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Newbie here with a new install consultation

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by glenlloyd, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. glenlloyd

    glenlloyd Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    des moines, IA
    Good day to you all. I've perused this forum for a while now but only recently became a member when I decided that it was time to put an insert in the fireplace.

    I've been looking at inserts for a while and although my house is only 1200 sq ft I've decided I would like as big an insert as will fit in the existing firebox. First because I'd like it to fill the space and second because the burn times are longer for larger fireboxes. Also, because my house is solid masonry, brick exterior and combo brick and tile interior walls, it is hard to heat comfortably and my nat gas bills continue to rise even though I continue to weatherproof the house more each year. Before the snow comes this year I'll have all new storms installed which I've been wanting for a while now.

    At any rate, 1200 sq ft, solid masonry, one level and an old but decent existing fireplace that needs to have a good insert so I get some decent heat.

    I've settled on a stove the size of the Avalon Olympic and in fact there is a new Olympic available from a third party (bought and never installed) not too far away.

    The house was built in 1917 and inside the house the fireplace is floor to ceiling masonry with the inner chimney core rising approx 17' from floor level. I appears to be at least 10x10" inside and I can stick my head inside the firebox with the damper fully opened and look straight up through the top of the chimney. I can't say it's a good design but I think it will be a fairly straight forward operation to line it.

    The dimensions of my existing firebox are as follows and I'm concerned that there won't be enough space to work with the liner on top of the insert once it's in place, but my concerns may be unfounded.

    Front at opening
    W 32
    D 18.5
    H 26.5

    At the rear the width is a tad less, 27" but since the insert only extends into the opening about 14.5" I believe that it should be alright. If it isn't I will dismantle part of the existing firebox at the rear and upper area since the depth also is less, at 15", where the existing metal damper assembly connects to the masonry. Also, my hearth extends 20.5" out from the fireplace masonry so at this point it isn't a concern, if I have to add a shield to the floor in front I will since Avalon says it needs 22+" in front of the insert. Width of the fireplace and hearth is not an issue, it's pretty sizable as far as fireplaces go, especially in a house this size.

    Avalon says the insert is only 22.125" tall, which leaves over 4" of space to work with the liner above the unit. Does anyone think there will be a problem here?

    Additionally, based on my observations I think that I can come straight down the existing chimney with the liner and not have to use any flex at all, there's no smoke shelf directly above the damper and the only thing I can see that might be a shelf is about 10' above on the outboard side of the chimney.

    Looking for some general comments and concerns here, I'd like the insert to provide primary heat in the winter and I have already stockpiled a respectable amount of wood for this winter. I'm not a big fan of forced air heating.

    If I've left off some critical info let me know and I'll try and add what I can. Looking forward to hearing everyone's comments

    Regards

    Steve A

    PS - been lurking here for a while and I have to say this is one of the best sources of knowledge regarding wood burning in the home.

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  2. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    Welcome to the forums, Steve, and you're right, you are in the right place :)


    Pics always help ( we love pics :))


    But if the FP can handle the Olympic, and the ability of it to handle 24" logs, and with that burn time, I'd say go for it. Less work, more heat :)


    How's the floor protection in front of the FP?
  3. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,060
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    Having only 4" of space above the unit is very common, you need to make sure the lintel is far enough back that it does not interfer with the outlet on the stove. It would still be possible, it will just might take some special parts to make it work. Any reason you don't want flex? It will be more cost effiecient and easier for you to work with.
  4. glenlloyd

    glenlloyd Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    des moines, IA
    From what I remember being in the crawl space under the living room the hearth has a traditional masonry substructure. On the surface is 20.5" (depth from fireplace out into room) of red unglazed tile. This 20.5" strip runs the full width of the fireplace front. In front of the hearth is .75" oak flooring over .75" fir shiplap.

    At some point in time very early a gas log was installed in this fireplace. I have never liked it and so I rarely used it. A couple years ago I smelled gas when I was near it so I disconnected it from the system. I still needs to be yanked out but that's just an hour or so worth of work.

    Thanks for the positive comments on the install. I don't have any photos of the fireplace yet but I will take some tomorrow when there's more light. I'll also try and setup a porta light so I can snap a pic of the chimney from the firebox.

