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Pellet Insert installed in Heatilator Mark 123

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Hoosier, May 12, 2008.

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  1. Hoosier

    Hoosier New Member

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    Indiana
    I've been reading this forum for quite some time, and I just can't find an answer to my specific question:

    I am thinking about installing a Quadra-Fire insert (unsure of model yet) in my older style Heatilator Mark 123 fireplace.

    The Mark 123 is just a strict fireplace with a mesh screen across the opening, metal sizes, and brick rear. It lets a ton of cold air in during the winter... so much so that even with the flue closed you can literally feel a breeze.

    Originally I had the local fireplace company out and they removed the gas logs that were present and said that I am OK to burn wood in it. I have been hesitant because there were gas logs originally, but they said based on the hole cut in the side panel for the gas line this was originally a wood burning Mark 123. Were there both wood and gas Mark 123's? Anyway, they capped off the gas line, and I used small wood fires in it just a couple times, and the rest of the time it just let cold air in.

    Now I want to install a pellet insert. The same company said a Quadra-Fire insert is ok to be installed in the Mark123's and they have performed several of these 'transplants'. I also called the local CSIA certified chimney sweep, and he said this setup should be fine and will be happy to certify a letter stating as such and would even be willing to do the installation himself. Both the fireplace company and the chimney sweep said that a 3" pipe will need to be run inside the Mark 123 chimney for proper ventillation and also that the vent will need to come out of the top of the Quadra-Fire Unit instead of the standard rear exit. Other than that it will be an easy switch.

    Is this correct? After reading around these forums, I am concerned that perhaps this may not be a good idea? It seems to make sense, since you can install and insert in a regular framed opening in a flammable wall, but I want to be 100% positive.

    A certified letter and insurance approval doesn't necessarily mean this is a good idea, and I don't EVER want to burn my house down just to save a few bucks.

    Hoosier

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  2. Hoosier

    Hoosier New Member

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    -Bump-

    No one has any opinions on this?
  3. steamguy

    steamguy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
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    Loc:
    In the windy Columbia Gorge, WA
    We did a similar sort of thing about 13 years ago in our house. Our zero-clearance was a Heatilator. It's installed inside a fireproof chase in the house and the chimney (of course) runs up that chase.

    The very first thing you need to know is the distance to combustibles. If you're inside of that, then not only is the install unsafe, but you'll never have insurance coverage. Go online and download the install manual for the stove you're considering. Get out your tape measure and check CAREFULLY.

    Once you've verified your clearances to combustibles, then you can do the install, or have it done. If you don't know what you're doing, now's the time to contact a professional. You don't want CO2 from the stove inside the house.

    Like us, you'll probably have to have the steel chimney lined with a material made for the venting of pellet stoves. There are LOTS of variables here and I cannot even hope to speak to your situation. But for us, we had to have 25' of 4" pipe run from the cleanout on the back of the stove to the chimney cap. And you should buy a good windproof cap without moving parts.

    This is really kind of a rudimentary quick answer, and there are lots of professionals here who can help better than I can. But yes, what you want to do IS possible; we did it and haven't looked back.

    And how did I sell my wife on the idea of the pellet stove? After having the power off for four days and the inside of the house get to 39 degrees when it was 18 degrees outside and the wind was blowing 40 MPH... I used an insane amount of wood in the fireplace and we did NOT get warm.
  4. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    123
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I do.

    I had a propane direct vent zero clearance in our home when we bought it. We rarely used it. So that is where the Quad Classic Bay 1200i was installed. I removed the gas flex line, all of the propane components and parts of the fireplace sheet metal housing that would get in the way of the install. For the first few days I was a bit nervous until I settled on the thought that gas lines are far removed and I have better clearance than most freestanding stoves.

    The install was a piece of cake what with the online pdf manual. The dimensions of the DV fireplace seemed like it was built for this aftermarket install.
  5. flueinc

    flueinc New Member

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    porter me.
    The quad inserts are 0 clearance units and are made by the same company HHT. as heatalator
  6. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Madison, WI
    The old Mark 123 units are basically a heatform masonry style wood fireplace. Anything that can go into a masonry or prefab wood fireplace can go into one no problem.

    Make sure they install a sealed block off plate in the smoke shelf / damper area or the "breeze" will probably continue.
  7. Hoosier

    Hoosier New Member

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    Ok. Thanks for all your advice! I look forward to actually being able to sit in the living room this winter without covering up with blankets!
  8. Hoosier

    Hoosier New Member

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    Indiana
    Well the certified sweep came by this morning for a site visit. He said I can install a Buck model 21 wood burning insert, or any style of Breckwell pellet insert. (these are the two brands he carries)

    Does anyone have opinions on either of these brands?
  9. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Are you shopping for a brand or a format? I'd think you'd need to answer the most fundamental question first (wood burning or pellet), and then look at brand choices. It sounds like your local guy only caries one brand of each, so that part of the decision is easy...
  10. Hoosier

    Hoosier New Member

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    I am looking for feedback on the brands. I am still debating about wood vs. pellets, but I am curious if these brands are any good.
  11. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    Western CT
    Is that the Heatilator with the vents on the side of the fireplace? With that setup, I think you still need to block the vents even with a block off plate or you will get cold air.
  12. Hoosier

    Hoosier New Member

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    No vents at all anywhere..... just a ring-mesh screen in front.....
  13. pattibel

    pattibel New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
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    1
    Loc:
    Northern California
    I have a Heatilator Mark 123, Model 3042, which I want to restore to original condition. I need the black metal bar and screen which fits across the unit. Information anyone?

    pattibel@pacbell.net
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