1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

not enough heat, not enough patience, or losing heat to masonry?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by NJPyro, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. NJPyro

    NJPyro Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Loc:
    NNJ
    I purchased a Morso 1710 insert in 2008 and have it in an 'old heatilator fireplace' with a lot of stone on a raised hearth, on the main floor (upstairs) and an interior chimney. My house footprint is 24x53 so about 1275 sqft on each floor. The upstairs living room, kitchen and dining area + hall to bedrooms is about 675 sqft when bedroom doors are closed, and is an open floor plan with only a 14 foot dividing wall between the living room and kitchen. The 1710 has a small firebox (~1.3cuft) and is rated at 39,000 btu max, and is a passive convection setup (I've tried adding a fan and it makes little difference although the ceiling fans do). The house is probably average, or below, insulation with vinyl siding and about an inch of blue foam board and blown in cellulose in the attic. But the living room has a lot of windows, they are insulated but glass never the less, and a big sliding glass door so that wall is actually more glass than not, or pretty close. I average about 200 gallons of fuel oil a month for baseboard and domestic hot water. I figure thats about 38,000 btu/hr during the heating season I purchased the stove for supplemental heat to help offset some of the fuel oil expense, and to satisfy my pyrophillic tendencies.

    I suspect the 1710 was maybe not the best choice for this house/raised hearth/lotta stone fireplace and I'm thinking perhaps a radiant stove, hearth mounted, might work better and turn the old heatilator into a big masonry heater faster. The stone work does heat up nicely and I do get some convection going through the heatilator vents but takes a looong time to do so. The fireplace opening is only about 28" in height so limits somewhat which stoves I can fit. I also have about a nine inch shelf from the raised hearth. I like the Morso contemporary styling, quality castings, and simple controls, plus the internal ash pan makes for a simpler setup with fewer moving parts, gaskets etc. They do also have short legs available for hearth mounting the Morso 2110 and 3610 stoves.

    I've been running this stove pretty hard and I'm waiting for an infrared pyrometer so I can check temps better. I have a magnetic spring type thermometer mounted on the upper left side of the stove front and it's seen 700*F probably too often though not for extended periods.
    1710.JPG
    Not sure if I'm just being impatient or if I went too small or if I should have gone radiant instead of convection. I don't run the stove 24/7 though it would be nice if it could keep things comfy should we have another power failure in the dead of winter, and on the weekend. I'm leaning towards the 3610 because I think I need at least a 2 cuft firebox and about 50 to 60,000 btu max to get closer to an average 30,000 btu/hr. The 2110 is rated about the same as the 1710 and would be more of a lateral move to a radiant stove. I figure either one, if mounted forward on the raised hearth, might get some of the heat out into the room faster and let me sit on the couch instead of right up next to the stove on those blustery winter nights.

    I've learned alot on this website though still can't make a decision to save my life! I welcome your thoughts, insights and knowledge and greatly appreciate your taking the time to read this very long post. Did I forget anything?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,053
    I put a VC Resolute Acclaim sticking out of an 'old heatilator fireplace' with a lot of stone on a raised hearth, on the main floor. It is in a similar sized home and rated at 40K BTU/Hr. I mounted it at the edge of the hearth and then added 18" of marble extending in front of the hearth. I get good heat and quick compared to the inserts the rest of my family run.

    I am not familiar with the stoves you mentioned but I would agree with something aroun 50-60K BTU/Hr.

    All the best,
    Mike
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Welcome to the forum NJPyro.

    Your situation is not strange at all because we see this sort of thing happening a lot. You would like to heat the house but the heater is really not large enough. Can you fix it? Yes! And a radiant heater would be ideal. For sure you would want a 2 cu ft firebox or larger. Many have installed stoves in front of the fireplace or partially into the fireplace and it works out great. I would guess you would also want 55,000 btu or greater. I will definitely recommend the Woodstock stoves and others will join in on other stoves. Ours is the Fireview and it does have a 2.1 cu ft firebox. You can look at their stoves at www.woodstove.com

    Then there is the fuel.What wood do you burn? Do you buy this wood? How is the wood handled? Are you aware most wood needs a year to dry and that is after the wood is split. Then it needs to be stacked outdoors preferably in the wind.

    You also mentioned moving the heat. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that many homes, including ours, do not have a fan on the stove, nor do they need one. You mentioned the ceiling fans and they do help and should be set to suck the air up rather than blowing it down. Another neat trick is to use a small desktop fan. Set it on the floor in a hallway or doorway and, set on low speed, aim that fan toward the stove room. This has an amazing effect on warming the further rooms and works much better than trying to blow the warm air.

    Good luck.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,657
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    There are several options. I would opt for convection here to better circulate the heat. If replacing with another insert, I would choose one that naturally convects much better in addition to being able to use its blower. This means one that is not flush, but instead projects out onto the hearth. Do you know the fireplace opening dimensions and depth?