    Steve A
  5. glenlloyd

    glenlloyd Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    des moines, IA
    Two reasons I didn't want to use the flex unless I had to, 1) the draw would be better without it and 2) the cost for the flex was a lot on the quote from my local retailer versus the rigid liner products.

    I'm not averse to using the flex in this case, but my observations last night led me to believe that there was no reason why a straight run would not be possible. I may be wrong but my calculations as to where the flue outlet on the stove will be in the firebox leads me to believe that it will essentially be a straight run up.

    However, I'm interested in hearing all comments about the best type of liner to use in this case. As you know Menards stocks Selkirk Supervent, but I don't see any info from Avalon that the Selkirk HT insulated piping is approved. I've read both sides of the insulated vs. uninsulated debate and I think the insulated variety would be the best for maintaining good flue temps.

    Thanks

    Steve A
  6. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    I used Magnaflex Insuflex double wall pre-assembled insulated liner. It has the stainless inner liner, ceramic insulation with foil backing and an outer sleeve of aluminum flex. The whole kit was $457 shipped (20 feet). Came with the top plate, chimney cap and appliance connecter... all 100% stainless.

    Insuflex Brochure

    Low cost, quality and easy.
  7. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,060
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    Great! That is a very good price.
  8. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,060
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    I assume you are talking about the class A supervent? This not made for relining a flue, it is intended for use with a free standing stove and a few other pre-fab fireplace applications. Do a google search for liners, you will find some very economical kits. If you insulate it, there will be no problem with the draft.
  9. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    The outside aluminum flex pipe of the Insuflex helps keep you from damaging the insulation during the install. The bottom of the pipe is pre-configured to accept the appliance connector. The only prep needed was to pull back some insulation. Sure is nice not having to install the insulation with spray adhesive, tape and the wire mesh at twice the cost. It was a no brainer for me. This stuff is 7-3/8" in dia. complete.

    http://www.fireplacesnow.com/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=68908
  10. glenlloyd

    glenlloyd Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    des moines, IA
    Thanks for information on liners, there are so many and in some cases the application isn't really clear, as in this case where I make little distinction between a 'stove' and an 'insert' since for all intents and purposes they are now mostly interchangeable. Also thanks for clearing up the issue with the class A Supervent product, I have used this for the wood stove in the garage I didn't realize that it is not suitable for interior relining although I had wondered about the weight.

    This is one reason I don't care for the big box stores, they basically have 'stuff' with little if any clarity on what gets used where and even the documentation they provide doesn't help much. It takes sites like this one with people who really know the ins and outs of it to guide you in the right direction.

    The following is what I was quoted as needing for installing the insert in my firebox.

    For a 17' chimney:

    tru-flex Type A 6" connector (1)
    6" x 5' Homesaver flex
    6" x 4' SS tubinox liner (qty 2)
    6" x 3' tubinox
    6" ss top support
    6" mushroom cap

    Total cost for the above was $883.21 (includes 10% cash n carry)

    I believe that the 'homesaver flex' is what he thought would be needed to navigate around the bottom of the chimney and damper opening to be able to connect. The balance of it is basically the quantity of liner needed to reach the top and associated accessories needed to connect, cap and seal the chimney.

    I admit I thought it was a bit high considering the kits I had viewed online, but I wanted a quote from him just for local retail reference.

    I will look at the kits online based on the information you guys have provided.

    Thanks again

    Steve A
  11. glenlloyd

    glenlloyd Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    des moines, IA
    Hello all,

    Here's a very old picture of the fireplace. You can't see much but I've listed the dimensions of the relevant parts.

    Note that the mantle shown is not original to the house and is (was) way too low. After removing the oversized mirror above the cheapy mantle I discovered a recessed oak box with another much smaller beveled mirror installed the bottom of which formed part of the original mantle which has yet to be recreated. I will get more pics tomorrow but this gives you an idea of the location...and also the annoying gas log and cheapy 'accessories' that came with it...haha.

    [​IMG]
  12. glenlloyd

    glenlloyd Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    des moines, IA
    picture of chimney interior from just about center top of the gas log. Top of the pic is interior side (inside of house) of the chimney. The orange thing at the top is the half-round clay chimney cap. It's approximately 15' from where camera was to clay cap.

    [​IMG]

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