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Pellet insert in dv gas fireplace???

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by paulslush, Dec 5, 2007.

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  1. paulslush

    paulslush New Member

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    I was asked today about installing a pellet fireplace insert into a direct vent gas fireplace. I dont have much info on the fireplace other than it was a propane direct vent unit installed in an alcove out the side of the house. This person was told by a Harmon dealer they could install as long as it was a zero clearance fireplace. I was surprised that it could be done. I would of figured not and then checked with the manufacturer of the insert. In the end they are leaning towards a pellet furnace hooked to their existing forced hot air duct-work and leaving the fireplace alone. Likely a wise choice as they wanted to heat the whole house not just one area. Just looking for input on this one for the future.

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  2. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    i'd seriously check with mfg. i doubt that a zc can take a pellet insert, i may be wrong but strikes me that the zc must be rated to handle it and the insert must be zc rated as well
  3. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    You cant convert a Direct Vent gas unit to anything else.... only option is to tear it out and put a pellet insert in the wall as a built in unit.
  4. petejung

    petejung New Member

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    I was thinking about going that very same route as your customer was thinking about. After visiting with my local Harman dealer, they advised that it could be done, if you put a zc box in, and then the pellet stove insert, but weren't sure that the existing opening in my alcove would be big enough to handle everything. As I like my mantel, and didn't like the $4000 price tag I was handed as an estimate for the parts to do it as an insert, I ended up tearing out the gas unit, studding in the alcove, haning some FR drywall, covered that with tile, and extended the hearth pad out another set of tiles, and putitng in an Englander 25pdvc.
  5. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Member

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    As long as clearances are kept to manufactures specs (in most cases for pellet inserts are 0 from the surround back) and you can get it vented with listed venting you can install it in any gas fireplace.
  6. littlesmokey

    littlesmokey Minister of Fire

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    I am not aware of any insert that is certified for installation in a gas ZC box. Second, the flue is gas rated and not wood, let alone pellet, third, the clearances for a gas unit are not the same as a ZC wood unit.



  7. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    What Scuba is trying to get at is that since the pellet insert itself can essentially be considered a zero clearance, then you could carve up the gas appliance, removing the valve etc in order to gain adequate clerances, and were able to pass the required L vent (not single wall liner) through the DV Chimney then it is "possible". Why you would ever want to do that is beyond me. It would be much more work, would not look professional and may raise the ire of a local inspector. As JTP10181 suggested removal of the existing gas fireplace is the proper procedure for this situation.
  8. paulslush

    paulslush New Member

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    I am sticking with my original thoughts on this one, that I just would not install in a dv cabinet. After looking into Harmon I learned they do make A zc box for thier pellet insert which would be fine but the dealer said they would install it in the exsisting dv fireplace as long as it was zc. I deal with St. Croix and thier insert goes into masonory or approved zc wood they don't make a box for it. Thanks for the input
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    no
  10. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    The issue with putting a built in pellet insert into a DV gas unit is that it was not made to do that. The shroud or ZC box for the pellet unit will usually have greater clearance requirements than the DV gas shell. You could run into clearance violations that are not visible because it's hiding behind the DV gas unit.
  11. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    What are Quads clearances? Travis and Whitfield simply install metal panels with louvers in them around the rear of the insert. These panels have 1/2" standoffs on them and that's your clearance. The floor is where I see alot of trouble with this type of install. No way having a gas valve sitting under a pellet unit like this is kosher. It would have to be totally removed, again, alot more work than just removing the gas fireplace itself.
  12. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    I wanted to bump this one up since this is where I'm headed.

    Shane, I'm wondering the same thing. I'm thinking about gutting my ZC/DV of all propane equip for the Quad CB1200i. Quad has an online available pdf file manual for those interested. From my initial reading it seems to me that the cb1200i was made for this.

    Anyone have additional info to put in here?
  13. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Anything I can tell you is in the manual, that's where I would get my information.
  14. paulslush

    paulslush New Member

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    I did take a look at the manual and it does look like you could install it in a zc box with the rear shroud kit offered but if it is a dv gas box I would say you will have to vent straight out the back and through the wall of the alcove. The dv pipe would not be suitable to vent a pellet stove into only a class a chimney would be. Good luck with it, it looks like a good solution to converting from gas to pellet.
  15. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    I'd love to have the cb1200i in that place. Great location to heat the main floor (open floor plan, 1850sq ft). Thank you for the recommendation of the rear shroud kit. I'll keep an eye out for that and plan on another route for the exhaust. This fireplace is situated in a corner configuration with cultured stone face and plenty of solid stone hearth for the finished front area.

    This is totally new to me so I'm stacking up on all the reading and info from friends I can get. Thanx!
  16. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    I would not put a pellet insert into a DV gas unit. They are made to be installed into a prefab or masonry wood fireplace. I supposed if you wanted to follow all the rules for installing it as a built in you can pretend the DV unit is not even there. It would have to be totally gutted out and gas line capped off. You would have to block the old flue with something. It would be best to remove the DV gas unit and install the pellet insert in its place as a built-in.
  17. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    We are on the same page. That is exactly what I'm doing. Not to say others wont.......so it's good you've mentioned that here and previous posts.

    I'm just using the "housing" that the builder has provided :).
  18. paulslush

    paulslush New Member

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    I agree with you JTP, I started this thread saying the same thing that an insert could not be installed into a DV gas box but after reviewing the install manual for this Quad 1200 it is made to do this with a rear heat shroud and the manual shows cutiing out the shelf for the gas log and all. This unit could be installed as a stand alone insert with no fire box following the clearances to combustibles with the rear heat shroud installed. As for removeing the DV unit or gutting it out I guess it would depend on how it is installed which would be easier. Many installs have the cultured stone overlapping the front of the firebox and it may be easier to gut it out. If the gas unit came out easily I would just take it out. I think it would be easier to access the rear wall to install a thimble without the DV box in place. Just a note I did notice some floor protection requirements with this unit so I would be sure to follow the install manual carefully.
  19. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    The floor area looks to be the most vulnerable. I'm not sure exactly what to do but something will be done and following the manual's recommendations. The flex line for propane comes up through the floor and that will be removed back to the nearest shutoff that is below the floor and capped off properly. You are right about the construction. If the entire box had to be removed I'd just wreck the whole thing out for a free standing unit. As it is the stone setting is really quite attractive (though it's cultured) and I wish to preserve that.

    The Quad manual really helped me make a decision.....now it's time to visit the dealer again.
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