    If you decide on a freestander, well need the opening height and the depth of the current hearth. There are several options here, the 3610 being one, though it doesn't have a blower option. But to determine the your needs better, how large is the room. Would it be possible to post a sketch of the main floor plan?
  5. NJPyro

    NJPyro Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Loc:
    NNJ
    Here's a rough floor plan, not to scale and the openings between the living room and kitchen are way off, they are probably 6 and 7 feet. The fireplace is the center flue of three. Ranch with walkout basement that is about 50% below grade.
    I'm going to go see a 3610 on Thursday and spoke to my dealer and he seems to think a rear connected 'T' will work nicely and allow me to extend it out onto the room a bit. Not sure if I'll have enough clearance to use the side loader though, and hoping I don't go too big, to the other extreme as the brochure says it can heat up to 2400 sqft.

    ... floor plan.jpg
  6. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,241
    Loc:
    Soutwest VA
    The way your floor plan is i would go for a convection stove don't think a radiant stove would work very well for you.
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,888
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I think either radiant or convection would work, but since you have an insert I'd be happy with convection. I think your stove is set in the spot where you wrote "Chimneys"? You might want to try a box fan between the "Wall" and "Chimneys" aimed at the stove to see if you can get a warm air current rotating from the stove around to the dining area and into the kitchen. I think the stove is a bit small to heat the entire house, but the output is large enough to put a serious dent on your heating bill.

    I think the course of action I would take would be to avoid tearing up the hearth area to add a new stove for the moment. I think I'd work on tightening up the house by caulking ceiling junction boxes and adding insulation in the attic where I could. You're working hard to heat the outdoors at the moment. Any improvements in the stove department will be more apparent when the rest of the house is tighter.

    All of that thermal mass is going to take a while to heat up and radiate heat for long periods. During the week it might be hard enough to get the mass warm enough to feel it pushing heat out. You should be able to do this on the weekend though. If you can get it warm on the weekends it may continue to give heat off for a day or two during the week.

    Matt
  8. NJPyro

    NJPyro Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Loc:
    NNJ
    I have so little pitch to the roof the only way to get insulation in there is to blow more in, there is already cellulose up there, or do it when the roof is off...I had a class from the community college here as a demo for an audit and they showed me the cold spots and I've addressed some of them, but I think the glass is where I'm losing alot of heat.

    Would a blocking plate help appreciatively? The 1710 was installed with fiberglass stuffed around the flex pipe at the top and bottom of the flue.

    I'm not planning on changing the stone work so perhaps a non flush mount insert that's a bit oversized might do the trick...

    The fireplace opening is 33" at the front tapering to ~28.5" at the rear which is about 22.5" deep on the floor but only about 17.5" at the top, the ol heatilator sheet metal tapers from the sides and tapers (bends in) at the back starting about 15" up...the front ledge is 13" deep.

    Now I'm wondering if the 3610 is a good choice. Looks like almost half of it will be inside the old fireplace, and since it's a radiant heater, I'm just heating up the masonry...but that masonry does have venting for the old heatilator convection system.

    If the 3610 is in there, with a 'T' connector, seems like its going to have to move for cleaning too...not to mention hooking it up.

    Any suggestions for an extended raised hearth mount, 50K to 60K ish, 2.0+ ft^3 firebox, convection heater? or a non flush mount insert?
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,657
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
  10. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,887
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    Will the Morso 5660 fit? or the Jotul C550? the Jotul has a 3cf box, I think the 5660 is smaller..
  11. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,888
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    Yes, blocking the heat from going up the chimney will help.

    Make sure you have the proper 18" in front of the insert. It looks like you don't have much room up there and if the new insert sticks out more you will have even less.

    Matt
  12. NJPyro

    NJPyro Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Loc:
    NNJ
    OK switching it out with a Hampton HI300 (black), $2850 installed, can reuse the liner, taxes extra...1710 will go downstairs in the walkout basement and get hooked up at a later date... I like how the Hampton isn't flush mounted and think it will fit the bill...this time.

    There is an 18"x32" glass mat I got from Morso in front of all this so I think I'm ok re: distance to combustables...

    The flue opening is whatever the dimensions were from the heatilator so mostly blocked off except for the sides of the flex tube, that seems like its OK (?).

    I've heard good things about the HI300 and although I'll miss the lil Morso, I think the larger firebox and blower will make a BIG difference.
  13. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,888
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    Have the installer put a plate on the sides of the flex. Heat going up the chimney isn't warming the house.

    Matt
  14. NJPyro

    NJPyro Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    Loc:
    NNJ
    it is stuffed full of fiberglass around the flex pipe where it goes thru the old heatilator damper plate...and fiberglass stuffed in at the top too...there's a big piece of slate above the chimneys to keep it dry.

    its 32*F outside, no wind, ran the oil burner to get the living room up to 72*F and started the 1710 at 7:00pm...it's 10pm and up to 76*F in here (75* for the last couple hours)...having added 2 medium size splits at 845 and 930 (I should have weighed them!)...was 58* in the back bedroom until I opened the door around 9ish, now 63*

    hoping I didn't overshoot on the other side with the HI300 @ 74K BTU...there's gotta be a more scientific way to do this...

Share This Page