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Newbie - Install on 1983 Blue Ridge Insert: Chimney Questions

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by zzr7ky, Jun 12, 2006.

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  1. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    I's trying to install a 1983 Blue Ridge insert into a metal Heat a lator type fireplace. The fireplace is in good shape. No detectable rust (I poked around a good deal with an awl).

    I'm ging into a large 8"x10" tile flue 14' tall. Seems like the chimney would be too large and cold... Wondering why I would not just plumb all the way up with 24GA black stovepipe.

    I am planning to replace the door gaskets. The stove has no cracks etc. I am strapped for cash.

    Thanks,
    Mike P

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Please help guide this nice newbie right. He wants to install an unratered insert in a pre fab fireplace using 24 ga connector pipe as
    his chimney. I might note he has not yet talked to the local inspector about his purposed install?. My mellow demeaner does not allow me to point out the dangers of this purposal.
  3. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Black pipe will rust away and cannot be used in the manner you are describing. You need a stainless steel liner to be safe and code compliant. Make sure the Blue ridge insert is UL listed, and even if it is being 83 vintage it's still an inefficient smoke producer. Make sure that such a creature can be installed in your neck of the woods. Many municipalities require EPA rated units for new installations. The best piece of advice I can give you is to talk to a pro in your area, find out local requirements for installation. I'm not meaning to sound rude but if you were planning on installing black pipe as a liner then you really have no clue about safe installation practice and have alot of homework to do.
  4. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Thanks -

    I've spoken to the loacl inspectors. They are OK with it if installed per the manufacturer's specs, even old specs. Not much help.

    I'll talk to local shop.

    From reading on-line is seems that a stainless liner will be needed for starters.

    Thanks,
    Mike
  5. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Yeah skip out on the 24 gauge mild steel. The conditions that a liner faces make mild steel stovepipe an unsafe choice.


    If you don't have the manual for the stove, see if you can't get a hold of one. It might prove to be helpful. I'll keep my eye out and see if I can find one for you.
  6. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    If you're AHJ is ok with it being installed, then I would recommend getting the SS liner.
    1. Clean the chimney and smokeshelf thoroughly.
    2. Remove the Damper (and damper frame if necessary)
    3. Lower the liner down the chimney (2 people recommended for this)
    4. Attach the liner to the insert. Don't forget to install a blockoff plate at the damper throat.
    5. Cut excess liner extending from chimney and install your top plate cap and collar.

    This is a basic rundown. Every install is a little different. If you have more specific questions just ask.
  7. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    I'm going to pass on the old Blue Ridge.

    I'm still looking for an insert unit. I am still looing at used. I'll plan on a stainless liner. I think I'll be happier taking the voices of experience into account.

    I'll start trolling the local dealers for info as well.

    Any brands for inserts you favor? I'm only familiar with Jotul and Vermont castings.

    Thanks,
    Mike
  8. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I like Lopi & Avalon for steel stoves. They hold up good and are simple to operate. Try to get something from the early 90's. Scout the classifieds, people take wood inserts out and replace them with other fuels alot. Try to get something witha 6" flue collar it will save you big$$ on your liner. Another good way to find a good insert like that is from stove shops. Give them your name and number tell them what you're looking for and if it comes across they'll probably call you. Go back in every couple of months because those lists tend to get recycled if they haven't found anything for you by then, alot of times they just figure that you've probably found something. Welcome to the forum hope you visit often.
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    We need info about you pre fab Fp Brand model opening sizes. The worst mistake you can make is spending to little and getting a dangerous worthless piece of junk. As you may have guess I'm an Inspector and if all goes right I will become a state inspector.
    However as an inspector, I would require proof of what your current firplace is distances to combustiables your current flue conditions. Before I would ever issue a permit. Really if I do my job correctly, You are not looking at living in a motel room,till the insurance decides how much pay out to reconstruct that burnd down home. Sounds like you local inspector has never attended one of my seminars. He too needs to get up to speed and get with the program. We here can,advise you of a wise, safe, correct instalation and decision making process. Your intro was mighty shaky. You may PM me any time or e-mail me questions still better yet post them. What state do you live in KY?
  10. skypager

    skypager New Member

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  11. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    The fireplace is it is a one of those masonary “heatilators” with a steel liner and heat ducts on the side. It has a 16" deep stone hearth projecting from the front of the FP opening. It is a masonary structure 8' wide.
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Fireplace sounds fine - it is a masonry unit with steel heat form. The flue size is 8x12 as you say (which are usually 7x10 or so inside diameter).

    Yes, the Blue Ridge of about 1983 is probably UL listed and the manufacturer is in business, so you (or whoever you sell it to) may be able to find documentation.

    Stainless is the way to go because it will last many years while the black pipe can rot out quickly. I think Elk found black pipe that caused a fire (and I think perhaps a fatality) this year, so you don't want to go there.

    All in all, if you have the bucks a clean burning insert is the way to go. It is even possible that you might get some money to do this - there are programs called "stove changeouts" that pay for the old stoves! Check by asking your dealer or doing some googling.

    As far as specific stoves, most newer ones are pretty good. You rarely see negative reviews here on ANY of the newer units....so it comes down to fit, price and style. You can get something without all the bells and whistles and it will do the job just fine...or, you can go all the way - depends on your pocketbook.

    Good luck and thanks for visiting.
  13. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    OH, I didn't see the "strapped" part.

    Note: if your tile flue interior is less than 3x the cross section (2x if exterior) and in good condition, you can use it without a liner....although given the fact that most masonry fireplaces are built incorrectly, I think this could be unsafe. If you are broke, look on eBay for liner kits as low as $300 or less for that height.

    For lowest price stoves, consider a unit on the hearth or partway back in (A Hearth Stove) as opposed to an insert with blowers. You have to check clearances to wood, etc. but this type of install can often give you more for your money. With enough digging and DIY you might be able to get into something new for less than a grand.....installed by you, of course....even less if you can find a newer "used" model. Sometimes folks are switching to gas or pellets and want to get rid of a ten year old stove that they hardly used.
  14. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Thanks!

    I'll troll the local dealers.
    I'll measure my hearth area in deatil.
    I'll plan on a stainless liner.

    and I'm in the market for a quality hearth or insert Non-Cat stove in South East Michigan.

    Mike (Aspiring wood burner)

    ps - My wood is all in and covered!
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    As a burner of a 1985 pre-EPA insert I would highly recommend the liner. For years I thought I had good draft in my 8X12 tile lined chimney (11X7 inside). After I installed the liner I was amazed at the increase in draft. That thing lights off like a dream and in no time flat is an inferno. I am in for a significant wood savings next season from the more efficient burn.

    Old dog. New trick.
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