury Ct has those and a few others. I am not sure if that is close to you.
     
  12. SuperGenius

    SuperGenius
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    Dec 18, 2012
    16
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    Loc:
    Central MA
    Justin, if you haven't yet, you're probably better off buying in tax-free NH, but I noticed yesterday the stove place on Rt 20 in Shrewsbury has the Avalon version of the Declaration on sale. They also have several Jotuls and a Morso 5660 on display (the sales guy said they get 10+ hrs burn time from the Morso, FWIW). I'm looking at flush-mount, contemporary style inserts and narrowed it down to those models, plus the Regency Alterra CI1250 and Osburn Matrix. My goal is just to get maximum heat from the wood I'm burning and use a bit less oil in the process, so I'm okay with a smallish insert. I discovered many of the dealers listed on mfr websites are gone, so call before you drive anywhere.
     
  13. lobsta1

    lobsta1
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    Sep 6, 2007
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    Eastern Ma.
    I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings & I could be wrong. Didn't they change the code to require the hearth to extend 18" from the front of the stove door?
    Al
     
  14. Heatsource

    Heatsource
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    Dec 19, 2011
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    Loc:
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    national code has always been 18 unless the stove manual says otherwise
    local codes may vary
     
  15. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Oct 15, 2008
    510
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    Loc:
    Plymouth, Minnesota
    I had to make my hearth bigger for the blaze king insert. You may want to consider this insert... It has great burn times.
     
  16. SuperGenius

    SuperGenius
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    Dec 18, 2012
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    Loc:
    Central MA
  17. SuperGenius

    SuperGenius
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    Dec 18, 2012
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    Loc:
    Central MA
    I assume once the insert is installed, the effective firebox opening is reduced to that of the insert, in which case 16" would easily meet code. When a friend of mine had his insert inspected, the inspector added the 13" horizontal projection to the 4" hearth height and gave him the thumbs up. I guess it all depends on the interpretation.
     
  18. flyingpig

    flyingpig
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    Jan 23, 2010
    188
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    Loc:
    Cary, NC
    Dave - Sorry for late reply. Yes, the fan still running after 10 hours but it's only lukewarm air so I can't really say it's a "productive heat". Stove temp on the center door will be between 150 - 200F in the morning and I can easily do a warm start from left over coal.

    The only thing I may have done differently is I try to reload the last set of wood while the stove is much hotter (350 - 400F) and normal end of cycle (200 - 250). With this I don't waste much of the outgas from new wood to get up to the temp and I can turn down the primary air early. Oh.. I also try to load E/W these days and let them burn from front to back instead of N/S. I get cleaner glass this way too.

    Cheers.......Som
     
  19. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Oct 26, 2011
    312
    122
    Loc:
    Capital Region, NY
    I do like my avalon perfect fit and my buddy has the avalon olympic........they both work great.....if I were to do it again not having got the awesome deal I got on my perfect fit I would go with the olympic...bigger firebox only bumps out a couple of inches.......The reality is that most inserts (that is high end, efficient burning ones) are literally all built in the same place....the exteriors are different and therefore they all appear different. Must have fans to move heat outwards....When we first had ours installed fan sensor was busted and it took a couple of days for the guy to get back and replace it. an insert in worthless without a good fan. pointless, really. When I use a fan to move cool air towards the insert and have a good fire going with the fans on the house gets nice temps, way better than I could ever afford to get with my oil furnace forced air.
     

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